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Never dump your skimmate manually again

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The people who live with you will thank you.

I have been running this simple setup for a few years, love it.

It is super simple, if you can get to a drain line.


Both skimmers empty into a 5 gallon bucket with dual float switches (detect full/overflow)

The 5 gallon bucket is plumbed into a drain line, with a 12v solenoid.



Twice a week the solenoid is opened and the skimmate drained directly for 5 minutes.

In addition, if a skimmer happens to wig out and produce too much skimmate, the low float switch catches it.  Skimmers are turned off and an alert is sent. 

If the solenoid was always open, a rogue skimmer could drain allot of water.   Keeping it closed most of the time and only using it to empty the tank prevents this.


- 5 gallon bucket, plumbing to drain, uniseal, and tubing to get to skimmer overflows.

- Dual float switch / mounts in 5 gallon bucket lid

- 12v solenoid and adapter, in drain line,

- Optional:  A DIY carbon filter for the hole in the lid (I get no odor though without it...).  You can make one with PVC fittings.




Fallback OFF
If Time 07:30 to 07:35 Then ON

Skimmer Outlet:

Fallback ON
Set ON
If Output SW_SkimHi53 = ON Then OFF
If FeedB 000 Then OFF

(Note that skimHi53 is two float switches wired together for redundancy)

Alert For Skimmer:

If Output SW_SkimHi53 = ON Then ON


Hope this inspires someone or is useful.

PS:  I cracked the bucket tonight, had to fix it.  Family not happy :)  Had to fix, so took some pics to share...



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That is an awesome idea.  I could make this work on my display tank with little work.


Thank you for sharing.

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Nice Jeremy...  wish I had access to a drain line (and space for a fish room while I'm at it).

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Ah, one recommendation.  The skimmate is sticky nasty.  I should have used 3/4 pex to the drain line or a proper drain instead of 1/2".  Before I added more slope, it would occasionally clog.

Also, be sure to raise your drain intake a few inches above the bottom so the sludge can settle out.


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