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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Goal: Design, build and document a skimmer that will fit in the stand of a 75/90 gallon tank, and handle a 100 gallon tank using PVC Pipe parts that are readily available at any hardware store/home improvement center.

The pump I am using, for now, is the pump that came on a Coralife 220 skimmer that I have. I am using it because the skimmer isn't in use and it is already setup with the venturi and air silencer. If it becomes too much pump for this design, I will swap it out for the pump on my Coralife 120 skimmer that is on my 90G tank right now.

I can't find any labels on the pump to tell me what it is though. The closest I can find is that the skimmer requires a pump that will pump "between 650 and 780 gph". If anybody can tell me what the pump is that comes with those two skimmers, I would be grateful.

Later today when I wake up, I will post pictures of the different design possibilities I have come up with so far and some potential issues I see with each.

Anyone that has some ideas, please post them.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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8,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think it can be done!They don't usally have good pumps!
Not so sure about that yet. I wasn't actually thinking about the pump itself but it doesn't take a strong pump to run a venturi skimmer. Especially not one that is only 4 or 6 inches in diameter. I will have to look next time I go and see what kind of pumps they carry. I know they carry Beckett brand pumps, just have to see which ones the store stocks.
 

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Isent the pump for the css220 and the 120 the same. I think they are,both do around 500gph I ran the 220 for a long time. happy DIYing
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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8,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Isent the pump for the css220 and the 120 the same. I think they are,both do around 500gph I ran the 220 for a long time. happy DIYing
I'm not sure if they are or not. I can't find any markings at all on them to even tell me what they are. I got both of these skimmers used so I don't even know if they were bought with the pump or if the pumps are simply ones that were added to them. I may try to find some of my other pumps that I know what they are so that I can get a decent idea of flowrates and such. And, be able to tell people what pump I am using.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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8,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just a few pics and ideas I have so far. After looking through and reading Jnichos Skimmer thread, I decided to change the design a little on the outside diameter pipe. Instead of using a 3" pipe, I am going to use a 4" pipe. Originally, I was going to use Uniseals for the drains and water inlet to cut down on the cost but I am not sure that the Uniseals will stand up to the pressure and I don't want a carpet floor full of water to find out.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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8,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The sizes, model # and prices came from Home Depots website.

Closet Flange:


4 In. x 3 In., Knockout Test Plug Pvc Model 435052 $4.18

3x2 and a 4x2 reducer coupling:



4 In. x 2 In. PVC DWV Flush Bushing Model 05910H $4.84
4 In. x 3 In. PVC DWV Coupling Model 05952H $4.88

2" PVC and 4" PVC (no pictures online yet)
Schedule 40/DWV 2.00 In. 10 Ft. Plain End, White Model 531137 $5.88
Schedule 40/DWV 4.00 In. 10 Ft. Plain End, White Model 531103 $17.28

Those prices are for a 10' section. You can cut whatever length you need. Do NOT buy the precut 2' pieces. They are priced at about twice what you can buy them for if you have them cut it off for you.

3" PVC, I didn't save the price, I only used two pieces 3" long for connecting couplings together.

Stay tuned, more to come.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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8,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Assembly started:



The piece of pipe is 3" long. Just long enough to seat into the closet flange and seat in the reducer.
Pushed together:

http://www.thereeftank.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=18031&c=500

Now, with a 2" pipe in it, laying down (I haven't cut the pipe off yet, not sure of how long and it won't stand up in my apartment).

http://www.thereeftank.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=18032&c=500

I have to go today and get a 2" tee to go just above the reducer. I also have to get a 4" tee to go on the outside pipe. Originally I was going to use Uniseals but changed my mind.

Stay tuned, more to come.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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8,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They make a T like this in 4" but I don't remember if it was at HD, Lowes or Ace:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...3&productId=100166002&N=10000003+528127+90014

If I can find it again in 4", it would keep me from having two of these:
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...3&productId=100127729&N=10000003+90014+502527

And I want to try to find a 2x2x3/4 like this:
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...3&productId=100120377&N=10000003+90014+502527

So that I dont have to use all the reducers but I may not be able to avoid it.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I got lucky with the top of the first skimmer:



The neck and cup came off of a proclear aquatics skimmer that was broken that was given to me. It fits perfectly on the outside of a 2" coupling.

I am going to start with that one and see how it works. Not sure it is going to work well with a 2" neck on a 2" skimmer body. I may have to reduce it down to get foam head production. After that I will make a zero clearance collection system using a union coupling and some pipe.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now I know why they build skimmers out of acrylic. I can't find a fitting that I need. Looks like its going to be uniseals and/or epoxy to put the water lines in. Probably try the uniseals first and install them from the inside instead of the outside. See how well it does. I found a double 3" T but not a 4" T. And a 2" T won't fit inside the 4" outside pipe. Oh well, uniseals it will be :)

Stay tuned, more to come.

