My DIY Recirculating Skimmer

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by Jaco Schoeman, 16 Nov 2010.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Okey. I had the need to get a skimmer on my tank (which I am still keeping hush hush) and for the best results I needed a recirculating skimmer. Now, I do not have R3000 for a skimmer, so I decided to ask here and there, steal with the eye where I can and then I finally came up with this.

    It cost me around R500 in total - including pump etc. One drawback is that it is not clear, so I cannot really see what is going on in it. I also did not use the best fittings one can find probably, but it seems to work just fine.

    I would like to use this as a prototype and soon build one from perspex. I do not know much about skimmers as I am a biological filtration dude, so I have now only learnt about pin wheel impellars etc. On my new design I will have all this gadgets fitted, and see which works best.

    Please feel free to comment, and critisize, as I am not the expert on skimmers at all, but this one works well for now...

    The Skimmer:

    I bought a 160mm PVC pipe from Builders that cost me R88 for one meter. I then chopped it down to 450mm for the skimmer base.

    [​IMG]

    Then I drilled a 25mm hole at the bottom and fitted a 25mm bend. This was then connected to the pump and the venturi inlet was also fitted to the inlet side of the pump.

    [​IMG]
    From the side.

    [​IMG]
    From the bottom.

    I drilled a 50mm hole for the intake that would be connected to my DT's 50mm outlets. Just below this, you will see the second 25mm hole that would then be the outlet from the pump, blowing bubbles into the chamber. Here I also place a 25mm 45deg bend, and slightly tilted it downwards before sticking.

    [​IMG]

    For the outlet, we drilled a 40mm hole, and connected a 40mm pipe via a bend upwards. On this 40mm pipe, we placed two O Ring rubbers.

    [​IMG]

    Then we placed a 50mm pipe over that, in order to slide up and down the rubber o rings. This will now allow me to adjust the level of water inside the reaction chamber.

    [​IMG]

    For the bottleneck inside the skimmer body I bought a 150mm funnel from Builders Warehouse for R9.99

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut off the pipe end of the funnel (THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I MADE... I will say why at the bottom...)

    [​IMG]

    Then I just stick the funnel inside the reaction chamber and sealed.

    [​IMG]



    Here is the skimmer then built.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    The Skimmer Cup:

    I basically used the same 160mm pipe as above. Then used two female endcap bought at Builders for R15 each. In the bottom of the one, I drilled a 40mm hole like so:

    [​IMG]

    Then I connected a 40mm connector to it:

    [​IMG]

    Fitted the cup pipe and voala!!!

    [​IMG]

    This now just sits ontop of the pipe... sortoff... ;)
     
  4. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    NOW FOR THE BIG QUESTION:

    DOES IT WORK?

    Well, I think so, however I will make a few modifications to it, but here is the proof:

    24hours of operating:

    [​IMG]

    Skimmer Cup lid...

    [​IMG]

    Skimmer cup inside after 24hours...



    This was taken after 36hours aprox:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2010
  5. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    awsome DIY..
     
  6. durleo

    durleo

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    Not too bad for a first attempt - Jus a few things - could you not have made the funnel a part of the skimmer cup cos it will need to be cleaned aswell to keep efficiency. I was watching a video by Lafishguys and they noted the PVC is not that smooth so the bubbles tend to catch on the pvc and join into larger bubbles. Have you seen how the guys take perspex and heat it up and bend it over a traffic cone to make a cone skimmer? Im sure ur skimmer is gonna be a continous work in progress and everyone can make contributions for and Easy-cheap-efficient-DIY skimmer
    Great Effort Dude:thumbup:
     
  7. Mr_G

    Mr_G

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    nice Jaco, plain and simpel, where did you get the pump?
     
  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thank you Durleo - great input. Yeah I built the skimmer before watching the LAfishguys videos... :p

    I will definetely improve. But for now, for the next month or two untill I can re-design and research even more, it will do...

    MrG I got the pump from Exotic in Boksburg. It is a AquaOne pump.

    The next pump however will be modified to have a pin wheel impeller installed. That is one modifcation for now... :p
     
  9. Mr_G

    Mr_G

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    cool, i had to modify my skimmer collectioncup, it filled up with the new bio loadin 8 hours, so had to make a hole and let the bad stuff collect in a bottle next to the sump rather...
     
  10. Nsteyn

    Nsteyn

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    So why was it a mistake cutting of the funnel end?? - or did I miss that?

    Niel
     
  11. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    thats awsome man
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Why?
    You did not say
    Longer would push more air up into cup neck.
     
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Also, on rebuild, cut a thin slice of the outer chamber. Max 10mm wide. Cut it open, and cut out a short piece, just enough, so that when you push the two ends together, it just fits inside the outside chamber. Slide that in and glue that to the outside chamber. Then have the funnel rest on this. Do not glue the funnel. Then you can remove the funnel to fix / inspect / clean the main body.

    Same as on the new TS2 skimmers. Funnel part is removeable where older models is glued in place.
     
  14. Junz

    Junz

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    Impressive effort Jaco....looks like its working quiet well. :slayer::slayer::slayer::slayer:
     
  15. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I cut it too short / at all in fact...

    Needless to say when the skimmer cup rests on it with the 40mm fitting, it does not seal properly, so the skimmate runs down back into "spare part" of the skimmer.

    Then I thought if I were to place a 32mm connector ontop of the funnel, with an additional 32mm pipe running in it, it would work.

    Well, I was right as this is how it works now, but because I had such little meat to play with, I had to use silicone to stick the 32mm connector the the funnel, making it VERY wobbly and I know that it is a matter of time then it will come off.

    That hole thus accidentaly worked out to be 32mm also...

    Now my question is, IF I were to stick another funnel (setting me back R9.99:p) in there, and I leave the tappered part of it in tact, would that be good or bad? My logic says it will be bad as I reduce a 32mm of potential skimmate exiting point down to like 10mm.

    Your thoughts?
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    On my little TS1 Reeftek skimmer the junk settlement can easily be 3 to 4 mm thick. So yes, I beliece 10mm opening will block up too quickly.
     
  17. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Just a quick update on my DIY Skimmer... It has now been running for 6months, and I have not had one day of issues with it. It only runs for about 12 hours a day, as I switch it off during feeding and throughout the night...

    It is really doing a fantastic job in a heavily fed NPS tank, and it just proves that with a little inovition and hard work, a good DIY project can compete against commercial products!! Here is the proof in the "pudding":

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2011
  18. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Missed this thread, Awesome build Jaco!
     
  19. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

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    awewsome diy. was looking at buying a new skimmer for my tank on the net this morning but now after reading this thread, Im motivated to build my own. thanks
     
  20. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    very cool
    for those of you that want to read about the science behind them
    Skimmer Design 101
     
  21. Qaiser

    Qaiser

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