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skimmer problems


Apr 24, 2006
i have the seaclone 100 protein skimmer and ive had it for a year or so. I havnt used it because everytime i try to get it workin i cant get it to work right. It either fills the collection cup WAY to fast with clean water or makes WAY too many bubbles and just over flows. When it makes all kinds of bubbles it also is extremely loud. I cant get the air valva adjustment right and id really like to run this skimmer cause i need something to cope with the waste.. i would really rather not buy a new one because this one i have was pretty expensive and i dont have the money right now ... anyone got any ideas
Sea clones are one of the worst HOB skimmers made.I would suggest replacing it maybe put it on ebay and use the money to buy a new one.You will never get it working right cuse they dont work you can try modding it to help it work better but is a waste of time.If you want a good HOB skimmer thats not to expensive coral life makes a good HOB skimmer.

Coralife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel Protein Skimmer | Petco

Keep in mind these skimmers are kinda bulky
ok that price actually isnt bad for that coral life skimmer..... and if i choose to keep the seaclone, what do you mean by "modding it"
Wish I'd seen this thread. I just bought the skimmer from the Red Sea company. Anyone have any experience with this one? One of the store people recommended it and the price was right.
I've used Red Sea skimmers, and Seaclones, and never had an issue at all. It sounds like you are adjusting the valves too much, do it in small increments, about 1/16th of a turn, as their feed flow is large, and it is easy to overdo it.
I am probably going to take some hits from the hardware folks with these comments but anyone taking potshots, please only do so if you have actually used the equipment (no hearsay).

We bought the much debated Red Sea "Berlin" for our 140 reef tank. It was my husband's pride and joy and the price was (for us) not easy on the wallet. This tank has been functioning for just over a year. Most of the LR was very fresh (aquacultured over 2 years and from the ocean to me with very little layover time in the collectors tank). I house 4 erectus, two mandarins, 3 pipe fish, soft corals and extensive clean-up crew. The tank is fed heavily twice a day with frozen mysis. The skimmer was a pain to continually adjust and produced little scum UNTIL recently. Now it is working beautifully and I have muck that would make any skimmer proud.

For the Octo tank we had an old, cheap, Odyssea skimmer that died but had functioned well enough for the price. We replaced it with a new style Odyssea and were pleased with the results until last week when the O ring seal on the pump started leaking. The O ring is a non-standard and we are not sure if it is replaceable. The leakage empties lots of micro-bubbles into the sump so we are blocking the return flow with a sponge to prevent them from entering the tank (yes, this does work). We will take it apart again this weekend to see if we can improvise a DIY solution.

Lastly, (oh boy :roll: ) we recently (several months ago) bought a, uh, ehem, Skelter hang on unit for our 15 gallon hex tank because we had a foot print problem with the CPR and I wanted a combo type hang on with overflow for this tank. The LR is several years old but I have removed the substrate and there is currently only clean-up crew in the tank. We added an air pump and wooden air stone to the bubble chamber of the unit. I get lovely scum from this setup and could not be happier with the unit for this tank!

Our rather expensive Berlin went from "worst to first" (so, OK, I AM a Braves fan) over a 1 year period, our cheaper skimmers don't last the full year for comparison and our NO-NO skimmer combo works very well with a slight modification. To sum up my skimmer observations (read this as IMO), I believe that all skimmers must "season" over an extended period of time, the in-tank time and condition of the live rock are a large part of the result process and adding a wooden air stone and air supply will assist any poorly producing skimmer that is not physically broken (the hard part may be how to get the air tube in the skimmer without having to drill, with the Skelter it was easy). I also believe that throughly cleaning the inside of the skimmer cup funnel is a BAD idea and that allowing it to maintain a thin film actually encourages the muck to be deposited where you want it (I do throughly clean the cup itself ). I think part of the "seasoning" process is a slight build up of protein within the skimmer's central tube.
I doubt you are going to get any "potshots" for such good advice...they do take a while to get up and running, and I've use Skelters too, and Bacpac's...nary an issue.

I somehow figured you had been successful with just about any of them but not everyone "experiments" for themselves :cool2: or attempts DIY corrections :wink:
i think i got it workin.... id take a pic of the collection cup to show u guys and you could tell me if its right, but i cant find my camera. But the collection cup is almost full of this brownish liquid... if youve ever seen sum1 who chews tobacco, my collection cup looks exactly like one of thier spit cups lol
That's o.k., but it sounds like you might have too much water flow...it should be more of a sludge than a liquid.
I have a seaclone skimmer and it works just fine. I must admit it took awhile to figure out how to fine tune it though. I use sight, sound, and feel to find it's "sweet spot" and get it every time. Just yesterday, Ocho had ditched a piece of uneaten shrimp in the back of the tank. I didn't see it until I came home from work. The collection cup went from practically empty in the early morning to this in the afternoon:



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mine looks like that pic but maybe a tad bit more clear water..... so should i adjust for even less water flow? so open the valve up some more or close it some more?
one thing i noticed was that there are little air bubbles on all of my plastic plants and on the back glass where the algae grows. I know its workin to some extent though because my water went from being slightly cloudy (only barely) to CRYSTAL clear. I cant beleive how clear the water is now. It makes the colors in the tank look sooo much better
One of the easiest ways to get the "sweet spot" if you haven't already is to start out with the skimmer freshly cleaned. After it's put back together, I start it with the valve all the way closed so its all water going through. Then I open it about 3 or 4 turns to really open up the air valve. On the "U" shaped piece of plastic coming out of the powerhead going down to the skimmer, right on the 'U" part there is usually a gap of air if the valve is open enough. I start turning clockwise just until that pocket of air disappears and that is usually the sweet spot. If the skimmer has been running awhile and not cleaned recently, you might not see that pocket of air. That's when I go by the sound that the powerhead makes of the air going through it and the feel of vibration to find it cause I've done it so many times.
I used a seaclone for a while a few years back, one wee tip is to throw away the plastic valve that controls the air flow and get a good metal one as sold in some LFS for airlines etc. They are of a much better quality and easier to control as a result

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