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What you need to consider when choosing a skimmer:
For optimum skimming, water flow thru the skimmer should be sufficiently slow as to allow interactions of an air bubble and organic waste. The best designs for this are skimmers that employ water moving against the flow of bubbles. These are called counter-current skimmers.
Make the skimmer reaction chamber as tall as possible to maximize the contact time that the water has with the air in the skimmer. Pump as much air into the reaction chamber as possible.
The key to injecting air is twofold: a) maintaining the smallest sized air bubbles, and b) reducing any potential turbulence of the air bubbles in the skimmer reaction chamber.
The diameter of the skimmer must be increased in proportion to the amount of water being skimmed. The larger the amount of water to skim, the wider the diameter of the skimmer should be.
Types of skimmers
Needle Wheel / Mesh Wheel: Also known as an aspirating skimmer, low to moderate water flow, good foam production, good bubble size, excellent contact time, cost-efficient, requires specialized impellor or needlewheel.
Air driven counter-current: low water flow, good foam production (with new air stones), good bubble size, maximum contact times (with taller units), frequent maintenance and requires frequent water height adjustments (called tuning).
Venturi: good water flow, good foam production, moderate contact time, requires a powerful pump, valve tends to clog.
Beckett-head skimmer: high water flow, maximum bubble production, moderate contact time (swirling patterns will increase this), requires a very powerful pump, Beckett-head requires cleaning.
Downdraft™: good water flow, excellent bubble production, excellent contact time. Units tend to be tall and bulky and require powerful pumps to create air bubbles.
Recirculating: Recirculation can be added to the venturi and aspirating style skimmer design. The recirculation continues to fractionate the water inside the skimmer body to increase contact time and improve performance. These skimmers usually require an external feed pump to supply water to the skimmer, or they can be direct fed from the tank drain.