All About Skimmers, skimmers, skimmer.

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers' started by Powerman, Mar 19, 2010.

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  1. greenalgae

    greenalgae Plankton

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    POwerman, thanks for such great info, but can you also tell us your opinion about skimmer body? Cone, halfcone or regular tubing. Some people prefer cone some say halfcone is better, and some doesnt really care. Can you please tell your opinion about this?
     
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  3. greenalgae

    greenalgae Plankton

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    whoa...are you sure aquabee is made in china??? THought it's made in Germany
     
  4. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    You are correct... I don't just make stuff up... I thought I read it, but now it is no where to be found. And yes they are a German compnay and I can't find any reference that any of their pumps are produced in part, or in whole in China.

    I was going to put the pump somewhere else but since I don't know much about them I just deleted that from the article. If I find more I will put it in.

    Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  5. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    It isn't really about performance per se... to say which is "better".

    The full cone gives some good benefits besides the transition.... as the water flows down to exit the body, the base gets wider, which means reduced velocity... that translates to less micro bubbles exiting the body. Also, the cone actually has more volume than the same height cylinder.

    However, the drawback is that it makes a much bigger foot print, and that added volume is in a region that does not do anything... like reaction area or transition.

    So after the cone came out, then it got tweaked and some compromises were played with. I don't actually know who had the idea first... I heard it talked about then I saw other companies putting it out... who knows... but the "hybrid" cylinder/cone is a compromise between size, foot print, reaction chamber volume, and superior transitions of the cone. Not necessarily another leap forward, just another tweak.

    Any good reputable skimmer manufacturer is going to design and tune their skimmer to work with what ever configuration they think is best for a given set of criteria... that is the important part. Any copycat company trying to make a quick buck off splicing together the latest greatest fads with all the gee wizz gadgets is still going to be a crappy skimmer.

    Does that make sense?
     
  6. greenalgae

    greenalgae Plankton

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    Yeah that makes sense indeed. THanks very much. I bought a skimmer from a guy who makes a DIY stuff from acrylic, while I don't actually believe it's on par with the branded one, but so far it's doing its job.

    I am planning to upgrade my skimmer for my 250 gallon tank and heard quite a great deal about half cone as u mentioned "hybrid".

    Can you also tell me about skimmate...some people adore their capuccino style micro bubbles on their cone skimmer, does it mean regular tubing skimmer cant produce that capucino style micro bubbles?

    My experience tells me that the dirtier your tank, the merrier the bubbles, when you eventually reach LNS, the skimmer bubbles will lighten and any skimmers in the world, even the most expensive ones can't produce capucino style micro bubbles in ULNS system...what do you think?
     
  7. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    Well don't think of it so much about the cone body but about the transition to the neck.

    Yes, the cone makes a smoother transition, has less turbulence, and all that adds up to a denser foam head... but DOCs are DOCs and as long as there is a air/water interface to bond to they will be there big bubble or small.

    There are some good examples of cylinder bodies that perform every bit as good as a average cone.. look at Bubble Kings, they have a machined transtition to the neck that is very smooth. Very good stable foam head... the old Euro reefs too and now the Vertex Ins have that nice transition... so it is more about that than it is about the body.

    The needle wheel pump is going to produce the micro bubbles.. all of them do... how well the skimmer preserves them and gets them to the top has been the focus for makers recently. Before it was all about dwell time, now it is all about reduced turbulence... before turbulence gave you increased dwell time... so it is sort of a reversal of thought.... the needle wheel gives you turbulence and mixing, once the organics adhere to the bubble, then it is about getting that to the collection cup.. if the bubble breaks the organics have to go find another bubble to adhere to that has room.

    Now one question I have its that while I understand the above example... just because a bubble breaks and DOcs have to go find another one... that does not mean they are taken back to the tank... in my mind they are still bound up in the skimmer and even if they circulate around in the body for a while looking for a bubble, to me they are still "removed" from the system. Obviously though if mixing is not good, not enough surface area of bubbles, poor exit velocities, and organics entering and exiting the skimmer would all add up to a crappy skimmer not doing a very good job.

    Having said all that... once you have no organics you have no foam head, and the best skimmer on the market will not have one, until enough organics build up again to establish a foam head to puke into the cup.
     
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  9. ReefBruh

    ReefBruh Giant Squid

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    I have a skimmer question. If I have a skimmer rated at 450 gallons and I add another skimmer to the system rated at 250 gallons, does that make the total skimmer volume at 700 gallons?
     
  10. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    Basically yes. And the same would apply having a 700g rated skimmer on a 200g tank or a 800g tank. You might find one performs better than the other... scratch that... you may find one produces more than the other. some folks like to have "skim offs" and place two skimmers on a system and declare a "winner". There are a lot of problems with that type of test... one just might recieve a more benificial flow.

    But yes, you can look at capacities by adding them up, and there are many examples of folks running more than one skimmer on a system... usually because they have multiple ones or are moving up or got a great deal on a good one... no reason not to do it. If I was skimmerless and looking at setting up a system I would go with one properly sized just because, but no reason to not go with what you have or what you can score.
     
  11. tropicalspeed

    tropicalspeed Plankton

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    Houston, Texas USA
    New to this and confused

    My wife and I have owned a 75 gal. bow-front tank that was home to our fresh water friends for about 10 years. Now that our buddies have all passed away, we would like to start up a salt water aquarium.

    I bought a book on the subject and have been also studying online.

    My problem right now is selecting a skimmer. There are so many choices and I honestly do not know which would be best. I currently have a Rena Filstar filter so, I'm guessing that I would be better off getting a hang-on skimmer. So, I ask you; which skimmer would you buy for this tank if it were yours? I'd like to say that money is no object but I would rather say that $250 or so would be my limit unless your selection for a pricer skimmer was indeed a valid one. Thanks in advance for all your help.
     
  12. Mirandac

    Mirandac Plankton

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    Location:
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    Hi my name is Miranda and I recently acquired a 100 gallon reef tank. My skimmer has stopped working after unplugging it to clean the scum cup. I've also noticed a tiny bit of water coming into the air line. Anyone have any ideas to help?[​IMG]