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Related Articles: Tunze 9002 DOC Skimmer Product Review by Justin Norman, Skimmers by Steven Pro, Protein Skimmer Impressions By Steven Pro, Marine Filtration, Mechanical, Physical & Chemical, and FAQs

Even artificially dyed specimens need clean water

PRO-TEIN CLEAN Touch Less Plug & Play Protein skimmer New product Launch December 6th, 2015     11/26/15
Hello Bob,
<Hey James!>
It was great talking with you this evening! You clearly have a lot of knowledge in the field and know many of the important contacts in the industry.
<Ah yes; a lifetime well-spent in the trade, hobby and science of ornamental aquatics>
Thank you for offering to help me in the effort of promoting this advancement of this new technology and linking my business with other businesses in the industry.
<Glad to aid your success>
James A Vassallo here & I live in Covington WA and have invented, patented, & manufactured the future in protein skimmers by adding automation, silence & simplicity to the decades old protein fractioner!
With this design there are no more manual adjustment valves, no more collection container flooding, no more sucking & hissing sounds, no more sewer smells, no more unplugging water pump to empty collection container, no more worrying about how low your sump tank water level has gotten & how that has effected your protein skimmer, and no more babysitting your
fractioner! Just put it in & plug it in and forget it! It compensates for moderate algae growth as well as nighttime power increases when the lights go out on the same circuit.
I will be giving a live demonstration in the reserved Chinook banquet room at the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, WA December 6th, 2015. Doors open at 2:00PM!
It is the first automated self adjusting internal water level PRO-TEIN CLEAN Touch Less Plug & Play Protein skimmer.
I have met with the owners of 8 of the area Salt Water aquarium owners so far and showed them the product and the YouTube video they are very impressed! They all have agreed to hand out my brochures to their customers and they are available on the front checkout counters in their stores.
<Good beginning promotion and opportunity for valid feedback>
Local saltwater aquarium stores in Western Washington that are promoting my event & product:
Owner Jonas at "Sierra Aquarium & Pets" Renton, WA
Owner Mike "Aquariums By Design" Tukwila, WA. He will be at the event.
Owner Dominic "Aquarium Paradise" Lakewood, WA
Owner Dan "The Fish Store" Seattle, WA
Manager Clayton "Denny's Pet World" Kirkland, WA. He will be at the event.
Manger Mikayla "Barrier Reef Aquariums" Renton, WA
Manger Shannon "Tropical Fish World & Pets" Sumner, WA
I received a phone call from the president of the Pacific Northwest Marine Aquarium Society John Manrow and not only is he coming in from Portland, OR to see the demonstration, he is organizing car pools for other Pacific Northwest Marine aquarium Society members as well!
<A very nice fellow>
YouTube Event Promo Video: https://youtu.be/Tv6GI4rw0sg (Please hit the "Like" button for me :-)
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv6GI4rw0sg&feature=youtu.be>  &feature=YouTube
U.S. Patent # 9078419 Public Website Link:
&s2=skimmer. I.&OS=TTL/protein+AND+TTL/skimmer&RS=TTL/protein+AND+TTL/skimmer>
D&d=PTXT&s1=protein.TI.&s2=skimmer. I.&OS=TTL/protein+AND+TTL/skimmer&RS=TTL
U.S. Patent Issue date July 14, 2015. Written by SEED Intellectual Property Law Firm in Seattle. Patent Pending in 148 countries.
Please feel free to contact me in any way you prefer.
Changing the world one protein skimmer at a time.
Inventor, Owner
J. Allan Vassallo
<As we chatted; please DO send along "releases" of information re your product/s, and ask away re whom you might contact for further help. Bob Fenner>

