Pro Clear Pro 150 Wet / Dry - can't get protein skimmer to work - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-20-2009, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Pro Clear Pro 150 Wet / Dry - can't get protein skimmer to work

Hi everyone,

I have a Pro Clear Pro 150 Wet / Dry and I can't seem to get the protein skimmer to produce enough bubbles to work.


It has worked sporadically in the past. I called the manufacturer who instructed me to soak the nozzle that attaches to the pump at the bottom of the protein skimmer's cylinder in vinegar. I soaked it, ran pipe cleaners through the nozzles, cleaned the pump, etc., but the protein skimmer still won't bubble up refuse and the manufacturer is out of ideas. I have of course played with the air valve to ensure it is all the way open.

It produces some bubbles as you can see in the pictures below, but not enough to bubble up the chamber.

skim1.jpg

Here it is bubbling with the top off. With the top on it would have to bubble up about 6 more inches to make it out of the chamber and it never gets much higher than you see here.

skim2.jpg

The pump attached to the protein skimmer is nearly 4 years old now. Could it be that it no longer has enough power to produce enough bubbles to cause the chamber to bubble up? Might a new pump resolve the issue?

Thanks so much for your help!
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-20-2009, 07:04 PM
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Just a guess, but I think the water flow rate from the pump has slowed down. Try replacing the impeller with a new one to see if this solves the problem.

Another obvious possibility is a dirty skimmer neck. I would wipe the inside of the neck clean to ensure that you do not have a coating on the skimmer neck preventing the bubbles from rising.

Another option would be to raise the wall slightly in the skimmer chamber, forcing the water in the skimmer column higher. You would need to glue in a piece of acrylic to make this happen.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-23-2009, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mark. I've cleaned the skimmer neck thoroughly so I'm confident that isn't the issue. I'd like to exhaust all options before resorting to gluing on additional pieces of acrylic.

As for replacing the pump, is it the case that the more gph the pump is rated for, the more bubbles/skimming action I will see?
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-23-2009, 06:09 PM
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this may sound strange, but I have heard of others "modifying" the size of the chamber, say from 6" down to 4" by cutting it, in order to get the foam into the chamber
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-23-2009, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Administrator View Post
As for replacing the pump, is it the case that the more gph the pump is rated for, the more bubbles/skimming action I will see?
Well, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in a manufacturer rating. However, it is very accurate to say that as a pump ages and the water flow slows, less bubbles are created by the venturi and less skimming action occurs. I just had this same issue in my 54 reef. A quick cleaning of the impeller and the skimmer was working like new.
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