Have an idea for a simple surface scum remover....one issue - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Have an idea for a simple surface scum remover....one issue

I posted another thread in equipment to try to find something to solve surface scum issues without using my filter but I have another idea. I was thinking if I drilled a hole in my lily pipe (inflow), I could remove surface scum like that. The obvious issue is the water level had to be right for this to work.

Rather than topping off and making sure that the water level is right, I was thinking a small plug would be a good solution. Just keep it plugged and remove the plug when I want to remove surface scum and make sure the level is right.

I am wondering what would make a good plug. It would have to seal perfectly to not airlock my filter, be reliable long term, and be popped in and out on a regular basis. I was thinking about trying to find some sort of automotive body plug but don't think I can find one small enough. Any other ideas?

-Matt

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 02:28 AM
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The eraser on the end of a pencil?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 02:45 AM
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I just run an air stone... I get a scum layer in my filter tank. Added a bubbled and no more film!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 02:46 AM
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+1 Same here.


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My thinking has been invert-ed!

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 08:32 PM
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No idea how well it will work, but as to a plug-

go to a hardware store and poke around where they have the little boxes full of screws/bolts/nuts/whatever on the slide out trays.

Sometimes little neighborhood hardware stores have a much better selection then the big-box stores.

Anyways, oftentimes, there will be one tray that will have an assortment of rubber and cork stoppers. I think you should be able to find one the right size for your needs.

A more temporary/short term solution, you might be able to just place a wide rubber band over the hole (like the type they use for broccoli), or a section of bike inner tube, etc. -wrap it around the tube so it's taut, and then place it over the opening. wouldn't be too pretty though...

Last edited by lochaber; 10-04-2013 at 08:34 PM. Reason: new thought
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 05:38 AM
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Water Surface Oil Protein Skimmer for Aquarium Tank on ebay for $8-$15. might be cheaper .
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 07:49 AM
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I don't think this would work at all. In order to get the surface scum off you would have to break the surface tension of the water, and to do that you're required to have air going into that tiny hole in your intake so that the surface will flow into it.

Wouldn't that fill your filter with air and ruin your suction? When I had this problem (I still get it when I leave my pumps off for more than 10 minutes) I built a sump and an overflow so It just kind of goes away.

People are too often merely stating an assumed truth from flawed observation.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legot View Post
I don't think this would work at all. In order to get the surface scum off you would have to break the surface tension of the water, and to do that you're required to have air going into that tiny hole in your intake so that the surface will flow into it.

Wouldn't that fill your filter with air and ruin your suction? When I had this problem (I still get it when I leave my pumps off for more than 10 minutes) I built a sump and an overflow so It just kind of goes away.
The hole would be under the water line. I would have to experiment how low would work (and may not work) but you are correct, this will not work if it was at the water line as it would pull too much air.

I am still sorting out other options because even though my lily pipes were cheap, I cannot get an exact replacement as these were one off and the store I bought them from doesn't carry them. There looks to be a few other options that don't involve using my filter.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-06-2013, 09:38 PM
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Sorry, to clarify I also meant below the water line.

My reasoning is that the scum floats above the surface of the water, there has to be something that brings that surface below the water line so the scum will flow freely. Unfortunately, the only way to do that would be a vortex type of thing, which is what I'm thinking would bring in air.

Maybe instead of working to drag the scum below by focusing on the intake, you could think about using the outlet to force the scum under? Maybe you could make a custom return, that sprays a sheet of water straight down so that the surface is constantly renewing itself?

People are too often merely stating an assumed truth from flawed observation.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-12-2013, 06:07 AM
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Would those cheap ebay surface skimmers work with a fx5? Are they silent or noisy?


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-12-2013, 08:54 PM
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1.
Here's an idea, but requires a solenoid, which you can sometimes find fairly cheap: Use the mini air line for hole.
Connect the other end to a solenoid.

Have the Solenoid open at night, and close during the day, the venturi action will pull air through and aerate the tank at night.

2.
A cheaper method: use the same set up, but buy a tiny air pump, attach to the timer to do the same thing.

Note: You can place this air line/store in line after the canister filter.
So it does not need to be the tank nor any mods done to the lily pipe.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-12-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
2.
A cheaper method: use the same set up, but buy a tiny air pump, attach to the timer to do the same thing.

Note: You can place this air line/store in line after the canister filter.
So it does not need to be the tank nor any mods done to the lily pipe.
I haven't moved on this because my chronic surface scum has seemed to go away. Not even sure why. However, I never thought of putting an airstone/pump inline. I was thinking about just getting an air pump and stone and use it at night but being that I have zero equipment in the tank, I was not super fond of the idea.

I may try this out, even though I don't have the need for it, seems cheap and simple. Thanks for the idea.

-Matt

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-12-2013, 11:33 PM
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this guy did a diy surface skimmer with a lily pipe and it looks pretty good.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=293066

Eheim Pimp Club #190

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