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.Imo needle wheel mesh wheel common cone skimmers r piles. Recirculating, air venturi, simple downdraft airstone/air pump skimmers works best.
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.
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.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?