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View Full Version : Precision Marine Skimmer users please help me...


TriniStylez
09/28/2007, 11:37 PM
I just bought a used PM Bullet 2 skimmer. What is the best way to set these guys up? What has worked well for you? I am just planning my new system and want to factor this in. Im pretty open right now to any ideas. Pictures would be awesome because I am very visual.

Basically, I can go internal or external with the skimmer. Only problem if I run it out of the sump is the skimmer return. It needs to be above the water level of the sump right? I dont think I have enough height for that. Anyways, any help and advice would be great.

Thanks!

TriniStylez
09/29/2007, 10:21 AM
No one uses them? Do they suck?

oldreefer76
09/29/2007, 10:57 AM
Tagging along am setting up a Bullet 1

TriniStylez
09/29/2007, 11:17 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10868122#post10868122 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by oldreefer76
Tagging along am setting up a Bullet 1

Did you plan out how you were going to set it up yet?

I have never used this type of skimmer and just wanted to see if anyone with experience can suggest the best way to set them up?

oldreefer76
09/29/2007, 12:17 PM
I have to run mine external as it will not fit in my tidepool sump and also run the external waste collector outside of my stand there is just not much room in my 55g stand and since we live in an apartment I can't plumb it anyplace else

TriniStylez
09/29/2007, 12:41 PM
Yeah I think I am going to run mine external too. I was just hoping to see a few pics of what people have done. My only problem with external is the return from the skimmer has to be above the sump waterline I guess and I dont have much room (height) for that. I need ideas.

oldreefer76
09/29/2007, 01:37 PM
I have the same issue and am having to cut a hole in the top of my sump to run the return back into, my sump is plastic so it will be no big deal, we hope to have it up and running sometime tomorrow evening

TriniStylez
09/29/2007, 01:39 PM
If you have it up and running, I wouldnt mind seeing a few pics if at all possible.

Seems like maybe these skimmers are not used by too many people! No responses still from anyone using one???

oldreefer76
09/29/2007, 05:55 PM
I went out and got all the plumbing parts and stuff for the sump baffles today and will be piecing it all together tomorrow and fire it all up Monday after work

These are great skimmers but the price tag on them new is pricey and everyone is caught up in the needle wheel craze , I could not have afforded this new with the pump, gate valve, lg pm waste collector, and adjustable acrylic skimmer stand would have been over $500 new got mine from a local 6 mos of use for $125

TriniStylez
09/29/2007, 07:33 PM
Yeah I got mine used too for a good price. A bit more than yours still though. Im still not sure how Im going to set it up though. I can't really find pictures or anything online at all. Hard to find anything about these skimmers.

oldreefer76
09/29/2007, 07:37 PM
What size tank are you going to be putting it on?

TriniStylez
10/01/2007, 12:17 AM
Its a 112G I think (custom dimensions).

Wryknow
10/01/2007, 08:59 AM
OK, here's how I had mine set up.

- Make sure that your skimmer is sitting above the water level in your sump so that it drains properly (you will most likely need some sort of stand to elevate it - scrap wood or an old bucket works fine)

- The drain needs to connect to the sump through a continuous down-ward slope. (This probably means that you'll need to have a bulk head in your sump.) I plumbed my drain line with 1.25" PVC (size will vary model, just match the oyutput on the skimmer.) Make sure that you have a gate valve plumbed in the drain line so that you can control the water level in the skimmer.

- For the input line I just dropped my internal pump in the sump and ran a 1" flexible line from the pump to the skimmer input barb.

- Once it is connected open the gate valve all the way and close the blue air valve all the way down.

- Turn the pump on and check for leaks. Everything should be draining straight out into you sump. There should be no water or bubbles visible in the riser at this point. If the water level is is high in the riser and will not fall below the black plastic body on the bottom of the skimmer then you either need to dial back the pump or improve your drainage.

- Once everything is running OK start closing the gate valve until your water level raises up to where it is even with the black plastic body (if you want dry skimmate) up to an 1" or so over the body (wetter skimmate.) Take you time and make sure the level is stable before you move on to the nect step.

