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More FAQs about Skimmer Selection for Marine Systems 14

Related FAQs: Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers 2, To Skim or Not to Skim, Best Skimmer Selection FAQs, Skimmer Selection, Skimmer Selection 2, Skimmer Selection 3, Skimmer Selection 4, Skimmer Selection 5, Skimmer Selection 6, Skimmer Selection 7, Skimmer Selection 8, Skimmer Selection 9, Skimmer Selection 10, Skimmer Selection 11, Skimmer Selection 12, Skimmer Selection 13, Skimmer Selection 15, Skimmer Selection 16, & DIY Skimmers, Skimmers for Refugiums/Sumps, Hang-On Models, Best Skimmer Op./Maint. FAQs, Skimmer MaintenanceSkimmer Operation/Maintenance 2, Algae Control, Corallife Skimmers, CPR Skimmers, Deltec Skimmers, ETSS Skimmers, Euro-Reef Skimmers, Prizm Skimmers, SeaClone SkimmersSkimmers for Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small SystemsSkilter Skimmers, Tunze Skimmers, Algae Control

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


Skimmer Upgrade? 7/12/09
< Hello! >
I was just wondering if you can help me make up my mind.
< I can try. >
I've been running a Coralife 220 super skimmer on my 180 gallon(50 gal sump) reef tank for about 3 years and was wondering if an upgrade would be beneficial to my system.
< It may. In my opinion the 220 is not big enough for a setup that size without other types of filtration and lite stocking. >
My choices are between a Vertex in-sump 250 (399.00 Cdn) or an Aqua c ev240 (690.00 Cdn). The price difference has me leaning towards the Vertex.
< With a price difference of that amount ,it is worth looking into.>
The issue is basically algae on the glass, which I have to clean off every 3 or 4 days, and sand which gets that browny look to it about 2 days after my bi-weekly water change(RO water) and sand vacuum. I run carbon for a week, a week after the water change until the next one. My corals also don't look happy all the time (opening and closing), especially my very large Colt Coral. I have about 180 lbs of Live rock. The fish are happy, have not lost any in about a year (whenever I buy a Goby, it disappears).
They include a Naso tang, yellow Tang, Regal tang, Tomato Clown, Maroon Clown, Saddleback Butterfly, Coral Beauty, and Flame Angel. Thanks and I appreciate your opinion!!!
< The Aqua C is an awesome skimmer but the price range does scare some away. ScottV and I have actually been discussing Vertex Skimmers over the last few days. The craftsmanship and material used in the construction are of excellent quality. The reviews as well have been great. The only gripes, complaints, etc. .. have been of the pumps. They seem to be very inefficient and do not hold up well. This has supposedly been remedied but even with a new pump you would be coming out much cheaper. The Vertex seems like a
great deal to me but I would price a new pump to be on the safe side. GA Jenkins >

Marineland in-sump protein skimmer 100
Protein Skimmer for a 55 Gallon 7/8/09

Dear Crew,
Just wondering if you have any experience or opinion on Marineland in-sump protein skimmer 100.
It seems to be half the price of AquaC EV 120 which I was considering for my 55g setup.
< The Marineland skimmer is half the price of the AquaC because it is half the skimmer. The Aqua C is a great skimmer but for something a bit less tough on the wallet I would suggest looking into a Reef Octopus ( NWB-150
or 110 for a 55). They are great bang for your buck.
http://www.aquacave.com/reef-octopus-nwb-150-br-needle-wheel-protein-br-skimmer-749.html >
Thank you.
< You're welcome GA Jenkins >

Re: Protein Skimmer for a 55 Gallon 7/8/09
Thank you for the information.
< Your welcome. >
How about ASM G1? How is in comparison to EV 120?
< This is comparing apples to oranges. The EV 120 is in a separate league.
The ASM is a very good skimmer and would be plenty for a 55. >
< Anytime. GA Jenkins >

Many a questions for you....  Reef sump... skimmer sel. Qs  6/1/09
Hope all is well with everyone. I have a few questions for you. I have a 180g reef tank that I would like to retro fit a sump to. I want to add a HOT overflow box to the tank and would like to know:
1. What kind? I am thinking a CPR overflow, but what size?
<As large a model that you can fit, ideally two for redundancy with the return pump only flowing what one can handle. You can not have too much overflow capacity!>
2. How big of a sump?
<As large as you can fit in the space.>
3. How big a return pump? I would like to have an underwater pump. The distance from the sump to the tank is about 5-6 feet.
<See above.>
4. What skimmer do you recommend? I am looking at the Bubble King, the Royal Exclusiv Alpha 170 or the Vertex IN-250? I don't know if you have any experience with these but I would love you opinion on which you think is the best for the money.
<The Vertex hands down for the dollar. Both are fine skimmers though.>
Thanks for your help in the past and on this question.
- Jeromy
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Many a questions for you.... skimmer sel.  6/1/09
Thanks for the quick reply.
Of the skimmers listed, if money was no object, which would you get.
<I would still go with Vertex. The BKs are just as good, if not better, but for myself I could not justify any kind of cost-benefit with those.>
I keep hearing the Vertex pumps are bad.
<The initial run had impeller shaft issues, that is remedied now.>
Which would you pick. Also, what size. I heard you don't want to overskim!!
<I am from a different perspective. I say pick the largest skimmer you can fit where you plan to put it. Overskimming is not a real concern.>
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Live rock and skimmer selection.  05/27/09
To whom it may concern:
<Today it is Josh.>
I am currently switching my 265 gal tank over to a natural filter system.  I need another 230 lbs of live rock as I already have 300 or so in there.
<Wow, where are all the fish going to go?>
My first question is what size of skimmer should I be looking at and could anyone possibly recommend a manufacturer?
<Hmm, before you can decide on a size you need to decide on a manufacturer. Some of more high quality brands have tank size ratings you can really trust, while some others exaggerate a little bit. If you are one of those that heavily stock their tanks, I suggest you go slightly larger than you think you need.  For recommendations on skimmer brands please read
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bestskmrSelfaqs.htm , although in my opinion you cannot go wrong with a Euro Reef.>
Right now I'm running a CPR filter with 2 6" skimmers built in but they don't seem to work well.
<You will likely benefit from an "upgrade".>
My second question is will that amount of rock suffice?
<There are many different kinds of live rock, if this rock is fairly porous and you put two pounds per gallon into the tank, you will hardly have any room for fish to swim or corals to grow. Depending on the quality of the rock, I would generally recommend anywhere from one pound per gallon to two pounds per gallon. The two pounds per gallon generally only works with really dense and heavy rock. If you start to fill up your whole tank with live rock then you might be better off moving some live rock to a sump or other remote tank, so you can still have room for animals in your display.  The short answer to the question is, it likely is more than enough.>
Thanks in advance for your help
<Your welcome.
Josh Solomon>

Re: Water Quality: Ph Decline: (4/1/2009) Update and skimmer selection 5/26/2009
Hi Mike,
<Hi Junaid!>
Its been a while since my last email. I followed your suggestions about my pH decline issue. I mix the saltwater 2 to 3 days in advance and keep in aerated with a Rio pump. The pH is a little better than what it was before.  Still not 8.3 but I am not sweating it too much. At least now it doesn't go below 7.85 at night. Before it was going down to as low as 7.5!
<Excellent news. Again, stability is more important than trying to hit an exact number.>
Besides keeping the water mixed up in advance, I also have two airstones in my sump to keep it aerated which I think is helping as well.
<It is.>
I also have a couple of powerheads pointing towards the surface of the water and the agitation I believe is also helping. I think aeration was the main issue. Since my pH problems, I have also installed a double chamber Calcium Reactor so with the changes I have made the pH is not declining and I'm a happy reefer!!! All my fish are healthy as well. The Foxface is showing its bright yellow color again as well.
<All excellent news.>
NOW, I have decided to upgrade to a 90 gallon tank!!!
<Hehehe, it starts with a 90, soon it will be a 150.>
I have purchased the tank and have a 40 gallon sump to go with it as well.  It was a separate compartment for a sump and skimmer. It also has a separate compartment to have a refugium which is what I wanted to do for a while now but didn't have space in my sump with the 55 gallon setup. I have everything in place except for the light and protein skimmer. I am not too worried about the light since I know what setup I want (dual 175 W Metal Halide, with 2 fluorescent and 2 actinic).
However, I am having such a hard time with the protein skimmer. I used Marineland 100 for my 55 g setup but I don't think it was a good choice.
<I've heard both good and bad about them.>
I have decided to invest in a very good skimmer. I think I have narrowed it down to a Aqua C EV 120 or the Aqua Medic Turboflotor 1000.
EuroReef and Deltecs are too expensive and I can probably do with the two choices I have mentioned.
<I agree>
Basically my range is $350 to $400 CDN. I have searched and searched so much but the more I search for a good choice of skimmers, the more my head gets clouded! From your experience, what would be a very very good choice for an in sump protein skimmer for a 90 gallon setup? Besides the two choices, I am willing to lean at other suggestion as well. Please advise. Looking forward to your response.
<Either of those skimmers would serve you well. Of the two though, I would choose the Aqua C as being just a bit better.>

Sick of my SeaClone! 3/16/09
Hello Crew,
<Hello Karen.>
I feel that I have done my due diligence searching the articles and FAQ's but still have a question regarding protein skimmer selection. I have a 20 gal FOWLR (running for 3 1/2 years now) with 2 Ocellaris clowns, a blue legged hermit, 3-4 misc. small hermits and a few snails. I have a Fluval 205 canister, a power head, and a SeaClone skimmer. I am sick of the leaking, fiddling, and general unworthy-ness of the SeaClone.
<The usual story with these.>
I'd like to get the AquaC Remora nano because everything I've read about it is promising, however it will be a stretch for me to pay that much. The Red Sea Prism is a bit cheaper, but reviews say it's noisy and not as efficient.
<You will find it comparable to the SeaClone in needing to fiddle with the thing too.>
I found a couple small, inexpensive skimmers, but no reliable reviews on them. They are the Taam Rio Nano Skimmer and the Current Fission Nano Skimmer. I'd really appreciate some input.
Karen Garrett
<Well, hands down do just save up for the AquaC. It is in a class of its own here. Scott V.>

