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Top Shelf Aquatics

DIY Surface Skimmer for Nanocube


This is a super easy surface skimmer mod to the JBJ nanocube.

From the category:

System Setups

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Are you cutting teeth or one large opening? I was thinking about cutting 1/8 - 1/4'' teeth in mine. I dont have a dremmel so I thought I would buy a pack of hacksaw blades 5-10, tape them together so it made one thick blade. A dado blade if you will for you woodworkers, and use that to cut several teeth above the top vent. Also, do you think it would work if you left the vent open? How far down should I cut?

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Be careful when you cut the plastic it seemed to shatter when I drilled it. Everything turned out OK but when it happened I thought I ruined any chance of my pump retro idea working/looking clean. Maybe tape or some thing to stabilize the cut site would help avoid damage.

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I did something similar. Cut teeth at the top with a hack saw and blocked off the top sump intake. works beutifully. water levels are exactly as the nice diagram up there.

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martin wojtkiewicz


i did some thing similar. my cut was only 1/4 in. wide. then on the top of the factory sponge i added a dense as i could find filtering pad on top of that faux fleece (furry) material in the paint dept. at the hardware store. it all seems to work well.




____l l____


8888888888 --pad

0000000000 --original sponge

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I use a tool called the "sheet metal nibbler" it works great at cutting notches. A must for any DIY nanocube owner. Cut straight, and easy..

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Great mod guys!


I just got my first DX Cube and am getting another Friday from Kent on the Classifieds.


Questions -


How does the mod affect noise levels?


Instead of putting a powerhead in the display portion of the tank, I am planning to drill a hole in the fake back as close to the overflow tower as possible and install a similar pump/tubing arrangement as the original (and use a wave timer that will have both on some of the time).


This mod will nearly double the flow into the overflow.


Do you think that the overflow mod will be sufficient to accomodate the increased flow, or should I leave some of the original overflow open instead of sealing it completely shut?


Your recommendations are certainly appreciated!


Joe Mac

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I did the mod by cutting notches but the sump water level is the same as the display. Should it not be lower? By blocking off the top sump intake would that cure the water level problem? Also how far down did you notch?





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hey my jbj nano has the same water level as my back filter. my back filter water level shoould b lower so i thought of like taping some of the holes where water comes in, or i can just buy a surfacve skimmer and attach it on right?

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