Value of a used Bak Pak

Discussion in 'General Equipment, Hardware, Filtration' started by Indytraveler83, May 14, 2019 at 9:54 PM.

  1. Indytraveler83

    Indytraveler83 Member

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    Hey guys,

    I’ve been trying filter/skimmer etc one after another to find one that fits my tank, is quieter than usual, and gives good flow.

    While looking through used equipment at my local lfs, I found an old bak pak skimmer and asked about it. The owner didn’t know anything about its condition and didn’t seem particularly attached to it. He invited me to take it home, try it out and make him an offer if it functioned to my liking.

    For the most part it does, but the air tubing is old and hard, the o ring for the skimmer cup is missing, and the pump needs convincing to turn on (but seems ok once on).

    All of these are replaceable parts for sure. But what do you think I should offer him for it? (I’m hoping to rely on him for special orders, so I want a deal, but don’t want to offend)
     

  2. jent

    jent Active Member

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    I have had two bak pak's over the years. They are decently designed, but have their flaws. Since you have one already to compare I will focus on the flaws I see.

    The pumps are very cheap, which is good for replacement and cost. The air intake tube seems to clog easier than my other skimmers. Their air ratio imo is a little low from optimum performance (can be fixed with an additional limewood airstone). They also are far from silent.

    Despite the flaws I still run one, and think they are a very solid and useful hob skimmer. I have been very happy with the two I have owned.

    I would not personally be offended at all with a $40 or $50 offer.
     
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  3. Indytraveler83

    Indytraveler83 Member

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    Cool. Good starting point. Since you’ve had one, let me ask your opinion:

    1) What would you replace the Venturi pump with? Is there a quieter, better one that can be put on there?

    2) Do you have anything at all in the second, large chamber?
     
  4. saf1

    saf1 Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    I'll second the Bak Pak - they are solid performers. Consistent. I used one on my 29 gallon bio cube and later on a 40 breeder. No issues ever.

    You can make them silent though by adding a muffler to the air intake tube. Take a prescription bottle or otherwise similar sized one, drill a hole just large enough to snugly insert the airline tube on one end - say the lid. Then add a couple cotton balls. Move to the bottom of the bottle and drill another hold and insert the tubing just like you did with the top. This will silence the unit completely. Note the tubing enters the bottom about 1/4 inch. It does not run continuously through it. Insert 1/4" in. Then add loosly the cotton balls. Replace cap again with the tubing only 1/4" or so in and you have a muffler just like on your car or motor bike.

    Also I did not use the media they provided or any other. Didn't want to have a potential nitrate sink hole. The third and final return chamber I did place my heater in there. Make sure it is not resting on the acrylic but it keeps it out of the way and water is always moving over it. As to how much they are worth no idea what I paid for mine new. They work though so just do a quick search and see what a new one is running, then how old it is, and apply some fuzzy depreciation to it. I can't imaging a used one selling for much though but they are good to have on hand as an emergency. I have mine tucked away in case I set up a QT or isolation tank or add another smaller tank.
     
  5. jent

    jent Active Member

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    I have never experemented with different pumps. I just add an airstone to get the air ratio closer to what I think is optimal.

    In the second chamber I keep my heater and a small bag of carbon usually. So for me it is a very useful space.

    I agree with @saf1 the "bio bale" is not very useful, it just collects more crap in the bottom of the skimmer.
     
  6. 12gallonsofhex

    12gallonsofhex Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I have one that i bought new in 1999. It works well, though not as well as newer tech skimmers. It has a basic rio800 with a venturi adapter atrached. It does not have a needle wheel like most modern skimmers. The parts are cheap. The oring and air line fittings break after a couppe of years but are very inexpensive to replace. I use a thick rubber band to replace the broken o ring on the cup, but that can be ordered for a couple of bucks also. I have tried to run a few different medias in the return chamber, but decided that the flood and nitrate sponge risk was not worth it. I have seen them for sale on local reefing club sites for around $40.
     
  7. Indytraveler83

    Indytraveler83 Member

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    Thanks for the responses all!

    One random thought, has anyone tried to do a mini-fuge on the 3rd chamber! A little live rock rubble and Chaeto, or is it too small to be worth it?
     
  8. 12gallonsofhex

    12gallonsofhex Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I thought about it, but was too worried about something blocking the return. Even a piece of filter floss over the return will cause it to overflow, and my tank sits on cream colored carpet in our living room.
     
  9. Indytraveler83

    Indytraveler83 Member

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    Interesting. I think the pump on the one I’ve got is running a bit slow, as the water level doesn’t even completely cover the hole on the return. I haven’t even really thought about overflow on it.
     
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  10. Indytraveler83

    Indytraveler83 Member

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    So I went home and performed the “muffler” trick, and was pretty happy with how it worked!

    It didn’t do much to cut down on the “chugging” sound of the pump sucking in air, but it did eliminate the sound coming from the valve itself.

    The huge benefit though, is I’m finding that I can dial in the skimmer by pulling the air line further out, or pushing it further into the bottle, and it’s a billion times easier than the cheap valve. Thanks a ton for that trick!
     
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