I think next time I’d definitely go for building and in-sump unit. That's the way to go. I didn't have room this time around. The beckett is the way to go for sure. I just happen to have another with a huge sand bed filter may out of 6" OD acrylic tube. It's just calling my name.
Now for a little bubble babble:
What would I change? For sure you need some kind of bubble baffle mechanism to quell the outflow of micro bubbles. An internal angle with an inlet opposite the drain *or* and internal raiser tube. These are very smart designs that I really didn't totally understand the purpose until now. The feed water level and return are extremely important. Because of this it is difficult to build and effective skimmer that fits under cabinet. This thing skims like a mad dog. I think mostly due to the size. I don't think it would be as effective if I weren't able to push the volume of water I do through it. (toned down Iwaki 55). Therefore skimmers with short, low volume reaction chambers just aren't that effective. Not that they have to be huge, but big enough to able to handle larger volumes of flow than I've seen on most skimmers. So tall is more effective because gravity helps a lot here. The reaction chamber on this unit probably holds close to three gallons.
I think skimmers with a base sump work well because the sump holds the majority of volume. The raiser helps handle the flow. Together you can pump quite a bit of water through these units. Build the sump part larger (not too big) and you don't need all the raiser height. The trick is, just like with this unit, not pumping out a mass of micro bubbles. There's a sweet spot with most skimmers. Once you find it it's amazing how much gunk it collects. I don’t think there’s a massive performance difference between most decent skimmers except for the volume of water they can move.
Seeing the amount of gunk this pulls out of about 100 galloons makes me think of how skimmers are rated and how these ratings are way too generous.
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