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Old 01-25-2006, 12:26 AM   #1
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DIY Protein skimmer (used with overflow)

Well i have done a lot of research on protein skimmers and found there are a lot of diy methods out there but a lot of them include a long list of PVC fittings and a lot of time in construction. I am not here to knock any of these plans as they are all compliments to the people who design and build these things. All i want to do is offer one plan i have found that seems to be a very cheap way of completing this and still holding the same principles of a counter current skimmer. I do realize that in this hobby cheap is not the best way to go but if you can create something close to or as effective as a store bought one then i believe it should be shared with all. (I am in the process of constructing a sump/fuge and will be incorporating this into the plans. I will let everyone know how well it works)

Ok. Enough with that here it is. All that is required is a large soda bottle, air pump, airline, airstone, pvc fittings(very few), silicone and a larger diameter tube(1/4"-1/2") cutting tool and drill. Pic below.

1. cut the bottom off the soda bottle just where the taper ends.
2. drill a small hole near the top for the airline from the air pump to the stone.
3. drill a hole for the pvc fitting for the incoming water from the overflow(see pic)
4. drill a hole in the cap to accommodate large hose.
5. you then should take time to measure where IN your sump it will hang and mark the bottle where the water line will be.
6. next insert the airline tube in appropriate hole and push it down so you insure the stone will be below the waterline. Then silicone it into place.
7. insert large hose into cap and silicone in place
8. insert pvc pipe into bottle and silicone in place. If you run the pvc a little below the waterline then that should reduce the noise of the water coming in.
9. allow for appropriate curing time for the silicone
10. when cured assemble cap, attach to incoming line from overflow add air stone and place in sump
11. insure the line coming from the cap is placed in a container that will collect the garbage coming off the water.
12. turn on air pump, start flow to sump and there you are

I have not figured out how i will attach the bottle to the sump but that won't be to hard. I do want to stress that I HAVE NOT TESTED THIS SYSTEM YET but within the next 2-3 weeks i will have it running and will post the results. If some one trys this before i have it completed please post the results. Thanks and good luck to you.

65 gal reef
2 PC's 192W each , 20 gal sump/fuge
4 false clowns, 2 firefish, cardinal, midas blennie, toadstool, zoos, shrooms, trumpet coral, torch, pagoda, frogspawn, poylps, red open brain, devils hand, hermits, snails, 3 cleaner shrimp, coral banded and a emerald crab.
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Old 01-25-2006, 02:03 PM   #2
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the design seems pretty solid to me, but air powered skimmers are only so effective in our trade, which is why most commerical units moved up to venturi styled systems, or needle wheel because these are by far more effective in churning up dissolved organics. i would like to see the results of your home brew but i personally wouldn't get my hopes up about this thing being great, not because of it being a diy skimmer, but just becuase of the design. but please post some results and pics of it operating.

do you have a hacksaw by chance? i was thinking for mounting you could get some plywood (scrap would work better) or 1x2 (home depot has then less than 2 bucks for an 8ft length) you could build a little box for the bottle to sit in, then build to 2 arms extending upwards where they would hook onto the sump. Like this, and you could build it with just wood glue and/or nails and a hammer, with a hacksaw of course.
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diy, flow, overflow, protein, protein skimmer, skimmer

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