DIY: Surface Skimmer - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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DIY: Surface Skimmer

How to remove surface scum for $5 or less.

Cut the bottom of a soda bottle off so it looks like a funnel*.Get a basic powerhead like a Maxi Jet and flip it upside down. Attach the soda bottle to the intake and stuff filter floss down to the neck. Put the powerhead in the water so the bottle is just below the surface. Turn it on to watch surface scum vanish. Make sure to adjust the level so the powerhead takes in enough water that it isn't shooting out too much air. Took about 10 minutes to make my water crystal clear. Washed out the filter floss to reuse it another day.

*Optional - cut little slots in the bottom of the bottle to get easier skimming. I took a lighter and burned the edges so they folded over.



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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 01:56 AM
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thats frickin genius i donno why i didnt think of that
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 02:05 AM
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That is a great idea. Wonder how it would do if you chucked a bag of purigen under the floss.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
That is a great idea. Wonder how it would do if you chucked a bag of purigen under the floss.
Not sure if it would do much, I only use this skimmer once or twice a week for 10 minutes.

I first saw how to do this on APC, so original credit is whoever posted it there. I just saw how many people on this forum need to get rid of surface scum.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 03:15 AM
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duck weed filter
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Bump for people with surface scum problems!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:16 AM
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this is an awsome idea
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 09:30 PM
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Would this be a potential shrimp blackhole?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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Would this be a potential shrimp blackhole?
Negative. This is something you use for 5-10 minutes any time you feel the need to get rid of surface crap, not a permanent piece of equipment. Even if a shrimp manages to get sucked in, the filter floss will stop it from being blended by the impeller.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 05:22 PM
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My husband and I made one of these last night and it worked great. I was just waiting for one of the hatchetfish to jump right into it like it was a toy.


-Val
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 01:54 AM
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omg, i finally have a use for my power head

Check out my 15g Red cherry shrimp tank

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or my 33G Long

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 02:23 AM
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This skimmer/bottom draw unit is made from a piece of 2"ABS pipe
Click image for larger version

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At the gravel level I just used the chopsaw to cut a small kerf in the pipe
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At the top/waterline I cut the pipe at a 30* angle and put the intake tube of my HOT Magnum filter inside.
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With this set up the water level can drop by an inch and still skim the surface. I do not think the bottom draw slot will flow enough water if the level drops any lower than that. One could experiment with more cuts at the gravel level or a deeper angle at the water surface. To draw more water from either end.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 05:44 PM
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That is actually pretty cool. I have a Fluval one but I don't use it because I don't want something that big to be in my tank all the time. I have an extra HOB I use it from time to time with but even then, it's kind of a pain. I may take this idea, but use the top of my Fluval one for something easy to take in and out of my tank. It could be made to be even smaller than the Fluval surface skimmer would be, and make it removable.

-Matt

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 05:54 PM
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I just made one of these out of misc. parts I had laying around. I used the top part of my Fluval surface skimmer, a pump from a Marina HOB filter I had laying around and connected the two with a small piece of plastic pipe. Then I keep in in place with an old heater holder. Took me about 10 min to make and setup.

This thing is awesome. It works as well as the Fluval does but I don't like to use the Fluval all the time. If I use it with my canister, I can air lock it without much effort. If I use it with a HOB, it just can act up if you leave the room. With this, it's loud as it is constantly sucking air in but not an problem. In about 5 min, done, can take it out, put it in for next time.

Thanks for this, super simple but I would have never thought about it.

-Matt

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 12:45 AM
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Hey Talon, can you post a pic of your set up?
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