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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so after reading a post somewhere on how much better needlewheel skimmers are after being mesh modded, I've decided to give it a go. I'll be doing this on an Octopus TS150 w/ the OTP-2000 pump. By the time I get home from work, I should have the mesh stuff I ordered on my doorstep and I already have tiny zipties to attach it to my impeller.

From what I've gathered, and please correct me if I'm wrong before I screw up my skimmer, I:
  1. Remove one set of the needle wheels from impeller.
  2. Cut all but 4 needles from the remaining wheel.
  3. Ziptie the cut-to-size mesh layers on.
  4. Put it back together and enjoy.
Hopefully I don't mess this up because they don't sell impellers locally so I'd have to order a replacement online.

I did the gate valve mod soon after getting the skimmer and that has helped a lot in making it easier to adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, my mesh mod was a disaster. I did as stated above and used two layers of mesh. I put it on the skimmer and fired it up. I honestly couldn't see any difference between the needlewheels and the mesh. So I surfed the net some more and found that it may need up to 4 layers. So I removed the impeller, and went added two more layers of mesh. Put it back together and nothing. Just a humming sound. hmmm... I took it apart, looked to make sure none of the mesh was caught on anything. Oh crap. I snapped one of the four remaining needles by accident. This caused the mesh to bunch up and prevent the impeller from spinning. So here I am without a working skimmer for the next 4 days until I can get a new one delivered from pa. I think I'm going to leave the modding stuff alone on the replacement. The performance of my skimmer was acceptable, but I was just greedy wanting more.
 

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if all you did was break a needle, then the one you have is fine. no needles are necessary. you just need 4 holes in which to put the ties through and in some cases you need to fabricate a disk out of acrylic to do this which goes in place of the original needlewheel

you will get much better performance with the mesh mod. keep playing with it until you figure out how to get the mesh on tight and orderly, and it sounds as though you can still play with this without even touching your new impellor
 

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You can still do it. it works much better. i would see if you have a friend(s) with a kill-o-watt and an air meter. these are the two methods to 1. know your pulling more air and 2. drawing the same or less amps on the pump;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, after the one broke, I purposely broke the one opposite it so that the disk wouldn't be out of balance. That left only two and I soon found out that just two can't hold up to the stress and they broke as well. The OTP-2000 impellers don't have the holes that the 3000's do. I tried getting some gutter mesh today and using that to give it stucture but haven't had much success today. I can't figure out is something is rubbing inside, or there's not enough material. It seems to work for a few minutes and then starts making noise and stops. I've given up for the night but will continue tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's what I need to do! thanks for the link! I may just have a workable skimmer by tomorrow afternoon. I think I might be able to drill a circle just the sice I need with my hole saws I used on a tank for 3/4 inch bulkheads. I might need to grind down the impeller a bit because it has a hex shaped piece that the old needlewheels sat on. I superglued them on with the gutter mesh.
 

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I was actually going to make a post similar to this, but now I don't have to. However, the main message of mine was going to be that I modded my NW-150 and the improvement has been tremendous. I was lucky to get an inch of scum over the course of a week with maximum extension on the adjustment, pre-mod. Post-mod I can skim super wet if I need to, or pull the nastiest thickest gunk I've ever seen at a slower rate.

I was really disappointed in the Octopus NW-150 pre-mod. From what I've read, it seems like the older models (the ones with the neck gasket) were more effective. I'm not digging the "second collection cup" area, you know what I mean?

In response to your questions:

1. Good
2. I didn't do this. I left the remaining wheel stock
3. I wove fishing line through the mesh and around the needles by hand and tied it off. I haven't had any issues. I hear zip ties work fine too.
4. Yup. Make sure your mesh isn't dragging along the interior of the casing. Check with a kill-a-watt if you're paranoid. It should be easy to find the recommended wattage online or something
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Woohoo! I think I'm gold! I have the gate valve wide open and the bubbles are about 2" from getting going into the collection cup after only 15 minutes. I may have to cut the stand pipe down. The water level is about an inch lower than I'm used to keeping it.

Thanks everyone, especially Fly Guy for hooking me up with that link.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was actually going to make a post similar to this, but now I don't have to. However, the main message of mine was going to be that I modded my NW-150 and the improvement has been tremendous. I was lucky to get an inch of scum over the course of a week with maximum extension on the adjustment, pre-mod. Post-mod I can skim super wet if I need to, or pull the nastiest thickest gunk I've ever seen at a slower rate.

I was really disappointed in the Octopus NW-150 pre-mod. From what I've read, it seems like the older models (the ones with the neck gasket) were more effective. I'm not digging the "second collection cup" area, you know what I mean?

In response to your questions:

1. Good
2. I didn't do this. I left the remaining wheel stock
3. I wove fishing line through the mesh and around the needles by hand and tied it off. I haven't had any issues. I hear zip ties work fine too.
4. Yup. Make sure your mesh isn't dragging along the interior of the casing. Check with a kill-a-watt if you're paranoid. It should be easy to find the recommended wattage online or something
I got my new impeller in the mail yesterday and figured I could mod it better than the old one. I modded the old one by fashioning an acrylic disk with holes in it for the zip-ties and used 3 layers of PF4. It worked, but it was very sloppy and since I didn't use a drill press, the disc wasn't pefectly centered. So when I got the new impeller, I pryed off the top needle layer and slapped on 3 layers of PF4 using fishing string like DaytonaJoe did. I couldn't get the pump to start without blowing into the air line, but once it started, the collection cup quickly filled up with water. I cut off about an inch and a half off of the stand pipe and it made it a little better, but by this morning, the collection cup was filled with water again.

My questions are:
  1. Will the impeller eventually break in so that I don't have to manually get it the pump to kick in?
  2. Did anyone else have to cut down the standpipe a lot? I already cut off 1 1/2", the gate valve is wide open and it's still overflowing. Plenty of foam though. When I get home I'll probably cut another 1 1/2".
 

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I got my new impeller in the mail yesterday and figured I could mod it better than the old one. I modded the old one by fashioning an acrylic disk with holes in it for the zip-ties and used 3 layers of PF4. It worked, but it was very sloppy and since I didn't use a drill press, the disc wasn't pefectly centered. So when I got the new impeller, I pryed off the top needle layer and slapped on 3 layers of PF4 using fishing string like DaytonaJoe did. I couldn't get the pump to start without blowing into the air line, but once it started, the collection cup quickly filled up with water. I cut off about an inch and a half off of the stand pipe and it made it a little better, but by this morning, the collection cup was filled with water again.


My questions are:
  1. Will the impeller eventually break in so that I don't have to manually get it the pump to kick in?
  2. Did anyone else have to cut down the standpipe a lot? I already cut off 1 1/2", the gate valve is wide open and it's still overflowing. Plenty of foam though. When I get home I'll probably cut another 1 1/2".
1. It's funny, mine didn't want to start out of the box with two impellers, but it starts up on its own with my mesh mod. I only used 2 layers to your three, though.
2. Mine was overflowing on non-mod setting, but I was able to quickly adjust it. I never did a gate mod so I just moved the pipe down and it was under control.
 
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