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FAQs about Euro-Reef/Reef Dynamics Skimmers 1 

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Want a healthy system? You need a good skimmer. A Condy(lactis) in Jamaica.

Euro-reef RSA 180 dial in issues: Skimmer operation\maintenance. 7/23/2009
Hey folks. This is Sunny.
<Hi Sunny.>
I purchased a new RSA 180 model from Euro-Reef. My setup is about 4 weeks old and the tank just finished cycling. The tank is 150 gallon, with dual overflows and a sump/refugium (45 gallon). The level of water in the sump where the skimmer is - is 8 inches.
<Sounds good so far.>
I have the air tube but there is no valve on it. That said, I have not seen anything reach the cup yet. I see a lot of bubbles and foam (about 4 inches above the water line) but nothing reaches the cup at all. I also saw some brown skimmate that went up to the neck a week or two ago and that also never reached the cup. In short, the foam level never reaches the neck and at this point for a week at least the foam is all white.
<Sounds like your water level is too low.>
I have 4 small chromis in the tank that are fed every other day. I have 125lb live rock. I did weekly 10% water changes.
<Lightly stocked>
I do not believe that my water is so clean that there is no skimming going on. Or is it?
<Not likely.>
For last 3 days, brown algae (diatoms) have over taken my tank. It is on rocks, sand , glass every where. I thought the skimmer would catch that and produce some dirty foam??
<Diatoms are normal on a new setup and will pass with time. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diatomfaqs.htm >
I tried adjusting the riser pipe up and down and that does not help.
<It should.>
If I rotate the pipe to the close position I see the foam rises up rapidly.
The manual says to keep it in open position.
<Ahh... only for startup.>
Am I supposed to rotate the pipe towards the close position to adjust the foam level???
<Yes. Rotate the riser pipe towards the closed position - make small adjustments until the water level rises to the point where you get a dry foam in the collection cup - When the foam breaks down, you will get black skimmate.>
I am not sure what to do here. Even if I go to the close position the foam reaches the top, but is still clear. I would think that the brown algae would give it a brown color??
<No, the algae is in the tank, the skimmer is removing organics that you cannot see..>
What am I doing wrong?
<You just need to raise the water level - make small adjustments.>
Thanks for the time.
<My pleasure.>

Re: Euro-reef RSA 180 dial in issues & Diatoms 7/23/2009
<Hi Sunny.>
Thanks for the reply. I will adjust the skimmer.
I have been reading all the FAQ on your site for diatoms. However I came across some conflicting opinions. In my tank I have lights on for 10 hours and opposite in the fuge/pump for another 10 hours.
<Sounds good.>
I have a lot of diatoms in the tank when I write this. In some FAQ the suggestion is to cut back the lighting. Where as in some it says to leave lighting alone as cutting back will cause the photosynthesis cycle to be disturbed. I am confused what to do now.
<I would continue with your lighting and let the diatoms bloom and then die off.>
I use RO water. I was using RED SEA salt mix and learned the hard way that it contains a lot of silicates ... I changed to Tropic Marin Pro now and have changed out almost 70% water in 2 weeks.
<That is fine, but there are still silicates in your substrate that will be consumed.>
If I continue with the lights (10 hrs DT) and (10 hrs fuge), will the make the diatoms last longer?? Should I cut back the lights now, keep them off for a week or so and that would help cut diatoms faster?
<They will die back some, best to just let it run its course.>
I feed lightly and have been doing 10% - 15% water changes every 3 days.
<Very good.>
Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, PH 8.1 , SG 1.025 , Alkalinity 11, calcium 450 (calcium checked 3 weeks ago).
<Also very good readings.>

Euro Reef RS 80 "Prototype"  11/17/06 Hello to the crew from Florida, <Jeffrey> This is my first question to WWM and I love the website so I hope you can help. I am new to the saltwater aquarium world of today. I have a 120g tank with just fish and live rock. I bought a Euro Reef RS 80 today that is a little different from the standard one. ( The store closed before I had a chance to set this thing up so I am asking for your help. ) The sales person called it a "prototype promo" and it had a great price. He told me that the size should be more than enough for my tank because they ( Euro Reef) under rate them so much. The difference between Mine and the standard RS 80 is that on the side where the elbow for the riser is instead of a pipe just going up I have a "T"  with a pipe going up and one going down. Instead of raising or lowering the riser pipe you twist the upper pipe to open, close, or somewhere in between (limit) the amount of water that can return to the sump from the skimmer. <Okay> I put the skimmer into the sump as instructed and attached the pump, air intake hose, and riser assembly, closed the air valve and turned it on. With the riser assembly totally open the water level was about ?" up into the skinny part of the neck which based on the sales guys description was too high. <Mmm, no... the water/air/foam level can/should be about an inch below the collector cup junction> If I sealed the upper (vent) pipe with my hand I could get the level down. This is not something I really want to do all day so the water level is where it is. Also, again with the air intake closed, I was getting ? to ? inch sized bubbles coming out of the bottom part (skimmed water exit) of the riser assembly. I have no idea where they could be coming from. I thought maybe this is normal so I began to introduce some after letting it run for an hour without air as instructed. The air came into the skimmer and foam was produced. I let in enough air so the foam would rise just a little into the neck. At the same time there were just many or more tiny bubbles coming out of the skimmer return (bottom of the riser assembly) filling my sump and subsequently my tank. I am pretty sure this a bad thing. <Can be> I can't think of anything else to tell you that might help in your diagnosis of what I'm doing wrong. If there is any thing else you need to know please ask and I will try to answer the best that I can. Thank you very much, Jeff Parker <Is this set-up very new? If so, and even if it's pretty established and just the skimmer itself is new, there is likely going to be a few weeks that need to go by before much in the way of permanent setting can be done. I would count on adjusting the "foam level" to about just below the collector cup, reducing the air mixture/blend accordingly... and hopefully not having to deal much with errant micro-bubble production. Bob Fenner>

Flooding Skimmer - 10/09/06 Hi, I just have a quick question.  I have a Euro-Reef skimmer and it keeps filling the collection cup with water...  I am not sure why this is happening.  The water in the sump is just below the neck of the skimmer... <<Mmm, this is too high>> If you can help me I would appreciate it. <<I own one of these skimmers myself and have experienced this phenomenon when performing maintenance/water changes and the water height in the sump where the skimmer resides rises.  This will cause the skimmer to "flood" because the pumps become more "efficient" due to the fact the rising water level in the sump means they don't have to work as hard to raise the water level in the skimmer.  Though these skimmers will work within a "range" of water heights, a height of about 8" (in the sump/chamber where the skimmer sits) is ideal.  Having the water in the sump "just below the neck of the skimmer" is much too high.  At this height you won't be able to lower the riser tube enough to keep the skimmer from flooding...as you have discovered. If it's not practical to lower the height of the water in the sump, elevate the skimmer so it is sitting in about 8"-10" of water and this should fix your problem>> Adam D. <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Skimmer Choice ... Aqua-C, Euro-Reef  10/7/06 First I'd like to thank all of you for putting up with all of us and our repetitious questions. <Heeeee!> Now for yet another skimmer dilemma.  I've narrowed down my choices, as have many others, to an  Aqua-c 120 or 180, and a Euro-Reef RS100. <Good units/manufacturers> It seems to me as I read through your responses to similar questions that you prefer the Euro-Reef while stating that the Aqua is also a fine choice.   <Mmm, could proffer a more discrete recommendation. Really depends on the sort of system... livestock choices, arrangement, choices of other gear...> Could you be more specific.  Why is the Euro-Reef preferred over the Aqua-C? <The livestock make-up mostly... more crowded, "reef" I'd go with the Euro-Reef product by a small margin... For the vast majority of hobby systems, the Aqua-C is preferable...> Does it produce a more concentrated skimmate ? <Either can out-compete the other depending on adjustment...> Is it easier to adjust? <Mmm, no. Both about the same> Is the NW simply a better way of making tiny bubbles?  Is it simply a more reliable and consistent performer? <Both have their promoters/detractors... do require the same lack of actual attention once set-up...> I have read through countless forums in an effort to sort this out and  have ascertained only that skimmer choice is a leap of faith. <Heeee! This is often the case in pet-fish matters> No one is doing any comprehensive product testing. <These are about, though generally not at all, let alone well-indexed... Most pulp 'zines in our interest don't make their way into citation services... mostly a lack of bibliographies... An issue I've gone over and over with publishers, editors... But Bob Goeman's among others has tested, reported on skimmer "choosing"> That said, I hope you can provide some solid reasons for choosing one over the other. P.S. I'd also consider an H&S if their distribution network was better. Thanks. <Again... there are (IMO, not a matter of any scientific data, testing), no great discernible functional differences twixt these lines... Both do work well in doing what they're intended to do. Bob Fenner, who will further gladly admit that the makers/owners of both companies are indeed also friends>

