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FAQs about Red Sea/Prizm Skimmers 

Related FAQs: Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers 1, Best Skimmer Selection FAQs, Skimmer Selection, Skimmer Selection 2, Skimmer Selection 3, Skimmer Selection 4, Skimmer Selection 5, Skimmer Selection 6, Skimmer Selection 7, DIY Skimmers, Hang-On Models, Best Skimmer Op./Maint. FAQs, Skimmer MaintenanceSkimmer Operation/Maintenance 2, Algae Control, CPR Skimmers, ETSS Skimmers, Euro-Reef Skimmers, SeaClone Skimmers Skimmers for Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small Systems Corallife Skimmers, Skilter Skimmers, Tunze Skimmers,

Related Articles: Skimmers by Steven Pro, Protein Skimmer Impressions By Steven Pro, Marine Filtration, Mechanical, Physical & Chemical, and FAQs

Contact Pinky for help on the Prizm at redseainfo@readseafish.com  http://www.redseafish.com/languages/95/pdf/126.pdf

salt creep      1/19/16
Hi, I have a Red Sea Max 34g.; the air intake for the skimmer pump is so prone to becoming clogged by salt creep that I need to actually clean it out with a tiny drill every week at least and it’s a pain since the whole skimmer needs to be partially lifted out of its compartment to gain access to the place where the air intake hose attaches to the pump itself. Any ideas for minimizing if not eliminating this nuisance?
<Mmm; a hassle. Is there a way to situate the air intake outside the cabinet, or at least extend it much higher? I'd also be contacting the folks at Red Sea re: http://www.redseafish.com/contact-us/
Please do share their response back to you. Bob Fenner>

Help regarding Red Sea skimmer....   4/3/10
Thanks for all you guys(and girls) do and hope you all have a Happy Easter!
<Hope your weekend is well too.>
I'm trying to set up a tank for a friend (making the move from fresh to salt!), and am using a Red Sea Hang on Skimmer rated for 25-250 gallons.
I'm using it in sump... I've got it hooked to a Mag 7 for input... and it seems to be running correctly. Unfortunately, it's got SOOOooo many bubbles going through it that the collection cup fills with water after about 3 minutes! And this is with really nothing more than ro/di water.
Has anyone had this problem before and how might I correct it?
<This may well be just because of the lack of salt in the water, though typically it has the opposite result. I would check the airline to the pump for any blockages, especially where it attaches to the pump intake.
Otherwise just wait and see what happens when salt is added. These are very finicky skimmers!>
Thanks again for everything... I let everyone know that this is the group to go to for expert advice!!! Thanks again!
<Thank you.>
<Welcome, Scott V.> 

Now I've Seen It All... skimmer maint. por los ricos  3/5/10
Bob and crew,
I received an email flyer from Premium Aquatics today. When I looked at this pricey (600.00+ depending on model) I really didn't know what the heck it was. After searching on the net, I finally found a review of this gizmo. Unbelievable, and I do not believe people will be standing in line to get one. It is neat though, watch the video.
<These automated wash-down systems for commercial skimmer collection "cups" are very useful... not too surprising to find there may be some sort of "high end" market segment for such with hobbyist units. BobF> 
Re: Now I've Seen It All 3/5/10
Mmmm, James wishing his mother and father were rich. Have you heard any feedback re the new Red Sea skimmer with the built in cleaning feature?
<I have not>
On another note, I've often thought about writing a short marine article titled "If Money Were No Object, The Ultimate Reef System", what I would buy if money was not an issue.
<A great idea for a topic/subject... for an article AND pet-fish group presentations>
I have quite a bit of Jing tied up in my Home Theater/Music system and I just love to demo it and see the jaws drop. With that being said, I would just consider my system at the high end of the audiophile entry level range when compared to systems where one pair of speakers can run well over 10K with compatible amplification equaling that figure......pretty much akin to my reef system.
<If wishes were fishes, we'd all have full tanks. Cheers my friend. BobF>

Used Prizm Skimmer Setup Question 7/6/09
Hello again, you gods of the fish world.
<No gods here Danielle.>
I need help with a secondhand Red Sea Prizm Skimmer (not great, I know, but better than nothing)
<Definitely and not bad for tanks 40 gallons or under.>
I purchased off Craigslist. I'm not sure if it's missing a part or I'm misunderstanding something. Can someone who has experience with these skimmers please tell me what the air tube connects to? I've downloaded the instruction manual, but I can't find where it mentions this. My air tube ends in a blue connector thingy, and I don't know if that's how they come, or if the original owner modified it. It seems like the air tube should connect to the "hose barb" but the blue connector doesn't seem to fit. I hope this makes sense; I'm new to skimmers, otherwise I could probably figure this out.
<I do know the air line is initially used to start the siphon. There is a connector on the bottom of the collection cup with no through hole, and this is where the air line connects to start the siphon.
Keep in mind that you must fill the body (lower part) of the skimmer for the skimmer to start siphoning. I don't recall any blue connector, but the design may have changed. For the life of me, I cannot remember any other details. I will give you Pinky's email address at Red Sea, I'm sure he can help you with this. redseainfo@redseafish.com>
Also, has anyone with one of these skimmers ever lost the screw that holds it in place (the "fixing screw")? Mine doesn't have it, and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions about what to use in its place.
<Pinky should have replacements for this.>
I didn't have any luck Googling for replacement screws.
Thanks in advance,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Yet Another Skimmer Question (inefficient design?)  12/23/08 Hi.... <<Hello Gretchen>> My tank was set up 3 months ago, fish weren't added until 2 weeks ago, live rocks are over 2 years old, <<Hmm, you might want to consider swapping out some of the rock for new? For the benefit of renewed alkaline/bio-mineral content, and a fresh injection of beneficial biota>> everything else just purchased (used and new): - 45g Tall - live rocks and live sand - 20 gallon sump under the tank - separated into 3 sections: intake on the left which holds a Red Sea Berlin Classic skimmer, then a triple baffle bubble trap, return section, and lastly, the refugium, separated from the return area with a baffle w/ teeth on top for water to pour through...the fuge is receiving 25% water from the intake and one of the outlets for the skimmer is pouring into the fuge. <<Very good>> - Skimmer is powered by a Rio 2500, one outlet is pouring into its own compartment (intake area), and the 2nd is routed to the fuge, using pvc for both outlets. - Lighting is just enough for non-coral life (tank to be a FOWLR tank) -- 1 - 40 watt actinic and 1 regular white fluorescent to offset the blue) - currently housing just around 10 various hermits, and around 10 various snails, and 2 false Perculas. - At first, levels were: ammonia & nitrites 0ppm, pH 8.2-8.4, but nitrates were 160+ ppm. <<Yikes!>> I fixed this by using ro/di water and making a 75% change (this was before I had inhabitants!). <<Ahh?>> Now, I'm constantly at ammonia & nitrites 0ppm, pH 8.2-8.4, and nitrates between 5-20ppm. <<Okay>> I've done so much searching for specifically my brand of skimmer (and no doubt you guys all have your opinions on it). <<Hee-hee! Indeed this is true!>> I got it used, and the pump is brand new. It works perfectly...I *think*.... <<You are in the best position to know>> I'm getting wonderful bubble action (after figuring out that the baffle needed to be in the inner tube! Prior to this I was getting the cyclone, and not a lot of bubbles)...the bubbles are filling up the inner tube, and pouring over halfway down the middle area, but not passing the skirt. I've Googled around like mad for 2 months and am still confused. <<Mmm, you may be running *too dry*, but with this model skimmer getting it set is not always easy. I've used this model skimmer before myself, as well a seen it used by others, and I always found it to be a real pain to get and keep adjusted. One thing I did fine that seemed to help was to oversize the pump. I always found that the venturi/skimmer design worked better with the bigger pump. So? You may want to consider trying a RIO 3100 with this skimmer and see if it performs any better>> When I fixed the bubble issue, I thought it was working...I was getting dry foam intermittently, but it never gushed over. <<This is typical with this skimmer>> The neck and lid were thick with sludge. That lasted a week...it stopped foaming as much, so I cleaned the neck off with just tap and ro/di yesterday. <<Good? The skimmer should be cleaned every few days to keep it working (as well as it will/does, anyway)>> And now, I don't see any foam. I figured it was because it needs to re-prime itself, and I had just done a water change. <<Maybe? But it also probably needs a new round of *fiddling with it* to get it going again>> I'd like to understand, how the foaming action starts to build up and overflow...will it only overflow if there's enough dirty particles attached to them? <<Simply put, yes? The *dirty* foam is a result of the attraction of hydrophobic organic molecules to the air/water interface of the bubbles. It *is* possible for an aquarist's system water to be clean enough to not allow the expected skimming action. This may be the case here, but I doubt it. Though the large swing in your Nitrate readings may well indicate a like swing in skimmate production>> I've got zillions of bubbles in the membrane just bouncing around...will they stay in there until there's enough particles to make them work their way up the neck? <<They won't *stay* (the bubbles will eventually rise and burst), but your skimmer's venturi should be injecting a constant stream of bubbles so in essence, yes, there will be bubbles present when organics become present>> Or should I increase the pressure somehow to raise the water level, so it is higher up the neck? <<You can do this? A skimmer requires the correct combination of water flow vs. air injection/bubbles. Better skimmers, in my experience, make finding and holding these settings easier? And also seem to work better over a wider range of water/air combinations. Readjusting this skimmer is likely what is needed here (remember the *fiddly* comments I made about this skimmer). And then checking/re-checking to make further adjustment as necessary>> It seems the gunky bubbles barely overflowed, but rather, stuck to the neck. In which case, it is working to get stuff out...but does it sound like its working as well as it should? <<In a word? No? The skimmer needs to be adjusted to overflow skimmate in to the skimmer cup. Just how wet or dry to make the foam is a matter of debate, but you should at least be making *some* skimmate>> Is it right for me to assume that since I don't have a lot of bioload that this may be why I'm not getting the overflow of dry foam that a lot of other people I've spoken to? <<This is a possibility, yes. Though I would simply adjust the skimmer to produce a wetter foam (best to try to remove what dissolved organics you can)>> I just want to be sure that I can continue to stick with this skimmer, because a lot of people who've gotten it to work really love it. <<Then give it some more time and experiment with the skimmer settings a bit>> They just can't explain to me why mine isn't overflowing with dry foam like theirs. <<It may be a matter of adjustment as indicated? Or it may be a matter of inefficient design, as also indicated. This model skimmer seems to vary in efficacy from unit to unit, but overall is a modest/marginal performer in my experience>> Everything else *seems* like it's working (like I said...lots and lots of micro-bubbles inside-- can't even see through the acrylic), and I'm not ready to trade this in for a more expensive one (we will be upgrading to a 125g next year, and want to save for that; this 45g is our first "experimental" tank) Thanks! Gretchen <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Re: Yet Another Skimmer Question (inefficient design?) 12/23/08 ATTN: Eric R... <<Hiya Gretchen!>> Thanks for all the tips!! <<Quite welcome>> I guess I will stick it out with the skimmer and its adjustments since I will be upgrading to a 125g sometime next year anyway. <<Okay? These skimmers can be made to *make do* for a small system such as you have now. But jeez? What a pain they are?>> Unless I find a good used skimmer, I don't see an immediate reason for me to shell out for a better that might not be big enough for a 125g, especially if I can put up with this one. <<Okay>> I'll just be diligent about my water changes. <<Very good>> I forgot to mention my refugium uses Miracle Mud, so hopefully that will help keep my tank healthy. <<Ah yes? A very useful adjunct>> And since I brought this up, I'm going by information I read that the water entering the refugium shouldn't be too strong so pods can flourish, so the result in my sump is that there is just a little bit of the fuge water entering my return. <<The *pods* can actually *flourish* under a wide range of flow conditions. But in your case, I would follow the instructions/flow requirements for the Miracle Mud>> Too bad the pods get crushed after going through the return pump. <<Ah, not true! Many/most do make it through just fine. And even the ones that don't are still providing benefit/nutrition>> Next tank design will have the fuge on top of the tank. <<Cool!>> As for the live rocks...I am guessing I have 30lbs of rock in there, not enough for my 45g. <<This too is a matter of debate. I think many hobbyists use *too much* rock thus hindering water movement/swimming space for fishes, and facilitating detritus accumulation>> Would the older live rock be bad to keep instead of replacing? <<Mmm, no? Is not bad to keep? Just not as useful/beneficial as swapping out for some *new*>> Here's the live rock's history: My brother had it for a couple of years, but in the last year, after his tang died off (yes, he kept a tang in a 45g, shame on him!) <<Hee-hee! You tell'm sister!>> he just maintained the tank's salinity over the next year until I took over. In that last year he didn't do much water changing, if any, and just kept topping off. I always thought the older the rock the better, since it would have been well established. <<In the overall scheme of things a mature/established/stable system is best, yes. But swapping out some of the old rock will not jeopardize this and will provide the benefits mentioned in our previous exchange>> Or is it that old rocks might be excreting bad things? <<Mmm, no? Not unless bad things were previously introduced/absorbed>> There wasn't much coralline growth to the rocks to begin with, but I've noticed more coralline now that I've taken over. So given that history, I don't know if the old rocks are any good now. What do you guys think about it? <<Yes, they are still *good*>> I am slowly adding more live rock, but haven't removed any old ones. <<This too is fine as outlined previously re>>>> And of course, when I upgrade to a 125, I would have wanted to keep my existing rocks and just add. <<Not a problem>> I've seen a bunch of your articles/responses to people with "old" live rock, and a couple responses say they were fine, and a couple suggested what you just did, which is to replace. <<Ah, but not to replace *all*? Merely a few pounds at a time? Every year or so>> I don't hear many people talking about replacing some of their live rock every couple of years. <<A good point? On mature systems with lots of coral growth this may well not be practical with causing unwanted damage>> Again, thanks in advance, and I agree that you guys deserve proper emails (for your readers' sakes, as well!), and hopefully I've remained clear and to the point. <<You have indeed>> Happy holidays to the awesome WetWebMedia Crew! Gretchen <<And to you in kind my friend. Cheers, Eric Russell>>

