Protein Skimming: What, Why and When

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pegasus

Well-Known Member
#22
Imo needle wheel mesh wheel common cone skimmers r piles. Recirculating, air venturi, simple downdraft airstone/air pump skimmers works best.
Well... you know what they say about opinions... lol! The needle wheel in my Super Reef Octopus XP-2000i cone skimmer has been consistently pulling 3/4 of an 8" cup of dry, black skimmate every week for the past 1 1/2 years. Yeah... it's a beast. :p
 

snakeblitz33

Well-Known Member
#23
I prefer needle wheels or the new pin wheels like on DC skimmers. It's a personal preference. Less wattage, more skimmate.

I wish I went with the Skimz monzter mini SN143 instead of the 123. But the 123 is still a beast.
 
#25
Here is a description of the pump that comes with my skimmer.
Budget-friendly protein skimmers are designed with simplicity in mind to satisfy the skimming needs of saltwater aquarium hobbyists. Included quiet-operating Italian Sicce pump features a needle-wheel impeller that dynamically mixes air and water to create a flurry of waste-removing bubbles. Greatly improves water quality and oxygen level in saltwater aquariums. Collection cup is easily removable for convenient skimmer maintenance and disposal of collected waste material. Also features an adjustment knob that fine-tunes water level within the protein skimmer reaction chamber for optimal performance.
 
#26
Here's an important point that the rest of you may not even have to deal with and so it may not have occurred to you. The pump on my skimmer actually sits between my two filter socks. Every time I have to change my socks the skimmer gets knocked around because of the tight space. Almost every time, when I'm done, the water level is like 5-6" below where it should be. It stays there for hours, so I have to tweak it until it rises to where it should be, but then the next morning it's usually risen and overflowing. I've since learned to leave it about 2" below where it should be and it rises overnight to close to where it should be. Nevertheless I find myself having to constantly clean the cup in case it starts overflowing all that crap back into the sump.

Does that clear up the possible cause of my problems a bit?
 

pegasus

Well-Known Member
#27
Here's an important point that the rest of you may not even have to deal with and so it may not have occurred to you. The pump on my skimmer actually sits between my two filter socks. Every time I have to change my socks the skimmer gets knocked around because of the tight space. Almost every time, when I'm done, the water level is like 5-6" below where it should be. It stays there for hours, so I have to tweak it until it rises to where it should be, but then the next morning it's usually risen and overflowing. I've since learned to leave it about 2" below where it should be and it rises overnight to close to where it should be. Nevertheless I find myself having to constantly clean the cup in case it starts overflowing all that crap back into the sump.

Does that clear up the possible cause of my problems a bit?
It still doesn't make sense. If the knob is taking the kind of force to move as you described, bumping it around during sock changes shouldn't budge it... at all. I don't see an adjustment knob in the picture, so I'm guessing it uses a wedge tube on the outlet? A little plumbers grease can help make adjustments easier. My old skimmer had a wedge tube flow adjustment, so once I found the sweet spot, I marked it with a sharpie so it was easy to tune in if I had to move it for any reason.

If changing the socks is what is causing the water level to drop, then the socks themselves must be changing the water composition to a slight degree until enough water flows through them to stabilize water conditions. How are you cleaning your filter socks? Do you use bleach? Try wringing and rinsing them saltwater before installing to see if it makes any difference. Won't hurt to try...
 

silverado61

Well-Known Member
#28
That's the exact one I have and I shut it down every day while I feed the tank. Every time I turn it back on it starts low then eventually it rises back up to where I had it adjusted at. Next time just let it run and don't keep readjusting it. It'll go back to the level you have it set for.
Those skimmers are quiet as all get up aren't they? I'm impressed with mine.
 

silverado61

Well-Known Member
#30
When ever I clean any equipment or wash towels i just use a little vinegar. Nothing else. I don't trust any chemicals at all when it comes to the tank.
 
#31
I run a quick rinse cycle in my washing machine, then wash the socks with no bleach or detergent, or anything, really. They don't come out whiter than white but they do get unclogged. When I say the skimmer gets knocked around I don't mean the setting gets changed. But if I don't readjust it, it never seems to get back to the proper level. Sometimes it will go days working properly with the adjustment over 1/4" to the right of my "mark". Other times it has to be on or to the left of my "mark". Anyway, I thought this thread died a long time ago. I've learned to live with Spastic Skimmer Syndrome :rolleyes:
 

silverado61

Well-Known Member
#33
The level it's at might depend on how much skimate there is to remove. The less gunk, the lower the level. the more gunk, the higher the level. Mine doesn't stay at the exact same level either.

Just a thought.
 
#34
Look at the picture I posted at the beginning of this thread. That's pretty low and the two times I tried leaving it there it didn't recover. And it's been even 2" lower at times. I had no choice but to manually raise the level. Sheesh, I thought I was through with this!
 

silverado61

Well-Known Member
#36
I just looked at the first photo. That's where mine sits until it has something to skim. I empty about 1/2 a cup a week. Ammonia isis always zero. Nitrite is always zero. Nitrate is always between 5 & 10.
 
#37
And here us where mine sat moments ago. Of course I said let's just let it do its thing today. I ignored it, I knew I had a bunch of gunk in the cup, and this is what I found just now.
20150311_170330.jpg

Grrrrrrrr.....
 

silverado61

Well-Known Member
#38
Here's a thought. And again, its "Just a thought". Try taking the restrictor off the air intake line. Mine didn't even come with one and once I got it dialed in I've had zero issues with it. And its still whisper quiet.
 

1guydude

Well-Known Member
#40
Lol again this is my opinion. I'm with silverado. Sounds like ur skimmer is just flux u a ting with the parameter s of ur tank. Should start to see foam up over night.
Fwiw dry skimate is great but mostly just detritus and phytoplankton. Wet'r skimate will get more dissolved organic compounds. (DOC)
And most under pump skimmers don't give the proper dwell times needed even for the compounds to bind.
Math would b gallons of water in skimmer body divided by lph of air through the skimmer...
Idk I'm not that smart just really into reefing lol.
D
 
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