Horrible Protein Skimmer; sel., op. f's      8/29/15
I am writing today with questions regarding a reef octopus (1000) protein skimmer, it is a hang on back, and currently I hate it. Contrary to many online reviews, excluding yours, it seemed to be an appropriate option for my 65 gallon mixed reef. I have given it the time that the customer service support agent recommended when I contacted them about the issues I am and continue to encounter. It has been running for almost six months now. The tank has 0 ammonia and nitrite but nitrate is 10-20ppm. I have two clownfish, who are starving because I don't want to add food and nitrates, some xenia, mushrooms, and my live rock.
<Mmm; do feed the Clowns, in fact all life here.... better by far... >
This is bothersome and not ideal for adding livestock. The problem is that the skimmer consistently produces, well, water? No smell or nastiness or even foam to speak of, and so far has overflowed the collection cup in the middle of the night with no obvious reason multiple times. So, is there a hob protein skimmer that addresses the overflow vulnerability, at this point I would be happy if it just ran straight back into the tank. Also budget, I seem to have failed with the reef octopus, unless there is some unforeseen solution you might suggest?
<Yes; there are other makes, models... these are addressed on WWM>
I could probably spend $200 more on a different skimmer at this sad point, but not the $2000 for the Deltec that seems to be the only one that specifically addresses the overflow concern. Does the aqua c have a design that might cause an overflow to be funneled back into the tank, or another with a more modest cost?
<Their Remora line, middle or largest size would work; or the Urchins>
And I guess it wouldn't hurt if the equipment actually produced foam, the reef octopus is either incapable or I am vastly confused.
<Mmm; well; the issue might be "your water/system".... sometimes some don't produce much skimmate>
Finally while I am expressing my discontent, I can't put my hand in the tank without an immediate overflow by this stupid machine.
<Mmm; do you have test kits for alkalinity and Calcium, Magnesium? Am curious what your general water quality is here>
I use ro/di water, 0 tds with a meter, I don't add any chemicals and I do thoroughly rinse my hands before inserting them, but I can't have this overflow every time I try to smother that vermetid snail, chuckle. He constantly irritates with his mucous web but as long as he doesn't reproduce. Thank you in advance. Your time is so appreciated.
<Let's keep chatting for now. Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmer (possible problems/replacement options) – 09/19/12
Hey crew,
For some reason my Bubble Magus NAC-6 is no longer producing any skim/waste into my collection cup.
<<Mmm, could be a couple of things. While unlikely I think, maybe your system is at a point where there’s not much to produce. Or… Maybe, there’s something ailing with the skimmer>>
I’ve adjusted the intake valve and cleaned the skimmer. Still no luck.
So my question is could the pump inside be weakening?
<<It could…through possible “swelling” of the impeller magnet and the subsequent drag created (and a very damaging condition if so). Or perhaps the mesh-wheel has become damaged/worn. If this last, a simple replacement may take care of the issue>>
Do you hear of Bubble Magus giving people trouble?
<<I can’t say just off hand…>>
Also part two of this email is, I've done quite a bit of research on your site, and still can’t come to the conclusion of what type of skimmer I should buy?
<<My recommendation..? Get the best needle-wheel skimmer you can afford>>
Need an in sump skimmer (in case the Bubble Magus has given me all it's got). My specs are 75g mixed reef, low-medium waste.
<<Check out the in-sump offerings from Reef-Dynamics, Bubble King, and yes, Reef-Octopus…follow the manufacturer’s recommendation re size>>
<<Happy to share… EricR>>

