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View Full Version : Issues with aquamaxx q2 protein skimmer


Seajackalope
05/10/2016, 09:06 PM
I have recently upgraded my skimmer to an aquamaxx q2 Co e skimmer... Or so I thought. I've been having issues getting it to actually skim. I have it sitting in 7.5 inches of water and I have the exhaust fully open. It creates so many bubbles it is almost spilling over the collection cup with clear water. If I do a water change or even just clean the cup it gets worse. It's in a 125 gallon seahorse tank (the horses) that are fed 2x daily with frozen mysis shrimp. One firefish, diamond spot goby and a mandarin. I'm running an ato so the water level in the sump stays consistent. Tried contacting marine Depot where I purchased it and they told me the skimmer is too big. Seems weird since the way seahorses eat certainly makes a mess. The bubbles also blow out the exhaust... Sometimes pretty violently. Bubble plate seems to be fine. Does anyone have any suggestions? Oh... Also I'm using red sea pro salt. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

JohnnyHildo
05/10/2016, 09:19 PM
the brand new acrylic and plastic from the skimmer are probably causing the skimmer to overflow. close the exhaust all the way then open it half a turn at a time, give it 15 mins to stabilize then open another half turn and so on until satisfied.
the overflowing could last a few days so be patient. over that time remove the rubber drain pipe and plug so it just drains water continuously instead of filling the collection cup and overflowing it that way.
to save mess to the bottom of my tank i also tilt the collection cup lid which slows the foam down a bit and helps tame splashing from the lid boiling over. when it calms down just set the lid in place and fine tune.
i assure you... it will get better. great skimmer for me

Seajackalope
05/11/2016, 06:03 PM
I will try it Johnny... Only thing is the skimmer is now been in the system for 6 weeks. Thanks for the advice... More than I got from marine Depot

Cathman
05/11/2016, 08:19 PM
Build a stand to raise the skimmer up so it is in less water. If it is broken in, and you are still overflowing the skimmer with water it is too deep in the water. Try that. Maybe something temporary just to raise it and see if that helps then something nice. I used a frag rack i had laying around and it was perfect amount so i build a stand for it out of egg crate stuff that i use to do DIY frag racks.

JohnnyHildo
05/11/2016, 08:34 PM
i considered his sump level too so i went ahead and measured mine which ended up being 7 1/2 as well which is well within their recommendation.
i would consider pulling it out, dismantling it and giving the parts a vinegar bath if my advice doesn't work. overflowing in my experiences has been because of introduced foreign substances being in my system but they never lasted for more than a couple days.
hope it gets figured out!

Seajackalope
05/12/2016, 09:28 AM
I will try the vinegar bath. The thing that seems really weird to me is how much worse it gets when I clean the cup or do a water change. I'm using red sea pro salt and Rodi water run through a 6 stage brs unit with a tds meter... Level of tds is 0. I've had other tanks and other skimmers. Never had one react like that to normal maintenance stuff.

MarineDepot
05/12/2016, 12:16 PM
Hi Seajackalope,

Sorry to hear about the trouble with the skimmer. We apologize that you did not received more advice from our team previously: however, I am happy to help.

With skimmers, the viscosity (thickness) of the water have a very significant impact on how much the skimmer bubbles and how long those bubbles stay in the water.

If the skimmer is sitting in 7.5" of water with the outlet fully open and overflowing, it would indicate that the water is VERY thick. This is also not unusual when you are feeding a lot of frozen food. What this translates to is that the air bubbles produced by the skimmer is staying in the water column a lot longer than they would in a tank with less viscous (thinner) water.

What we would recommend to help lower the viscosity of the water to more normal levels is to make sure to rinse the Mysis shrimp in RO/DI water and strain the mysis before you feed. Also, run activated carbon (1 cup per 50 gallons) and change it out every 2 weeks.

Lowering the viscosity will help the skimmer to perform more consistently. It will help improve your water quality as well.

If the skimmer continues to overflow with the outlet fully open, we would recommend to do more frequent water changes and/or larger percentage water changes.

Some ATO's can allow the water to fluctuate as much as 1/2" or more: which will have a significant impact on skimmer performance. We recommend having a baffle in sump so the water level in the skimmer chamber is always constant.

