Thursday, March 13, 2008

Clean Your Cup

I noticed that my AquaC Remora protein skimmer was producing les and less skimate. I had to keep lowering the cup to increase the skimate amount. Eventually, it stopped producing anything in significant amounts. There were plenty of frothy bubbles coming over the top of the tube but that was about it.

I had read that some frozen foods can interfere with the efficiency of protein skimmers. I started feeding Rod's food every few days several weeks ago. I thought, perhaps, this new food was reducing the amount of skimate.

I was emptying the cup regularly and rinsing it out. Two days ago I looked at the tube leading into the cup really closely. The tube had a thin coating of green slime on the inside. The coating was about 1/8 of an inch thick all the way around. Overall, it looked like this coating was insignificant compared to the diameter of the tube. I decided to clean the tube really well. I removed all the scum and replaced the cup. One day later the cup was about 1/4 full of wet skimate. It was producing large amounts again.

I'll probably have to raise the the cup level to make the skimate more concentrated. For now I'll let it run wet to get the most out of the water. Perhaps my "malfunctioning" skimmer is responsible for the declining health of my Xenia. I'll be sure to report how things go. In the meantime be sure to clean your skimmer regularly.