Euro-Reef Skimmer Pump Options - 07/25/06 Hi- <<Hello>> My approximate 5 year old Euro-Reef skimmer (8 inch diameter, 20 height...no 'model numbers' back then :-)) recently died. <<I'll bet it can be resurrected>> After talking with the Euro-Reef tech support they said I would need to replace it with the Sedra SP3 for $180. <<Mmm, search around...you can find a Sedra 3500 (w/needle wheel) replacement pump for less than half that price (Champion Lighting & Supply)>> I was never crazy about the old pump (put a lot of heat into the sump, often had start up problems) and wanted to consider alternative pumps. <<Okay>> Any way I can use the needle wheel impeller/venture volute from the Sedra on another brand of pump? <<Not likely>> The Euro-Reef tech was obviously a little reluctant to discuss 'unofficial' configurations. <<Indeed>> Suggestions or any other info on alternate pump configurations with Euro-Reef skimmers?  Btw, this is on a 180 gal Oceanic Reef tank, external sump configuration. <<H&S skimmers utilize modified (fitted with a venturi and needle-wheel impeller) Eheim pumps which in my mind would be an excellent alternative to the Sedra pumps.  Aquarium Specialty carries two models ( http://www.aquariumspecialty.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=eheim&categories_id=&inc_subcat=1&manufacturers_id
=&pfrom=&pto=&dfrom=&dto=&x=56&y=9) the 1260 and 1261.  I would love to replace the Sedra pumps on my CS12-3 with a trio of the 1260s, but they come dear at $300 a pop!>> Thanks, Jim <<Regards, Eric Russell>> p.s. I did browse thru your archives first... lots of very good references to Euro-Reef skimmers just nothing specific to this! <<No worries mate, not much really available (in the U.S.) in the way of alternative pump choices till recently.  EricR>> Euro-Reef Skimmer Pump   7/25/06 Hi- My approximate 5 year old Euro-Reef skimmer (8 inch diameter, 20 height... no 'model numbers' back then :-)) recently died.  After talking with the Euro-Reef tech support they said I would need to replace it with the Sedra SP3 for $180.  I was never crazy about the old pump (put a lot of heat into the sump, often had start up problems) and wanted to consider alternative pumps.  Any way I can use the needle wheel impeller from the Sedra on another brand of pump?  The Euro-Reef tech was obviously a little reluctant to discuss 'unofficial' configurations.  Suggestions or any other info on alternate pump configurations with Euro-Reef skimmers?  Btw, this is on a 180 gal Oceanic Reef tank, external sump configuration. Thks, jim PS I did browse thru your archives... lots of very good references to Euro-Reef skimmers just nothing specific to this! <<Jim:  Euro Reef makes a good skimmer and I have one.  That said, when my Sedra 3500 crapped out a few months ago, I was shocked at the price they quoted me as a registered owner for a replacement part.  I shopped around and picked up one from saltycritter.com with a brand new Sedra 3500 with a needle wheel included for about half the price.  Everything works fine and I don't see a difference between the 2 units.  Other reefers have shared similar replacement part stories with me and they have successfully used other vendors.  Best of luck, Roy>> Re: Euro-Reef Skimmer Pump   7/31/06 Roy (FAQ Crew)- Thanks for the helpful reply.  I notice the CS180 (which is equivalent to my skimmer) now comes with a SP4 which is a GenX4100 at about 1000 gal/hr. Looks like I can pick up a Sedra 9000 with needlewheel (I'm assuming that also includes the volute/venturi) for about $100 at salt critter which seems to have about equivalent capacity as the GenX.  Should I be ok just moving 'up' to the Sedra 9000 with the CS180 skimmer body?  Else I can just pickup the direct replacement for my current Sedra 5000 (which crapped out) but would prefer to go with the bigger pump since EuroReef now seems to configure that way.  I'm a bit concerned with height mismatch between the bigger pump and the drilled hole in the side of the skimmer body.  Can I use a bit of flex pipe to navigate or will the extra length between the pump and skimmer body greatly diminish the efficiency (i.e. too many bubbles sheared in the pipe transit)?  Other suggestions for transition between pump output and skimmer body input? Thanks again for your insight... jim <<Jim:  I'm not enough of an equipment expert to recommend a Do It Yourself "DIY" modification.  There is a pretty extensive DIY forum on www.reefcentral.com  I'll bet that others have tried the same modifications you're thinking about.  Another option would be to talk to the vendor and see if they can recommend, or walk you through, the modification. Best of luck, Roy>> Skimmate...Stinking Up House  6/15/06 I am running a Euroreef skimmer in my new 240 gallon fish tank and it is located in our front room. As it collects skimmate throughout the day the front room of our house begins to smell bad. I empty the cup in the morning, but by the time I get home from work it is rather smelly in the front room.  Do you have any suggestions on reducing the odor? Perhaps there is some sort of air filter I can put on the vent holes of the skimmers lid? Any help is greatly appreciated. <Try placing a piece of PolyFilter over the top of the collection cup.  May want to check with Euroreef to see if a carbon cub is available to place over the collection cup.  Some companies offer this for use with ozone generators.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks! <You're welcome.>

Euro-Reef Skimmers - Internal?/External? - 03/09/06 Hello Gentleman.... <<Ladies here too...Hello Ted>> Looking at Euro-Reef Model CS 180 w/sp4 Modified Gen-X 4100. <<I am a big fan of Euro-Reef skimmers.>> Also the RS180, but have heard they are quite noisy (the recirculating one). <<Really?...hadn't heard this before.>> Which one do you prefer? <<My personal experience is with the internal/in-sump models.  I have a CS12-3 which I find runs very quiet and performs very well.  I've heard the external models more efficient, but hadn't heard about the noise issue...though it makes sense that they would be a "bit" noisier due to the fact the pump(s) are exposed and not as "muffled" as a submerged pump.  To get to your question, my preference is internal/in-sump skimmers just as a safety net if things go awry/leaks develop...all gets contained in the sump.  But I think you could choose either type to fit your needs and be fine.>> I will have to go outside, as there is not enough room in the sump. <<Ah, external model then.>> Tank is 150 gallons.  If a choice other than, how about the AQUA-C (which model?), even though I would rather go Euro-Reef. <<AquaC is another fine choice, though like you, my preference would be the ER.  As for which model, the manufacturers guideline/recommendation is pretty reliable with these two manufacturers.>> Thanks so much for your time, it is very much appreciated !!! Ted <<Is my pleasure Ted.  Regards, EricR>>

Skimmer Choice - 02/14/06 Greetings..... <<Good evening>> I have a question that I can't find the right answer to. <<Ok>> I have read the articles on protein skimmers , and you really like Euro-Reef. <<I really do.>> My question is, that I will go for that, but want your opinion before I buy this. <<Sure>> I have a 150 gallon reef with 170 lbs. of live rock, a 4" DSB, and will have about 7-10 small fish. <<Sounds good.>> Would you get the CS8-3 -175 gal., or the CS180-180 gal ?? <<Not familiar with a CS180...but the CS8-3 will be quite adequate for your application.>> I will probably have to go external, as I don't have a lot of sump room for the footprint. <<The CS8-3 External will also serve well here.>> Or would you pick another size or brand? <<Is up to you (AquaC, ASM, Precision Marine, and more, worthy of your attention), but I would be perfectly happy with the EuroReef skimmer.>> Thanks so much for your time and effort.... Ted Stasso <<Happy to help Ted. Regards, EricR >>

Protein skimmer operation  11/18/05 I've been on the web site reading about protein skimmers & system set up. When you refer to the skimmer needing "raw tank water", what exactly do you mean? <Mmm, an indication of "where" the skimmer should be placed in a series of operations/modes of filtration. That is, "near the front", with the newest (raw) water... ahead of mechanical, biological filtration> Is this water that has not gone through a pre-filter, filter sock, etc? <Mmm, in general, yes... though I do like using these first myself...> Also, do you know of a good web site to purchase Euro-reef skimmers? Thanks --- Corey <I'd try the etailers Custom Aquatic, Marine Depot, Dr.s Foster & Smith if you know the model you want. Bob Fenner> 

Replacing Sedra with?  11/12/2005 Hi I did a search but couldn't find it, I'm looking to replace my Sedra 3500 on my ER CS2-6 skimmer for something  stronger other than the Sedra 5000 , any recommendations? Thanks <Yes... and I do wish Jeff and Bob Macare (the owners, managers of EuroReef) would have never changed... from the larger Eheim pumps... you can find these described on the Eheim site: http://eheim.com/.  Bob Fenner> 

Which Skimmer? - 09/22/05 Hey guys, <<Hey>> I am in the process of selecting equipment for a 55 gallon FOWLR set-up and I am trying to decide which Euroreef skimmer model I should go with. <<Excellent skimmers. have one myself.>> I had been considering purchasing the CS6-1 model which is rated for up to 100 gallons.  However, I was told the following by someone from the wetwebmedia chat forum:   " It's "ok" as skimmers go. IMO the 6-2+ is a much better unit. The 6-1 and 6-2 are "under pumped" IME.  I frankly think the 5-2 is a better unit b/c you get a better match of the chamber and the pump in the 5-2 than the 6-1." Would you guys agree with the preceding opinion?   <<Generally speaking...yes...bigger skimmers of the same type usually perform better than smaller ones...doesn't mean the CS6-1 won't perform well on your system though.>> What Euroreef skimmer model would you recommend for my setup? <<I would go with the manufacturers recommendation in this instance, plus one size up...which I think you have done...>> And what size sump would you guys recommend for the skimmer?  Thanks! Gary The biggest you can possibly utilize... EricR>>

Which Skimmer? II - 09/25/05 Thanks Eric. <<Welcome>> Would you agree that the CS5-2 is a better unit than the CS6-1 even though the CS6-1 is the bigger skimmer because the CS5-2 supposedly has a better match of the chamber and the pump than the 6-1. <<Not necessarily, this manufacturer does a pretty good job of sizing/matching their skimmers.  I think if you follow their recommendations on tank size for a particular skimmer you'll be fine.>> Does this mean that the 5-2 would outperform the 6-1 and remove more skimmate? <<On a particular size system...maybe.>> I might solve this whole dilemma by just getting the CS6-2+ which is rated for 125 gal.  This may be the best skimmer of this group and even though I only have a 55 gal. tank its better to overskim than underskim. <<The "threat" of over skimming is overrated in my opinion.  Nothing to worry about in your case for sure.>> This skimmer would also give me more flexibility for when and if I decide to get a larger tank in the future.  Your thoughts on all of this and your advice is greatly appreciated. Gary <<If you think you will upgrade to the larger tank then I would get the larger skimmer now...else...the CS5-2 will likely serve you well.  The final decision is up to you... EricR>>

Euro Reef Skimmer Selection 08/28/05 Thank you in advance for your advice.  I have a 100g reef tank with a 30g euro fill sump.  I have approximately  100lbs. of live rock.    Which Euro Reef Model do you recommend and why?  I am considering the CS 6-2 plus or the CS 8-1.  Either will fit in the sump.  I am replacing a Top Fathom 110A Skimmer which never has produced very much. <<Euro Reef makes excellent skimmers and both the CS6-2 and the CS8-1would be good choices. Not knowing anything about your system or your financial situation, I would suggest you read the Skimmers FAQ here at WWM so you can determine which skimmer is more suited to your situation.>> Thanks, Gary <<You're welcome. Cheers - Ted>> Euro-reef Skimmer Hello Guys, <Hi there> Great site and thanks for the wealth of information. Quick question on Euro-reef skimmers. Would a cs8-4-rc model be too much for a 175G Oceanic bow-front running off a ecosystem 3616 (BTW, any idea how many gallons the 3616 is? - I'm thinking about 40G)? <Mmm, see the dimensions... http://www.ecosystemaquarium.com/html/sumps_kits.html  multiplied... divided by 231 cubic inches per gallon... is about 40... 44.8> System is currently being set-up, but will eventually contain SPS and other corals as well as several fish (don't know how many yet). Thanks. <Would not be too large a skimmer. Bob Fenner> 

