I Have Thrown Things

I went to bed angry and I woke up furious. The skimmer does not fit.

If you’ve taken nothing else from this blog it’s that I want a really spiffy reef tank .  To accomplish this, I researched the bejesus out of everything.  Everything.  Fish crabs, snails, lights, powerheads, algae, the freakin’ critters that live in the algae… to determine the best possible outcome for the tank.  Then I started buying the best equipment that I can afford.  And the skimmer?  It does not fit.

Let me say this again – the skimmer does not fit.  There was a point last night where I nearly made it fit through sheer physical force when I tried to jam it straight through the acrylic wall, but acrylic is stronger than it looks.  And I am pissed to hell about this because I researched the crap out of skimmers and found the one that would fit – was one hundred percent guaranteed to fit – in the skimmer chamber of the refugium.  And it does… but there’s about a quarter of an inch overhang that doesn’t.  This is bonded to the skimmer and cannot be moved; the pump is also sized to the skimmer and cannot be swapped out for a smaller one (I have two spare pumps on hand and tried).

Options?  Oh, I have options.

First – Run the tank without a skimmer. Well, I could do this, but then I couldn’t keep SPS coral or clams, and I would have wasted a ton of money on lighting.

Second – Run the skimmer in the second chamber. This is where the skimmer is now.  Last night was hot and humid and I was covered in snails and salt water, and was so angry I moved the refugium over to the first chamber and stuck the skimmer in the second chamber.  This is a temporary solution and a poor one at best… I’ve already seen copepods floating in the skimmer’s waste so it defeats part of the purpose of having a refugium at all.  I could get rid of the refugium but I’ve already invested such a huge load of money in the sump, so getting rid of the refugium would completely defeat the purpose of buying this particular setup.

Third – Get a different sump/refugium. Goodbye money.  Also, we got it in the stand by removing the top of the stand and then rebuilding the wood framework, and since the framework is now supporting an aquarium, that’s not about to happen.

Fourth – Get a different skimmer. Oh yeah, this is exactly what I want to do.  I want to research skimmers, select the best one for my tank, spend a hell of a lot of money on it, then find out it doesn’t fit — Oh wait, that’s exactly what I did do —  Then I want to find out I can’t return it because the box has been opened and the product has been immersed in salt water, then try to unload it on a forum somewhere to try and recoup at least some of the money I spent.  Then I want to do all of this again, and then maybe again and again, until I finally luck out on a skimmer that’s my fifth or sixth choice but just happens to fit in the skimmer chamber.

Now, in theory, there is a skimmer that would fit into the skimmer chamber.  It’s called the ASM Mini Skimmer and the owner’s manual for the ADHI refugium clearly states that this skimmer will fit into the skimmer chamber.  But the  dimensions of the skimmer chamber are 6″ by 11.5″, the footprint on the ASM Mini Skimmer is 5.5″ by 11.5″  while the footprint on the Octopus 150 is 4″ by 8″.  I am notoriously stupid when it comes to math but it seems to me that the protein skimmer that I currently own and does not fit in the skimmer chamber is smaller than the protein skimmer that is recommended for the tank.

Oh yes, there will be blood.

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~ by KBSpangler on May 29, 2009.

6 Responses to “I Have Thrown Things”

  1. You know (without giving legal advice) you might have a case against a certain website that says “ADHI Refugiums offer you the advantage of using a protein skimmer of your choice. These versitile filters allow you to use most drop in style skimmers, hang on units or simply stand the skimmer of your choice next to the filter.” – https://diyreef.authsecure.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=664

    From what I can see (using https://diyreef.authsecure.com/shop/popup_image.php?pID=664&image=0&osCsid=53f05fbd240c7868ca2896eec78f3e89 and Reef Octo installation guide), are you able to just prop it up on foam/rock/some-solid-support in the refugium? It since it’s bubbling water it shouldn’t need to be at the bottom or top. If it’s just not fitting in straight or sideways… does it fit/work tilted?

    • Skimmers (this particular skimmer, at any rate) need to be submerged in a certain amount of water to operate, so it was kind of an all-or-nothing thing. And yeah, the product description for the refugium and the skimmer were VERY misleading and I’m quite pissed off because of them.

  2. Acrylic is workable. Is this quarter-inch overhang necessary to the skimmer’s function? If not . . . got a grinder? Or a grinder wheel for a hand drill? If you almost got it to fit anyway, it’s possible that even less than a quarter-inch needs to come off.

    • Unfortunately, removing any of the bits or grinding them down might break the vacuum on the skimmer, and it turned out I needed slightly more room to make sure there was water flowing into the pump.

  3. Yay for happy ending. The Dremel is your fiend. Ahh, I mean, FRIEND.

    • I think the Friendly Dremmel Fiend might be showing up in a work of fiction at some point. 🙂

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