Skimmer for 47 gallon reef 8/22/08 I have a 47 gallon reef tank that is currently running with a Prizm Skimmer. I don't feel that this skimmer is sufficient, and I am considering purchasing a Prizm Pro skimmer. I would really appreciate your opinion of the Prizm Pro on a tank of 47 gallons with moderate bio-load. It can be purchased for $160, but it is not so much the price I am concerned with, I want good skimming, and I hear from some people anyway, that it can be obtained with the Prizm Pro. <It can work fine, so can the regular Prizm. The issue with these skimmers is the need to constantly tweak the thing to keep it skimming, they are just a lot of trouble.> Some people love it, some people hate it. I know that a lot of people speak well about the AquaC Remora, but is the Prizm Pro such a poor performer as what I have read? <Considering they cost about the same, you need to know the Remora is in a whole different class. You will set the cup height and from there all you do is clean out the nasty that collects in the cup.> Thank you for your input, Jeffrey Castaldo <Welcome, Scott V.>

No real directions for my skimmer. Getting a Prizm Skimmer Up and Running 7/10/08 Hello Reef Rangers, <Heee, great term!> I am new to the hobby and I have a 29 gal tank that I have been running for 2 months with no skimmer. (LFS told me water changes would be good enough)? <You can do the job with water changes, but a skimmer makes things much better and easier.> Well good enough is not good enough for me. I want happy fish. So I found a steal on a Prizm Pro to hang on back. I know these are not the best but hoping it will work while I save up for a better skimmer. <These skimmers can produce a fine skimmate, they just require a lot of maintenance and tuning. I would not use it on a tank any larger than yours.> This brings me to my problem. Being my first skimmer I have no clue how to operate one and the directions are horrible. I can mess with air and water flow but I don't know what level I need things at for it to work. Also pretty much when I open the air at all I get tons of micro bubbles in my tank. Can you give me the first timer run down of starting a skimmer. <Sure, I have owned this skimmer and it can be a bit tricky. You need to fill the skimmer body with water, plug or kink the air tube, open up the flow valve all the way, and plug it in. When water starts to flow through the skimmer open the air line and leave that as open as possible. Next, the manufacturer recommends running the top of the bubble column just at the O-ring on the collection cup, I have always had good success with this skimmer running it about ?" above this. Give it ten minutes or so between adjustments. Also, this is where the constant adjustments come it: this level will not stay consistent. You will need to adjust the flow accordingly and often (likely daily), and clean the collection cup often as well. One note, always do this adjustment a while (several hours) after you have done anything in the tank (water changes, feeding, hands in the tank). This will have an impact on the level in the skimmer. As for the bubbles returning into the aquarium, this will go away after a week or two of use.> Thanks Gary <Welcome, for what it is worth I have included a link to the manufacture's instructions (just incase your set is incomplete). Scott V.> http://www.redseafish.com/languages/95/pdf/126.pdf

Protein Skimmer confusion!!! 7/2/08 Dear Crew, <Hello> I'm in the process of setting up a 65 gallon saltwater tank which will be moderately stocked with fish and lightly with corals. Over the last month or so I have acquired just about everything that I need to get going except a descent protein skimmer. The tank has been up and running for about 2 weeks now and is well into the cycling process. About a week or so ago I decided to start looking at hang on the back skimmers (no sump for a while). As I'm not overly familiar with them I was talked into a Prizm skimmer which is on the tank currently. As you are probably already thinking, I didn't do the necessary research before purchase..... I now have plans to package this one up and return it in the next couple of days. <It does not have the best reputation.> In the meantime I have attempted to once again seek out a skimmer that is not hugely expensive but will still provide good skimmate, is not likely to overflow all over my carpet and is, I can't stress this enough, QUIET! The Prizm sounds like someone is constantly grinding pepper in my office and I can't deal with it. <All make at least some noise, is the nature of the way they work.> I know that this question is merely a matter of opinion but yours is one that many people seem to trust. I'm very excited that I've come across your site it looks excellent! <Thanks> Thanks for your time and please help! Sincerely, - Chris D. <My favorite hands down id the Aqua-C Remora line. However there are other alternatives, the CPR BakPak is a decent skimmer, along with HOB models by Tunze and Deltec. One of the realities of skimmers is that you get what you pay for, so bargain models usually give you bargain priced performance. Also see here for more on some of the more commonly available models. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm .> <Chris>

Re: Protein Skimmer confusion!!! 7/2/08 Thanks so much for the reply! <Welcome> You guys seem really awesome over there and seem to know your stuff. <There is a ton of collective knowledge for sure.> I have been checking through your site a lot, I wish that I had come across it sooner! I have been contemplating the AquaC with the Maxi-Jet 1200 as my next purchase. <That's what I use and love it. You may want to go with the Pro model with your tank size.> Seems that nearly everywhere I look it has gotten great reviews. I hope that it will do as well for me as it has for so many other people out there. As this is my first experience with skimmers I do have a couple additional questions. <Ok> And if you have the time to answer them I would greatly appreciate your input. I saw that you mentioned all skimmers make some noise and this I'm OK with . However this Prizm seems to be somewhat obnoxious in a quiet room. It's not so much the sound of the pump but just its over all process. If I were to go with the AquaC would you think that it would be easier on the ears? <Mine kind of hisses if that helps.> Would it be more pump noise that I'd be listening to? <My pump is silent.> Also, I have noticed that with some other skimmers especially the Coralife there is a chance for flooding of the room. I've even heard of some people losing as much as 1/3 of the water from their aquarium. I'm concerned about coming home one day to find my carpet drenched and my wife ready to kill me, lol. Would something like this be a concern for the AquaC? <Not that I can see, if the cup starts to overfill it will flow back into the tank.> Again, thanks for your time and input. I'll be sure to let everyone I know that's in the hobby to check out your site! <Thanks> - Chris <Chris>

Re: Protein Skimmer confusion!!! 7/2/08 Oh and also should I be worried that it will add to the temperature of the tank? Thanks again! <It will not add a significant amount of heat.> <Chris>

