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Old 05-07-2006, 02:45 PM   #1
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Coralife 65 impressions

I bought a used Coralife 65 skimmer from the LPS a few days ago for $90. This is for my 75g FOWLR, with about 10g in the sump. I'd been told I didn't need one until the tank was at least 3 months old.

I (and the clerk) thought it was a bigger 220 model. I didn't have a way of checking, so I took his word and jumped on the deal. After I got the thing hooked up and running, I realized it was only the 65 model, and have already made arrangements to return it, and I've ordered the 125 model.

I mounted this as a hang-on, in my sump.

Being used, this didn't have the difuser box to eliminate bubbles. I've taken care of that by putting some filter baffles between the sump and the return (this is a very basic sump, LR, no bubble baffles yet, etc).

Even though its much smaller than what I need, after some tweaking, its pulling some really nice, medium-thickess gunk out. The first few cups were watery and tea-colored, but over the last 24 hours (which is the unit running for about 48 hours total) I'm getting much thicher stuff. Still not a dry sludge like some people prefer, but much darker than before, and it just keeps getting thicker, with very little tweaking.

My water clarity has improved drastically - a HUGE difference. I've posted before about cloudy, milky, smoky looking water. That's all gone. Except for the microbubbles which do manage to reach the return pump in my sump, the water is nearly crystal clear, and isn't embarassing to show people who stop by.

Previously, if you looked through one end of the tank to the other, you couldn't even see the opposite end. Now I think you could read a newspaper (with binoculars!)

Night and day difference in water clarity in just 48 hours. I'd been blaming the tap water I'm using for dissolved matter in the water (no RO filter yet). Even if that is where its coming from, the skimmer is taking care of it.

I assume with all that bio-gunk being removed, that nitrate production will drop some, since all that stuff isn't getting handled by the biological filtration.

I've ordered a new one, the 125 version, for $119 from one of the bigger online stores. I'm sure it will perform even better.

The skimmer is probably one of the best decisions I've made, and should have picked up one much sooner.

Here's a shot of today's skimmate - 48 hours in use:

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Old 05-07-2006, 09:06 PM   #2
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Yes, i love my CSS. It turned my greenish water (algae bloom) to crystal clear in a week
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:40 PM   #3
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I be hard-pressed to return a skimmer thats working as well as that! Honestly if its working, think twice about sending it back. That looks like its dialed in perfect. Good job!

Peace.
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:52 PM   #4
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A few hours later, the skimmate is even darker, and is 2/3rds full. Gotta remember to dump it tonight or I'll have a mess.

I would keep it, but 1) its used, I paid over retail for it because the clerk thought it was a 220 gallon skimmer, 2) I'm missing the air bubble box, 3) missing the inlet valve/whatever, 4) there's a crack in the tube where the pump attaches - makes it hard to "hang".

Going to trust that the next step up will be even better.

/Crosses fingers
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180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
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Old 05-11-2006, 01:42 PM   #5
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Got my CSS 125 yesterday. This morning, while mostly tea-colored water, it had a nice 1/2" layer at the bottom of very thick, almost motor-oil like goo. Not bad considering its not even broken in yet.

More tweaking today.

The 125 is a little harder to set, changes you make take a few seconds to have an effect on the micro-bubble level, where with the 65 it was instantaneous.

Have had a few problems too with the output tube creating a siphon, and making the water level go up and down in the skimmer. I had to play around with the location of the bubble diffuser box to get that to stop (much more than 1" between the white filter pad and the end of the output tube, and I have the bubble box pretty much out of the water.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 05-12-2006, 02:00 AM   #6
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Yeah I am a big fan of the CSS. Despite the occasional overflow but with what its pulling out I cant complain.
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:42 AM   #7
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I generally love Coralife. They make good products with affordable prices. I have Coralife light, skimmer and will soon buy a coralife UV sterilizer.
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