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FAQs about Skimmers for Marine Systems 2

Related FAQs: Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers 1, Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers 2, To Skim or Not to Skim, Best Skimmer Selection FAQs, Skimmer Selection, Skimmer Selection 2, Skimmer Selection 3, Skimmer Selection 4, Skimmer Selection 5, Skimmer Selection 6, Skimmer Selection 7, DIY Skimmers, Skimmers for Refugiums/Sumps, Hang-On Models, Best Skimmer Op./Maint. FAQs, Skimmer MaintenanceSkimmer Operation/Maintenance 2, Algae Control, CPR Skimmers, Deltec Skimmers, ETSS Skimmers, Euro-Reef Skimmers, Prizm Skimmers, SeaClone SkimmersSkimmers for Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small SystemsSkilter Skimmers, Tunze Skimmers, Algae Control

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

Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system        10/6/15
Hi Guys-
I really enjoy going through all of your forums and FAQ’s. I have been scouring your site for an answer to my question but don’t seem to see anything directly related… which is why I am now reaching out.
I have an 80 gallon saltwater tank that has been set up and thriving for about a year now. Despite everything I read about wet/dry’s being a nitrate factory, my levels are consistently at zero.
<There are possibilities of "striking balance" w/ such use.... enough "reverse reactions" occurring in live rock, substrate, care in what's fed and amounts; partial water change outs....>

Nevertheless, I understand the importance of skimming (thanks to reading through your many, many articles and responses on the subject), and want to put one into my system. My aquarium has a built in center overflow that goes down to a 30 gallon wet/dry sump. The bio media is in the first chamber and my return pump and heater are in the second chamber. I also have an air pump with two stones under the bio media. There is room to put a skimmer in the second chamber, but I’ve also read on your forums that the skimmer should be skimming water straight from the tank and not after bio filtration.
<It matters very little here. MUCH more important for instance, that the contact chamber of the skimmer and perhaps the collection cup be kept clean, than where the skimmer is placed>

Is there any way to add this in given my current set up, or do I need to slowly remove the bio media (handful every couple of days or so…) until all media is removed and then add in the skimmer in that first chamber?
<Yes; as stated, can be situated wherever you have room>
My long term plan is to convert this ecosystem into a reef environment which is why I feel the need to get the skimmer in the mix. If buying a new sump is inevitable, that’s okay, but I’d prefer not having to.
<Can't tell w/o a good photo or look... if a decent skimmer will fit in the current one; that is where I'd place it. However, I would be reading re how you might modify this sump to add a refugium, lighting et al. here>
What’s my best course of action?
Current bio-load is:
(1) small blue tang
(1) arc-eye Hawkfish
(2) medium blue-green reef chromic
(2) medium Bartlett's Anthias
(1) small foxface lo
(1) green bubble tip anemone
(5) dwarf hermit crabs
Other than my wet/dry filtration I’ve got:
(50lb) live rock
(40lb) live sand
Thank you very much for your help!! It is appreciated more than you know.
Chad Rattray
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system        10/6/15

Thank you very much for a quick response and your insight, Bob.
I will get a photo of the sump so you can take a look at it. I’ll measure the footprint available for a skimmer and let you know so you might advise something you know of that can provide descent results.
Thanks again!
Best regards,
<And you; BobF>
Chad Rattray

Skimmer     8/19/15
Hey there Bob! Quick question... I'm thinking of running my skimmer air line outside for maximum oxygen.
My tank is in the basement with not much if any ventilation to speak of. Is this a good idea do you think?
<Not likely much difference.>
Also, will the frigid cold NY winter and blazing hot summer air affect the water temperature?
<Again; not much diff>
Just starting up again after a total tank wipeout. Ugh...
<W. B>