Red Sea Skimmer 1/21/08 I have a used red sea HOB skimmer. I bought a mag 5 pump. I have it sitting in the sump in about 5 inches of water in a bs-2 sump. <The skimmer, pump or both?> I cannot get it to continuously produce foam. It worked for a few days and now no matter where I set the set screw for air I get no foam. <Common with this skimmer.> I have a 125 gallon FOWLR set up All small Picasso trigger Lunar Wrasse Juv. Imperator Angel Blue Damsel and Sailfin Tang. <Many large fish, a larger tank should be in your plans for the future.> Cycled with 100 lbs LR and fish have been added over 3 weeks. Nitrates 20 Nitrites and Ammonia 0 Had Brown Diatom outbreak last week but has stopped, but still brown on substrate and LR <This will likely continue with the nitrate level. It doesn't sound like the tank has not been set up very long. This is quite a mix to add so quickly. As far as the skimmer goes, if it is indeed sitting in the sump in 5" of water, you will need to either hang it on the back of the tank or run it in a comparable level of water. Either way I strongly suggest you look into getting a larger, higher performing skimmer for this system and bioload.> Thanks Mike Callaghan <Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Lots of odd 180 gal Skimmer, Pump, and Sump Questions   8/26/07 Hello! As always, thank you for this incredible service you provide, it's the best help I've ever found. <Ah, good> I've acquired my 180gal tank and stand for my new reef (YAY!) and I've purchased a Coralife AquaLight Pro lighting system. I'm now beginning the process of purchasing sump/pump/skimmer equipment. I have a few questions though. The tank will have these main residents, plus a couple more if I can find them. All these animals are in normal 55 gallon tank size-ranges, nothing is "huge"... yet: Galaxea Pagoda Cup T. Crocea T. Derasa Finger Leather Mushrooms Zoanthids 3inch Yellow Tang 6-line Wrasse Lawnmower Blenny Diamond Watchman Goby Scribbled Rabbitfish (2 if I can find them) <Yikes... they'll all appreciate the new digs for sure> *Skimmers: I'm essentially sold on a Euro-Reef RS-180 skimmer. While perusing the FAQ's on your site I've read questions on this skimmer with other 180gal setups to which you guys have used descriptors like "plenty" and "more than enough". <Is a good unit, choice here> 1.) What is the most comparable Tunze model to the RS-180 and is there any reason to go that route instead? <Mmm, not really IMO...> 2.) Are there any other brands/models out there that I should consider looking at in the same price range ($500 or less). Coralife maybe? <Again... I would go with the Euro-Reef here> 3.) I'm "in" pretty good with the owners of one of my LFS's. They had a used Red Sea Berlin skimmer (no idea what model) that they were willing to sell me really cheap (doesn't seem to be broken, and I'd need to get a pump). Does Red Sea even make a model worth looking at if I'm thinking in the range of the ER? <Not in my estimation, no> 4.) Are ratings on skimmers to be trusted? Euro-Reef confused me by putting a "comparative rating" and a "realistic rating" on their skimmers. Should I compare the RS-180 to other skimmers based on the "up to 450gal" rating or the "135gal to 180gal" rating? <Some of them... to be sure, yes... Folks "mileage will vary" and all depends on definitions of suitability, what is being measured...> *Return Pumps: I have an in-sump Eheim 900gph pump (don't remember the model number) on my 55 that I was considering transferring to the new tank and adding another exactly like it (one for each of the two return lines). <Good brand, choice> 1.) Would one Mag Drive 24 (2400gph) be a better route to take? <Not IMO, no> 2.) Any other recommendations on brands/models? <Mmm, posted... in a size, shape system as this 180, you're encouraged to look into internal pumps, possibly with controllers (Tunze, Hydor...) or better, a contained "closed loop" arrangement... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm the light blue tray> 3.) Are the "Pond Master" Mag drives the same thing (LFS says they are and I'm skeptical)? <Mmm, quite... but... have seen where at least the screws holding the volute on were different... rusted> 4.) Is there any reason to use hard PVC as opposed to a strong tubing on either the drains or the returns? <Some... as posted...> Sorry for all the questions, but I don't have a Reef Club or anyone knowledgeable enough locally to ask these questions to so the questions build up... and then I turn to you guys. Thanks again, Eric <I/we're very glad to assist you in your plans to design, build, stock, operate your system. Bob Fenner>

Protein skimmer, Red Sea... set-up right? Working?  7/15/06 Hi. <Hello> I'm not entirely sure my protein skimmer is working. I have a Red Sea Prizm Skimmer in my 55 galloon system. The water is always very clear and there has been no outbreak in algae. However, the collection cup is never full, there isn't any dark gunk in it. <Sometimes, some systems... acheive a sort of "non-skimmate" stasis> I have assembled it according the instructions and I have been told many times that Red Sea makes the best protein skimmers. How can I confirm that mine is working? Thank you. Albany <Mmm, really... try another make/model on the same system... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PrizmSkimrFAQs.htm and "contact Pinky" per the link in the upper right. Bob Fenner> Set-Up 2/Skimmers/Selection  - 05/05/2006 Hello, folks. <Hello Kevin> I was wondering if I could get your general opinion on the Prizm Deluxe Skimmer by Red Sea?.......co- and counter-current, 18 blade impeller, etc.  It is rated for 300 gallons and will be on 75 gal LR tank w/ ritteri anemone and 4 clarkii clowns.  Wet/dry (no bio balls), 70 lbs. live rock, 250 wt. metal halide.  I know you recommend EuroReef and Aqua-C, but those were a little too expensive for me right now.   <Kevin, the Prizm is a decent skimmer but in my opinion, not efficient enough for your size tank.  The unit has a small reaction chamber and does not process a large amount of water per hour.  I use one on a 30 gallon and it works just fine.  It is very easy to maintain/clean and cleaning does need to be done on a weekly basis to ensure efficiency.  This holds true with all skimmers.  If this skimmer is what your budget will allow, by all means purchase it.  It will help improve your water quality much, much more than none at all. Thanks. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> -Kevin Algae Control/Ongoing Query    4/6/06 Someone else told me that regarding the Prizm Skimmer, I should not be cleaning the "neck" of the skimmer.  I am a bit confused now, when I empty the collection cup I clean the cup completely before placing it back on the skimmer.  this includes the outside, the inside, and the "neck" or "riser" part of the collection cup.  I am not sure now whether I should be doing this, or whether the "neck" referred to just the "riser" part on the skimmer itself and not the collection cup. <In the Prizm skimmer, the neck/riser tube is all part of the collection cup.  Cleaning the entire cup as you have been is all that is necessary. James (Salty Dog)>     Patrick Algae Control BGA?  I don't know what BGA is but I will search the WetWebMedia site for it.  So in the mean time while I search - the bubbles are something common? <Any excess nutrients will cause some type of algae growth.>    I don't know that I "need" the phosphate removal - I know I did right after the hurricane when I got power back - but I am sure it can't hurt to do it every other week. can it??<Can't hurt, but in my opinion, nutrient control is your problem now.> As for the Prizm... I do need to empty the cup every couple weeks so yeah, it is doing something...<The entire cup needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis or the efficiency of skimmer is dramatically reduced.  The brown sludge must be removed.> Algae Control I have a 29g, reef tank, lots of live rock, and only 2 Gobies and a few snails right now. I have a 65w compact fluorescent (SP?) and 2 24w fluorescents. I have a Prizm skimmer and a Marineland-200-filter (w/bio wheel). That said, I have a constant problem with algae. I did have bad red-slime (hurricane and no power for 3weeks) that is about gone now, I seem to have a constant problem with "bubble-algae". I don't think it is "true" bubble algae though, I am getting it as small clear 1/16" to 1/8" bubbles forming on the very tops of my live rock, about 3-5 inches from water top, in patches of 3-5" around and usually under a thin green or red film. I wipe the bubbles away with my feeder stick and within a couple days they are back in exact same spots... I don't over-feed the 2 fish and I run a bag of phosphate removal material in the filter every other week. <Are 10% weekly water changes being done?> Any and all suggestions are welcome.  <I suggest you read here, Patrick.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Patrick

Prizm pro deluxe problems... great for constant tinkering    2/17/06 I bid and won a prism pro deluxe skimmer on e-bay for a very  reasonable price knowing their problems. <E-bay's and/or the Red Sea product?> I set it up on my 75 gal  w/60lbs of live rock some fish some inverts. Here's what I've found. keeping the collection cup almost completely down seems to work best with this combination the flow valve should be around the 10:00 position. When adjusting for fine tuning very small movements must be made, very small. The air regulator knob should start in the full open position, meaning receiving maximum draw then start to turn clockwise very slowly with small adjustments again I've found a touch past open produces the best results. speeding the air creates a bubble volume which is not completely chambered and therefore flows through to the return. Take the lid to the collection cup off and watch for slowly rising bubbles. If foam is pouring out like a shaken soda most likely the flow adjustment is to much. If bubbles are rising and bursting and splattering touch down the air regulator. What works constantly for me is a percolating foam which rises and lowers in the neck until its pushed out. This doesn't mean I'm completely happy with the prism I still have a small amount of micro bubbles returning to the tank and i run it tuned all the way down to low basically but a  light steady skim some may argue is the best. I clean the collection neck once a week w/ an old toothbrush while its running .shortly after ,that gunk is skimmed over. The prism Delux does skim wouldn't buy a new one though. If I buy another brand I may try to modify this one I have some ideas to correct some problems. thanks <... have fun constantly adjusting this unit... and learn to use your grammar checker. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer choice  12/9/05 Good morning. <Steve>  Thanks for the great advice offered on the site. <You're welcome>  I need some advice on my newly set-up 20 long. I have been a fish junkie as long as I can remember. My pride and joy is my 55 gallon planted tank featuring discus and angels. I recently ventured over to saltwater. (I know my tank is small, but space is limited.) My 20 long is set up on a counter top which divides my kitchen and living room. (I like the view from both sides.)  It has a 3 inch live sand bed, approximately 15-20 lbs of live rock, a galaxy coral, encrusted gorgonian, small rose anemone, a few mushrooms and a feather duster. My fish are three false percula clowns. I have a MaxiJet 900, 36 watts of T-5 lighting, 36 watts of PC (36 watts actinic, 36 watts 10,000k). I am running a box type hang-on filter (mounted on the side) for now. I had planned on replacing this filter with a skimmer.  My dilemma is the space constraint. The skimmer has to be able to be mounted on the side, so viewing from both sides is not obstructed. There are not many if any quality skimmers which would be short enough for a 20 long. (It can't hang down lower than the tank due to the counter being in the way.) I have looked into the Seaclone 100 and the Prizm. ( I know these are not great skimmers, but they seem to be short enough to fit in my limiter space.)  My questions are: Should I go with one of these two skimmers? Is there another more efficient skimmer out there with the same approximant dimensions that I am overlooking? Or could I get by replacing the skimmer option with more frequent water changes? Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope I have given you enough information to base your decision on.  <The Prizm would be a good choice for your 20. They work well on smaller tanks and are easy to maintain. I don't feel they are efficient enough for larger systems though. Another choice would be the Aqua Medic combination filter/skimmer. I'll post a link here so you may look at it. http://www.aqua-medic.com/products/products.php?category=Filter%20Systems&product=Biostar%20Flotor.  The newer model Sea Clone is supposedly a decent skimmer for small tanks also. Some type of skimmer is better than no skimmer at all. I haven't heard anything about the Aqua Medic yet as it is a new product. Hope this helps you out. James (Salty Dog)> <<Although, on a tank that size it's pretty easy to do 5gal w/c's once a week, maybe twice a week if needed.  Marina>>

