sunsun surface skimmer - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8
sunsun surface skimmer

Is the surface skimmer on the sunsun canister filter operational? I have tried several methods of priming it to get it to work. Maybe I'm missing something simple, anyone have any tips to share?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 1,259
When you say priming, you are talking about the filter itself, or the skimmer? The filter is a bit hard to prime, but I'm going to assume you have it flowing and mean the skimmer.

I have four SunSuns and at first was excited with the skimmer as I thought it might take away some surface scum, but I quickly decided they are worthless. There are two issues - the first is they just don't work well, they either float too high or low, suck too much or too little water, and/or make a lot of noise.

But the bigger issue is oddly that they are at the wrong end of the tank, depending on what you do about flow. I prefer that the outflow be adjacent to the intake, the water moves across the surface, hits the end (or side) of the tank and descends, and returns diffused across the bottom flowing in the whole tank.

If you put the intake there with the skimmer, all the scum is at the far end pilled up against where the water hits the far end. If you put the intake instead at the far end, then the water basically only flows across the surface, and there's no deep current to keep the bottom circulated.

I just gave up -- got a but more surface agitation to keep the scum down, and in the rare occasions it gets enough to bother me I drop a paper towel right on the surface for a couple seconds, and gently remove it -- most will come up. Repeat a couple times. but I maybe do that once every couple months -- agitation will take care of scum as well as a skimmer.


Latest tank build: 220 Tall
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bama
Posts: 2,839
They have to be positioned just right. Need to have the intake tube lowered a couple or three notches. All the way up stops the skimmer by design. Mine works pretty well.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8
yes, i was referring to the skimmer itself. I haven't had any problems priming the filter itself. Ive had this unit for a couple months now and I haven't been able to get it to work properly at all. Kind of wondering if it was me, the cheap plastic tubing for the return not getting a good enough draw.....

I seem to get pretty decent flow, only algae i get is on the actual spray bar or on the glass behind it. I've got a 34g tall (20 x 20 x20) and the circulation is fine for the GBR's, cherry barbs, lamp eye tetras and celestial pearls I have in there. My concern with it is the film, unless i use full air i get a bit of film still. Next time I do a good tank clean I think I'll just take that attachment off and file it in the trash.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 06:21 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 400
Mine worked just fine, you turn it on/off by sliding it up or down.. all the way up is off and push it down until you get the flow you want.

The operational range is pretty small, its not hard to setup and worked perfectly fine within that range.. I took it out however because after a few days in operation I would evap enough water it would be out of range and start sucking in air and causing the filter to make noise and burp air.. I left it off majority of the time only turning it on after a tank cleanup and forgetting about it for a few days until the filter was making noise and shut it back off... Now I just adjust the spraybar to break the surface tension if I have some protein on the surface building up.. after a few hours its all gone.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 12:55 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Albany Oregon
Posts: 7
I didn't even try to set mine up. I have two Sunsuns and the skimmer just seemed to be junk without even trying it. I was interested to see that nayr actually got it to work. Surface agitation with the spraybar seems to be working well on its own.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015, 04:21 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 400
iirc there is just about an inch of travel up/down where it works well and it took playing with it to figure this out.. when setup right it was sucking up micro pellets in mass even if I dropped em in on the other end of the tank.. dont even bother with it if you feed floating food.

should be noted I am using the most powerful sunsun canister and it might be just enough flow to work well, dont know about there lesser models.. seems like they re-use the same parts where they can.

the final straw for me was when I knocked the skimmer float off and sucked a pair of minnows into the canister, somehow they survived but the skimmer was never used after that.
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