Floating surface skimmer for HOB
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:29 PM   #1
thinBear
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Floating surface skimmer for HOB



objective: surface skimmer, simple, auto-adjust most of the time
Will this be a good idea?
Will the suction simply unbalance the cup?

I'd like to test this out but currently my tank is unavailable; I tried search if someone came up this idea before but I got very few not quite related result; Flaw in design? Not practical?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:58 AM   #2
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Gulfstream Tropical AGU00522 Ista Surface Skimmer for Aquarium:Amazon:Pet Supplies Gulfstream Tropical AGU00522 Ista Surface Skimmer for Aquarium:Amazon:Pet Supplies

It's a great idea!
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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I've seen surface skimmer attachments that people use with cannister filters.

It may take some more work finding/adjusting fittings, but I don't see why one of them wouldn't work with a HOB intake just as well.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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hmm... every time when water level changed (evaporation, wc...etc), most surface skimmer need to re-adjust the level of water intake in order to maximize/continue the skimming effect. And my original idea was using the floating material to auto adjust the level. Maybe my diagram doesn't illustrate well.

Today I finally have some time to test it out, and I realized the mechanism failed
To maintain the water intake level that maximize the skimming effect , it must rely on support attached form the tank wall. When the water intake is a bit too low, water will flood the unit thus lost the skimming effect; raise the level slightly too much, the whole unit floats up and the HOB start sucking air. It is impossible to balance by using only the weight and the floating material.


When losing the support, the flow kinda work, but it lost most of the skimming effect already.

Fail. )"

ps: idea borrow from this
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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Several companies make then for HOB filters. They're around $10 bucks. Almost worth using one that's produced than DIY when it's that cheap.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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I'm a fan of the cheap sucker that I got from Big Als Online, myself. Seems to be able to handle a wide range of water level fluctuations, and is highly adjustable to various filter flow rates.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:25 AM   #7
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1. Find a tall glass tube (tall glass vase maybe?) that is as tall as your tank water height (bottom glass to desired water height) and maybe 2-3" diameter.
2. sink it in the tank and put your pick-up tube (from the HOB) into it.
3. fill the tank until it fills up the new glass tube.
4. turn on the HOB.
5. Monitor the level in the tube. When thet tube gets half empty, top it up. If the glass proves too light, put heavy stuff in it.

As a bonus, the water level in your tank will be very stable as only the level in the tube (vase) fluctuates.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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Maybe I'm not getting this.
Why can't you just cut a length of PVC pipe and cap one end. In the other end put 1" (approx) slits down the pipe. Attach to tank with suction cups. Put intake of HOB (or any other filter) into the top of the pipe. So long as the water level is above the bottom of the slits it's skimming. Isn't it? As I see it no need for floating devices at all.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Maybe I'm not getting this.
Why can't you just cut a length of PVC pipe and cap one end. In the other end put 1" (approx) slits down the pipe. Attach to tank with suction cups. Put intake of HOB (or any other filter) into the top of the pipe. So long as the water level is above the bottom of the slits it's skimming. Isn't it? As I see it no need for floating devices at all.
GraphicGr8s, I'll be in your neck of the woods next week. Any places over there I need to check out?
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
So long as the water level is above the bottom of the slits it's skimming. Isn't it? As I see it no need for floating devices at all.
Not exactly. If the water level is too high, you end up pulling water from under the surface and not drawing down the crap ON the surface.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Not exactly. If the water level is too high, you end up pulling water from under the surface and not drawing down the crap ON the surface.
Explain how that could ever happen. The bottom of the pvc is capped. The top is slotted. Only water that could possibly enter has to be from the top of 1" of the water column and would include the surface. Even if the water were to be above the slits it will still draw from the surface. In fact it will wind up creating a vortex.

Idrankwhat, sure. Check out Marine Warehouse Aquarium on Hillsborough. Creature Castle in Valrico on 60. Lakeland is Nolans Aquarium Superstore.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
.

Idrankwhat, sure. Check out Marine Warehouse Aquarium on Hillsborough. Creature Castle in Valrico on 60. Lakeland is Nolans Aquarium Superstore.
awesome thanks!
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:51 PM   #13
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gSTiTcH means this.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:25 AM   #14
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Thinbear, if that drawing depicted what is happening than all the overflow boxes wouldn't skim the surface either. My pump keeps the water level about 3/4 of the way up the slits on the overflow. You telling me I'm not skimming because the bottom of the slit is an inch below the water level?
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Thinbear, if that drawing depicted what is happening than all the overflow boxes wouldn't skim the surface either. My pump keeps the water level about 3/4 of the way up the slits on the overflow. You telling me I'm not skimming because the bottom of the slit is an inch below the water level?
I guess if the pump has enough power to "pull down" / "tear down" the surface of water, the surface skimmer is doing its job; but usually HOB don't have a very strong suction, thus the water intake need to be place very close to the surface.

To be frank I don't own a surface skimmer yet, one purpose of this simple experiment is to help me understand "how stuff works" better.
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