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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw this in Connecticut when I visited for passover and thought it was pretty cool. I know most people have already seen this, but just thought the simplicity and efficient of this natural skimmer mechanism is remarkable.

Makes you think about revolutionizing skimmer design, basing it on agitating water rather than shoving in bubbles



 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Well, there is no skimmer cup, so it is really entering back into the watershed. I would recommend not swimming in that creek.
 

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Sometimes it is a massive sign of pollution... or an invasion film

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lol I know- besides it was about 34*!

Interesting though, I am interested in the efficiency of water turbulence vs our air injection method.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Lol I know- besides it was about 34*!

Interesting though, I am interested in the efficiency of water turbulence vs our air injection method.
Ironically, the type of air injection does not matter as much as how much air is injected. What little studies there are with skimmers suggests that the mechanism is not all that important to performance. We get about a 20-30% efficiency rating. The important item is the amount of air (really the surface area, but that is nearly impossible to judge so we use volume). So, in the end, it is all about the amount of filter media (ie air).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting, I am intrigued enough to do some research.

Theoretically, what could have a 50-70% efficiency? I mean what sort of skimmer could remove more? Could that be achieved by plumbing skimmers in parallel? Or would a skimmer that had lower water injection but high high be more efficient?

I am getting a Super Reef Octopus 1000ss, which comes with a bubble blaster pump. I've heard these are top notch
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Interesting, I am intrigued enough to do some research.

Theoretically, what could have a 50-70% efficiency? I mean what sort of skimmer could remove more? Could that be achieved by plumbing skimmers in parallel? Or would a skimmer that had lower water injection but high high be more efficient?

I am getting a Super Reef Octopus 1000ss, which comes with a bubble blaster pump. I've heard these are top notch
They are fantastic skimmers! :thumbup:

Good question. Part of the item at had is that some organic material is more skimmable than others. Some dubious claims of over 90% are possible mostly because they limit it to specific bubble-loving compound. Now, the PennState article (often cited as it is one of the only items available... and it is dated) suggests that we have a limited window as to when we can skim. First, we are racing against bacteria for those nutrients. So speed is important... but with a lot of speed comes a problem. Contact time with the media (ie air) is also important so the slower you move the dissolved material through the water column, the more effective the skimming. So basically, we need to get it to the skimmer as fast as possible and then slow down as much as possible. And that is the conflict. Normally you have to pick one or a compromise. Finally, you also run into a problem of limited return. You can't skim the dissolved material multiple times and infinitely remove more. It looks like from the data that we only really get one shot at the materials, two if we are lucky. So filtering the water 200x is only fractionally better than a few times. Finally, there is the item of effort vs return. We can get closer to the 40-45% mark, but the amount effort to get the increase becomes to limit a skimmer. You need to start increasing the air and slowing the processing rate for a few % points increases. Because the pump is the "expensive" part, this often causes big increase is cost. It is kind alike a car horse-power vs top speed issue. A car with 500 horsepower can and will get into the low 200mph range... but you need 1000bhp to get over the 250mph range. You double the power for a 25% return. The skimmer also runs into that issue. Finally, home-skimmers run into the issue of size. The best way for skimmers to be better would be to make the body 12" in diameter and 72 inches tall... but people want skimmers to fit in their sump and under their stand so there is a market limit as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very interesting, I did not consider that the efficiency decreases exponentially as there are less particles to skim.

About the 12" diameter and 72" tall, sounds pretty familiar... A bit small though! (Ive been researching for the 650 tank)

May I ask you your opinion of the ATS (Algea Turf Scrubber)? You seem very well informed, so I am curious on your thoughts regarding this semi-controversial method!

I was thinking that the ATS would work well hand in hand with a skimmer, as it removes bacterial/algea that the skimmer was unable to prevent. What do you think? Because the Skimmer takes out nutrients (As efficiently as it can), but cannot take out pre-existing bacteria/algea in the system.
 
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