The Ugliest Mini-Reef Ever: Airstone Skimming Still Works.

by | Feb 14, 2012 | DIY, Equipment | 1 comment

Getting back into the hobby, I noticed a huge population of skimmers made for smaller nano tanks that didn’t seem to exist in the early 2000’s. Mini pumps, mini bodies, engineered to skim your nano tank. I can only speculate that this naturally followed the tremendous surge in popularity of teeny tanks.  I just wanted to write this post to remind people of how effective air-driven skimming can be.

Given the small volume of nano systems, heat is a real concern, so why add another heat source, the pump on one of these tiny skimmers, when there is a totally heat free means to achieve extremely fine bubbles using an air pump most hobbyists probably already have lying around?

I built mine using PVC, so it’s pretty ugly, but it’s a simple 1 1/4″ body, reduced to a 3/4″ riser. A collection cup is made using a 2″ coupling and a 2″ x 3/4″ reducing bushing. Very simple. To prevent the water level from rising too high, a tee is built into the riser, with a series of ell fittings that ends in a second tee to set the water height.

  • Chris Maupin

    Chris Maupin is a research scientist at Texas A&M University, whose primary research interests consist of using the geochemistry of coral skeletons, microfossils and cave deposits to reconstruct climate variability and investigate climate change in the coral-rich regions of World Ocean. His day job ranges from from turning wrenches on mass spectrometers to culturing corals, with fieldwork in incredible places in between.

1 Comment

  1. Chiefmcfuz

    Very nice article, and a great DIY project. I would love to see more pictures of the build process if you have them.


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