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Catalina Aquarium Turbo Vortex Skimmer

3 replies [Last post]

I just got a new skimmer to go with a new sump. It's a CA Turbo Vortex HOB with a CA-1800 pump. I've been running it for about 3 days and I'm still not getting any skim. There doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the flow throught the venturi valve to make it make more bubbles (the amount of bubbles I have is ok, but nothing like the little Excalibur skimmer it is replacing). I'm running both and the little one is working ok. I attached a picture below. I did attach an air hose to the pump to get it to make a little more bubbles, but still nothing. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can mod it to make it skim better.

Also, any ideas for starting a good crop of macro in my fuge?

All this is because I have a phosphate problem that I can't seem to beat.

Brian's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 22 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 04/16/2009
Points: 1700
man that skimmer looks like a

man that skimmer looks like a p.o.s. sorry no offense i would return it for a refund and save a little bit to get a decent skimmer. if i remember seeing a vortex skimmer in action before they dont produce a large amount of bubbles. i always thought they were gimmick skimmers that the idea of them sounds cool and all but they really suck in the real world. as far as i know for a good skimmer you need tons of micro-bublles and a just right reaction time. patrick and jeff on here can certainly point you in the right direction in getting a decent skimmer that doesnt cost too much. if i look at the picture right your skimmer doesnt have a noticible output valve. which is critical in a skimmer. you basically need need to adjust the water level high enough that skim/bubbles are at or just above the entrance of the cone. that way the bubbles only have to travel a few inches into the collection cup. that model you might have to put it a at certain water depth to get it to kinda work. if u cant return it and have to get it to work i would jimmyrig an adjustable valve on the output pipe. and without seeing your pump i have to guess if it's the original pump that is probably a p.o.s. too. seriously not trying to be rude , but get your money back if u can and at least check with jeff or patrick and they can definitly suggust a decent skimmer for ya. jeff sometimes has used skimmers if money is an issue and if he doesnt every week there is usually a good deal for a used skimmer on ebay. just gotta know what to look for. do you have pics of the skimmer in action and the fuge to give us a better idea of whats going on.

Why yes I am a Reefer! Are you? Check Out my tank here:

Pr0metheus (not verified)
Venturi Flow

So doing a little more research....
There seems to be some disagreement on whether you can use the venturi valve in a verticle position. Does anyone have any experience with that? Basically, it seems my problem is that the venturi isn't drawing air, but pumping water out the air tube. I tried hooking an air pump to the the input, but the back pressure is too high. I'm going to do some trouble shooting today and will post what I find. I think that once I get the airflow started, I can adjust the level with one of those surgical drip controller things.

On the plus side: I did figure out how to adjust the counter current skimmer that is the backup Smile

Patrick's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 35 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 04/16/2009
Points: 473
You do have a bargain

You do have a bargain basement type of skimmer there. Try priming the air tube by blowing into it and see if that changes things. If it will not suck air then there is an issue and you need to return it.

The enemy of good enough is better.