Skimmers  11/8/05 I have a question about some protein skimmers here.  I have had a bit of a lousy ride trying to find one for my 29gal  FOWLR Tank. Being the novice I am I first went out to buy the SeaClone 100, which would not even adjust. Then I bought a similar looking unit by Catalina Aquatics. Still no good. Actually fell apart in tank.   Next I bought the Prizm Skimmer by Red Sea which I thought would be a good choice, slim, quiet better design, that put way too many microbubbles in my tank for over 2 weeks. So now, I still have my Whisper Power filter that came with the kit, only with some Purigen as a nitrate sponge, but I would like something to pull the nutrients out of the water. I change out 5 gallons of water every week, replacing with Nutri-Seawater (Real ocean water). Do I keep that same  Schedule with a skimmer??  <Jon, the Prizm Skimmer is not a bad skimmer for your tank size. Certain additives in the water can cause excess bubbles. I have a Prizm on a 29 mini reef and I have yet to see any bubbles. For skimmers to be efficient, they must be cleaned weekly. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks !  <You're welcome> 

Diatom Delight - 10/28/2005 Hi, <Hello> I've got an algae problem that is slowly taken over the substrate in my tank. <That's always fun.>  It is brown in color and looks like there is thin pieces of hair attached to it. I'm assuming "hair algae" :) <Sounds like a diatom problem.> I've checked my water and all is good. Amm0, Nitr0, Nitri0. I use RO water, do 5 gallon water changes a week(55g tank) My lights have been on up to 12 hours a day..........I'm thinking that is probably my problem. <I doubt it.>  So I'm cutting that way back to 6 hrs. <I wouldn't. Anything else I can do in the meantime? <You haven't mentioned a skimmer. If you don't have one that is likely your problem here. Here are some links to get you started. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brownalgcontfaqs.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brownalgcontfaq2.htm  > Thanks <Sure. - Josh> 

Re: Diatom Delight - 10/28/2005 I do have a skimmer (Prizm). <Ah-Hah!>  It works pretty good. <Not from my experience.>  So you think the 12hrs of lights are ok.....? <Yes.>  From all the FAQs on diatoms I've read I've come up with the following conclusions... this is expected of a new tank (mine is 6 months old), monitor feeding amounts, weekly water changes, aggressive skimming... <This is likely your problem.> Do you have anything else to add? <I'd look for a much more capable skimmer.> Thank you again <You're welcome. - Josh> 

Re: Diatom Delight 10/29/05 Thanks for that speedy reply! <I must've sprained something on that last one. It's taken me four hours for this one!> Ok, now I'll put you on the spot and ask which skimmers do you recommend? <I don't really feel on the spot, but you should know we only speak from experience here (we don't endorse products). I was duped into a Prizm once also and decided to research my next choice. I've been quite happy with the AquaC line since then. Check out some forums for others input here. - Josh> 

Re; Diatom Delight - 10/28/2005 Hey, no complaints! <Glad to hear!>  An answer in the same day is good enough for me. <Whew!>  I've pretty much decided on turning in the Prizm for a Aqua C. <You won't regret it. Good luck on turning in the Prism though (you may be able to pay someone to take it).> Thanks again.....I'm sure I'll be back :) <You're welcome...we're not going anywhere. - Josh> 

Prismatic skimmer choices 9/1/05 AH ha.. I went to the skimmer FAQ. I see what is meant by the prism performance.  I knew I was getting nasty brown liquid but I certainly was not getting foam.  I am getting to think that I am better off buying online only. The guy at the LFS swore by the Prism. Ginette Degner <The next time the LFS guy swears by the Prism, you may consider just swearing at him. Better yet, print out some Prism review pages from this site and strategically position them in the employee restroom while simultaneously removing any other bathroom reading material they may have. He won't have a choice but to read. In all seriousness, the Remora or Remora PRO is a good choice for a hang on the back skimmer for smaller aquariums. Good luck! - Ali> Red Sea Skimmer Hello,  <Hello Leonard> Recently my Red Sea Prism skimmers motor died. Since then I've been having an impossible time finding a replacement for it. Have read many posts around where people have mentioned the problem with the motor dieing but no one mentions where they found a replacement. So, would you know of a reputable online store that sells these or would I be better off getting the skimmer attachment to my Fluval 204? Thanks for all the info this site gives.  <Leonard, if you haven't had it that long, I'm sure Pinky at Red Sea will replace it free of charge. If not, I'm sure they could send you one via credit card. Web site is www.redseafish.com. Send you info through the "contact" link. James (Salty Dog)> 

Prizm Skimmer Hi,  <Hello Alex> First, thanks for all the help and fast responses. First off, I'll give you my tank specs - 72 gal 40 ish? lbs LR pH - 8.2 Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 20 Stock: 2 ft Zebra Moray 1 Maroon Clown (hand feeds, so cool) 5 Chromis I have 1 Emperor 400, the Prizm (not deluxe), and a Tunze powerhead pushing 800 GPH. Anyways, I only run the Prizm occasionally because in order to run it properly (high enough flow to get skimmate), I get thousands of bubbles going back into my tank. Do you know of any aftermarket bubble traps made for the Prizm? Do you know of anywhere or anybody I can talk to about making my own? I've tried putting filter sponges in the output of it but that just restricts the flow so nothing will come out. I would like to save up for a better skimmer (Aqua C Remora?) but I am only 15 and don't have that much money. I spent almost everything on my tank =). What I do have I am hopefully saving for a car. <Contact Pinky for help on the Prizm at redseainfo@readseafish.com > Also, do you have any recommendations on how to reduce my nitrates? I have hear about removing the bio wheels on the Emperor, but isn't that where all the good bacteria is? I never go longer than 2 weeks on water changes because of the eel, but they never go lower than 20. I just don't want them to rise any more.  <Alex, a 72 gallon tank is a little small for the eel. They are terrific waste producers that lead to high nitrates. Here is an article you can read on nitrate control. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm > Also, I currently feed my eel 1 shell-on jumbo prawn once a week. Too much/too little?  <Adequate>  I also have frozen squid cubes in my freezer and might get some baby octopi from the grocery store if that would be good. <One of their favorites.>  Should I be soaking the food in vitamins? What kind? <It's a good idea, I like Selcon>  I just want the best for "Zeus"!  One more question, I want to add 1 more fish to top off my tank. I am thinking about a wrasse (any Cirrhilabrus) or butterfly (Chaetodon auriga?) (Heniochus acuminatus?). I want some yellow in the tank! What do you recommend as far as hardiness goes?  <You have too much of a load in your tank now, I don't recommend you add anymore fish. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks so much for your help!  <You're welcome> 

Re: Prizm Skimmer James - I emailed Pinky about the skimmer but I got a MAILER-DAEMON error. Do you know where else I can go to for my problem? Thanks! <Alex, go to www.redseafish.com and click on "contact".  James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmer - Kent venturi valve Hello thanks for the wealth of info found here at WWM. I have a Red Sea Berlin Skimmer that never has worked for me. It coats the top part of the collection tube with skimmate but never overflows. <Keep in mind the collection tube should be cleaned at least weekly to properly foam over.>  I have tried 2 different Turbo pumps on it with no luck. It is in the sump fed by surface water with a constant water level. I just purchased a Kent venturi valve (yes I am trying to polish a turd).  My question is, Do I place the valve on the intake side of my Mag 7 or on the export side? <On the outlet side.>  I think the import side will help chop the bubbles and allow closer placement of the pump to the skimmer. Also is their anything else I can do for this poor skimmer aside from digging a hole and burying it.  <As I said above, if the collection cup/riser tube is not cleaned weekly it will significantly decrease the efficiency of the skimmer.> Another question: does anyone know of any marine aquarium classes or programs that may be found around KC MO? I have a biology degree and would love to find some type of aquarium program to further my education but can't find anything.  <I'd do a Google search, or look in the back of one of the FW/SW magazines.> One last thing. I just purchased Anthony's "Book of Coral Prop.". Just started it but have found it very helpful. I will keep it right next to my other Bibles of reefkeeping; Sprung and Delbeek's Reef Aquarium V. I and II. Thanks again Travis Hunt St. Joe MO. P.S. Do you know of any other reefers around St Joe. The LFS aren't very great here and I'm not sure how to make other contacts. Sorry about so many questions.  <Same, do a Google search on aquarium clubs/societies and the like. James (Salty Dog)>

Bioballs and Protein Skimmer, nitrates Hello Bob, <Hi there Neil> I just recently got into saltwater fish about a year ago.  I've had a lot of success with Freshwater for about 11 years and now wanted to move on to more exotic fish.  I've been a big fan of your website since I've gone to saltwater.  Now here is my specs on my FOWLR tank: -90 gallons 60x18x20 acrylic -Over 90lbs of Live rock, mostly Fiji some Marshall -3-4 inch of crush coral on the bottom of tank -15 gallon sump with bio balls -Prizm Protein skimmer hanging from sump <You may want to upgrade/size this device... particularly with your stocking below> -Livestock: -3" Porcupine puffer -1.5" Niger trigger -2.5" yellow tang -3.5" blue tang, king of the tank -1.5" Kole tang -1" clown fish, Nemo -.5" damsel, can't catch him -.5" Vlamingi tang, will give him up once he gets too big for tank <Likely so> I feed them flakes twice a day (Formula 2 and Nutri Max), feed them frozen shrimp, Nori,  and assorted Formula cubes (3) once every week.  So far they look healthy and get along.  The tank has been up for almost 11 months now and all the fish hiding places due to the live rock set-up.  I routinely change 15 gallons of water every two weeks from LFS. Now here are my Questions: 1. Is it a good idea to remove bio balls since nitrates are slowly creeping up or is it more beneficial to keep them. <Very likely better to remove them> 3.  Will pulling out the Bio-balls make the protein skimmer work more efficiently, if so 2.  Will getting a better Skimmer make a big difference, like aqua c remora pro, because right now my skimmer does pull out gunk.  But not a 1/2 cup everyday. <Will not make "more efficient", a good idea to replace... and I wish folks wouldn't emphasize "so much volume" as a measure of skimmer function/utility, but quality, possibilities of other events... In any case, I definitely WOULD replace this skimmer... you will likely find a much darker skimmate, much more apparent better water quality, diminished maintenance consequently> Currently nitrates are ranging between 20-40 ppm.   Last test getting closer to 40. <As you seem to indicate, this is too much> Any help with these questions would be appreciated. Neil <Maybe use the Prizm on your quarantine/treatment/hospital tank. Bob Fenner>

Prizm skimmer hi there,    I've just bought a Prizm protein skimmer and need to fit it to my Juwel vision 260 tank, <260 gallons?  This skimmer is a bit inadequate for anything over 50 gallons or so...> now I read a article about how to cut/adjust the tank so it fits nicely but haven't been able to track it down as it was some months ago, can u tell me where I can find these instructions? <Sorry, but I'm not familiar with your brand of tank.  Does it have a permanent cover or hood on it?  I don't quite understand why the hang on the back skimmer won't fit on...> I have emailed Red Sea about this and they told me to cut the lid but I think this would be untidy please let me know if you can help. <Maybe try contacting your tank manufacturer as well to see if they have any advice.>                                                       Thanks Gareth

