Skimmer not working

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice FINatic
Jul 21, 2003
My Coralife Skimmer is not producing anymore bubbles in the "reaction chamber". The pump will pump water into the chamber and into the neck of the cup but there arent any bubbles. This happened once a month or 2 ago and it worked after I cleaned the skimmer. I took the pump apart and cleaned it today as well as the airlines and it still wont work. Any thoughts?

I haven't been too impressed with the skimmer anyway so if I would be best to switch brands Im open to suggestions!

I run it in my sump for a 130 gal tank. Thanks!
I do not have a coralife, but have you cleaned the area where the bubbles rise up at all? I don't know how that area looks in the coralife, but it should generally have an area where the bubbles collect that it has to rise up.

Also, is there any sort of air intake adjustment or any adjustment you can make at all? Perhaps you are skimming too wet? Look into any adjustment to make the skimmer skim more dry.
Check the nipple on the pump intake where the air line gets hooked up. That can get blocked solid with salt creep. I have to clean that nipple about once a month or I see a decrease in air intake.
I have cleaned that nipple on the pump intake as well as the one on top of the flexible black return tube with no luck. There is an adjustment knob but its not creating any bubbles so the knob doesnt change anything.

How long can I go without a skimmer? (until I either get it fixed or order a new one)
FWIW I'm having the exact same issue with my coralife skimmer. I've tried messing around with the adjustment knob (the red one) and it really doesn't help much either. If you decide to change skimmers I'd be interested in finding out what you decided to go with AND if you notice a difference in how it functioned vs the coralife skimmer (when it was working).

Good Luck!
You may want to try a different needlewheel pump. I don't think the design of the skimmer is bad, but now sure about the no name (at least on my CSS125) pump. I'm sort of debating on either getting a different pump, like a CatalinaAquarium 2300, GenX 2400 or Octopus 2000, or getting a Octopus skimmer. The 3 pumps I mentioned are in the 500 gph range like the original CSS 125 pump and run about $40-$50.
I've read lots of good things about the Octopus NW150 and NW200 and I'm thinking about getting one those. Sort of learning toward the NW200 for my 75.
When I empty my skimmer cup - I take a glass of hot water and let the airline suck it up to keep the air intake clean. That is for a Euroreef Skimmer - Not sure how yours is.
Top Bottom