Surface Skimmers - Need Help finding Info

iZaO Jnr
  • #1
Hey guys,

I came across an article earlier recommending the use of a surface skimmer on a Freshwater tank, even if it's too small for your tank. I am interested in finding out more, but there seems to be a big gap where the info should be on the net.

I'd just like to know how it works, costs involved, benefits etc.

Can anybody help me? Thank you!!
  • #2
From my understanding of a few other forum searches, the easiest way to think of it is a "pool skimmer".


Basically, it draws the water into the top of it like an overflow in a Saltwater setup. This is just a much cheaper/smaller solution.

Built in aquarium overflow.

Hope this helps.
iZaO Jnr
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks outlaw, that link explained a lot of what I'm looking for.

I will continue to search though.
  • #4
NP, glad to help.

Is there anything else you are not clear on or information you were looking for? I may be able to help find it.

iZaO Jnr
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Does a surface skimmer have to be attached to a HOB/Canister etc (something with an intake pipe, or can it be just as efficient with a small powerhead attached?

I want to use this is conjunction with my sump on my new 110gallon, but have the two seperate... Yes/No?
  • #7
Good afternoon,

I have never tried this device attached to a power head. With the particular one posted above, it only has two fittings. There is also one for Fluval HOB's. I know the one above will attach to Aqua Clear filters.

iZaO Jnr
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Could it possibly still perform its function well or would it rather be a little pointless?

The idea is just for me to find a "part time" filter that will aid in the overall look of the tank and water.

With regard to what they will fit onto is not an issue, something can always be arranged

I've been pointed to surface skimmers, diatom filters, and a "carbon only" internal filter?

Which would you recommend?

Thanks guys
  • #9
Good morning,

I also use Diatom Filters w/Diatomaceous Earth on both of my tanks once a month. These filters are not intended to be used around the clock. I have a Vortex D1 for the 33g long and a Vortex XL for the 265g tank. I run them 3 to 5 hours once a month and that's it. Three hours for the 33g and 5 hours for the 265g.

Diatom Filter vs Algae Blooms | Freshwater Aquarium Journals Forum | 105973

I can only suggest that you try the Freshwater Surface Skimmer attached to the power head and see what happens. I honestly have no clue as to how well it will work if at all.

Since the Diatom Filters and the Freshwater Surface Skimmer are used for different functions, I can't say that one is better than the other. If you want crystal clear polished water, then I recommend using Diatom filters periodically. Note: these filters will not remove bacterial blooms.

If you want to remove surface scum and add oxygen into the water then use the Freshwater Surface Skimmer. I do not use the Surface Skimmer in my display tanks as I have overflow filtration on both tanks. This eliminates the need and any surface scum.

I have well water with silt included. Another reason I use another aquarium to preheat, treat, filter my water prior to water changes. The Surface Skimmer helps big time in this tank, removing the silt that floats on the surface. I do not want the silt in my display tanks.

I also use Activated Carbon and carbon pads in all of my filters.

iZaO Jnr
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Okay well then my overflow should do a good enough job too!

I will definetely look into diatom filters then, because it seems to be what I am looking for!

Thanks Ken!
  • #11

Yes, if you have overflow filtration then there is no need for the surface skimmer.

You'll be amazed at the amount of detritus the Diatom filters will pull from your water. Although your tank may appear clear now, the Diatoms will filter it even more, filtering to the micron. Trapping much smaller particles than any other filter can.

I have also seen mention that Diatomaceous Earth can be used with the Magnum HOT type filters. I have a Magnum HOT too but I only use the micron spool and have never tried it with Diatomaceous (Diatom Powder) Earth.

Too, the HOT may be a bit cheaper than the Vortex Diatoms. Shop and save

iZaO Jnr
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Thank you!
  • #13
I'm in the market for a surface skimmer for my 23g. Does anyone have any experience with the following:

1. Ocean Free Surf Clear
2. Azoo SkI'm 250
3. Sunsun surface skimmer

I don't like the Eheim 350 since it's not shrimp safe and I don't really like the idea of modding it to be so.
  • #14
Giving this a bump up for you
  • #15
I'm looking for a surface skimmer to put into my 125 gallon. I have an fx6 on it now but I can't find any type of attachment that made for the fx6. I would also like a stand alone unit like the eheim skim350 since I can turn it off and not have it suck up my fish's food. However, they all seem to be for smaller tanks. Does anyone have any recommendations?
  • #16
Looks like Amazon has a few that might work.
  • #17
That's where I was looking but I can't it looks like most of the ones that hook to a canister have a hard time fitting around the rI'm of a big tank, and the stand alone units say they're for smaller tanks. I just don't want to order something that I can't use.
  • #18
I do think that the surface skimmer you suggested on the opposite side of the water out take from the filter - where the water is a little more quiet and more likely to build up with film - would do well.
  • #19
That's where I was looking but I can't it looks like most of the ones that hook to a canister have a hard time fitting around the rI'm of a big tank, and the stand alone units say they're for smaller tanks. I just don't want to order something that I can't use.
It's Amazon. Order what you think might work. Find what works and send the rest back.
  • #20
I think the new SeaChem Tidal (Hob) filters have a built in surface skimmer. That might work as a stand-alone unit, with the added benifet of filtration. Might even be cheaper than a standard skimmer.
  • #21
Hey everyone, so lately I've been noticing a little big of "oil slicks" on top of my water. Seems like the go to to help prevent them from forming would be having a surface skimmer. My question is what does everyone recommend for a good skimmer setup with the Fluval Fx6? Thanks guys
  • #22
back in the day skimmers on tanks were common. Not now especially with a better understanding of the nitrogen cycle and planted tanks. Keep good agitation on the surface of the water and the bacteria in the tank will breakdown the oils/proteins on the surface

However if you decide to use one, they will help reduce ammonia and ultimately the nitrates in your tank.
  • #23
Good evening everyone I just purchased an AquaTop SSK-65 Aquarium Surface Skimmer and was wondering if anybody was also using it and what are your thoughts on it please?
I made a slight modification on mine because I have a very strong current in my tank already i cut up a small piece of a sponge and baffled the intake hole. I also put some filter floss below the black sponge that came with it.

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