Protein Skimming /Aged Live Rock Questions, sel., maint. -- 08/18/10
Hello WWM Crew,
<<Greetings Scott>>
I have spent the better half of today reading all over the FAQ articles regarding protein skimming and algae control and learned infinitely more here than any other source.
<<Ah! Is good to hear>>
Two months ago I decided to look into setting up a new tank. I have had one previous tank about 3 years ago which was a FOWLR setup, it was a 30 gallon tank with a CPR BakPak HOB skimmer. Before buying that one I went to my LFS and asked what would be a good choice for filtration, he pointed me in that direction and that was the extent of my "research".
<<Mmm, yes--though admittedly it wasn't such a bad choice for the size/methodology of the aquarium, it's always best to 'research' multiple sources and then make an informed decision using your own good judgment>>
That tank lasted about 1.5 years before having to move across the state and it housed various fish (Porcupine Puffer, True Percula Clown, Blue Hippo Tang, and a Rectangular Trigger)
<<Yikes! Too small an environment for just one of these, much less as a group>>
and suffered no casualties,
<<The clock was ticking, for sure'¦>>
although I did have significant algae problems.
<<Not surprising>>
I searched Craigslist for weeks to find a reasonable tank in hopes of setting up a thriving reef tank this time around. I found a very affordable tank (120 gallon, 30 gallon sump/refugium, in-sump protein skimmer), which was already set up and cycled with fish, live rock, and corals in it already.
I have placed a decent amount of live rock and Chaetomorpha into the sump area surrounding the protein skimmer. I have added a bottle of Copepods into this area to try to start a small colony of them in hopes of housing a Mandarin in a few months.
<<Do make sure water flow through the combined sump/refugium flows 'from' the skimmer to the refugium and not in reverse--else much of the beneficial biota will be lost. Regarding the Mandarin, unless the display has a matured DSB and live rock, along with a dearth of piscine competitors for the available natural foods, you may still have problems keeping a 'wild-caught' Mandarin long-term--even in this size tank. There have been strides made in the captive breeding of this fish, and if not available yet, there should be 'captive-bred' Mandarins coming available to hobbyists before too long (ORA will be one source). I very much suggest you wait for/search out a captive-bred specimen.
I am not sure if this placement of the Chaetomorpha is efficient or not,
<<As long as it has some water flow, and sufficient lighting for photosynthesis'¦>>
none of it is getting sucked into the skimmer,
but I have no other real place to put it since I would like to keep it out of the display tank for now.
<<Perhaps you should consider a 'separate' (my preferred method) sump and refugium. Doing so will provide greater flexibility for both>>
I did some research online (before finding WWM) and at my LFS to get some info on how to take care of this tank and everything survived the move and was set up fine.
I have had the tank set up at my house for about 4 weeks now. I guess the one problem with buying a pre-cycled tank from Craigslist is that you do not know the maintenance that went into the tank throughout its lifetime.
<<Tis true>>
The few questions that I have regarding the tank are:
I cannot see any brand name or model number on the protein skimmer,
<<Not all that unusual. My Euro-Reef skimmer has nothing but a logo carved in to the cap of the skimmer cup to indentify it>>
it seems to be doing its job though, producing about a half cup of skimmate per day. However, I don't know if this is a quality skimmer for my tank.
<<Perhaps you could peruse the net (etailers) to see if you can find a match>>
1. I would rather not have to buy a new skimmer, but can I assume that if it is still producing skimmate on a daily basis that it is good enough?
<<Nope'¦ I'm not saying what you have 'isn't good enough' for your system (I have no way of knowing without much more information)--but you can't assume the efficacy of a skimmer based on whether it does/does not produce skimmate. There are many variables which can determine (affect) the volume/quality of the skimmate produced by a protein skimmer, using this solely as the basis for deciding the quality of the gear can/will be misleading. But'¦if the skimmate produced by this skimmer seems commensurate with the bio/nitrogen/organic load of the system, and you don't have issues related to an excess of these, then you probably don't need to run out and buy a new skimmer--though a 'quality upgrade' is always beneficial, in my opinion>>
I like to have the best possible hardware for my tank, that being said those AquaC-EV skimmers seem very nice, although expensive.
<<Actually, the AquaC line of skimmers are some of the more affordable options among those I consider as quality skimmers--you could spend a whole lot more'¦>>
The live rock that came with the tank had some decent coralline growth on it although it did not look like he had a very powerful cleanup crew. There is a lot of detritus-looking film covering some of the rock, almost resembling the mold you would get on fruit if you left it out for a few days.
<<Hmm--sounds like maybe a bacterial (Cyanobacteria) film--perhaps an increase in water flow is in order>>
I am not sure if this is a bad thing to have on the rock, it does not look pleasant and it does not completely come off when blasted with a turkey baster or power head.
<<Not likely simply 'detritus' then>>
I have heard that you can use a soft bristled toothbrush to scrub some of this "stuff" off of the rock.
My idea was to use my water change siphon hose to create some suction, place the other end into the micron sock of my sump, and effectively create perpetual suction without losing water while scrubbing away at the rock.
I am worried that I may scrub off some of the good growth and algae along with the bad.
<<If it is being covered (smothered) by the other material, it won't be 'good' for long'¦I guess that leaves you to weigh the benefits of removal versus not>>
About a week ago I purchased 7-8 Turbo Snails and 15 Astraea Snails and they are doing decent work but I can't exactly crack a whip on them and tell them to only graze on this rock.
2. What methods should I use in order to get rid of this detritus on the live rock?
<<If it is 'really built up' then removal from the system and a good scrub and rinse in clean saltwater before being returned to the system may be in order. Else--increase water flow, crack open a beer, and give your 'cleanup crew' some time to do what you bought them for>>
Thanks for your help, I will continue to search the articles on WWM to find more solutions but I look forward to your response.
Thanks again,
<<Happy to share, mate'¦ Eric Russell>> 

Top water Scum 9/22/09
Hey Crew, Tommy here.
<Scott V. with you today.>
I have a 60 gallon with canister filter, saltwater, FOWLR setup. Ammonia at 0, Nitrites at 0, Nitrates around ten. HOB Aqua-C skimmer, a few powerheads, 1/4 inch deep of crushed coral substrate, and a twenty gallon refugium on the side that is above the 60 in position. Stocked with a small hippo tang, purple Firefish, African goby, and a maroon clown. 1 shrimp, snails, hermits. Up and running for 5 months now. My issue is the accumulation of the scum that floats at the top of the water. I seem to have a lot of this stuff. It builds up over 3-5 days after manually removing it, and I know it isn't healthy. First of all, what is it?
<DOCs the skimmer should be taking out.>
Second, how do you make it go away permanently?
<Skim it!>
Third, is there any equipment that will eliminate the task of manually removing this scum from the top? More skimming? Wet/Dry filter? Any help is appreciated.
<Your problem can easily be solved with a 20-30 dollar part from AquaC. It is the surface skimming box made to go with your skimmer. It will feed the skimmer this scum rather than the water below it.>
Thanks, Tommy.
<Welcome, Scott V.>

