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JohnnyD 12-11-2010 10:34 PM

Super Skimmer surface skim mod general question
 
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I have been looking for a way to effectively surface skim my 46 gallon tank. I have a coralife super skimmer 125 gal and have been looking for a surface skimming mod. I have yet to find any directions for a surface skimming mod, but I did find a few pictures of one.

Im thinking about attempting this mod on my own, but my question is this: in theory, would this work if all I did was add this pvc to where the skimmer suctioned right below the surface? Or, would this offset some balance of suction, water pressure, or something else that is vital to the proper functioning of the skimmer?

I believe anyone with a good understanding of the mechanics and physics involved in a skimmer would be able to answer this. I have attached some pictures of the mod i found below.


Thanks in advance

bettababy 12-13-2010 01:20 AM

I'm not getting a clear idea of how exactly this is supposed to set up and work? Can you break it down into a diagram please? Is the tank you are attempting to skim a saltwater or freshwater tank? Does it have a sump/overflow system installed? Can I ask why you are attempting this mod? Chances are there is a better "fix" to whatever problem you are having... but its impossible to offer you much in way of actual help if we don't know what you are dealing with.

JohnnyD 12-13-2010 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bettababy (Post 533347)
I'm not getting a clear idea of how exactly this is supposed to set up and work? Can you break it down into a diagram please? Is the tank you are attempting to skim a saltwater or freshwater tank? Does it have a sump/overflow system installed? Can I ask why you are attempting this mod? Chances are there is a better "fix" to whatever problem you are having... but its impossible to offer you much in way of actual help if we don't know what you are dealing with.

Sure. I have a 46 gallon saltwater reef tank. Its been up and running for over a year now and all my water parameters have been/are pristine(never really had any problems whatsoever). There is no overflow or sump to my tank, that is the main reason I am looking to attempt this mod.

After more reading, a lot of it from this site, Ive realized the importance of surface skimming and as of yet, havent been able to rid my tank of the "oil slick" layer. since a sump is not an option with my current setup, I am looking for other methods to rid my tank of this slick. I have tried removing it during water changes without luck, so any other ideas or fixes would be greatly appreciated. I just figured this would be a good longterm fix if my skimmer is constantly pulling the slick.

Mattcot 12-13-2010 12:16 PM

I am correctly working on sum thing that fits what your looking for, as i am in need of it too.
when i have a working model i will post up pics of how I made it.

bettababy 12-13-2010 12:26 PM

Do you have power heads in your tank? Any that are aimed so that the water just breaks the surface? That is an easy way to break up and avoid the oil slicks in most tanks.
The other way to help rid your tank of the oil slicks is to do more frequent small water changes. The oil slick at the surface is mostly organic compounds that are not broken up by bacteria. By decreasing the organic load in the tank with the extra water changes, the oil slicks will eventually subside.

Other things that can cause the oil slicks... excess amounts of dust and pollution in the air, cigarette smoke, and fish foods, especially prepared foods.

To manually remove the oil slick from the surface grab a roll of paper towels. One paper towel at a time, lay it onto the waters surface until it is just beginning to saturate, then take it by an edge and "slide" it out of the water. Paper towel works great for soaking up these slicks and if its done regularly, does not take long and doesn't have to be messy or difficult.

Is your tank covered? An air stone placed near the surface of the water so as not to create micro bubbles throughout the tank can also be used to agitate surface water enough to break up the oil slick. This will create a bit of spray, so cleaning of salt creep will increase slightly... but it is effective. If you are running a canister filter (or can add one), the spray bar set just above the surface of the water will have the same effect.

I have worked with a number of manufactured as well as home made surface skimmers and in the past 20 yrs I have seen very poor long term results unless an overflow system was in place. There are many other effective ways to accomplish the same thing safely.

If you do decide to try this out, please come back and let us know how it works for you both short term and long term, and any problems that may arise. That is information that could help many people in need of better/different solutions to the same problem and it offers some of us who design equipment such as this some extra pros/cons to work with.

If there's more I can do to help please let me know.

JohnnyD 09-13-2011 08:56 PM

I ended up doing this mod and it worked pretty well. You will have to put some sort of screen to keep snails and stuff out but its no problem. It did the job and skimmed the surface. My only complaint is the noise. If your water level went down by 1/4 of an inch it starts making a loud slurping sound. You have to constantly top off the tank (not a problem since I keep top off water on hand) but can get annoying if it starts slurping during the night. overall, it was functional though.


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