Oceanic Bio Cube Protein Skimmer 3/10/10
Yes I know its terrible, but I have heard that most of the time it does do something. So I recently bought it. Yet I am having trouble getting it to work. I made sure the stock pump and airline tubing, including the air stone was free of clogs. It is placed half way in my aquarium as this was recommended. The issue is it is not producing enough bubbles to even reach the collection cup. Is there a break-in time?
<Break-in time has nothing to do with bubble production. Sounds like you may have a tight grained Limewood air stone. Try placing the stone in boiling water for a few minutes and see if that improves bubble production. If not, I'd replace the Limewood air stone and/or ensure your air pump is working properly.>
Please give me a hand or lead me to a FAQ about this skimmer.
Thanks a bunch,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Reef Octopus Protein Skimmer-If You Find One Get It/Skimmer Selection 3/9/10
<Hello Debbie.>
I hooked up a Reef Octopus 300 Dual hang-on protein skimmer and it is great. Within 2 days I had the darkest waste in the collection cups I have ever seen. I have a primitive but very successful 75 gallon tank ( no sump,
Eheim canister filter) with 70 pounds of live rock, a Yellow Tang, purple and yellow Pseudochromis, school of Chromis, a mating pair of maroon clowns, and a little blue and gold blenny with assorted worms, stars and crabs.
<I can see why you "had the darkest waste" with your present fish load in a 75 gallon tank.>
Back to the skimmer, you adjust the flow of skim by raising and lowering the collection cups, There is an o-ring around the cups that sets the cups in the frame, but then there is also a tightening screw in which you must use-don't depend on the o-ring. The dual model is large but still fits perfectly in my tank which is about 8 inches from my wall. The 2 pumps are powerful and they go into the tank water; intake is located next to both pumps. The out take is a large pipe that barely skims the top of my water so it gives the added benefit of turbulence to the surface. The skimmer is also very quiet which is another great thing for me since my previous skimmer was a Red Sea Prizm Pro Deluxe that was so loud I had to shut it off sometimes.
Hope this helps anybody who is thinking of buying a skimmer. Oh yes the one compliant <complaint> is that the instructions are too vague. I contacted the company and they told me they are in the process of re-writing complete
instructions and maintenance procedures.
<And hopefully, they will introduce a surface skimming option.>
<I thank you for sharing your experience with us. Will post for others to read.
James (Salty Dog)>
Debbie Applegate  

