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Old 01-22-2005, 01:05 PM   #1
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CPR bak-pak: maintenance question

anyone who's got more experience with this unit than myself:

I seem to be getting fewer bubbles in the first chamber...and it sounds like the powerhead isn't running full force. You can hear it chopping up the bubbles, almost in a set rhythm. I've tried to pull it and clean it, but it doesn't help.

I'm also slightly lost on how the hoses hook back up...the powerhead has two airline connections on it, one of which connects higher up on the intake, the other is the 'air in' line. I've tried connecting the hoses in both spots but get the same results...so does it matter?

And any tips for cleaning the powerhead? Its supposed to have a removable cover, so you can remove the impeller, but I can't seem to get it opened.

Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 01-22-2005, 01:31 PM   #2
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Malkore, it sounds like you are using the Rio PH on your Bakpak? I remember having to use some force to get a Rio opened to clean the imprellar. If you have cleaned it thoroughly and still can't get it up to par it may be time for a replacement. I heard they start to wear down as they get older. You may want to look into converting to a Maxijet 1200 as they are usually more reliable.

46g SW, 65 lbs Fiji LR, 4" Aragamax DSB, Coralife 2X96w CF, CPR Bakpak II, CPR Aquafuge 12 w/ 2x9 Coralife Mini Aqualight, 4 Maxijet 600's, PCI 200W Titanium Heater, 2 Blue Green Chromis, 1 Gold Bar Maroon Clown, 1 Purple-Stripe Dottyback, Finger Leather, Trumpets, Rose Coral Open-Brain, Pagoda Cup, Xenia, Star Polyps, Yellow Polyps, Various Mushrooms, Toadstool Leather, 12 Astraea, 10 Nassarius, 4 Bumble Bee, 6 Cerith Snails, 12 Red Tip Hermits.
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Old 01-22-2005, 01:46 PM   #3
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skimmer's only a few months old, so I'm sure it's just buildup on the Rio.
I'll take a closer look at the RIO manual as to how to properly remove the cover. seems like there's some tabs I'm just not pressing down on to release it.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:45 PM   #4
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The biggest issue to reduced performance is also the air intake. Where the air hose attach's to the pump, the intakes become caked with salt an/or abiotic precip. You'll need to be sure those are cleaned out as well.

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Old 01-22-2005, 03:28 PM   #5
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Wow, how timely I have the CPR as well and just came home from the LFS (Imagine that on a Saturday ) where I had the manager show me how to take apart the rio and clean the impeller.

Check your hoses as well to clean them. I replaced the short one with regular airline tubing because it was too short and made it harder to hook back up.

As for hooking them up on mine the air intake (venturi tube) goes to the higher nipple on the right and the short tube goes to the lower nipple on the left and then back to the top of the pump where it hooks up to the CPR unit. I would post a pic, but I have the preskimmer attachment and would have to take it apart to do so.

When I have had the problem you describe it was because I hooked up the tubes wrong or they were not tightly on. My unit is about 7 months old and I have not cleaned the impeller yet. After my LFS visit today and being shown how to break down the rio I will do so when I do my next pwc. Let us know if you get it. If not I will post a pic.

The one complaint I do have about the CPR units is that they are lacking on instructions. I pretty much had to work off the picture on the box when I first set mine up.


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Old 01-22-2005, 04:18 PM   #6
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thanks for all the comments. I'll try to really tear it down tomorrow.
Right now I gotta go setup a 15g for some kribensis fry!
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:39 PM   #7
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I have a CPR bakpak, prolly 2 or 3 yrs old. I pull the whole thing out about every 3 - 6 months (depending on performance..) and run some fresh water through the pump. I usually cut another piece of airline tubing to size and replace those pieces of airline tubing feeding the 'nipple' and the air intake. I have found that very small objects and salt build up in it and no matter how much water I run through it, I save my hair by simply cutting a new piece and replacing them. The main unit its self must be emptied and cleaned. A good scrubbing with a brush dedicated to your marine activities is a wise idea, lest we poison our animal friends...I have found that no matter how much I clean the pump and collection cup (Neck, chamber, etc) that sometimes it just won't produce. Thats when I clean the main unit. Lots of trash in there and I suspect it does things to the direction of the bubbles and causes a severe reduction in the units ability to skim. If you are facing the pump with the intake to the right, power cord to the lft, then..the air intake is the nipple on the pump closest to you. The nipple on the pump farthest is the one inserted in to the intake tube nipple. Im not sure it matters, but I have always put it back the way it came off, let it sit over night (I use tap water..shame on me, but it seems to take out whatever goodness is growing in there...). After cleaning it as stated, it skims like brand new. I have never pulled the pump apart, but if it makes your tree swing, GL!

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