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Old 01-18-2014, 10:42 AM   #1
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Skimmer question

Hi all,

Just a quick question on skimmers. I have recently bought a new skimmer about 4 weeks ago. I've been struggling with high nitrates and my old one just wasn't skimming anything.

The skimmer (a bubble magus C3.5) skimmed lots of muck out for the first 2.5 weeks whilst I've been dosing Zeostart 2 and Zeobak now into week 4 and the skimmer is hardly removing anything.

I have added activated carbon recently and is sitting in the first chamber if my sump which is the chamber before the skimmer. Could this be the reason? I'm still running the zeo products so would expect to see at least a little sludge as that what it designed to do.

My Trates have dropped slightly to 20-40ppm so again I would have thought I would be seeing more skim waste.

My tank is 200ltrs and the skimmer is rated up to 300ltrs

I set the skimmer so the bubbles are just below the collection cup do when the wasted collects the fresh bubbles push it over the top into the collection cup. Click image for larger version

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What's your thoughts guys

Many thanks in advance

Andi
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:42 AM   #2
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It could be the carbon. Take it out and see what happens.
What is the source of your nitrate? If you have a low flow area where detritus can build up, then a bigger skimmer isn't going to help lower the nitrates, and skimmate production may not be what you would expect.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
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I've been moved. So just just a little more info.

This is a full marine reef set up
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:51 AM   #4
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Hi Doug.

Thanks. I'll give it a go.

The source maybe be a couple of things

Neglect: I was working out of town so PWC's were very infrequent which caused a red slime algae bloom. Most of which is is now gone after a strip down, full clean and regular PWC's since.
Death: I had two tube anemone die, and a chromis. I remove anemone but the hermit got to the chromis until there was nothing left

As part of the full strip and clean I removed all LR scrubbed down and syphoned the sand bed then replaced it all.
I havd also replaced the T5's and T8 today.

Andi
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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I would think infrequent water changes would promote skimmate production.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:07 PM   #6
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It would have done but the old skimmer fell apart. Lol

Does the level of the bubbles seem ok?

Flow is ok. There are spots that you would think would be out of the flow but the sand is clear behind there and the detritus settles at the front of the DT making it easy to syphon out. More luck than design or many hours playing with the power heads.

I've just done a 45% PWC and straight after I've taken a reading and NO3 is still at 20-40ppm.

Stumped tbh.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:08 PM   #7
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Have you double checked that test kit? The bubbles seem fine IMO.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:08 PM   #8
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One other thing is that the full clean has spurred on a Diatom bloom
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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Do the test kits have a shelf life? It's perhaps a year old

Before this larger PWC I had it tested at the LFS and it said the same.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:18 PM   #10
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Yes, I believe they do, plus, these are hobby grade kits and I certainly would not bet my life on their accuracy.
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