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Re: Surface Skimmers -- Just touching the surface of a complex subject

David Aiken said, in part:
> I've had an Eheim Surface Suction Extracter for years but keep taking
> it 
> out of use because it's difficult to keep it operating effectively as
> the water level changes . . .
> and 
> . . .it also doesn't handle the flow rate of my Eheim 2222 all
> that 
> well.  . . 
> I bought an AquaClear Surface Skimmer a couple of days ago. it's a 
> different design to the Eheim, seems to handle water level changes 
> better. . .
> Operation is 
> also quieter. . . It's a bit tricky adjusting the skim rate. . .
> Does anyone know of any good surface skimmers that handle high flow 
> rates, operate silently, and don't pass air to a cannister filter?

I'll note a couple of things, having experienced the Eheim skimmer. 
Very little skimming is needed to be effective at keeping any surface
film away.  Eheim is right when it says that so long as the skimmer is
drawing surface water at all, it's doing all it needs to.

But it is easily clogged with the slightest amount of debris -- what, I
have debris in a planted tank? :-0

I've never had it gulp air in normal operation, the lower relief valve
prevetns that -- *but* I use a ball valve and a tee fitting to reduce
the amount of draw the filter has on the skimmer.  With a valve and a
tee you can use it on almost any pump or filter.

I have a suspicion that overflow boxes might make the best skimmers. 
They have plenty of intake area and debris can collect on a sponge on
the siphon tube--which also makes removing the debris easy.  Overflow
boxes tend to be noisy and turbulent when they are drawing the kind
flow necessary to feed a sump/filter/pump setup.  But I think one would
work as a simple surface skimmer at a much lower flow.  Problems: 
ready made boxes are large and expensive -- homemdae boxes are not easy
to design well.  Erik Olsen has been perfecting his own design of
overflow for his sump setup. Perhaps he can shed some light.

Scott H.

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