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badfinger
06/14/2016, 11:38 PM
I bought this used, and I have never been able to get it working properly.

It says 8"-10" of water. I tried all of those and now at 6 3/4" and it still overflows. I can never get it set correctly, the bubbles in the skimmer (at the bubble plate) are anywhere from touching it to 2"-3" above it. And it changes daily. And this is the reason it overflows

I do not have the adjustable venturi for the red dragon 1500 pump, but would love to buy one if you have some available.

The days I can get this set, it skims better than anything. But I have to check it daily or it overflows. Like right now I don't even have the wedge pipe installed, bubbles touching bubble plate, and it will produce a slightly green skimmate.

Please help

slief
06/15/2016, 08:44 AM
What size tank is this on? Did you get both of the red inserts for the nozzle? There were 2 different length inserts that were included that allow a bit of adjustment for the air/water mix. One was a bit shorter than the other.

Generally speaking, if the sump level isn't too high which in your case, you have tested the range, an overflow would be caused by an air restriction. When air is restricted, the missing air is displaced by more water which often results in an overflow. Have you double checked the venturi port where the airline connects to the pump? If there is any salt creep in there which is very common, it will cause overflows because it reduces the air intake into the pump. If you get a small snail or other debris inside the pump, that too would cause overflows. Given what you are describing, I would check the venturi port for salt creep/air restrictions. I would open up the silencer and clean the foam filter or even remove it. I would also inspect the red tubes inside the silencer where the venturi line connects and make sure it isn't plugged up. I would then take the pump apart, give it a thorough cleaning inside and out making sure the impeller and bearing is removed, cleaned and reassembled.

badfinger
06/15/2016, 10:40 AM
it is on a 150 gallon with 40 gallon sump. It has 15 fish and plan to add more. and I feed heavy.

no I did not receive the shorter tube. I have tried pulling out the insert as to make it shorter in the pump and still had the same issues

there is no salt creep in the venturi, I do not have the foam filter in the silencer. I have taken the pump apart and cleaned it almost every week or 2 because I thought it was weird that it would overflow.

I can even have the wedge pipe completely removed and it almost overflows at 6 3/4" water.

slief
06/15/2016, 11:12 AM
it is on a 150 gallon with 40 gallon sump. It has 15 fish and plan to add more. and I feed heavy.

no I did not receive the shorter tube. I have tried pulling out the insert as to make it shorter in the pump and still had the same issues

there is no salt creep in the venturi, I do not have the foam filter in the silencer. I have taken the pump apart and cleaned it almost every week or 2 because I thought it was weird that it would overflow.

I can even have the wedge pipe completely removed and it almost overflows at 6 3/4" water.

Does this skimmer have the original red dragon motor block on it? Everything I am hearing leads me to believe that there is some sort of restriction in the air path to the skimmer pump.

badfinger
06/15/2016, 12:40 PM
Yes original red dragon 1500 special pump for vertex alpha 200.

I have even removed silencer and it still happens

slief
06/15/2016, 02:01 PM
The pump is the only thing that sends water into the skimmer. I assume your nozzle has that removable red pipe inserted into it and that it wasn't removed by the previous owner. If your needle wheel has all the pins and your wedge pipe is wide open (you said you removed it completely), then I would start looking at your water. Especially if its over flowing in 6.75" of water. About the only other thing you can do is raise the skimmer up more but that should be unnecessary. We do have complete new pumps in stock with the adjustable nozzle but we don't sell those nozzles separately anymore as we no longer make those skimmers for Vertex.

badfinger
06/15/2016, 02:26 PM
the old owner sold it cause he couldn't keep it stable. that's why I stopped using it for 6-7months for the same reason. I am trying everything to make it work.

I have 3 skimmers sitting at my house a deltec, an elite aquatics custom with sicce shark3.0 pump and both of those keep stable, but the Vertex skims so much better when its not overflowing.

my needle wheel does have all the pins. To me it almost seems as if its not the correct, impellar for that pump since it changes. and will do a very dry skim, and black to water and overflowing and back again.

How much is a new pump? I don't want to buy one but will if it will fix my issues.

i will tell you, i have never pulled the bearing out. i didn't know it needed to be pulled out. My impellar still looks perfect. i don't want to damage the bearing, but i have given this about 30 vinegar baths and sometimes even ran it in vinegar bath with it running

slief
06/15/2016, 04:05 PM
First, I don't think your bearing is the issue here nor do I think it's the impeller. . A calcified bearing would typically slow the pump down. The adjustable volute nozzle would help you with fine tuning and getting more air into the skimmer and less water which can help with the overflows but the complete pump is about $685 which would be tough nut to swallow.

Can you upload a video of the skimmer in action. You were saying the bubbles are 2-3" above the bubble plate which is confusing as the bubble plate is at the base of the skimmer.

That said, I didn't ask before but I assume you have an ATO and the water level in your sump isn't changing at all. 1/4" of variance in the sump can make a big difference with this skimmer and a rise of 1/4" can cause an overflow.

