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View Full Version : Reef Octopus HOB adjustments


houstonhobby
07/31/2013, 08:12 PM
Everyone,

I am absolutely new to the hobby (45 years of freshwater doesn't count for anything around here) and my first tank has only the flora and fauna that came along with the live rock (got one pretty cute little hermit crab and several wavy tentacle things that I hope are barnacles) plus 5 snails (sort of limpet shaped).

I got all the stuff recommended by my LFS. I have done business with this guy for 20 or more years for freshwater so I sort of know the owner. I think he is a good guy and does not try to sell whatever will make him the most money.

I'm using the Fluval Fx5 that I had on the tank when it was planted, mud bottom, pressurized CO2 (these details probably aren't important to this crowd), and I have an HOB Reef Octopus skimmer.

The skimmer seems to be a good value. The pump looks pretty sturdy. Made in China of course. But there really is no way to adjust this thing. At first, I wasn't getting much of anything in the way of skimate (Nitrates are about 30 ppm so there is stuff to get rid of). Reading up (I know absolutely nothing about skimmers) I decided that I should (1) lower the skimmer and (2) restrict the air flow.

Well, I don't have a sump. The Skimmer plumbing is sitting on the tank rim. It isn't going any lower. I raised the water level about an inch, leaving it one quarter inch below the plastic rim. Didn't see a whole lot of difference.

Restricting the air flow. This thing doesn't have any sort of air flow valve but I found the little tube where the air goes in. I thought I would put an air hose on it and then put a fairly standard airline tubing valve on that but the outside diameter of the tube on the skimmer is just slightly larger than the outside diameter of standard airline tubing. Maybe with a heat gun and some luck, but maybe not.

Luckily, the little tube sticks straight up. I found a small fitting that would go into the hole, and had a small airway thru the center. I just rested it in the tube. This helped some, but I could see (by using my finger) that more restriction would be better. So I took a twist tie and stuck it thru the center hole in my little fitting.

This made the bubbles much smaller and for a while there I was filling the skimmer box with very wet skimate with no color about every 15 minutes. After a while it settled down a bit. Today while I was at work it filled the skimmer box about three quarters full with fairly yellow/green skimate, although I think it would still qualify as very wet.

Restricting the air also makes the water in the side column go up. Too much and you could run it over.

Anybody else have any experience with one of these?

Empty Bottles
08/01/2013, 01:25 AM
I have the HB-2000 model. Mine came with an air valve and a silencer. I only use the plack barrel silencer when my skimmer is running. I do us ethe valve when the pump loses prime to completely restrict airflow.

Ok now to answer your question. My skimmer's collection cup height is adjustable. If you were getting extremely wet skim on my model all you would have to do is loosen the set screw and raise the cup a little then tighten the set screw back. Listing your model number may help because you could get some advice with the exact same model.

Sugar Magnolia
08/01/2013, 07:52 AM
Which model number Reef Octopus did you get? You adjust the skimmer by raising or lowering the collection cup. Higher up produces drier skimmate, lower produces wet skimmate.

Also, I'm wondering about the "mud" bottom you have in the tank. Can you elaborate? What exactly is it? Sand is the preferred substrate for a marine tank.

houstonhobby
08/01/2013, 10:18 PM
Thanks to everyone for the replies. The model number is BH-100SS. Available at 139.95 where ever skimmers are sold.

It does have an adjustable cup but it is already at the bottom or I get not much of anything.

Here are a couple of tours of the device (neither of them are mine).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-QaxnvjW0Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhqlLfxhF24)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhqlLfxhF24

I notice that nobody realizes that the air intake on the end of the white tube is meant to go into the top of the outflow pipe on the left side.

I'm wondering if this is enough of a skimmer for my 90 gallon tank. One of these guys has it on a 29.

Today with the stopper in the intake I only collected about 3/8 inch of skimate, but it was much greener. Probably about what I want, except that when I emptied it I had to take the stopper out to keep it from running over the column on the left, and things seemed to change completely, and the stopper was a bad idea.

A few hours later, it changed again and I put the stopper back on.

Does anyone know the best position for the top of the bubbles in the tube? How close should the bubble top be to the spill-over position?

Kessler
08/03/2013, 12:29 PM
Sorry wrong thread! Easy to misclick on my tablet.
I guess I'll ask something anyways. How do the RO skimmers compare to Eshops?

Sugar Magnolia
08/03/2013, 04:43 PM
Sorry wrong thread! Easy to misclick on my tablet.
I guess I'll ask something anyways. How do the RO skimmers compare to Eshops?

You'll want to start your own thread for this question.

houstonhobby
08/03/2013, 07:36 PM
I'm too much of a new to know the answer, and I doubt if my model is the best example of reef octopus tech, but mine has no controls for adjusting bubble size and no meaningful way to adjust height. Just sayin

BlindZide
08/04/2013, 05:31 AM
I'm too much of a new to know the answer, and I doubt if my model is the best example of reef octopus tech, but mine has no controls for adjusting bubble size and no meaningful way to adjust height. Just sayin

The model would really help us to determine how to help you out. We can't tell you what to do unless we know what we are working with.
Also, to add, how long has the skimmer been running? It may still be in the break-in process which it will be very finicky for the duration.

houstonhobby
08/04/2013, 08:56 AM
I swear I posted the model in the thread but now I can't find it. BH100SS.

Been running for 1 week. How long is a typical breakin period? Do these things have an air stone or something I have to replace occasionally?

BlindZide
08/04/2013, 11:32 AM
It looks exactly like my BH1000 I had on my 30g. There isn't a way to "tune" it per se. First off during the break in period remove the silencer for unrestricted air flow. Once it starts getting the bubbles consistently reinstall the silencer. Also, my skimmer varied in performance depending on the water level in the tank. Find the level where the skimmer operates optimally and keep it there.

You might be able to purchase a air valve and install it to adjust airflow to help with fine tuning the skimmer as well.