Skimmer Trade? (And Plumbing Issues Too!) -- 02/01/10
Hi, and thanks in advance for any help you provide.
<<Hiya Pam'¦let's see if I can be of service>>
I have inherited my college freshman's reef.
<<Mmm'¦hopefully this will read better than the majority of such>>
Started with a free ('it will only cost you $40 worth of salt to get running') 55 gallon set-up with standard fluorescent lighting
<<Ha! I'm guessing you didn't inquire/think past the 'to get running' phrase'¦>>
'¦over three or four years it is now a 150 gallon set-up.
<<Ah! This is actually better for you/your livestock re the increased stability of the larger system. Also 'I'm just a BIG/BIGGER tank kind of guy>>
(hmmm if only we had known 'that was a really dirty trick...just kidding!)
<<Ah well, rare is the hobbyist who doesn't think about upsizing>>
We love the 'little piece of the ocean' and I don't mind the upkeep while the progeny is away at school studying biology.
<<That's a good thing as you will likely keep/have this tank for some time 'I'm betting>>
However, I am an amateur and working hard to learn through on-the-job training...
<<Read, read, read'¦>>
Bought used, the system came with a ProClear Pro 300 used as a sump, no bioballs or anything.
<<It's not uncommon to see 'converted' wet/dry filters used as sumps on reef systems>>
The ProClear is a strange design with one end side lower (yikes! I'm sure there is a point to that, but it annoys me)
<<Indeed 'a wet/dry filter generally runs with a quite low water level (remember, it wasn't designed as a 'sump'). I reckon the design saves on material'¦perhaps eases access 'or maybe someone just thought it looked snazzy [grin] >>
so to avoid the possibility of an overflow in the event of a power failure I only keep about 15 gallons of water in it. The water level is about 7-8'.
<<This is about normal 'though if there is room and it is desired 'a larger, simple plain glass tank could be utilized to increase volume>>
Overflow water dumps into the first compartment then into a felt filter sock that is washed 2X week.
<<Kudos on the maintenance of the filter socks'¦a huge source of decaying organic matter>>
We are using an ASM skimmer (G-3 I think) with a Sedra ksp-5000 needle wheel pump in the second compartment; it is emptied/cleaned 2X week. The return pump is in the third compartment along with the float switch for the auto top-off and the return for the phosphate reactor. Oh, and there is Chaeto growing albeit very slowly in the third compartment as well.
<<The Chaetomorpha would serve better in a dedicated refugium receiving raw water from the tank, and then drained directly to the pump chamber of the sump. The slow growth is likely due to much of the organic/nitrogenous material being removed by the filter sock and skimmer before it reaches the macroalgae (assuming it is sufficiently 'illuminated' for growth to begin with). But still, this is not all bad'¦ As long as the Chaetomorpha is healthy and not decaying/falling apart, it is providing an excellent matrix for epiphytic matter, small beneficial crustaceans/planktonic organisms, et al>>
I use Bulk Reef Supply's two part product and magnesium to keep parameters at about:
dKH 9
Calcium 400
Magnesium 1280
pH 8.2
Others are:
Salinity 1.026
No detectable nitrate, phosphate or ammonia on API kit
<<All good>>
There are just a handful of fish, a yellow tang, hippo tang,
<<This tank is quite borderline for this very robust, active, and even skittish fish'¦in my opinion>>
three Chromis, a scooter blenny, and a pair of clownfish. A lot of coral, and a very mixed assortment'¦About ten smallish sps colonies, a few mushrooms, a small cauliflower sized hammer, a softball sized candy cane and two smaller ones, a huge open brain, two large Cynarina, a Sinularia and two Sarcophytons, some pulsing xenia, GSP, as well as several Blastos, micros and Acans. Lots of Zoanthid colonies 'I think that is the bulk of it.
<<Ah yes, the ubiquitous 'reef garden' for sure. If not already, I would run a cup or two of carbon on this system, or perhaps some cut-up Poly-Filter (not to be confused with polyester filter material) as a hedge against this noxious mix of organisms>>
2-250W metal halides and two actinic VHOs. I have no idea how much rock, it was bought a little at a time 'it probably takes up about ¼ of the volume of the tank 'just a guess. Everyone seems to be happy and healthy and growing.
Too much information? LOL
<<Not at all>>
My question is this, and I feel crazy considering it'¦ My friend is getting rid of a 240 gal set-up. She has been using an AquaEuro USA downdraft skimmer with a RIO 2500 pump. It seems quieter than the ASM
<<Really? I wouldn't expect this (I generally find downdraft skimmers to be noisier and requiring more powerful and 'energy hungry' pumps than needle-wheel skimmers)'¦I wonder if the skimmer is 'underpowered' with the RIO pump'¦ And as a note 'the RIO pump is not a good performer for the long term>>
and she's willing to trade the ASM for it before her system goes to a new home. My husband and I would love to reduce the noise a little, however, since everything seems to be rocking along pretty well, I wonder if I am nuts thinking about trying something new. To add to my worries, I can't find a lot of info about the AquaEuro downdraft pro or con. What do you think?
Given the option, would you trade skimmers?
<<I would not 'but then I am extremely fond of the needle-wheel style of skimmer (I have a Euro-Reef CS12-3 on my own reef system). While the GSM skimmers don't necessarily utilize the best of materials in some instances in my opinion (polycarbonate vs. acrylic), I would still favor it over the 'unknown' downdraft skimmer here. As for the noise re the GSM'¦ If it is more than a couple years old, replacing the pump and/or impeller may help, as the Sedras do 'wear' quite readily in my experience>>
On a side note, a lot of the noise seems to stem from the overflow water as it rushes into the sump
<<Oh'¦very common>>
'¦any suggestions there?
<<Several 'possibly>>
From the overflows the water travels down flexible ribbed tubing that looks like something from a swimming pool.
<<Hmm'¦replacing this with 'smooth' rigid PVC pipe can help re the induced turbulence>>
Each dumps into T's that have about 7-8' of perforated pvc pointing down into the sump and about a 3-4' length of capped off PVC pointing upward. (if they aren't capped, it burbles water out the top.) I don't know what that is all about; it is the way it came.
<<Likely to alleviate the turbulence/noise (and associated bubbles) you mention. Perhaps an attempt to 'aspirate' the drain line, though this is better done 'at the top' where the drain exits the tank (do search WWM re). You could remove the 'tees' to reduce resistance/splash-back, and replace these with an 'ell' fitting to divert bubbles from going 'back up' the line, and positioned below the water line to further 'mute' noise. But if all this seems too daunting to take on 'simply reducing the volume of water pumped to the tank will result in a reduction in noise from the overflow(s). If you can tell me the specific number and diameter of your overflows/drain lines 'and the type/capacity of your return pump 'I can then better determine if this is a viable route to take. It is very possible that you are merely pumping more water to the tank than the drains can quietly (and maybe even safely) handle. It is very likely that a flow of just a few hundred gph would suffice 'and if you have a 1' drain trying to handle more than that, well'¦>>
Plumbing is not our strong point 'my husband is an electrician :)
<<So the lighting is no problem, eh [grin]'¦>>
Could some noise be reduced there with some modification?
<<No doubt 'but I need more/more detailed info on your pump and plumbing system>>
Thanks again!
<<Happy to share 'be chatting! Eric Russell>>
Re: Skimmer Trade? (And Plumbing Issues Too!) -- 02/02/10
Thanks Eric,
<<Quite welcome, Pam>>
Ha ha'¦ After previous encounters with a steady parade of reptiles, amphibians, mammals I fully knew that no "free" pet only costs $40 LOL!
<<Indeed'¦ And though I don't think it is the case here 'oftentimes the 'cost to that free pet' is much more (worse)>>
We know we'll end up with the 150-no problem,
<<Ah good>>
but of course it has involved a lot of education for me.
<<And some measure of enjoyment as well, I hope>>
I really appreciate your role in that. :)
<<Is my pleasure>>
Back to the matter at hand. There are two overflows in the tank each fitted with a Durso.
<<Durso'¦as in Durso Standpipe 'a very helpful device for improving the performance and increasing the 'silence' of the drain lines>>
I believe the outlets are 1" diameter.
<<Very likely so as this is (unfortunately) a very oft used diameter on production tanks. This being the case, you maximum flow capacity is about 600gph'¦and maybe less depending on the design of the system>>
The return pump is a Mag-12 1200 GPH.
<<Hmm'¦even with head loss I imagine the output is still a bit too much for your drains'¦creating a dangerous and 'noisy' surge/siphon effect. I suggest you install a gate-valve (not a difficult to adjust ball-valve) on the output side of the pump and temper the flow to see if this eases the noise from the drains>>
When you say the ells should be "positioned below the water line", they already are, the water level in the sump is above where they are plumbed in through the wall of the sump (if that makes sense) and of course they also discharge under the water level as the current pvc is about 7-8 inches long.
<<Ah, okay'¦then the 'tees' you mention are attached to this and positioned on a vertical plane? If it's possible, try twisting the tees to a horizontal plane (uncap the plugged end as well). Though this will probably be unnecessary if you reduce the flow from that Mag-12 pump>>
My question with reducing the size of the return pump would be with regard to flow and water turnover, etc.
We currently have the return water coming through LocLine that is positioned to emphasize the flow as well as two middle sized Hydor powerheads. Not sure what size but not the smallest and not the largest...how's that for being technical?
<<Hee-hee! Don't forget to adjust that thingy bob on the watchamacallit, too>>
That is it as far as flow or circulation is concerned. If we used a smaller return, do you think we would need to add another powerhead?
<<Maybe not, it depends on how the different organisms you have are positioned/placed in the tank and how the flow is adjusted re, and of course how much there is 'but it most likely wouldn't hurt. I've seen very, very few instances where a system wouldn't benefit from more water flow>>
Any other questions?
<<Not from me 'you?>>
Oh, and thanks for the opinion on the skimmer.
<<No problem 'have lots of 'em [grin]>>
<<Cheers'¦ EricR>>