Making lemonade from a lemon: Skimmer brand 7/31/04 Thanks for all your valuable advice, I do appreciate you taking the time to reply. But...now since I already have the PrizmPro, what would you suggest my next course of action be to export those nutrients? Stacy <do try to get the most you can out of any skimmer by keeping it very clean for optimal production of skimmate. This means cleaning out the cup and neck every other day and cleaning venturis with distilled water 2-3 times yearly. Support the system too with careful control of nutrients... regular (weekly) water changes and careful feeding (decant thawed pack juice from frozen fare, etc). Anthony> Prizm (Skimmer) Problem?  Hello!  <Hiya! Scott F. here today!>  I was wondering if any of you great people there can help me with my Prizm protein skimmer...I just purchased it used and it appears to be working well so far - the only thing wrong with it is it is missing the second (hose barb) connector - it has been broken off. I know that the first connector is for priming the unit and then the instructions say to attach the air hose to the second connector (hose barb) after priming is done but it is broken off so my question is: Is this 2nd connector ( hose barb) just blocking off the air from the airline hosing completely or is supposed to allow some air to get through? I assumed it was just a resting place for the airline hose to sit until you need to prime it again and that it doesn't allow any air to go through but since it was missing I just plugged the airline hosing with a knob from one of those 3 line connector tree things. But I don't have any bubbles at all so I'm wondering if there is supposed to be some air going into that hose barb. It would make sense that there should be some air going into the skimmer in order to create the bubbles that produce the foam in the collection cup but since that connector is missing I have no idea. I'm thinking that there was probably a small passage for air or how would the skimmer work, right? If there is supposed to be a little hole in that connector that is missing for the air to flow through, does anyone know how big the air hole is - would it be about the size of one of those little black things that have 2 open ends that allows you to attach 2 air hoses together or is it smaller than that? I've tried connecting the air hose to the priming connector and it bubbles like crazy so I'm thinking that the other connector was supposed to allow a little less air through it but not supposed to be closed off completely, right?   Any help would be greatly appreciated.......Lana.  <Gosh, Lana- sounds like you've really studied and theorized on the operation of the skimmer! To be quite honest with you, I have not used this skimmer myself, so I'd be remiss if I attempted to comment. If it were me, I'd contact the manufacturer directly for some advice and information. Additionally, I'd place a post on the WWM Chat Forum asking for input from fellow Prizm skimmer users. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F>

Skimmer Fix  Hi Scott!!  <Hello again!>  Thanks for replying to my question...I went down to a local fish store that sells the Prizm (I know you guys don't really like this skimmer but so far, I find it works great and it is skimming that awful brownish - yellow goo it is supposed to)  <That's good enough for me!>  To look at one brand new and have discovered that the hose barb (2nd connector) does indeed allow air to pass through it into the reaction chamber and the 1st connector is for priming and it is the one that blocks off the air completely - so, what I've done is cut off one end of an air hose connector (to connect 2 separate ones together) and crazy glued it where it was missing and attached the provided air hose to it and now it works perfect!  <Excellent fix!>  Just wanted to let you know so you could pass on the info. to someone else if need be. Thanks again....Hats off to you and everyone at WWM for providing such a valuable service and expert advice. I love your site and have buried myself into it (and was lost for many hours) reading all the posts. Cheers......Lana.  <Glad to be of assistance, Lana! Your generous sharing of information is what WetWebMedia is all about! Thanks again! Regards, Scott F>

Prizm Skimmer Help Form A WWM Reader I have one of these (and mine skims!). There is indeed a hole here for air to enter, about 2or 3 mills across. This doesn't seem to limit airflow in any way. However if the pipe hangs free it's a lot noisier than if it's attached though it skims much the same. I can suggest that putting a valve on here is a good idea as it adds a little more control over foam production through the device.  <On behalf of our fellow hobbyists, I thank you for your unselfish sharing of information. That's what this site is all about!>  I have a question on Caulerpa pruning. I have read several books, articles on this (inc. Reef Invertebrates, and while all agree it is essential, nowhere says where to cut! I assume that with all the problems of leakage and so on I am not to cut individual leaves, but rather have been cutting back at the level of what would be called a rhizome on a java fern, the main branch. Am I correct?  <Well, that is my thinking, too. Careful pruning near the thalli is a safe bet> Regards, Wayne Oxborough 

More Prizm Problems...  HI... I've been reading through the article's already posted, but haven't really found anything that seems to be helpful to me yet. I have a 120g reef tank, about 3 months old. I have 115 lbs of live rock in there, a small yellow tang, small flame angel , royal Gramma, many crabs and snails and a few starfish. Everything is doing quite well and all of our water quality test come out great. We have been having some problems with our skimmer. Its a Red Sea Prizm Pro. It seemed to be doing well up until the last week or so. Instead of producing about a cup of "yuk" water a day, now it takes maybe a week to do it. My husband has tried adjusting it, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. ( the only change it made was 1 time it filled the collection cup up in about 30 minutes, so he tried adjusting it again) I'm trying to save my husbands sanity by seeing if this is normal? Or are we doing something wrong here... Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks  Janice Myers  <Well, Janice- we've had a number of inquiries regarding this skimmer of late! I'd see what your fellow WWM readers have had to say (one of the responses is on this page today). Unfortunately, this skimmer has a less-than-stellar reputation for reliability and performance among many hobbyists. One thought that seems to be universally helpful for many skimmers is to keep the neck of the skimmer clean. Ironically, the very gunk that you are trying to accumulate can actually impede the skimmer's performance as it dries. I'd keep the skimmer clean (but don't over clean it), and keep tweaking it. In the end, if it just isn't working for you, it may be time to consider a different unit. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Changing Protein Skimmers Hello, and thank you for this site!  My son and I acquired a Prism Pro Deluxe skimmer for a 75 gal before we found this site and read all the bad things about this skimmer. <Ah, kudos for including your children in this. Both of you are in for a lot of fun!> This is our first marine tank, so we don't really know what works and what doesn't.  Honestly, I thought the Prism worked, until I started reading the reports on this site. They shake my confidence to the point where I'm seriously considering junking the Prism for an Aqua-C. <The Remora Pro with surface box is what I have on a 75 and it works very well> Right now the tank has 11 lbs of live rock (fully cured, as far as I can tell), and one very large hermit crab. This must be a light load and so a skimmer should not have much to take out.  The skimmer produces a little output per day (haven't thought to actually measure it, but I'm sure it's not a cup a day) and the output seems dark and foul-smelling (which is what it's supposed to be, I assume).  So how can I tell if this skimmer is OK or junk? <You are right about the load, it is very light, so output will be lower> We are seeing micro algae growing on the live rock.  Is this an indication the skimmer is not performing as it should? <Yes. But don't over look source water, water quality, feeding etc. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm > We will soon get 100 lbs of live rock, and a few weeks down the road start putting fish in.   <Note, the new rock, even if cured, is likely to cause a short re-cycle. The more raw the rock, the longer this period is likely to be. Also, please read here about quarantining new additions. You won't be sorry for have a hard and fast 4 week quarantine rule> Is it possible this skimmer is working fine now with its light load, but the problems will show up later when the tank gets more in it? <As above> Thanks, Tom <Good luck with your endeavor, Tom. Don>

-Red Sea Prizm skimmer problem- Hello there, I was looking through your website and I found a lot of helpful information about protein skimmers, but not exactly on my problem.  I have a 55 gal tank with an ornate wrasse, a yellow tang, a maroon clown, 2 PJ cardinals, and three green Chromis.  The tank is filtered by two penguin 330's and an AquaClear 4000 powerhead. The tank has been up and running for quite a while (at least 6 months).  I bought a SeaClone skimmer for the tank a couple of months after its setup and it never stopped spewing bubbles into the tank. <Hmmm... they're pretty cheesy skimmers but not that bad. I wonder if something else was going on.> So much so that the entire tank was clouded whenever the skimmer was running.  In addition to that the cup would overfill with water and explode onto the wall every other day or so. <Ew, sounds like fun>  Finally I had enough and figured something was messed up so I just returned it for a different skimmer.  My new skimmer is a Red Sea Prizm and it has pretty much the same problem as the SeaClone. <Not much of an upgrade, I'd have gone with a precision marine hot-1 or an AquaC remora.> Not so much the bubbles rather the cup fills with water within a minute despite how I adjust the flow. <Something else is going on...> I don't know whether I am doing something wrong or maybe the tank doesn't have enough organics in it to skim? <Oh, there are always organics to skim out> This is a most frustrating problem and I was wondering if you guys could give me any suggestions? <Are you using any dechlorinators for your top-off and water change water? Stuff like stress coat and Novaqua can cause some pretty potent over foaming episodes. I'd suggest running some fresh carbon, and if possible, let it pull out 10 or so gallons of "skimmate" as a water change. Who knows, it just may take out enough of whatever is making it over foam. Hit me back if nothing works... -Kevin> Thanks a lot for your time and I hope to hear from you soon. Jim T.

