DIY or Bought

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Could you guys please help. I am gonna ask a few questions at different places on the forum the upcoming weeks (due to the tank I am planning).
Is it worth building a Protein Skimmer that can handle 3000lt plus water or buying a new one???

And price related, is it worth it???

I have a budget, so please keep that in mind..
 
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Hi Sean, I would think that the major expense in a skimmer is the pump(s) and not so much teh PVC etc. Perhaps the skimmer pros can confirm? If so would the saving in making your own be big enough to counter the ease of buying one and just plugging it in?
 

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Sean, I would rather go with one of the big Reefteks or Reef Octopus skimmers, Kevin is right, so much easier to just plug it in, plus it's an impressive piece of equipment too.
 
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My strong recommendation is to buy one. I made my own one. It cost around R3500 by the end of the project and took me months of spare time and three rebuilds to get right. It was a very frustrating project.

If you do want to build one yourself, I recommend using PVC (like the picture earlier in this thread) and checking out comparative price lists between acrylic and PVC. PVC is normally a lot cheaper at the small to middle diameters (100mm and less) but not too different at the high diameters (160mm plus). You should be able to find a sweet spot at around 100mm or so, maybe R125 a meter.

PVC is much easier to work with than acrylic except for thermoplastic applications (heating and bending). If you do use acrylic, use Acryfix (from Maizey) and NOT Tensol, which way too weak for a pressure application. Tangit is a reasonably good PVC glue. It's gap filling which helps compensate for my backyard workshop :)

The skimmer I built uses two Beckett injectors in a downdraft type design and is driven by a 30 000 litre and hour pump. It works quite well and I am proud of it, but it's overly powerful and heats the water unacceptably if used for more than 5 hours or so. All in all, for the time and the money, I'd have rather bought one.
 
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get 2 TS 3's Sean - rather spend your time enjoying the tank then trying so save a few rands on building a skimmer yourself, the pumps are the most expensive parts and either way you will have to spend it so you would not save that much and if you buy a skimmer you know if will work as you need it. Ask Gali he spend weeks with his skimmer and in the end he went and got a Reeftec...

anyways let us know what you decide...
 
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get 2 TS 3's Sean - rather spend your time enjoying the tank then trying so save a few rands on building a skimmer yourself, the pumps are the most expensive parts and either way you will have to spend it so you would not save that much and if you buy a skimmer you know if will work as you need it. Ask Gali he spend weeks with his skimmer and in the end he went and got a Reeftec...

anyways let us know what you decide...

After your skimeer thread, I will go for your judgement( experience always prevail). Please elaborate Shaun, or pm me . Make, where to get, price, etc....

Thank you all so far, but please do not let it stop here. Like a lot of people said, easier to buy, but if you gonna spend a lot on a system like this, every saving cent helps, regarding the effort in buying or Diy
 
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Thing is will you save? You could land up spending more at the end of the day, the skimmer is the heart of the system and you don't wanna stuff around with your heart do you.

I have the Reef Octo rated for 1500l and I think it is great but to be honest the pump maks a bit of a noise but I must say Scott has offered to look at the pump and sort it out - I did not even get it from him but other than that it skimms and my bio load is not big at all.

Mille said he recons the in sump is better so if I was in your shoes I would go with that. O think the TS3 (2 pump) is rated for 1500l and is around R3000 and TS4 (3pump) around R4000, if I were you I would start with 1 and as your bio load increases add another. You could also look at the Reef Octopus range of recerc skimmers Alan has the 2 pump one which is quite a bit bigger than mine rated 2500l I think and it spews skimmate all day long. Not sure on price but would guess around R4000. My skimmer will be out of use for a few weeks in a month or so and if you like you can test it out while I get my new tank up and running but you have to promise to give it back when I need it...
 
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Depending on what you have to spend you ould also look at the BM range, Alan and Phat seem very happy with theirs...
 
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Yea the 4 pump must be a monster...

I like the idea of having 2 skimmers rated for 2000l then 1 rated for 4000l I tend to have bad luck and something always has to break :( wonder if 2 2000l perform as well as 1 4000l - Sunburst??)
 

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