Is lifereef really the best skimmer?

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by ChrisQ0904, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Lifereef skimmer users, I have an SVS2-24 powered by a Sicce Pro 1500. It's been running for about 24 hours now.

    I'm having issues with micro bubbles. How long did you folks find it took for the skimmer to break in and the micro bubbles to go away--or do they? Per the instructions from Jeff, he references micro bubbles being an issue for the "first few days." Was that everyone's experience?

    As a separate but related note, I'm not impressed with the Sicce Pro 1500. That thing is NOISY. It's noisy when I lift the pump and skimmer off of the bottom of the sump, so it's internal noise.

    The venturi is also really noisy. I'm having some pH issues, so I'm going to be installing a CO2 scrubber. I'm hoping that will help muffle the venturi noise. Can anyone confirm this will help?
     
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  2. R4lph

    R4lph Member

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    Anything life reef is over priced junk. Dealing with Jeff turcheck is a night mare. I would stay clear of anything life reef
     
  3. JoshH

    JoshH Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Interesting.... first negative comment about lifereef I've ever seen, period. Unfortunately your comment isn't really helpful to his question at all.

    I have the exact same skimmer although using a mag 9.5 and it is just about dead silent. It took a little bit to dial in but that's mostly my novice experience. I haven't had any micro bubble issues or noise from the venturi myself. Any pictures of your setup?? And was the Sicce pump suggested by Jeff?
     
  4. Whipples

    Whipples Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    @Wrasse-cal Pull the venturi service port and the air line, run warm RO water through the air feed line to the venturi and inspect for any plastic edges from the manufacturing process of the venturi. Mine had what looked like a small plastic tab leftover from the molding process and when I removed that the venturi quieted down. The water pour is not for salt creep but for anything that may be stuck from the manufacturing process. You can also take a small punch or razor blade to reduce any sharp edges in the venturi and make sure the hole has no blockages. Mine is not silent, but the tone of it is not intrusive or unpleasant and with the stand closed all I hear is the slight hiss of air. You can rig up the canister style silencer from other skimmers to help reduce the noise, too.

    As for bubbles, mine stopped after a few days. It really depends on your water.
     
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  5. Mark Gray

    Mark Gray Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I also have this skimmer I have the mag 9.5 running mine, mine is dead silent unless I take the cap off the top. Mine was really completely broken in in 2 days but was producing skimmate the first 4 hours. I have not had any micro bubble problems out of mine
     
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  6. JoshH

    JoshH Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    This has me feeling it's all an issue related to the pump he has. The Sicce pro 1500 is rated for 550 GPH more than the Mag 9.5. If he's really putting 1500 GPH through his skimmer it's probably causing all the issues.
     
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  7. Mark Gray

    Mark Gray Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yeah maybe I have a sicce 7 for my return pump and I can't hear it run but you may be right
     
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  8. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    @JoshH, Jeff didn't have an issue with the Sicce. He said he's trying to become an OEM Sicce dealer.

    Here are some photos: skimmer (1 of 3).jpg skimmer (3 of 3).jpg

    skimmer (2 of 3).jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  9. JoshH

    JoshH Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Interesting he is now suggesting a pump so much stronger as before he always recommended the Mag 9.5 (not that the type of pump matter but I was always under the impression that the flow was very important). I still feel that the increased flow is the true problem, the noise of your pump might be related to the outlet of the skimmer being next to the pump so the pump is sucking up all those lovely bubbles.
     
  10. Whipples

    Whipples Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    This is a great point, on mine I have my Mag9.5 inlet facing the drains, and the skimmer output facing the refugium.
     
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  11. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks. To be 100% clear, I proposed the Sicce. I was originally going to use the Pro 800, and Jeff said he thought it would work, but not as well as a Mag 9.5. I (on my own) went with the 1500.
     
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  12. JoshH

    JoshH Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thanks for the clarification, I'm not really up on all the details of the pump you have but is there a way to maybe dial back the flow at all??
     