Protein Skimmer Queries Selection 3/3/09 Hi there great knowledgeable ones, It's Barry again. <Hi Barry> Have a question about Protein Skimmer setup. Tank Info first so you get the lowdown: Display tank: 1.8m(L) X 0.9m(H) X 0.7m(W) <Mmm, about 285 gallons.> FOWLR 1 X Volitans (4") 1 X Russell's Lion (4") 1 X clown trigger (2.5") 1 X niger trigger (3") 1 X Picasso trigger (2.5") 1 X Spotted Grouper (3.5") 1 X Porc Puffer (3.25") Sump: 1.2m(L) X 0.6m(H) X 0.5m(W) <About 80 gallons topped off.> Flow rate approx: 550 Gph <You need to get this flow rate up near 3000gph for the size tank you have.> Background: I do regular water changes (20% weekly) through gravel vacuuming but nitrates still stay high at 50-60ppm. Other parameters are: N02 - 0ppm, Ammonia - 0ppm (haven't tested others apart from these 3) <I'd be interested to see what the pH is, likely under 8.0.> So I concluded that my current protein skimmer is rather ineffective. It is a rather cheap one made in Asia: BLUE FORCE Skimmer NM-150 < http://www.deepblueaqua.com.cn/shop/goods.php?id=712> - Flow Rate at 600-800L per (not even sure if you guys have heard of it). <I never have, some crew members may have.> I believe this is causing my nitrates to stay high considering my bioload from the tank mates to be quite heavy. <For sure.> I feed twice a day and food is consumed within 1 minute. I take the effort to ensure what goes in gets eaten and doesn't go to the bottom of the tank to become detritus, or if uneaten and falls to the bottom by chance, I immediately vacuum that portion of substrate and replace the amount of water I vacuum out with standby saltwater. Question: 1. Do I add on an additional Protein Skimmer to the current setup or just totally swap out the current for a single really high end one to help contain the bioload and drop the nitrates? <I would just use one designed for your tank size, why have two to maintain especially if one is so so.> 2. If your recommendation is to swap out the existing for a high end one, which would you recommend for a tank of my specified volume? Need to consider least fiddly and messing about to calibrate (so I can get it to work optimum faster) <With your size tank and high waste producers, I would go with a Beckett type skimmer such as Precision Marine's Bullet 3 skimmer which will handle up to a 400 gallon tank and are designed for high waste systems such as yours. You cannot have too much skimmer, the goal here is to remove the waste faster than it can accumulate. Do read here on this skimmer's development. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-03/fm/index.php And a link to one dealer that carry these skimmers. http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=PM-BULLET3&Category_Code=PM There are alternatives, and the Aqua C or Vertex are hassle free and will do a good job. With the Vertex you would need to use two skimmers as their highest rated model is good for 280 gallons and would be borderline for your needs. I just feel that the Bullet skimmer which incorporates the Beckett Foam Head will be more efficient in waste removal. Bob may input here with his recommendation also.> 3. How soon do you think, with a change to the recommended skimmer, will it be able to drop the nitrates? Of course this is assuming all feeding variables stay the same and no change in my husbandry techniques. <Pretty tough to answer that with any accuracy, but I'd say you should see a nitrate reduction within the first week based on your husbandry. The goal here is to remove the waste faster than it can accumulate. Looking forward to being enlightened. <Hopefully you have been enlightened. James (Salty Dog)> Barry

Re Protein Skimmer QueriesSelection And Now Denitrators 3/4/09 James, Can't thank you enough for quick reply and great advice. <You're welcome.>Some food for thought to feed your interest on my PH levels ;) It reads 8.28 at night and in the day, drops to 8.22 but never beyond. Assume that is healthy right? <As healthy as a newborn.> I had a run around the shops today (forgot to mention that I live in Beijing, China). They don't carry Aqua C, Vertex or Precision Marine. Only the REALLY expensive Bubble Kings. <Excellent skimmer and as you say pricey.> But I did see a shop carrying a Korallin S-3002 Denitrator with the Eheim 1048 pump. Do you see this as a viable solution in nitrate reduction as well? <Yes, the design is based around the C-1502 calcium reactor and combines sulphur media with calcareous media and will give you a high level of nitrate removal and is rated for systems up to 400 gallons. The recirculation method is far more efficient than simple single pass filters. As it includes reactor media, the pH is fully buffered and enriched with calcium before being returned to the tank. You will not see any immediate drop in nitrates, but once the bacteria colonize the chamber (3 to 4 weeks), the unit is said to reduce 100 liters with 50mg of nitrate to 0 in 3 to 4 days. There are public aquariums that use this same method of nitrate removal.> My thoughts are that both the recommended skimmer and the denitrator are within the same price range and my end objective is only to reduce nitrates so either way seems fine. Do you think so? <Yes, in your situation, it is a very viable solution. I will ask Bob here for his thoughts on this type of reactor.> <<My thoughts on NO3 reactors are all posted. Some of these units can be made to work... RMF>> Now I await the wise salty one to speak :-) <No cracks so early in the morning, I have a cold and the laughter is making me cough. James (Salty Dog)> Barry

Re: Suggestions...   skimmer sel., AquaC... pump for... gen. mar. maint.  2/26/09 Thank you Scott V. for your reply. <Very welcome.> Just found out about this site about a month ago, there is a ton of information on here. Thanks for referring to the other links. After more research, i agree with you and will go with Remora #2. Will put # 1, which has Maxi-Jet 1200 pump, on 55 gallon, and go with a Remora with a Rio 1400 or Mag-Drive 3 pump. One better than the other? <The Mag for my taste.> With being unable to install a sump right now, the Emperor 400 filter, should it stay or go. Would good canister filter be better? <Not really in this case, with the live rock you will basically just be using the filter for running a bit of carbon. You already have the Emperor and it is just easier to replace the carbon IMO.> I figure with the fishes, i need some kind of filtration besides skimmer? <With the live rock and a bit of carbon, no, not necessary.> Didn't know that about sand sifting star. He, or she, is one of tanks first inhabitants. It is about twice the size as when first put in. Because of rock, it stays in about 1/3 of tank, in front. But if it is sucking the life out of sand, it will go. Will take to LFS and trade or give to. <The real issue is it will deplete the live in the sand until it has nothing left to live on itself.> What are other critters good at keeping sand clean? <Nassarius snails and the microfauna that will populate the sand from the live rock. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dsbbiomakeup.htm for other options.> I test for salt, try to keep at 1.024, Ammonia, pH, Nitrites, Nitrates, Calcium, try to keep about 400. Anything else i should be testing for? <Definitely carbonate hardness, I would test for magnesium too though. And I would raise your spg to 1.025 too.> The Bubble Tip has been in tank about 5 months. It attached near bottom on rock, about half under a ledge over sand bed. It has never moved from this spot. The 2 Maroons have been in about a year. They were both about the same size at time. One has grown very little, about 2 inches. The other is now about 3 times it's size, female i figure, it now wants to keep all the sand blown away. Down to the glass. Like a bowl. I push sand back in and in short order, swishing and with mouth, she has her bowl again. Should i leave her alone? <Yes, not much you can do if the fish wants to dig, other than remove the fish.> The Anemone, it stays open for the most part, sometimes it gets in a ball, but it isn't filled out like at first. I hand feed it, once a week, a piece of raw shrimp about the size of a nickle. I was thinking of maybe feeding twice a week and soaking shrimp in some Zoe? <You can, yes.> Now to the 55 gallon. The rock i put in last week is doing good. No spikes at all. I've got some hitchhikers. After putting rock in i started hearing this clicking sound. I thought, oh no, sure enough, 2 Mantis Shrimp, that i know of. My first time to deal with these bad boys. I see now why Mr Fenner says with any size these would be the T-Rex of the ocean. They are bad to the bone! <!> Will have to get these out before adding any livestock. Just a comment here. I think i have come a long way in this so far, but have so much more to learn, i thank you for your help. <I am happy we have been able to help out.> I have gotten a lot of compliments on my tank. Have had people come by, they see the tank, say, what's that, grab up a chair, sit in front of tank, they are just amazed, ask 400 questions, what's that, wow, look at that, is that alive. Now i have people come by asking, how's the tank? As always, thank you for any suggestions. <Welcome.> Larry

Protein Skimmer Question, sel., AquaC  2/19/09 Hi All, <Hello Chad.> First let me say that I love the site! You guys, and gals are the absolute best at what you do! Many times I have referred to your website when all else has failed. So my many thanks! <Well thank you!> So, now to my question. I currently have a 75 FOWLR tank, but am going to be upgrading to a 120 in the near future. My current protein skimmer is an AquaC Remora Pro, and it has performed flawlessly. <A good skimmer!> I am afraid though that it will no longer be enough for the new tank. I would like to move from a fish only tank, to a more of a reef tank in the future. What would you guys/gals suggest for a new protein skimmer? I would like something that could run externally on my 40 gallon sump/refugium. Any suggestions? With so many different options out there, I guess I am just wanting the best "bang" for the buck. <The go to choices are still EuroReef or the EV series from AquaC'¦the new Vertex line of skimmers is a great performer too, and cheap! See which of these fits your budget and system design, you will be happy with any of these.> Thanks, Chad <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Losing fish after tank cleaning/water change, skimmer sel.    2/17/09 Thanks for the help. Sorry I hit the wrong key on the pH. It is 8.3. I have added 10 lbs crushed coral and will go looking for some live rock this weekend. Hopefully this will help. Also I was reading on your site and found that my skimmer (Skilter 400) is not held in very high regards. <Mmm, no... is barely functional as such> I maybe get an ounce of liquid in there per week and it is not that dark. My water parameters are still OK. Does this mean the skimmer is doing its job? <Not likely... other aspects, gear are doing this...> I would think if there skimmer were not efficient the water quality would suffer. I think I am going to order an AquaC Remora to replace it (just in case). <A hugely better product> When I do replace the Skilter do I still need to run a carbon filter or does a good skimmer and live rock bypass this? Thanks, Chris <You can use the Skilter for such chemical filtrant applications. BobF>

