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Old 10-23-2005, 02:03 AM   #1
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DIY Skimmer Fine Tuning - Pictures P2 - Updated 3/16/06

I've had it with this seaclone junk. I don't have a whole lot of money because I need to build a canopy and buy lighting but I want something that works well.

Are there any DIY plans that you know of that work great? How much would the cost comparison be? Heck, I can always paint white pvc to make it look more attractive if it went all the way from the floor to the top of my tank. 4-5 foot tall.
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Old 10-23-2005, 01:40 PM   #2
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In the DIY forum at www.reefcentral.com there are a ton of threads about DIY skimmers. Another good website with lots of DIY plans is http://www.kingvinnie.com/aquaria/diy/ I would go the DIY route if you're good with tools and crafting things, otherwise it might be easier/more convient to just buy one. HTH.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:25 PM   #3
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If your willing to build a 4 foot DIY skimmer.. a decent design will work well.. :P
the easiest and best performing DIY skimmers are knockoffs of needlewheel skimmers such as adptations of ASM and Euro-reef designs mixed with old counter current designs, there's DIY instructions on turning regular pumps into needlewheel pumps as well to make it a complete DIY project.. :P
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Old 10-24-2005, 01:14 AM   #4
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Here is my current plan. I have everything built except for the actual hookup into the fish tank. I still need to buy my pump and venturi hookup.

Parts were $60 for everthing except for venturi and pump.

For a needlewheel you basically put the venturi hookup 'before' the impeller/pump?
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Old 10-27-2005, 04:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noteworthy
For a needlewheel you basically put the venturi hookup 'before' the impeller/pump?
the air intake is in the input.. but you need to modify the impeller.. Ive seen some cut a piece out of plastic horse brush (it looked better then the other mods Ive seen) and using a bioball for a needlewheel impeller modification..
or you can just buy a needlewheel pump.. :P
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Old 10-27-2005, 04:55 AM   #6
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how big is the pipe you used? 4inch?
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Old 10-30-2005, 05:24 PM   #7
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4" outer most... 2" inner chamber with 1/2" drop for venturi input.

Still fixing some leaks and waiting for pump. I found some silicone real cheap that is for aquarium use. GE012A from home depot. 3.50 for 10 ounces... its 6 bucks for the 'certified' aquarium stuff that is 2 ounces.


I think I'm going with the venturi and see how that works out. It should be fine. 3.5 foot tall.. w00t!
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Old 11-01-2005, 05:29 PM   #8
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Well I'm having a hard time adjusting the skimmer.


Here are the hints I found on the DIY page:

Fine tuning a skimmer is the hardest part in building one. I have found the easiest way to tune a venturi skimmer is to set the air flow at the minimum to produce small bubbles. Set the water level on the low side. Then start the pump up at a slow flow rate. Look at the color of the foam produced. If it is white or clear then the flow is too fast. You are looking for a brown dry foam. If it is wet then the water height is too high in the skimmer. If the foam does not get to the top of the collection cup tube then the water level is too low. I have found that unless you are running a very tall skimmer, the air flow works better on the low side. This has been my personal experience with the skimmers I have built.

Well I tried turning the venturi all the way down which I guess works. I'm using a tarp clamp to shut off most of the vinyl tubing. Next I turn down the intake valve to make the pump enter slower. Here is my problem: When I turn the intake down to slow the pump intake. The pump shoots the water through the venturi air tube which means - no air into my system and a big mess if the air tube isn't over the tank water.


I have ball valves on the input and output of my skimmer body- This valve is after the venturi just like the DIY page. Any ideas guys?
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:43 PM   #9
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adjust the flow of the pump just past the output before the venturi.. sounds like you need to add a valve there. I think that will solve your problem (carefull not to adjust the flow at the input of the pump, it can damage it..)
gate valves are far less sensitive and much easier to adjust then ball valves.. but will cost ya... at least 7 bucks online..
When you say DIY page... what are you refering to? it does sould like one Ive seen but I dont want to be guessing.. :P
side notes:
The diy skimmer types I like best (venturi isnt my favorite..)
needlewheel.. (easiest of my favs.) yours could be moded into one of these easy..
becket.. (too big for your needs)
downdraft (can be made small enough for your needs) I like the counter current models with the downdraft tube going strait down through top of the skimmer body..

If I cant find a decent deal on a used skimmer.. I might be building one as well :P
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:46 PM   #10
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BTW.. what pump are you using..?
and why are you using silicone? its pvc right? most of this could probibly be put together with some teflon tape even in the slip joints but PVC cleaner and cement bonds best to PVC..
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