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Biocube Protein Skimmer - Help Needed


Gr8_Outdoorsman

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Gr8_Outdoorsman

I've just gotten my first saltwater tank going three days ago and think that I have a problem with my protein skimmer. The tank is a 29 gallon Biocube and I've installed the protein skimmer and heater in chamber 1 (removed the false bottom). I've put in 28lbs of live rock and 12 lbs of live sand.

 

My problem is that I can't seem to get the protein skimmer to function correctly. When I first set it up, I was getting some big bubbles pushing up into the cup, which is what I wanted. Now the skimmer is just fizzing and I'm not getting the big bubbles pushing the protein up into the cup.

 

I've removed the inline check valve and the adjustable valve to see if they were restricting the air flow. There was no improvement. I've also tried moving the skimmer up and down in the water column, but that didn't seem to help either.

 

Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated. Is it possible that my tank is too fresh to be producing the foamy protein bubbles yet?

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Gr8_Outdoorsman

Thanks for the reply! Maybe I just need to give it more time to break in. It's just strange because it seemed to work when I first put it in, but stopped after a day.

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I've just gotten my first saltwater tank going three days ago and think that I have a problem with my protein skimmer. The tank is a 29 gallon Biocube and I've installed the protein skimmer and heater in chamber 1 (removed the false bottom). I've put in 28lbs of live rock and 12 lbs of live sand.

 

My problem is that I can't seem to get the protein skimmer to function correctly. When I first set it up, I was getting some big bubbles pushing up into the cup, which is what I wanted. Now the skimmer is just fizzing and I'm not getting the big bubbles pushing the protein up into the cup.

 

I've removed the inline check valve and the adjustable valve to see if they were restricting the air flow. There was no improvement. I've also tried moving the skimmer up and down in the water column, but that didn't seem to help either.

 

Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated. Is it possible that my tank is too fresh to be producing the foamy protein bubbles yet?

 

 

It does take time for skimmers to break in but the biocube skimmer is not a good skimmer to start with, and IME and many others here you will never get it to do much.Sorry.Do a search and you will find that all kinds of mods have been tried with this unit to no avail that I know of.

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Gr8_Outdoorsman

Well, that pretty much confirms what I've since found from reading online. It was confusing because I found videos where people were happy with the setup and write-ups where people weren't happy. I will say that I'm not happy with it and it only fizzes far below the collection cup.

 

Fortunately I kept the receipt for Biocube skimmer and will be taking it back to Petco.... In my eyes, the product doesn't perform what it is advertised to do.

 

I just went on the inTank website and purchased the Biocube 29 Kit and a AquaticLife Internal mini Protein Skimmer. It seems to have really good reviews from what I can tell.

 

We all live and learn, so let's try this again! ;)

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I just went on the inTank website and purchased the Biocube 29 Kit and a AquaticLife Internal mini Protein Skimmer. It seems to have really good reviews from what I can tell.

 

Good choice

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CoralWhisperer

I have one that came with my BC29 when I bought it.

It is definately not the best, but its better than nothing.

I got mine to work fairly well and its pulling some decent skimmate now.

 

I took it apart, and went to HD and bought matching o.d. clear tubes, but made the whole thing about 8 inches taller than it was.

I replaced both tubes, and used 2 airstones connected together with a cheap plastic coupler(had to drill an extra hole in one of them).

 

Like I said, it aint the best but it functions acceptably at this point.

My skimmate is nice and green and thick with particles now.

 

I believe the vacuum end of a gravel vac fits as well and might be easier to find/work with, for you.

I dont think mine would even fit in the rear of my BC, I got it in my sump.

 

ETA- oh and use the suction cups and play with water depth, dont just hang it.

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Gr8_Outdoorsman

Thanks for the replies and I'm happy to see that it is working ok for some. I checked mine out this morning and the bubbles seem to be even fewer than they were the other day. I would have hoped that if you spent $50 on a skimmer that is specifically designed for this tank, that you wouldn't have to do any further modifications to get it to work properly.

 

I did call Oceanic's tech support and discussed the issues that I'm having. The guy that I spoke with was very helpful and agreed that it wasn't operating correctly even with the low bio load. They offered to send me another air stone and a new air pump to give it a try. So I am going to give that a try before I put the AquaticLife skimmer in. I'll update the post with the results.

 

I would definitely give Oceanic an A+ for their customer support so far. Unfortunately, this skimmer has been nothing more than an aerator thus far.

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Thanks for the replies and I'm happy to see that it is working ok for some. I checked mine out this morning and the bubbles seem to be even fewer than they were the other day. I would have hoped that if you spent $50 on a skimmer that is specifically designed for this tank, that you wouldn't have to do any further modifications to get it to work properly.

 

I did call Oceanic's tech support and discussed the issues that I'm having. The guy that I spoke with was very helpful and agreed that it wasn't operating correctly even with the low bio load. They offered to send me another air stone and a new air pump to give it a try. So I am going to give that a try before I put the AquaticLife skimmer in. I'll update the post with the results.

 

I would definitely give Oceanic an A+ for their customer support so far. Unfortunately, this skimmer has been nothing more than an aerator thus far.

 

Thats good that Oceanic is trying to help but if you haven't modded it yet can you return it before its too late? The aquaticlife costs about the same and actually works. There are better skimmers but they also cost more.

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Gr8_Outdoorsman
Thats good that Oceanic is trying to help but if you haven't modded it yet can you return it before its too late?

 

I'm guessing that I can return it since I have the receipt where I bought it last week from Petco... :unsure:

 

I'm not going to modify it where it can't be returned to original....

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CoralWhisperer
I'm guessing that I can return it since I have the receipt where I bought it last week from Petco... :unsure:

 

I'm not going to modify it where it can't be returned to original....

 

The whole thing comes right apart, I just used different tubes and added an airstone . . .

Gimmie your box and the receipt, and I could return this one as well . . .

B)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Gr8_Outdoorsman

Just a final update on the Biocube Protein Skimmer..... In short..... No Bueno!

 

I received a new air pump and stone in the mail from Oceanic. I hooked it up and didn't see any improvement whatsoever. It would fizz, but the bubbles never made it to the collection cup. The skimmer went back for a full refund. Oh well, I tried!

 

On a brighter note, I installed the AquaticLife 115 skimmer last night. Man, there is no comparison at all. This one did an excellent job in just one night. This morning I had ~1" of yellow, nasty, smelly skim mate. Something that I never got out of the Oceanic skimmer. Considering they are very close in price, I would say it is a no-brainer to go for the AquaticLife version. It is actually a skimmer....

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good to hear. I just picked up a aquaticlife 115 but haven't put it on yet. Waiting to finish my new HOB fuge to put it in. Interested to see how well it works. My Biocube skimmer would pull a very watery light green skim. So I'm anticipating a good skim with the new skimmer.

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Gr8_Outdoorsman

I'm pretty sure that you'll see exactly what I'm talking about when you setup the AL 115 skimmer after having used the Biocube one. Good luck!

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