Save CO2 scrubber media life by recirculating air? | Reef FAQs

Michael Hull

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Anyone else seeing issues with the recirculating area reducing skimmate?
 

Michael Hull

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I can't say that I've seen a reduction in skimming as a result. Although my lid does have two holes, and I've vented the line to reduce condensation and excess humidity.
What do you mean you've "vented" the line?
 

Michael Hull

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Hey Reefers!

Huge shoutout to @Velcro and @JDowns for inspiring this episode!

Does recirculating your CO2 scrubber save media? It just might...and thanks to those reefing pioneers who are paving the way in testing this theory, we're getting some solid info that it can actually work. :)

Hey Randy,

I've noticed a significant inconsistency in the skimmate/foam production as a result of recirculating air from the skimmer cup back through the CO2 scrubber and into the skimmer. Any advice for how to resolve this? Or what other recommendations for drawing moist air to conserve the media.
 

Keesers

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Anybody know on the reactor which way the lines go. Does the IN Port get connected to the skimmer pump or does it want the In coming from the top of skimmer. Hooking mine up today and need to know which the air lines go. Thank you

image.jpg
 

Bryknicks

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Anybody know on the reactor which way the lines go. Does the IN Port get connected to the skimmer pump or does it want the In coming from the top of skimmer. Hooking mine up today and need to know which the air lines go. Thank you

image.jpg
If you want to recirculate the air to prolong the media you want the IN side connected to the skimmer cup and the OUT side connected to the skimmer pump intake.
 

erk

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I've been running my skimmer setup as a recirculating system almost since I setup my tank. I haven't had any real issues. I did notice that skimmate production would reduce when running the skimmer 24/7. Since then I run it on the night cycle with a scrubber to help stabilize pH. The skimmate production is far better when running it only 12 hrs/day rather then 24/7. If I had to venture a guess, it is because the bacteria population has time to build up and consume nutrients before I pull them out of the water.
 

ScottB

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Hi, Roger with Tunze here, so I was sent here by a customer I spoke to at RAP NY. Some years back, a competitor of ours did something we were intrigued by as it simplified skimmer design and reduced cost, they essentially used the skimmer cup as a silencer and took the air from the skimmer cup. We bought one and tested it and found it performed poorly. We had a hunch that the decomposing skimmate created gasses or possibly just the high humidity of the skim mate and popping bubbles was affecting skimming. We tested this by A) taking one of our skimmers and rigging it to draw from the cup and B) taking the competitors skimmer and rigging it to a conventional silencer to take in fresh air. The results were fairly convincing that this is a bad idea. We still don't know why, but by our testing, taking air from the skimmer cup seems to impede skimmer performance. From some cursory research we strongly suspect that methane and sulfur compounds reduce the surface attraction of the bubbles, these large molecules do not lend themselves in the same way to being charged by the ionic soup of saltwater and picking up organic matter as just plain O2 and N2. FWIW, said competitor likely noted the same as they no longer do it this way and we know of no manufacturer who takes air from the skimmer cup though we kept this study a secret as we had no interest in helping someone else improve their products. I would be very interested to know if anyone who has done this has seen less overall skimming as a result.
I've been running recirculating for about 4 months now and have not noticed any performance degradation in my Reef Octo skimmer. Still fills in 3-4 days with a thick, tasty sludge. That said, the skimmer is very undersized for the volume and load in this system so that may have something to do with it.
 

erk

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I've been running recirculating for about 4 months now and have not noticed any performance degradation in my Reef Octo skimmer. Still fills in 3-4 days with a thick, tasty sludge. That said, the skimmer is very undersized for the volume and load in this system so that may have something to do with it.
I don't want to know how you found out it was tasty.
 

RichardBertrand

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(DISCLAIMER - STILL SETTING MINE UP)
I just wanted to jump in here to provide a link to a 24VDC diverter solenoid with 1/4 NPT fittings that should work well to switch between pulling ambient room air and recirculated air through the scrubber. This should only take a single 24VDC port on the APEX and allow ease of programming a single output to peg PH at your desired setting. I will update the thread once i get it installed along with methods used.

Happy Reefing!
 

richiero

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Besides a skimmer I have an ATS. If I pull air from the skimmer cup or ATS I get the same results with my pH levels. The ATS gives me humid air like the skimmer cup without the gunk.
How do you pull air from your ATS?
 

richiero

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I have a Clearwater ATS. There is a large enough gap where the pvc pipe that holds the screen rests on. I just put a vinyl tube extension on the input to the scrubber so the humid air from inside the ATS would get pulled in.
I think I might me able to do the same my scrubber has a gap where I can rest the tube. How long does your media last? And if you get a chance can you take a pick? No worries if your can’t that for the info .
 

KenO

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I think I might me able to do the same my scrubber has a gap where I can rest the tube. How long does your media last? And if you get a chance can you take a pick? No worries if your can’t that for the info .
I’m not running a CO2 scrubber anymore. Just pulling in outside air is enough to keep my pH between 8.2-8.3 now. It was lasting between 4-5 weeks. I liked pulling from the ATS better vs the skimmer. You get the humidity but not the skimmer gunk.
 

richiero

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I’m not running a CO2 scrubber anymore. Just pulling in outside air is enough to keep my pH between 8.2-8.3 now. It was lasting between 4-5 weeks. I liked pulling from the ATS better vs the skimmer. You get the humidity but not the skimmer gunk.
I see, how long is your run to your window or to the outside and what size tubing do you use? I was considering trying that also.
 

KenO

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I see, how long is your run to your window or to the outside and what size tubing do you use? I was considering trying that also.
I believe I’m using a 3/8” ID vinyl hose. I can measure it tomorrow. The larger the better to reduce any restrictions. I would guess 6-8’ of hose. When I built my house I put in a 3/4” pvc pipe through the wall to the outside. Just make sure if you do any pest spraying or if your neighbors are close they don’t do any spraying around the intake. Right now in AZ we have a number of wildfires going. I disconnected the hose to the outside for now so I don’t suck any smoke into the skimmers. Even without sucking in outside air, I’m still at a ph of 8.22 on my main setup and I’m at 8.06 on my 60 cube.
 

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