Why do skimmers overflow?

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration' started by Tremayn, 11 Apr 2012.

  1. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Why do skimmers overflow? :( My skimmer has been dialed in for quite a while at the same level (reef octo NW250) is has a gate valve so I dont think that the knob will just turn by itself or something.

    Its been running fine for a couple good weeks and then this morning.. Bam! Skimmer blows its load all over the sump and the water level is right up the collection cup and the cup was overflowing with water! killkanga

    Why does this happen? I know it happens to quiet a few people ...
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    something spawned.

    Or died.

    which option do you want?
     
  4. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Sudden increase in DOC's ?
     
  5. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I am with @RiaanP something died or spawned
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i had the same issue, dumped 100L of water in my lounge. those were my guesses too, but i have noticed that its mostly after i have fiddled in the tank, so skin oils or frag glue etc.

    i have mine dialed to completely open until i can upgrade my skimmer overflow drain
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i spent sat morning moping and cleaning from 6am till 10am trying to get things back running
     
  8. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    I dont think anything spawned and I still have 4 fish and a shrimp. Super low bio load
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    did you place your hands/arms in the tank before it happened?
     
  10. Quintin

    Quintin

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    You have a power failure in the early hours of the morning?
    What normally happens is your tank flows back into the sump on a power failure, water level rises in the sump and settles at a level.
    Power comes back on and takes a while for the water to get "pushed" back into your DT.
    The skimmer is dialled in at a specific water level and since the water is now higher than before it will overflow until the set water level is reached again.
     
  11. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    while thats a possibility, my sumps drain the opposite, my skimmer sump drains lower
     
  12. Clownfish9906

    Clownfish9906

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    I also have the same issue - found my sump pushing water - BUT i did have my hands in the water!!!

    I have my skimmer dialed down low as I am suffering from a noisy skimmer pump!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. Esmond

    Esmond

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    my skimmer also overflows when i have a powercut,yesterday it overflowed even though the power went off for about a second.
     
  14. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Guys.
    Don't know if having your hands in the water will do anything.
    I always have my hands in the water and always fiddling with something (move a coral, level sand, pick up a hermit on his back, scraping the glass) and never had any issues with my skimmer.
     
  15. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Yip, that is the only thing I can think of that will cause the problem.
    But easily solved with an inverter or UPS running off a deep cycle battery.
     
  16. Albert Terego

    Albert Terego

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    I've experienced this. Suppose it depends on your return and sump set-up.

    When my return pump is switched off about 30litres of water drains into the sump raising the water level enough to overflow the skimmer. So In a power off/on scenario this is inevitable.

    Also used a product called Aquamend recently to glue stick together some live rock in the tank.
    AquaMend® - Epoxies and Adhesives - Polymerics Systems, Inc.

    Skimming is still not right and I had to rais ethe skimmer about 5cm in order to control the foaming.

    BTW I would not recommend using this product in tank (it would probably be fine if used to glue together rock etc. outside the tank and allowed to cure fully before placing into the tank). Apart from the foaming I had 3 fish suddenly afterwards, even though I was running fresh carbon as a back-up. Shrimps, brittle stars, snails, tubeworms and zoanthids were all fine though which I find unusual as these tend to be quite sensitive to contaminants/toxins in the water.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2012
  17. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Yip, the Aquamend glue stick is the same at the Pratleys Putty.
    They both dry under water but use up oxygen in the process while the calcium and other chemicals in the glue / putty dry.
    This will also cause your skimmer to go nuts with loads of white foam spilling over.

    What most people forget to do is read he instructions on their skimmers.
    Most of the skimmers have an effective water depth at which they work most efficiently, anything below or above this depth on internal skimmers can cause problems.

    So do a google on your make of skimmer and see what the manufacturer specifies as the correct water depth for your skimmer and possibly raise or lower it accordingly.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2012
  18. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    Funny thing is exactly the same thing happened to me yesterday with exactly the same skimmer
     
  19. Jeann1

    Jeann1

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    I had the power failure - skimmer flood thing. Not to use this as sdvertisement, but solved it with my Reef Angel - one of its functions is delay a port after startup. so I delay my skimmer for 2 minutes, by then sump level is right again.

    Any DOC, like mentioned - hand oils, glue etc. can cause this.

    Did the level go back to normal after a bit? Did it only overflow for a while and then back to normal?

    If so, it must have been a increase in some sort of DOC.
     
  20. Quintin

    Quintin

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    Actually a very clever idea that delay with reef angel. :thumbup:
     
  21. Clownfish9906

    Clownfish9906

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    my skimmer isnt removing much - maybe cos its only a week old - but managed to get dry foamy bits out only yesterday! Only started feeding on Monday but have been dosing bacteria for a week already.

    it tends to overflow when I have too much water entering the skimmer at once...BTW, my skimmer is a dnw150 is gravity fed...
     
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