World's biggest protein skimmer? 12/19/07 Hey Crew, had you seen this? <Seen what?> Knowing what a skimmer does, I don't think I'd be playing around all day in this stuff! <Hmm... would you be referring to the "cappuccino coast" pics/articles circling about? It happened along the north shore of Sydney. Here's the link I have (is this the one you meant to send maybe?): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=478041&in_page_id=1811> Tom <Best, Sara M.>

The Other Skimmer Article I have tried numerous times to send you that other article I wrote on protein skimmers.  It ran in the August 2004 issue of FAMA <... Steven, you did get paid I trust> and is mostly based on what I wrote for Reef Invertebrates, but I thought it might be useful to archive for the WWM readers. <Certainly>   It discusses the various means of protein skimming (air-driven, venturi, aspirating, downdraft, Beckett, and spray injection) plus the merits of protein skimming in general.  Do you want to create a page on WWM for me and then I can simply upload the text through Frontpage from here? <Mmm, you can make a page... or I will if you want... or you say you've tried to attach it and send to the WWM server, my hotmail acct.?>   I think that might be the easiest way at this point.  I have a recent version of FP and had to do something similar regarding images for Adam/CA.  -Steven Pro <Will make a page now... you can see in the Nav. or Folder View... called ProSkimrArt2. Bob F>

The Other Skimmer Article, FAMA I have tried numerous times to send you that other article I wrote on protein skimmers.  It ran in the August 2004 issue of FAMA <... Steven, you did get paid I trust> <<Not yet.  Which is not surprising.  I still have not been paid for that Finding Nemo piece that ran in Oct. 2003.  Susan Steele said would inquire with Jay Crews regarding my payments.  I am not holding my breath.>> and is mostly based on what I wrote for Reef Invertebrates, but I thought it might be useful to archive for the WWM readers. <Certainly>   It discusses the various means of protein skimming (air-driven, venturi, aspirating, downdraft, Beckett, and spray injection) plus the merits of protein skimming in general.  Do you want to create a page on WWM for me and then I can simply upload the text through Frontpage from here? <Mmm, you can make a page... or I will if you want... or you say you've tried to attach it and send to the WWM server, my hotmail acct.?>   I think that might be the easiest way at this point.  I have a recent version of FP and had to do something similar regarding images for Adam/CA.  -Steven Pro <Will make a page now... you can see in the Nav. or Folder View... called ProSkimrArt2. Bob F> <<I doubled checked it in Internet Explorer.  It looks like it worked just fine.  -Steven Pro>>

Skimming - 12/27/03 Good Morning from the UK (or probably good evening). <And to you!  Sorry for the slow reply during the holiday time.> I wonder if I could trouble you with a quick question on my skimmer. I use a Remora Pro HOT Skimmer which has produced skimmate regularly for months up until I had a bit of a disaster....... <Nice skimmer!  I so hate to hear the "D" word!> I registered a spike in my ammonia and nitrites about a month ago and suffered the loss of 4 fish!!!!! Two clown fish and two Pajama Cardinals. <Sorry to hear of your losses.> My tank is 40 gallons, with Fijian Rock via TMC and live sand. I had a total of seven fish in here which combined with my no doubt overfeeding, will likely have caused the ammonia spike (saltwater newbie..... That's my excuse anyway). <Sounds like pretty heavy stocking (to begin with, not currently), but I doubt your feeding regime was the issue, I would consider it much more likely that an animal (even a single snail) died, causing the ammonia spike.> I managed to bring the ammonia and nitrite back to zero via water changes and using the cycle bacteria. I now feed sparingly (a quarter of a frozen cube of Mysis shrimp once a day just incase), do you think this is too little? <I suspect that your water changes were helped out by the fact that this was likely a one time event and the natural processes in your system.  Your current feeding is probably a bit on the light side and I would recommend a bit of variety (coral beauties natural diet is high in algae).  I would be concerned about the fire fish not getting enough food with two aggressive feeding tankmates.  I would also be concerned about the Gramma harassing the firefish into jumping out.> The tank now consists of a Royal Gramma, one Coral Beauty, one firefish, Red star fish, duster cluster, 2 common cleaner shrimps and a clean up crew of hermits and Cerith snails. <Be cautious that you don't have too many hermits and Ceriths.  I loathe crabs in general for their destructive tendencies (Even supposedly "reef safe" hermits for killing snails and each other for their shells!) and recommend keeping just a few if you must to keep competition low.  Ceriths are generally detritus specialists but may consume a bit of algae.  Keep no more than one per 2 gallons or so to prevent starvation.> Since this loss of fish and my cut back on feeding my skimmer has produced no skimmate, not even a small puddle? Do you think this is simply down to the lack of waste in the tank, or should I be looking at a problem with the skimmer? <This is probably a combination of your water changes and low feeding level.  Also, some Mysis are oily and tend to temporarily shut down skimmate production.> I have mailed Aqua C regarding just incase there's something I've missed but the pump is fine and the skimmer is "jetting" the water. <Jason's customer service and advice is second to none.  If he confirms that everything is OK with the functioning of the skimmer, I would trust that it is.> Do I need to be concerned? <Probably not.  I would try increasing your feeding a bit and see if the skimmer picks up.  Also, observe the skimmer to see if the foam collapses after feeding the Mysis.> Many thanks Martin. <Bet regards!  Adam>