Refugium and Euro-Reef Skimmer Hello guys,  <Hello Gary> I have a Euro-Reef CS12-1 Skimmer that I will use in my 75-gallon refugium that will be a 200-gallon FOWLR aquarium, however I have a problem with the water height in the refugium is 15", which is causing a higher level of water in the sump where the skimmer is located. The height under the aquarium is 30" and the height of the skimmer is 24". I cannot place the sump outside of the stand because a higher power (wife) says I cannot, everything needs to be hidden. The baffles in the refugium are 14", 16", and 14" before the DSB and then 14", 16", 14" on exit to the return pumps 2 - MAG-18. Here are my questions: if I lower the baffles in the refugium, try to raise the skimmer height in the sump could I possibly get the desired height of 6" - 8" for the skimmer, or will this be too low of a level for the refugium? If this does not work, should I switch to a Wet/Dry design, with LR in the tower and place the skimmer before the return pumps? Your help is really appreciated.  <Gary, why can't the skimmer be placed outside the refugium and pump the water to it? It would save a lot of fooling around. James (Salty Dog)>  Thank you <You're welcome> 

Refugium and Euro-Reef Skimmer - II James, The scenario you speak of is to:  1) flow the water from the tank to the sump with skimmer in it, to the refugium and then to return to the tank.  <Either to the tank or the refugium. Yes, what's behind door #1 was my thinking.>  2) Flow the water to the refugium, pump some of the water to the sump with skimmer and then pump it back to the refugium. <You could do this also.>  3) Or would the water to the skimmer be in a loop, water from the refugium going to the skimmer in its sump, then back to refugium. Did I further confuse you?  <Not confused, what you want to eliminate is modifying the refugium just to use your skimmer.>  I wish I could draw this for you, but my computer skills are not that good. <Either are mine.>  Right now I have the skimmer in a sump that receives water from the tank and then everything flows through the refugium to the return pumps, but the water height in the sump is above the suggested height Euro-Reef recommends. The skimmer sits in a sump, presently. I guess I do not have a full grasp of the refugium filtration.  <Now I'm confused, but I think I see the picture. Whenever you use pumps to equalize or try to equalize levels, it is difficult if not impossible to control. I'm thinking, why can't you connect the sump to the refugium with a 1 1/2 piece of PVC at the level you want, with bulkhead fittings on sump and on refugium. That way gravity will maintain the level in both containers. Then pump your water out of the refugium into the tank. I hope this makes sense to you, if not we'll keep going till it's right. James (Salty Dog)> 

Protein Skimmer selection, laxness in using WWM Hi there, <Ramy> Thanks for your reply. I have a question about protein skimmers. How do you compare the Euro-Reef type to the Berlin turbo ???? <The former are superior in design, construction, engineering, function> I have seen that reef system, hooked up to a large Euro-reef skimmer and the water is really crystal clear. The guy uses it together with a huge refugium system with Caulerpa and his corals are very healthy.  Another question, I totally eliminated the use of a trickle filter, I will just have a 30 gal refugium for my 150 gal reef. Is that a good idea, I have seen a well known pet store here in Canada and they are still using and promoting the trickles or wet/dry filters.  What is your opinion ? Thank you. <Please use the search tool, indices to go over these inputs on www.WetWebMedia.com what you ask and what you will ask or want to know is already posted there... over and over. Bob Fenner>

EuroReef Skimmer Question  Hi, I have a newly set up reef system (about 3.5 months) 50 gallons with a 10 gal sump.  I have had a previously setup reef before recently moving.  So I have been using a EuroReef E-series skimmer (not sure which one, but one rated for about 90 gal).  I have not had any problems with it ever since I bought it. <Problems and complaints are few and far between with these outstanding skimmers.> My nitrates have also been undetectable, as well as ammonia, nitrites, and phosphate.  Coral and fish in the tank look great. I have noticed the past 2 weeks that the skimmer would overflow bubbles from the reaction chamber.  The foam level is also lower.  Bubbles just flow out of the outlet port, and am worried that something has happened to the skimmer somewhere.  Sometimes by unplugging it (during maintenance cleaning, at least 2 times a week) the problem resolves, but today it seems to continue, and has been doing this overnight.  I know it's definitely not skimming cause I have very little to no skimmate.  Please advise.  Thanks. Fil  <Although it sounds counter intuitive, I would guess that your air inlet is partially blocked.  This causes the water flow to dramatically increase through the skimmer, reducing foam production but because of the increased flow, more bubbles exit with the effluent.  I would suggest removing the skimmer and following the manufacturers instructions for running the skimmer in vinegar along with a good break down and scrubbing.  Best Regards.  AdamC.> Supersizing skimmers Hey Crew! What bad thing could really happen if I were to use an euro-reef skimmer rated up to 3 to 4  times larger then what my system is?  LFS says it will pull too many  trace elements. Is that really true? >>I would have no problem running such an oversized skimmer on my system, and would worry at all about it removing trace elements>> I plan 3.5 % daily water changes. do you think this would do the trick in renewing the trace elements? >>There are a couple of schools of thought about this. Some say that the nearly continuous water changes always keep new water coming in while some say that small water changes aren't big enough to actually have any impact. How big is your system?>> >>Rich>>

- Skimmer Set-up - Hello, I have a Euro Reef ES5-2 running in a sump. I have it situated such that the water level is a constant height by placing the skimmer in it's own dedicated area. The inlet for the pump sits a couple of inches below the surface. Based on research the inlet should be within the top 1 inch. I contacted euro reef and they said this wasn't a huge concern. Anyway, I wanted to ensure that the raw overflow was getting into the skimmer so I placed the hoses from the overflow box directly over the pump inlet. Is this going to cause any problems with operating efficiency since the water is flowing directly over the pump inlet? <Think this will work fine - might catch some air from time to time, but that shouldn't cause any trouble. Might make it a little more noisy than is typical, but not really a big deal.> Secondly, should I raise the protein skimmer such that the pump is sitting in the top 1 inch of water or alternatively devise some sort of box which allows for the top 1 inch to flow into it from which the pump will draw the water from? <The box for the pump is the better plan.> Thanks, -Brent <Cheers, J -- >

Euroreef Skimmer Question 3/28/04 I am calling on your help since; 1. Euroreef has never returned my question (extremely disappointed), 2. You have been a great help in the past - excellent site. I recently added a 15 gallon sump to my 55 gallon FOWLR tank.  It is a three compartment sump. First is raw water w/ New Euroreef 6-1 skimmer, then goes through filter sponge into a compartment w/live sand, then goes into the third compartment w/return pump. I was having a hair algae problem prior to adding the sump.  My nitrates were a little high, which I believe was the cause.  I tested the water the day after installing the sump and all parameters were, and still are zero. My issue is:  The Euroreef skimmer is not skimming like I think it should. I would think with all the hair algae in the tank the thing should be going bonkers.  The water level stays consistent at 7 3/4" in the skimmer compartment.   <this is very good/important> I have to have the riser pipe almost as high as it goes to get any foam production.  The first week I barely got anything out, since then, I may get a 1/8" in the cup every other day. <better performance is likely/possible here> have adjusted up/down, from dry foam to wet foam, and cannot get much of anything into the cup.  However, gunk collects on the inside of the tube just before it reaches the top. I will say that the hair algae is dying off very well and my water has never looked so good.  All water parameters are still zero. >the installation sounds very good overall... I'm only wondering about how the water is overflow. If through drilled overflow holes (ideally back wall... not a floor/well which interferes with stratified protein rich water over-flowed) then all good. But if only though a single hole (limited concentration of proteins)... or worst of all - a siphon overflow tube drawing from many cm below the surface, then therein lies your problem> Do you think that my water is at a point where there is not much to skim?   <not very likely in most tanks... and certainly not yours with hair algae as evidence of a nutrient excess> I am confused that the skimmer is not producing much, however, the tank is continuing to greatly improve and has never looked so good.  What do you think? Much appreciated, Dennis Nolan <test the skimmer for a design flaw by adding a small amount of Novaqua water conditioner or like product with colloids in it. Be home for several hours afterwards, the skimmer should foam like mad. If not, there is a flaw somewhere. Best of luck, Anthony> Euroreef Skimmer Question 3/28/04 Thanks for QUICK response!!  I am using a siphon overflow.   <ah-ha! I knew it <G>. There really was not many other possible explanations for your thoughtful installation of this very fine skimmer. The problem here is that a siphon overflow pulls thicker/deeper water off the surface than a drilled overflow and as such has diluted concentrations of proteins. Really miserable delivery of raw water to even the best skimmers> I had to w/o tear down and drilling holes in glass tank.  Do you think I need to adjust the overflow box to better skim more surface water? <yes... aim for the thinnest water possible. This can be done by having a larger/wider over flow that stretches the surface area that the same X gph of water is drawn over> Should I also remove the prefilter sponge from the overflow?   <oh, my goodness! I did not realize there was a pre-filter. This will cripple any skimmer... absolutely cripple. All skimmers need unrestricted raw water to work best> I have not due to large particles of hair algae dying off.  I did not want to overwhelm the sump and skimmer pump with this algae.  Your thoughts? Thanks again, Dennis Nolan <I seriously am uncomfortable with siphon overflows. I'd rather run a  tank without them (top mounted skimmers and no sump if necessary). They will generally fail in time. I have half joked often that I will not sleep in a house with a siphon overflow (fail/fire hazard... ha!). Anthony>