Noisy Red Sea Prizm Skimmer on a 50G tank Does anyone know if this thing is always this loud?  I mean honestly it sounds like a pepper grinder sitting on the back of my tank.  What other skimmer would YOU recommend in it's place I have a 50 gal. tank and am looking for a skimmer preferably something in the same price range ;-). <Don't have any direct experience with this skimmer, but I am sure you can post a message over on the WetWebMedia forums at http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk and get a response from someone who has. See here for suggestions on skimmers made by the crew here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimbestof.htm. Hope this helps, Don> TIA

Noisy Prizm Skimmer Bob, I recently purchased a Prizm skimmer to be used on a 12 gallon fish tank in my bedroom. The noise that this "compact" skimmer emits is anything but compact! It makes it difficult to watch TV. in my bedroom at night and darn near impossible to get a good nights rest. Along with the skimmer, I have an Eheim Liberty 150 filter with supposedly 3 stage filtration (mechanical, chemical, and biological). Would it be possible/effective to run the skimmer on 12 hour shifts? <You could elect to do this. If you do, please plug your skimmer into a timer device, so that you do not have to keep manually plugging and unplugging (and forgetting to plug it back in). Use the simple timers they sell at hardware stores for cycling lights on and off while you are away on vacation.> (Allowing me quiet time at night and a good nights sleep). Would running the skimmer only twelve hours a day have a negative impact on my aquarium? <Yes, but probably minor.> Please explain any effects. Very truly yours, Sleepless in Covina <Have a nice night, tonight. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Question (operation) Morning Crew! I have a quick one about my skimmer. I have a Prizm backpack and for the last week the bubbles have stopped hence the skimmer has been basically just swirling water around and spitting it back into the tank. My LFS told me to clean it out .....that there may be something blocking the flow? I did that last night and I'm still not skimming. What's going on here? Could it have broken just like that? <I would check the airline. It could have become unattached to the powerhead or it could have become plugged.> Thanks guys. Rick <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Protein Skimmer I have recently moved my Prizm protein skimmer from inside the tank to the sump. I have noticed that the water in the protein skimmer is clearer then when it was in the tank. Do you think that it is not skimming properly or is it just that the water is going through the filter then to the skimmer? <Mmm, water is the same... likely some physical characteristic of the move (probably the varying height, difference in level of the sump, skimmer) at play here. Bob Fenner>

Red Sea Skimmer a piece of crap?? - 2/11/04 Hello and thanks for such an awesome page. <Well, thanks to everyone for being part of it all> I always click on WWM when I need a straight answer. <Me too!> my LFS and online FS seem to be so corrupted by commercialism and the power of the almighty dollar that they can't provide good advice anymore. <Well, go easy here. Part of a free market and capitalism that make this country what it is, for good or for bad.> I feel I have been victimized by Red Sea as I took the advice of an online store and purchased the turbo model skimmer. <Not too bad of a product. Buyer beware in any event. Also, note, you were victimized by the online store> This was a little over a year ago before I realized the importance of researching these things myself. <We all do this from time to time. Add to experience> I barely collect 1/4 cup of any type of skimmate per week. <I get about a 1/2 cup a week but sometimes I get 1/2 a cup every two weeks. Depends on what is going on in my tank. Although I have a CPR BakPak not a Red Sea product> I have read every piece of literature I can find on these skimmers, not to mention countless man hours trying to adjust the skimmer. The bottom line is I have a $200 piece of junk. <I can't believe this skimmer is that bad.>  My question is, since so many people contact you about the worthlessness of these skimmers, has anyone received there money back or any other type of refurbishments from these guys. <Not sure. Best asked on some of the forums around the net> It almost seems like false advertisement as they sensationalize the product so much. <Well, some have had great success with the product while others...well....> It would be nice if the people that have been taken advantage of by Red Sea could get together and file a class action or just at least let the company know how they feel. <Well, the first is a bit extreme but may be necessary with ample proof of no response to issues with the product. (note- I am no lawyer) but the second part is much easier. Here is the info I think you will need to start the ball rolling: http://www.redseafish.com/offices.asp?regID=6>  Has anyone had positive results. <Again, better asked in forums> I hate to whine and cry because I know I am the only one to blame for such a horrible purchase but I am at my wits end with this thing. <Understood. Sorry for the lack of support on our end but I think this is much better brought to the source.> I am not rich, like most others, and the $200 was a lot for me to come up with. <Yes indeed> If I was paid for the man hours I spent tinkering with it I would be rich. <I could apply that to a great many other areas in my life, as well. I have some girlfriends that owe me big! Hehehehe. Unfortunately, I have little to add to this other than let us know what Red Sea has to say for themselves.> I apologize for sounding so grumpy but I needed to vent and I hate feeling like I was taken advantage of. <Well, we will post and see what happens. Any other readers with any suggestions or comments?>  Please let me know what others have done, if anything. <Post on the various reef boards and contact Red Sea (the link above) and let us know what else we can do ~Paul>   Thanks so much for your time, Travis Hunt

-90g skimmer selection- I upgraded to a 90gallon tank and I'm trying to decide between these two skimmers: Tunze Universal 220/3 <I'm not very familiar with the Tunze line> RedSea Prizm Pro Deluxe <All too familiar with this thing> Despite the price differences, which one do you picks up more organics? <Likely the Tunze. Red Sea's skimmers are horrible, I'd go with either the Tunze (after some more research) or an AquaC remora pro. I'm not very partial to hang on skimmers on 90g+ aquariums. What you really need for that is a powerful in-sump skimmer.> What is that crap with Tunze skimmers not drawing in plankton? <If it has to do with the impeller not chewing through plankton, pretty much every pump is mostly plankton friendly.> Is that significant or just marketing talk. Is that 'feature' important on a skimmer? <Nope! Powerful protein skimmers will remove phytoplankton, and most pumps will allow any animal plankton cruising through to pass unharmed. -Kevin> Thank you.

Nasos and mandarins and skimmers, oh my! Hey guys, need your help. I have a 46 gallon bow front with fish and live rock. It's been running since November of 2002. I've had 3 damsels in there since around Jan. and have added an ocellaris in late Jan., a Mandarin in Feb. <Unless the mandarin is eating prepared foods, your tank is much to small to sustain one, and it better be full of live rock crawling with 'pods!>  and my most recent purchase, A NASO TANG. I know it will get too big for my tank but I plan on getting something much bigger in about a year or so. <Hopefully the Naso won't beat you to it. If it's small, they grow very fast, the idea here is buy for what you have, not for what you will have.> My main question today is about my tang. He's only been in my tank for about 4 days now and he has been doing fine, eating and swimming around. He likes to pick at my Live rock a lot which to me is a good sign of a healthy tang. I did not quarantine him because I do not buy any fish from the pet store without knowing they have been there for 3 weeks AT LEAST already. <It's still an excellent idea to quarantine, catching and transport is enough stress to make all kinds of lovely things rear their ugly heads.>  So just today I noticed he's been hanging around the surface of the water in a corner. When I feed he comes down quickly to eat then he swims around for a while nips at the rocks then goes back up there. He has know indication of disease yet other than his behavior. NO SPOTS, NO CLOUDY EYE, NO marks of any kind. I KNOW SOMETHING is wrong because sometimes when he is swimming I'll see him shake usually just to one side. <If you are certain that the fish is not getting picked on by the clown (they get territorial), check to see if it is having trouble staying down, like it was buoyant, which would indicate a swim-bladder problem.> kinda has sporadic swimming motions. IS THIS THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF ICH? <Probably not, but who knows?!> I cannot afford to purchase a quarantine and the other problem is that my Mom really would have a heart attack if I had ANOTHER tank in my room lol. <A quarantine tank can be just a cheap 10g freshwater setup from the local pet shop and you could place it inside the aquarium stand.> What can I do? Should I just wait a while longer before taking any action? I seen fish getting better many times on their own. What medication is best? <We only medicate if we know what the problem is, for now just watch it and keep it well fed. Also, check your ammonia, pH, and nitrite levels.> Also I need your advice on filtration. Now I previously owned a 75 gallon tank with wet/dry and skimmer. MY current tank was going in my room so I needed something smaller (46 Gal Bow) but I'm concerned about using proper filtration. I am using an EMPEROR 400 alone, NO SKIMMER. <Should be fine as long as you keep the tank understocked.> I never got the skimmer because I figured the tank was too small to really need a skimmer. <Ah, they're never too small!>  Now that I have fish in it, should I make the investment in the skimmer? <If you've got some extra cash, otherwise don't worry about it.> My water is crystal clear without it. I've been looking into the PRIZM PRO DELUXE because its a hang on and REQUIRES VERY LITTLE SPACE in the TANK itself Just the Inlet to suck the water), WHAT SKIMMER DO U RECOMMEND? Do I need the $200 Prizm pro of will the $80 Prizm do the same? <They won't do the same, the pro definitely performs much better than the original. Instead of either one, you'd be much better off with either an AquaC remora, remora pro, or a Precision Marine HOT-1, as the Prizms are of low quality, noisy, and inefficient compared to the aforesaid models. -Kevin> THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP!!!! HOMER

Doubling up Prizms on a 125? Hi,   I am upgrading from a 55 to 125gal. reef tank. Could I use a 30 gallon tank under it as a sump <Yep> , utilizing 2 Prizm hang on skimmers hanging on sump and 2 Aquaclear 500 filters <Err... let me make some other recommendations>, also hanging on the sump, and then using some type of pump with return, circulate the filtered water back thru the 125, without any type of filtration on 125. Also, could I mount heaters in the same fashion. <To hang an Aquaclear on your sump, the water level in there would have to be so high that a power failure would cause a large flood. For a 125 reef, I would not recommend the Prizms, instead an AquaC ev-180 or similar protein skimmer would be a much better choice. With only a pair of Prizms skimming this tank you would no doubt suffer from a nutrient buildup resulting in problem algae growth and other lovely things. If you put live rock and at least 3" of live sand in the display you will have no need for the aqua-clears. The heaters can be mounted on the bottom of the sump in a place that you are sure can never go dry. Pfew, got all that? -Kevin>                                           Thanks,                                                       Louie

To buy or Not to Buy a Prizm Pro I have been reading the comments about HOT protein skimmers with much interest. However I have seen no mention of the Red Sea Prizm Pro. Any comments pro or con? Paul E. Proue St. Joe Beach, FL <These skimmers are generally not on the "must have" list at WWM. Many users complain they are loud, inefficient, and need lots of daily adjustments. However, if your tank is small and you don't think you will mind the aggravation, it may work okay for you. David Dowless>

Prism Pro Deluxe Hi all, I know that you have been asked the same question over and over again but I am desperate. I am living in Cyprus and the only thing that I can find here is Red Sea products (there are other importers as well but this bring nothing in as well as they ask for gold). I had a reef, 800 liters, and I was using the Berlin Turbo. Excellent results with one problem, the impellers keep on breaking and I had to write to the factory every time to send me new ones in. <Very strange!> A few days ago I decided to break apart the big tank and moved a selective community in a small 200 liter tank but guess what. Yes another broken impeller. So I went to the store and I got the Prism Pro Deluxe. I paid $400. Yes that is how much it costs here. <Wow, that has got to hurt!> You can imagine the others how much they cost. I wish all the internet sellers where delivering in the EU and not only the US. Any idea on how to make this thing work. I haven't managed to make it skim. The tank is full of bubbles if I force it to skim and I get nothing but white foam (if I manage to get that at all). I am waiting from the factory a new impeller for the turbo but since now it is holiday and I do not know how long it will take them. Please advise. <As Anthony is so fond of saying you can't polish a turd. I wish I could be more helpful than that, but the regular Prism's barely work and I have not been very impressed with the Pro version. Also, sorry to all for my second fecal reference in as many days.> Regards, Alexander <Good luck to you! -Steven Pro>