ASM G2 Or AquaC Remora Pro? 2/12/09 A HOB Skimmer Or A Sump With Skimmer Hi guys! <Hello David> First, and always, thanks for all of your help--you guys do a tremendous service and I truly appreciate it. <You're welcome.> I'm in the process of setting up a 92 gallon corner tank for the living room. The current plan is FOWLR, and I doubt I'll be going reef any time in the next year or two. The current set-up (all bought used but in fine working condition): 1. 92 gallon All-Glass tank, not pre-drilled 2. Odyssea PC lights, 4x65 3. Rena Filstar XP-2 4. 40lb of Live Sand (looking to add another 40lb) 5. 60lb of Live Rock 6. 29 gallon quarantine tank with BioWheel 200, and 3-4 inch layer of sand/crushed coral. The tank is currently cycling, and the livestock consists of a six hermits, six snails, and a shy peppermint shrimp. Next on my agenda and before any fish is choosing the right protein skimmer. <Yes.> Because the tank is not pre-drilled, I was not originally planning on using a sump. Instead I was going to invest in the pricey, but highly touted AquaC Remora Pro to do my skimming. I had some good skimmate with a CPR BakPak with an Acella pump on an earlier 75 FOWLR, but always found that my nitrates were high. So I did some research at your site and others and AquaC looks like a very good company. <It is and very good customer service.> I asked some friends what they thought, though, and they said I'd be better off with a sump than an HOB. One guy I know is downgrading and selling a CPR overflow, 30 gallon sump, and ASM G2 for about $100 less than the Remora Pro. (It's been used, obviously.) I like the idea of the sump because of the possibility of having a refugium, and although the tank is a corner unit, it's already off one wall 5 inches because my original plan was to have a HOB skimmer. What are your thoughts on the ASM G2--is it comparable with the Remora Pro (better/worse)? What do you recommend? <If it were me, I'd take the used package with the sump, overflow and the ASM G2. A sump offers increased gas exchange and a place to put your heater and protein skimmer. The HOB Remora has no external drain connection on the collection cup. That scares me, there is always the chance the cup may overflow getting the nice brown skimmate on your floor or carpet. If you go the HOB route, I'd suggest installing an external drain to the collection cup. As to which skimmer is better, I've never used an ASM skimmer so my first hand knowledge is nil, but from what I've learned about them, I'd say the G2 would have an edge over the Remora Pro due to your tank size. The ASM G2 is advertised to handle up to a 200 gallon tank where the Remora claims 75+. How far does + go, I don't know. I've also heard the ASM's are overrated as to the tank size they will handle. Just hearsay mind you, I have no facts. The ASM G2 also comes with a Sedra pump which in my opinion is a much better pump than the Rio 1400 that is included with the basic Remora  Pro package. You will be much happier with a sump and an in-sump skimmer.> Thanks always! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> -David

Skimmer Selection Problems 2/7/09 Hello, <Hi there.> I am an aspiring first time reefer looking for a good first skimmer. I have researched online many times and (needless to say) still have more questions than answers. I have a 55 gallon tank that is (hopefully) going to be in operation one day as a reef tank. This tank is already equipped with a small (ten gallon) wet/dry filter/sump and another filter running activated carbon. I am looking for a reliable skimmer that has a good reputation and by all means WON'T overflow. The skimmer would also have to be easy to operate, set up, and clean (back to the fact that I'm a first-time reefer) and can handle the bio-load. Both of these are factors are more important than price. I do have live rock and live sand and I am planning on adding more soon. I did look at the Aqua-C Urchin series and Coralife needle wheel. I dropped the Coralife after seeing some of the terrible reviews for this product. (My LFS only sells one kind of skimmer which I have never heard of on internet forums - by Sealife Systems.) I was hoping you could point me in the right direction as far as skimmers go as there are so many choices out there. <The Aqua C hands down, the least likely skimmer out there to flow over and great skimmer for this size tank.> Thanks a lot <Welcome, Scott V.>

Good short skimmer, sel.  1/21/09 Hola Crew. <Como estas John?> I have a 75 gallon tank with a 30 gallon sump refugium combination. The skimmer chamber is approximately 12 by 14 and currently holds an ASM G2. While I like this skimmer I have a quandary. <OK> The cabinet is only about 23-24 inches tall and the cabinet trim and the sump height make it difficult to do cleaning and maintenance. <All too common my friend.> In addition, when I set the sump water level at 8-9 inches I have a lot of microbubbles. When I elevate the water level, the bubbles subside but the skimmer doesn't function well. I cannot elevate the skimmer within the tight height of the cabinet. I have decided to rebuild the sump with a shorter longer sump tank to maintain capacity but make maintenance easier. I would like to replace my skimmer with a shorter model, making maintenance, and perhaps elevation, easier. However I know that in general tower height increases efficiency. <Yes, but it is just one factor.> Do you have any recommendations on skimmers which support a 150 gallon capacity with SPS coral standards but which fit in a shorter environment? <Quite a few out there. Many of the Becket type skimmers are shorter and will serve you well. For my money in this situation it is time to look either the AquaC EV line or the ATI Bubblemasters. Both are great skimmers in short packages.> Thanks in advance. John / Fishnu <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Good short skimmer, sel. 1/28/09 Thanks Scott. <Welcome.> Any recommendation under 20"? <The Aqua C EV120.> What do you hear about Turboflotor 5000 Shorty? <It works fine, a descent skimmer. But for my money the AquaC is the way to go. Scott V.>

Re: Good short skimmer, sel. 1/28/09 Thanks Scott. Hadn't looked at the 120. I like the cup drain and the ball valve.... I had to mod my own ASM G2. This will give me SPS quality skimming for < 100 gallons? <Oh yes, definitely. A fine choice for your setup.>

Skimmers FYI Hi Jim, I would highly recommend the Vertex skimmers. They have been on the market for about 6 months now, but the research that was put into them is excellent. They will run circles around a EuroReef in terms of skimmate pulled out as well as overall efficiency. They make two different models that would fit in your area. The first one is the IN-80, which is recommended for systems from 40-80gallons, and the second one is the IN-100, which is recommended for systems up to 100gallons. Here is the link to the skimmers'¦.. http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Vertex Just for the sake of giving you another option, you can check out the Octopus Extreme 160. This is a great skimmer as well, and will fit into your dimensions you are working with. However, you could spend up to $100 more on this unit over the smaller Vertex. Here is a link to that item'¦. http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CV-EXT-160&Category_Code=Octopus In the end, the Vertex is going to offer you by far the most bang for your buck. Let me know if you have any questions and I'd be more than happy to help. Thanks, Jeremy Premium Aquatics, Inc. www.premiumaquatics.com

Skimmers with intake dispersion chamber 1/4/09 Good morning: Lately, I have noticed several makes of skimmers with a chamber inside the skimmer housing that I assume is to disperse turbulence. <It is the idea.> I was just wondering what the new line of thought was on this. I thought contact time was an important issue when skimmer performance was concerned, and this seems to be going against that. <Should not really affect contact time.> I need a new skimmer and thought I should make a informed decision. <Well first from the perspective of design, these plates can make things tough. An improperly design diffuser plate will just funnel all the bubbles together, ruining the bubble quality. But when done correctly they can lessen the turbulence within the body while maintaining bubble quality. My point is, just because there is a diffuser plate does not mean it is a good thing (or bad). Combine this with a look at skimmers like EuroReef that use no such devices and are held as on of the best around, for good reason. A feature to not base a buying decision on IMO.> Thanks for your time. Cecil. <Welcome, Scott V.>  

Re: Skimmers with intake dispersion chamber 1/4/08 Thank you ScottV. <Welcome.> I don't I understand what you mean by a correct or incorrect design on the diffusion chamber although I do see the inference to what it would do to the bubbles. How would I know the difference? <Reputation of a skimmer is probably the best. Short of that trying the thing! There are a few skimmers out there I have seen using these things where the bubbles merely collect together into larger bubbles to pass through the plate. It is just a marketing add on in these cases.> I've read a lot about EuroReef here. Kinda seems they are in short supply unless I'm looking in the wrong places. <You won't find them sitting there in your typical LFS in many cases. They can be ordered through an LFS dealer or online quite easily.> I really don't see the advantage in recirculating skimmers as while you may be injecting more air, the models I've seen require a drop in supply volume. <Another feature that will not hurt anything, but by no means is a necessity.> Is there a real advantage over a venturi which moves slightly more or less water with slightly less air? <No IMO, although many will argue this to the death! A properly sized skimmer in a well maintained system will do just as well.> Please give a path to follow in general if possible. <Really, for what you get for the buck your basic EuroReef like a RS-80/RS-100 or even an AquaC EV120 are going to be hard to beat here. If you are interested in the bubble diffuser do also look at the new Vertex line of skimmers. I have seen these in action quite a bit lately, very impressive build and performance for the price.> I have a heavily stocked 65 gallon tank but have another 40 gallons running around in a sump, refugium, and aux. aeration chamber. For years I've had a Kent skimmer which has been passable but I want to update without listening to : "Oh so you got a new toy for the tank", from you know who. So I don't think a Deltec is in my future. Thanks again. Cecil <Welcome, Scott V.>

Natural filtration Vs mechanical 1/3/09 Hey Crew! <Hello> I am an active member on a reef forum and was asked to get some information about which overall is better, natural filtration such as Caulerpa, Chaeto, seagrass, mangroves, DSB, ATS or mechanical filtration such as skimmers or canister filters. <A combination of both is best in my opinion.> I have looked and looked and can not find any research data on this subject. I understand that if one was to use a skimmer rated for twice the water volume of the tank, it would be better than a handful of mangroves, however, what if there was a combination of natural filtrators that are being used, would they be better than a skimmer? <Personally I think a skimmer is the single most important piece of equipment there is for a tank, and would not go without one. However I put very little faith in their size rating, going more with overall quality.> For example, in my system, I have a 55g reef with 80lbs of Caribbean LR and a 1.5" sand bed. The 55 is looped into a 40g plant tank where I have 20 mangroves, a 5.5" DSB, and Caulerpa and some Halodule wrightii. Then, the 40g plant tank runs into a 20g sump where there is another 30lbs of LR rubble. I personally did not run a skimmer for 8 months and did not see any negative affects because of this, however I also do not have a heavy bioload. <Most likely the low bioload is mostly responsible, and not to belittle your accomplishments, but 8 months is really too short of a time to determine if your methods will be successful in the long run. I don't mean to say you will not continue in your success, it's just tough to draw conclusions at this point.> I understand each system is different and each person finds the way that works for them. <Very true, but I will add I think most all tanks will benefit from a skimmer.> If one had the space, would it be better to have mechanical or a more natural means of filtration? <Well, if a baseline of a skimmer is there, I think many tanks can benefit greatly from macroalgaes, turf scrubbers and the like, often more so than some other mechanical means such as canisters and HOB filters which can be maintenance nightmares. My only concern is with some macroalgaes which can be quite aggressive chemically and effect corals and other invertebrates, and even fish life if proper water changes are not done.> This is assuming the mechanical filtration is rated for twice the water volume of the tank it is filtering. <Again I don't put much stock in these ratings, but a quality skimmer is worth much more to your tank than one of poor design, to the point where perhaps the skimmer is not doing much for you at all.> There is someone on the forum who runs an ATS and swears by it. If an ATS and DSB are utilized together can they together be as good as a skimmer rated for twice the tank volume? <Not in my opinion, I would rather remove the organics completely from the water column than sequester it in algae.> I am looking for data that states something like "in a 5 hour period a skimmer can collect ______ amount of _______ and in a 5 hour period a 3 lb patch of Chaeto can absorb ____ amounts of _______. <I have never come across data such as this, very little scientific studies are done directly for the hobby, although you may have some luck locating such data as it applies to food stock aquaculture.> Sorry if it seems I am being picky, but any and all info will be much appreciated! Thanks for your time! -Elliott <Sorry I don't know of any quantifiable data such as what you are looking for, and can only go by the collective experience of myself and friends in the hobby. Unfortunately there is little to no scientific research done of ornamental fish keeping, which is sad for the livestock in our care, but great for the many forums on the internet, where even the most ridiculous theories are often touted as truths. In a world where money decides what research is done, there just is not enough of it to justify good science for the hobby.> <Chris>