Protein Skimmer overflowing -- 11/23/2009
Dear WWM Crew,
<Hey Alex! JustinN here>
I recently upgraded my protein skimmer from a Remora to a Vertex unit.
<Am not familiar with this brand, but they do appear decent at a glance.>
This is a large needle wheel skimmer, which performed nicely for me or a couple of months. Over the last few months, however, I have observed episodic extreme foaming, such that the skimmer, which is set up to produce a fairly dry skimmate, will foam uncontrollably, ejecting gallons of tank water out the drain tube. This has continued to happen, despite the fact that I have opened the output valve on the skimmer to maximum - most of the time it skims a very dry foam; but occasionally the overflow occurs.
<It does happen -- most often, its related to dosing the tank with some item, typically medications... I also note this occurring to a lesser extent than this when a storm is rolling into town and the barometric pressure shifts..>
I am thinking that some exudate from one of the tank inhabitants may be causing this - mucus shedding, or spawning.
<Is quite possible -- not having familiarity with the specific skimmer model, I unfortunately don't have much in the ways of recommendations for adjusting the problem away.>
I'm wondering if others have observed this phenomenon, and if so how has it been dealt with?
<Usually dealt with the same way you have -- adjust the skimmer as necessary.>
I am worried that I cannot leave the tank alone for a vacation unless I turn off the skimmer,
lest the top-off circuit over dilute it and harm my corals.
<What about a circuit similar to the top-off circuit, for your skimmer effluent? If it drains a certain level past, the skimmer no longer runs until the system is drained..>
Basic tank specs:
50 gallon main tank (2 years old), densely overgrown with Montipora, Acropora, Acanthastrea, Favia, various polyps, and two large leather corals. 60 gallons of sump split between DSB and fuge.
<Sounds nice! I would possibly contact the manufacturer and see if they have any prior complaints/experience with a solution. A float switch would be a down-and-dirty way to ensure that you won't over-drain your tank during a vacation though.. Good luck! -JustinN>

