Anyone run a freshwater surface skimmer?

james_fish

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Hi all

My open top 53 gal gets caned with surface biofilm unless I have both my Sicce powerheads on.
I'm not a big fan of having the powerheads on at all as it really restricts me from growing floating plants.

So anyway, I was considering a surface skimmer, like the Eheim 350. Does anyone have any feedback, or just any comments in general?

Best regards,
James.
 

seangee

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I used a JBL Topclean skimmer for a while. Did a decent job but I eventually took it out to reduce the number of things in my tank :).
 

Byron

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Several years ago I bought surface skimmer attachments for my Eheim Pro 2 canister filters. The principle is the same (I just watched the video online of the Eheim 350). They removed the protein film OK, but several times I had fish caught. Otos several times, and fry naturally, but any small fish. Another issue was plant matter clogging the intake; floating plants could, though that can often be circumvented, but bits of plant leaf would get pulled in and clog the intake. And snails got in and blocked the intake a few times. Useful tools otherwise.
 
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james_fish

james_fish

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thanks both for your replies.

@ £25 the Eheim might just be worth giving a go I guess. I'll have to make a separator for the surface to keep Frogbit or whatever floating plants out the way to prevent them getting pulled towards it

Best regards,
James.
 

NickAu

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All you need is some surface movement? Why waste money on a skimmer that may or may not work?

Do you run an air pump/ stone in the tank?

If you have an air pump get one of these. They are about $ 10,
sponge-filter-small-aquariums.jpg

Set the outlet half in half out of the water, end of problem.

Heres a look at the top of one of my tanks using the sponge filer above.
 

Zante

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That's one of the reasons I prefer to have sumped tanks (even my 30 litre one!).

Had floating plants on one of mine, and kept them corralled with a loop of airline floating on the surface.
 
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james_fish

james_fish

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All you need is some surface movement? Why waste money on a skimmer that may or may not work?

Do you run an air pump/ stone in the tank?

If you have an air pump get one of these. They are about $ 10,
sponge-filter-small-aquariums.jpg

Set the outlet half in half out of the water, end of problem.

Heres a look at the top of one of my tanks using the sponge filer above.

I'm not a big fan of air stones. The effect they give is unnatural and not my thing.

I have surface movement, plenty enough for the fish, but not enough to prevent biofilm from frming. I don't want too much due to the negative effect it can have on floating plants, like I mentioned in the OP

Best regards,
James.
 
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james_fish

james_fish

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That's one of the reasons I prefer to have sumped tanks (even my 30 litre one!).

Had floating plants on one of mine, and kept them corralled with a loop of airline floating on the surface.

thanks for your input Zante

Best regards,
James.
 

NickAu

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I have surface movement, plenty enough for the fish, but not enough to prevent biofilm from frming.
If the film is forming you do not have enough surface movement simple as that.
 

Zante

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thanks for your input Zante

Best regards,
James.

Have you considered sumping your tank though?
You would increase water volume, get your surface skimming, increase the filtration potential and remove all the equipment from the display tank.

You can get some excellent overflow boxes that work fine (have one on my 54 litre marine shrimp tank) and don't require you to drill your tank.

Your sump could even host some plants like peace lilies, dieffenbachia, lucky bamboo and many others, that will be pollutant sponges. Just plant them in one of those plastic pond baskets filled with expanded clay pellets. With access to the unlimited supply of CO2 in the air they will soak up nitrates like no submerged plant can.

A sump opens up so many possibilities!
 
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james_fish

james_fish

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Have you considered sumping your tank though?
You would increase water volume, get your surface skimming, increase the filtration potential and remove all the equipment from the display tank.

You can get some excellent overflow boxes that work fine (have one on my 54 litre marine shrimp tank) and don't require you to drill your tank.

Your sump could even host some plants like peace lilies, dieffenbachia, lucky bamboo and many others, that will be pollutant sponges. Just plant them in one of those plastic pond baskets filled with expanded clay pellets. With access to the unlimited supply of CO2 in the air they will soak up nitrates like no submerged plant can.

A sump opens up so many possibilities!

It is something I’ve considered, not for this setup but definitely for my next upgrade. Will be jumping up to about 400L hopefully in the next tank

Best regards
James.


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