- Skimmers and Skimmate - Hello again. I have a question about my skimmer.  Here goes, It is a Euroreef CS6-1 (I got it due to researching on your site), I know how much skimmate I should be getting but I don't know how to adjust it to get these results. <Hmm... I hope you haven't been going by those silly "cup of coffee a day" recommendations that I've seen bandied about on our site. While well intentioned, it is beyond misleading to suggest that any/all skimmers MUST PRODUCE a certain amount and consistency of foam in order to be working correctly. In fact ALL systems are different, and as a result ALL skimmers will perform differently. There are many factors that will affect this, but by and large - any skimmate is better than none, regardless of it's color or consistency.> I have tried to pull the tube up for more bubbles and even down for less bubbles but I am only getting about 1/2 to 3/4 inch at most per week!  My 55 gallon tank is set up so it overflows into a 6 gallon garbage pail with the skimmer in it, then overflows to a 10 gallon tank to get activated carbon and filtered (by Eheim 2215), then pumped back to main tank through a Mag 7. Knowing the crew has experience with this skimmer any help on adjusting or tips/ secrets would be great (nitrates are higher than I want at 20-30ppm and have been this way too long, increasing skimmate will lower nitrate...right?) <Uhh, not directly - skimmers can remove some compounds that will break down to produce nitrates, but skimmers won't remove nitrates directly. Would suggest you start changing more water than you typically do, and perhaps even increase the frequency. Do think that perhaps your skimmer is working as well as it can in this system.> (I even got a clam to help with nitrates!!)  I also use Kalkwasser to help skimmer and I use only DI or RO water for 20% weekly changes. Thanks for all the help.  Sincerely a NO3 hater!  P.S. The crew should make house calls! No joke!  <That's what maintenance companies are for. Cheers, J -- >

Skimmer questions 4/14/04 I have a EuroReef cs6-1 skimmer in my sump.  I only get about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of skimmate per week!  Is there any tips you can give me to adjust this skimmer?  I have heard people using this skimmer and getting MUCH more skimmate than that! <This may be just fine depending on the size of the tank and stocking levels.  If your tank is 75 gallons or less and lightly stocked, the skimmer may be pulling out all most of the organic wastes that are being produced.> I have also tried to adjust the pipe up for more bubbles and down for less but I see no difference.  How deep of water should it be in, mine is in about 11", too deep? <This may a bit too deep.  I believe that Euroreef recommends no more than 9" deep.  Check your instructions or www.euroreef.com.  If it should be shallower, you can always prop it up on something.  I adjust my cs6-1 so that when I have just cleaned the cup and it is bubbling, but not making foam, the froth rises to about the middle of the union connection in the neck of the skimmer.> My nitrates have always been around 20-30 and I blame this on the skimmer not being adjusted properly.   <This isn't the place to lay the blame.  A properly functioning skimmer will help reduce the organic load and therefore indirectly will have a small effect on nitrate, but proper biological filtration is required too keep it below the range you are reporting.  I will need a description of your system and filtration to try and help track down the cause of your nitrates.> All other husbandry is done on schedule.  I have also tried to use Kalk to  help but it seems to not have much of an effect.  Please help I can not stand these levels of nitrate much longer! <Kalk will have little effect on skimmer performance.> I also paid good money for this skimmer and know it should be doing more (due to what I have read on your/other sites).  Any help will be greatly appreciated!!! <My hunch is that your skimmer is performing fine.  Please do write back with the tank size, stocking levels, feeding routine, water change routine, results of any water testing (salinity, pH, alkalinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate), a description of the system (live rock?, sand?) and any other filtration employed and we can get this figured out.> Thanks for the great site and all recent help.  (And Anthony's book, can't stop reading it!)  Sincerely, Blaine, a nitrate hater <Thanks for the kind words, I will pass them along to Anthony.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Euro Reef Skimmer! Hi guys hope u guys are doing well I have a question which regards to the ever popular Euro Reef Skimmer I been using the C6-2 for years and been happy with it with a mud like substance every 2-3 days and literally have to clean it twice a day and recently upgraded to c8-2 which is bigger in diameter but same height as my old one I have a 180 SPS system by the way and a question came to my mind about these 2 that they both use Sedra 500 pump,  yet the two are rated differently in terms of the size of the tank. Another words how can a larger diameter C8-2 be better than C6-2 where they both use same rated pump of 500 gal/hour? <A larger diameter chamber would allow a bigger water column for the bubbles to work in.> The weird part is that I am now getting less skimmate now that I upgraded to C8-2 Is it because it is new? <I would think so, most skimmers have a break in period of from days to weeks, see what's it's up to in a month or two before making an final judgments. Some skimmers have oil left on them after manufacture.> Thanks guys in advance! <You're welcome, have a good night, PF>

Skimmer <Hello. My name is Steven Pro. Anthony Calfo and I are helping Bob out for awhile answering some of the daily questions.> I just got a G2 skimmer for my 180 gallon mix SPS and soft coral and was wondering if this is big enough of a unit. <My catalog rates the G2 up to 200 gallons.> I had a Turboflotor before. Also, its been in my system for two days and no skimmate yet, is this normal for a new unit. <I would not say normal. If this persists for a few more days, something is not right. Are you getting an accumulation in the neck of the skimmer?> Also what is the difference between the G2 and the Euroreef models, because they look alike? <My understanding is that Euro-Reef was subcontracting parts out to another company. That company decided to make their own skimmers from the Euro-Reef design and call them the G-Series. You can read Euro-Reef's statement here http://www.euro-reef.com/G-Series.htm> Thanks Bob. <You are welcome and happy skimming. -Steven Pro>

Euroreef 6/2 I did buy a Euroreef skimmer with a noisy Sedra 5000 pump, want to upgrade to the best pump on the market for my skimmer. Please advise. <The first thing I would do is contact customer service at Euro-Reef. You can find some contact info on their webpage at http://www.euro-reef.com/> Thanks Tom <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Foam Fractionator CEO of Aquatic Engineers called and made another suggestion for eliminating bubbles... Plumb a second sump in-line after the Ecowheel, which would gravity fill. Then, pump the water out of this second sump for return to the tank. This gives the bubbles a chance to precipitate (more correctly, the opposite of precipitate I guess, but I don't know what that word would be) before being returned to the main tank. I could also put the foam tray you describe vertically in the second sump to further reduce the bubbles. <And grants you a location to situate your skimmer!> 1) Do you think this will dramatically reduce bubbles? <Yes... I would add the foam, filter media tray in-between... that I mentioned in this string> 2) This WOULD provide a spot to sneak in a protein skimmer. Any recommendation for a small skimmer that can efficiently handle a high capacity? Space is very much at a premium, so footprint of the skimmer is important. Also, stand interior height is only about 28".  <Hmm, yes, the same suggestion... a Euro-Reef... get it with two Eheim's... you will be very pleased...> Lastly, the tank is in a living area, so the skimmer needs to be very quiet operating. I know that's asking for a lot, but I figure you've seen 'em all. <This is the best choice on the planet... Bob Fenner> J.D. Hill

Is This Skimmer A Winner? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Just a quick question.  My LFS wants to set me up with a G-2x skimmer by All Seas Marine.  I know that almost everybody at WWM likes the Euro Reef skimmers.  Is this (G-2x) a good skimmer or should I fork out the $ for an Euro Reef. <Well, at least superficially, the G Series skimmers resemble Euro-Reef skimmers. I know several hobbyists who use them, and they have been quite satisfied with the results. I am a big fan of EuroReef, but these appear to be of good quality, too.> I want to support my LFS and he seems to be a truthful person.  I haven't been able to find reviews on the All Seas skimmer.  If your recommendation is for a Euro Reef, could you please recommend me a model.  I will have a 150 gallon tank with a 60 gallon sump.  I would prefer an in sump skimmer.  Thanks for your time and great site.  Dan <I think that you should support your local store. As I mentioned above, I have not heard anything negative about these skimmers. If you trust them, go for it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Which Skimmer Is The Winner? (Protein Skimmer Choices) Thanks crew for the triple response!! <A big "You're welcome" on behalf of the Crew who responded to your query!> So this weekend I will order the skimmer and have bumped my waterchanges up from 5 gallons on Sunday to also include 5 gallons on Wednesday as well... <Wow! A water-change junkie like me! Your animals will benefit, believe me!> The CPR is sold, so unable to connect a skimmer until the new one arrives.. <Keep up the water changes> So I've narrowed it down to either the Euroreef ES5-3 or the ETSS Super Reef Devil I have an Iwaki 40RLT), space is kinda an issue and the Euroreef is 24" opposed to 20" - I know it's only 4 inches but I don't have much room to work with and I feel the ES5-2 will be too small if I upgrade to a larger tank which seems to be the trend..  Reading your responses on Protein skimmers, you guys REALLY like Euro-reef, but how would the ETSS (with Iwaki) match up??? <As someone who has used both, I can tell you that they both have their merits. I currently use an ETSS on my reef tank, and if I had to do it all over again, I would have went with a Euroreef, hands down. ETSS are great skimmers, but they are very fussy, take a while to adjust, and require a pressure-rated pump to operate efficiently. Once dialed in, they are extremely high-performance units, and are built well. Euroreef, on the other hand, are basically "plug and play" right out of the box! They use highly efficient pumps, produce massive amounts of skimmate, and are just an outstanding skimmer for any system.> One last question - the top inch of my 3 inch sandbed has begun to develop many bubbles which are visible through the glass which slowly work to the top and then are released to the surface..  Any clue on what this is, or is the sand just settling since the tank is less than a month old?? <Looks like you're simply witnessing the denitrifying effects of a hard-working sandbed. I wouldn't be overly concerned.> Thanks! Brad <My pleasure, Brad! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Skimmer Selection... I am sorry to bother you again and would like your expert opinion. <Never a bother! Scott F. with you today!> I have narrowed my search down to a Euro-Reef CS12-1 or a CS12-2. I would like to know which one you think would be the best skimmer for my reef? My setup is a 330g tank and a 60g sump. I have a mixture of SPS and LPS, as well as some leathers and clams. The actual system has 250g of water after the rock displacement. I have a light bioload not many fish. I appreciate your help once again. Thanks, Ian <Well, Ian- if cost is not the primary factor, I'd certainly suggest the larger model. Both are excellent skimmers, but I'd go for the larger one; it will allow you to stay on top of things if you decide to change directions (like going FOWLR, etc...). Not that we EVER do that in this hobby, huh? LOL. Regards, Scott F>

