Skimmer Selection

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kamar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
204
Location
Kalispell
I had a skimmer all picked out for the new system, and am wondering now if going with a needle wheel type is the way I should go. I was looking at the Reef Octopus NWB150 6 but have no experience with a needle wheel type skimmer, and understand that the venturi clogs somewhat frequently, and the needle wheel can break necessitating replacement. I'm not sure now why I was wanting something different, other than keeping up with current technology. I currently have a spray injection type skimmer (Aqua C Remora), which I have had zero problems with, easy to clean and really like it's construction with the blacked out body. I'm not sure if it's as efficient as a needle wheel, and I understand the needle wheel costs less to operate as a smaller pump is required due to the chopping up of the water stream. So, energy efficiency is certainly important, but so is it's ability to get the job done.

I've done a bunch of research and am wondering what my fellow reefers use in their systems, and the pros and cons they have with their choice of skimmer. Should I go with a needle wheel, or should I get another Aqua C?
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
I just changed skimmers the 25th of July to an OBD skimmer Kim, and it seems to be fairly efficient and it certainly is less power than running that Iwaki 100.

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They make a smaller one than the link I posted too. I have no experience with the needle wheel, and I tthink if you are reading what you read about it, I would stay away form it!!! Just my .02 worth.
 

DevonM

Mantis Shrimp
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
643
Location
Missoula, MT
I switched out my skimmer in November 2011 to a Reef Octopus DDNW-150-6530B and have been really happy with it. I love the fact that it's a recirculating skimmer so it's running 100% all the time and is not dependent on the feed pump's capabilities. I do put RO water into the venturis to clean out any salt creep or dust that might have gotten lodged in the feel lines. I have had no problems with it and would definitely buy it again.
 

kamar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
204
Location
Kalispell
Thanks for the feedback. That's interesting . . . two votes for Oceans by Design using airstone technology, and no votes for the injection spray. It didn't sound like many people were using that anymore. Beautiful tank there Matt! Looks like you and Charlie have the same skimmer. I was wondering how you liked it, Charlie. It sounds like a nice one. The smaller one looks like it uses a needle wheel, and I have seen other models running the pump inside the body too - less space being taken up and nice idea. Devon, your choice of a Reef Octopus was actually the inspiration behind my choice too. So, the skimmer runs external, and there are no holes drilled in your sump? I like that idea, and would have the room in the cabinet for either type of set up. I watched your videos, and yes, it's very quiet. So, do you think it's better run as an external vs running it in a sump? BTW congrats on your new house!
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
It takes a little getting used to Kim, but nothing a couple of phone calls to Eric didn't fix, they have been great to work with, with both my lights and the skimmer. You know my feelings about skimming Kim, the more the merrier, and basically it runs down to what you are comfortable with. The skimmer you have now will do fine with what your size of tank is, I ran the Remora Pro on my 80 for years and it had no issues, they are a great skimmer and real easy to deal with. You aren't going to have a large bio-load so it would transition well.
As far as liking my newer skimmer, it took about a month or so to really get going, I check it and the tank everyday, you know me ;), and it is just now starting to produce some pretty nasty stuff in the collection cup. The smaller OBD skimmer would probably be a little bit of overkill for you, but if you have room for it, I think you would be set for an upgrade or two afterwards even. With the amount of research that you do ;), whatever you choose I am sure you will be happy with.
 

