Help needed

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration' started by Gwydion, 4 May 2011.

  1. Gwydion

    Gwydion

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand
    Hi all,

    Newbie here, and now the questions begin..:thumbup:

    So basically I have never had a marine setup so I decided to start a nano tank when I bought my Jebo R338 tank. 40L tank with a built in canister type filter and two T5 8w white lights.

    To get to the point I replaced the filter sponge with seachem products which I cant remember what they are:blush: Some corse stones and a filter back filled with all sorts which the guy at the petstore suggested I get. Crushed coral and water I got from my boet to speed up the tank ect.

    Now at first I wasn`t going to get a skimmer but after doing some research I decided it would be best.

    The only decent skimmer I could find small enough was the TMC cataract protein skimmer TS-680. It does not come with a pump so I got one too which was recommended by the shop dude.

    [​IMG]


    Now this is my problem: I set it up everything seems fine, but I just dont know if the skimmer is working properly??? It makes tiny bubbles in the cylinder which after a while turns into a vortex:eek: haha... Anyway, I seem to have some trouble knowing where my water level should be? Because it hasn`t made any foam yet and when I push the water level up about 1cm away from the top of the skimate tube it doesnt seem to make any bubbles...

    I hope this makes sense

    If someone could help me out? Or would like to make friends and come see my setup??:whistling:


    Cheers and thanks!

    G
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    Welcome to MASA

    How high does the water go up in the skimmer. It should be where the neck inside the collection cup starts narrowing. Also bear in mind that if you have nothing in the tank there is nothing to skim. What exactly is in the water? Do you have live rock or any fish?
     
  4. shrimpman

    shrimpman

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    stafford uk.
    Gwydion,If you have no stock in your tank just water and rocks, your skimmer will not work as there is nothing for the skimmer to take out.Have you any live rock in the tank.shrimpman.
     
  5. Gwydion

    Gwydion Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand
    At the moment I only have a chunk of live rock and a lil blue legged hermit crab which is doing well. If you look closely at the back of the top canister there is a small piece of tube, this apparently is the overflow pipe. I have put the water level right up about 1cm below the neck at the top but then there are almost no bubbles? Bringing the water level down to just below the overflow there are a lot more bubbles.
     
  6. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    Gwydion, unfotunately I'm not too clued u[p on that skimmer so it's difficuilt to give advice. If it's hardly making any bubbles then it will never skim
     
  7. Gwydion

    Gwydion Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand

    Yeah I figured as much...:( The pump the okes gave me at the petshop is some chinese crap, but doesnt indicate the water flow on it or wattage. Could the pump be too light and not pumping enough water into the skimmer quick enough? Does that make sense? This skimmer is based on a venturi type btw
     
  8. shrimpman

    shrimpman

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    stafford uk.
    Skimmer

    Hi Gwydion,First of all the thing that sits on top of your skimmer is called a collection cup.All the skimmers i have seen the waste pipe allways comes out of the bottom or side of the cup.Looking at the pic of your skimmer you said the pipe at the back is the waste pipe, waste pipes go down hill not up,they work on gravity,to a drain.What is the outlet on the side of the cup it,s shown in the pic.shrimpman.
     
  9. Gwydion

    Gwydion Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand

    Thats just a pic I got off the net to show what skimmer it is. My drain pipe does point downwards, the outlet pipe(in black) is the connection from the pump or powerhead in the tank.
     
  10. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    9,482
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    A Beautiful place!
    Remember that a new skimmer can sometimes take a few days to "break in" as there are oils and dirt from the factory that needs to break down first. Also, like the guys mentioned, if there are no dissolved organic compounds (DOC's) in the water then the skimmer won't skim :)
     
  11. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    In that case, the black pipe would actually be the INlet, and not the outlet...

    Yes, that is the most likely problem. As previously stated, a skimmer needs lots of very small bubbles to work. The bubbles are created through either:

    • the venturi effect, where air is sucked into the venturi. This venturi should be located between the outlet of the pump and the inlet of the skimmer - most likely at the inlet to the skimmer. For a venturi to work properly, you need a relatively strong "pressure type" pump, capable of pumping to a head of between 2-5 meters (depending on the skimmer). A venturi skimmer will have a small diameter plastic tube leading to the venturi at the inlet to the skimmer.
    • a needle wheel or mesh wheel "foamer" type pump. In this case, the pump's impeller creates the bubble "foam" and injects it into the skimmer. This type of (specialized) pump will have an air feed inlet (small diameter plastic tube) leading directly into the pump.
    I cannot see any venturi type inlet on the photo of the skimmer, and thus suspect that it is meant to be used with a needle wheel type pump. Could you post a photo of the pump?

    Correct. You can test your skimmer in a drum/container with fresh water and vinegar (dump a bottle into about 10 liters of water). Leave it to skim this vinegar water for a day or so, and it should produce foam if it is working properly.

