View Full Version : Ultimate Coralife Super Skimmer mod for CSS125

02/24/2008, 06:59 PM
I believe I have stumbled upon what I consider to be the best mod I have ever done to the coralife super skimmer. Recently, my pump which I had done the meshwheel mod on failed. The pump was out of warranty and I did not wish to spend the money to purchase a new one so I decided to make something that I had lying around work. This mod is really easy to do. All it involves is hooking a RIO600 directly into the inlet of the CSS125. This RIO makes absolute bubble milk and moves less water than the stock pump so it gives longer contact time. These pics speak for themselves. Again, this skimmer is producing more skimmate than it ever has in the past.





02/24/2008, 07:19 PM
I used a Gen-X 2400.


02/24/2008, 07:23 PM
what mods did you do to the rio?

02/24/2008, 07:32 PM
No mods. This rio had an air inlet on the impeller cover which I used. I borrowed one of the outlet valves from another RIO600 that had lots of little accessories with it. I'm not exactly sure how you know what version of the RIO600 you are getting though....

02/24/2008, 07:34 PM
Are you running that RIO2400 at full blast? That's a lot of flow.

02/24/2008, 07:59 PM
So your saying the pump they give you is overpowered? Also how do you get the bubbles into the chamber?

02/24/2008, 08:03 PM
Sorry...I had to edit that. It's a Gen-X 2400 and I have the water intake restricted and air intake bored out.

02/24/2008, 08:29 PM
Will this work with the 65 too or do they have different inlet dimensions?

02/24/2008, 08:32 PM
Are we talking about two different skimmers now? The CLSS 125 and the Gen-x 2400?

If so witch one is this thread about? The CLSS, right?

02/24/2008, 08:47 PM
This thread is about the Coralife Super Skimmer CSS125. A Gen-X 2400 is a type of pump as far as I know.

Coralife uses the same pump for the CSS125 and CSS220. I would not say that the factory pump has too much flow but I would guess that it is a little on the high side for the CSS125 skimmer body.

I can't comment on the CSS65 as I have never seen one in person. I'm sure there is some way that you could attach a different pump to the unit if you desired.

My skimmer is still going a bit crazy at this time. I suspect that it is due to a higher level organics that devoloped in the time period that the skimmer was shut off. I will give a progress report next week and let everyone know how it is performing after everything settles down. Just as a side note. I would not recommend that everyone go out and buy a new pump just yet since we only have short term results.

Another note: I have since added a single rubber band to hold the output nozzle onto the pump. It tends to vibrate off. The nozzle does not come loose at the skimmer body, just on the pump side. This could easily be fixed permanently with some PVC glue. The rubber band works just as well.

02/24/2008, 09:08 PM
Alright, I found out what parts you need for the RIO600 to make it into a bubble monster.

Go here to this page and then look at the part #s I give you.


Dual intake venturi kit (I only hooked an air hose to one of these inlets. The other is not connected to anything and simply sucks water)
#0440 1

Flow control for
Rio 200-800

Note: The standard RIO600 box comes with the flow control. You will have to source the dual inlet venturi to use it on the skimmer.

02/24/2008, 11:07 PM
Does the rio have any needlewheel of any sorts? Or do you just use the venturi air bubbles? I'm going to fosters and smith retail store tomorrow and want to pick up the stuff to do this, where can I get that dual venturi thing? Is it possible to mod the inlet with out having that? I cant even figure out how much it is or how to order on that site... I can't quite picture how that venturi deal fits on the pump to make it so effective... Isn't there a way to make the Rio 600 plus work with out finding that part? I don't think fosters and smith has it and I'm sick of my skimmer sucking!

02/24/2008, 11:10 PM
So If I buy this, none of these fittings will have a venturi nipple on it? I cant tell from the picture, but in the description it says its good for venturi skimmers etc...

02/24/2008, 11:24 PM
The RIO does not have a needle wheel but I do not find that it needs it. The bubbles are smaller than those produced by the original needlewheel pump. All that venturi does is make it so that you can hook a piece of airline tubing up to the intake. It is just a hole that allows the pump to suck air. (I suppose the diameter of the whole is significant) The RIO600 will come with what they call a "venturi" in the box but I have found it to be useless. The "venturi" that it comes with mounts on the output side instead of in front of the inlet. (It does not produce many bubbles)

I think it would be quite easy to modify the existing intake screen using a piece of hard airline tubing. Carefully drill a hole and epoxy the tubing in place just off center.