-Skimmer opinion- Hello Crew! I'd like to have your opinion on which Euro-Reef skimmer would be suitable for a 375 gal. reef system?  Overall system capacity with sump and 'fuge will be between 450-500 gal.. <I trust Euro-reef's recommendation, which would be the CS12-3.>  E-tailers have differing opinions, would like to have yours. <Since this is a rather large system, I would go with two undersized skimmers instead of one large one (no interruption of skimming after a cleaning, better efficiency because of differing skimmer designs, etc). If this idea was viable for ya, I'd suggest a CS8-5 and maybe a Precision Marine Bullet 2 or 3. Just a thought.> I would also like to know what you think about using dechlorinated but otherwise untreated tap water (and appropriate salt mix) for the initial tank fill? <Eh...> Obviously processing enough R/O (24 gpd unit) will be a slow and tedious task for the initial fill. <True, but why not simply upgrade the unit? All you need to do is replace the membrane (Kent now makes a high flow 100gpd membrane) and restrictor with one of the appropriate flow.>  Since the tank will be cycling for a while is there really any deleterious effect from this approach? <Well, think about it this way. Do you really want to deal with an algae problem in 375g of water? I think you know the answer here, although at your rate it will take around 20 days (minimum!) to get this thing full... Good luck and happy filling! -Kevin> Regards, Eric

Protein Skimmer Selection >Which one of these would you recommend on 180 gal?  I have the ETSS 800 downdraft but not sure if I like it. Euro-Reef CS 12-1 Aqua -C EV240 >>Without a doubt, the Euro-Reef! >ETSS 800 was producing lots of skimmate 1/2 gal plus a day now get maybe 1/2 gal week.  This is a 180 gal. >>It's not just about size, dear (sorry, I couldn't resist), it's about QUALITY.  This thing may be producing lots of skimmate, but is it the NASTIEST possible stuff on earth?  Does it curl your hair?  Make your eyes water?  If not, it's not "the good schtuff".  Euro-Reef, baby! >4" sand bed 200 lbs live rock SPS coral, some fish and a few clams >>Hhmm.. something lacking there with "some fish". >Mixed crabs and snails DKH 12-14 Use Korallin reactor Calcium 340 Nitrates, nitrites, phosphates. ND Temp 77.4 to 78 before lights and after lights Use Salifert test kits check every thing Ph 8.4 am 8.6 to 8.7 pm with Hanna meter Salt 1.024 with refractometer Light 3-400 watt HQI 2-110 watt actinic Have too much algae, Sailfin blenny always has full belly.  Not much coralline algae seems slow to grow.  I have an Acropora that has grown from around 5" tall by 4" dia to around 10" tall and 10-12" in diameter in around 4- months. >>Wow, GREAT growth on the Acro.. on one hand some might say that your calcium is a wee bit low, but honestly I couldn't criticize it.  I suppose you could try tweaking it, but in my own opinion you're probably in this to grow the corals, not the coralline.  Search our site for more info, specifically by Anthony Calfo on the calcium issue. >Had one clam gap and die others doing well.  Just can not get rid of enough of the algae, not worried about getting rid of all of it, tangs and blenny eating.  Hope this is not too long. >>Nope, we just like a little punctuation now and then (ribbing you).  Consider a small tropical abalone, I think a system your size could do a good job of supporting it.  However, I'd wait till you have the new skimmer and let it kick in for a month or two, then see how the algae issue is doing.  Marina >Thanks Bruce

Euro-reef 1/8/03 What model of Euro-reef skimmer would you recommend for a 90 gallon reef  tank?  I don't have any corals now, but would like to house LPS and SPS (hopefully some Acro species) in the future.  Their website lists "ideal  tank size" specs, but many manufacturers are more than a little generous  with this number.  I was leaning towards the CS8-1 (rated to 135 gallon), but the CS6-1 (rated to 100 gallon) and especially the new ES5-3 (rated to 90 gallon) are far more economically priced (partly because they use a  SEDRA3500 pump rather than the SEDRA5000, I'm sure).  You opinions would be  greatly appreciated. <I am currently using a CS6-2 on my heavily stocked 135.  I am in favor of light skimming, and this fits the bill.  If you want more typical skimming on your 90, either the CS6-2 or CS8-1 would probably work well for typical stocking.  The ES5-3 would probably be on the light side.  HTH!  Adam> Thanks, Jeremy

Re: Euro-reef 1/10/04 Heavily stocked with what though?  I know Acro's need pristine water to thrive. <Hmmmm...  Largely a myth, IMO.  The tank I described contains these fish: five medium tangs and four miscellaneous small fish and these corals: leathers, Alveopora, Goniopora, Montipora, elegance, Euphyllias and a few acros.  All are doing well.  Even a heavily skimmed reef tank is far from "pristine" by wild reef standards.  Acros like all corals need food, and while reducing dissolved nutrients, skimming also very efficiently removes the particulates (detritus (AKA "marine snow"), planktonic organisms, etc.) that serve as food for all corals, including Acros.  In  many "SPS" tanks that are very heavily skimmed, the owners target feed the corals to mimic the conditions on the reef...very low dissolved organics, but a whole lot of plankton, marine snow, etc.  Acros are more sensitive to general water quality than a lot of other corals, but super-skimming isn't the only way to have good water quality.  My tank gets monthly 25% water changes, gets occasional carbon and because of all of the fast growing animals, has a lot of uptake by those animals. I did not mention my 92gal tank that contains mostly "SPS" and is totally un-skimmed.  Nutrients are managed through water changes and an algae turf scrubber.  I am a big fan of skimming, and think it is an important tool in managing nutrients, but you must fist decide on a philosophy which takes into consideration the type of animals you are going to keep, the kind of food they require and your overall strategy for managing dissolved nutrients.  HTH and doesn't lead to more confusion!  Adam>

Re: Euro Reef skimmers Greetings Crew, I have a quick question.  I was checking into availability and price of the euro-reef cs6-1 and found out the prices usually run at about $290.  During my search I called "Jeff's Exotic fish".  They carry Euro Reef, but out of stock, but they told me that they make the exact skimmers in their acrylic shops to the exact specification, using the same Sedra pumps and Needle Wheel impellers, with the same performance, etc. for about %20 lower price.  I was wondering if you know anything about them, and whether their claim is correct. <Well, there are "knock-offs" of the Euroreef skimmers about... but I would not be interested in saving twenty dollars (less than ten percent) by buying one. I have known the Macare's (Jeff and his dad Bob) who own Euroreef for several years... their products are well designed, built and they have very good customer service. These qualities deserve support. Bob Fenner> Thanks Amir

Re: Euro Reef skimmers Hello Bob, Thanks for the information.  It wasn't really the matter of saving actually $60 that I was considering buying one of those knockoff's, but the fact that every site that I have checked, the CS6-1 is not in stock.  I will hold off till one becomes available. Thanks again. Amir <You show wisdom and patience. Both good traits. Bob Fenner>

Re: Euro Reef skimmers Hi Bob, Thanks again.  I am very excited about finally getting the equipment going for my tank.  I have the overflow and the light to figure out and I am ready for the test  run. Thanks for putting my mind at ease on the skimmer and the pump.   In regard to the lighting, the link you referred me to is I believe where I read the bit about vita-lite full spectrum, and alas you mentioned that they are not available any more.  However, maybe I missed some information in there that I can use.  I will read it again.  I very much would like to avoid the MH technology if I can. <You can, especially if the water (note, not tank depth) is less than a couple feet deep> thanks again for your time and having this site available to us folks. <You're welcome.> Have a good night. Amir <I just woke up! Bob Fenner>

