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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

Been testing my sump in the past week and I have encountered a Problem.

Here is my sump:






First, the problem I am having.

In the first picture, I have lowered the water to a level that the skimmer actually sucks in air and does its job. You can see that it is about 2.5" lower then the center "over" baffel. When the water is at running height, the skimmer doesn't suck in air. In pic 2, it shows to stand contrapshon I made to make this thing fit into my 10Gal sump. So I already have the skimmer elevated.

I suppose I could add some height to the skimmer/pump assembly, but that will get me very close to the bottom of the thank.

I could remove the center baffel, trim and reinstall, but then my running level will be slightly deeper then my return pump.

Has anyone used an airpump to pump air into a skimmer that is in deep water?

Thoughts please :freak:
 

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Ok... what kind of skimmer is that? brand? I think a good portion of your problem is they way the pump has to pump water into teh skimmer via all that piping. The shorter the piping the less head your pump is going to have on it. That directly translates into better performance for your skimmer. So... if you have to run the pump that way to fit it in the sump, get rid of 90% of the PVC that goes from the pump into the skmmer body.
 

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Hey Guys,

Been testing my sump in the past week and I have encountered a Problem.

Here is my sump:






First, the problem I am having.

In the first picture, I have lowered the water to a level that the skimmer actually sucks in air and does its job. You can see that it is about 2.5" lower then the center "over" baffel. When the water is at running height, the skimmer doesn't suck in air. In pic 2, it shows to stand contrapshon I made to make this thing fit into my 10Gal sump. So I already have the skimmer elevated.

I suppose I could add some height to the skimmer/pump assembly, but that will get me very close to the bottom of the thank.

I could remove the center baffel, trim and reinstall, but then my running level will be slightly deeper then my return pump.

Has anyone used an airpump to pump air into a skimmer that is in deep water?

Thoughts please :freak:
If I read this right you're saying it works, but the water level is too high in the sump. Sounds like your only real choice (or easiest one anyway) is to raise the skimmer (again).
 

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I know I have seen a few discussions on here about people using an airpump to force feed air into the skimmer. At this point it doesn't sound like you have anything to lose, and may be pleasantly surprised at how well the skimmer works if you try it.

Worst case scenario you post back out here and look for some other options. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm going to give the airpump a shot.

It's a nautilus TE and a MAG7...on a 46 Gal Bowfront....Maybe Overkill, But when I got larger, Ill be covered. Ill let you all know how it works out.

The Black and clear pipes are "factory". I added the white PVC and stand. So I really didn't all alot of pipe since I was supposed to connect the output of the pump to the skimmer via a 3/4" ID flex pipe.

Thanks!
 

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ok here's the issues with using an air pump...

Too much air can cause the pump to cavitate, thus burning up the pump. You need a high quality needle valve to hold it's setting.
back siphon of water into the air pump causing a flood or failure.
If you have to use and air pump on a needle wheel skimmer of this size there is bigger issues.

Even though that maybe factory it still is very inefficient (thus why this is not a more commonly used skimmer) Remove all that piping from the plumb to the body and it will help this skimmer tremendously. Needlewheel pumps do not like head pressure, they have a hard enough time just mixing the air in and moving it through the skimmer body when they are plumbed straight into the body and don't have the extra 2' of head pressure your skimmer has on it...

Instead of adding some else that may fail to you skimmer, just try removing the PVC and connecting straight into the skimmer.

In a decent skimmer you should be able to run the pump at a depth of 12" without major issue, just a slight reduction in performance. I noticed yours has to be around 6" of water before it will pull air, So there has to be a head pressure or efficiency issue of the venturi/pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok...I think after reading Fat Tonys' Response, I will try to remove the PVC and Plumb it in as intended. I have read about a mod for this skimmer, but cannot find any pictures of the mod. It involves cutting off the "factory" inlet elbow (the black one attached to the clear tubing) and attaching the pump the straight into the skimmer. I am not sure how to connect the pump to the inlet if I cut off the elbow. The MOD also used a needle valve to limit the intake of air. Here is that post:
http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f6/the-nautilus-strikes-back-69334.html

I would like to try this, but not before seeing how the pump would be connected.

Thanks
 

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If it was mine, here is how I would mod it.

Remove the acrylic base and detach the PVC you made.

Cut the clear acrylic tube down so it was about an inch or so long. This will effectively remove the black elbow as well.

With a short piece of vinyl tubing or pvc, connect the output of the pump directly to the clear acrylic tube. The pump will now be upside down but that won't affect anything. I think your water level will be deep enough to keep the pump submerged.

Installing an airline valve is easy. Just connect it to the open end of the PVC air silencer or remove the silencer and stick it into the airline.

I would also work out some plumbing for the exit and lose the black sponges. A gate valve mod like the ones used on ASM skimmers would work.
 

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Bad pic but it's what I would try. The red is all the removed pieces. I'm one of those people who tinker with everything though. My skimmer got modded before it even got plugged in for the first time.
 

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I'm no expert. But isn't the really nasty stuff that you'd really like to be getting into the skimmer closer to the floor of the sump?
 

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I'm no expert. But isn't the really nasty stuff that you'd really like to be getting into the skimmer closer to the floor of the sump?
Not really. Skimmers remove waste products from the water column. In a properly setup tank, the detritus should be suspended in the water for removal. If you have solid detritus building up on the floor of your sump you have an excess nutrient issue. The best way to remove that is a wet/dry vac.
 

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Pump feed just needs to be more direct. Every 90 degree adds a foot of head pressure. I tried the airpump method a while ago and it never worked for me. It usually just meant there was a pressure problem or venturi is screwed up, clogged or somethin.

I have an old Red Sea classic XL and the other day I eliminated all the fittings and hose between it and screwed it directly into the skimmer. Big difference in the foam produced.

Incidently for anyone who still has one of these triple pass models, if you get the new turbo pump with the needle wheel, you can bypass the venturi and use the pump's air inlet. Between that and the triple pass mechanism you get performance as good as today's overpriced skimmers. IMO of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, I have a game plan. Im taking some pipe into work with the original parts and going to have the machinist use the lathe to replicate them. This will allow me to plug in standard PVC pipe and valves so I can do the MODs without destroying OEM components.

Q: What is a Triple Pass Model?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Moved the pump

Alright, I had new fittings made and ordered a gate valve. That should be here today. When I install that, I'll take some pics of the mods.

In other news, I tried the skimmer with the new pump configuration, old exhuast tube setup and man is this thing loud! Most of the bothersome noise is from the Mag7. It sounds like it is grating sand and stuff...granted, this is a problem it's had since day one, so it's not from moving the pump. It is a used pump.
Could it be worn out?
Will any pump I use sound like this because of the air being sucked into the intake for the skimmer to work?
Should I be considering a smaller skimmer? I know big is good, but this Kent Nautilius TE seems like overkill on the 46 Bowfront with a 10 gallon sump.
IF I got smaller, what skimmer would everyone recommend? It should be smaller and most importantly quietier then the one I have. Ohh, and it shouldn't break the bank either - less then 100 with a pump would be good. I'm not looking for indy car performace, just good performance.

Sorry for all the Q's.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK, I replaced the impeller. No more grating sounds. But there is a tremndous amount of vibration from the pump that is transfered to the skimmer, then the glass and finally the tank stand. Does the impeller take several days to break in?

Ps, the 1/2 gate valve I ordered restricts flow too much. Ill have to order another.
 
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