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Old 07-05-2015, 12:54 PM   #1
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Counter Current protein skimmer

So I threw a counter current protein skimmer last night. I've never had a skimmer before so I'm just wondering if anyone could help me out with possibly tuning this thing. It's made out of 3" pvc. It's 26" tall and the water level of the sump is around the 12" mark. the water is injected into the skimmer at about 20". Here are a few pictures from last night to this morning to now.

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Old 07-05-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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Congrats on the DIY.
Skimmers can be HUGE $$$..$!!
Where will the skimmate go? and do you have supply and return ball valves or controls?
Where is your air coming from?
Venturi,air pump,both.....
Last pic has nice skimmate on top!
Explain the hose .
I have 4 skimmers,and you peek my interest.
3 different brands and one is top of the line$$$.
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coralbandit View Post
Congrats on the DIY.
Skimmers can be HUGE $$$..$!!
Where will the skimmate go? and do you have supply and return ball valves or controls?
Where is your air coming from?
Venturi,air pump,both.....
Last pic has nice skimmate on top!
Explain the hose .
I have 4 skimmers,and you peek my interest.
3 different brands and one is top of the line$$$.

Thanks! I'm really happy with how it's turned out so far.

I'm still working on the collection cup. I'm not sure how to make one so the skimmate will have a place to go. I thought about glueing a short pvc pipe to the inner part of the pvc reducer to make a cup but it wouldn't stay in place with pvc glue...any idea if silicone will hold pvc together???

I have a ball value controlling the flow into the skimmer but just an exit hole to let the water out of the bottom.

As of right now I just use an air pump to drive this skimmer that's the hose going down the center
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:22 PM   #4
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NICE!
So,
If the top of the skimmer is upside down reducer(3" to 5" it looks like) then drill a hole in it on the bottom,and run a tube to a container for skimmate. When the crap builds up enough to "condense" there it will flow out.
You may need a "lip"( a piece of pvc that fits in reducer only 1-2 inches tall{follow?}).
Look at pre made skimmers and see how the "neck" extends into the collection cup.
What type of air stone are you using and what air pump?
You should consider having control over the output also as this is how you fine tune IMO.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by coralbandit View Post
NICE!
So,
If the top of the skimmer is upside down reducer(3" to 5" it looks like) then drill a hole in it on the bottom,and run a tube to a container for skimmate. When the crap builds up enough to "condense" there it will flow out.
You may need a "lip"( a piece of pvc that fits in reducer only 1-2 inches tall{follow?}).
Look at pre made skimmers and see how the "neck" extends into the collection cup.
What type of air stone are you using and what air pump?
You should consider having control over the output also as this is how you fine tune IMO.

Awesome I know exactly what you mean! I'll glue in q piece of pvc before this thing really gets going and install a drain line. I was using a traditional air stone but I just bought a couple of Lees wooden air stones. and thanks for the advice I'll install a bulkhead in the exit hole and add in some sort of valve to control the outflow!

Again im very happy with this build. and the best part was I spent $29!
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:49 AM   #6
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how do you feel about this for a cup? do you think I need more of a wall so the foam won't just spill over the outside?
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:37 PM   #7
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If that fits in the reducer then just cut it 1/2 - 1 inch lower.
Smooth the edge after also so skimmate will roll over easy.
Once you have hole on the bottom of collection cup you will want to cap the cup so the foam hits the lid and falls into cup where it will turn to liquid again and flow out to container.Drill venting holes in lid to allow air out and make sure tube to waste collector from the scum cup is in air also to allow the air pump to work best.
Install the wood stones before you fione tune as they are going to be a huge difference IMO(Better!).
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Old 07-07-2015, 06:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by coralbandit View Post
If that fits in the reducer then just cut it 1/2 - 1 inch lower.
Smooth the edge after also so skimmate will roll over easy.
Once you have hole on the bottom of collection cup you will want to cap the cup so the foam hits the lid and falls into cup where it will turn to liquid again and flow out to container.Drill venting holes in lid to allow air out and make sure tube to waste collector from the scum cup is in air also to allow the air pump to work best.
Install the wood stones before you fione tune as they are going to be a huge difference IMO(Better!).