Where in the Book Does it Talk about Protein Skimming?? 9/27/03 Crew: You guys are the friggin' best! <Thanks>  I do have Anthony's BOCP; where does he write about this? <pgs. 104 to 114> I either haven't gotten to it or forgot that I read it (Oh, the 80's!). <And the 90's and the 2000s...... -Paul>  Rich

Protein Skimming or Activated Carbon...Or Both? Does carbon treatment and Protein Skimming do the same thing? <Good question. They both do assist in removal of dissolved organic compounds. However, carbon can also remove substances that discolor the water, such as tannins, some dyes, etc. Protein skimming does a great job removing many of the same substances, but uses the principle of electrostatic attraction to "grab" dissolved organics and "stick" them to the surface of bubbles. A good skimmer will remove a tremendous amount of materials from the water, and, unlike carbon, a skimmer does not have a "useful life". However, in order to do the best job possible, a skimmer needs to be cleaned regularly (like weekly or more often). Ironically, the very "crud" that a skimmer removes so well can accumulate and inhibit foaming! By keeping your skimmer clean, you're assured that it will perform at its best at all times.  In the end, I think that a marine system should be run with BOTH carbon and skimming. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

Sumps and Skimmers (8-20-03) Thanks for the quick response Cody! <No problem!> I am going to construct my own sump using a smaller aquarium. How do I calculate the size aquarium, protein skimmer needed for the sump? <There isn't really a set rule that I know of except bigger is better.> Also, can you direct me to any DIY plans for a sump? Also, are there any certain protein skimmers that you would recommend?  <I would recommend Euro Reef or Aqua C for skimmers.  Check here for sump info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sumprffiltfaqs.htm Cody>   

- Skimmers and Mandarins! - I talked to a man named Cody last night and I had a few more questions.  I would like to now a few good kinds of good sump and protein skimmer (preferably together. He had a suggestion on a Life Reef. My price range is a maximum of $250-300.  <Life Reef makes pretty good stuff, but since you have a 90g, most of that budget should be sunk into a protein skimmer. I'd suggest using a 20g long aquarium or a large Rubbermaid bin for a sump and pick up an AquaC Urchin Pro with the Mag 3 pump upgrade.> I would also like to know if it's alright to put  a female mandarin fish in the 90 gal with the blackray shrimp goby a glass goby and a 2 1/2to 3 inch peppermint shrimp; these are all bottom fish that I would transfer into the 90gal from the 46gal and I haven't heard of a mandarin bothering coral and I was wondering if you new otherwise. <The mandarin won't bother any coral but the tank will need to be very well established with blatantly noticeable, large populations of amphipods and copepods. In captivity, mandarin fish rarely eat prepared foods and must survive off of what is produced in the tank. I would also suggest adding a refugium if you want to keep one of these challenging critters.> I was also wondering if a purple Tang would bother a firefish, peppermint shrimp, the two gobies that I mentioned or my two Clarkii clownfish,   <Should be fine, just get a small one. Good luck! -Kevin>

Skimming the QT? 8/16/03 Thanks for the reply.  I am more secure now.  One additional thought or rather question.  Should we be protein skimming the quarantine tank? Thanks again <not necessary for the amount of water changes that are patently necessary for the brief term of quarantine. Anthony>

Skimmer(s) for Large Tank.  (8-14-03) Hello, gentlemen,<Your lucky you landed in my inbox as there are some ladies here too.  Cody here today.> I was hoping to get your assistance and advice on a purchase I plan to make for my boyfriend for his soon-to-be 280 g SPS reef tank.  Happy birthday to him!  :) He is going to have a sump, refugium, DSB, over 300# of LR, and it will be housing mostly SPS and a few fish.<That will be a awesome tank!> The lighting will be from 400 watters and VHO's--PFO and Icecaps with Ushio 10K and URI Super Actinics.  He is kind of going for the "best" of what is available and familiar to him, from what I have witnessed.  I looked at the RK10-AC and have no desire to have such a mountain of equipment in my living room--yikes!  Plus, admittedly... I might have to take out a small loan to be able to afford it.  (Zowie!--I am thinking that I could go to Fiji for that price!) I am willing to pay for a good product...but I guess I can't play with the big dogs on this one.<There are many fine skimmers that are somewhat affordable.> He owns two tanks (one SPS) that both have Aqua C Remora skimmers so he is familiar and comfortable with Aqua C.  But is there a better product for this application? I am tossing the idea around of three brands--namely Euro-Reef, Aqua C (because it is familiar), and ETS.  Candidly, I have read all of the skimmer FAQ's...and I still am not sure.<I would choose the euro reef.> I did not read anywhere that one skimmer would serve best for SPS tanks--so I was hoping that you could help a confused gal out, here. What brand would you recommend for SPS...and what size would you recommend--I was thinking that 2X the tank volume would be a good starting point...but will it be enough to make some really rare and downright picky corals happy? Or would two be better than one.  If so, what would YOU pick? I know, I know...you have to be sick of answering this question...but please, please--I had not read if SPS were any different in their needs in skimming than the typical mixed tank.<I would go with the Euro reef CS12-1 and my second choice would be a AquaC  EV-400.  The AquaC  would be a great choice and is a little cheaper.> Sorry to be a pest...please know that you are helping me out tremendously!<Not a pest at all.  Thank you for writing so we could have a website like this!  Cody> Thanks, again!!!  You are truly the BEST!  --Dee

