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Skimmer Frustrations

Discussion in 'Lighting and Equipment' started by Sour137, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    So as the box fan is running to dry my carpet this morning, i'm pondering solutions to prevent this from happening. Sometime in the night, the bubble level in my skimmer rose six inches, and pulled five gallons of water out of my sump. I woke up about an hour ago to dripping, and my return pump pulling air, and an 'oh fuck no.' Yesterday I pulled my skimmer out for a deep cleaning as it was the scheduled time to do it. I've got the SRO-2000INT skimmer, with the collection cup draining to a 3 gallon bucket. What I've looked at in the time since soaking up as much water as I can is installing a float switch to turn off the skimmer in the event this happens again. I'm looking at the https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/aquahub-diy-top-it-off-kit-premium.html . Does anyone have any experience in installing one of these, or something like it, for turning off a pump rather than turning one on?

    Also, I'm at a loss as to why it overflowed anyway. After turning the skimmer back on, I spent about two hours adjusting it, and it had been stable for about ten hours when I went to bed last night. There has not been any deaths in the tanks, and no obvious reasons as to why the skimmer went crazy. I remeasured this morning and the skimmer is actually sitting a half inch below it's designed depth, so I'll probably add some tile or something to lift it a little bit, but it has been sitting there since mid-April when I installed it.

    Other solutions I have looked at is running a pump across my basement to drain the overflow, but that is impractical, and placing the bucket in a basin to collect any overflow. I also want to add some form of hydroxide to the bucket to prevent the intense sulfuric aroma that occurs when I dump the bucket. Thankfully there was not any in the bucket this time as that would have been significantly more of a mess.

    So any ideas as to why it went crazy last night, and other things I can do to prevent soaking my carpet?
     
  2. jda123

    jda123 Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    They all can fail. If you want dry carpet and a stable tank, don't use a drain. The overflow will go back into the tank, but this is not any problem since the skimmer cup was clean anyway. I have never, and will never, use an external collection cup.

    Even if you move the output to a drain, if you did not catch this, your ATO (if you have one), could crash your tank with low salinity.

    Just let the cup fill and empty it more often - this is the safest.
     
    timnem70 likes this.
  3. jda123

    jda123 Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Oh, it probably went crazy last night because there was residue from the cleaning keeping the bubbles down. As the residue resided, then it produced more. This is similar to when a skimmer is new.
     
  4. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    That's a reasonable solution. I've got an automatic neck cleaner so it makes extrication a tad difficult. Can the skimmate be toxic to the fish?
     
  5. timnem70

    timnem70 Amphipod

    Need a return pump for my new 25 gallon cube sump. Prefer an Eheim or Sicce and for it to be around 500-800gph. Let me know what ya have.

    Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
     
  6. timnem70

    timnem70 Amphipod

    Have no idea why this posted. Forgive me.

    Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
     
  7. jda123

    jda123 Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Skimmate will just turn back into organics - it sucks, but better than a crashed tank. If you keep the cup rather clean, then this is minimal.. if you don't empty your cup for a few months, then more troublesome. You can also have the overflow container over the top of the sump so that if it overflows, then no mess, but it can also catch some junk for easier cleaning. A plastic milk jug can work well for this.
     
  8. zombie

    zombie Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Using a float in a controller to turn off the skimmer when the high level float opens or when the return pump turns off can easily prevent this issue with an extremely high reliability. If you use an external overflow container, you would want a float in there as well as a final layer of safety. This saves both overflow into a tank (which can cause a crash, but less likely than a severe overflow reducing salinity) and keeps your floors dry and not smelling like piss.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.
     
  9. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    I use a 5 gallon bucket as an external collector. I have a float that shuts the skimmer off (via Apex) if the 5 gallon gets too full/skimmer has an overflow. Same as Zombie states above.
     
  10. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Well my RKL is maxed out on the inputs I can add right now. Or are you talking about something else. I've been considering doing a Rapberry Pi controller, and this might be the perfect application.

    For now this will be the plan. It bubbled up a bit again last night, but not quite as much. Currently it is adjusted to that level. I don't have an ato currently so I just looked at it as a really small water change.

    ​​​​​
    This is where I would eventually like to be as the collection cup is difficult to remove because I have an automatic neck cleaner, and not much clearance at the top.
     
  11. zombie

    zombie Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    Can you add a SW5 module? That would give you 4 more inputs.

    You might be an engineer if...You have no life and can prove it mathematically.
     
  12. Fitz19d

    Fitz19d Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Adjusting after cleaning is problem. It will run low after cleaning usually. Give it a day then adjust if needed. In my case i usually lower bubble level a bit when cleaning some when i go for 2 months between scrubs I've had to crank it up occasionally and cleaning removes the need for that higher setting.
     
  13. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    Well I had read the rkl can have a maximum of 4 inputs. Right now I have 2xPB4, ALC and the temperature probe. I'll have to look into whether I can use the SW5, or the inputs on it. If I can that would be great.
     
  14. DJBM3

    DJBM3 Amphipod

    ...And this made me decide not to use a collection cup.
     
  15. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    To update. I've been running just the skimmer cup since this happened. This morning the skimmer cup was full, but it did not overflow. The water level was oscillating up and down inside the cup, and it is my suspicion that the full skimmer cup was overflowing back into the skimmer cone. So I pulled the plug from the cup and hooked up a hose to drain it to the bucket I was using, collecting almost all of it. This gave me the idea of putting a small ball valve on the hose from the skimmer cup so I can drain it without having to pull the cup off every time. Has anyone done this? It seems like a compromise in between both having an external collection cup and not.
     
  16. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    BOOM! Seems like the perfect solution!
     
  17. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    You mean like this [​IMG]
     
  18. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    You mean like this [​IMG]
     
  19. jda123

    jda123 Barracuda M.A.S.C Club Member

    This is what I do. I would MUCH rather have the skimmer stop working than have a flood. I don't go more than a day without checking everything, so it will just usually be offline for a few hours. Just the skimmer cup will not overflow, it will just keep the skimmer from making more. Drains and collection reservoirs will overflow.

    Have you you tried to set it to skim more dry?
     
  20. Sour137

    Sour137 Copepod

    That is exactly what I mean. That looks like a solid set up. I might have a small ball valve in a bag of unused parts that might do the trick.

    I had. I dry skimmed for about three months before all of this went down. With that long of a time comes a really foul skimmate bucket. I know of ways to prevent that from happening, but I'm decently satisfied with how things are going right now. Initially after putting the skimmer back to work after the deep clean I had intended to dry skim. I didn't change the setting on the skimmer's gate valve, but it went absolutely crazy. All in all it pulled about five gallons out of the sump causing my return to blow bubbles into the tank. Thankfully I don't run an ato so I didn't have salinity worries. I just mixed up a seven gallon batch of fresh salt water and looked at it as a really small water change. I have some minor concerns about my stand soaking up a little of that water, but it is painted with kilz, and built like a steel shithouse. Right now the skimmer is running a little wet. I probably produce about a half gallon per week, which is fine by me.
     

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