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Surface Extractor

Jim Taylor wrote:  >>> Is anyone using the Eheim surface extractor?  Is it
noisy.  Does it adequately skim the whole surface of the water?  Will it
suck up fish?  I used to have an overflow box and every few days I would
have to take the octocinclus catfish from the sump area and put them back in
the tank.>>>

Yes, it is a bit noisy.  Mine kind of gurgles more like a stream though; it
doesn't have any type of motorized sound that I would find objectionable.
And yes, it will skim the whole surface, if adjusted properly.  I have found
mine slightly finicky.  As the water evaporates, it is helpful to adjust the
device by lowering it in the water.  Maybe twice a week is sufficient for
me.  And I should have replaced the suction cups a year or so ago.  Mine now
has a tendency to break loose from the glass and need further adjustment and
pressing back into place.  

On one occasion I found a small oto lodged in the extractor suction tube.  I
opened the back end cap and he swam free.  Don't try to pull one out in

I have also had fish go through the overflow box into the trickle filter
system.  I have found an altogether satisfactory solution to this problem.
Cut a square of filter foam about  inch larger than the inside measurement
of the overflow box and lodge this in the inside of the filter box.  You'll
still get a reasonable flow through the overflow box but no fish will get
through.  A quick rinse during the weekly water change will clean it out and
you're back in business.

Regards, Steve Dixon in San Francisco