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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a Red Sea Berlin XL for $20. As I got it, the port for the venturi was capped and it appears that either a pump that was capable of drawing air in was used, or an external airstone might have been used (or maybe both)

I removes the cap and installed a hose barb + hose for air. I hooked up a 600GPH pump to it and the skimmer wants to push water up the hose that would normally draw air.

I can't find a parts list or exploded diagram. Is there a separate venturi piece that I'm missing? anyone have good photos of the inlet side of the skimmer?
 

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I used to have one of those skimmers a long time ago. They came out with the Turbo version which I ordered the kit for. The turbo pump removed the venturi and replaced it with an airline and a needle wheel impeller. I am wondering if yours had the venturi removed for the turbo version and since you do not have that pump it may not work.

Here is a link to the manual for the new X2 version of that skimmer. You will see that it has not changed much over the years. The manual includes information and exploded views of both the normal, venturi, and the turbo models.

http://www.redseafish.com/languages/95/pdf/Berlin%20X2%20user%20manual%20A5%20Eng.pdf

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. The x2 manual is what I've been looking at but was wondering if my problems were from something in the original design. I think you are right about the modifications being for a turbo pump.

Will keep experimenting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought the venturi was at the base of the skimmer, and a normal pump was pushing water to the skimmer... It appears (at least in it's current configuration) that a venturi pump was being used. I don't have enough height to make the protein skimmer fit under the tank in the sump, and the nearest external place to put it is about 5 feet away (for cosmetic reasons).

New question.... My old CAP2200 don't seem to like to aerate the water and keep the bubbles fine along even a 2 ft. piece of hose. I'm not opposed to buying another pump but I don't see carrying fine bubbles 5ft without them dissipating in the water inflow tube.

Am I right in understanding that venturi's are installed on the pump's suction side? Is there an inline venturi that i can use close to the skimmer or am i looking at rigging up a good old fashioned airstone? What are my options?

Any help is appreciated.
 

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See if you can find any information on the Turbo Upgrade Kit they were selling at one time. Perhaps someone posted a link to the instruction manual somewhere. I know the first step was to remove the venturi with a special little tool that was included. When I sold mine I made sure to include all of the parts from before the upgrade for just in case.

On a side note, you now have me wanting to look into getting the new Red Sea Max 250! I am sure my wife will appreciate that, but don't worry I won't blame you for it. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LOL. I'll be your scapegoat if you can get this skimmer working...

With the turbo pump, I suspect 5ft is too far away to maintain aerated water (assuming pump is in the sump, and skimmer is not.)

I'll do some more searching...
 

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Sorry, we were cross posting and I did not see your new question.

Yes, the venturi is in the black inlet tube at the base of the skimmer. As you should have seen from the users manual the pump is supposed to lay flat next to the skimmer.

I am not too sure how you would go about getting it to work with a 5 foot run. Your logic makes sense that the bubbles would probably dissipate before they ever made it that far. Unfortunately I do not remember what type of a pump they came with in the first place either as I do believe it was somewhat specialized for that purpose.

Hopefully some of the DIY people will pop in here and have some suggestions for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm ordering a $20 Kent External Venturi from marinedepot.

Running a Mag 7 pump (or a few others I have here), I'm going to put the pump in the sump (duh) and install the venturi (3/4") right at the base of the protein skimmer. The venturi says it need 500-700GPH flow.

I'm hoping that somewhere between 500-700GPH of flow gives me enough room to allow enough flow to draw fine bubbles, but not too much to overflow the skimmer. In experimenting, a CAP2200 without aeration isn't enough to overflow the skimmer so hopefully I'm close...

The venturi in the Berlin XL has definitely been removed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tis the season.... :)

I visited a LFS on a whim while going somewhere else and they had a used, cracked berlin (non-XL) in a back room. The base is the same though and the owner gave it to me for parts, including the venturi I needed and the nylon nipple that goes above it.

Woohoo! That gets my big XL running...