- Filtration Question - Thanks, Don, for the reply, but my skimmer question is not quite answered. <Hello, JasonC here this time...> I've been doing a little more thinking and talking to people, and think I may have an answer I'd like to throw out for your comment.  If my Prizm Pro is not a good skimmer, there will be more wastes in my tank, and my biological filters (live rock, a Fluval 404 canister, Penguin 330) will work harder.  <Uhh... not exactly. Protein skimmers remove a different type of waste than biological or canister filtration, so... no, I don't think your filters will work harder.>  Unless the live rock (110 lbs in 75 gallons) can keep up with the nitrate production, I will have to change water to eliminate nitrate more frequently than I would if I had a better skimmer.  <Again, I think you misunderstand the nature of protein skimming. Protein skimmers don't remove nitrate directly.> Is this right? <Nope.> If so, I just need to watch my nitrate buildup as an indicator of whether I have to upgrade to a better skimmer. <Your thinking is wrong on this.> I could even do the calculation about the dollar cost and time cost of water changes to decide whether it's worth it to get a better skimmer.  What do you think? <Upgrade your skimmer, keep up the frequent, small water changes. Different benefits will result from each practice.>   Thanks, Tom <Cheers, J -- >

- Swapping Skimmers - Hi, <Hello, JasonC here...> I have a 55 gallon tank with about a bunch of rocks (only a few of them were live but the rest are base rock with algae growing on them some purple and some dark colored). It has been running for close to two years now. I have one powerhead for circulation. I only have a CPR BakPak 2 Protein Skimmer for filtration. The tank inhabitants are as follows. One Marine Betta, One Ghost Cave Shrimp, One Golden Dwarf Moray Eel and two percula clowns.  I have an extra AquaC Remora Protein Skimmer just lying around. It hasn't been used in months and probably still has water in it from it being used from a torn down tank. Would it be okay if I cleaned up and used it in existing 55 gallon tank? <Sure, would be a better choice than the BakPak.> Also, I'm thinking about getting a baby snowflake eel. What do you guys think? <I don't think that tank is large enough for two eels.> Thanks for your time. <Cheers, J -- >

- Over-skimming? - Sorry for emailing again but I am also having a tough time with bad algae. They keep coming back. Mostly it's brown algae and little bit of green. That's why I thought using my spare skimmer would help but I wasn't sure if it would be overkill and would be bad. <The skimmer by itself or paired with your BakPak will not get rid of the algae on its own. You need to look at other means for fixing this problem: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm > Thanks again. <Cheers, J -- >

- Skimmer Selection - Hi crew, a plea for collective assistance:  I have a 20gal low (about 12"high) which I would like to fit out with a hang-on skimmer; I have about 5 inches of clearance behind the tank and about 5" above; can somebody suggest a good skimmer that would fit? Most sellers don't spec out the sizes on these things. thanks, Steve J. <I guess the big question is, will this tank be on a stand or on a flat surface. A stand would allow for a skimmer to be taller than the tank... and in this case, I'd splurge and get an Aqua-C Remora. If not, you may have to settle for something like a Red Sea Prism, which isn't the most efficient skimmer in the world, but would be better than nothing. Cheers, J -- >

Overskimming Hi again <Hello> I am reading Dr Fenner Book something that is helping me a lot in my marine aquarium setup, I have a few questions regarding skimming should I run my skimmer 24/7 a week or should I turn it of once in a while, Can I overskim my water and loose important elements with little traces in the salt water. <The benefits of running your skimmer 24/7 out weigh the negative aspects.  Trace elements will be replaced with water changes and supplementation.  I think the concern with skimmers was that they remove plankton and other naturally occurring food sources, which can and will regenerate itself in your tank, or a refugium.> By  the way I am setting  a 150 gallons aquarium into the wall reef and fish, Another decision I want to make is if I will need calcium reactor for the invertebrates. <Depends on the needs of your inhabitants, a calcium reactor or the use of Kalkwasser.  Here are some links for more info http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh2ofaqs.htm > Another question that I was not able to answer with the book was about the height of the aquarium stand in my case The height of the hole in the wall. <This is up to you, consider where you will be viewing the tank from and if you will be storing equipment underneath the tank.  The hole will also need to accommodate any lighting above the tank.  Best Regards, Gage> Again thank you in advance here from Colombia . Best Regards Andres Saravia  

- Protein Skimmer for an Eclipse 12 - Dear WWM Crew, <Greetings, JasonC here...> I know you probably get many questions on Eclipse tanks and protein skimmers. I am planning on getting an Eclipse 12 system, but I do not know if I need a protein skimmer. I was told that a small 12 gallon tank does not need a protein skimmer. <I ran a skimmer on a 2.5 gallon tank... I think protein skimming is an invaluable form of physical filtration.> I am thinking of a SeaClone because they are small, but where could I put this skimmer on the hood. The hood is totally enclosed. <It's true... with the Eclipse, any attempts to add a skimmer would necessitate modifications to the hood, perhaps with a Dremel or similar tool.> Thank you, Bob Najdek <Cheers, J -- >

