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  1. #1
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    The Skimmer Part 2

    I post this in response to those who want more detailed information about the various parts of a well equipped reef aquarium. I will post on other topics related to setup in the future

    THE SKIMMER part 2
    There are 2 basic types of skimmers to choose from but several styles using one of 3 common air delivery methods.

    Types:
    The 2 basic types are those that are operated submersed and those that are operated in-line (not submersed). The submersed type can be placed directly in the aquarium or in the equipment part of the sump. See “THE SUMP”. The in line types can be ether hung on the outside of the aquarium or placed somewhere remote to the aquarium. For both types it is not recommended that they be allowed to exhaust their air bubbles into the aquarium if corals are present. The tiny bubbles irritate the sensitive flesh of many corals. In any case hundreds of thousands of tiny bubbles in your aquarium will hinder your view of the aquariums inhabitants.

    Air Delivery Methods:
    All skimmers make use of air and that air is supplied to the skimmer in one of common 3 methods.
    The first and simplest method of supplying air to the skimmer is with bass wood air blocks that are placed directly in the bottom of the skimmer.
    The second method is to pump water into the skimmer and have that water pass through a venturi Injector that is placed close to the skimmer. Without getting side tracked a venturi Injector is a device that introduces air in the form of tiny bubbles to the water that passes through it.
    The third method is to pump water into the skimmer using a pump that premixes the air with the water right in the pumps body. This is usually done with a pinned wheel that chops through the passing water while adding air to that water.
    The important thing here is that by what ever method your skimmer gets its air, the air MUST be presented in the finest possible bubble size. The volume of bubbles being delivered should also be controllable but is not always necessary.

    Types:
    The simplest basic skimmers are the completely air driven types. They have one or more fine bubble creating air blocks sitting at the bottom of a long plastic tube that is standing on its end. The bottom of the tube is of course sealed. They are always submersed in the aquarium or the sump. The top the tube is narrowed like an upside down funnel. At the top of this narrowed section is the collection cup. This type of skimmer draws its water supply into the tube through a hole close to the bottom and usually just below the air blocks. The water is drawn in by the upward movement of the air bubbles in the tube. That water is exposed to the air bubbles while it travels upward to an exit hole that is near the top of the tube but below the narrowed section. As the bubbles become more and more stable they float and rise above the waters exit point. The stable bubbles are eventually forced through the narrow section of the tube and into the collection cup.
    The first improvement to the basic skimmer becomes the next type. They are often referred to as being reverse flow. They work in much the same way as the air driven type with two important improvements. The first improvement is that they use a pump to move the water into the tube. The second improvement is that the water is introduced at the top of the tube and forced to move downward (reverse flow) through the rising air bubbles. The exit point for the water is at the bottom. This type still used air blocks at the bottom of the tube and is always submersed in the aquarium or sump. This type of skimmer can process more water and have that water in contact with the air bubbles longer then is the case with the strictly air driven types.
    The next and third type marks the first BIG improvement over the basic air driven and reverse flow skimmers. The skimmer itself still works the same way but the water and air delivery setup is vastly improved. This third type dose not make use of air blocks to introduce air into the tube. This removes the need to maintain those air blocks and no air pump is required. With this type of skimmer the air is injected into the tube by the water supply pump. This is done by using ether a venturi Injector or a water supply pump that mixes the air and water together within the pumps body. See “Air Delivery Methods” above. With this type of skimmer the water / air mixture enters the tube at the bottom and is often directed slightly downward. The volume of water and air entering the tube is vastly increased when compared the air driven and reverse flow types. These skimmers are usually much taller so they can manage this increased water volume without overflowing. They can be submersed in the sump or used in line. These are the 3 to 5 footers you see pics posted of on this and other boards. They are very efficient because of the volume of water and air involved and the height of the tube used.
    The newest types of skimmers we are seeing in use now make yet another improvement over all other skimmer designs. These newest types make use of one or more air mixing venturi Injectors that are supplied their water directly from the skimmer tube by water pumps. This part of their design plays NO roll in how the water from the aquarium is delivered to the tube. That is done by another water pump that is dedicated to that job. These air injecting pumps re-circulate the water within the tube and by doing so the contact time between the air bubbles and the water is grossly increased. Those pumps also introduce a lot more air into the tube in the form of very fine bubbles. These types of skimmers are used in line and do not require the added height to achieve the desired long contact times between the air bubbles and the water. They are always very big in diameter tube much like a water machine bottle. The contact time is increased by the re-circulation of the water within the tube.
    So there you have it and I hope this has been helpful.
    Rob

  2. #2
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    Advanced types

    Advanced types

  3. #3
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    hehe nice article did you do all those drawings yourself!!
    Mark
    50 Gal SPS/LPS Mixed Reef
    25 Gal Fuge
    Neptune Aquacontroller
    Pro Cal Calcium Reactor
    Acrylic City Kalk Reactor
    Euroreef CS6-3 Skimmer
    2x175W MH 1x250W MH 2x65W Actinics

  4. #4
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    Yes Mark I did the drawing myself
    Rob

  5. #5
    Senior Member DARK's Avatar
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    Thank you for taking the time making all these Tut's. Very informative.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    This is why I like Aquaria.ca so much....the knowledge base here is incrediable.
    Thanks again Rob!
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

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