Euro-Reef RS-250 too large? 12/27/08 <Hello Todd. Minh at your service.> I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a pretty heavy bio-load. I am adding a sump system to address an elevated nitrate issue. <Increased water volume via a sump addition will most certainly help with nutrient dilution. Likewise, increased foam fractionation will also help your cause. Some other methods you may want to look into include algae-growing refugium or GAC (granular activated carbon).> I just bought a new protein skimmer, which is a brand new Euro-Reef RS-250. I got a great deal on (less than $250!). I know it is an overkill, but do you think I can make it work if I use a large sump (ie 75gal)? <Although this skimmer is rated for "+/- 250 gallons with medium bioload" according to Euro-Reef, it is hardly a scientific figure. Out of all of the manufacturer recommendations I've read on various skimmers over the years, the best has been from Tunze and can be applied to any skimmer in any environment. Here is an excerpt: "In addition, due its biotope composition, every marine aquarium has a different sensitivity with respect to the organic load. Based on a standard marine aquarium with soft corals, the data on the suitable skimmer size may differ in other biotopes. For this reason, the aquarium volumes recommended for the skimmer should be reduced in case of sensitive biotopes: -Low sensitivity In soft coral aquariums with long-polyp corals and anemones, for example, the share in dissolved organic matter may be higher, sometimes it may even be vital. In this type of aquarium, the recommended aquarium volume can be used without deduction. -Medium sensitivity A medium organic stability is usually found in mixed aquariums inhabited with soft and stone corals (LPS). Filter-feeding animals, sponges, et cetera, are found there frequently as well. For these aquariums, a reduction of about 40 per cent of the skimming capacity is calculated. A skimmer for 1,000 litres (264 US gal.) should thus be used for an aquarium of about 600 litres (159 US gal.) which has this kind of reef design. -High sensitivity Aquariums with primarily small-polyp stony corals (SPS) require an especially high degree of purity. They should have no load of phosphates or nitrates worth mentioning. Good oxygen saturation and very clear water are the pre-requisites. Comline DOC skimmer is also often used as a �stand-alone� solution in these aquariums. This type of aquarium should be reduced by about 60 per cent in volume for the skimmer volume mentioned. -High sensitivity and high load Hard coral aquariums with a high population of fish require an extremely high skimming capacity. The skimmer has to ensure the degree of purity for the hard corals at an above-average high fish load. If the Comline DOC skimmer has to operate as a �stand-alone� solution here, a high performance is required. This type of aquarium should be reduced by up to 70 per cent in volume for the skimmer volume mentioned." Armed with that information, you should ask yourself what kind of biotope you are trying to achieve and its sensitivity and bioload. Then you can make a decision on whether this skimmer is overkill for your particular set up.> Or should I resell it and use the proceeds to buy a more appropriately sized skimmer? <A practice that was common years ago but no longer used by contemporary reefers is running a skimmer part time. This is an option if you opt to keep this skimmer. Putting a skimmer on a timer will keep efficiency of the skimmer the same while giving you control over its productivity while cutting down on power consumption.> Thanks so much for all your great help. <You're welcome. Cheers, Minh Huynh.>

Which Skimmer? 12/24/08 I am in the process of starting my tank back up from scratch (long story that I won't get into now). I just ordered a new skimmer. It is a Hydor Performer 700, do you know anything about these skimmers, or should I cancel the order and an AquaC skimmer? <I have indeed seen these in use, they are fine skimmers, will work out ok.> My tank will be 125 gallons with a 55 gallon sump. What size AquaC if this is your recommendation? <An EV 180.> Thank you Shane Robinson <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Which Skimmer? 12/24/08 Thank you for the reply. <Welcome.> Would you recommend the aqua c over the other one or would I be safe with the Hydor? <The AquaC skimmers are great, but so is this new Hydor. You will be fine, satisfied with what you have ordered.> sent using my wireless device Shane Robinson <Scott V.>

I'm afraid I've gotten the wrong size skimmer...   10/6/08 Hello everyone, First off I'd like to say how helpful this site has been to a newbie like me setting up her first reef tank: keep up the great work! <Great! Thank you.> Anyway, I have something I'm worried about--I fear that I've gotten the wrong size skimmer for my tank. My tank is 150 gallons and will be an LPS and fish reef. I'm planning on starting with fish first, but I know I'm going to want a reef sooner or later, so I planned ahead and so far have gotten most of my equipment. The skimmer I bought is an in-sump H&S A150 rated for a 210-gallon tank. Recently I've read elsewhere that you should choose a skimmer rated for four times the tank volume--and if this is correct, it means I really should have gotten a skimmer rated for a 600 gallon tank. This makes me a bit nervous--I'm afraid I've fallen into the trap of letting the salesperson talk me into something just to make a sale. What do you guys think? <This four times volume is referring to the flow through of the skimmer, not the tank size rating. The recommended flow through is sometimes one, two, ten, it is quite an arbitrary number depending on who is stating it. The idea is a slow enough flow to achieve a decent dwell/contact time inside the skimmer. You will control this number by your selected feed pump for this skimmer. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimmerfaqs.htm and the above linked files will shed some light on this and other skimming aspects.> If I need to get a different skimmer I'll do it--the health and well being of my future aquatic friends comes first. Any advice on this would be much appreciated. <The skimmer you have chosen is fine, good quality.> Sincerely, Shannon O'Rourke <Have fun with your new venture, Scott V.>

Re: I'm afraid I've gotten the wrong size skimmer...   10/8/08 Whew!! That's a relief! Thanks so much, Scott! I'll follow the link you so kindly sent me and do some more reading on skimmers. Thanks again! Shannon <Great, happy to help out. Talk soon, Scott V.>

R7: Natural Reef Tank? -- 10/01/08 Hi, Eric- <<Howdy Sue>> Marine Depot who sells the AquaC Nano told me that it would not fit the BioCube. <<Okay>> He told me it would not be worth buying the one Oceanic makes for the BioCube. <<I am in agreement>> Oceanic emailed this is a limewood type protein skimmer. <<Yes, a simple wooden-airstone (Limewood) driven skimmer. That's not to say this style/methodology doesn't have merit, but the diminutive size of the skimmer in question (8.5' tall) renders this methodology less than efficient here>> A different brand is offering a venturi type skimmer to fit inside--almost same expense as the AquaC. <<Mmm'¦Anthony was always fond of stating that 'good things are seldom cheap, and cheap things are seldom good.' Almost certainly true when choosing a 'quality' skimmer>> So, what he suggested was to skip the skimmer and do more frequent water changes. <<Easy enough on a 29g tank, sure'¦but, will you?>> The modification required would be to redo the lighting system and forgo the top completely. <<One possibility, yes>> I won't be able to get that done as I need to repair the lighting on the 75 first. <<Understood>> Just see how one thing led to another--no wonder I cannot get anything else done. <<Priorities'¦take on that which is 'needed or necessary' first>> This is fun however. Sue <<Ah, excellent'¦no worries then! EricR>>

R8: Natural Reef Tank? -- 10/01/08 Eric, <<Sue>> Still on the search of a protein skimmer. The only way that the AquaC Nano would work is to take the top off of the BioCube. <<Mmm, likely the top could be 'machined' to allow it to fit'¦assuming someone was 'handy' enough and had the tools for such>> I agree with this however this means adding another light fixture. <<Yes>> So this is very much down the road as far as purchasing the new light. <<Okay>> I have plans so will start to save for the items I need. <<Very good>> Without being able to use the AquaC Nano for several months, I could purchase a Tunze 9002 or a SRE protein skimmer that will fit into the BioCube as it now is. <<The Tunze would be an excellent choice, though comparable in price to the AquaC Nano'¦I haven't heard of/don't know what the second unit is>> These both are about the same price as the AquaC Remora. Both run differently. I think the Tunze 9002 will work more like the AquaC as far as technical methods of protein skimming. <<Are 'similar,' yes>> And, I think the SRE is similar to the venturi method. <<Hmm'¦I can't find any info re>> These would be a bit to purchase both new lights and protein skimmer. Once I have the lights I can run the tank open. So that gets to the fish who jump out. With an open tank I would assume that to be a hazard. <<Some fish are indeed jumpers, but most reef hobbyists in my experience do run their systems 'open' as you say. With the Pseudochromis as the only fish in the 29g I think the likelihood is very low that it will 'jump'>> Is there some way to build a sort of fence around the tank so that the fish could not jump over that height. <<There are some strategies that can be employed'¦have a look here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/canopyrat.htm >> I have a plan now but it will take some time. So for now I could..... 1. just do small daily water changes which might lead to burn out <<Actually'¦weekly (10%-15%)will probably be fine considering the low fish load>> 2. buy the cheap Oceanic product for the next couple months until I can save up the money for the AquaC and the Nova Pro 20-inch T5 lights. <<Nah'¦save your money>> 3. buy the Tunze or the SRE protein skimmer, forgo the AquaC completely. <<Okay, Now I'm confused'¦since the AquaC Nano is actually about $13 less than the Tunze 9002 on Marine Depot's site>> What guidance can you provide with the above options? <<As stated>> Still leaning to eventually get the Nova Pro 20 inch T5 lights as that would fit nicely over the tank. <<Okay>> As, I think the current lights at least not in winter cause the tank to be on the warm side, and no heater! Sue <<EricR>>

