DIY Skimmer info

mebo926

In Memoriam
So im thinking about building me a skimmer instead of buying one. Anyone have any ideas or plans for a cheap but REALLY good skimmer.
 

brandon2432

New member
Im not sure, but a lot of things go in to making a store bought skimmer work correct. You could probably buy one for the same price as parts for building it right.
 

mebo926

In Memoriam
I have looked at many plans and seen what its gonna take and yes some are expensive to make and some arent.
 

The0wn4g3

New member
It's true, most skimmers that LFS's carry are not up to the quality of what you can get for a similar price online.
I've build a few DIY skimmers and mods dozens. If you're planning to use a DIY skimmer on anything larger than about a 29 gallon tank I wouldn't recommend it, and even then it's cheaper just to buy a used skimmer.
The biggest issue in building a skimmer is having the right tools for the job. In order to get the best performance, some amount of acrylic bending and cutting is going to be required, and most people just don't have access to those type of tools. A quality skimmer is much more finely tuned and developed than most people think. The pump, venturi size and length, air-intake, reaction body width and height, neck width and height, as well as collection cup dimensions are all unique even though many skimmers look similar.

It much easier, and only slightly more expensive, to buy a high quality skimmer such as an Octopus, Euro-Reef, or ASM than it is to DIY a skimmer of equal quality. Trust me, I know from experience...
 

BHAMR6

New member
Ive got a ASM G3 and it skims great and there not that expensive... But if you just want to build one go for it ive look at the diy on building a skimmer i thought it looked good what they built
 

The0wn4g3

New member
Well, i've you're really set on DIY'ing one. What type are you thinking of? In-sump or external? What method to achieve the fractionation, needle-wheel, down-draft, etc?

The most difficult part, in my opinion, was creating anything that required o-rings to prevent leaking, such as the join between the neck and the collection cup. It's extremely hard to make parts to such a small threshold of error to provide a water-tight seal without some high quality tools. I went with a Twist-and-lock method made out of 1/4" acrylic similar to the one beananimal has on his website. I was never able to get it completely water tight. You could buy a twist-and-lock flange, but last I check they run pretty pricey, and that defeats the purpose of a DIY...
 

swearint

New member
Most of the time, when I do a DIY project it is not to save money so much as get a custom fit or function. That said, other than the tooling issue that The0wn4g3 mentioned, the other obstacle with a DIY skimmer is the material minimums. Typically, in order to buy acrylic pieces at a cost effective price, you have to buy a bunch of it. That's not a problem for large projects or multiples, but a single mid-size DIY skimmer will be expensive. It is fun and rewarding though.:)

Todd
 
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