PDA

View Full Version : RD3 Skimmer pump


chowder
04/03/2016, 03:59 PM
Hi,
I have a Mini Bubble King 180 Gen 2 and was wondering if I would be able to swap the current AC pump with the DC RD3 Skimmer pump used in many of the new BK skimmers. It seems that many of the DC skimmers are rated for tanks larger than mine. I'm trying to get the aquarium as quiet as possible and my BK mini makes a humming noise that is the loudest thing in my tank.

I have a 135G Fish Only tank with a 30G sump.

Irwin

slief
04/03/2016, 05:27 PM
Hi,
I have a Mini Bubble King 180 Gen 2 and was wondering if I would be able to swap the current AC pump with the DC RD3 Skimmer pump used in many of the new BK skimmers. It seems that many of the DC skimmers are rated for tanks larger than mine. I'm trying to get the aquarium as quiet as possible and my BK mini makes a humming noise that is the loudest thing in my tank.

I have a 135G Fish Only tank with a 30G sump.

Irwin

The Mini 180 will not support an RD3 pump. The only Mini skimmer that does is the Mini 200. That said, the existing pump should be virtually silent. If it's not nearly silent, you have one of 3 things going on. One is the bearing may causing friction with the impeller shaft. The second would be that the skimmer is assembled in such a way that a part of the pump body or the outlet is kind of tweaked enough that the pump is resonating through the skimmer body and lastly it could also be noise generated from the air path. This assuming that the skimmer body isn't touching something in your sump.

First thing I would suggest taking the pump completely apart, removing the impeller and removing the bearing that sits in the magnet cavity. If when you pull the impeller out of the motorblock, the bearing is stuck to the bottom of the shaft, that is an issue and it will need to be careful pulled off the shaft. The bearing should never stick the shaft and should always be seated in the bottom of the motor block. See link to instructions below.

Once you have everything apart, soak all the parts in vinegar for several hours. Then scrub everything well with a soft brush and rinse well. The pump should look like new inside and out. Make sure the little hole in the bearing that the impeller shaft sits into is nice and clean. A tooth pick can come in hand for cleaning that hole. Then reinstall the bearing correctly. It's critical that the o-ring on the bearing be properly seating into the bearing cavity when you reinstall the bearing. If it's not seated properly, the bearing will create friction on the end of the impeller shaft. Also, make sure the end of the impeller shaft is clean and smooth. A scotch Brite pad can come in hand for cleaning the end of the impeller shaft. Also inspect the nipple where the airline connects to the pumps nozzle and make sure there is no salt creep in there. Again, a toothpick can come in handy cleaning any salt creep out of the airline connection at the pump. Once you have it all back together, run the pump in a bucket with vinegar for a few hours and then run it in fresh water for a little while before putting the skimmer back together. When you reassembled the skimmer loose fit everything first then tighten one section at a time working from the bottom of the skimmer up.

The other think I would do is dissasemble the silencer (AKA resonator), remove the foam filter and rinse and clean it thoroughly followed by allowing it to air dry completely. Also clean the resonator body inside and out making sure to inspect and clean the red rigid air path tubes inside the resonator body.

The bearing inside the motorblock is discussed on page 7 of the manual and the resonator is discussed on page 9 of the manual below:

http://royalexclusiv.net/images/content/mbk/eng/mbk_operating_maintenance_eng.pdf

chowder
04/03/2016, 06:11 PM
Thanks for the tips! I'm giving the pump a vinegar soak right now and will do the other things as well.

Would you happen to know if the RD3 skimmer pump will fit the Gen 1 Bubble King Mini 200? I have one of those as well but the pump no longer works.

slief
04/03/2016, 07:08 PM
Glad to help. The RD3 won't fit the older mini 200's. The skimmers were redesigned to acclimate the RD3 pump. The baseplate & bubble plate as well as the intake hole were all changed to accommodate the RD3.

chowder
04/04/2016, 02:40 AM
After a several hour vinegar soak/scrub/rinse, reassembling, and running the pump in vinegar I'm finding that the BK Mini Gen 2 still makes a very audible vibration hum.

I did pay careful attention to the bearing per the instructions.

The pump sounds pretty quiet if I leave it running in water without the venturi connector that connects to the outside of the cylinder, but once I connect it there are audible vibrations that won't go away even if I try to hold any of the parts steady.

The BK 180 mini's noise never really bothered me before because it was about as loud as my eheim 1262 return pump. Both were recommended as being very quiet, but I never thought they were silent. I can tell if the pump or skimmer is running from another room. Perhaps I'm sensitive to noise.

I recently upgraded my eheim to the ecotech vectra M1 DC pump based on suggestions that DC pumps are quieter than most AC pumps. Finally, I agree with what people say! That DC pump makes a light high pitched noise, but really isn't noticable from a few feet away.

So now I'm interested in switching my BK to some sort of DC skimmer. Do you know if there is a noise difference between the BK 200 Mini with RD3 DC pump vs the Mini 180 with AC pump? Would the BK Mini 200 with RD3 DC pump be too big for a 135G moderately stocked fish only tank?

Thanks for all the info!

slief
04/04/2016, 09:47 AM
The Mini 200 is about as quiet as you can possible get in a skimmer. They are virtually silent. In the case of your 180, I wonder if the noise you are hearing is the air going through the muffler or the air going into the volute? I assume you took the silencer apart as well? The 200 is really too large for your display and I wouldn't normally recommend that skimmer for a display your size. You would need to run it pretty wet to keep it consistent or just let it run its course and it will produce skimmate some days and slow down on others.

chowder
04/04/2016, 11:58 AM
The noise level goes up a notch when adding the plastic venturi attachment to the pump inlet. It is a vibration kind of noise and it sounds like it is coming from the pump when I put my ear up close to the skimmer.

If I let the pump run without the attachment and there are no bubbles then it is actually pretty quiet. I did clean out all the silicone air tubes and muffler. There is no salt accumulation.

I think I may be especially sensitive to this frequency as I can hear it on many bubble king mini videos on youtube. Perhaps my mini is running the way it is supposed to. The noise didn't bother me too much until I got my first DC pump.

I really do appreciate all the info! I am hoping the mini 160 or 180 will eventually have a DC pump available.