Due to changes in water chemistry, skimmers will sometimes overflow after a water change. It seems that the bigger the difference between the new and old water, the more the skimmer acts up. What usually helps is to shut off the skimmer a few hours after a water change and replace the activated carbon at the same time. Also check to make sure your mixing container is rated for potable water. Some containers may leach chemicals in to your water.


Give the above a try and let us know how it works out. We will be happy to provide further assistance.

Seajackalope
05/14/2016, 05:52 PM
Marine Depot

I want to start off by saying thanks. I've been running carbon bags in the sump but your suggestions about the water being thick made sense to me so I got another reactor and for the first time the skimmer seems to be actually skimming in almost 2 months of messing with it.

That being said my experience with your customer service rep was terrible. Weeks ago I called you guys looking for some help. It became quickly apparent to me that the rep was only interested in trying to place blame on me and not in trying to help me. After asking a few questions he told me that the issue was that the skimmer was too big for my tank and I didn't have enough bio load. I am not an expert in this hobby but I know enough that he didn't have the adequate information to make that determination. The skimmer is rated for aquariums from 130 to 265 gallons. With my sump I'm over the low rating. When I asked him if he thought it was common practice in this hobby to get a skimmer that is rated for 1.5x your tank volume he told me that it was not. He told me that since the product was used there was nothing he could do for me. I've spent well over 20k on this hobby and customer service is going to go a long way towards determining where I spend my money in the future. It's unfortunate that the email and phone call that I made to your company didn't result in someone taking the time that you did to get my problem fixed. During the 2 months I've been battling with the skimmer my water quality wasn't the greatest and I lost a few corals and a seahorse which was a birthday present for my wife. It's only been a few days that I've had the carbon reactor on there but it appears to have fixed the issue and I'm finally getting to actually dial it in. It's possible that the deaths were not directly related to the fact that efficient skimming wasn't taking place during this time and I had been doing more water changes to try to keep the nutrients under control. That being said I think it shouldn't take me going to the forums before someone from your company listened to me and tried to help. I am appreciative that your advice seems to have done the trick.

MarineDepot
05/16/2016, 08:48 AM
Marine Depot

I want to start off by saying thanks. I've been running carbon bags in the sump but your suggestions about the water being thick made sense to me so I got another reactor and for the first time the skimmer seems to be actually skimming in almost 2 months of messing with it.

That being said my experience with your customer service rep was terrible. Weeks ago I called you guys looking for some help. It became quickly apparent to me that the rep was only interested in trying to place blame on me and not in trying to help me. After asking a few questions he told me that the issue was that the skimmer was too big for my tank and I didn't have enough bio load. I am not an expert in this hobby but I know enough that he didn't have the adequate information to make that determination. The skimmer is rated for aquariums from 130 to 265 gallons. With my sump I'm over the low rating. When I asked him if he thought it was common practice in this hobby to get a skimmer that is rated for 1.5x your tank volume he told me that it was not. He told me that since the product was used there was nothing he could do for me. I've spent well over 20k on this hobby and customer service is going to go a long way towards determining where I spend my money in the future. It's unfortunate that the email and phone call that I made to your company didn't result in someone taking the time that you did to get my problem fixed. During the 2 months I've been battling with the skimmer my water quality wasn't the greatest and I lost a few corals and a seahorse which was a birthday present for my wife. It's only been a few days that I've had the carbon reactor on there but it appears to have fixed the issue and I'm finally getting to actually dial it in. It's possible that the deaths were not directly related to the fact that efficient skimming wasn't taking place during this time and I had been doing more water changes to try to keep the nutrients under control. That being said I think it shouldn't take me going to the forums before someone from your company listened to me and tried to help. I am appreciative that your advice seems to have done the trick.

Thank you for your feedback and we apologize for the poor experience. We do continually educate our team and this specific issue was brought up in our weekly customer service meeting/training session. Hopefully, this and other similar issues will not occur again in the future.

As for skimmer ratings, it really depends on the brand. Some brands are significantly over rated, while others are pretty spot on. AquaMaxx has implemented a rating system that is fairly accurate. If you have heavy bioload, the Q-2 should be used on an aquarium 130G and up. If you have a light bioload, it can be used on an aquarium up to 250G. What skimmer to choose will depend on the bioload of the aquarium.

We are glad to hear that the skimmer is now running better after the addition of the carbon reactor.

If there is anything else we can assist with, please let us know!