I'm going to silicon up the smaller unit and expirement with it and see if I can get any decent results which will transfer to the larger one. Some of the mods on this site are pretty interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK... CAP2200 isn't anywhere near enough to "drive" this skimmer after adding the restriction of a venturi... That's the biggest spare pump I have without getting into something HUGE. *sigh*

I ordered a Kent venturi and a MAG7 pump and will follow the path of those who have successfully modded their Berlins for now. I still plan to experiment with the little Berlin though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK... CAP2200 isn't anywhere near enough to "drive" this skimmer after adding the restriction of a venturi... That's the biggest spare pump I have without getting into something HUGE. *sigh*

I ordered a Kent venturi and a MAG7 pump and will follow the path of those who have successfully modded their Berlins for now. I still plan to experiment with the little Berlin though.

For those looking for the info... Berlin manual calls for any pump that will push 500GPH @ 10 ft., or 4.3psi on the smaller Berlin. I still don't have any specs on the taller Berlin XL. The venturi screws inside the base housing and the turbo models don't have the venturi in the base housing; it's built into the pump. The little Berlin and the Berlin XL are the same, aside from taller tubes.
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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How did I miss a skimmer modification thread?

Are you sure the Mag7 is going to drive it? The venturi causes a drop in water volume as well as head pressure. If you can re-order, order a 9 and restrict the pump if you need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The thread says use a MAG7... Worst case, I have a brand new MAG9.5 returning water to the display. I'll swap the MAG9.5 for the MAG7 if I need more skimmer power. :)

I googled "Berlin Skimmer mods" and found quite a bit of info. HTHs
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The thread says use a MAG7... Worst case, I have a brand new MAG9.5 returning water to the display. I'll swap the MAG9.5 for the MAG7 if I need more skimmer power. :)

Kent External Venturi:

  • Ozone resistant
  • Great for DIY skimmers
  • 3/4in FPT Inlet, 3/4in MPT Outlet
  • Air inlet: 3/8in OD, 1/4in ID
  • Recommended flow rate is from 500 to 700gph. Up to 900gph if the output is pointed downwards.


I googled "Berlin Skimmer mods" and found quite a bit of info. HTHs
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Running a Mag 7 pump (or a few others I have here),
I ordered a Kent venturi and a MAG7 pump
The thread says use a MAG7... Worst case, I have a brand new MAG9.5 returning water to the display. I'll swap the MAG9.5 for the MAG7 if I need more skimmer power. :)
I assumed you ordered the Mag7. Earlier in the thread it says you already had it. Since you now have the parts and have it running, I don't think it matters now :)

Good luck with the modifications you do to it and post on how well they do/don't work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I assumed you ordered the Mag7. Earlier in the thread it says you already had it. Since you now have the parts and have it running, I don't think it matters now :)

Good luck with the modifications you do to it and post on how well they do/don't work for you.
:doh:

"Running a Mag 7 pump (or a few others I have here),"

Should have read more like - I plan to run a MAG7 pump (if i order one) and Kent venturi, otherwise I'll try a few other pumps that I have here with the Kent venturi.

I have a bunch of little pumps, and three very large pumps but nothing in the MAG7 -> MAG 12 range aside from the MAG 9.5 that's returning water to the display.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE:

So the MAG7 and the Kent Venturi came in... Since others are recommending the larger pump as well, I went ahead and swapped the new MAG7 in to return water to the display, and used the MAG 9.5 to drive the skimmer.

I plumbed the Mag9.5 to the Kent Venturi to the Berlin XL. It made fine bubbles, at long last but even with the pump running flat out and the venturi open it wasn't producing enough foam to rise out the top of the skimmer.

I disassembled it and upon closer inspection, the Kent Venturi has a factory defect of plastic flash (extra plastic) covering the area near the Venturi. If you look through the Venturi as the water flows, imagine seeing a cloverleaf shaped hole. After some serious debating about if that flash was supposed to be there, I decided to clear the Venturi hole. I carefully ran a round needle file inside the venturi to make the opening round. Reinstalled the whole thing and turned the pump on...

It filled the berlin MUCH FASTER! And then wet, white foam shot out the top and down the outlet hose to the carpet! I plugged the venturi air inlet and ran just the pump to ensure that without air, it wouldn't flood. It works great! Now I just need to throttle back the air into the venturi and this skimmer appears like it's going to work absolutely fantastic.

:thumbup:
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Congrats Rich. You can get an air valve at any LFS or pet store that sells air pumps. And, even though you know it now, you were right about the protrusion not supposed to be there.
 
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