Awesome tips! thanks again. the only thing I'm kind of confused on is "make sure tube to waste collector from the scum cup is in air" what do you mean exactly? make sure the end of the drain line (the one not in the collection cup on the skimmer) is not submerged in the nasty output in the collection bin?
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Old 07-07-2015, 06:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Beej1254 View Post
Awesome tips! thanks again. the only thing I'm kind of confused on is "make sure tube to waste collector from the scum cup is in air" what do you mean exactly? make sure the end of the drain line (the one not in the collection cup on the skimmer) is not submerged in the nasty output in the collection bin?
^^YES^^
It is not super important if you vent the cap on the collection cup,but if the cap does not allow free flow the air pump will work harder and be less efficient .
The keeping the line in air not under water is just to accommodate air flow should cap clog, fail or be impeded.
The air from the air pump needs to easily /freely leave the skimmer.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:14 PM   #10
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awesome makes perfect sense! thank you again
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:18 PM   #11
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this is the latest picture. it's had to prime itself again because I shut off the skimmer for modifications. I also added more pvc to make an actual cup for skimmate. I'll figure out a lid after work and maybe install the drain line as well. it's looking nice and green and gross though! haha
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:35 PM   #12
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You're dong great with this!!
I am all skimmer!!
One of if not most important piece of equipment.
This is a picture of my MTC HSA 1000

It is about 4' tall with ozone being injected by an alita 6a air pump!
It is BIG $$$$!
I did not buy this unit!!!!But I love it!!!
Make a skimmer as tall as you possibly can to increases air contact time.
I dream of the 6-8 ' tall skimmer and most I see being clear ,I would watch it like the tank.
They impress me.
You got a nice build and knowledge base going on here!
Glad I found this thread!
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Old 07-08-2015, 03:26 AM   #13
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wow now that's impressive. that skimmer is massive! It really makes me think of how basic mine is haha. I've always got plenty of room to improve I guess.

I'm quickly learning how important it is to have a skimmer. I've already seen the benefits from it in my DT.

I really appreciate all of the helpful tips you've given me!
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:35 PM   #14
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so gross but sooo nice lol
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:46 PM   #15
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That is killer skimmate!
For real!!
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:36 PM   #16
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Hey I just wanted to give an update on this skimmer. After about a week it stopped producing skimmate altogether. At that point I took your advice and added a way to regulate how full the skimmer could get. Now my skimmer is making skimmate like CRAZY. I added a lid with venting holes and the skimmate is even poring out of that. I have yet to make a drain line from the cup because of the way I designed the collection cup I don't have any space to work with between the spout and the wall of the cup. I'm working on a redesign of this part to install a drain line
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:52 PM   #17
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I also made a way to pass the airline through the side of the skimmer instead of down the entire neck and body.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:00 AM   #18
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I finally remade the collection cup by tearing apart what I had and rearranging some things. I love this design much more then the old one and it's much taller.

Lid with vent holes..
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Still no drain line. I don't have the right drill bits to make a good hole to install something water tight..
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Inside the cup. Spout is thin 1inch pipe rather then a bulky reducer. This opens tons of space inside the collection cup..
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2 inch pvc reducer glued to an upside down 3 inch to 2 inch pvc reducer..which has a 2 inch to 1 inch reducer glued in the center of both. Then a 1 inch pipe coming from the center.
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the skimmer without the cup.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:19 PM   #19
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Nice!
Glad to see you are still improving.
IMO when you know what you want and know how to get it/build it you are SO FAR AHEAD OF THE CROWD!!
Great build and mods!!
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:21 AM   #20
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I would love to do this but they all seem super tall and not that easy to hide. I know the other half would hate looking at something like this next to the tank. We have minimal space behind it as well.
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