Mini skimmer - 2/6/03 I have a 10 gal mini reef that has been set up for about a year.<Very cool, but very challenging even for veteran reefers. The key is daily water changes, quality water top off and minifilter with poly filter pads or carbon, in my experience. I too have a 10 gallon going on its second year.> I have been running a Skilter 250 and I hate it! <Not surprised, but have seen some fantastic tanks using Skilters. Check out Friar Tom Walsh's tanks. Holy smokes!!!!!http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tomwsmreefs.htm many others out there as well with some pretty amazing results. Have you tried some of the DIY additions for it?> I have a couple of polyps, a pin leather coral, a candy coral a couple of hermit crabs a couple of snails and a clown fish. <The clown fish may need a bigger tank shortly.>  All of my readings are normal and I keep up with water changes. <Very glad to hear. Daily water changes make a big difference> I was thinking of switching to a whisper filter and some sort of skimmer, any suggestions? <Well, to be honest I do not have a skimmer on my 10gal. reef tank. Again, I make daily water changes. I always use aerated saltwater warmed to the same temperature as my tank. Use carbon and PolyFilter mix with an Eheim mini in tank powerhead/filter. Deep sandbed. It will be very difficult to find a skimmer that will be of the right size as to accommodate outside the tank. Check the forums, maybe someone out there has found something to be practical and useful. Good luck.> Everything that I have seen I would need to raise the tank some how off the stand to accommodate the height of the skimmer. <Yeah, that has been my problem as well. You could try lining up the back edge of the tank with the back edge of the stand and try a CPR Bak-Pac. I have this skimmer on a few of my other tanks and it works fairly well. Check it out at your LFS to see if you can accommodate it first.> I hope you can give me some insight.  Thanks Chris <Hope I was of some help, Chris. Let me know what you end up doing. Paul - out>

Re: Protein skimmers Hello. Thanks for your suggestions on the ich situation I am undergoing currently. <Anthony Calfo with the follow up> To update: my coral beauty is looking better, all spots gone. Developed Popeye, treating w/ MelaFix and anti-bacterial flakes. Seems to be doing better. <the flake food is a good secondary treatment. Epsom salt (1TBN per 5 galls) would be better. The tonic is arguably useless... therapeutic at best> My question: I have a 75 gallon SW tank running 2 powerheads and a Emperor carbon-based filter. I have 2 soft corals - mushroom and button polyps. I'm interested in getting more corals. However, I do not have a protein skimmer and cannot afford one anytime soon. <I hope that you can, my friend. There are some great units that are not that expensive. I worry too that if you cannot afford the skimmer then you cannot afford to keep the corals either... point being- fluorescent lamps need to be replaced every 6-10 months. That can be more expensive than a skimmer in just one year. Halides are better in the long run (2-5 year lamp life). Tunze has a nice small skimmer for just over $100 and Euroreef has a great skimmer for under $200> I may attempt to make my own. <a fine idea with a good design> I want to add some hammer corals and maybe a few more mushrooms in the upcoming months, is it safe to do so w/o a protein skimmer? <absolutely... the skimmer is not needed when you have other good means of nutrient control (weekly water changes, weekly carbon, etc)> My water parameters are excellent thus far, salinity a bit low due to attempting to banish ICH. Also, if you have any tips on DIY protein skimmers, I'd appreciate the websites and/or suggestions.    <try ozreef.org and the big American reef BB (Reefcentral, reefs.org, Reefland, etc). Many great DIY plans on the net. Look for a Euroreef style plan IMO> Thank you. Mike - Toledo, Ohio - <best regards, Anthony>

Re: skimming question Hey Craig, I've reading the WWM FAQ's daily. When someone ask about skimming, I usually see these 2 words, "aggressive skimming". What does that mean? <Heck if I know Jun, it's a relative term.  What might be aggressive to one may not be to another.  I suppose it would be skimming with an oversized very efficient skimmer.> I run my protein skimmer 24/7 and get an iced tea color liquid, about half of the collection cup every 2 days. Also I've had the skimmer for 2 weeks now and it's still releasing bubbles in the tank (is this normal?). I have a remora pro for my 90 gal. Sorry to bug you again, just that there is so much more to learn. Thanks again. Jun <I have two remora pros running 24/7, one on a 55 on one on a 160 gallon system. When new, the first one released bubbles for a little while, but age and the style of overflow return pretty much took care of that. I also got a lighter skimmate at first but now it's very dark and thick. The volume is greater depending on the volume of the tank and the waste content.  If you want a darker skimmate, try raising the cup a bit. The volume sounds about right. Keep the sponge cleaned at least weekly. Craig>

Skimmer Thanks for the reply. <You are welcome.> Just so I'm clear (still sorta new), when a skimmer says its designed to go into a sump of a wet dry, does that mean it skims after the water has been through the bio filter? <Skimmers are designed to go in sump, hang-on, and sometimes externally, nothing really to do with W/D's.> Can you list a few skimmers and wet/dry filters that will work well together for a 72 gallon? <I would use the CPR units if you really want to go this way, but you may want to review a more natural approach. Since you are new, Mike Paletta's "The New Marine Aquarium" could be helpful to you. -Steven Pro>

Modified Skimmer article submission Anthony  will have brief article on the conversion. You can polish, I need it. Pictures will come with it, about the middle of next week. Hope you are well, RGibson <thank you so much, my friend. If you like, we will help you get it published... ours or another e-zine, print mag possibly. It will certainly be a delight for our fellow WWM readers and friends to be posted here. My best to you and your family in kind :) Anthony

