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Old 09-16-2004, 05:33 PM   #1
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protien skimmer not working up to par

i'm sure my protein skimmer is not working properly. I do get some mucky water in the collection chamber, but not nearly the amount that i'v read you should get. I can even seem to get the bubbles to come up the tube. The pump is working, and it is moving water throughout it. Can someone give me the 411 on protein skimmers, (in laymens terms) and some advice on how to make it work most effectively.
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Old 09-16-2004, 05:40 PM   #2
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Depends what one you've got. They all work a little differently. There are some tweaks that may work depending on the model.
What kind/model/etc.?
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Old 09-16-2004, 11:43 PM   #3
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it is a prism, not sure of the model
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Old 09-17-2004, 12:09 AM   #4
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Red Sea Prism. Not a great skimmer but adequate when adjusted properly. IMO these are a pain in the neck. I have one on my puffer tank (55) and it seems to constantly require adjustment. It often loses it's siphon.
Make sure you have good pump output and you haven't lost the siphon. Restore the siphon by opeining the flow valve & pinching the air tube until water has filled the inlet tube completly and you have full flow coming out the return. Let go of the air line (alowing air to be reintroduced to the pump inlet) and adjust the flow valve so the foam in the "reaction" chamber is just below the point where it enters the top chamber. If the skimmate is too watery you have the flow valve too far open. If you're not getting any skimmate, open the valve SLIGHTLY. A little at a time until you are seeing foam in the collection chamber. Give it a day between adjustments. It will require tweaking in this manner constantly. As the skimmer gets coated in bio-slime it works differently.
This is a good starter skimmer and will do the job with some care and maintenance. When you are tired of all the "care and maintenance", step up to a true venturi skimmer. A large one that uses a beefy pump. I am using a Red Sea Berlin Classic on my 75 with a Mag 7 pump. It does the job. All skimmer require cleaning now and again. The venturi gets plugged, the pump gets slimed up, blah, blah. The bigger and better the skimmer though, the less trouble.
Good Luck.
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:20 AM   #5
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I've never lost siphon on mine. It does need an adjustment every couple weeks or so. If you have a light bio-load you won't get much out of any skimmer, and every tank is unique in what can be pulled out of the water. If you think its not performing right pull it apart and make sure it's not clogged with something. Mine quit working recently and when I pulled it apart I found a dead moth blocking the venturi. Working fine now.
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Old 09-17-2004, 11:09 AM   #6
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I too have a prizm and will agree it takes a lot of tweaking. cleaning the collection cup requires re-adjusting the flow rate. adding fresh carbon seems to produce thicker skimmate.
all I want for christmas is a CPR bak-pak!
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:07 PM   #7
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fresh carbon? in the skimmer? in the filter? I have no carbon in my tank whatsoever. Should I?
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:24 PM   #8
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I have the Deluxe accessories for my Prizm, which gives you a pre-skimming cup, and a basket for carbon on the return side of the skimmer. I replace the carbon weekly.
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Old 09-18-2004, 02:16 PM   #9
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do you think it really helps? the only time i use carbon in any of my tanks (fw) is after i'v treated with a med. Every one at my fish club (i'm such a nerd) is anti carbon, saying that it really only works for about 24h anyways. what do you think?
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Old 09-18-2004, 05:35 PM   #10
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every SW book I've read says to use carbon.
I don't run any on my freshwater tanks either. But the salt tank benefits from carbon. For one it helps the water stay clear...synthetic salt blends have a tendancy to 'yellow' as they age.

also, if you're talking reefs...some corals put out chemicals which harm other species of corals...a type of bio-warfare as they compete for space. carbon will absorb these too.

lastly it does seem to help my prizm skim better. I'm not s ure if it's adding a tiny amount of particulats to teh water, or what the science is. Maybe it just creats a little more current resistence in the skimmer, making it bubble more efficiently.
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