Re: Thank You!!! Skimmer, success Hi Bob, no questions this time, just wanted to say thank you for all of your help! I recently asked several questions, which you guys were more than willing to answer back. <We respond to all>   I had written about a Cyanobacteria problem I was having you had told me to go ahead and turn on my protein skimmer even though the tank was not done cycling.  I had a Prizm Pro at that time, and needless to say it didn't do squat.  You had turned me onto the Aqua-C brand of skimmers.  I purchased a Remora Pro and WOW, what a difference.  I've been using the skimmer for about one week now.  The tank has finished cycling (not due to the skimmer I don't think). <No> I had 2 96W Smartlites that I had changed to the 6700K lights at the same time as adding the new skimmer.  Over the past week the Cyano has been diminishing.   I woke up yesterday and it had finally gone, completely!!  That skimmer had pulled so much crud out of my water.  I think I've emptied that collection cup about 6 times, each time with brownish green gunk, yuk!  Sorry, to go on like this, but I just can't believe that a skimmer can make such a difference. It looks like someone poured a bottle of bleach into the tank.  All of my decorations and substrate look brand new again.  I can't thank you enough for your advice.  I really was starting to get very disappointed at what was happening to my tank, I was sick.  Now, I have regained my excitement about this "life style" that is fish keeping.  Please keep answering those questions.  My fish and I thank you. <You're both very welcome. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer help?! Greetings guys! <Howdy> Thanks for all the help on my other questions. Here's some more...I currently have a 2 month old 60g setup with about 25lbs of live rock (am gradually adding more as I can afford it) and a crushed coral bed that is about 2.5" thick. The tank houses:1 blue damsel1 striped damsel (black/white, possibly a 4 stripe?)1 small yellow tang1 strawberry basslet1 spotted hawk1 very small clown (I think it's an ocellaris)1 scooter blenny2 turbo snails3 blue leg hermits2 purple mushroom polyps. Due to the style of the tank, I've determined that I would have been better off turning my 72g bow front into a salt tank. The 60g is a Via-Aqua and while they are beautiful tanks, the hoods on them cause excessive salt creep and they are impossible to add any extras (such as protein skimmers) to. So this weekend I will be converting my 72g into my salt tank and turning the 60g back into a fresh tank. I will be using the water/substrate/everything from the current salt tank to setup the 72. The 72g has an UGF with 2Powerhead 302's. Once this is complete, I will be adding a protein skimmer. My question is, which one should I get? I've read thru all of the FAQ's at wetwebmedia.com but am completely confused as to what would be the best for this set-up. <there are many good brands. If you prefer hang on the back... go for Aqua C Remora. If you prefer sump models... go for Euroreef. And if you prefer rail mount (topside)... go for Tunze. You cannot go wrong with any of those three choices> My LFS suggested that I might want to add a canister filter instead of a skimmer right now, is this correct? <good heavens no!!! You have more than enough bio-filtration in your live rock and UG filter. The canister will only create more nitrates here! Protein skimmers are invaluable and necessary> I am currently fighting a major battle with diatoms. <an easy solution- nutrient control. A good protein skimmer can rid this algae in less than 2 weeks without you lifting a finger> I've tried everything my LFS and I can think of and nothing is working (I'll be adding more snails and crabs as I can afford them but they're quite expensive here). <heehee... just use water changes and good skimming to export the nutrients. Herbivores are just treating the symptom> I have a very limited budget so can only add one or the other right now. I do not have a sump so if I go with the skimmer it needs to be a HOT style and it needs to be very quiet as this tank is located only a few feet from my bed. <easy then... Aqua C Remora it is then <G>> A friend has a used Red Sea Prizm skimmer for $80, is this a good buy and would it work for my needs or am I better off to get something else? <I wouldn't take that skimmer for free let alone spend time trying to get it to work> Thanks again for all the great info! Ronni <best regards, Anthony>

Are there any HOT skimmers small enough for a 10 gallon nano tank? Ana M. Saavedra <There are a few, but not many. Most people with 10 gallon nanos rely on 10% weekly water changes, rather than skimmers, to get rid of nutrients. Some of the hang-on-tank skimmers that will physically fit on a 10 gallon tank include the Prizm and the Skilter; there may be others. While neither of these are particularly popular with people with larger tanks, they can work out okay on small tanks. The Skilter can be modified to make it more efficient. You could also put a bigger/better skimmer in a sump. There are some threads about this on the WetWebFotos discussion forum. Also check out the www.nano-reef.com forums for various viewpoints on the pros and cons of assorted small skimmers. --Ananda>

Protein Skimmer Just wanted to know what you think of the Prizm Pro Deluxe Skimmer.  <I wouldn't take it for free> The manufactures claim it is for aquariums up to 300 gallons.  <and Bill Clinton "did not have sex with that woman"> I would like to use it on a 125 gallon marine tank.  <get two... they can be like matching earrings <G>... perhaps as effective too> The tank is full of live rock with Tangs, Angels, Eels, and two Maroon Clowns with their Bubble Anemone. The sump also has live rock and a Rio 1400 circulating the water back to the tank. On the opposite side of the tank I have another Rio 1400 for water agitation/circulation. <please do yourself a favor and don't just take my opinion... check the message boards across the Internet, our archives, WWM FAQ opinions from many aquarists that write in, etc... the public opinion on this product is quite strong.> The reason I'm looking at the Prizm Pro is a heat issue.  <huh?> I was running a Rio 2100 in the sump but the tanks temperature was too high, so I switched to the 1400 which appears to have stabilized the temperature.  <good heavens... the problem isn't the pump volume my friend... it is the airflow (or lack thereof) around the tank and the very hardware application. The lack of a good skimmer and the now reduced water flow may very well create a terrible nuisance algae problem for you. What you need for starters is an external water pump to dissipate heat better (Dolphin Ampmaster or Iwaki would be fine choices for low heat, quiet and long-lived). Get the flow volume back up again and enjoy healthier fish and less detritus/nuisance algae. Small PC muffin fans (only 9 watts!) sucking air across the tank and/or sump will lend evaporative cooling that can reduce tank temp easily by 3-4 F. Plug into the same timer that the lights are on if the heat rises during daylight photoperiod> If you feel the Prizm Pro can actually run close to a 300 gallon tank, shouldn't it be fine for my 125 gallons?  <ahhh... do look up some fellow aquarists in a local or regional society and see one in action. Reef Central has an aquarium clubs forum if it helps you find one. Quite frankly... any skimmer including the Prizm that you can get to work on your tank and produce a CONSISTENT dark and DAILY skimmate is fine by me> If not, could the Urchin Pro or the Remora Pro handle this highly stocked tank? Maybe better, the Nautilus TE or the Turboflotor? <Turboflotor and Aqua C brands have a much more favorable public opinion that I agree with. Euroreef is more expensive but perhaps even easier to run and quite consistent. For anyone that doubts my opinion or possible bias... for the record: I use Tunze and homemade varieties> Thanks for the great site, Bobby <best regards! Anthony>

Please help me decide (skimmer selection) I have an 85 gallon tank I converted from brackish to a reef tank. I have about 110lbs of live rock. I currently have an Emperor 400, (2) 301 powerheads and a Prizm Pro. I am replacing my Emperor 400 with a Magnum 350 as the Emperor creates too many bubbles in the tank. <If you intend this to be a reef tank, you may not want or need the canister filter.> My Prizm Pro also creates too many micro bubbles, especially when I add plankton. I was told to get the AquaMedic Turboflotor 1000 Multi from my local store. I have also been recommended the Remora Pro. I have also read that the HOT1 is good too. Which skimmer (even if I didn't list it) would be the best for me? <I would probably get the Aqua-C Remora Pro with Mag-Drive upgraded pump.> Also which really performs the best and easiest to adjust and maintain? Thanks in advance! Art Kouns-Newbie to Salt Water P.S. please reply to the CC email too! <No problem. -Steven Pro>

Red Sea Prizm Skimmer Fellas, You all convinced me to get a skimmer. I bought a Red Sea Prizm hang on skimmer (I got the newest model). I have read over your skimmer suggestions till my eyes are tired. I have very little room behind my 29 gallon reef tank which has been up and running for 2 years. I was planning to fire up the skimmer in the morning. Do you have any yellow flags for me? <Generally, I am not a big fan of the Prizm, but for your size tank, it is completely adequate. Do follow the manufacture's instructions. I remember something about wetting an O-ring prior to running the skimmer. If you do not do this, there is a chance of a small leak.> William Snyder of Stuart, FL <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Red Sea Prizm Skimmer, Take II Fellas, <<JasonC here, wassssssup?>> You all convinced me to get a skimmer.  <<Good deal.>>  I bought a Red Sea Prizm hang on skimmer (I got the newest model.) <<Egads, we convinced you to buy this?>>  I have read over your skimmer suggestions till my eyes are tired.  <<Gosh, I would have thought then you'd know already what any one of us might say about this particular skimmer.>>  I have very little room behind my 29 gallon reef tank which has been up and running for 2 years.  <<Any room to fit an AquaC Remora?>> I was planning to fire up the skimmer in the morning. Do you have any yellow flags for me?  <<I suppose not - any skimming is better than none, I'm just not a real big fan of the Red Sea skimmers, old or new. Given your space constraints, this may have been your best choice - I'm sure it will work out just fine.>> William Snyder, Stuart, FL <<Cheers, J -- >>

Protein Skimmer Hi, how are you? <I am doing pretty well today.> I'm in serious need of a skimmer upgrade. I am currently using a Prizm, rookie mistake. <They are very well marketed and packaged. I do not hate them, but they are not even close to handling the size tank the claim. I would use it on nothing larger than 30 gallons.> I gather from all the information posted that the most respected brands are Euro-Reef, Aqua-C, and Tunze. <They are our favorites. There are some other brand that I have heard good things about.> Since I am not using a sump, would you agree that my best bet would be the Aqua-C Remora for a 55 gallon tank? <Yes, with the Maxi-Jet upgrade.> Doesn't look like Euro-reef offers hang-on types, <Correct> and I'm not even sure how Tunze's mount on to the aquarium. <A Tunze hangs inside the water. These can be mounted in a sump or inside the tank. I have a 3115 on my 55 mounted in a sump. I have had it for over eight years and it has always worked well for me. That said, I would still get the Remora. They work just as well, are cheaper, and have outstanding customer support.> Thanks, AB <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