ProPrism by Red Sea During my flight to Hawaii last month I was seated next to a Red Sea sales rep. Well, to make a long story short a ProPrism with all the options showed up at my door step last week. It is of the hang on the tank or sump variety. I have a skimmer in my sump already and besides, this one is a bit tall to hang on the sump and remove the collection cup. I would like to find a person, preferably a youngster, just starting out who could use this. They don't come cheap, so I thought I would just donate it to them to help them get started in the hobby. <Please list this unit on our BB: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/, likely under "For Sale (or Trade)"> I live in Temecula. <Ahh, just north of us (Mira Mesa) in San Diego. Bob Fenner> Rick Farris

AETech Contact Information As a fish shop owner, I would like to contact them about direct purchase of there ETSS skimmers. If you could point me in their direction I would appreciate it. <They can be found at http://www.superskimmer.com/> Thanks, Matt Jensen Owner - Sho Tank Aquariums <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Needle Wheel Skimmers Guys, Could you explain why the needle wheel's performance is better than the Beckett "spray induction" skimmer ? <Mmm, most needle-wheel types produce more and finer bubbles mixed in... and these "being slower to rise, staying in contact longer" in the contact chamber than spray injection types. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Chuck Spyropulos

Too Much ?? Skimmers, Over-skimming Hello Bob, Ron Smith here, I have another question for you. Can a person "over skim" water with a huge protein skimmer?  <Yes, can be done... either as an aspect of removing too much of "things" that would be better left... at least to some extent... in the water (many short chain fatty acids, different sizes of plankton... sex cells that filter feeders might otherwise consume...). Another view is the money spent on the gear and its operation versus what you're getting for the investment... Depends on what sort of livestock, intent one has.> I have a customer that has a 225 gallon and wants a Jacuzzi Aquamedic skimmer on the filter. This skimmer is designed for much much larger systems. Is it too much? <Maybe... you might try/suggest cycling the thing on/off a few hours per day... till you "see" what's about "right"... perhaps in terms of enough darkish material removed per... time run. Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmer Thanks for your help and for a great website. My LFS told me I would need to buy a protein skimmer, <I would agree.> an external filter (Fluval 404 or something similar) <You already have a canister filter. I see no reason for a second.> and an internal wet-dry filter (BioLife I think) <I have seen these before. A Hagen product, one of the few things Hagen makes that I really do not like.> about ?250 altogether apparently and that my Eheim would only work as extra filtration. <I have never used the Ecco line. Is this model saltwater safe?> I have now decided to opt for fish-only and I know a skimmer is necessary but I am still confused about additional filtration, is my canister filter useless or is my local dealer just trying to get money out of me. I need to keep costs quite low but I want to provide good comfortable conditions for the fish. Is a plenum useful in a fish-only tank? <I would not bother with its implementation. I have found no benefits to a plenum over a DSB. -Steven Pro>

DIY Protein Skimmer Hi Bob. <<Actually, JasonC this time...>> I have a few questions on DIY protein skimmers. I have a 55 gallon system (might upgrade to bigger one in future), and I was planning on trying to build my own skimmer, from links I got online. My first question is how big around does the reaction tube need to be( I have seen anything from 3' to 6' diameters), <<in feet, really? That's pretty large for a 55, it probably doesn't need to be quite that large.>> for best results? #2, What is the shortest a reactor tube can be and still be effective (I have custom built cabinet and don't have a lot of clearance)? <<Hmm, those two questions are relative - adjust one and you necessarily have to adjust the other.>> I have read different heights on this also. Some people say if it isn't at least 18' to 20' tall it won't function well, yet I see some that are sold being as short as 14' to 16' for the reactor tube height. <<Personally, I think the first and most important design factor should be the quality of the foam - if the bubbles created are too large, the reactor won't be efficient.>> Last question is do you know of anyplace where I can buy the clear acrylic for the reactor pipe? <<Please don't shoot the messenger; at an acrylic supply house, check the yellow pages.>> I have looked all over and can only find pvc pipe in those diameters. Thank you for your help. <<I would recommend a book to you which has multiple formulae for  calculating best sizes for protein skimmer design, Aquatic Systems Engineering: Devices & How They Function by P.R. Escobar. It's a great book, I have a copy and know that the answers to your questions lie within. I would also add that the "American Way" of trial and error would also be worth a shot using PVC due to the low cost - or certainly lower than acrylic... in addition, Anthony Calfo has penned an article on the subject which contains dimensions and the like, you can read it here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diyskimmer.htm Cheers, J -- >>

Skimmer Good day Wet Web people, <cheers mate> Quick question...but feel free to take your time with the answer. If, by frequent water changes, light bio-load, copious amount of live rock, good water flow, light feedings, etc...I am able to keep by nitrates consistently at 0 and phosphates extremely low and the water crystal clear, what benefit would I receive from using a protein skimmer? <reduction of DOC levels more so, reduction of noxious allelopathic compounds, and many more contaminants that are not polarized/charged (and subsequently not attracted to ad-sorbtive media like resins, poly-filters, carbon etc)> Thanks in advance, William Snyder Stuart, FL <although you can run a successful tank without a skimmer... why would you want to? You haven't mentioned that you are setting up a species tank with an animal that would be imposed upon by aggressive skimming. Most marine life categorically benefits by the alterations (improvements) to water quality with a good skimmer or two. The key to doing without a skimmer would be large frequent water changes... weekly bare minimum and an automated small daily water change would be better IMO. Best regards, Anthony>

