DIY surface skimmer for Lily Pipe - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Talking DIY surface skimmer for Lily Pipe

To combat the ugly bio-film and the white line on my glass I bought a lily pipe that claimed to stop bio-film forming. It doesn't work as advertise! I started looking into surface skimmers, but they are all bulky and ugly. After some hours of google-fu I came up with the solution.

An add-on that you can barely feel it! And it's adjustable according to your performance need!


Materials
1. you'll first need a tube that can be cut. I found the cheapest tube from Linens and things, they have different sizes so order it according to "your size" : http://www.lnt.com/product/aquarium-...ing-clear.html

2. The idea is to use some of the sucking power from the intake lily pipe, so you need to redirect some of the holes to use water from the surface. I first tried to use an o-ring washer, but it's only available in an ugly orange color and it's not that adjustable in application. So I decided to use this:



Making of
1. I cut out many straight lines on one side of the tube, it will be where the water is coming from


2. I cut a hole in the finger cot, put it onto the tube, then I put the tube onto the lily pipe intake. Da Da, now you have a skimmer!



I changed to use finger cot instead of O-ring washer was because the flexibility. It is highly stretchable and will fit both the intake and the tube. Also you can pull it up and down to increase/decrease the suction power.
You can also attach some floating material to the top of the tube, so that it will self-adjust according to the water level. You just have to keep the finger cot longer when you cut it and tube can move up and down freely with the water level.

After running it for an hour now the bio-film is gone!

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 03-31-2013 at 11:33 PM. Reason: inappropriate content
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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DIY surface skimmer for Lily Pipe

Update after running it for 2 days: water is crystal clear, the only thing is that now I turn off the filter when feeding my clown fillifish.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 02:15 PM
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I love the simplicity, great job.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 02:27 PM
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Very clever, I like it!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 02:49 PM
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Nice Job and good explanation.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 10:21 PM
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completely impressed. Awesome. so simple and effective. Now i think I can take out that ugly looking skimmer and powerhead out of my small tank. Thank you
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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DIY surface skimmer for Lily Pipe

I am glad you like it. The look does matter as well as function!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 11:56 PM
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Does using the figer glove provide flexibility to the height of the skimmer?

Does the skimmer adjust to water surface height or do you need to be mindful of water top offs? I am wondering if a small float could be added to keep it always just below the surface.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 12:29 AM
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so you leave part of the filter intake sticking out of the bottom and then the rest of the water is sucked in through the top of the tube and this creates surface circulation?
i havent looked into skimmers before so i dont quite understand how they work
looks cool though, i might have to try because otherwise i have to turn on a very noisy airstone 2x a day
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 11:56 AM
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Much better than that products... Big, usually black or ugly grey color..

Thanks for inspiration, I'll do one for myself...

Turkish boy from Hong Kong...
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2013, 06:05 PM
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Great idea. I have chronic surface scum that won't go away and was thinking about swapping my inflow to a regular one and add a skimmer. I may modify your idea and make it have 2 or 3 sections so I can take it off without removing the pipe.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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pandacory: Yes you can pull the skimmer up and down to adjust the height. My skimmer has long enough gaps so I only have to adjust it like once a week, or just top off the water. Like I said before If you leave the finger cots long enough and put some floating foam on the top of the skimmer it will float along with the water level. Just make sure to place the floating foam somewhere in the middle of the gap height.

Fish_22: Yes I use half of the holes to suck water from the bottom and half for the top.

talontsiawd: be sure to report back your modification so I can take note too
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 03:38 AM
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I had to stare at this a few minutes to understand but damn! Thats a great idea! I dont have film problems or i would totally do this!

Question tho, why doesnt your lilly pipe work? Does it not make the dimple on the surface? If thats the problem why dont you just lower the water level a smidge? Im new to this fancy stuff...
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usgetata View Post
talontsiawd: be sure to report back your modification so I can take note too
It may take awhile as I am floating a lot of plants right now to avoid algae. Floating plants and skimmers don't mix well haha.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankYouVeryMuch View Post
I had to stare at this a few minutes to understand but damn! Thats a great idea! I dont have film problems or i would totally do this!

Question tho, why doesnt your lilly pipe work? Does it not make the dimple on the surface? If thats the problem why dont you just lower the water level a smidge? Im new to this fancy stuff...
To have the Lilly pipe work I have to raise it kind of above water level, so it can "stir" the water enough and break up the bio-film. But doing it will make a lot of noise and I don't like it.
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