Re: Euro Reef skimmers Greetings Bob, Thanks for your reply.  I just found a CS6-1 in stock at Reef Fanatic and am in process of ordering it.    While I have your ears, I was wondering if you could answer another question for me.   I had sent this but my mail must have got lost as I have not heard any comments about it.  It would be great if you could clear some of these issues for me, as I am really confused now. I have been reading your web site FAQs and other people's questions and your answers and they have been a great help in answering a lot of my questions, but some of them are actually creating more questions. <This happens> About 10 years ago, in my previous life I had a 75G reef, with trickle down filter, bioballs, home made skimmer, and MH light.  I would like to get back to setting up a reef system again, and I know a lot of things have changed, so have been reading up on your web site trying to figure out what are the essential equipments that I need to get.  I think the issue of the skimmer is settled, except I am not so sure what to use for a return pump.  I have been thinking about Eheim 1260 or the Iwaki MD30RLXT.  I like Iwaki pumps as I have used them before, but I can not place them in the sump.  Do you think the Eheim would be a good pump for returning water to a 75G tank, with a EuroReef CS6-1? <Yes> On lighting, I was reading lots of favorable comments by you regarding the Vita-lite full spectrum bulbs. <No longer made though> I was pretty much convinced that is the way to go, as my previous experiment with MH was not that great, with the expense, heat, and fan noise, until comments from Steven Pro praising MH is the best way to go for "bang for the buck", and referring to Yoshi's articles. <Depends on how one defines "bang". MH can produce the most useful photonic energy per watt consumed, and even per total dollar invested (energy, fixture, lamps...). But do you want to supply all the other necessary elements to get the "whole bang"? W/o calcium and alkalinity in abundance, magnesium balanced, sufficient CO2... MH use becomes limited in its actual functional effectiveness.> Since I regard you and Steven as great experts, this has caused a great confusion.  Will you please advise and clear up the confusion. <For optimizing growth, color of biomineralizing photosynthetic life, MH are king, but only by doing more in the way of supplying many other factors are they "worth it" functionally (aesthetics is a totally different consideration... "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"). Boosted fluorescent technology is fine for promoting growth... beyond natural rates... and often does not run into "rate limiting factors" like MH use does.> At the time I was keeping a reef tank, there was a lot of hype about Ice caps.  Is there a ballast that you recommend? <These are very good units> I would also appreciate if you could suggest a brand name for the lighting systems, as there are so many choices available, one can easily buy a product that was marketed very well, but not the best choice. <Mmm, these are covered, over and over on WWM. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/lighting/index.htm including the linked files (in blue, above) on the particular lighting technology you're interested in.> Again thank you for your time. Thanks Amir <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Reef lighting and skimmers Hello Bob, Steven, others I have been reading your web site FAQs and other people's questions and your answers and they have been a great help in answering a lot of my questions, but some of them are actually creating more questions. About 10 years ago, in my previous life I had a 75G reef, with trickle down filter, bioballs, home made skimmer, and MH light.  I would like to get back to setting up a reef system again, and I know a lot of things have changed, so have been reading up on your web site trying to figure out what are the essential equipments that I need to get. As far as skimmers, I have been reading favorable readings regarding the Aqua Medic Turboflotor, but also some negatives regarding fine tuning and pump problems, lots of bubbles returning to main tank, etc.  I read a little mention of Euro-Reef, but not much was said, as I believe it is more expensive.  Assuming I am willing to spend up to around $300 on the skimmer, will I be better off with the Turboflotor, or a Euro-Reef, and if Euro-Reef, which model will you suggest for a 75G.  Also I have noticed that you favor the Eheim 1060 for the Turboflotor.  Is that for the intake of the skimmer only, or is it also being used to return the water to the tank.  If only for the skimmer intake, any suggestion as which pump will be proper for return to tank? <Euro-reef without any hesitation. The new ES will work perfectly. About $198 retail.  Set and forget.> On lighting, I was reading lots of favorable comments by Bob regarding the Vita-lite full spectrum bulbs.  I was pretty much convinced that is the way to go, as my previous experiment with MH was not that great, with the expense, heat, and fan noise, until comments from Steven Pro praising MH is the best way to go for "bang for the buck", and referring to Joshi's articles.  Since I regard Bob and Steven as great experts, this has caused a great confusion.  Will you please advise and clear up the confusion.  At the time I was keeping a reef tank, there was a lot of hype about Ice ballasts.  Is there a ballast that you recommend?  I would also appreciate if you could suggest a brand name for the lighting systems, as there are so many choices available, one can easily buy a product that was marketed very well, but not the best choice. <Depends on depth of tank, desired inhabitants. Bang for buck/light output/spectrum is in favor of MH. Ice Cap VHO is also a great choice with little chance of photo-inhibition from overpowering in moderate depth set-ups. The choice these days are too numerous to mention, do shop for the best deal on a ballast designed to drive the bulb of your choice (spectral and rendition choice). These come in Euro type bulb/ballasts and American type. Use the proper ballast for each. You can purchase fixtures from Hydroponic outlets for less and proper bulbs from many on-line sources. For a 75, 2- Aqualine 175 watt MH's or 250's would be a good choice. I recommend traveling to a few LFS to "see" what the lighting "looks" like before you buy.> Thanks for reading my email, and would greatly appreciate your time in replying. Amir <Hope this helps Amir!  Craig>

Euro-skimmer choice I just got a great acrylic tank 60" long x30" wide x24" tall - approx 185 gal.  I kept a hex 55 gal Fish Only tank 20 years ago and am just getting back into keeping a Salt Tank.  I'm trying to figure out all the pieces and parts that I need - your site is an invaluable resource. <We're glad to help!> I've been working on Skimmers tonight.  I was researching AquaC, EuroReef and ETSS skimmers.  I was leaning more toward the AquaC, but have since decided that the EuroReef might be better after reading the opinions that the needle wheel impeller is superior to down draft. <There are several good reasons for each. There is no such thing as "superior" methods, there are better quality skimmers that make better use of such methods than others.  There are several factors including rated capacity, price and service. For some good ideas of how others received these skimmers, check out the skimmer forum at WetWebFotos.com> Given that I have nothing but an empty tank it's hard to say what my system is, but I'm looking to start with soft corals and small/reasonable number of fish.  I don't have a stocking list of coral or fish - yet. <Do factor in growth and maximum stocking for safety!> I'm thinking of a 5" deep sand bed (about 325#) with about 350# of Rock (start with some live, some dead and culture it the tank - is this a good idea to save some money as opposed to purchasing 350# of live rock). <Personal choice. As long as all is well cured/cycled and tested before addition of any livestock.> I'll probably put the skimmer in the sump, but want to keep the cabinet under the tank at no higher than 36" - so I may put the skimmer beside the tank instead of below the tank. <This will be one of those factors in skimmer selection. Do what you can to keep it in the sump or next to it below the display.> The sump will be about 48" long, 24 to 26" wide and about 14" deep.  The first chamber will be about 12" for the skimmer. <Another skimmer consideration.> The rest will be separated down the middle half the flow will go through an LR area and the other half will be green material - probably sea grass perhaps algae.  I've read most (there are a bunch) of your skimmer FAQs.  Can you help me understand the difference in the new EuroReef ES series as opposed to the older CS series and is the ES-CS8-3 or the ES-CS8-3+ a better fit for my system. The basic difference seems to be one or two Sedra 5000 pumps. With the ES-CS8-3 for a 175 gal and the ES-CS8-3+ for a 200 gal tank. Do you think this is appropriate for this tank or have I not done my homework well?  Thanks for all the help!!! Steve <Go bigger Steve, actual volume is more than the display. Add sump and you get the picture. This precludes the ES. Follow the manufacturers recommendations from there.  Hope this helps, Craig>

EuroReef vs. Aqua C Hi again <Welcome back> I am in the process of deciding witch skimmer to buy for my aquarium I had read a lot in your page and you definitely like Aqua C and Euro-Reef I am thinking in between Aqua C EV-180 or CS8-2 from Euro-Reef, please advice witch one is easier to install and to maintain specially since I am in South America and if will not be easy to get spare parts, please give me an strait answer and not just you will do OK with any of them. <Andres, you have made two excellent choices, and really, each is an excellent skimmer. Given your specifications/requirements and what I have read, heard and seen, I would choose the EuroReef. Don> Best Regards Andres Saravia

- Picking a Skimmer, Perhaps... - Hello, <And hello to you, JasonC here...> Thank you for continuing to answer my questions.  Since upgrading my system I have run into an issue that I would like your advice on.  I know you guys have experience with EuroReef products so I would be very appreciative to have some honest straightforward advice.  I have upgraded my wet dry to a 29 gallon dual drain unit that pumps 1800 gph.  The current skimmer I am using is a Sealife Impact 400.  It is 6" in diameter and 30" tall and uses a mag drive 1200 gph to pump water to the top of a pvc tube where air is injected and flows down the tube to enter the bottom of the reaction chamber.  The skimmer removes about 4 oz. per day of dark skimmate and the collection cup becomes coated with brown to black sludge almost daily.  I have been tweaking this skimmer for several days and believe it is at peak efficiency.  I am wondering if the extra money spent on a EuroReef CS6-3 with a Sedra 5000 pump would be worth it. <Hmm... hard to say.> I have chosen this skimmer as an alternative due to a recent skimmer comparison comparing it to an Aerofoamer, an Aqua C 240 and an ETS skimmer.  Both the Aerofoamer and Euroreef outperformed the rest when it came to measured organics left in the tanks. <Interesting.> You can view the article at http://www.thereefweb.com/skimmer_comparison.htm <Also interesting... just to put in a quick pitch for my friend Jason Kim over at Aqua-C - I've been using his skimmers for quite a while now, and just on the quick read of that comparison, it would seem they did not tweak that skimmer enough - it is quite capable of producing very dry foam, but... the other skimmers are all good choices.> These are my questions, 1) in your best opinion, do you believe the EuroReef would be a substantial improvement over my current Impact 400. <Improvement, yes. Substantial improvement, probably not. Although I've not seen the SeaLife Impact skimmer in person, I have seen their other models and think they are lacking in the quality of materials. Perhaps this is different for the Impact. At the very least, you would find the EuroReef to be built with excellent materials and workmanship.> and 2) If it would be, should I use the Sedra 5000 (500gph) pump or do you recommend upgrading it to a more powerful unit like a mag 1200, <That's a question for EuroReef - some skimmers don't work well with pump upgrades, others seem to love it. The Sedra pump does add a good deal of heat if used submerged, so that may be something you want to consider.> 3) If I ever have to upgrade the pump, is it necessary to use the modified impeller or can a standard impeller or pump be used with the same efficiency. <Again, a question you might want to pose to EuroReef, but my guess would be yes... you would need a custom impeller.>  Thank you all for your help and opinions. I would urge everyone who uses this site and finds it beneficial to donate what you can to keep it running. <You mean us? Show me the money!!!> It is easy to do at the bottom of these pages.  Thanks again, Michael J. Busse, MS <Cheers, J -- >

Sump for Euro-Reef This is for a 180 or 225 gallon reef tank with the sump in the basement. I'm sold on the Euroreef protein skimmer.  Should I get the CS 8-3? <Depending on which tank you settle on, the 180 or 225, the CS8-2 or CS8-3 would be appropriate.> What would be the right sump to use with this skimmer and where can I get it from? <Any sump that maintains a constant water level will work fine. I use mostly other aquariums to which I silicone in some glass baffles. -Steven Pro>

Euroreef ES 5-2 Skimmer Hey Guys, <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> Great site.  Just wanted to ask your opinion on the Euroreef ES 5-2 Skimmer.  I know you like the Euroreef lineup and wanted to know if you had any experience with the ES line.  This Skimmer would be going on a 135 gallon fish only tank with sump (Not set up yet).  I have a choice between the Turboflotor and the Euroreef 5-2.  Thanks for your time. Mike Giroir <Well, Mike- two great skimmers...I'd give the edge to the Euroreef. It's an amazing all-around skimmer, which offers simple, reliable operation, and is amazingly productive, practically right out of the box! Turboflotors are also good skimmers, but can be "fussy" at times, requiring considerable adjustment to find the skimmer's "sweet spot". You might want to get some opinions from other hobbyists on the WetWebMedia discussion board...See what other hobbyists think about these two models. Good luck!>

Follow Up on Euro-Reef Skimmers Thanks. It's my understanding that all of the Euroreef skimmers are in-sump skimmers. <They have just released an external model.> Is there some advantage to having an external skimmer, assuming you have the space? <It is not readily apparent to me. I like in sump models. -Steven Pro>