R9: Natural Reef Tank? -- 10/02/08 Eric, <<Hello Sue>> So all in all I agree with what you are telling me. The problem is that I am not handy, have no tools to cut into the back of the BioCube to get the AquaC Nano, and apparently I would have to so some similar work for the Tunze. <<You do realize the AquaC Nano is a 'hang on the back' style skimmer, yes? The 'body' of the skimmer stays outside the tank'¦you only need enough clearance for the pump feeder pipe and the overflow lip'¦though looking at the BioCube hood assembly, this would still require cutting away a portion of it to fit the Nano skimmer. Have you checked around for a local reef/fish club? These are great sources of info/assistance. You might even try asking at your LFS for assistance/advice>> So while the prices are all the same, I am not able or able to find people to help. <<Mmm, okay>> My youngest daughter was very ill last year, we are now scanning her every 3 months (she is 16). <<I'm sorry to hear>> I would be hard pressed to do or even remember to do a water change or make sure water is made and so on. <<'¦?>> I would feel more comfortable purchasing a protein skimmer while not the best perhaps but one that will function adequately keeping the bio-load down as well. <<The skimmer is no replacement for routine maintenance'¦and purchasing a crappy skimmer 'just to have one' is false economy>> I mentioned the SR3 protein skimmer which I mixed the 3 and the E when I read that skimmer. This is available from Pet Solutions and indicates it fits into the area in the back of the Oceanic BioCube. <<Ah yes'¦I see now>> The price is still expensive as the Tunze 9002 and AquaC Nano. <<Indeed>> However, I have no adjustments to make to the top. This is a big plus for my situation, <<Understood'¦ While still not 'my' first choice, this skimmer is undoubtedly much better than the Oceanic offering for this tank>> as well as having a protein skimmer running should I need to take less care of the tank--although I can get someone from the LFS or one of my older kids (used to work at the LSF that is how I got into the hobby, inherited my son's tank when he went to college). <<Good'¦best not to neglect lest problems develop>> So, this protein skimmer is the venturi type. It actually looks like a CPR Bak-Pak with the blue biomaterial which I wouldn't use in the picture below. <<Not surprising'¦considering the same manufacturer builds both. The picture you mention didn't come through but I have added a link to the skimmer (http://www.petsolutions.com/Default.aspx?ItemID=46307581) >> Cost is $169. <<Seems 'too much' to me>> So all about the same. <<As the other skimmers mentioned, yes>> This is not made by Oceanic as I was told by Oceanic whom I have been in contact with about the ballast and feet for the other tank. <<The SR3 is made by CPR'¦same as the Bak-Pak>> So, while I may end up down the road being able to purchase the AquaC Nano it seems just too much right now to find a handyman to come in and make a spot for it out the back. <<Okay>> Tell me what you think of the SR3 protein skimmer--will it do even if not the best recommended for the same price? <<I don't have first-hand experience, but have heard the very similar designed Bak-Pak skimmer does a reasonable job (though for the same money, much better skimmers can be had). Considering your circumstances, perhaps this is your best choice for now>> It will mostly be a couple years before I can purchase the light and run the tank open if at all possible. The SR3 is an in-sump skimmer with a narrow footprint that makes it perfect for small sump spaces and fits inside the middle chamber of sump section of the 29 gallon Oceanic BioCube aquarium. Skimmer features a dual return chamber and underwater return to effectively remove excess bubbles. Skimmer includes a side mounted venturi pump (Rio 600). Rated for aquariums up to 60 gallons. Skimmer measures 8½" x 3" x 12", with a height of 16½" needed for removing the collection cup. Meanwhile, I am having a little trouble keeping the alkalinity up in the BioCube. The pH is falling way to low to 7.8. I use a Kalkwasser mixed with water drip in the other tank and when I do this for the little one the pH comes up but does not stay up. <<The new setup is still finding its 'balance''¦ I would not dose the Kalkwasser on this 29g tank, the seesaw effect you are creating by doing so is going to tax the system greatly'¦and I really don't think this tank needs such supplement based on current stocking. Replenishment of bio-mineral/alkaline content should be easily done via partial water changes>> Whereas the larger tank is stable in the parameters, albeit after my last water change algae is growing in a spot. (used RO water). When that happens, I usually just weed the algae like a garden. I cannot say in the past 6 years we have not had our times with algae we have, but not very often. <<Is a 'natural' component of any reef system>> Ok, so what do you think about this venturi if I cannot locate anyone to come in and help with cutting out a square to fit the AquaC? Sue <<Way too much money for what you get, in my opinion'¦but will probably be 'OK' on this tank'¦ Cheers, EricR>>

R10: Natural Reef Tank? -- 10/02/08 http://www.freshmarine.com/cpr-protein-skimmer-sr3.html So this is similar to the CPR Bak-Pak after all. <<Indeed so>> This is what we used setting up the 75 and still have it on. Took out the blue material and seems to work for the most part pretty good. Sue <<Then perhaps'¦problem solved! Be chatting, EricR>>

Skimmer Ratings 9/29/08 What is the best skimmer on the market? <Depends on what is considered 'best'? Price, size, actual effectiveness!> I am looking @ AS 150 Warner Marine and RS 135 Euro Reef, I have a Tech Series 90g Tank. <Either of these will work fine, they even use the same pump (although to Warner uses a Sedra 7000 vs. 5000, negligible with these particular pumps). I looks as though the Warner is a recirculating skimmer, whilst this particular EuroReef is not, so it really comes down to how you want to set up your tank. Scott V.>

Re: Skimmer Ratings 9/30/08 Is the AS 150 more effective than the RS 135? I was told the Warner is a more effective skimmer than Euro Reef. What is your opinion? <I have never personally tried these head to head. These are both top notch skimmers, you will not go wrong with either. Scott V.>

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.>

Protein Skimmer, sel. refugium plumbing mostly    8/13/08 Hello Everyone, <Ramon> I have a couple of questions about a protein skimmer for my system. <Ok> My tank is a 55 gallon (not drilled), with a 2 inch sand bed (adding 2 more inches) and 2 15 gallon Rubbermaid containers. 1 is a refugium and the other is a sump. <Nice> I am planning to upgrade my refugium and sump with two 20 long or two 30 gallon drilled tanks, I also want to know if I stay with my 1 inch gravity return line how large should I have my feed line drilled? <For what you can get practically through this one line, I'd run all consecutively through both sump, refugium... first the 'fuge... I'd make two overflows if you're drilling... run one each independently to...> How far down from the top and should it be level with the return line? <Two inches and yes> the platform is only 18"w by 24"l by 13 1/2"h which the bottom of the platform is sitting level with the tank, it would gravity feed to the main tank, so I was wondering which tank would be my best bet? <The bigger the better> I plan on staying with my 55 for a long time and not upgrading. it will house some fish with mostly button polyps, mushrooms and leathers. I was wondering if the Aqua C Urchin series would work for my set-up? <Of a certainty, yes... a very good choice> or should I get another type of skimmer? It will sit in the sump and budget is tight as always. <Save up...> Thanks Again, Ramon Ortiz Tampa, FL <Bob Fenner, Kona, HI>

ETS Sump Buddy 40, Skimmer sel.  8/11/08 Hi Crew, <Kevin.> I'm wondering if anyone at WWM has heard any buzz on the new ETS Sump Buddy skimmer series [http://www.superskimmer.com/SumpBuddy40.htm]. ETS skimmers seem to have the reputation for being great skimmers but at a premium cost. <I have seen them, they are good skimmers.> However, looking at the suggested MSRP for the Sump Buddy's on AETech's website, this new series seems to break that tradition. I don't know if the product is just too new, but I haven't been able to dig up very much information in the way of opinion (no hits at all on WWM). I would think with ETS' reputation, coupled with a reasonably price product, there would be more inertest in these units. I'm currently looking at the AquaC EV 120 and Euro-Reef CS100s for my 58 gallon reef and would really like to know how the ETS Sump Buddy 40 stands up. <I really can't help you too much here. The ETS is a good skimmer, but so are the other two you mention. You really will not go wrong with any of these choices. Pick what suits your sump and wallet the best!> Thanks, Kevin <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>

R6: Skimmer Height...Looking For a Short Skimmer with Tall Expectations - 08/11/08 Eric, <<Hey Jeff>> I have just one more to run by you. <<Okay>> Have you ever heard of ETSS Evolution 500? You can find it on this page: http://www.customaquatic.com/customaquatic/itemdetail.asp?itemid=PS-AE05EV Please let me know; I am about ready to pull the trigger. Oh yes, I will couple this with a Mag 9.5. Regards, Jeff <<The downdraft-style skimmers are reputed to work well by some (usually the BIGGER the pump the better), and this particular manufacturer is thought to provide a quality product from what I know. But I find these skimmers to be a too noisy for my liking (at least in the larger models)'¦and I haven't seen one I thought did as good a job as a high quality needle-wheel skimmer like my Euro-Reef model. But, that's not to say this skimmer wouldn't do a good job for you'¦I just feel the Euro-Reef, AquaC, or Tunze to be better choices. Bottom line'¦any of the skimmers we have discussed will very likely work fine for you'¦so do weigh features such as ease of cleaning and power consumption/pump requirements before you pull that trigger. Eric Russell>> <Well-stated. RMF>

Skimmer Height'¦Looking For A Short Skimmer With Tall Expectations -- 08/08/08 I am setting up a 120, and height between the bottom of the tank and the floor of its cabinet stand is a consideration. <<A common issue>> I would appreciate any recommendations for a good proteins skimmer in the 200+ gallon capacity that can comfortably fit in a height of approximately 23 inches. <<Mmm'¦'short' of going custom [get it? <grin>], I think your best option is the EV-180 from AquaC at 20' tall and 180g capacity>> I am saying 200+ gallons to give some leeway, and perhaps get better skimming. <<Understood>> If however anyone knows of a shorter skimmer with slightly less capacity, that would do a great job in this size tank, I am more than willing to consider it. <<Ahh'¦then do have a look at the AquaC product line>> I have been searching, but I find that the larger capacity scammers are taller than the lower capacity ones. <<Indeed'¦ Taller skimmer towers = increased dwell-time = increased efficiency/capacity'¦all things being equal>> Thank you very much for your help. Best regards, Jeff Castaldo <<Quite happy to share. Eric Russell>>

