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Old 07-23-2006, 03:06 AM   #1
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Would this work as a skimmer?

Hey, im very new here and to the sw experience so please excuse my lack of knowledge(but thats why i am here anyways, to learn more!). OK, so in a act of the moment i pulled my 20g out of the closet today and bought some salt and some so called "live" sand, which is now in a murky mixture in my tank along with my lights, heater and my awsome aqua-clear 110!
I'm pretty sure i know enough to cycle my tank, so right now im just thinking of equipment. I have recently (today) put in a order for a
Fluval 204
a hydrometer
and some fancy digital thermometer.
So all i can think about im missing right now is a protein skimmer, which i have learned can be very costly. So in a act to try and save me a few more bucks i would rather spend on fish, i came up with this idea to make a skimmer out of my old aquaclear 110.
Now im not exactly sure of the precise purpose of a skimmer, other than to remove wastes on top of the water! so I will try and describe it the best i can.

Take a tube about 2" wide sealed at one end, and have a grill like top( so fish dont go in!) and have my aqua-clear intake tube to sit inside my skimmer just slightly below the water level so water on the top of the tank goes down the skimmer tube( which is suctioned to the tank wall), then up into the Aqua-Clear filter!

How does this sound, PLEASE add.

*EDIT*
after doing some more googeing it has come to my attention i need bubbles to help the skimmer, so if i just put a difuser at the bottom of my skimmer tube would that do the trick?
If someone can tell me exactly how skimmers are sopose to work that would be awosme, thanks
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:32 AM   #2
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I think you may be confusing two things: Surface Skimmer and Protien skimmer.

A surface skimmer is just a way to get surface water into the filtration unit. Example for canister filter. This should be pretty easy to DIY from hardware store plumming parts. One thing about your design, don't completely seal the bottom unless you make this thing float. You don't want to suck air when evaporation causes the water level to go down.

A protien skimmer removes organics from the system by creating a foam and skimming off the foam. Basically a protien skimmer needs two things, a way to mix air and water and create foam, and a way to seperate foam from water. Skimmer Design 101

Are you planning a fish only or a reef system?
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Old 07-24-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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as of right now, fish only, I plan to eventually get some reef system. So what type of skimmer should i get, Would i be alright with just a surface skimmer and get a protein skimmer if i get a reef system?
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:05 PM   #4
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Yep. The Fluvial will do fine for a fish only system, don't worry about the protien skimmer.

I'd ditch the aquaclear for now, maybe use it on your QT system. Pick up or construct a surface skimmer for the fluvial.

When you convert to reef, then you want to invest in the protien skimmer.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:27 PM   #5
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the skimmer is the one item you do NOT want to skimp on. the best way to save money in a reef tank is to buy mostly dry base rock and seed it with a few pieces of really nice live stuff and to find tropical play sand for the substrate. The equipment is what you do not want to save money on because you will just end up buying more expensive stuff later because the cheapo route did not work. Trust me when I tell you this, I tried to go the cheap route and now I'm paying for it.
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Old 07-24-2006, 11:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dskidmore
Yep. The Fluvial will do fine for a fish only system, don't worry about the protien skimmer.

I'd ditch the aquaclear for now, maybe use it on your QT system. Pick up or construct a surface skimmer for the fluvial.

When you convert to reef, then you want to invest in the protien skimmer.
but i plan to use my fluval for my water filter, i was under the impression you could only attach one thing to the filter. Or will i get enough filtration from the surface skimmer and not need the hose that intakes water from the bottom area of the tank? I hope you can understand what i just said
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:15 AM   #7
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A surface skimmer attachement should just hook up to the hose going to the filter.

Did you click on the Example for canister filter link above? The curved hose part connects to your filter's intake hose, and the other part takes water from the surface.
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:22 PM   #8
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I understand that the surface skimmer hooks onto the intake hose of my filter. Im just asking if i will need to use the surface skimmer AND a normal style intake that takes in water at the bottom of the tank.
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:28 PM   #9
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Na. You'll be fine with just the surface skimmer. If the surface skimmer design doesn't take in enough water, just drill small holes in it until it does. As long as you're not sucking air, it doesn't matter where the canister gets it's water from.
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