- Now its time to play with the air valve. Start opening the air valve up very slowly until the bubbles start forming and building. You want to just nudge it open about 1/8 of a turn at a time every 5 minutes or so until the bubbles have built up about to 1/2 up the height of the neck. Now you walk away and let it run. It will take a day to break in and start producing foam. If your not getting skimmate after a day open the air valve a little bit more until the bubbles start breaking over the top of the riser.

TriniStylez
10/01/2007, 09:29 AM
Thanks! That helps out a lot! What do you mean by a continuous down-ward slope though? Do you mean actually having the plumbing slope towards the bulkhead? Im a bit confused about this part.

Do you have any pics of your set up?

Wryknow
10/01/2007, 11:14 AM
Yes. As much as possible have the return line go straight from the skimmer down to the bulkhead in your sump. What you are trying to avoid is any sort of bend in the plumbing where an air pocket can build up and restrict your flow. It's OK to use 90 degree turns if you have to - just make sure that they are either parallel to the ground or (even better) sloping downward. Proper drainage is critical to getting the skimmer running well, particularly if you have a powerful pump (which I highly recommend) that is pushing the envelope a little bit on the skimmers capacity. I don't have a website for photos but I'll PM you a couple that I took of old set-up that kind of show what I'm talking about.

Wryknow
10/01/2007, 11:29 AM
OK, let me try this darn photo thing...


This should show the skimmer in use. Note the white PVC return line and red gate valve. If the PVC has any upward bend in it at all air is going to accumulate in the bend and restrict your return. This is bad as I found out from personal experience :)....

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd152/Wryknow_93/PMskimmerinuse.jpg


This is what the water level will look like when the skimmer is running properly. Note that the water level is just about even with the skimmer box.

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd152/Wryknow_93/PMskimmerchamber1.jpg

TriniStylez
10/01/2007, 03:56 PM
Thanks, this helps very much!

TriniStylez
10/01/2007, 03:59 PM
Only thing Im stuck on, is how to know where to place the return lines bulkhead before I have the sump running. I don't know the exact water level yet.

TriniStylez
10/02/2007, 09:45 PM
bump

Wryknow
10/03/2007, 09:40 AM
The exact water level isn't critical relative to the bulkhead, it just has to be below the skimmer drain line. The drain could be at any height actually as long as it drains well. If it's too high above the water level it may cause some noise. I would shoot for putting the bottom of the skimmer bulkhead at the top of my estimatied waterline. If it's off by an inch or so it really should matter much.

TriniStylez
10/03/2007, 12:08 PM
Ok, thanks. So it would still be ok if the bulkhead for the skimmer return ends up underwater? For whatever reason, I was thinking it had to be at least partially above the waterline. That doesnt really make sense though anyways.

Wryknow
10/03/2007, 01:05 PM
I've never tried putting a skimmer drain bulkhead completely under water myself so I guess I can't say with absolute certainty that it would be OK. I don't see why it couldn't work though unless there was some sort of wierd air pressure problem that I'm not thinking of. Putting at least part of the output above the waterline helps with the micro-bubbles and equalizes the air flow. I would just take my best guess at the water line (just above the bubble traps if you have any) and put it an inch or two above that. You can always adjust your sump level if you need to.

oldreefer76
10/03/2007, 07:36 PM
I just got my PM Bullet 1 up and running tonight and am very pleased with it so far can't wait to see what it does in a day or 2

TriniStylez
10/03/2007, 08:33 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10898297#post10898297 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by oldreefer76
I just got my PM Bullet 1 up and running tonight and am very pleased with it so far can't wait to see what it does in a day or 2

Is there any way for you to take pictures for me? If not, how did you end up setting it up?

Thanks!

bag151
10/03/2007, 09:17 PM
I suggest running a pump that they recommend, I undersized mine and it shorted me in performance.

TriniStylez
10/03/2007, 10:27 PM
I am running it with a MAK4 which I hope will be enough.