Euro-Reef Skimmers III Reef Fanatic knows nothing about EuroReef's external skimmer. Do you know from whom it can be obtained? <No, but I am sure Euro-Reef can refer you. There website is here http://www.euro-reef.com/ -Steven Pro>

In Sump v. External Euroreef You stated that there was no readily apparent advantage to using external model of Euroreef skimmer. <I don't see any benefit. I have never used an external model or heard why Euro-Reef felt the need to design one. Perhaps there is something I am missing.> I would suppose that by using the external model, the pump does not sit in the sump water. <Correct> Isn't it a good idea to keep the pump out of the water, not only to avoid heating the water, but less opportunity for water to damage the pump? <The heat issue is a possibility, but not the damage one. These pumps are designed to be safely submerged. -Steven Pro>

Skimmers Thanks for the advice Anthony! I did further research on the Euroreef. It was pricey and if you will notice the "was" part. I couldn't resist and went ahead and bought the Euro-Reef CS8-2. <heehee... a true aquarist!. You will not be disappointed. Fiddle with the height/water depth for some days (like all skimmers) to get daily skimmate and then never look back. A very low maintenance and reliable skimmer indeed> Know anyone who needs a hardly used Read Sea skimmer? <two words: "wheel-" "chuck"> LOL Now the bad part, I have to go home explain this to the wife how it was completely necessary to keep the fishies alive and happy! <good luck> Anything for them! <don't every use that phrase in front of your wife> Wish me luck. <good luck... but I still think you're screwed <G>> Below I attached an interesting comparison of several high end skimmers. Best Regards, David http://www.thereefweb.com/skimmer_phase_III.htm <thanks kindly, my friend... best regards. Anthony>

Skimmer recommendation Hello one final question..... Euro-reef cs6-1 for $298.00 is this a good skimmer? <I feel that is literally one of the best that money can buy. Perhaps my first choice> I have a height problem under my cabinet and was wondering your thoughts on this skimmer. Thank you, Paul <outstanding in a field. Anthony>

Re: Skimmer Thanks again Steven for great, quick response. <You are welcome.> I have seen a used Euro-Reef skimmer on E-bay. My question is, I have a 75 gallon tank and the skimmer is the CS8, which I believe is rated 250-400 gallons. <I am going to guess you mean CS8-1, for 150 gallons plus.> Is this to much skimmer for my tank. <A little, but if you can get a good price, I would buy it.> Not set up yet, going with LR and some soft corals. Thanks Bryan. <Good luck with the auction. -Steven Pro>

Protein Skimmer selection Hey Bob I would like to know about what do you think about the ASM G-3 Force protein skimmers. Thanks, Miguel <They are an imitation Euro-Reef. I have no hands-on experience with them. I would search out opinions of those who have them. Check out the internet marine interest message boards. http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ http://www.reefcentral.com/ http://www.reefs.org/ -Steven Pro>

I Gotta Do It...but my wife will kill me (skimmer selection) Hi Guys! <Dead man walking!> I don't want to, but I gotta do it...I need to get a new protein skimmer. Right now I have a mixed 300 gallon soft/hard coral reef tank with an ETSS 1400 Gemini Protein Skimmer.  The skimmer is very finicky and constantly needs adjustments, cleaning , maintenance. I just dissembled the whole thing, cleaned it and replaced the bioballs with new ones...what a pain. although performance is better but still not too good. <Agreed... am of the opinion these are per cost of purchase and operation marginal products>: I have selected 2 models for my new skimmer (my wife is going to kill me): <Hide all sharp objects, guns, baseball bats...> AquaC EV1000 with 300 to 1500 gallon tank capacity Euroreef CS8-4 with 350 to 700 gallon tank capacity Right now my skimmer is external to the sump,  I have a limited amount of height under my tank so the CS8-4 might be a tight fit and a hassle to get at for cleaning, etc. I could fit the EV1000 behind my >tank in place of the ETSS and I think it would be easier to clean, service by opening the shutters I installed in the wall behind the tank. <Agreed> My question is:  Is the AquaC "spray induction" the same as EuroReef's "needle wheel" technology ? <Nope... one's a Venturi induction-type nozzle, the other a whipping multi-pronged impeller...> If not, does it yield better or worse performance ? <The Euroreef... but I hasten to add... you may not need, want the extra "performance"> In general, the AquaC unit seems to handle larger tank volume...is this another reason to go for this unit? <Mmm, not IMO. Am sure you're familiar with WWM, the many Skimmer Selection FAQs files... even a "best of" one is there...> Thanks again for all your help! Chuck Spyropulos <Re-read through WWM here, and check out users' opinions on the BB's, Chatforums. Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmers ????? Hi Guys, First I want to thank you for a wonderful web site. It gives new comers like me hope! As we speak I am unpacking my 135 gallon reef ready tank. My sump is 30 gallons. This is my question? How many times should a skimmer turn over a tank of water? <About 3-5 times per hour.> Would a Euro-Reef CS8-2 be able to do a good job on my tank? <That seems fine.> I thought since it was only rated at 500 gallons an hour it might not be enough. I only read good things about there systems. Keep up the good work guys. Charlie  S. <Have a lovely holiday! -Steven Pro>

In Sump vs. External Euro-Reef Response Steven Pro, There is a big benefit to using a external model of a Euro-Reef skimmer. A Euro-Reef in the sump can raise the water temperature 4 degrees in a 180 gallon reef tank. RGibson <Thanks for the information. -Steven Pro>

EuroReef Skimmers Hi guys, I am researching the EuroReef skimmer that I keep reading about on your site. I have a 120 gallon reef, with 110 lbs. of live rock and various mushroom corals and star polyps. I only have a couple of blue Chromis for fish. I was wondering what size EuroReef skimmer would be adequate for my setup. I am running a CPR CY194 wet-dry/skimmer setup now. -Richard <Euro-Reef recommends purchasing a skimmer rated for twice your tank's size if you intend to have a reef tank. The CS6-2 is rated for 100-250 gallons and should serve you well. You may want to consider taking out the W/D once you get the new skimmer. You have plenty of rock to support your fish load. -Steven Pro>

Re: HLLE on Imperator Angel, Ozonizer Not familiar with ozonizers at all. If it were your tank, what skimmer/ozonizer combination would you use?  <biggest skimmer possible, but an average sized ozonizer will be fine... follow mfg specs for your tank size and do consider a Redox controller/meter as well to run it properly> The largest Euro-Reef I could jam into my tank stand was a CS8-3 due to its footprint and lack of space available. I assume that adding an ozonizer would make the skimmer more efficient,  <yes...significantly and so many more benefits> and therefore, more appropriate for the size of my tank. Are their any skimmer/ozonizer combo systems that you?d recommend over the Euro-Reef? <The Euro-Reef is one of the very best commercial skimmers that I have seen. Anthony>

Thanks and Euroreef Skimmer endorsement Thanks yet again for your fast response. <always welcome> I have been using your web site extensively for the past month and a half and the crew have answered questions for me far better than my local aquariums. <sorry about your LFS <wink>> When I set up my tank I instructed my pet store to build me a Rolls Royce. Little by little, with research I have been doing mainly through your site, I have been upgrading my equipment to meet that requirement. Yesterday I bought a Euro-reef protein skimmer to replace my underachieving Red Sea Turbo.  <outstanding! A fine skimmer and usually my first choice of recommendations> If anyone needs a recommendation for the Euro-reef, I'll give it to them as well. In 8 hours it has out produced over one months worth of Red Seas skimming. <yes...agreed. Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good. The Euroreef gives you more bang for your buck! I personally would rather spend $300 on a very efficient skimmer than save $150 on one that works poorly or not at all. Especially considering the overall investment in the tank, time not spent fighting nuisance algae, etc> Keep up the great work and be aware that people appreciate what you guys do. <it is very redeeming to hear it said. Thank you, kindly. Anthony Calfo> Joe

EuroReef Skimmers Hi guys, I am researching the EuroReef skimmer that I keep reading about on your site. I have a 120 gallon reef, with 110 lbs. of live rock and various mushroom corals and star polyps. I only have a couple of blue Chromis for fish. I was wondering what size EuroReef skimmer would be adequate for my setup. I am running a CPR CY194 wet-dry/skimmer setup now. -Richard <Euro-Reef recommends purchasing a skimmer rated for twice your tank's size if you intend to have a reef tank. The CS6-2 is rated for 100-250 gallons and should serve you well. You may want to consider taking out the W/D once you get the new skimmer. You have plenty of rock to support your fish load. -Steven Pro>

Protein Skimmers Found Euro Reef skimmers, and all I can say is WOW! That's way over my budget. Too bad.  <yes... but for how much you have invested in your marine system... a postponed $300 skimmer that works incredibly well is much better than a $150 skimmer that doesn't work well or that you have to be a slave to in my opinion. Aqua C skimmers are a little less expensive than Euroreef skimmers and are really excellent as well... did you have a chance to check them out?> But check this out http://www.aquadirect.com/catalog/skimmers/kent.htm It's a link to a page for Kent Marine Nautilus Skimmer,  <I have seen the skimmer> (which I have on order) These guys>> www.championlighting.com have the product at their site, so it must be good,  <WOW.. as much as I like champions product line... your association about a good vendor not selling a sub-par product is unrealistic. Do be careful of thinking so narrowly. A big vendor cannot afford to product test EVERYthing... so they will take the word of their buyer and other reputable industry contacts and most of the time it works well... but sometimes a bad product slips through. Given to choose between the advice of even a reputable vendor trying to sell you something and the advice of some one else (ahem...) with nothing to sell you... well> and the write up it pretty impressive,  <the write up written by KENT> so I hope it does the trick for my system.  < I do hope so too> Euro is just a bit much for my wallet these days. <no worries... but do consider that in the long view... what is an extra $150 on system worth several thousand dollars in the big picture?> Thanks for your ear! Pam <best regards, Anthony>

