Tunze DOC 9410 Protein Skimmer Review


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Tank Size Noise Level Longevity Price Rating
up to 150 Gallons Low 5+ Years Medium-low 8/10

Tunze, masters of the quiet aquarium, produces what I find to be the quietest protein skimmers available. The Tunze DOC 9410 Does a great job for tanks up to 100 gallons, however it does pull out more water than most other skimmers. This means your skimmate won’t appear too dark and you will have to empty the skimmate cup more often. It has a large footprint, so be sure your tank has the space for it.The Dimensions are 9.8 x 7.0 x 16.3 in. If you use the post filter, which comes with the skimmer it’s closer to 10.8 x 9.0 x 16.3 in. What I found really impressive is that its water pump is custom made for the skimmer. All in all it is a good skimmer, runs super quiet but needs a large area to run.

  • Features
  • 600l/h aeration
  • 900l/h water flow and filtration
  • Removable post filter, which runs water through a mechanical filter of 300 micrometers.
  • The absolutely massive skimmate head means you won’t need to empty this skimmer every day.
  • Runs at only 15 watts, a few below other skimmers of its size.
  • Automatically shuts off if the skimmer is going to overflow.
  • The rubber base of the Tunze makes its operation quieter.
Set-up

Tunze supplies one of the best instruction manuals of any skimmer company. You can access it directly Here

  • 1. Screw the hydrofoamer silence on to the skimmer. Be sure not to make it too tight.
  • 2. Attach the silicone hose form the air connection outlet of the skimmer and hydrofoamer.
  • 3. Attach the adapter ring and post filter onto the black PVC outlet pipe.
  • 4. Place the Skimmate cup on top of the skimmer
  • 5. Mount the post filter to the outlet pipe and turn towards the skimmer until it is tight.
  • 6. Rinse off the filter bag and place it into the post filter
Adjustments

Adjusting the Bubbles of the Tunze 9410 is a bit different than most skimmers. The adapter ring can be raised or lowered to adjust the skimmer. This changes the internal water level of the skimmer. Moving it higher will result in a wetter foam, which may be what some tanks need to form a proper skimmate.

What is interesting is how the Tunze 9410 is claimed to need no adjustments to form proper skimmate. This was true in my aquarium, however when running through the break in period the skimmer will not produce enough foam. This is nothing to worry about and subsides within a few days. Once it has broken in the foam should reach a good height and begin to form skimmate.

If the foam does not reach the top even after this break in period it is likely that:

  • A. The tank is new and does not have enough nutrients to form a proper skimmate
  • B. The tank has been fed recently, which affects the water tension and reduces the foam level
  • C. The water level is too low for the skimmer, which can be remidied by moving the adapter ring.
  • D. The water is too high, tripping the anti overflowing system. This is also remedied with the adapter ring.
  • E. The skimmer is in a zone with too strong of a current.

You shouldn’t have to spend too much time, if any, adjusting the Tunze 9410. Just let it run through the break in period and check on it every day. Once the skimmer is running properly and forming skimmate you should wait until the cup is full before emptying it. This will give you a good estimate on how often you need to empty the skimmate cup. The more heavily stocked your tank is the more frequently this will be.

If the protein skimmer is too loud then it is likely that either the water level is not set properly. If the water level is too high then the water will enter the air passage of the skimmer. If the water level is too low then the filter will be flowing over the sides.

Cleaning the Pump

Protein skimmers themselves cannot wear down. Instead only their connections and water pumps can wear down over time. To combat this we need to clean out the water pump once every year. Thankfully this is a pretty easy task.

  • Taking the pump apart
  • 1. Start by unscrewing the stainless steel screw
  • 2. Turn the impeller cover counter clockwise and remove it
  • 3. Using pliers, remove the drive assembly
  • 4. Use the pliers to take out the cooling duct
  • 5. Check the bearing in the pump.
    This part can only be removed using a hook.
  • 6. Check the bearing in the impeller cover and make sure it fits well
  • 7. Check the interior space of the body.
    This includes the cooling duck. There should be no signs of wear.

Once you have the pump apart clean it out thoroughly using cotton swabs. I use these as they are cheap and can get into any small parts of most aquarium equipment. The non abrasive nature of the swabs allow us to clean even the magnetic impeller without fear of any scratches or internal damage. Additionally they are, or should be, new and do not have any chemicals on them, so there is no risk of contamination.

While you have the pump removed you should also check and see if any grime is accumulating anywhere. The anti overflow part of the skimmer can be a good place for bacteria to accumulate, as it gets very little water in a working system.

Reassemble the pump in reverse order before placing it back into the skimmer. Make sure it is secured before turning it back on.

Warranty & Lifetime

Tunze gives us a Two year warranty on the 9410 protein skimmer. This is double what most skimmers give us. They will also repair damaged skimmers outside of warranty at a much reduced cost, so even if you do need repairs much later down the line Tunze will still help you out. Just be sure to hold onto your purchase information

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