Aqua C or Octopus/Skimmer Selection 7/28/09
<Hello Juan>
first of all congratulations for your website, it has been my first reference when I have needed help with my freshwater tank. Now I am planning to set a saltwater aquarium of around 100 or 125 gallons (first year only fishes and then after getting more experience move to corals little by little).
The first thing I am planning to purchase is the skimmer, so I can custom design the sump. I have read several posts about skimmers, but I just have 2 options Aqua C EV 240 or Octopus Skimmers (Extreme 200 and maybe DNW 200 Recirculating; I don't know yet which one is better between these two).
<The DNW 200 requires a feed pump or plumbed from an overflow to inject water into the skimmer, so do keep that in mind.>
Based on reviews on this site AquaC looks great. It seems it only has one drawback which is the big pump needed to work (145 watts with Mag 18 for excellent performance). In the other hand the Octopus only uses a 30 watt pump.
<And less heat transfer.>
Aqua C seems better than Octopus, even though here in my country, Octopus is quite popular and some people start to prefer it over AquaC, so I am a little confused. Do you think is it worth the much higher operation cost of an AquaC over any of the Octopus Models.
<Although the EV 240 is a great skimmer, in this country, we are looking at $400.00 plus the cost of the pump, versus the Octopus 200 for just under
$300.00 with an Italian made Sicce PSK-2500 pump. The disadvantage of the Octopus 200 is that it requires a sump level of 8-10 inches to operate properly.
Both are good performing skimmers, but if it were my choice, with a budget in mind, I'd likely go with the Octopus.>
The initial cost is not a matter since the difference in price is not that much, what worries me more is the operation cost and the cost-benefit overall.
<Yes, the Mag 18 will draw nearly 79% more energy than the Sicce pump and with your tank selection of 100-125 gallons in mind, the Octopus 200 will be
a good performer for you. The EV 240 would be a little overkill.>
Thanks a lot for the time you take to answer our questions.
<You're welcome.>
If you find hard to understand my mail, please let me know I will try to rewrite it in a better way for you.
<Your writing is just fine my friend.>
Have a wonderful day.
<And you as well. James (Salty Dog)>
Juan Carlos