Skimmer Yes, Anthony, <Steven Pro here with the follow-up.> I have the letter you wrote when you recommended the Aqua-C and Euroreef skimmers, but I didn't find them for sale. I usually buy from That Pet Place, and when I put in the name, it came up empty. <They carry neither of those brands.> Then of course, I went over to www.championlighting.com and bought what looked good to me. <Champion does not carry either, but does carry a knock-off Euro-Reef, ASM Euro-Style, but I would look for the real thing.> Can you do me a favor and please tell me where you buy the Aqua C and Euroreef skimmers, <Type Euro-Reef and Aqua-C into a search engine like Yahoo and you should get several hits. This way you can shop around for the best price.> I do want to give the best I can afford for my reef tank, God knows I have made quite a few mistakes and it would be nice to make up for them. I paid a shipping cost of $12.00, the Skimmer was $159.90, and the pump was $47.95, for a grand total of $219.85. If this cost is close to the Aqua C and Euroreef skimmers, I will return the unit and purchase your recommendation! Wonderful chatting with you! Pamela <You too! -Steven Pro>

Euro-Reef and AquaC Howdy Bob. Hope things are well. <Hello Brad. Steven here.> Thank God for the FAQ skimmer section on WWM. I was sold on the ETSS 800 for my system, but reading those pages have really changed my mind. I am now stuck on either a Euro-Reef CS8-4 or the AquaC EV400. My system is: 250 gallons of total system water SPS/Clam reef. 15 various fish heavy fish load 200 lbs. Fiji rock 150 lbs. live sand 70 gallon refugium with DSB Also I might upgrade my display tank to a 180 gallon for a total system water of 340 in a year or two. So I would like a good protein skimmer that will handle the change without upgrading. What would you suggest? <If your decision is between the two models listed above, I would have to suggest the Euro-Reef. It is substantially larger (36" tall, 8" in diameter, and rated for up to 650 gallons vs. 32" tall, 6" in diameter and rated for up to 450 gallons for the Aqua-C). The only drawback is the Euro-Reef has a larger footprint.> Right now I am using a Turboflotor T1000, CPR SR6, and a CPR BakPak. Too much "clutter", I want one to do the job, the others are going on reefcentral.com for sale! Thanks for always keeping me in the right direction. See you in Fiji in June '02! -Brad Stefanko <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Euro Reef Thanks for adding yet more positive input about a skimmer line that excels in gathering nothing but raves. Sounds like I will be buying into this line. Now will the CS6-1 be sufficient for a full blown 75 reef or would I be better off getting the CS6-2? I will not be getting a larger system so future upgrades are not a concern. I don't want to under skim yet I don't want to go over board for no real good reason. Over-kill is over-kill after all. -Zimmy <The CS6-1 will serve you well. -Steven Pro>

Euro-Reef Hello guys. I am going to be purchasing an in-sump skimmer to go on my new 75ga Oceanic Reef Ready tank. Now, I have read all kinds of info. on in-sump skimmers. If I am going to be spending a lot of cash I want a superior product, period. Everything I read about EuroReef sounds like it is truly one of the best skimmers available. I just don't want a skimmer that is good, I want one that is superb. From what I have heard and the pictures I see of them working (massive bubbles!) they have my curiosity at a peak. I have read some of your opinions on this product and am wondering if it has changed or not? Is EuroReef worth the bucks? -Zimmy <No to changed opinion, it is a "superb" product. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Anthony, <Steven Pro this afternoon.> Thank you for your quick response. I am considering your recommendation about the Euro-Reef skimmer and was curious as to which model you would recommend for the 180 gallon reef set up - I was thinking CS8-1 or CS8-2? <Definitely the CS8-2, rated for up to 200 gallons.> As far I could tell this model exhausts from the top tubular set up with a sponge around it (looking at the pictures on the internet) with this also eliminate the micro bubbles? <Should help, but one thing. If you turn your skimmer off, do the bubbles disappear?> Best Regards, Mike <Have a nice day! -Steven Pro>

Help with equipment choice (Euroreef Skimmer) Hi Bob, I am setting up a new reef system using a 100 gallon tank and I am asking for your opinion of the equipment I have in mind. I am looking at the Euroreef Skimmer CS6-1, its rated to be able to cover up to a 200 gallon tank, producing 3500 gph of flow using a Eheim pump. <This is a great product. Am friends with the manufacturers... know them (Jeff's dad as an engineer especially) to be "squared away" all the way around> I have had the tank drilled and I'm planning on using a lot of live rock in the tank, about 2/3 of the back wall will be covered. What do you think? Also, can you direct me on the size of a UV sterilizer to use. Dan <Thirty six watts will be fine, irregardless (really) of how much water you run through it. Bob Fenner>

Euro-Reef Skimmers.. Bob, Just wanted to drop a note and say hi and thanks for all the support you provide for our product!! MANY people e-mail us and refer to you as the source of reference and we truly appreciate it! <Outstanding! Your products definitely deserve the promotion, recognition. Glad to see you're still about, and me not begging for tickets to get into your rock concerts!> One note though for your thoughts. We discontinued using the EHEIM 1060 because of an extremely high failure rate and an utter lack of support from EHEIM. The SEDRA pumps are far superior! Out of nearly 2000 pumps only 2 legitimate failures!!!!!! That is quality!! <Really!? Will post this note. Thank you> Please pass the word about SEDRA. You rock... hope we can talk sometime soon!! Sincerely, Jeff Macar?br>Euro-reef Sales & Marketing www.euro-reef.com <Hope to see you and your father at InterZoo in May. And to try and interest your company in advertising on our site (it's unbelievably inexpensive for the exposure: http://wetwebmedia.com/sponsors.htm Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Skimmer Choice, improving WWM navigation One more question: are the Euro-Reef skimmers worth considering? I was thinking of a CS6-1 (?). <About the best if not best products of their kind, most efficient technology available. My opinions on skimmer selection: http://wetwebmedia.com/moreskimselfaqs.htm> I've heard that either the Turboflotor is a knockoff of the Euro-Reef or vice versa; what's the true story? <These product lines are not related... there are knock-offs of both by other makers though. All inferior to "the real thing"> Thanks for your help. I'll give your question about organization some thought - but that what I said as a compliment: paraphrasing... you have an excellent, eccentric website. <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner> Ben

Re: Skimmer Choice If you would, please clarify what you mean by "These product lines are not related" in reference to the Euro-Reef versus the Turboflotor.  <They are not "knock offs", copies of each other. Different companies, distinct products> I was under the impression that both were needle-wheel skimmers. Any deeper info into their engineering?  <As? Different pump use, configuration of injection...> Why the big price difference, too? The Euro is about $150 more (about twice the price of a T1000). The only explanation I see is that Euro-Reefs are hand-made in the USA? <You are very close here... the Deutschmark is beaten down relative to the dollar... Additionally, the Euro-Reef products are almost one-at-a-time hand-crafted, whereas the much larger Turboflotor line have many machine-formed components... the Sedra pumps on the Euro-Reef are more expensive... There are substantive reasons for the price differential, but with concurrent difference in value as well. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Ben

Integrating Euroreef G2 Protein Skimmer Into My Undergravel Filter Dear Mr. Fenner, You have a great site, and I've been learning a lot from it. I was hoping you might be able to provide some advice. I have a 55-gallon that I'm in the process of upgrading. It has an undergravel filter system that I built seven years ago (the tank has not been used since I lived in Okinawa four years ago).  <Hope you did a bunch of diving while there> In building the undergravel filter, I took a piece of Plexiglas the size of the bottom of the tank and drilled literally thousands of holes in it. Under the Plexiglas is a pipe system with an outlet in the middle. I drilled a large hole (big enough for a pvc elbow to connect to the pipe system) in the middle of the Plexiglas. I then ran a piece of pvc from the center to the corner of the tank, where it's connect to another elbow and a hose, which leads to a marine pump mounted to the side of the tank. I then took a bucket and drilled holes in the bottom of it the same size as the holes in the Plexiglas plate and started sifting sand. Anything that was too big to sift through the bucket was too big to go through the holes in the Plexiglas. The pump pulls water (17/20 liters per minute) and detritus down through the sand and Plexiglas, into the pipe system, up to the pump, and then up into a filter box, where it drains back into the tank. I drilled holes in the closed pipe system under the Plexiglas -- more holes the further away from the center where the suction is the strongest -- to try to create a more even pull throughout the entire bottom of the tank. As I mentioned, I'm in the process of upgrading. I was glad to read that you are an undergravel filter advocate (I spent a lot of time building mine and I would have a hard time scrapping it). You're also a big advocate of protein skimmers and specifically mentioned the Euroreef G2 as being a good model. After doing a little more reading I ordered one. It arrived (I'm living in Amman, Jordan) and includes a Sedra powerhead with max flow of 1500 liters per hour. <There's really nada wrong with undergravel filters... where applied and maintained properly. The G2 is a great product... much more of a real skimmer than your size system really needs... Hope you are still diving in the Red Sea now...> My next step is to build a sump for the Euroreef G2. Can I incorporate my current undergravel filter system into this?  <You could... with a constant level device for removing water from the main system... take a look at the images on www.cprusa.com for some idea of what these are> In other words, will the protein skimmer be effective if the water being pumped into the sump is coming from the bottom of the tank -- under the gravel/sand?  <Yes, really doesn't matter where the water comes from> If so, do I have to find a return pump with the exact same rating (17/20 liters per minute)?  <Don't get involved with float switches, magical balancing acts here... Believe in gravity... and the propensity for things to go wrong... and just use a box as stated above> Are there any that you could recommend? Or, am I better off supplying (surface) water to the sump via an overflow box? <Bingo, the latter> If so, what capacity would you recommend, and what return pump would you recommend?  <At least one box, maybe even two... of capable flow... And the recirculating pump? A few volumes per hour... even some power heads will do this... but if it were me, and to discount the evils of waste heat accumulation, I'd spend the money and get some submersible Eheim pumps... the best for this application... quiet, dependable, not hot.> Many thanks in advance and regards -- Brian MacDonald <Be chatting my friend... and maybe dropping by! Get out to the Red Sea about once a year... Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmer Hello!! <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am in the market of the best protein skimmers for my needs. I have narrowed the search down to two skimmers and would like some persuasion as to which would have the upper hand. The two skimmers are the EUROREEF CS6-1 and the AquaC EV120. As you would have more experience with the two products is there one you would recommend more? I appreciate your help! Jeremy Bailey <both excellent skimmers, my friend. My purely biased opinion is for the Euroreef skimmers. One of the very best with regard for ease of maintenance and consistent skimmate production. Anthony>

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