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Old 01-24-2010, 02:01 AM   #1
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Question about protein skimmer

My Precision Marine skimmer is currnetly hooked up and has been on about 2 days now. How quickly should there be dark colored waste water being produced? I think I have it adjusted right, I turned the adjustment to closed just enough so the bubbles make it up to just about an inch or so from the top of the collection cup. There is some semi cloudy looking water collected in the cup, just not dark. Will this darken as the days go on as it pulls more and more out? Or do I just not have it adjusted right? Its been on about 2 days so far. You can see in the pic whats been collected so far. Should that be darker by now?

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Old 01-24-2010, 08:59 AM   #2
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It can take 2 weeks or longer for a skimmer to break in and start producing nice, dark skimmate. By the looks of it, your skimming to wet. Lower the water line inside the skimmer.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
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It can take 2 weeks or longer for a skimmer to break in and start producing nice, dark skimmate. By the looks of it, your skimming to wet. Lower the water line inside the skimmer.
Hey thanks for responding, can you elablorate for me? Do you mean adjust it to more open so the bubbles don't rise as high in the collection cup? Right now they rise to about an inch away from the top of the lid on the collection cup. I had it in my head to get the bubbles to rise as high as possible without dripping over the edge.

Also, it seems that the adjustment for it (the open/closed pipe you have to turn) is very very sensative. I mean even a turn of a 1/16 of an inch can make it go from producing to not producing. Is that normal? Because it seems I had it set perfect last night and when I look today the bubble level dropped a couple of inches. Can you be precise on to where that level should be? And do these skimmer require daily adjustments? It's a Precision Marine red line series I believe. Here is a short video of what I'm talking about.
YouTube - Protein Skimmer
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:26 PM   #4
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You just have to give it time. Once the oils from the manufacturing process wear off and the skimmer is broken in, it won't be as finicky.

Here's an older pic of my skimmer. The blue line is the water level inside the skimmer where the water ends and the bubbles begin. The bubbles move up the neck and into the cup.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:31 PM   #5
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You just have to give it time. Once the oils from the manufacturing process wear off and the skimmer is broken in, it won't be as finicky.

Here's an older pic of my skimmer. The blue line is the water level inside the skimmer where the water ends and the bubbles begin. The bubbles move up the neck and into the cup.

Ok, I undersdtand where the water level ends and I know that the bubbles move up the neck but my question is at the top of the neck where should the bubble level end. Should the bubbles stop right at the very top or an inch or so down? Thats what I don't get. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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The bubbles don't stop anywhere. They flow right over the top and into the cup. The blue line is the water level and the bubbles build up from there and pour over the top of the neck into the cup.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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I would leave your skimmer set right where it is for now. Let it break in. The level of the bubbles in your photo is right aobut where you want them to be. As it breaks in that level will rise along with the DOCs as they are pushed up and over the side into the collection cup.
The level where my bubbles end varies depending on how much protein there is to remove. An hour or two after feeding there's plenty. A couple of days later (before the next feeding) there isn't that much and the bubbles are not breaking over the top.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:10 AM   #8
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Ok cool thanks alot for your guys help. I will leave it where it is for now and give it some more time.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:54 PM   #9
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It's been running about 2 weeks now and it is still only producing fizzling type of bubbles at the top of the neck of the collection cup, not the frothy thick bubbles I think it's sapposed to be making. Is there something wrong here? I only know of one adjustment and thats the one that makes the bubble level rise or drop in the skimmer. Something I'm missing here?
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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Give it time. The bubles in the pic look fine. DOC's will attach and move up the sides and over the top into the collection cup. It's probably still breaking in, or you don't have any DOC's in your tank

If it was constantly producing skimmate you would have to emty the cup several times a day. Mine seems to just percolate until I turn the pump back on after a feeding, then it's producing skimmate for a day or so (I only feed every 2-3 days).
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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I have the exact same problem as you!! Only my skimmer has been running for 3 days. I'm unsure as to what level the sudsy bubbles should be at. The cone going into the collection cup is starting to turn brown, but its only producing cloudy water in the cup. I'm using a coralife skimmer. Have you had any success yet?
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:47 PM   #12
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This AquaC got cleaned out good after it had gotten quite dirty, then after a while of tuning the air flow and waiting, I got good skimate like this



And I pretty much just leave it alone now. When the sump level rises, it doesn't skim as well. This is one reason I don't like AquaC.

