Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-29-2007, 12:27 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 152
Send a message via AIM to surjer Send a message via Yahoo to surjer
How do skimmers work?

Something I noticed that really just boggles me is that if you stick your hand in the tank for a minute the skimmer will stop skimming. Then it takes it a great deal of time to get started again. Why does this happen?
__________________

__________________
surjer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2007, 12:39 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
macman7010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: MD
Posts: 833
Surjer,

That is odd that you skimmer stops working when you place your hand in the tank. Are you sure that something else is not causing the skimmer to stop? I have, in all my years keeping saltwater aquariums, never noticed a protien skimmer that stopped skimming when my hand was in the tank.

Varius water additives, (Calcium, Iodine, Etc.) can cause the skimmer to skim more then usual, often times just skimming water; while others can slow or stop the production of micro bubbles, though just placing your hand in the tank should not stop the skimmer. The only thing that I can think would effect your protien skimmer if your hand is in the tank would be an oil or residue on your hand, other then that the skimmer should run just fine.
__________________

__________________
Want a great read check out my debut novel Neptune's Garden: www.neptunesgardenbook.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7vYW3b-rJA
macman7010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 152
Send a message via AIM to surjer Send a message via Yahoo to surjer
I remember somewhere on nanoreef.com they were saying the oils from your hand could stop it but I really dont understand how it would effect the skimmer itself. I guess I am confused as to how the skimmer reacts with water. It makes sense that the oils from my hand will get into the water and therefore change the water composition but I wouldnt think it would have an effect on the skimmer. You would think the skimmer would just bubble away no matter what.. weird.. lol
__________________
surjer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2007, 03:01 PM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
Devilishturtles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Frederick, Maryland
Posts: 8,544
Send a message via Yahoo to Devilishturtles
A skimmer works by blasting the water with tons and tons of microbubbles. Those bubbles trap DOC's and other nasties "on" them, and carry them out of the water column, leaving behind more "pure" water. That's a loose description however.

Perhaps oils impede the formation of bubbles... I'm not sure. I've never noticed it when I stick my hands in my tanks. Try washing your hands (and rinsing well) before you put your hands in the tank. See if it still does it.

I can't imagine that small of an amount would have any effect... but who knows.
__________________
-Lindsay

Live in the Western MD/West Virginia/DC Metro Area?
Join our very active regional forum Here

Like the advice someone just gave you? Add to their reputation! Click on the balance icon underneath their username and let them know.
Devilishturtles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2007, 05:47 PM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
About the only reason I can think of, is the water displacement from your hand/arm in the water is effecting the skimmer's water level. Take a look at that and see.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2007, 08:01 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: philadelphia. PA.
Posts: 2,679
Oil absolutley will affect skimmer performance. Many times "cheaper" skimmers will stop skimming all together after putting your hands in the tank or after feedings. I noticed the same thing w/ a seaclone skimmer. I would only have to touch the tip of a finger in the tank, and that was it for a day. No skimmate. It impedes the bond that forms between the surface of the bubbles and the DOC's.
__________________
Mike
MT79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 11:47 AM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
Really, thanks for the info! Another question, do they actually pull out fish waste, thus eliminating the need for a filter (along with 1.5-2Lbs of rock per gallon)?
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 01:05 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 152
Send a message via AIM to surjer Send a message via Yahoo to surjer
I am also curious about that roka. I have noticed my skimate is actually a light brownish color. Looks like tea almost. I have no fish in my tank tho...
__________________
surjer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 09:55 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: philadelphia. PA.
Posts: 2,679
Well, they will pull out DOC's before they are converted to NH3, nitrite, and NO3 essentially reducing the bio-load and nutrient levels of the tank, improving water quality. You'll still need a sufficient bio-filter. Also LR has many benefits in reefs besides providing surface area for bacteria. Exactly what is pulled out by skimmers is not really well documented AFAIK, although I will say reefs do better with them than without. I think that is a pretty well known fact. What a good skimmer will do for a tank is worth every penny. FWIW GAC makes a great addition to a skimmer b/c it removes some things a skimmer most likely will not. They compliment each other very nicely. Eric Borneman has an interesting thread where he is examining skimmate from different tanks/skimmers to see what it contains and the amounts. I have not checked it in a while, but here is a link- http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic52254-9-1.aspx
__________________
Mike
MT79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2007, 10:02 PM   #10
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
Sweet! Thanks for the explination on the skimmer!
__________________

__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
skimmer

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Skimmers AutumnPine General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 0 03-31-2009 02:00 PM
Skimmers ffmd212 General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 3 01-02-2009 01:35 PM
skimmers fvalbr2l Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 0 02-03-2008 02:30 PM
Best Skimmers awillemd1 General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 10 09-01-2005 04:48 PM
What are Skimmers? Ady1397 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 02-12-2004 02:04 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.