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Old 01/08/2016, 03:56 PM   #69
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 14,125
Originally Posted by jcs11236 View Post
This thread is very informative. Thank you.
So I am running my bk mini 160 and have the wedge 75% closed. Running at 9" water level. So you suggest I run skimmer deeper? from what I am gathering is that I have low docs.
The Mini unlike the double cone and other models, doesn't offer the pump adjustments via the adjustable volute on the Red Dragon pump or via the pump speed control on the RD3 pump. As such, your skimmer, you are dependent on the water level inside the skimmer for fine tuning.

With the Mini on a relatively light load, I would normally start with the wedge pipe wide open and use the sump level to get the water level up to the middle to higher end of the range below. With a heavier load, I would adjust the sump level to the lower end of the range in the photo below. Then use the wedge to fine tune so you aren't having to close it so much. In a very lightly stocked tank or in the case where this skimmer is oversized for the load, your water level in the sump will typically be higher than the "optimal range" which is 7.75" to 8.50". In your case given that you are already at 9" I think it's a safe assumption that the amount of dissolved organics in your system is on the low side for that skimmer. As such, assuming your skimmer is broken in and you like the way it's perfoming, you could note where the water level (transition from water to bubbles) inside the skimmer is now. Open the wedge pipe all the way and raise the water level of the sump enough to get the transition point and 1/4" below where you have it now. Then close the wedge pipe to adjust it from there back to the bubble level you have it at now. That should only require you to close your wedge pipe around 1/4 of the way.

Keep in mind that when you open the wedge pipe up to make this adjustment, it's going to impact/disrupt the skimmers bubble output for a little while. As such, raise the sump level 1/4" at a time and give the skimmer an hour or two to settle back down before making another adjustment. You won't want to overshoot the depth in your sump only to have the skimmer overflow. My guess is that you will end up around 9.5"-9.75" given your wedge pipe is a 75% closed. Having said that, these adjustments aren't going to necessarily make that skimmer perform much better unless you are seeing surging (water going up and down in the skimmer body). As such, you could also leave it alone but I would at least raise the level a little bit in the sump so your wedge isn't so closed.

For reference, here is the range that you would normally target for the transition from water to bubbles in the mini skimmer. Heavier load would require a lower transition than a lighter load. The key for you is finding a water level that results in the most consistent skimmate production where it's not overflowing and it's still producing reasonably dark skimmate.

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