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  13. Mark Gray

    Mark Gray Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I put a 90 on my discharge so it flows directly into my return pump section I wonder if your flow is not too heavy
     
  14. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    @Mark Gray and @JoshH,

    I dialed back the flow on the pump to the minimum. I'll give it a few hours and see what happens. The return is still spitting out micro bubbles.
     
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  15. Whipples

    Whipples Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I wonder if too low of flow is an issue? I know Jeff sells the 24" models with a Mag9.5 but recommends a Mag12 if you run heavier fish loads. Also, how big of a bioload is in your tank?
     
  16. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    It's a brand new tank, so I'm not worried about whether it is producing skimmate or not since there is no bioload. I'm just concerned about the noise and micro-bubbles at this point.
     
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  17. ChrisQ0904

    ChrisQ0904 Well-Known Member

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    I honestly can't recall if I had micro bubbles when I first started it up but if I did I know they didn't stick around for long. I do not run a sicce pump so I unfortunately cannot help you there, I'm just using a cheap jebao pump and it works great so far. I have noise coming from my venturi but it is not louder than my smaller skimmer in the tank next to it.

    In regards to your issues with noise/micro bubbles the only thing I can think of is to try a new pump if you have one laying around and see if it gets rid of either problem.
     
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  18. Water Dog

    Water Dog Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    A couple of things... although your Syncra Pro 1500 is strong, I’ve read reviews where it isn’t necessarily the most quiet pump. :( Jeff runs a Mag 18 on his 24 incher, so running that much flow shouldn’t be an issue. If you want an energy efficient, strong and quiet pump, look into a Fluval SP4 at 1822 gph rated 88 watts.

    Give the micro bubbles some time. You need to build up a slime coat and since you have a brand new tank with no life in it, microbubbles at this point is to be expected.

    As far as venturi sucking noise and CO2 scrubbing and maintaining the self cleaning design, this is how I used a media reactor to accomplish all 3 things. @d2mini, you asked this over on the other forum but posting pictures is a pain over there... ;)

    Here is a GEO 410 media reactor that I had laying around.

    http://www.geosreef.com/product/umc410/

    You must replace the stock 1/2” barb fittings with these 3/8” barb fittings to match the airline tubing of the Lifereef skimmer.

    https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=29592

    https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=27797

    0655A49C-A1EB-4519-84C4-4A488E935057.jpeg

    Here you can see the bottom of the reactor where I fill up with water until it just reaches the bottom of the lower intake pipe. The moisture helps the CO2 absorbent soda ash media work more efficiently.

    2D661709-CB32-485C-82C0-9DB83F5C4BEF.jpeg

    Here you can see the middle chamber that gets filled up with soda ash media. Then I rest the shot glass on top of he media and fill in with media around the glass. Then fill the glass with water. This provides CO2 scrubbing via the media and humidity through the water in he shot glass to maintain humidity for the self cleaning venturi, just like how damp air is pulled from the collection cup.

    5B51C5A5-42C4-425C-A431-A05F29CFCFDB.jpeg

    Hook up the collection cup to the barb on the bottom of the reactor and hook up the barb from the top of the reactor to the skimmer venturi. You will now have a nice CO2 scrubber to help with pH and a silent running skimmer that no longer hisses at the cup. I did keep the reactor elevated on a DIY egg crate stand.

    Sadly, I no longer have my beloved Lifereef... I scored a Turbo’s Aquatics L2 R4 ATS and alas, I couldn’t fit both in my sump. :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  19. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So I decided to try to route the output of the skimmer to the return section of my sump. I had some PVC on hand. While re-routing the output did resolve the micro bubbles issue, it was an unworkable solution because the piping caused the water level in the skimmer body to rise and overflow the cup even when the gate valve was all the way open.
     
  20. jeffrey holloway

    jeffrey holloway Active Member

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    Great skimmer. I run a RO Various 6 on mine at a 100%. I did a overnight vinegar bath on mine, never had the micro bubble issue on mine. be patient and push as much water thru it as u like it can handle it. I also run the CO2 scrubber on mine and yes if will muffle the sound. 20161231_115352 (1).jpg
     
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