Oh yeah, I got a 6x4 reducer from Lowes. HD and Ace Hardware don't sell anything - that I could find - in 6" pipe. And Lowes is selling 400MH fixtures for 150 bucks, on clearance.
 

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Looking good!

I don't remember the actual GPH on my pump, but I think it's around 600. I have the valve on the skimmer dialed back about 50% to achieve the water height needed to skim so I probably have more pump than I need. Since you are building your skimmer to go under/in a stand it will be shorter than mine. I think the pump you have will be plenty.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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8,887 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks J. I have some other smaller pumps that I may end up swapping it out with. I chose this one simply because it was already set up with the venturi. With a 2" chamber and only 24" or so high, I am curious how well a MJ1200 would run it. It has the air inlet. Not sure that its worth it though. For what you pay for an MJ in an LFS, you can buy a decent little pump.
 

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I don't think an MJ1200 will be enough, but you can always try. I have one...all I use it for is blasting off my rock once and a while.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't think an MJ1200 will be enough, but you can always try.
I don't think it is either. Was a hair brained moment. In the LFS' here, they run between 30 and 40 dollars. For a few more dollars you can get a pump that is enough to push it so I put the idea out of my mind. I may try it just for the sake of trying it though. I did make me an eductor tonight though. And, got the 4"x6" reducer. I think its going to be great for the base of a skimmer but not sure how well it will work for the neck. It is more of a bushing than a bell adapter. Thing cost me 11 bucks though. Sheesh.
 

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Okay, I am here per your request. :)

Are you going to go with the 4 inch pipe in order to equalize the flow between the 2 different sections? That sounds like the way to go with it.

The other questions I have is "Are you done yet?!" It is quarter till 2 and how long have you been working on it today?

I wish I lived closer as this would be a fun thing to work with you on. Heck, you can probably build almost as easily as one with the cost of materials and such. :)
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Okay, I am here per your request. :)

Are you going to go with the 4 inch pipe in order to equalize the flow between the 2 different sections? That sounds like the way to go with it.
Yes, that is the idea. The 2" and 3" just didn't give enough room to get the flow evened out.

The other questions I have is "Are you done yet?!" It is quarter till 2 and how long have you been working on it today?
I was on my way home and got a phone call about my dog being hurt so the skimmer got forgotten about (sorry, my dog is more important :))

I wish I lived closer as this would be a fun thing to work with you on. Heck, you can probably build almost as easily as one with the cost of materials and such. :)
After I get done, I will have to sit and go through the parts and price it. I have changed parts on it several times as things didn't work out right. I had thought I figured out how to build one with 4" and 6" but the adapter I had wasn't the right one. So I went back to the 3" and 4".

This is a picture of the skimmer itself:



I still have to drill holes for the uniseals and install the inlet and drain pipes. I left my drill at home and had to come back home and was going to drill the holes before the dog distracted me. It isn't glued together until I get the holes in it. I will take it back apart tonight, take pictures, drill the holes, and put it together.

The pump I am going to try on it is the one that came with my Coralife 220, not sure what kind of pump it is. But it is already setup with the Venturi on it so I am going to try it. If it does as well as the 120, I will be happy. If it does as well as a coralife 220, I will be ecstatic.

Oh, I have to cut it off about 2" to be able to get it into the stand of my 90.
 

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What happened with the dog? Is it going to be okay? I agree wholeheartedly that pets come well before non-living things in the grand scheme.

Hopefully the pump you have will work great for it. At least you have the body portion figured out. Just have to get a few holes drilled and then start the testing phase. :thumbup:
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I goofed in my last post. The 4" design doesn't have an inside pipe. With a 3" pipe inside a 4" pipe, there isn't enough room to even out the flow. If I put a 2" pipe inside, I am running a 2" diameter skimmer and not sure it will work. I may try it just to see or if I get an air bubble issue in the 4" with no inside pipe. The dual pipe design was with a 4" and a 6" pipe. The idea is to use two uniseals. Have the inlet go in and turn up about 3" or so and have the outlet turn down to the bottom to try to stop the air bubbles. If I have an air bubble issue, I will try it with a 2" pipe on the inside and see how well it works. I would rather leave it open if I can though.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What happened with the dog? Is it going to be okay? I agree wholeheartedly that pets come well before non-living things in the grand scheme.
Got in a fight with my shihtzu. I think the puppy chihuaha got in it as well. When all three get involved, Gypsy gets distracted and Daisy can grab her. One on one, its an even fight. Fortunately, no broken bones. But the phone call I got on the way home was a "Her leg is broken, shes bleeding to death, get home NOW". But, she is just bruised up and sore. She will be stoned on medication the next few days. Daisy is limping as well. I hope it teaches them what happens and they will both stop fighting. When I brought Gypsy home, I intentionally made her look at Daisy to see what they were going to do. Neither one even raised there eyes. I can hope :)
 
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