This one is a Reef Octopus, brand new



I originally tuned it so that the top of the bubbles were exactly where they are in the pic, about 3/5 of the way up the cone. The next day it was starting to push a little foam into the cup. Treat it like losing weight, you don't weigh yourself 10 times a day. Set it and leave it for a day or two. Look at it, but don't touch. Make very minor adjustments if it is wet skimming, or not skimming at all, at most once a day. Once it gets rockin and rolling, you can adjust once a day and get it at the optimum level and then just leave it there.

Like I mentioned on the AquaC (bad skimmer IMO) when the sump level rises, the outlet back pressure gets increased, and it doesn't skim as much. Conversely, when the sump level is low, inlet pressure decreases and it doesn't skim as much. I don't think the Reef Octopus or similar models that are of a newer or different design have as much of a similar problem, but what do I know. This is my first brand new skimmer and the AquaC was the first I'd ever touched.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:15 PM   #13
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Here's what my chamber looks looks like after a cleaning and new break-in (a couple of hours).





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Old 02-06-2010, 07:39 PM   #14
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Floyd, I can see in your pictures that your skimmer is producing real fluffy or frothy bubbles if you will. Like it's over flowing into the cup. My bubbles are simply not doing that at all. They just simmer more or less. They don't clump up like that at all, you can see in my video I have posted in this link exaclty what my bubbles are doing. Now I've been told maybe there just is no baddies in my water yet that need to be skimmed. But whether there is or isn't shouldn't my bubble production be more like in your pictures? I don't think I have a cheap skimmer either it's a precision marine.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:40 PM   #15
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Cmor, same thing man. I can see in your pics you have frothy bubble production. Can you see the difference in mine then yours? I don't fully understand why mine is doing this, I just don't get it.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:43 PM   #16
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I would also like to add, towards the top of the neck in the collection cup is turning a dark color. But I still think my bubble production is wrong, not sure why though. I'm close to taking it all out just re-hook it up and see what happens.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:59 PM   #17
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Just trying to better explain what I mean here, the bubbles my skimmer is producing don't make it over the edge of the neck in the cup. They just simmer out and stay at one level if you understand me. In yours guys pics I can clearly see a big blob of bubbles making over the edge of the neck and into the cup, this not happening for me.
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:29 PM   #18
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I looke ad your video. I don't see anything wrong. The almost clear liquid in your collection cup mean you were skimming too lean (wet). The top few inches of the neck in mine turns dark brown/black and the bubbles climb up and over in time.

Your's is still pretty new. When was it installed?
How old is the tank?
What's in the tank?
How often do you feed?
How much are you feeding?

Seriously, I just thunk it's only a matter of time till you are holding your nose as you clean the collection cup.
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:27 PM   #19
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I found a couple of reference videos to show what I mean better. Look at the bubbles this skimmer is making in this video, note even after he puts the collection cup on it is making VERY frothy clumpy bubble production.
YouTube - New PSK-75H hang-on skimmer w/mesh-wheel

Same thing in this video, VERY VERY clumpy frothy bubble production.
YouTube - PSK-200

Now again, look at my video and tell me why mine isn't making bubbles like the ones in these other videos? Even though my skimmer has been running just over 2 weeks should that have anything to do with the bubble production? My bubbles stay at one level and do absolutely nothing, I have a sincear feeling something is wrong with my skimmer, whether is the skimmer itself or the pump I don't know.
YouTube - Protein Skimmer
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:31 PM   #20
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Well, I think it might have to do with the length of time your tank has been established, and your fish and coral load. In the 2 pics I posted, the first one was of a well established reef tank with good fish load and low coral load, but the tank had been up for 3 years and the skimmer was extremely dirty and had recently been fully cleaned.

In the second tank, that one had no skimmer for 3 years (and no significant cleaning for 3 years) and I hate to tell you this, but I checked it 24 hours after I fired it up and there is already sticky froth at the top and about 1/2" of nasty brown skim in the cup. So I'm guessing you don't have a lot of DOCs.
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