Value of a used Bak Pak

Indytraveler83

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
168
Reaction score
111
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)
 

jent

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
275
Reaction score
124
Location
Colorado
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.
 
OP
I

Indytraveler83

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
168
Reaction score
111
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.

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?
 

saf1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
3,062
Reaction score
4,144
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.
 

jent

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
275
Reaction score
124
Location
Colorado
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?
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.
 

12gallonsofhex

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
705
Reaction score
3,826
Location
Roseville
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.
 
OP
I

Indytraveler83

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
168
Reaction score
111
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?
 

12gallonsofhex

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
705
Reaction score
3,826
Location
Roseville
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.
 
OP
I

Indytraveler83

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
168
Reaction score
111
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.
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.
 
OP
I

Indytraveler83

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
168
Reaction score
111
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!
 

specwar

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
78
Reaction score
76
Location
OC
I just scored a used BAK PAK for $20 in good condition!!! WooHOO!! I'm going to go with chaeto and some Matrix for medium but I wanted to mod the intake pump as well. Looking for some good recommendations. Also what is the flow rate of this the BAK PAK pumps?
 

saf1

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
3,062
Reaction score
4,144
I just scored a used BAK PAK for $20 in good condition!!! WooHOO!! I'm going to go with chaeto and some Matrix for medium but I wanted to mod the intake pump as well. Looking for some good recommendations. Also what is the flow rate of this the BAK PAK pumps?
The only mod I did on mine was to add a muffler to quiet it down. Use an old cylinder prescription bottle, drill a hole in the bottom and in the cap just enough to fit the tubing through snug. Insert tube on the bottom about 1 to 1/2" in. Add a 1 or 2 cotton balls. Add the cap. Insert another piece of tube about 1" in and leave 1" outside. This will act like a muffler on your car and make it silent...
 
OP
I

Indytraveler83

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 21, 2019
Messages
168
Reaction score
111
I just scored a used BAK PAK for $20 in good condition!!! WooHOO!! I'm going to go with chaeto and some Matrix for medium but I wanted to mod the intake pump as well. Looking for some good recommendations. Also what is the flow rate of this the BAK PAK pumps?
Score! Mine took about a week to break back in, and now it’s running great.

Word of advice, don’t get overzealous with the return area. I’ve tried to put media in there, and ended up blocking the return and pumping about 15 gallons of water onto the carpet!
 

specwar

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
78
Reaction score
76
Location
OC
Score! Mine took about a week to break back in, and now it’s running great.

Word of advice, don’t get overzealous with the return area. I’ve tried to put media in there, and ended up blocking the return and pumping about 15 gallons of water onto the carpet!
Thanks for the advice for sure!!!
 

Online statistics

Members online
847
Guests online
1,956
Total visitors
2,803
Top