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Re: Protein skimmers (was: box filter)

In a message dated 8/2/1999 10:48:16 AM Mountain Daylight Time, 
BigJohnW@webtv.net writes:

> I thought from everything I've ever read about protein skimmers, is that
>  they were pretty much useless in freshwater and did nothing.   I might
>  be wrong here but I do remember reading that in more than one place if
>  this isn't the case I'm sure that the companies making them would be
>  pushing them on us freshwater hobbyest as well as salt people.

It's not that they WON"T work, it;s just that it is difficult to get them to 
work.  The designs on the market are specifically engineered for salt water.  
The manufacturers have figured out that anybody willing to pop $65-100 per 
fish, have them all die from "cause unknown", then go out and fill the tank 
with more of the same probably has more discretionary cash aimed at their 
tanks, and salt systems are easier to build.  So that's where they are 
working at it.  Take a look at the air-powered RUGF on the krib.  It produced 
some fractionation without even using an airstone, just a line hoved down the 
middle tube.  With a collector cup and a limewood airstone, it probably would 
have cleaned the tank quite nicely.  Once I started sucking from the surface 
instead of just below it, it took the scum off the water.

I suspect that increasing the diameter of the thing as Peter is planning will 
not do much without increasing the airflow proportionately.  With the same 
total flow rate through the thing, it will improve contact time, assuming of 
course the water is going down so that it impedes the air's progress up.  I 
read also a few years ago about a discus breeder that had built skimmers 6 
feet (2 meters) high  for each rearing tank.  They worked really well, 
because there was plenty of contact time between the bubbles and the water.

Bob Dixon

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