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  1. #1

    Mother of all Protein Skimmers!

    A month on from finishing my filter revamp I thought I’d give a brief update.
    All water parameters are holding at “optimal” and I am now directing most water to bypass the conventional Nitrogen Cycle moving bed and sending most water from the drum straight into the anoxic chamber.

    I expect the nature of a mature moving bed is that Nitrogen Cycle bacteria are constantly being shed and these will have settled on the considerable amount of surface area added by the anoxic baskets, so fully expect the anoxic chamber to be acting as a half decent Nitrogen Cycle chamber anyway. The question is, are anions developing in the hearts of the baskets to attract in NH4+ cations in sufficient amounts to bypass NO3 production and gas off N2 instead? I guess only time will tell as I do NO3 tests throughout the season.

    Even if no major benefit results from the anoxic experiment, the related move to the airlift is working brilliantly.
    One side effect of the nature of my airlift outlet arrangement is that very little foam is being expelled with the exhaust air through the hose installed for that purpose and instead I have inadvertently invented the mother of all protein skimmers/foam fractionators in the anoxic chamber itself.
    The picture shows about 60min worth. Bear in mind the fish aren't spawning, my water is at about 12C and I'm still feeding very little, so this is a lot of foam for those conditions! I can scoop it off with a dustpan but of course it’s back in no time.

    Sooo I can feel the need for some deep thought and then some designing and making. I am thinking how to make an automatic foam “scraper-offer” which will be triggered by the periodic oscillation of water level which is itself triggered by the sensitivity of the air lift to clean side water level in the drum filter. Sad? Almost definitely. Do I care? Nope

    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:

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  3. #2
    What about a blade the width of the chamber, angled slightly up then angled out, fixed near the entry point, the idea being to get the foam to creep up then flow sideways and out (if that makes any sense)

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  5. #3
    It does, thanks

    My current thinking is a soft silicone blade on a pair of guide rails which sweeps up a ramp driven by electric motor.
    At the top of the ramp would be a narrowing which forces the foam to drop off.
    This will keep me occupied for ages
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:

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  7. #4
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    I tell you what I would do- I would fit the main pond overflow as a tank connector in the side of that chamber at water level so the foam all goes to waste so long as you are trickling in somewhere.

  8. #5
    Too simple, we want complicated electrical gadgets!

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  10. #6
    Complicated electrical gadgets and beer

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  12. #7
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djstiles999 View Post
    Complicated electrical gadgets and beer
    Some one mention toys and beer. Count me in!!!

    Sent from my F5121 using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"


  13. #8
    Thanks all - I think complicated may have to be the way and I may also need liquid fortification to sustain me during the process

    Feline's suggestion makes sense, but I've done some simple experiments with the foam (I've got plenty of it!).
    It's too "sticky" to flow out of a pipe and even an overflow "infinity edge" doesn't take much of it unless it's accompanied by a lot (and I mean a lot) of water.
    The most effective way appears to be either a blade (as in removing foam from AJM's pint) or some kind of scoop that slowly leaks as it rotates to avoid taking too much water with the foam.

    Sadly this isn't going to be resolved any time soon as I have other things on for a while and it's not a priority, but no doubt I will come back to it and if I do, you should have a Heath Robinson contraption to giggle at
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:

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