Protein Skimmer Help

reef_dude76

Premium Member
I need some help trying to figure out my protein skimmer situation. My current skimmer is a Reef Octopus in sump skimmer sitting in a 10 gallon aquarium that I have converted into a sump. My tank is 48 gallon cube with a single, center of the back wall placed, internal over flow box. My issue is I have never gotten good results with this skimmer, partly due to having continuous issues keeping the skimmer chamber water level consistent. I have installed baffles in my sump to function as a bubble trap as well as try to keep a constant water depth in the skimmer portion of the sump. The issue is I have used several different ATO products (Tunze osmolator, ATO, etc) and no auto top off will keep a consistent skimmer section depth in my sump. Currently I am using my second Tunze Osmolator and typically what happens is the ATO kicks on. when the water reaches the sensor, sometimes the sensor reads the water level correctly and shuts off the pump. Other times it doesn't, which will cause an overfill in the sump. When it overfills and the water level in the skimmer chamber increases, the skimmer cup overflows.

So I'm thinking of changing to an external skimmer or a recirc skimmer in the sump. If I go with the recirc skimmer in the sump, I'm hoping the fact that it is sealed and water is supplied by a feed pump, that it will be less sensitive to water level changes in the sump than my current skimmer. An therefore will not overflow or be as tempermental to adjust.
 

billdogg

Well-known member
What I did for my internal skimmer was to make an acrylic box for it to sit in inside the sump (a 100g rubbermaid stock tank w/o baffles). The box sits on legs so that it is above the max water level in thesump and is the correct height for the skimmer so that it's level stays constant. My overflow goes to the box and the excess just overflows into the sump proper.
 

billdogg

Well-known member
Even if you've never worked with acrylic you'll find it a very easy build. !/4" is more than thick enough and readily available. WeldOn 4 if you want nice clean joints, WeldOn 16 if you're ok with it not looking "perfect" And, because it's inside the sump, if a seam does leak a little it doesn't matter!!!
 

LQT

Active member
Put a baffle between the skimmer and the return pump. That way, the skimmer section will always stay constant and only the return section will fluctuate. Keep your ATO sensor in the return section, to account for evaporation.
 

billdogg

Well-known member
Put a baffle between the skimmer and the return pump. That way, the skimmer section will always stay constant and only the return section will fluctuate. Keep your ATO sensor in the return section, to account for evaporation.

Because it's only a 10g sump, there's not a lot of room already. If it were larger a baffle would be a great choice. A skimmer sized box sitting in/above the water level of the sump will actually increase it's limited volume a little bit.

With a small return area I'd be concerned about the ATO having to cycle on/off frequently and perhaps being hard on it's pump.
 

LQT

Active member
Because it's only a 10g sump, there's not a lot of room already. If it were larger a baffle would be a great choice. A skimmer sized box sitting in/above the water level of the sump will actually increase it's limited volume a little bit.

With a small return area I'd be concerned about the ATO having to cycle on/off frequently and perhaps being hard on it's pump.

I'm confused though... OP mentioned that he has already installed a baffle to act as a bubble trap. If that was the case, I'd move the baffle to sit between the skimmer and the return... problem solved!

Please post pics of your sump set up if at all possible. Thanks!
 

jcmjoe

New member
I have a set up very similiar to what it sounds like you want to do. I hope this pic helps. My water level stays constant in the skimmer section
 

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