29g Set-Up I've recently been setting up a 29 gallon saltwater tank and now it's time for me to get a skimmer. The problem is that I can't decide what to get. I've asked around on many forums and done research, but there are just too many different opinions. Please help! Anyway, I need a skimmer that is powerful, reasonably priced, and QUIET (silent if possible). The tank is directly next to my bed and any loud sound coming from it would go directly into my ear when I am sleeping. <My best opinion for you is to go to your local store and ask them to run them for you as a test. That way you can see how loud each are. We all have very different tolerances for noise. You will be the best judge as to what will bother you.> I've narrowed it down (if you could call it that) to the Bak-Pak2, the Precision Marine Hot-1, the Prizm Pro, or the Aqua-C Remora. <Of these, I would chose the Remora.> In your opinion, which of these would suite my needs the best. I really like the Bak-Pak because it is cheap, I can put a heater in it, and it is supposedly not too bad at skimming either. <I would agree with this assessment. A nice skimmer at a reasonable price.> The problem is that I have heard from some that they are very loud and others say they are quiet. Now, the Precision Marine Hot-1 seems to be very good at skimming and silent from what I've read, but it seems a bit big for my tank. <I have never used one.> The Remora would have been my first choice, but it seems that many have had problems with noise even after the break-in period. <I have not heard or experienced that, but again hard to guess what may bother you.> Lastly, the Prizm Pro seems good but most seem to thing that they are horrible (although they also seem to be judging this mainly on the quality of the original Prizm)<I would call the original Prizm noisy and I would say I am pretty tolerant. The Prizm Pro I saw at my favorite LFS did not impress me with its performance.> You have pages and pages of FAQs on skimmer selection, and I figured that if anyone could help me, it would be you. Btw, I am beginning to plan the livestock for the tank. Does this seem way too crowded for my 29 gallon?: 1 Ocellaris clown 1 Royal Gramma 1 Flame Angel 2 Blue Green reef Chromis <If that is all you want, you should be ok. You would be safer eliminating one from your list, though. -Steven Pro>

Advice on Prizm skimmer Hi, I'm Dave. <Hello, Steven Pro here.> I've had a Prism skimmer now for over a week. I've set it up the way I was instructed and set the water flow on its lowest or / on 3 o clock. Still it does not accumulate bubbles at the top. At the same time, bubbles are still coming back in my tank. How can I win? <This is not a skimmer we recommend for the reasons you outlined. They tend to work poorly and are difficult to adjust.> Please could you advise me what to do for this skimmer to work properly. <I am not sure there is much I can tell you. I would continue to attempt to adjust it properly and at the same time begin saving up for another model. Our extensive skimmer FAQ files on www.WetWebMedia.com have our recommendations in them.> Thanks, Dave <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Prizm Skimmer...... Hi Bob... <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am a total beginner to Saltwater, So your advice would be very welcome. My main problem is that I don't know if my skimmer is functioning correctly. I recently set up a 55g tank ( 3 wks ago ) I have 2x Aquaclear 802 powerheads, Prizm skimmer, My Filter is a Rena Filstar xP2 (1050 l/h) This came with the Rena Tank. I also have approximately 4Kg of Live Rock and about 5 Kg of Ocean Rock. <some more live rock would help nicely in the big picture> I'm cycling it with 1x Yellowtail Damsel, 1x Humbug and 1x Green/Blue Chromis. My Test results from Yesterday are; Temp 75f , S.G 1.024 , Alk High , pH 8.6 , Ammonia >1.0 , Nitrite 0.5 , Nitrate 10ppm ... Can you advise me on any problems you foresee Thanx for the great info on a great website. I only found it today..... Lee Summerly, England, UK <overall sounds like a very nice start.. but your suspicions about the skimmer are likely correct according to popular consensus (overwhelmingly!). I'm inclined to agree with the masses. How about a second skimmer on the system to compliment it. An Aqua C, or Turboflotor would be nice. If you can afford it, a Euroreef would be top of the line and my choice. Good for many years and future tanks...always reliable. You really get what you pay for in this case. Best regards in shared admiration of the sea. Kindly, Anthony>

Prizm Skimmer...... Hi Bob... <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am a total beginner to Saltwater, So your advice would be very welcome. My main problem is that I don't know if my skimmer is functioning correctly. I recently set up a 55g tank ( 3 wks ago ) I have 2x Aquaclear 802powerheads, Prizm skimmer, My Filter is a Rena Filstar xP2 (1050 l/h) This came with the Rena Tank. I also have approximately 4Kg of Live Rock and about 5 Kg of Ocean Rock. <some more live rock would help nicely in the big picture> I'm cycling it with 1x Yellowtail Damsel, 1x Humbug and 1x Green/Blue Chromis. My Test results from Yesterday are; Temp 75f , S.G 1.024 , Alk High , pH 8.6 , Ammonia >1.0 , Nitrite 0.5 , Nitrate 10ppm ... Can you advise me on any problems you foresee Thanx for the great info on a great website. I only found it today..... Lee Summerly England, UK <overall sounds like a very nice start.. but your suspicions about the skimmer are likely correct according to popular consensus (overwhelmingly!). I'm inclined to agree with the masses. How about a second skimmer on the system to compliment it. An Aqua C, or Turboflotor would be nice. If you can afford it, a Euroreef would be top of the line and my choice. Good for many years and future tanks...always reliable. You really get what you pay for in this case. Best regards in shared admiration of the sea. Kindly, Anthony>

A Better Skimmer Hi Bob, Anthony and Steve, Once again thank you for your help in advance, of course I rarely send a note to just say hello ( you guys are too busy for that I would think). Rather when problems arise you are my guys. Hey that sounds pretty.. pretty bad actually. <and not the first time we have heard that... Ha!> I have a question on my one of my tanks. I am wondering if I am overdoing it ( at least Eng Lee Chin would have said so) It is a 20 gallon (high) reef tank with Magnum HOT filter + Biowheel, Red Sea Prizm Skimmer, 1 Fluval powerhead, (1) 55 Watt Actinic Power Compact, (2) NO Fluorescent Coralife 50/50.  <step one... get a large bungee cord, tie it between two trees... then go into the house, get your skimmer...er, what I'm trying to say is that if you are going to bother using a skimmer, consider upgrading the model you have. Unless your skimmer produces a full dark cup of skimmate every day like clockwork?> Creatures include a pair of Percula Clowns, a Royal Gramma, Torch Coral, (8) Scarlet Red Hermits, Green Button Polyps, (1) Bubble Tip Anemone- all are thriving, and 40-50 lbs of liverock made up store bought cultured rock and bare Carib-Sea rock. The system has been running for about a year and a half and my coralline algae growth is extremely slow.  <simple solution. Seachem's Reef Calcium (calcium gluconate)... it is awesome for growing superb coralline algae (but useless for coral growth... keep using Kalk). You will need to add SeaBuffer to the tank regardless> My water chemistry is superb and all trace elements, as well as Calcium are at more than adequate levels.  <Calcium yes... but are you adding buffer too to provide carbonated to hitch with the calcium for coralline growth?> Cyanobacteria seems to thrive and I am having to break up these mats about once a week.  <that's because your skimmer sucks... and perhaps you need more water flow> I have a friend who has a simple 20 gallon tank with an eclipse hood, no skimmer etc, and no other add-ons. A very simple tank, with simple lighting etc., and in 3 months he has had more coralline growth than I have in almost 2 years.  <many possible reasons for this: better water changes, more consistent Kalk and buffer doses, better water flow, etc> He has around the same amount of livestock including inverts, etc which are thriving. In terms of my system am I overdoing it?  <nope> His simple system seems to be doing much better than my own and I can't figure why. If it is a matter of too much is there anything that I should leave out like the Biowheel (simply using the Magnum HOT for water movement). I don't know, what do you think? Thanks, Torrey (Charlestown, RI) <improve your skimmer or water change schedule (weekly would be nice) and add Seachem Reef Calcium. In four months you will be staggered by the coralline growth! Cheers, Anthony>

Re: A better skimmer Hi Bob, Thank you for the speedy reply. Sounds like my Prizm Skimmer is a piece of crap.  <indeed many people have said worse> I do have an unopened Aqua-Medic Turboflotor 1000 multi I was saving for a rainy day (actually for my empty 75 G) or would that be too much of a unit for such a small tank? <wow... a great skimmer. Night and day here... yes, it would be fine for your smaller tank! They are a little tedious to adjust on the outflow (and some people add current/a powerhead to the Turboflotor)... but a skimmer that can perform very well and daily!> Thanks, Torrey <best regards, Anthony>

Protein skimmer Mr. Fenner, I have a 90 gallon tank that contains 100 pd.s+ of live rock, a 5" Blue Angel, a Maroon Clown and anemone, two cleaner shrimps, 40 hermits and snails together. It has a Eheim Professional Canister with a surface extractor and a 8 watt U.V. hooked up to it and two power heads for circulation. I recently bought a Prizm Skimmer and can't seem to get it to produce much, just a little every now and then.  What is your opinion on this product?  <Mmm, there might not be much to remove... but this is a puny product, good only for small systems... not well designed, engineered... noisy, difficult to adjust. My further ranting, ratings on skimmer selection are posted on our WetWebMedia.com site>  At the moment I don't really think it very efficient, although I really don't know much about skimmers and what kind of waste they should produce. I've been considering getting a Euro-reef skimmer, would this be too efficient? <A light year jump... very good products, but do consider an "intermediate" line before deciding. Again, you are referred to WWM> Or is the Prizm Skimmer fine (suggestions please). <I wouldn't use on anything more than forty gallons, maximum> Another Question I have is do You think that my filtration is adequate? I use to have a Eheim wet dry but I took it off because I thought it might be the reason why my Nitrates have been high. I do regular water changes every two weeks although I plan to start doing weekly until the Nitrates drop. Thank you for your time. Tim <Mmm, much to state here. I would put the Eheim W/D back on... look into more filtration... perhaps a sump/refugium is in your near future. These are chatted up on our site as well. And talking re, be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Nano-reef skimmers Hello Mr. Fenner, Seeing as you know all about skimmers  <Mmm, I wouldn't say "all about"...> I thought I'd ask you a burning question of mine. I am setting up a 10 gallon nano-reef (livestock is cheap, I live in Hawaii next to a beach). Originally it wasn't going to have a skimmer because I wanted lots of copepods and amphipods, but it seems like one is needed. So which is the best skimmer to use? I'm deciding between a Prizm, a BakPak I (fits on ten-gal), a BakPak II (doesn't fit on 10-gal), or the miniature in-tank CC. What skimmer of these, or any, do you recommend? <The Prizm... have seen this unit on ten gallon systems that have a surprising mix of organisms, crowded... doing very well... a bit noisy and tricky to initially adjust... but the better choice here. Bob Fenner>

Making lemonade from a lemon: Skimmer brand 7/31/04 Thanks for all your valuable advice, I do appreciate you taking the time to reply. But...now since I already have the PrizmPro, what would you suggest my next course of action be to export those nutrients? Stacy <do try to get the most you can out of any skimmer by keeping it very clean for optimal production of skimmate. This means cleaning out the cup and neck every other day and cleaning venturis with distilled water 2-3 times yearly. Support the system too with careful control of nutrients... regular (weekly) water changes and careful feeding (decant thawed pack juice from frozen fare, etc). Anthony>

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