This is how I'm going to turbocharge my skimmer

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration' started by RocketRooster, 14 Feb 2013.

  1. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    Pretty straightforward cyclonic (or vortex) prefilter design. Stands next to the existing skimmer. The trick is, though, to have the skimmer pump suck on the waste outlet at the bottom. And it will need a breather pipe to get rid of any trapped air.

    The idea is to have the skimmer to have as much dirt as possible in the water that it processes. Using a gravity return straight into the vortex prefilter, you get that for free. The only thing that will need experimentation is the length of the breather pipe, upflow pipe and perhaps having to feed the skimmer pump's venturi with supplemental air since this lot will be under a small amount of pressure, although probably not enough to make the venturi stop sucking air.

    Opinions?


    ETA come to think of it, a breather is not necessary - you just need a thin tube that terminates in the sump, above water level.

    Vortex.jpg
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2013
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  3. Wes

    Wes

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    Never seen a skimmer flow rate match that of a return pump will there still be an overflow on the funnel in pic? if not, expect to flood your display.
     
  4. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    The blue is the overflow into the sump. The skimmer will only suck as much as it's capable of.

    ETA: If the skimmer pump is switched off, it will still work too. The bottom of the cone would start filling up with muck.
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2013
  5. Wes

    Wes

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    i'd suggest like a filter sock/membrane/divide in the blue part of the pic/funnel, basically to shield the junk from entering the overflow back into the sump, but yet not collect on the sock/membrane/divide and hopefully to go through the skimmer. if that makes any sense.
     
  6. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    You mean a filter sock over the bottom end of the downpipe in the middle?
     
  7. Wes

    Wes

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    yes but with more space/surfcae area, so it doesn't get clogged as quick as well as if there is too much suction it'll keep the junk stuck to the surface of the filter/sock material, so a larger surface area will be required, other than just the hole in the 50mm pipe opening.
     
  8. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    I'm not quite following you, bro.

    The system is pressurised via gravity direct from the overflow. It enters the main compartment at an angle and spins round and round, centrifugally separating any particles towards the sides, where it then sinks towards the bottom of the cone. The skimmer will suck what it can down the bottom, but the rest of the water just goes up the upflow and into the sump.
     
  9. Wes

    Wes

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    [​IMG]

    So the green would represent your filter sock/net 50mm below the opening of the sump return pipe.
     
  10. Wes

    Wes

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    bit messy but i hope you don't mind me using your pic.
     
  11. brentv

    brentv

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    Filter sock would have to get regularily checked or might cause an overflow, should be fine if the whole cone thing is in sump so overflow wont cause water damage
    Cool idea bud...
    Making your skimmer your biaaaatch!:thumbup:
     
  12. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    It's actually just a weirdly-shaped pipe. If the upflow pipe blocks for any reason, it's akin to having a blocked overflow, period. So that would cause the DT to flood.
     
  13. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    The inlet has to be above the bottom of the outlet pipe, otherwise the vortex wouldn't be as efficient. I honestly wouldn't put any kind of filter media inside it, that's not really it's raison d'etre.
     
  14. Wes

    Wes

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    below the "To sump" Pipe opening on your pic.
     
  15. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    I can't figure out what you're suggesting. If you separate the main compartment with some mesh/filterpad/etc, you are cutting the vortex in half. It's like a skimmer - time in the compartment is what counts.
     
  16. Wes

    Wes

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    because of the flow of water into the cone, i cannot see there being enough time for "junk" to settle, suppose this may depend on the return pump and volume of water being returned.

    So n in essence my theory was to make sure there was time for the "junk" either to settle via it being filtered out, but then if i think about it now your Sump return would have to be timed so the "junk" would have enough time to fall to the botton one the return has been turned off, but then my thoughts lead me to believe the skimmer will run dry unless you can somehow limit the return pump"off" time to allow the water to be turned on at the time just before the skimmer would run dry, but at that time in theory i would believe the fow of the return pump coming on again would stirr up the "junk" mix again <- this all with the filter partition in place.

    not sure i'll have to think about it.
     
  17. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    It isn't a settling filter. It's the centrifugal force which causes the solids to move towards the outside of the compartment. Since it is constantly in motion, they have nowhere to go but outwards. Since the top is closed, they can't go up, and so eventually it all ends up at the bottom.

    The upshot is that the inner part of the vortex water column is cleaner than the outer part, and that's what the upflow pipe collects. The taller you make it, the more efficient it will be, but if you make it too tall, the pressure of the water that's above the water level in the sump will cause most of the water to be forced through the skimmer pump and into the skimmer.
     
  18. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    This is really over complicating things. Ore things you add, the more chance you have of something going wrong. Rather run overflow directly onto filter sock and run the skimmer as normal.
     
  19. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i agree with 459b, just enjoy the hobby

    and the only way to improve your skimmer is to have longer contact time, we need abour 2m32s contact time for proteins to bind, so get a neck extender and enjoy the hobby, i too was once like you, KISS
     
  20. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster Thread Starter

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    So how's your fluidised ICBM of doom coming along? ;)

    It's not about keeping it simple. I'm a tinkerer at heart.
     
  21. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I am not changing or redesigning anything, just using it

    Tinkering is fine, but speak to me after you have explained to the wife how 200L salt water got on too the floor

    Also if I may say, being new to the hobby there are far more things to worry about than making vortex manifolds for skimmers that won't improve them :p
     
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