Aeration And Filtration Question 2/10/09
Problem With Leaking Skimmer

<Hello Glenn>
I appreciate your time. I have a 55 gallon aquarium with an Emperor 400 hob filter . I also have a hob needle wheel skimmer . It was skimming great but the pump seems to be acting up . I had been trying to get it to run continuously & got the fish shop I had purchased it from to give me another impeller. It still cuts off.
<What exactly do you mean, "cuts off"?>
Anyhow I noticed that it was making a mess behind my aquarium. Lots of splashing & loose water was on the back
wall & on the floor. What I want to know is I really don't need to get anymore fish. Is my HOB Emperor 400 enough filtration & aeration for 3 green Chromis & a long-nosed Hawkfish.
<Should be, the bio wheel should take care of the nitrogen cycle.>
Right now with this economy I really don't want to put much money in my aquarium & I'm concerned about the
water that was behind it . I have a plastic runner below the aquarium so its hard to now how much water has been splashing or seeping out. I am bothered by it though so I don't know if I really want to run it even if I get the pump
working. Any advice would be appreciated.
<You need to pinpoint where the water leak is coming from. Without seeing it, I cannot offer too much help here. You do not mention the brand name of the skimmer, so I can not even visualize where the problem may lie in that regard. Have you check "O" rings, if any, and hose connections if present outside the tank, and possibly a crack in the
skimmer body?
Is the collection cup seal leaking/overflowing?>
Thank You,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Aeration And Filter Question 2/11/09
Problem With Leaking Skimmer

When I say the pump is cutting off , It will run for about two minutes & shut off entirely . After about ten minutes it will start running again & couple minutes later shut off entirely again . The pet shop tested it & thought the impeller was bad . They exchanged impellers with one they had & had me try it at home . It didn't work or help .
<If the impeller assembly was bad you would likely hear noise.>
If I were a betting man I would say it probably has an electric short but I could be wrong.
<I believe you won the bet here. I'm thinking the winding in the pump may be shorted causing a thermal trip to activate or the winding expands slightly from the resulting heat and loss of electrical contact occurs and once the pump cools, restart occurs.>
I mean it just stops working entirely & then out of the blue starts pumping again . As far as the leak I really can't fully investigate without getting the skimmer to run longer than two or so minutes at a time . There was a lot of calcium & streaks on the back wall.
<And your wife does not like the mural?>
But if I get enough filtration & aeration from an Emperor 400 hob I won't sweat it.
<Should have no problems here.>
I just won't run my skimmer. I have an Aqua Euro USA HOB needle wheel skimmer . The pump would push water up into a chamber with a collection cup . Bubbles would go up toward the cup & the water would flow sideways into another chamber with a plastic pipe which lead the water back into the aquarium.
<Have you checked the warranty on the skimmer? Your LFS may replace the pump, or contact
Aqua Euro USA directly. They may be able to assist you in getting your pump replaced at no or minimal cost.>
Thanks for your time James .
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Which Skimmer? 12/24/08
I am in the process of starting my tank back up from scratch (long story that I won't get into now). I just ordered a new skimmer. It is a Hydor Performer 700, do you know anything about these skimmers, or should I cancel the order and an AquaC skimmer?
<I have indeed seen these in use, they are fine skimmers, will work out ok.>
My tank will be 125 gallons with a 55 gallon sump. What size AquaC if this is your recommendation?
<An EV 180.>
Thank you
Shane Robinson
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Which Skimmer? 12/24/08
Thank you for the reply.
Would you recommend the aqua c over the other one or would I be safe with the Hydor?
<The AquaC skimmers are great, but so is this new Hydor. You will be fine, satisfied with what you have ordered.>
sent using my wireless device
Shane Robinson
<Scott V.>