Re: Skimmer Height'¦Looking For A Short Skimmer With Tall Expectations - 08/09/08 Eric, <<Jeff>> How about the Euro Reef CS8-1 Protein Skimmer? <<My current fave skimmer manufacturer'¦I employ a CS12-3 on my own system>> - 150-400 gallon capacity - 20" high - 8" diameter - Includes 1x5000 Sedra pump I have heard that Euro-Reef is a very good name, <<Tis true!>> but I don't understand the 150-400 gallon figures. That's a large stretch. <<Has to do with stocking density (i.e. -- a lightly stocked 400g tank)>> I do want something that will do a super job on my tank, and I saw one of these listed used for a very attractive price of $200. Which would you go with? <<Euro-Reef is my current fave'¦but considering your cabinet limitations, your wishes for future upgrade, and this 'particular' skimmer'¦I would likely go with the AquaC choice (also an excellent skimmer line, by the way)>> Regards, Jeff <<Cheers mate. Eric Russell>>

R2: Skimmer Height...Looking For A Short Skimmer With Tall Expectations - 08/09/08 Eric, <<Hey there Jeff>> I was also thinking about this one; ASM G-3 Protein Skimmer with Sedra 5000 Pump. - Body size: 6.5 inches - Height 24' - Footprint: 11'x12' - Tank size: 250 gal <<is a 'cheaper' version of the Euro-Reef skimmers (cheaper materials)>> I think that I can fit this in even though it is 24" in height. <<Okay>> I would have to tip it in the sump to empty and clean, but I am going to go with a 20 gallon Sump for space restrictions in my cabinet, so I may just have to work under tight conditions. What do you think? <<It 'will' work (and likely very well)'¦it just won't last like the Euro-Reef or AquaC skimmers>> Regards, Jeff <<EricR>>

R3: Skimmer Height'¦Looking For A Short Skimmer With Tall Expectations - 08/10/08 You know Eric, the more I look at this skimmer, <<The AquaC'¦>> the more I like it. <<Is a very good product>> It has a very small footprint which will fit great with my smaller sump. It does not use a Venturi or downdraft, but rather employs a Spray Induction System. <<Yes>> Is this good technology in your opinion? <<Yes'¦ Though to be honest, I'm partial to the needle-wheel technology>> Has it been around for a while or is it relatively new and unproven? <<The 'technology' is not new'¦its application to skimmer methodology was effectively applied by Jason and Steve of AquaC some years back. And aside from an excellent product, they excel at customer service'¦I do not think you will be disappointed>> Regards, Jeff <<Do let me know what you choose and how it performs in your estimation. Eric Russell>>

R4: Skimmer Height...Looking For a Short Skimmer with Tall Expectations - 08/11/08 Okay, I will keep you informed. Thank you for your input. Best regards, Jeff Castaldo <<Excellent! Be chatting, EricR>>

R4.5: Skimmer Height...Looking For a Short Skimmer with Tall Expectations - 08/11/08 Eric, <<Jeff>> What do you think of the Tunze 9010? Regards, Jeff <<Ah yes! I should have thought to mention these fine skimmers in our first exchange. I've not used their skimmers on any of my own systems (yet) but saw these skimmers in use (albeit an earlier model) while living in England and thought them to be quite impressive, especially considering their relatively small size. EricR>>

R5: Skimmer Height...Looking For a Short Skimmer with Tall Expectations - 08/11/08 The MSX200 was also recommended. What do you think of that one? Regards, Jeff <<Hmm, I'm not familiar with this skimmer but it looks like a less expensive version of the Bubble King line of skimmers (sans the Red Dragon pump)'¦interesting. It too would probably work fine. Eric Russell>>

skimmer question, sel.   8/3/08 Hello Crew, Thank you so much for your time and expertise. Unfortunately I did not find you and Mr. Fenner's book sooner. I have a one year old 92-gallon corner reef tank (without a sump) and am using Eheim Canister filter. I do frequent water changes (recently changed to 10% weekly to 5% twice weekly after reading an article on your site) and I routinely run at zero ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. Before I discovered your site, I was following the advise of my LFS who recommended that a protein skimmer is optional and did not suggest using one as long as I could keep up with my weekly water changes/maintenance. Because of my lack of information at the outset (not for lack of trying unfortunately), I find myself in need of a protein skimmer; however, I do not have room for adding a sump and I don't think I will have the room for a hang on skimmer. <Mmm, the tank can't be largely drained, moved away from a wall?> I have read that you usually don't advise an in-aquarium model. <Correct, most of these are too "puny"... but... there are some "tank top" models... Do look into the Tunze brand... expensive, but well-made, service-able> I also have a small amount of space in the cabinet below the aquarium to store a skimmer but have not found any information on what model to use or how to accomplish this. Can you tell me what you would suggest? <Mmm, reading usually. You have read the tray/section re skimmers?> I've read a lot on this site and others and am having trouble finding something that would fit my needs. Thanks for your help!!! John <... well, if it were mine, I'd look into installing a sump/refugium... placing the (in-sump) skimmer there... Otherwise... Tunze... http://tunze.com/... Bob Fenner>

Re: skimmer question, sel.   8/5/08 Thank you sir for your generosity. I'm a bit embarrassed that when I checked the amount of space that I have and double-checked the Aqua C hang on skimmers that I do have enough room. <Ah, good> I am very interested in a refugium. I have small children; however, and a "tank" low to the ground terrifies me (even with locks - at least for the next few years). <A good idea... not much that might hurt someone... if the electrics are placed elsewhere, out of reach... but I would fashion child-proof locking of some sort to keep all closed off in/under the stand> I have seen some small (about 5 gallon) hang-on sumps and was hoping for your thoughts on those. Thank you again! <Mmm, for a 92 gallon main system... these are a bit puny... but still worthwhile... Were it me/mine however, I'd read, look into a larger under or over tank unit... FWIW, you might consider the possibility of remoting this even to an adjoining room. Bob Fenner>

Bio Filter/Protein Skimmers 7/9/08 Hello WWM Crew, <Hello> I am having a really hard time deciding on which Bio Filter/Protein Skimmer System to go with. CPR Bak-Pak 2 with Bio Bale, or the Remora Aqua C unit. I have a 30 gallon tank with live sand and rock. I am currently running a Penguin 350 with both bio wheels removed (filter pads only). I have read the pro's and con's of both units, but I would like to get advice from somebody who is not trying to take my money$$$$ Thx <Both are good units, however I would go with the Aqua-C, better performance and easier to use.> <Chris>

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>

Skimmer Upgrade? 5/10/08 I currently have a 125 gallon reef tank. The water currently flows downstairs into an Aqua C EV150 skimmer and then into a 58 gallon refugium filled with live sand 6 inches deep and it is full of Chaeto algae. The skimmer is in an acrylic box inside of the 58 gallon tank and water flows through this first, and then through the Chaeto. It then flows down into a sump (28 gallon trash can) and it is then pumped it back to the main tank with a mag 18. Circulation is provided by a Sequence Dart pump on a closed loop. <Sounds nice!> The tank has been set up for about a year and I have a problem with some course wire like algae but otherwise it looks great and the corals are growing like crazy. The tank has 6 Green Chromis, a BlueBand Goby, A 12 year old Clown fish, <Wow!> and a 8 year old Yellow Tang. Lighting consists of 3 175 watt 10,000k halides with 2 20 watt Actinics. I change 16 gallons of water weekly, and top off with Kalkwasser. I converted 2 smaller tanks into this larger one last spring and love it but want the extra volume and security of a larger sump. <Larger never hurts with sumps.> I am upgrading the size of the sump to 75 gallons and was wondering if the additional volume would call for a larger skimmer? Since the bioload is the same I would think that it would not require additional skimming. <Your DOC's will be diluted a bit more, the skimmer sizing has more to do with the volume of water it can process more than anything. A larger tank does not require a larger skimmer to functionally skim what passes through, it requires a larger skimmer to have the ability to process enough water to accommodate the volume in the tank. But, all things considered you do have a fine skimmer for your system.> I figure the total volume of water in the system will be around 180 to 200 gallons. <Nice.> My thoughts are that as long as the bio-load doesn't change then the skimmer should not have to. The Below is a picture of one half of the tank. <Nice tank.> Thanks, Aaron
<Welcome, have fun.>
 <<nice! -Sara M.>>
Skimmer Upgrade? 5/10/08 Thanks for your advice. <Welcome.> The reef tank is doing great and Wet Web Media made it all happen. <Thank you, I will pass this around!> I spent days reading the articles and FAQ here prior to setting it up. I was a little concerned about the Blueband Goby since there are articles on here about them not eating well in captivity but he eats from my hand and seems to be thriving. <Great!> I tend to keep my fish around a long time and wanted the same for him. Keep up the good work guys. Aaron <Will do, thank you, Scott V.> 

