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Old 12-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
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How to tell if protein skimmer starts working.

I bought a Coralife 125G super skimmer the other day. I set it up according to instructions and let it "break-in" for about 36 hours. I have it turned up to 3" inside the cone like the instructions say now but it doesn't really seem to do anything. It's been running like that for about a day now. Am I just being impatient? I leave for work today and won't be home for a couple of weeks so I'd like to know its working before I leave.

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Old 12-13-2012, 11:47 AM   #2
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I turn mine up until the bubbles are just starting to crest over the cone, make a small adjustment and wait a while, then another and wait, and another and wait, it takes a few minutes for the adjustment to show the full effect
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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Can take 2 weeks for a skimmer to break in...
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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Ok. I turned it up to where it's barely bubbling over. Right now what bubbles over is just seeping down the drain hole. How do I tell if its working like its supposed to?
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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It depends on what kind of bubbles. If its the foam/froth kind then you can raise it to almost the rim of the cup. If its the turbulent bubble breaking point type then you should leave it about where its at in the picture. If you set it too high you might collect more SW that actual skimmate.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Yes, the bubble type will tell you. If they are breaking at the top and it looks like boiling water, then it isn't picking up much organic material, yet. When the bubbles look stiff, almost soapy and don't pop immediately, they are carrying proteins on the surface of the bubbles. It increases the bubbles surface tension as proteins are generally a long chain molecule. Those are what you want to build up and overflow. Be cautious as setting the skimmer too high will result in just overflowing and dumping tank water. This concentration of the proteins can take a while and is what we call the skimmers break in period.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #7
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Careful if you are leaving for a couple weeks. If that thing breaks in one day while your gone and takes off at a high water level setting that you left it at, tank water will be everywhere.

I would error on the low side of the water level height in the chamber until you get back. The tank was going before you got it, and it should be fine if it doesn't skim much while you're away.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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I have the same skimmer HOB & took 4 or 5 days to break in then a month of fine tuning
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