Take note that I actually did have to use the valve on the RIO to slow it down at first because even with the red knob on the skimmer all the way open I had excessive foam production. After it all settles down you should be able to run the pump wide open and use the red knob to adjust the skimmer as usual.

Also remember, this is unproven so feel free to experiment (It's relatively cheap to do) but don't expect a turn key operation.

hotimportknight: It will not contain the venturi part that you need. That is the manufacturer's website. Perhaps if you call drsfostersmith they can help you obtain the part. Mine just happened to have that dual inlet venturi on it because the pump came with a hang on back skimmer that surprisingly never worked correctly. Strange that the pump did not work on the old housing but seems quite effective on the CSS125.

02/25/2008, 09:55 PM
I picked up the RIO 600 today. They had it in the warehouse so I couldn't really look what was in the box before i got it. I talked to the lady there that installs tanks in peoples houses and stuff and she said the CSS should come with the Rio 600 (maybe she was talking about the 65?) then she looked it up and said it comes with the venturi fittings n the box. It did have some, but they do not do anything apparently? I was just testing it in my salt bucket to see how many bubbles it would make and it doesn't make any at all with the venturi thing on the outlet side... why do they include it if it doesnt make any bubbles at all? They never heard of the intake dual venturi thing and didnt sell them... Now what do I do? Anyone know why its not making any bubbles at all?

02/25/2008, 10:04 PM
Alright, that was a dumb question. I inspected the airline tubing it came with, there was a crimp in it that didnt allow air to go through it. Put on another piece and now it makes bubbles... some. not many at all. I think it would be pathetic for the skimmer. Where can I find that intake venturi deal? I was going to mod my stock pump inlet side to fit on the rio, but i dont want to ruin it in case it doesnt work out...

02/25/2008, 10:27 PM
Ok this is a really weird pump. Ive been playing around with it, had a good idea, have air intake on the inlet site by modding my CSS 125 venturi nozzle to fit, did that with a little bit of cutting of a piece. fit great. I tested it by holding it up to the inlet of the RIO to see if it would work first. Holding the CSS venturi intake on it with my hands around it to seal it worked great, it sizzled and make TONS of micro bubbles. I added on the outlet side and it started making even more! It worked great. So I chopped a piece from the Rio kit to make the CSS venturi fit on it, drop it in and NOTHING! ahh. Turns out its getting too much water flow now and its a very delicate balance... I cannot get it right now so Im throwing the no name brand pump back on so I have a skimmer until I get some real working parts for this thing...

02/26/2008, 07:15 AM
You have to realize that the new pump is 200GPH and your old one is around 500GPH.


I wish I could have found that for you earlier. I only use one hose going into the pump. I just leave the other one off.

02/26/2008, 08:43 AM
I have a CSS220. Isn't the only different from connecting the pump directly to the inlet just a 6" piece of flex tubing? Maybe I am missing something.

Can you post a pic of the overall skimmer?

02/26/2008, 08:59 AM
I'm on my way to class right now, I'll try to get some pics up later today. The Rio 600 right out of the box comes with 2 "venturi" pieces. Both fit at the outlet side of the pump and don't do anything really. I ordered the dual inlet venturi fitting for 10$ shipped last night on some website, It was hard to find. My CSS will just have to do until that comes in the mail.

02/26/2008, 09:54 AM
I won't be able to post any more pics until this weekend. I am out of town right now. The reason the pump was connected directly to the inlet is because it just happens to be a perfect fit on the CSS125. (don't know about CSS65 or CSS220) The only thing that is really being accomplished by using the smaller pump is increasing the air contact time with the water inside the skimmer body.

hotimportknight: Yes, the so called "venturi" pieces that the RIO600 comes with are useless.

You will use the Flow control with Elbow for Rio 200-800
#0249 0 to hook the pump to the skimmer body. (This comes with the RIO600 in the box) Just pull the elbow off and run the pump straight into the skimmer body.

02/26/2008, 11:27 AM
I ordered the dual intake venturi piece from some site last night, was pretty hard to find. I found it at "EcoReef" or something like that, was only 3$ but came to almost 10 with shipping. Too bad fosters and smith didn't have one... I was also thinking about running a small air pump and forcing air into the outlet side of the RIO. Would that slow down the flow too much do you think or no? It was just an idea to play around with to get even more air into it. But by the looks of those pics that is some insane foam! I want that...
Here is the body of my skimmer, its a bit dirty but I can't get my hand or anything down in there properly. I figured thats the return part where the water flows anyway, shouldnt affect bubble production or movement.