Protein Skimmer/Selection 4/23/08 I was looking at the Octopus skimmers and haven't found any comments about it on your site. I was wondering what is your opinion about it and where does it stand in terms of quality. <I'm not familiar with this skimmer.> A local aquarium in Richmond VA says it's one of the better brands. <Mmm, he must sell them.> Trying to find the right skimmer for my 90 Gallon. My ASM skimmer doesn't seem to be doing the job and the people at the aquarium said ASM's are a hit and miss brand. Thanks for your suggestion. <Myself, I believe the ASM's are a decent performer. Do you clean the reaction chamber and riser tube weekly. Waste build up in these areas, especially the riser tube, greatly affects performance. I'm partial to AquaC skimmers, a good value for the performance it renders. James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmer Ratings 4/5/08 I've got a question about skimmer ratings. I'm starting a 120 gallon SPS tank and need my skimmer. I know I should go with a skimmer that is overrated for my tank to keep SPS. My question is, do these ratings assume there is no other filtration besides the skimmer? <No, all tanks need at least some kind of biological filtration also. Either some sort of biomedia or live rock.> I am planning on a sump/refugium that utilizes macro algae for nutrient uptake. Could I get away with going with a skimmer that is rated for 120 gallons or slightly larger, instead of going nuts and buying that is rated for over 200 gallons? <A skimmer rated for 120 gallons will work fine. Do study the skimmer size ratings between different manufacturers in relation to the skimmer size, air draw and type (injector, needlewheel/venturi). Some manufacturers have fairly loose ratings, rating a skimmer much higher than it should be. EuroReef and AquaC are two skimmer manufacturers that I feel rate their skimmers correctly. Good luck, Scott V.> Can I go Skimmerless? 4/4/08 Hello again Crew, <Random Aquarist> Well, I've started reading up on skimmerless systems. My tank is an 86g (48"L x 16"W x 26"T) with a 35g sump. My lighting is a pair of 250W MH bulbs, actinics, and moonlight LED's. My tank has recently finished cycling. I have roughly 150 lbs of liverock and am thinking about incorporating a DSB. I plan to stock the tank entirely with macroalgae (either Chlorodesmis or Dictyota), a BTA, and a pair of Maroon Clowns. I'm also going to buy a detritivore kit and an amphipod kit (separate culture) from Inland Aquatics. <Carful with these kits. They generally include way too many critters, especially hermit crabs for long term sustenance of the cleanup crew and other inhabitants of your system.> I'm really interested in the skimmerless concept. If I kept the proper maintenance, could I make this tank a skimmerless one? <You certainly can, but a skimmer is a tool that makes things easier for you. Any system can be kept without a skimmer, it is just more work. For what my time is worth I would never run a marine tank without one!!> TIA, Random Aquarist <I have included a link for you below that goes through why to skim and the advantages of doing so. Welcome, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/toskimornotfaq.htm

Pacific Coast Imports Protein Skimmers 3/26/08 Hello crew, <Hello.> I writing to find out if you guys have any knowledge or opinions on protein skimmers by Pacific Coast Imports. The model I'm inquiring about is PS-350L, which can be seen here: http://www.pacificcoastimports.com/products.cfm?pg=2&sid=54151142K43755152308002K1206485854177I163T230T7T6P21865745Z95708&c=24&kys <I have used one of these. To be perfectly honest, I would consider a different skimmer, perhaps an ASM or EuroReef. The Pacific Coast is a ok skimmer, I just feel the other two are better choices. Good luck, Scott V.>

What Size Skimmer Do I Need? -- 03/24/08 Great web site, <<Glad you think so>> Google got me here. <<Excellent>> I am new to this and would like to ask you a question or two. <<Okay>> I have a 90 gal, 30 gal sump. Can I buy a skimmer Euro-Reef ES8-3 or is this too big for my 90 gal? I will eventually be getting corals, live rock and fish. <<This skimmer will be fine for your tank (factory rated for a 175g system); I always like to go a bit bigger than the size rating for my systems. But unless you already have a lead, finding one may be difficult as the ES series of Euro-Reef skimmers have been discontinued by the manufacturer. Not to worry though, a comparable RC series will do fine too>> I also looked at AquaC Remora Pro. <<Another fine product/choice'¦though if there's a chance this tank will be heavily stocked, I would be inclined to get the in-sump model EV-120 (or maybe even the EV-180) over the Remora Pro>> What should I get, you really know better? <<Euro-Reef is my current favorite, but either of these brands will serve you well. The choice is yours; perhaps pick the one that best fits your system. And do read through our articles and FAQs on skimmers/selection'¦you can start here, and then follow the links in blue at the top of the pages: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm >> Thanks your help will be appreciated. Juan C <<Happy to assist. EricR>>

Protein Skimmer Selection 2/9/08 I have read the WWM protein skimmer section's and still have questions. <OK> I am running a 90 gallon FOWLR system with 150 pounds of live rock. It runs into a 30 gallon long sump which has a refugium with macro algae in the middle. My intake chamber ( where I plan on putting the skimmer ) is 8" x 12" with a 29" clearance. What reasonably priced skimmer with a pump would you recommend? <For this footprint an AquaC Urchin Pro or the Tunze mentioned below would be fine choices.> Right now I have a sea clone 100 which pulls gunk but I don't think is good enough by all I have read. <It is not the greatest skimmer.> Would you recommend the Tunze 9005 with the 9005.400 in sump conversion kit? <Yes, highly recommended, as is the Aqua C mentioned. Both companies make top notch products.> I don't quite understand how this model works, whether it has a pump or not. <Yes it does, it is an all inclusive plug and play unit.> Or would you recommend the E.T.S.S. Reef Devil Protein Skimmer with Pump? <This could work also, although it will likely be louder and consume more power.> Thank you for your time. John P.S. I am married and don't want to sleep with the skimmer. My loving wife (who doesn't understand the addiction yet) has agreed to allow me to spend around 300 dollars. <Welcome John, all of the above come within your price range. My wife is constantly going through the same thing, 'I swear this will be the last tank.' Yeah right! Good luck, Scott V.>

Sump-less skimmer, sel.  02/03/2008 Hi there! <<Hi, Andrew here>> I am new to salt water and need some advice. I have a 90 gallon corner aquarium, (1/4 cylinder), that came with a Fluval 405 plumbed into the bottom of the tank. The stand is the same shape as the tank and has a supporting divider in the center, leaving two small triangular spaces that are too small for a sump. The tank has been up and running for 2 months, with 120 lbs. of live rock and 75 lbs of crushed coral. Lighting is T5 HO. Water movement by 2 powerheads. Live stock includes a Pajama Cardinalfish, Coral Beauty Angel, Fox Face, 2 scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, snails, hermits, a small feather duster, mushrooms and a few soft corals. <<Sounds lovely>> Water parameters are all pretty good and all the livestock are doing well. I would like to slowly add a few more fish and corals, but I feel I should add a skimmer. As I stated before, there is very little room in the cabinet for a sump, and the tank fits quite tightly to the walls (1.5"), so a hang-n won't work. <<Ahh yes, many people run into this issue with this configuration of tank stand and some choose to add a sump outside the stand and have it as a display sump>> I have heard about D & D Marine Enterprises Terminator II skimmer that comes with a sump-less kit. With the kit it supposedly works like a canister filter. Before I shell out the money, I would like to know if you are familiar with this skimmer, and if so, will it do the job for my system. <<Yes, these work well indeed, basically the same as a canister filter and will work fine with your system>> Thanks, Lance <<Thanks for the question. A Nixon>>

Tunze 9010 For A 200g Reef? -- 01/15/08 Hi, <<Hello Marcus>> I have just setup up a new 4 x 4 x 2 reef, upgraded from a 4 x 18' x 2. <<Neat!>> I am using my skimmer from my last tank which is a<<Tunze>> 9010, which I was pretty happy with. <<I too like Tunze skimmers>> I am copping a fair bit of flack in my build thread about how undersized this skimmer is for a 200g reef. <<Really? Hmm, even though your new tank specs out at about 239-gallons (actual true 'empty' volume depends on the thickness of the panel material)'¦the Tunze 9010 has a 'usage' rating of up to 264-gallons>> What is your opinion? <<I saw many of the 'classic' Tunze skimmers in action overseas years back, and well before similar quality skimmers were available in the States...they were awesome. I don't have any direct experience with the new Comline skimmers like the 9010, but have heard positive comments from others'¦ I suspect you/this skimmer will be fine>> Should I consider upgrading? <<Is up to you, but I would probably wait to see how this skimmer performs with the new system>> I am only stocking with a medium to light load of LPSs/sps and fish, with a pretty open aquascaping. <<Still'¦best to plan/install filtration components for a 'heavy' load, in my opinion. Even when we plan for/know better'¦we sometimes can't help adding 'just one more fish'>> If I upgraded to a 9015 or even the foaming cup for the 9020, how much of a difference would this make, given that, other than the collection cup and chamber height, the skimmers are exactly the same? <<Hmm, the 9020 is a 'double' unit, though the 9015 does appear to be identical (air/water flow specifications) to the 9010 but for the size of the collection cup'¦which may indicate the smaller unit is just as efficient on larger tanks (i.e. -- can handle the same 'bio-load') but is limited by the amount of skimmate it can process/hold before needing attention. In other words'¦if you're willing to empty the cup more often, the 9010 should serve as well as the higher capacity-rated 9015 on larger systems>> Many thanks, Marcus <<I do think your Tunze 9010 will serve your new system'¦but, give it a try first and see what 'you' think'¦you can always upgrade or add a second skimmer at a later date if necessary. Regards, EricR>>

Skimmer Selection 1/15/08 Crew, <Joe> I am currently setting up a 210 gallon sps tank and I <Ah, another broken shift key.> am trying to make a decision regarding my skimmer. I know this is one of my most important pieces of equipment so I <I> don't mess this up. I don't really have much sump space so I <I> am looking for a external skimmer. I like the EuroReefs but for my application I would need the RC-500 which is like 1200 bucks. I was wondering if there is a good skimmer that won't cost me a grand. I have been looking at the Lifereef brand of skimmers, in particular the VS3-36. Jeff from LifeReef talks a good game about his skimmers and says he would put them against a Euroreef anyway. So I would like to know if you have any experience with Lifereef products? Also, if you don't like Lifereef what skimmer model would you recommend? If the expensive Euroreef or similar is my only option to keep the high water quality I will need so be it, but I want to know for sure before I spent the money. <Joe, no experience with Lifereef products but I hear they are quality products and have heard no negative feedback on them. As for other brands of skimmers that would work well in your tank, this would be my choice list. AquaC EV240 (around $400) Precision Marine PM Bullet 2 ($400) Tunze Master DOC Skimmer, comes with two hydrofoamers and rated for tanks up to 1000 gallons, pricey, but an excellent skimmer. Keep in mind here that there are no pumps to buy.($960) ASM G-3 with a modified Sedra pump. ($310) Hope this helps you out.> Thanks for the help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Joe

