Vinegar dosing and skimmer overflow.

whosurcaddie

New member
So I started dosing vinegar about 5 days ago and a couple days after I started my skimmer went crazy. I didn't think that vinegar dosing would cause it to act up but the only thing that I have done differently is the dosing. At the same time I started dosing I replaced my GFO and added new carbon.

The weird thing is it doesn't overflow all the time but the water level in the skimmer constantly fluctuates. It will fall all the way into the bottom of the neck but wont collect anything then hours later it shoots back up and overflows again.

My dosing regiment is I mix 15ml of vinegar in my kalk solution and drip during the course of a day. 150 gal total water volume.

My main question i guess is can vinegar cause the skimmer to act this way or does anyone know what would make a skimmer level rise and fall and overflow.

Its a Bubble Magus curve 7 skimmer.
 

Pife

New member
There are a lot of reasons for skimmers to over flow. I vodka dose and my skimmer doesn't overflow.
 

whosurcaddie

New member
Yeah I know the normal reasons for a skimmer to overflow. But mine is doing more than that like one hour it will overflow then the next hour it will be back to its normal level in the neck then it will overflow again.

Anytime I have used something like chemi clean in the past the overflow of the skimmer was constant not this up and down motion I'm dealing with now.

I just did a 50 gallon water change I'll wait and see what happens.
 

kevin_austin

New member
It is interesting. I've been dosing with Seachem Reef Calcium, which seems to have a similar effect on skimmers (increased efficiency do to bacterial growth). However, I never had a problem with the skimmer "going crazy" with light skimmate until a few days ago. It was a single occurrence in all this time, but it did happen (didn't fill the whole cup, but it was very light). I blame the dosing, but it could have been any number of things (the bane of our hobby :) ).
 

whosurcaddie

New member
Ok so after the 50 gallon change the skimmer is still doing the same thing. So last night I took the skimmer out and gave it a vinegar bath over night. Got up this morning and checked on the skimmer everything looked fine bubbles were small and it was at the perfect position in the neck. So I decided to let it run in freshwater to rinse the vinegar away. Well when I turn it on in freshwater there are barely any bubbles and the water level doesn't reach the neck of the skimmer. I have the water level the same as my sump. Any Idea's?
 

Pife

New member
Ok so after the 50 gallon change the skimmer is still doing the same thing. So last night I took the skimmer out and gave it a vinegar bath over night. Got up this morning and checked on the skimmer everything looked fine bubbles were small and it was at the perfect position in the neck. So I decided to let it run in freshwater to rinse the vinegar away. Well when I turn it on in freshwater there are barely any bubbles and the water level doesn't reach the neck of the skimmer. I have the water level the same as my sump. Any Idea's?

It only works in saltwater. Did you clean the air line as well? Do you have dosing pumps? If so where do they empty into compared to where the skimmer is in your sump? Like up stream of the skimmer intake ect?
 

trzabka

New member
It is the carbon dosing that causes the skimmer to overflow. its nessacary to run a skimmer because it removes the waste from the nitrates and phosphates as the benificial bacteria consumes them from what i understand. it could very possible it will be like that for a while until your system stablizes out from the addition of carbon. Im running no3 po4 remover in mine and it acted up for the first week or so. it skimmed then it didnt then it did. now it evened out a consistantly skims
 

SleepingDragon

New member
It is the big molecules in the water that forms the bubbles in the skimmer. Dosing volka or vingar adds hydrocarbon molecules into the water and generates the bubble. Not sure if the enhance bacteria population adds to the bubbles or not.
 

mlott132

New member
I have noticed the same thing with my skimmer the last few days. I started vodka dosing about a month ago and am still ramping up the amount. My skimmer will go over the max water mark for a few minutes then drop back to normal. then it may go way low and then return to normal. Just wondering how long this will last before it settles out?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
What type of vinegar are you using?

FWIW, my skimmer never seemed phased by vinegar dosing, even at very high doses (410 mL per day into a system with a 120 display plus a couple of hundred gallons of sump and refugia and such), but perhaps you have more of your bacteria growing in the water column than on surfaces such as rock and sand.

I'd just keep an eye on it going forward. :)
 

whosurcaddie

New member
Thanks for everyone replying. If anyone could take a look at this video and give me any suggestions. I've been in the hobby a long time and I've never seen a skimmer do this.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MmvPVDHb1kA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Its like the cap is breaking the tension almost like sticking your finger in a glass of soda to pop the bubbles. I don't know what to do?
 

Proffugazi

New member
As some have stated, the bacteria build up and consume the Nitrates. They also effect the density of the water as they build up in the system water/Inside the Skimmer. Bacteria and Nitrates are then removed through effective skimming, thus causing skimmers to overflow if not closely watched. As to the internal "up and down" flow within the skimmer, sounds like pump and/or leaking skimmer. Not related to the Dosing per sae. GL:)
 

lazydaze73

New member
Mine was doing the exact same thing last month when I installed a new chiller. I'm still not sure exactly why it did it but the only thing I can think is that it's because I cleaned the chiller with vinegar before I installed it and it still had some residual left inside and caused the skimmer to go haywire. It did it for about a week. It would go up and down lie that randomly and eventually overflow. The only way it stopped was when I took the skimmer apart and cleaned with hot water. Hope this helps.
 

Art13

New member
correct me if i'm wrong but if you just stared dosing and you're on day 5, shouldn't you be around 1.2ml, not 15? i don't know if this can cause a problem or not, but i believe you skipped some of the build up to be at 15ml a day. From the chart i have it would be quite a few months before you arrived at 15ml a day.

Edit: sorry, never mind, i don't know the proper amount for vinegar, i was assuming vodka.
 
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