    Hennie
     
  12. Gwydion

    Gwydion Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand


    Hi Hennie,

    Thanks for your detailed reply, below is the pump I have, apparently it pumps 230L/pH. I think the minimum requirement is 240 odd L/pH. Would this make such a significant diference?


    [​IMG]

    Model of the pump:

    RS-701

    You can find details @ www.rs-aqua.com


    Thanks
     
  13. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Yes, it could - depending on the pressure (head) it is capable of. Remember, it must force the water uphill and through the skimmer, and would probably lose more than 50% of it's rated capacity in doing so (the rated capacity is at "zero head").

    More importantly, the skimmer needs air. Have you checked to see if there is an air inlet (small diameter tube or fitting) on either the skimmer inlet, or the pump? I can not see anything that looks like an air inlet on either of the photos.

    Hennie
     
    Gwydion likes this.
  14. Gwydion

    Gwydion Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand

    Ok, so that means I need to take the pump back and request a refund or better replacement...

    There are two or more air inlets.. If you look at the pic just above the flow outlet there is a small (3mm??) dia hole, that is one of them.

    So do you reckon its the pump?


    Air inlets below

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2011
  15. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Looking at the photo, I doubt if those "air inlets" would work (but I don't know that make/model of skimmer, so I could be totally wrong...)

    The air inlet for a venturi should be coupled very close to the narrowest section of the venturi - that's where the flow of the water creates a vacuum that sucks in the air... having an air inlet far removed from the high pressure/high velocity inlet does not make any sense, at least not if it IS a venturi type skimmer.

    You can run a little experiment, if you like: set the skimmer at a depth where there is the maximum amount of bubbles forming. then close one (or all) of the "air inlets" and see if the volume of bubbles inside the skimmer changes. If it does, then those inlets do have a purpose, if not, they must have been designed with something else in mind (perhaps you need to couple the skimmer to an air pump...)

    I still suspect it is, but without knowing for sure if this skimmer operates on a venturi or a needle wheel principle, it would be risky to just buy/replace the pump. I would suggest that you first do the test above before deciding what type of pump you need.

    Hennie
     
  16. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    OK, having spent some time with my friend Google:

    From the AAS website:
    Now, I've never heard of the BENTURI principle :whistling: and I still need to be convinced that this is not just another fly-by-night idea from someone in China with a get-rich-quick capitalist mentality - but let's give them the benefit of the doubt for now...

    IF this skimmer does draw in air through 6 venturies, it would need a very strong "pressure" pump to create enough water velocity to "drive" the six venturies, given the apparent volume of the "venturi reactor" space.

    I would suggest that you borrow a much stronger pump (preferably pressure rated) to test your skimmer, before you lay out more money on another pump.

    Oh, and given the mode of operation, I would guess that a "vortex" would be normal.

    On a slightly different tack: What is the salinity/SG of your water? The formation of bubbles (and thus performance of the skimmer) is directly related to the salinity of the water - you should maintain the SG at around 1.025 measured at a temperature of 25 °C - 26°C

    Hennie
     
  17. brentnorm

    brentnorm

    Joined:
    6 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    2,198
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Must try out this latest Benturi theory.:whistling:
     
  18. Gwydion

    Gwydion Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand
    Ok so I myself did some more searching on google and actually found someone using the exact skimmer and behold works perfectly frothing all the gunk in the skimmate cup.. I checked out what pump he set up and Holy Mother!!!

    800 Litre pump at zero head!!!!!

    So, I went on the TMC site and got the specs of the skimmer and somehow I got it wrong. They suggest a 200 gph pump, which if im correct means 750 lph at zero head. Wow.. I think Im short of about 500 lph.


    Now, whos gonna borrow me that pump to test this theory????:biggrin:


    Hennie thank you very much for putting in a lot of effort trying to help me out, cheers mate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 9 May 2011
  19. Gwydion

    Gwydion Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 May 2011
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    JHB-Westrand
    Hi all, just to let you know, on Saturday I returned the pump I had and replaced it with a 1000 LpH pump and bobs your uncle..it started working properly:thumbup:

    Thanks all for the help!

    Cheers

    G
     
  20. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :slayer:

    Hennie
     
  21. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    It should be pretty much broken in after 4 weeks - so where's the photo of you drinking the skimmate :whistling:

    Hennie
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Help needed Forum Date
Drilling ceiling help needed Anything DIY Related 22 Oct 2016
Help needed for ich Quarantine Tanks, sick fish, QT corals 20 Sep 2016
Help needed for my Torch coral LPS Corals 26 Aug 2016
Help with LED light needed Lighting 25 Aug 2016
First timer help and advice needed Beginner Discussions 26 Apr 2016
Help needed, new! New Members 9 Apr 2016
Help please ID needed ID Needed 17 Dec 2015