kamar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
204
Location
Kalispell
I've read good things about OBD. Sounds like they are hobbyists too, leaning towards doing it the right way. Yes, the smaller OBD still looked like maybe too much for system. I've been reading good things about needle wheel technology, and was leaning that way even knowing about the so called "issues" it has. I was glad to hear that Devon still likes his so much. I guess, really, what in life doesn't have "issues" anymore, huh? Do the best you can, and deal with it, right? :smile: I've got the tank set in place down here in the fish room. It looks AWESOME! The plumbing is done, just haven't glued it in place yet. We're going to do a wet "dry run" here pretty soon. I was wondering if you would be interested in checking it out, and letting me know if I missed something? I really don't want to have to call the carpet cleaning guys. I'm really not stressing about every little detail, or making drawings of everything. I pretty much know where I want the big stuff, and will figure the little stuff out as I go.
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
Sure, I'll make a trip down and check it out for you, no problem Kim. Is Monday a good day for ya? I need to run out and get some stuff myself for my top off set up, that would kill 2 stones with one bird for me :). Think we could get some BS'ing done too? Oh, mind if I bring the Canon down just for grins :)?
 

kamar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
204
Location
Kalispell
Sure, that works for me, and Mark will be home by then too. I'll make sure we're home in the afternoon. Looking forward to seeing you!
 

kamar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
204
Location
Kalispell
I know, you haven't seen yet what we blew our fish tank budget on this summer! :smile: 1:30 sounds great. See you then.
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
This time I made a note to myself, I know what happens when I depend on my memory anymore ;). Can't wait to see what happened to your beloved fish budget..........................lol. See ya Monday :)
 

LostCreekReefer

Speaker To Animals
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
413
Location
Ronan, Montana, United States
Sorry to be late to the discussion, just got back from Colorado. Kim: I can't wait to see your finished tank; anticipation! I am curious about all of the different technologies used in various skimmers to make the bubbles; my ATI Bubble-Master 250 has 2 mesh wheels pupms going full bore all of the time, for pumping and simultaneous bubble production. Flow is regulated by a gate valve at the output. How dies this compare to the OBD and Reef Octopus mechanisms? Also please see my thread for another question!
 

kamar

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
204
Location
Kalispell
Hi Kevin . . . thanks for chiming in. Hope your trip was good. Ok, I checked the Bubble Master out and it appears to be similar technology to the needle wheel, only it's a mesh wheel. Same idea, chops the water up to create fine bubbles. OBD looks like it uses an airstone to create the bubbles. Seems everyone has a slightly different way of making bubbles. So, you like how it performs? Anything you don't like?
 

LostCreekReefer

Speaker To Animals
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
413
Location
Ronan, Montana, United States
When this skimmer works it is fine. The mesh wheels are tricky to start up (hold your tongue just right standing on your head) and sometimes the mesh needs some trimming when you put new mesh on, so the wheel is balanced as it spins. Debbie hates (as in HATES) the skimmer because it will work fine literally non-stop for months, then puke out when I leave on a trip. It is like an imutable law of physics or something close to it.
 

sarmo

aka Rob
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
263
Location
SouthWest MT
hi Kim. I agree that mesh and needle wheel are similar technology, but the needle wheel is less likely to get plugged up. I built a DIY mesh wheel skimmer and it worked great until it quit. the mesh got plugged up and it would quit. my big skimmer on the 500 was a needle wheel recirculating pump with a venture. I liked it but did have the same salt creep problem in the venture. I tried to run RO through it once a week or so but it would still get plugged up. it just became part of my maintenance to clean it.
I also had a AquaC that I used for years before getting the recirc skimmer. it was good but also had salt creep plug up it's air intake, that took me a long time to figure out the first time. but I just took out the air intake once a month and rinsed it off in hot water. the other problem I had with that skimmer was small snails getting stuck in the spray injector. that was my fault as I didn't use a screen on my pump intake. I actually like the the spray injection better but it used more power and made more noise than the recirc skimmer.
I have never used a air stone skimmer but they have maintenance too. the air stones will plug up over time and need to be replaced. I would also wonder about the noise that the air pump makes, some are quiet and others are not. another possible issue is air pump failure, if it quits working the air line can become a siphon and drain water out depending on its location. all of that is based on old simple air stone skimmers and I am going to go look at the link from Charlie to see what his looks like now.
sorry for the late response. I know you'll make a good decision and figure out the maintenance you need to do regardless of the type skimmer you get.
 
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