Here is the collection cup with it cleaned and working as good as it ever has. Just not enough foam production, well no foam at all really, just a few bubbles here and there...
These are the only pics I have right now, I'm at school and its all I have on my photobucket account.

02/26/2008, 02:49 PM
You have to remember, if there are no organics for the skimmer to pull out, it will simply not make as much foam. Mine has slowed down considerably after the initial few days. You could play around with the air pump idea on the lnlet. I would not do anything on the output side.

Does your tank look good? Is everything happy? It could be that you have a low bioload. Also, where is your pump positioned? Is it in a sump?

Ideally, you want the pump to be at the top near the water surface as that is where the organics collect.

02/26/2008, 02:53 PM
I have a very high bio load im afraid to admit... I'm getting a 125g+ in the next 4 months for sure, i already have a few grand set aside, just waiting to move. Couldnt resist a few fish already in plans of them being happier in the 6 foot tank. smallish yellow and blue tangs, gramma, 2 clowns, lawnmower blenny, and a pygmy angel all in a 50 gallon 48x12x18 tank. Thats why I want my skimmer to be working as good as possible right now until they get to move into a new home. Right now I would estimate about 2.5-3 gallons per inch of fish, 5g/in is supposed to be the max by rule of thumb...

03/03/2008, 03:37 PM
Alright, spent 20$ on the Rio 600 pump, another 10 with shipping for the venturi part, tore apart my sump and skimmer, got it back together, and its absolutely useless... This pump doesnt make enough bubbles to power an freshwater bubble ornament, let alone a skimmer. Any more info other than what was already given?

03/03/2008, 04:06 PM
Anyone? Or its time to tear it all down again and heat up tubing and all that to put the old pump back on. This RIO 600 with optional venturi piece doesnt do anything worthwhile, probably about 1/4 as effective as the stock venturi pump on the CSS125...

03/03/2008, 04:10 PM
Here is a comparison to the bubbles that rise up the neck, 98% water:
and here is the body, with the stock no name pump you at least cant see through the body tube...
here is with the rio 600:

03/03/2008, 05:25 PM
Oh well, at least the RIO 600 is good for something, I used it to pump water into my tank when I did a water change. Easier than using buckets out of the big tub.

03/03/2008, 05:54 PM
Why are you running the water level so high in the skimmer body? It should be close to level with the red ring. I don't personally see anything wrong with the amount of bubbles shown in that pic. After about a week of running my skimmer looks similar to yours although I have slightly more bubbles. I pulled out loads of skimmate the first week and it has since slowed down but still produces a good dry foam. The RIO600 runs cooler, makes less noise, draws less power and performs just as well or better than the stock pump in my case.

I did decide to hook up the venturi as shown in this pic though. Very little difference but it is how it was designed to be run.


As a final comment, if the organics are there, they will show up anywhere there is bubbles. When my skimmer was shut down I had a thick seafoam in my overflow drain area in my sump. After running the skimmer for a week there is no seafoam and the water is crystal clear. Those results coupled to the half gallon of skimmate the unit produced over a week confirms in my opinion that this combination works.

03/03/2008, 06:13 PM
I could run the water level with the rio at the brim of the cup 1/8" from the top and it still wouldn't have collected anything, almost no bubbles made it to the top of the skimmer. I run the stock pump at the base of the collection cup and it gets enough bubbles to collect stuff.
Here is with the Rio, I wasnt getting enough bubbles with the stock pump so I wanted to upgrade to get more bubbles and less water, apparently didnt work. Here is side by side, just took both these pics, here is the RIO:
Almost no bubbles, no accumulation in my over stocked 55g tank with 2 tangs that shouldnt even be in the tank because its too small.
Here is the stock no name pump:

03/03/2008, 06:16 PM
You run the water level at the red ring? Thats why I run my water level when I take off the collection cup and nothing comes up over the top while im away cleaning, I dont see how it would ever collect anything if you kept the water down there.

03/03/2008, 06:48 PM
When I first hooked up the pump I had the red valve all the way open (Those pics on the front page where with the red valve all the way open) and it was still explosively blowing foam into the cup. Now I run it level with the red ring and it makes dry foam. All I can say is use what works best. That looks like decent production from the stock pump so I would just stick with that in your situation. Put the rio in your display tank to get some more turnover.