Skimmer, and mesh top? Questions, questions... - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:16 AM   #1
Norman
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Default Skimmer, and mesh top? Questions, questions...

Hi everyone,

I am just trying to get my tank back up to looking nicely. I've been busy with work and the algae took over so I gave it a good long black out period (which effectively killed the one coral that I owned). In the meantime, the skimmer died, and both gyres kicked the bucket. So, I am researching my new purchases. I did pick up a Nero 5 powerhead this weekend (seems to be a good purchase) but I need to find a skimmer.

I don't have a Sump, and I don't plan on having a sump. It is a 37 gallon tank. There are two maroon clowns, a Pyjama Cardinal and a very old Gobie living in this tank. Oh yeah, and a lovely infestation of aitapsia that I am planning on dealing with...

My last skimmer was an in tank Hydor. It actually wasn't bad, but I hated the space it took up in the tank. I'd like a HOB but I do worry about leaks and overflow onto my floor. Are there any HOB skimmers with some sort of overflow preventative measures? What do you guys recommend? Does anyone have a Tunze? I have the old Aquatic T5 fixture and that doesn't allow much protrusion from the skimmer cup. Can anyone tell me high the Tunze protrudes out past the water line?

Also, I'd like to find a mesh top. Does anyone know where I can purchase one? And finally, is there anyone that can fix gyres?

I know, lots of questions... sorry about the long post. I've been messing with this tank all weekend, scraping glass, adding powerheads (3 small Koralia's).


Hopefully someone can help me figure it all out.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:58 PM   #2
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Ya...quite a tall order to get on text

Gyres: Which version, ie MaxSpect XF1XX, XF2XX or the rebranded? If MaxSpect XF1XX, is the centre "power light" flashing red or just no power? If flashing red, have you taken them apart and remove the wee tan snails that have jammed the rotors and if the impeller magnet is seized from Calcium deposits from sitting idle? The controller does shut off power for impeller/rotor jams to the motorblock. I dont know of anyone in the GTA that can help you troubleshoot and see if they can get it running for you as it's a fair trek to me in Calgary LMFAO!!! PM me to exchange contact info and I can chat with you to see whats going on with those Gyres.

If the Hydor NW pump is toast, you can use a Hydor motorblock from their standard pump line and reassemble the NW pump.Not sure if BA still carries Hydor products but I can ask a supplier in the GTA to source one for you as I recall that he carries some Hydor products.

The only HOB skimmer that I like and perform is the Deltec MCE600.

You can run skimmerless but use a fluidized reactor like TLF150/500 (the 500 is bigger but easier to change media vs 150)...it is a 37gal . Alternatively, back in the 90's Ive ran my 37 and 55gal skimmerless for 5 years and just used a powerhead and a canister filter (Rena XP2) with just carbon and SeaChem PhosGuard.

Mesh tops, you can build one with aluminum framing that they use for windows. Once you get the lengths cut to size, use silicone to seal the fittings to the framing members and to seal the cut ends. Nylon coated fibreglass window screen works perfectly but the grid size may shade out too much light for your liking. you can also use bird mesh screen for gardens. The rubber spline to secure the mesh to the frame.

HTH
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #3
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Thanks wtac for all of the info!

The gyre is the F130 - I am a girl that has no idea how to take things apart and then put them together, but I found the box the gyre came from and noticed that it came with spare parts. I will take the whole thing to my dad and hopefully he can figure it out.

The reactor, which brand name is it that you recommend? I will check it out online. Can it leak or is it pretty safe?

Right now I am running a simple HOB with some media in it, and three koralie powerheads, for the deitrus in the sand and the newly added Nero 5 power head which I am running at about 20% to 40%. My tank is only 30" wide, it is the higher tank.


I'm quite interested in the reactor, I know that I have run this tank without a proper skimmer before without any issues so I am not set on the skimmer if I can add something that would work better for the tank.

Last edited by Norman; 03-04-2019 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:36 PM   #4
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Gyres are pretty easy to take apart but can be a bit tricky at first putting them back together. I find that using a “flathead” micro screwdiver helps a lot prying off the rotor cage holder and picking out the snails lodged between the rotor vanes.

