Minimalist surface skimmer. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-03-2004, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Minimalist surface skimmer.

I have just written up my experimental canister-driven surface skimmer design (see

It has now worked flawlessly for 2 months and I am very pleased with its simplicity, reliability and effectiveness!

If you can think of any refinements or problems with it please let me know!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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I've now added a couple of drawings.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 12:45 PM
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Is your design 'free floating', so it will adjust to changes in the water surface level?


Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Answer taken from a new addenda to the web page:-

Why this is unashamedly *not* an automatic level-adjusting design:-

  1. Simplicity, compactness and reliability were overriding goals.
  2. Our research revealed that *in practice* most self-adjusting skimmer designs (even complex and well machined ones) are prone to either jamming or oscillations or both.
  3. As the eccentric skimmer has a very narrow weir (e.g. < 10mm) it is no problem to adjust it (once) so that there is a *relatively* large overfall (say 5mm) at the top-up level. The prototype is in a tank without condensation lid and by topping up to a 3-4 mm overfall each time it has never yet run dry between water changes.
  4. As this is a bypass design even if the weir did run dry for a period (perhaps due to overdue water change) this is not a big problem in normal setups.
  5. If evaporation is typically over 5mm between water changes then we would recommend deploying an automatic top-up system as a simpler, more reliable and more general solution to the underlying problem.

P.S. Is the web page displaying acceptably for you?
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