atk jr I think... off-brand Chinese Skimmer... pump?  12/23/08
I bought a used tank and with it is an ATK 5488 Gimmigen Protein skimmer
<Mmm, never heard of them...>
which I have not been able to find out much about besides that I think it is an atk jr it did not come with a pump and I am not sure if I need an air pump or just a regular pump can you please help me get more informed with what I have
and the type of other equip I might need thanks a bunch
<Uh yeah... maybe a HEKA product? Does it look like this?:
I'd write them re what pump model, characteristics they suggest to power this thing. Bob Fenner>

Re: atk jr I think... and try out for longest run-on sentence!  12/23/08
actually it is a Germany made skimmer
<Really? Could you point me to some mention of the maker... on the Net? I was unable to source it from the data presented>
and the reason I sent you guys an email is because you did mention it in one of your skimmer topics its from what I have learned so far air driven and is older but sort of like the ASM I believe I know it was a 600.00 skimmer at some point in time so that is why I would like to use it cause it seems to be really well made and I noticed that you all say a lot of good things about a better made skimmer I did find out I would have to get a venturi nozzle for it and it takes a Mag 7 pump but thanks for your help and happy holidays oh and great site very informative
<I do hope you find the maker, manual, details of the missing parts (?), operation here. Cheers, BobF>

Re: atk jr I think 12/29/08
here is the only thing I found on it
<? This:
That the unit is Chinese-made? BobF>

Protein Skimmer, MTC HSA-250, pump sel., maint.   11/30/08
I have an MTC HSA-250 Protein Skimmer and while it seems like a well made, I have more problems then success stories to accompany it. I guess the root of the problem is that the skimmer appears to need a powerful pump to push such a column of water up 2 feet. I have gone from Mag 9.5 to completely failing with a Quiet One 4000 and Quiet One 6000. I would swear that there is a clog but when I take the skimmer to a sink and fill it up the water seems to flow clearly right through all the water lines.
So, the questions are what is a powerful and relatively small pump that I can through into my sump to feed the protein skimmer that is not bigger than
the Mag 9.5 which was not easy to maneuver in my sump.
<Mmm, folks report success with the Sen 900:
though it is rated only about 100 GPH more than the Mag 9.5 at two feet of head:
And, how can you get
to the plumbing on the base that is within the lower half of the unit to clean it and make sure it is clear? I do not see anything to do unless you have a small arm that can fit down the tube.
<Agreed... you have to remove the unit, disassemble to clean thoroughly.
Bob Fenner>

Re: MTC HSA-250 Protein Skimmer, RK2 sourcing...
The problem is that you cannot take apart the base section. You can only break down the header section, above the main cylinder. They have to models of the HAS-250. One of them appears to have bolts at the base,
<Ah, yes... the white, plastic bits shown... a pain to get all put back evenly...>
but my unit does not. How could MTC design a skimmer that cannot be cleaned?
<Poor engineering, design... Look to superlative brands... e.g. the new RK2 line... so well thought out that all comes apart for "field repairs" w/o tools... Very well thought out. If it were me/mine, I'd sell this turkey and get a better unit. Much cheaper in the long haul in terms of cost per function... the pump/electrical cost... is much more a consideration than the unit itself. Cheers just the same, BobF>

Re: MTC HSA-250 Protein Skimmer...   11/30/08
Can you point me at any vendors for this?
<? Can be easily done with a search tool... I see Dr.s Foster and Smith, Custom Aquatic... and others offer these>
Also, can you suggest a price range I should look for with this RK2? Does it have an external collection container?
<... Don't know re pricing... and yes to the cup... B>

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