What precautions do I need to take?

Before installation or maintenance, or before putting your hands into the aquarium, remove the power supply from all the electrical devices under water. Read the instructions.

Before installation

Check that all the components of the product are undamaged, disconnect all the electrical devices and make sure the voltage of the product corresponds to the mains voltage.

What is the purpose of the product?

This is an aquarium pump for internal use only, with water of a temperature of up to 35°C (95°F).

What is the purpose of a skimmer in a marine aquarium?

A skimmer is essential for a marine aquarium, because it removes organic waste substances before they can become nourishment for nitrifying bacteria colonies, which would produce nitrates that are toxic for delicate corals and invertebrates.

What is the principle the Performer skimmer is based on?

You have no doubt seen the foam left behind on the beach after a storm at sea. During storms, the polluting substances in the sea water, mixed with the micro bubbles of the backwash, create a soapy foam that the waves leave behind on the beach. The fact that in salt water the waste molecules behave in this way has allowed companies in the aquarium sector to develop instruments such as skimmers, in which water and air are mixed by powerful pumps in plastic cylinders. As they rise up the cylinder, the bubbles join up with one another, creating a "soapy" foam that can thus be collected in beakers. These instruments are called skimmers, and they are fundamental for Berlin system and other modern aquariums.

What advantages does the Performer skimmer bring to my aquarium?

The skimmer removes protein substances, particulate matter, phenols and chelators and stinging substances produced by the  polyps of invertebrates. It also improves the hygiene conditions of the water, increases the amount of O2 dissolved in it and helps stabilise pH. 

I've heard of single and double-pump skimmers. What are the differences?

The single-pump skimmer uses the same pump to run the skimmer and to produce the air, while the double-pump skimmer uses one pump to run the skimmer and one for the re-circulation and production of air to be sent into the cylinder. Generally speaking, the former uses less power (with a single pump), but it is very sensitive to the sump water level, and can ONLY function in the sump (the pump is normally in the base of the skimmer).

Where is it best to position the Performer skimmer?

Since it is a skimmer with "double-pump" technology, the Performer has been designed to be positioned either inside or outside the sump tank.

How can I regulate my Performer skimmer?

There are many options for regulating the Performer skimmer, depending on (three) values: the amount of water, the amount of air and the level of the water in the contact column. The amount of intake water is determined by the feeder pump - consult the table in the instructions to identify the right flow; they can be downloaded from www.hydor.com.To regulate the amount of air, it is important, first of all, to distinguish between the various skimmer models. The Performer skimmers equipped with a silencer (2000 and 3000), from which constant high performance is required, do not have an air regulation system, because they are regulated at the production stage. Should it be necessary to reduce the flow further, use tube clamps between the silencer and the Venturi tube. With the 700 and 1000 models, proceed as follows: a) regulate the level and amount of water; b) activate the foaming pump (only one of the two in the 1000 model) and open the air valve as much as possible; c) wait for the bubbles to stabilise; d) gradually close the air valve until the bubbles have also filled the bottom part of the column; e) in the 1000 model, turn off the first pump and repeat the procedure with the second pump; f) to regulate the amount of air, use the valve on the silencer; g) to regulate the level of the water in the body of the skimmer, use the knob on the drainage tube.

What colour and consistency should the waste material be?

Dark waste material (dry foam) is proof that the Performer skimmer is working perfectly and filtering all the polluting materials from the water. However, if you prefer lighter waste material (wet foam), just turn the knob to raise the level of the water. This will raise the level of the water in the column and speed up the skimming process, making the waste material lighter in colour, although it will be necessary to empty the beaker more frequently.

What maintenance operations do I need to carry out?

Follow the indications in the instruction and maintenance manual that comes with the product or can be downloaded from the Hydor website.

My skimmer has suddenly stopped working.

Check the neck of the beaker on the inside and clean it if necessary; it will not function properly if it is dirty.

I need to move the skimmer to clean it.

N.B.: Before lifting the skimmer when full, empty it by unscrewing the bottom connector of the skimmer pump and shifting the connector to one side so as to make it easier for the water to flow out. If you move it with water inside, place one hand under the base and on along the contact column. 

Operations that must be carried out regularly

A) Regularly wash the inside of the contact column to remove traces of the algae that inhibit foaming. Remember to rinse well to remove all traces of detergent. Traces of calcium deposits on the walls of the contact column will also inhibit foaming; to remove them, wash with diluted vinegar or diluted hydrochloric acid. B) Regularly, or when insufficient air is being produced, clean the air suction tube. C) Every two weeks, check and clean the silencer and drainage regulator, since they may become blocked by dust sucked in along with the air or as a result of calcium and/or salt deposits.

Cleaning the pump

Particular care must be taken with the foaming pump, because it must be maintained properly for the impeller to last and to prevent the skimmer from making a noise. Crusty limescale deposits form between the shaft and the magnet, and on the impeller housing. This can cause friction, noise and over-heating, causing the device to wear out quickly and malfunction. This is why the pump and the rotor must be washed with diluted vinegar or diluted hydrochloric acid, regularly and/or in the event of calcium precipitation or the use of kalkwasser.

I can't deal with the foam… there's too much of it!

Check the level of water present in the column, and lower the level if necessary, using the knob on the drainage tube. Check the flow of air and reduce it if necessary.

There isn't enough foam

There are a number of possible reasons. Check that: a) the level of the water is not too low, adjusting it if necessary using the knob on the drainage tube; b) the flow of air is not too low, adjusting it if necessary; c) the pump is working correctly, following the maintenance instructions if necessary. d) Do not use a skimmer that is too large for your tank or for the biological load present in it.

The skimmer has been running for 2 days and it is not producing any foam.

It can take a few days for the skimmer to become fully operative. Foaming is normally activated automatically once a film of bacteria forms on the walls of the acrylic material. 

The skimmer has been running for 7 days and it is not producing any foam

Check the material of the water intake tubes: a number of PVC tubes on the market, although they are food-safe, can give off substances that may inhibit foaming; we therefore recommend using food-safe silicon tubes.

I have too many bubbles in my aquarium.

This can happen especially when the skimmer is installed for the first time. The bubbles will disappear once the system has stabilised; this may take up to 10 days.

Noisy pump

Make sure the pump is positioned well away from the glass walls of the sump. If necessary, place a piece of rubber between the pump and the wall. Carry out cleaning and maintenance operations if necessary.

The foaming pump has stopped.

Hydor foaming pumps are equipped with a safety thermal protector. If pumps are dirty or encrusted, or if the rotors are worn, the temperature will rise. To avoid the motors overheating (and thus breaking), the thermal protector cuts off the electrical supply to the pump, reactivating it only once the pump has cooled down. If a foaming pump stops, disconnect it from the mains, clean the motor and the rotor and reassemble.