Tunze Skimmer Protein Skimmers: Bigger is Better?  12/16/07 Hi Bob and Crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member today!> Thanks for all your previous help and advice. <You can't imagine how much fun it is to be of service to our fellow hobbyists! We have some amazing people here and we love this stuff!> As before, I am in the process of setting up a 850L (690L Cleair tank 160L sump) mixed fish and invert system. I have very limited headroom in the sump area max 50cm. After a lot of searching I have found what I believe to be a potentially ideal skimmer. Tunze DOC comline 9010. <Fine product from an excellent manufacturer!> My question is, do you feel that this is a good choice for my water volume or would you lean towards the 9015. In the future, I would like to invest in MH lighting to allow me to add coral (currently not an option with all the other new stuff I have to purchase). With this in mind, and notices on the Tunze site about running bigger skimmers for reef systems, I would rather invest in a system that will cover my future needs. Thanks and Regards Steve <Well, Steve, I am of the mindset that "bigger is generally better" when it comes to skimmers! This philosophy does not always work with other things ("bigger" chocolate soufflés, large bottles of sauerkraut, "deluxe" carry on luggage, etc!), but it generally works with skimmers (as long as you don't go overboard), IMO. I like the 9010, but if you plan on a heavily stocked reef system in the future, the extra capacity of the 9015 will justify the additional expense, IMO. Tunze products are fantastic, and I use a number of them on my system with great results. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> Low(er) Cost in-Sump Skimmers and reliability In-Sump Skimmers Of Quality -- 12/07/07 While you review several hang-on skimmers for low-volume systems, I've found myself at a complete loss for a skimmer suitable to my system. <<Hmm'¦with the better manufacturers (Euro-Reef, AquaC, H&S, Schuran, Tunze, others) the manufacturers recommendations are a good guide>> I have a 125 glass system with overflow to a 50 gallon sump, actually my former tank drilled. There's usually at least 30 gallons down there, though I let it fluctuate a bit. I've found a fairly hands-off approach to be immensely successful. I haven't lost a fish or coral in approximately six months. <<Very good'¦but do realize this time-frame is but a fraction of the natural lifespan, for most. True success will be measured in years, even decades>> The skimmer from my old tank, a Coralife rated for a 65 gallon tank, was woefully inept, <<Not surprising>> and in any case broke during the installation. I need a skimmer capable of handling this system. <<Several come to mind>> I need a couple brand names that are reliable, that I could perhaps pick up used. <<Have listed several above'¦will take some work on your part to find the 'used'>> There's a huge number of brands out there with no explanation or history, and most of what's there has conflicting reviews, claims of incredible skimming prowess followed by several scathing denials of its usefulness. <<Ha-ha, indeed! And will tell'¦Euro-Reef skimmers are my current fave. I have an old-model CS12-3 running on my 500g (en toto) reef system>> When I worked in a LFS, which fell apart due to the owner's insanity and Xanax abuse, <<'¦!>> we used large scale "G" skimmers, big effective things that sat in tubs and sump and produced mountains of the foul smelling stuff we all know and love. <<Ah yes'¦for the most part a cheaper version of the ER skimmers>> Enormous collection cups made management easy. I'd like a few recommendations on what's solid, as I'd hate to blow a few hundred bucks on something as trashy as my old Coralife. <<Euro-Reef gets my vote'¦nor do I don't think you would be unhappy with the price/quality of an AquaC either>> Hey, they make good PCs, they must know what they're doing on skimmers right? Wrong. <<Mmm'¦>> While I probably won't pick up new, scouring Craigslist and eBay for a cheap second hand is in my budget, and I'd like to know a worthwhile deal when I see it. Thanks! Eric Jackson <<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>

Re: Sump design question 12/07/2007 Hi Bob and thanks so much for your response. <Welcome> It's an honour to get advice from such an eminent expert. <Hah! Expert... Previously married and flow under pressure?> A quick update to a couple of the points raised in my first mail. I found the Tank for £1000 from a UK supplier "Shirley Aquatics" not sure if I can give the name out? <Oh yes... a venerable institution in my estimation. Do you have a copy of Colin D. Roe's work from there? Excellent> The side filters were removed (simple in tank affairs) also all the other (little) extras were not included. <The "towers" can be re-made, fitted, installed... other walls/overflow weirs made, put in> I took delivery today and it looks spectacular (though I feel it will still be some weeks before my existing stock can move home). I have followed your advice and yet again gone back and read and read some more, I also purchased your book "The consentience Marine Aquarist" in order to recap on setup techniques. <A handy guide> Lastly I have read much more about the Copperband and will not be purchasing one of these. I have no interest or intent in keeping animals that do not have a very high chance of survival. Finally to my questions (I promise much shorter intro's next time :) ) As previously stated space under the tank is at a premium with a max head height of 50cm. Although I am not completely settled on the sump design (I will start with an empty sump and check the transit volume requirements before adding any baffles) my biggest issue is the choice of protein skimmer. I have read about many advised makes and models but fundamentally come back to height issue every time. <Yes... important... you might well want to incorporate some loops of flexible... even valves and disconnects... to enable/allow you to pull this tool out at times> My feeling is that I will need to run two smaller skimmers as a single unit for around 200 UK gal (inc sump volume) just isn't possible. <Mmm, actually... there are some units that should fit here... Do see EuroReef's site...> Also the outlet from the main tank runs at 1.5? dia. What size return pump would you advise? <The diameter of the discharge on your pump/s volute/s... Just match this> Thanks again for your assistance. Regards Steve <Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sump design question, skimmers in the UK  12/07/2007 Bob, Thanks for your swift response. I have searched the EuroReef's site but am unable to identify any under 50cm. I further got in touch with them who again responded very quickly only to inform me that they do not ship abroad and have no pumps that run on UK voltage 240V. I would welcome any advice on a quality skimmer meeting height restrictions of 50cm and tank volume of 200 UK gal either from yourself or any readers who have experience. Thanks again and regards Steve <Mmm, the V2 line through TMC? http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquarium/v2skim-skimmers.asp BobF> Skimmer Advice, sel.  12/4/07 First off let me say that I have been reading endless info off of your site, thanks so much. <Hello Chris, the site does provide a seemingly endless amount of knowledge.> However, I am a newbie and my mind is going quite mad trying to decide on certain aspects of my new tank. I currently have a 46 gallon fish only and am in the process of upgrading to a 150 reef/fish. Basically I want to be set up for what ever I wish to keep in the tank, to avoid need upgrades later. <Understood. Plan now, don't have to change everything later.> So I am currently stuck on deciding on a skimmer, I have been going back and forth on my choice of skimmer and my multiple LFS's have all been telling me different things. <Everyone does have their own opinion on skimmers.> I think I would like to keep the skimmer and pump external from my sump as I don't want the added heat from the pump, living in Southern California it remains pretty hot most of the year (unless you all think that the recommended pumps for any given skimmer wouldn't add much heat to a 150 gallon). <A skimmer pump will add some heat, varies by model.> I have read that pumps should provide 1 - 1.5 times your water volume, giving that I would need a pump around 2GPH 9about 20 watts or so). <This would be a feed pump for a recirculating skimmer. 150-225 gph in this case. The skimmer itself will have an additional pump.> Then again I have read some skimmers come with pumps like MAG 5s or even MAG 7 which puts our much more wattage. <This will be the actual pump that drives (and may feed) the skimmer its self.> So I guess the pumps are relative to the skimmer, some need more GPH than others. <Some do, but feed pump vs. skimmer pump is another issue.> So far the top choices I have heard through research are Euro-Reef (which seems way too expensive for the externals for my budget), <Nice skimmers, highly recommended.> Aqua C (looks like a good choice), <These work well, they can be plumbed outside the sump.> ASM (although I heard it is just a cheaper euro-reef knock-off). <Yes, they perform well, definitely an in sump model.> ETSS (seems to much work to keep dialed in). <These work, more of a fan of your other candidates.> What do you think? Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks. -Chris <If you have the money, the EuroReefs are hard to beat. The other skimmers are work more than adequate. It just comes down to what you want and can get a deal on. Best, Scott V.>

Re: Skimmer Advice, sel. 12/4/07 Thanks for the quick response. I do have a couple of follow up questions. 1) If I go with an in-sump, then I do not need a feed pump, I only need the skimmer pump (which should only put out 15-20 watts, which should not increase the heat in a 150 gallon much at all), true? <More in the range of 40-60 watts for the least power hungry skimmers in your lineup of appropriate size.> 2) What is the best technology these days (e.g. Venturi, Aspirating (impeller), Downdraft, Spray Induction)? <I hate to dodge the question, but that really depends on your criteria for 'best'. I prefer a venturi with a pinwheel myself (EuroReef, ASM).> I would obviously like the quietest best performing skimmer as affordable, would any of the skimmers I listed fit that profile? Again, thanks for the assist. --Chris <ASM for price, EuroReef for higher quality. Note that the EuroReef size ratings are more appropriate. Both are fairly quiet. Welcome, good luck, Scott V.>

Skimmer for 150gal FOWLR Choosing a Protein Skimmer That's a Winner! 12/4/07 Thanks for all your wonderful advice. <We're happy to bring this site to you every day! Scott F. in tonight> I know I've seen leaning towards the EuroReef and the Aqua C. What suggested model? S <Well, Scott- either of these two manufacturers make fine protein skimmers. I've used many different brands over the years, including some ridiculously expensive ones, such as Deltec, etc., and I keep coming back to Euro-Reef. They build a wonderful product at a great price! What model really depends on what your bioload is, how large the aquarium is, etc. I'd consult the manufacturer's web sites for sizing recommendations. Best of luck! regards, Scott F.>

Skimmer choice 11/29/07 Hey guys <Hello Matt.> I have a 400 liter reef with a Turboflotor 1000 protein skimmer which I'm not happy with. It only pulls about 1 inch of dark green stuff every week. I have 2 clowns, 3 snails, 8 very small unidentified hermits (can't find ID anywhere, but they do a great job of cleaning the sand of diatoms), and 1 coral. The tank is 2 years old and I have just noticed some hair algae starting to appear. I want to replace the skimmer. The two I like the most are the AquaC Remora Pro and the Deltec MCE600. The Deltec is more expensive but I believe it comes with a built in pump(?). <Yes it does.> Whereas the AquaC does not come with a pump. Any thoughts on these 2 choices of skimmer? Thanks in advance. Matt. <They have both been proven great skimmers, hard choice. This comes down to your personal preference. With the AquaC you will have a pump in your tank. If this bothers you then that may be your deciding factor. For the money I would personally choose the Remora Pro. The skimmer should help, but don't expect a cure all for the hair algae, something is spurring its growth. You can read through the FAQs for more info, I would start here http://wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm Welcome, happy reefing, Scott V.>

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