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Kris

DIY Skimmer for Pico

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Hi fellow reefers,

Wanted to share my journey on the accidental DIY of a skimmer for my Pico tank. DIY skimmers are not new to us and there are many seniors have posted  here before.

After having many years of break, I started reefing close to an year back with a 1 feet cube. With a need to provide enough good gas exchange, i was running an air pump with an air stone in my sump. The sump is a small plastic tank sitting behind the main tank at the same level. Water is circulated using a small pump, pushing the water from the sump to the main tank. from main tank,  water returns to the sump by using a siphon tube.

siphon.jpg

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The reason forhaving the sump at the same level as the main tank is to use a smaller pump, which adds less heat to the aquarium. In the plan, the so called sump will house all the filtration media and air stone.

Since there is no chillers planned in this setup, my aim is to keep the heat addition as low as possible. The pico is cooled by fan.

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After having the air stone in the sump and noting severe salt spray due to the bubbles, I put the air stone inside a plastic bottle cut the top open. After few days, surprised to see accumulation of junk in the neck of the bottle. Surprised and this is the time I went to google to read the skimmer design etc etc.

One of the skimmer is 'm a m e' design, similar (but very professionally made) to the bottle running in my sump for few days. Apologizes for comparing my bottle design to 'm a m e' design.:yeah:

I was using DIY DI resin cartridge, which is refillable. Since the resin has expired and height of the cartridge is almost same as my bottle, I decided to re-purpose the cartridge instead of throwing away or keeping in my store room. Photos in my next posts will explain on the DIY skimmer using DI refillable cartridge.

 

 

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Assembly of the skimmer using the used DI filter housing and fittings

one.jpg

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I am using this air stone as I read that the most important part in an air driven skimmer is the air stone. So far I am happy with the performance. After 2 months it is delivering fine air bubbles.

air stone.jpg

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Using the cable tie to fix the air stone in the housing. That is all for the finished product :yeah:

air stone attached.jpg

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Assembled and into the sump. How it is performing?.

I am using OF super precision air pump 7000 since I thought it is a decent product with a good price, let me try with it. It is rated to deliver 200 ltr/Hr at 3.3 watts. Honestly I don't know whether it will give the required air to water ratio at the time of buying.

This picture shows the bubbles formation in the neck of the skimmer for the first few days.

3 days.jpg

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After few days, I could see junk building up at the neck and dirty air bubbles traveling in the piping. Cut it short, this is the skimmate collection for the first week. My pico tank has no fishes. I only target feed for the corals. The water looks pretty clean for my eyes. I am surprised on how much junk is in the water by seeing this cheepo DIY skimmer can remove.

skimmate.jpg

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Before I end,

Pros:

1. Cheap and using mostly recyclable material except air pump and air stone

2. Whether skimming or not, at least aerate the tank water

3. No heat added to the tanks like pump driven skimmers, much less work for the cooling fan

Doubts:

1. How long will the air pump and air stone will last ? (my fist set is still running for 2 months)

Thanks for reading. All the best in our reefing journey.

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Nice job bro, this idea can be use in QT tank also...

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Nice job bro, this idea can be use in QT tank also...
Hi Bro,

Yes, it can be used in QT where you want to control the heat added to the system and in situation where you depend on fan for cooling.

I will update the performance in my next post.



Sent from my RNE-L22 using Tapatalk

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Finally, the collection

Really surprised to see how much waste a Pico tank can have. As shared earlier no fish, no liquid food and target feeding for corals with mysis pre-washed in DI water.

We should not under-estimate by looking at the tank and think that the water is clear.

collection.jpg

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Ya, forgot to update on the air pump and air stone performance.

So far I haven't replaced. Will update you when I replace them. :angel:

Happy reefing Bros, Sis.

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It's impressive... you set me thinking how to covert mine into biopellet reactor 

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