View Full Version : best time to run skimmer?

09/29/2007, 12:07 PM
If you were to only run your skimmer for say 12-14 hrs/day, which hours would you choose and why? Please don't say "I run mine 24/7." Thanks!

09/29/2007, 01:22 PM
If there is a difference, I would say the time you have your lights on. Just because that is when you feed your fish, fish are active (more waste production?) and you can "blow" your rocks to get things floating around.

Then again, I don't know if a skimmer would have to "break in" on a daily basis.

09/29/2007, 03:00 PM
I would not recommend only running your skimmer for a certain amount of time. Skimmers will break in and than they should be left alone unless needed for cleaning if you want it to work right. There's no point in not running it 24/7.

09/29/2007, 03:16 PM
I would think running it for the longest period of time when no food is introduced to the tank would be best (ie during the night). That way it is a constant uninterrupted foam head producing skimmate. That said, I run mine 24/7 :D

09/29/2007, 07:13 PM

09/29/2007, 07:47 PM
This is just a horrible idea. You really need to run it 24/7 but if that is not possible have it where it turns off when you feed. Try just to feed once a day.

So if you feed at 6 pm everyday, start the skimmer 12-14 hours before that.

09/29/2007, 08:30 PM
If I were going to run a skimmer part time, it would definitely be at night. This will help keep pH levels stable when photosynthesis is not generating O2. Definitely when the lights are off.

BTW Uhuru - I have been meaning to ask you if the Ex-1 still skims on your nano. I mentioned before that would probably stop skimming after a while since it is soo oversized. Is this why you are thinking of running it part time?

09/29/2007, 08:38 PM
/\/\i don't think that is the problem. I ran my ex-2 for months on my 30gal tank. lol

09/29/2007, 09:15 PM
USC-fan : did you consistentlyostently collect skimmate? Were you feeding your 30 gallon whole cans of tuna or something??

09/29/2007, 09:25 PM
It still skim really well and i just had 2 fish and a couple shrimp/crabs/snails. i just increase the dwell time by resisting the skimmers output so i could feed it 50 gph.

It sure doesn't collect the amount of skimmate as my 90 but that is understandable since there is more to remove.

09/29/2007, 10:33 PM
rishma, it still skims very consistently, but not nearly as dark as people with the larger tanks. I wish it would skim darker but like USC-fan pointed out, I would have to reduce the flow through using a gate valve on the output. At 50gph that gate valve is going to be nearly shut! I ran it this way for a while and was very impressed, but the two times I turned off the recirc pump and turned it back on, it overflowed heavily into the cup before settling down. Because I run mine externally, and on the carpet, I felt the risk of it overflowing whenever the power went out and came back on was too much. Also, at 50gph you're not gonna pull into the skimmer body the larger particles too well, which is important in a BB tank. However, if someone could show me a safer way to reduce the flow through on this skimmer I'd still be willing to give it a try.

To answer your other question, I was definitely not thinking of running this skimmer part time. Even though it is oversized it skims consistently all day, unless I just fed PE mysis, this seems to shut it down for 24 hrs! This is for a different tank I am setting up. I've read some posts about how it would be advantageous to run 2 skimmers on a single system. I was thinking one could be set to skim dry 24/7, while the other would only come on and skim VERY wet for the optimal times of the day. Additionally either skimmer could be taken down for service for days at a time if necessary without too much stress on the tank. But it seems from the responses this probably wouldn't work. I know I didn't word my question well. I was in a rush and didn't want to type all this out LOL.

09/29/2007, 10:46 PM
calfo recommends two skimmers on one system. I agree it is a good idea. I have always considered having a needlewheel and a beckett on a system. best of both worlds.

again, run it at night. Additional gas exchange at night would be good. runing while feeding is nto sensible as it usually kills the foam.


09/29/2007, 10:52 PM
id run mine 48/14 and twice on holidays if possible. But I guess I have to skick with 24/7. :D

09/29/2007, 10:57 PM
you should go see the thread in the advanced topics forum where a guy was arguing that skimmers mostly pull out good things and cause harm to tanks....unbelieveable.

09/30/2007, 02:32 AM
I've heard that many times, despite the fact that 99.99% of the most beautiful, successful tanks run skimmers:)

I just took this pic for you. As you can see, it's not the most impressive, but I can tell you that after several weeks now this is pretty much what it pulls out consistently every 12 hours. I could skim darker, but too much stuff just ends up on the neck. I know the best solution is to increase dwell time, but I don't feel comfortable restricting the output as much as would be necessary.


09/30/2007, 02:57 AM
I run mine 18 hours per day. I have 5 MH lights. When all 5 are on, 5pm the skimmer shuts down. It comes back on when 2 of the bulbs shut down at 11 pm. It also shut down if the temp of the tank get's too high.

09/30/2007, 06:18 AM
24/7, never turn it off, not even during feedings.

09/30/2007, 09:13 AM
given the tank size, that is a decent amount of skimmate. I would not think slowing the flow way down is a great idea for a bare bottom tank. You want to get that detritus out

09/30/2007, 11:59 AM
i rum mine 24/7 but if i were to run it part time i would run it the opposite of my lighting schedule... i think thats what FISHCRAZE2002 do ...


09/30/2007, 12:22 PM
during summer i run mine on a timer it turn off from 12pm-6pm to produce less heat. and the rest of the session is 24/7

09/30/2007, 01:36 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10872453#post10872453 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by rishma
given the tank size, that is a decent amount of skimmate. I would not think slowing the flow way down is a great idea for a bare bottom tank. You want to get that detritus out We are talking about slowing the flow-through rate of the skimmer. This increases the water's dwell time in the skimmer.

10/02/2007, 05:51 PM