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Old 06-10-2006, 04:39 PM   #1
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Skimmer Maintenance

Ok, so I clean out the skimmer cup weekly..

Except, lately, nothing was in there!

Hmm.. so I sit down today and drag the skimmer out (pro clear aquatics - one piece unit plus the cup, pump attached) and see... it's full of what I figure are sponges of some sort... about the size of a grain of arborio rice.

I guess they were interferring with the vortex action inside the skimmer..

Cycled hot water through the skimmer in the sink until they were all purged and put it back in the sump...seems to be frothing a LOT better now.

So, the questions are -

Is this normal (the sponge buildup)?
How often should I remove the thing and clean this kind of matter out if it isn't normal?

(I SO much prefer my triple stage berlin 2... the whole inside casing comes out, prolly for this very reason).

Of course, the manual says nothing about this type of situation, so I turn to the gurus..

TIA

edit -
Well, update of sorts... blasted thing is foaming like no tomorrow now..
even without the initial slime buildup it's doing more now then it has for the past week or so..
Guess it just reached critical mass.

How can I prevent those lil guys from growing in there?
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Old 06-12-2006, 11:06 AM   #2
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Do you have any sort of prefilter on the skimmer? The sponges are living off of matter suspended in the water. If you're running a sump system, perhaps you would benifit from a fine filter sock on the end of your drain line. I don't know off the top of my head what the prefered food partical size is for sponges, and if it's in the range that can be filtered out.
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:13 AM   #3
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Well I can tell ya they live bout anywheres they can get!
My overflow is quite the colony of them.. I'll give a fine mesh bag a try on the drain and see how it works out.
they have to live off very small particles, cause at the point the skimmer sits, the water has gone through a mess of floss padding (the smallest kind I found), bioballs of carbon cermaic and foam, layered and a rather tight sponge block... how they managed to actually make it through all that mess and end up inside the skimmer is beyond me, but life finds a way heh
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Old 06-13-2006, 01:20 PM   #4
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Wow. I'm not so sure then the mesh bag will help after all.

How long did it run before the sponge buildup became a problem?

What are your nitrate levels?
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Old 06-14-2006, 08:06 PM   #5
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ran about 7 months, nitrate is always fairly low.. 0-5-10 as I keep up with the water changes..
It started to creep up, that's the main reason I attacked the skimmer and found the problem.
Since the cleanout, it's back to normal.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:30 AM   #6
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A 6 month maintenance cycle doesn't seem unreasonable to me, although it sounds like this skimmer design is kinda annoying to clean.
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Old 06-15-2006, 08:13 PM   #7
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I clean mine about every three months just becasue.
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:55 PM   #8
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Yup, I don't recommend this one at all (Pro clear aquatics) due to the whole not being able to take it apart.

Berlin triple stage II is easy to maintain heh
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