If you haven’t upgraded to the “rugged” rotor and cage I suggest that you do so as the original design of the rotor is quite crappy where the vanes snap off easy as well as ordering the new rotor bushings. ReefSupplies should have them.

Putting the gyres back together, the tricky part is lining up the far end of the rotor shaft into the cage bushing as you push the cage into the motorblock. Not lined up you will push out the rubber and ceramic bushing from the rotor cage.

With the motorblock, will the shaft rotate? If not, on one side of the motor block you can remove the “cap” and after a good soak in vinegar overnight, you should be able to spin it after applying a bit of pressure to break residual build up. If not, gentle tapping from the opposite end should pop it out be cleaned. If still difficult, soak in CLR.

After re-assembly, it should “fire up” and spin. If not, either the motorblock is dead (red light on controller) or controller (no lights) and or the power supply.

The fluidized reactors are made by Two Little Fishes (TLF). I find the 550 model (large) easier to clean out and change media vs the 150 model (small) as well as plumb neatly. Use a Maxijet 1200 to push water through them. Alternatively in your HOB filter (hopefully an AquaClear) to pack with carbon and SeaChem PhosGuard and change the media weekly/bi-weekly. Easier to maintain but not as efficient vs a fluidized media for contact time and clogging. The $ differential and time, I suggest using the HOB filter until you get things under control and back to a state that you are happy with as with success, it justifies the $ spent and learning about the equipment for the upgrade vs throwing $ to correct.

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Old 03-04-2019, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thanks again WTAC.

The gyre works on one side, so I am hopeful that it is fixable. The motor still runs, and there are no warning lights. I'll be honest I have never cleaned it apart from a good vinegar soak. If I took it apart it would never go back together. Hopefully with your instructions my dad can help. Thanks so much for those details!

The HOB filter, yes I am using an Aquaclear. I would like to purchase a reactor but am a bit leery of leaks, the two little fishies reactor has some negative reviews on Amazon.ca that say they leak. What has been your experience?
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:09 PM   #6
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Two units I used are these:
https://www.bigalspets.com/ca/fish/f...er-30-gal.html

and

https://www.amazon.ca/Bubble-Magus-Q.../dp/B01CT2T3AE

I liked the Bubble magus better, in terms of skimmer functionality but the Coralife allowed me to put some carbon or other material inside. neither of these are big enough for your tank, but theres a bigger version of the bubble magus called the qq3 I believe and rated for up to 100g. it has a tube at the top that drains back down into the tank so it doesn't overflow.
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:57 AM   #7
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Never had an issue with TLF reactors. The trick is putting a dab of silicone grease on the O-ring and with a finger, spread it around. Whatever you do, with the 500 model, DO NOT REMOVE the flat plastic ring that separates the O-ring from the screwtop lid.

Their elbows system is horrible. The rubber will crack overtime and will leak. Use the ĹĒ ORBIT brand Tís and elbows found in the irrigation section of Home Depot. Donít use the RainBird from Lowes/Rona as the barbs are too wide and a real pain in the ass (PITA) to get the hose on/off. The Orbits are really snug.

Here is the link to the upgrade parts for the Gyre. Since the drive impeller rotates and one half spins, the connection of the rotor drive bushing has loosened from the impeller drive shaft or the drive bushing has stripped the rubber fitting on the rotor from a seized rotor.

Rugged Rotor and Cage

New Drive Bushing and Rubber Rotor Fitting

If things get really nutty, PM me and we'll arrange a "video meeting" and can help you two reassemble/further trouble shooting.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:40 PM   #8
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90 gallon reef ready tank ...

hippo tang , yellow tang, 1 damsel ,flame hawk (favorite ),watchman goby ,harlequin star fish (hides boring ) bi -color blenny,cleaner wrasse , bengai cardinal,twin spot goby, mandarin .
sand sifting star fish ,
elusive marine betta(MIA - shows him self periodically -boring )

in progress TBA.....project tranquility ............


90 gallon dual drilled tank with sump
vertex 100-in
2 - evergrow leds ,dual t5 48" aquatic life fixture
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