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Old 10-02-2004, 02:51 PM   #1
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Skimmer design and operation

I have this design in mind for a small protein skimmer that could be built on the cheap. It is a simple cocurrent skimmer and would be built out of 2" PVC and some other easily obtained household stuff. I have a couple of questions for you fine people about this.
1.) What sorts of construction stuff should I avoid? Is standard PVC cement bad? Can I let the thing cure for a few hours before I put it in the tank?
2.) Do I even need to cement the parts together?
3.) Is it necessary to leave the skimmer in continuous operation or can I put it in the tank only when it is needed?
I already have a piece of 2" PVC cut and I am about to drill a few holes in it to get started making it work.
TIA!
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Old 10-02-2004, 03:42 PM   #2
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I would say the cement would be fine my tanks drains and returns are all hard plumed with 1.5'' pvc and i just cemented it and let it cure for about 3 hours before adding water ( post some pics when you finish it )
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Old 10-02-2004, 05:48 PM   #3
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Well, I built it and after about 30 minutes of operation, it finally started dripping some foam. I'll snap pics of it as soon as I can. I don't have the digital camera at the moment. Anyway, here's a description of what I did. It seems to work okay for what it is. I knew I needed one when my water started getting thick.
1.) 2" Sch 40 PVC pipe (about 8" long)
2.) One 2" PVC pipe cap
3.) One 2" to 1.5" reducer coupling
4.) One 1.5" to 1/2" PVC reducer bushing
5.) One 1/2" to 1/2" PVC street elbow
6.) Two 1/2" 90-deg elbows
7.) 1/2" Sch 40 PVC pipe (about 9 inches total)
The business end is made of #3, 4, and 5. I put #3 on top of the 2" pipe and then wedged #4 into it to create a tight fit. (Look ma, no cement!) Then I put #5 into the 1/2" end of #4 and created what amounts to an inverted U coming out of the assembly. It basically lets the skimmer hang on the tank glass. The 2" pipe is capped on one side with holes drilled at the top and bottom for water flow. The airstone os about 1.5" from the bottom of the whole thing. I put a small plastic cup underneath the inverted U to catch the skimmate. It seems to be working. We'll see after it runs overnight.
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Old 10-02-2004, 10:09 PM   #4
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Sorry I am not the best with MS Paint. This is a drawing of the skimmer I put together earlier today. It was foaming pretty good earlier, but it has since stopped belching stuff.
The second drawing is the one I am going to finish tomorrow and experiment with. I bet it works better.
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