Space saving skimmer
ReefWizard In Training
Posted: 12/7/2013 from Dade City, FL
I have a wet-dry filter that came with a protein skimmer that I needed to replace. Unfortunately, the space available wouldn't allow most of your "better reviewed" skimmers to fit. I read reviews about how "cheaply" the Tunze DOC was made, but didn't have many other choices to pick from, so decided to give it a try.
Yes it is made of plastic rather than the stronger, more expensive acrylic, however, it is not cheaply made or constructed. I wouldn't go beating it against a tree, but when handled with a relative small amount of care, I have had no issues with the plastic's strength or quality.
There is definitely a learning curve to getting it to work correctly and well. That being said, I will offer my little pearls of wisdom that I have learned.
First, when using the skimmer in a sump, the "Water-line" printed on the outside of the unit is not in the correct location, at least on my unit. I've found that by raising the unit about a 1/2" ~ 3/4" higher than indicated, it skims out a lot more skimmate, and is quieter than at the indicated height. In my sump, that is right about at the limit to where the water exiting the hole, in the back panel that attaches to the side of the sump, is almost at the point to where it would jet over the side of the sump, but doesn't quite make it.
Second, after about 6 months or so, the whole unit needs to be completely disassembled and have all parts thoroughly cleaned, especially the air "way". The top cover does come off by carefully lifting the front and pulling forward and up. This allows access to the air hose running from the top, thru the middle "shelf", and into the diffusing chamber. By using a piece of nylon string with knots of the correct size tied into it, you can then run the knots thru the tubing and attachment holes to clean out any accumulated material. Don't pull the hose thru the hole in the middle "shelf" if possible, it's a little difficult to get it back thru the hole, as the hose is flared on both ends because of attaching to their respective pieces.
Once I figured out those 2 things, and get the air intake dialed in correctly, I usually get between 300-400ml of skimmate a week on a well stocked 75 gal reef system with nothing more than cleaning out the collection cup when too much skimmate sticks to the incoming side of the cup, preventing the foam from reaching the top.
Hope this review is helpful. Happy reefing.
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