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Old 09-24-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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Skimmer and powerheads installed... Need some advice!

I received my Reef Octopus BH-100F yesterday and 2 x hydor koralia 2 powerheads for my 55g FOWLR. Getting the siphon started in the skimmer was A PAIN IN THE But after much trial and error I got it. The skimmer is a very nice piece, the quality is great.

First question, the skimmer came with a black sponge filter in the 3rd chamber of the skimmer. I read that this can become dirty and cause overflow so I pulled it out. Should I add something else in there? Maybe some LR rubble? I have read that people put filter media in there but I am not sure what I should use.
The skimmer also came with a blue sponge filter with 2 holes through it. It is about twice as thick as the black one. What is this for?? As everyone knows the instructions included with skimmer are total crap!

Pic of the sponges:




Second question, My powerheads are currently positioned to blow straight across the top of the tank towards each other. The picture is before I moved them and I pulled of the flow director covers. Is this ok?? Any recommendations on aiming them in a different way??

Thanks in advance for the help everyone! And here is a pic of how the tank is currently looking.... Tons of micro bubbles

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Old 09-24-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
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The micro bubbles should go away unless you have the PH to close to the surface, then it might be cavitating(sucking air from the surface). You can fiddle with the possitions until you find the sweet spot for your tank and rock configuration.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #3
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OK so its pretty much trial and error... The micro bubbles are actually from the skimmer, I hope they stop once it is broken in!
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:16 PM   #4
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They won't... The blue sponge was made for exactly that reason. It stops microbubbles. I took mine out and i had crazy microbubbles in the tank. I put it back and the number of bubbles decreased drastically... And now, i don't even have any. Btw.. i have that black piece on it.. and haven't had a single problem with it and i have been running it day and night for the past 2 months. They were made for those reasons.. and it isn't like Reef Octopus to make things that are functional. That's like seaclone status.. lol.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:49 PM   #5
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Please don't try and get around the word filter.... That gravel you have will most likely cause you nitrate problems down the road, so you may want to switch to sand. Taking the flow directors/guards off is fine. Try and aim them both slightly toward the water's surface and at the front-center of the tank to give you a "V" pattern of flow.

Zer0, nothing is worse than a seaclone, a skimmerless tank is even better than a tank WITH a seasclone IMO....
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:24 PM   #6
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Please don't try and get around the word filter.... That gravel you have will most likely cause you nitrate problems down the road, so you may want to switch to sand. Taking the flow directors/guards off is fine. Try and aim them both slightly toward the water's surface and at the front-center of the tank to give you a "V" pattern of flow.

Zer0, nothing is worse than a seaclone, a skimmerless tank is even better than a tank WITH a seasclone IMO....

What Gravel are you talking about?? My substrate is "live" black sand, but it does have some small rocks in it... Is this bad?? I will try to aim the PH's towards the front a little more and see what happens.

As for the sponge filters i should have both of them in there?? In the same chamber?? There really needs to be some instructions for these things!
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:42 PM   #7
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OK so I threw the black sponge in and in the process broke my heater! like an idiot I pulled it out of the water while plugged in... got really hot... no bueno! so I should stack the blue on top of the black sponge?
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:38 PM   #8
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Ahh...sorry for the mixup, looks like gravel to me from the pic. If the chunks of rock are a good distance, a cm or 2, you should be fine. As for the sponge, I imagine one should go before the return and after the return, but I'll let Zer0 fill you in on that one.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
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Actually the bubbles have slowed down quite a bit and I hope once it breaks in it will stop. I might throw the blue sponge on the return pipe and see what happens, but Zero if you read this let me know what you did since I know yours is working well!
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:48 PM   #10
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thom, when did i ever say seaclones were good? rofl.. i said they were horrible.. haha.

Anyways...

The bubbles on mine slowed down as well over a couple weeks. It start out pretty bubbly and pretty messy, but it gets better over time, whether you use the spong or not. My honest suggestion, and through experiance is to AT LEAST use the black spong on the return line. This will block out most of the particles trying to get back in to your tank. I had taken all of the filter off, and tried it, just to say i did.. and the results were not nearly as nice as with the sponges on. I had some particles, and some nice size ones at that, floating around in the tank that would never go away.. so i was getting a little frustrated. The fact that the powerheads keep anything in the water column from settleing down, just means that the pump for the skimmer, will suck it up when it comes near it. The black sponge on the return will catch all of those things. Not to mention that, the black sponge never really gets that dirty. I check it everyday, and it seems that as it overloads with junk, pieces will fall off and lay on the bottom of the third chamber. This makes for easier cleaning IMO. My skimmer has perfect efficiency, and it skims like a beast, and i have both the blue and black sponges on there.
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