Something I failed to mention before. These Alpha's were/are very under rated in terms of tank load. One of the biggest issues with the Alpha skimmers is consistency and it's something I have had to help countless Alpha users with over the years. These skimmers don't work well on tanks that are undersized or tanks with a low load. Your tank size at 150 gallons is the absolute bare minimum and personally, I would never recommend an Alpha 200 on that size tank despite what Vertex rated this skimmer for. Also, your sump size is really meaningless when it comes to sizing these skimmers. Our sumps don't contribute to the load. They are part of the load reduction and skimmer sizes are based on theoretical load which would be relegated to the display. In the case of the Alpha 200, you would need have your 150 gallon display packed to the gills with fish to keep that skimmer remotely consistent due to it's very large neck diameter. With a display that size, you would need to run it really wet to begin with in order to get it to skim consistently and that would put you on the ragged edge of overflows.

In your case, I can't help but wonder if your load and having to run it wet to get it to skim is part of the issue unless your sump level is changing due to your ATO float switch accuracy and or lack of an ATO. My best advice would be to raise the skimmer up 1/4" or even 1/2". That should help reduce overflows. I would adjust the level in the skimmer (using the wedge pipe) so that the line where bubbles turn to foam is 1/2" - 1" above the collar where the neck screws onto the body. This would be your driest skim point point. From there, you can increase the level of the foam in the neck but if you go much higher, you would be likely to run into an overflow again.

badfinger
06/15/2016, 04:50 PM
so you are saying more fish, easy. lol

So when i say bubbles, i mean when the bubbles start to form at the bottom side of the skimmer, so where you cant see the water anymore and its all bubbles, will change from touching the bubble plate that tries to stop bubbles from exiting the skimmer, to about 2-3" above that. if i can get it to stay 2-3" above there i can get a perfect dry skimmate that produces all day.

and yes i have a skimmer section and an ATO and my skimmer section never changes

slief
06/15/2016, 06:03 PM
so you are saying more fish, easy. lol

So when i say bubbles, i mean when the bubbles start to form at the bottom side of the skimmer, so where you cant see the water anymore and its all bubbles, will change from touching the bubble plate that tries to stop bubbles from exiting the skimmer, to about 2-3" above that. if i can get it to stay 2-3" above there i can get a perfect dry skimmate that produces all day.

and yes i have a skimmer section and an ATO and my skimmer section never changes

Hmmm. Weird that the level of the bubbles where they become dense changes with regards to the bubble plate. That should be fairly consistent. That sounds like a change in surface tension within the water and could possibly be due to the air and or barometric pressure of the air going into the skimmer. Things like changes in humidity in the air near your skimmer could change that. Do you still have the foam from the silencer? If so, have you tried running it? You kind of have be grasping at straws here. I'd put the wedge pipe back in. Make sure it's wide open. If it's wide open, there is no reason to remove the wedge pipe. Having the wedge pipe out would leave two points for water to exit and could create additional head pressure on the effluent side of the skimmer which might into turn cause some surging.

I'm about out of suggestions though. I will continue to ponder this though. Curiously, do you have the ozone tube connected to the pump? If not, you might try connecting that so you get additional air into the skimmer. That would reduce the water flow into the body which would help reduce the chance of overflows.

badfinger
06/15/2016, 09:00 PM
I do still have the foam, I will give it a shot. I used to have the ozone tube connected. It was worse before I took it off, and plugged the ozone port hole.

To me it almost seems like it's too much air to me. Cause when the dense bubbles go further down the body towards the exit point that is when it overflows. Maybe that's too much water.


I am grasping at straws. I have just kept trying ideas, I have no issue raising the skimmer more, I just want this to work the way it was meant to

ReefClownMIA
06/15/2016, 10:54 PM
Badfinger,
Would you be able to upload a video and/or pictures of the setup, sump, and surging.

badfinger
06/16/2016, 06:38 AM
i can take pictures sure, i will figure out how to upload them. I will try tonight, if not it may take a few days. My 7month old is going in for surgery tomorrow

slief
06/16/2016, 08:34 AM
i can take pictures sure, i will figure out how to upload them. I will try tonight, if not it may take a few days. My 7month old is going in for surgery tomorrow

Wow. I hope everything go well with the surgery. To upload photos, the easiest way is to upload to photobucket. Then copy the link listed in the "IMG" field on the right side of the page. The link when you copy and paste it will have an "[IMG]" at either end of the link.

slief
06/16/2016, 08:41 AM
I do still have the foam, I will give it a shot. I used to have the ozone tube connected. It was worse before I took it off, and plugged the ozone port hole.

To me it almost seems like it's too much air to me. Cause when the dense bubbles go further down the body towards the exit point that is when it overflows. Maybe that's too much water.


I am grasping at straws. I have just kept trying ideas, I have no issue raising the skimmer more, I just want this to work the way it was meant to

That is too much air. I would keep the tube connected and remove the plug and see if that helps. That would reduce the water by displacing water going into the pump with more air. There were two different length red pipes for the pumps intake that shipped with the skimmer. One was slightly shorter than the other. The shorter one would allow more air into the skimmer and less water. Since you don't have both of those to swap one for the other, I can only surmise that the you are likely running the longer of the two. I don't know the lengths though. That said, with the Alpha's it was be served if you ran the ozone tube connected so that it could draw air in when ozone was not in use. As such, that might help a bit with the overflowing but you might also need to run the skimmer in less water to compensate for the nozzle setup. That volute nozzle setup you have was replaced within the first year of production with the adjustable nozzle for good reason but as I said, the Alpha's were always pretty temperamental. I run one for a few years myself and was really happy when I upgraded to my current Bubble King. The difference in performance and stability is night and day. .