What's up with my skimmer?


New member
I think my skimmer has finally broken in. I went to check my tank after a brief power outage and found my sump full of frothy bubbles that had overflowed out of the collection cup. The strange thing is that I had to make major adjustments to get the bubbles to slow down to a reasonable level (turn the pump and lower the output tube almost all the way). I thought that it was already broken in (I've had it almost a month now) but I might be mistaken. My tank has been much cleaner than usual. First off, has anyone else experienced that having the pump at one angle gives drastically different results than having it at another angle? Its hard to explain, but the water intake is up against the skimmer body when the pump is at one angle. This results in a lower water level than if the intake is unrestricted. When the intake is restricted the skimmer is also much noisier. Since this has happened, having the intake restricted seems to be my only option for keeping the bubbles under control. Also, with this configuration the outflow is much less (when previously it had been so much that it was minor problem with splashing). I have an octopus 150 needle wheel which is similar to the euroreef and asm's from my understanding. It seems to be doing a good job now, I'm just curious if anyone else has ever experienced this. Am I doing something wrong? I apologize for the length and incoherance of this post.


Premium Member
The water level probably went way up in the sump when the power went out. when the power came back on your skimmer probably went crazy. might want to make sure the air line is clear of salt creep too.


New member
Thanks. I think you are probably right. My air line is clear. Just went and checked on it and it was underskimming so I raised the output riser tube and adjusted the pump position. Ten minutes later it had gone crazy again with water completely filling the collection cup. I'm having difficulty tuning my skimmer, but I think this is because this is my first real skimmer and my lack of experience with this style. I think I might have it good now. I'll have to wait and see.


New member
I kinda had that problem when i first big skimmer and i found that what you really need to do is set it low then very slowly raise it up. Basically don't try to put the water level where you think it should be but just turn it up slightly then wait like a day or so before you adjust it again. It takes a little bit but works


New member
my skimmer is currently doing the same thing. my tank is brand new and cycling at the mo. ive turned the skimmer off after a near disaster ( the skimmer is hang on .... so if it overflows it goes all over the floor :( )


New member
When you tough the water with your fingers the oils will mess up the bubbles for quite a while. What is probably happening is the oils screws up the bubbles and an hour or so later it clears and overflows because you have it set too wet.

As far as the angle thing if you restrict the inlet it will draw more air and is likely cavitating (more noise). My suggestion is to set the tube as low as it can go.... see what happens in a few hours and slowly raise it a little bit at a time.

Also how deep in the water is the skimmer? The depth has a huge impact on how the skimmer works when it comes to tuning. My 110 at 7 inches had too much air, at 9 inches it was perfect. At 11 inches it was hard to control and skimmed nothing but wet (and would overflow sometimes).

Also if yours is in too deep of water the outflow will be quite high.

Don't quote me on any of that as it is just what I have learned with my particular skimmer via trial and error.


New member
As said above, if you take your time adjusting it, you will get to the right level. When you turn it off or the power goes out, it will overflow when it comes back on. You need to turn it down before you start it up again and then adjust it slowly to the right level. I don't think you need to wait a day, just a minute between each small adjustment, then, when it is at the right level, check it in about 15 min to make sure it's still OK. It will also overflow if you add enough top off water to the tank at one time(.5 gl or more)


New member
Thanks everyone. It is running like a dream right now and my hands haven't been in the sump for several hours. I have the water inlet unrestricted and the riser tube low. I am getting nice, frothy bubbles, maybe a little bit on the drier side. I might make an adjustment tommorow. The level in the sump is ~8". The current setting is giving me no issues with splash or microbubbles. I will keep my fingers crossed. So barjam, you say you have a 110. I guess you are suggesting that I should keep the water inlet unrestricted? That seems to be working for me. I think my issues were caused by the brief power outage as zens suggested.


In Memoriam
mine does different things depending on what food I feed, Oyster Eggs cause it to go crazy, when I do my byweekly water change of 20% it goes nuts for the first hour, I do not know why, but just figure there is "stuff" in the water that makes this happen. I just have leared to live with it, notice the trends and adjust accordingly. I hope this gave you some insight. Nothing is constant with a Reef tank IMO!!!!!