Pump skimmer Anthony Calfo It is not often that I get to thank suppliers for a job will done. When I decided to take out two Iwaki md 40rlxt pumps and go to a Dolphin 3000 Aqua sea pump to run the water from sump to the 180 gal reef tank and run the Aqua C 180 skimmer, Joseph from Marine Depot, Tom from Dolphin pumps. and Jason from Aqua C Sea helped. They all helped to make a job well done and it ended up to be a very quiet system and one that is very easy to service RGibson <glad to hear it my friend! I will be sure to post the kudos for all to see. Kindly, Anthony>

RE: skimmer picture Anthony, We would be pleased to provide whatever you need. We have only two problems we are busy and disorganized.  <honesty and industry... both are dearly respected!> I have attached a link to our website in progress (still not finished after 3 years!) so that you can give me an idea what you think would be best: small or large, aquarium or aquaculture, clear, FRP or HDPE? Chris has started a digital file of images, let me know your file requirements and we will see what we can come up with. Thanks, Robert <thank you, my friend! Actually... I think a slide or very high res image of the RK75PE would be very fine for an illustration. The one on your site with a man standing next to it for scale would be excellent or something like it. A digital image can be sent here to Bob's e-mail address... his home address if a hard slide instead. Thank you kindly, Anthony Calfo.> http://www.obgraphics.net/rk2systems/intro.html

Livestock and skimmer question. Hello Bob, <Hi there> I had been doing freshwater for 10 years and then totally got out of the hobby for 2 years (Regret that!). I always wanted to do a saltwater fish only set-up and I finally did! I love it! For starters I have a 50 Gal. Clear For Life Uniquarium (Acrylic aquarium w/built in wet/dry in the rear). Kind of sucks since it takes almost 1/3 of the inside of the aquarium, but I am limited with space and I didn't have room for a sump or canisters. I have 50lbs. of aragonite, 25lbs. of LR, an Ebo-Jager heater and an Excalibur protein skimmer (made by Knop I believe), 24" fixture with 1 sun-Glo and 1 50/50 Coralife actinic bulb. As far as livestock I have a 3" Yellow Tang, one 3" Niger Trigger, one 2 1/4" Huma Trigger, one 1 1/2" Mean Domino Damsel, one Arrow crab, and 6 turbo snails. Tank measurements are 36" long, 20" high and I think 16 or 17" deep. I try to only go to this one particular fish store that is called Octopus's Garden. Ron (the owner) is an awesome guy, very friendly and helpful I love his store.  <Yes, a fine fellow... we are friends> I bought my skimmer from Ron, he said it would outperform the CPR Back-Pak. The skimmer came with a bigger collection cup and a bigger pump Rio 800) looks cool too. Ron told me that I can modify this skimmer by drilling a hole in the top cover and running a wooden airstone down to the middle of the skimmer. I have been doing some research on air pumps and I don't know which one to get, also would it be wise to do this mod?  <Yes, a good idea. Do keep investigating and put your money into a better brand... less noisy and will last... and do be diligent about cleaning, drying out your airstones regularly> The tank has been running for 2 months now, what other livestock can I put in there and what do you think my limit will be? <Many, many choices. Please give a read through the livestock sections, and pieces on selection archived on our ever-growing website WetWebMedia.com> I do 15 -20% water changes every 10 days. I was thinking of adding an eel or another trigger, I love triggers!  <Do keep looking for a larger tank/s... maybe place to live as well then> Water quality is Ph 8.2, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5 ppm, ammonia 0. I am sorry for the long novel. Ron always mentions your book, I have looked through it and plan on buying it this weekend. What are some other things that I should add as far as filtration goes? More live rock? I can add a canister filter now if I have to, I made some room. Thank you for your time Bob. New to salt, Frank. <Enjoy skimming through WWM re these topics. There is a search tool there as well as exhaustive indices. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer question #100,001 Hi there WWM crew (or reef gurus, marine masters, etc)! <<Hello to you, JasonC here...>> I have a question on skimmers (again) for you. I am setting up a small (5-25 g) tank for captive-raised seahorses. The tank is going to be as tall as possible (i.e., REALLY tall and skinny). I am looking for a skimmer for this tank. Seahorses do NOT like strong water movement, but I like protein skimmers for their wonderful qualities. Any suggestions for specific brands for nano-tanks? <<No real specific brand suggestions, but you might consider Frankenstein-ing a couple of parts together. You might also want to consider if this is really necessary - the sea horses won't be producing an incredibly high bioload, certainly not like a fish-only or reef system would.>> I am looking to supply the horses with GOOD water- prob. Tropic Marine salt ($$!), and perhaps ro/di filtered water ($$$$!). Do you think this is necessary? <<Well, I also use Tropic Marin so that should work well for you too, as to the RO/DI - have you tested your water to see how good or bad it might be? You may find you only need a simple RO system.>> (gives me an excuse to buy an ro unit for all my tanks :) . . . but Hawaii water is very soft and unbuffered) Suggestion? Hmm . . . a big problem with heat. Fans evaporate the water in the little tanks SO quickly . . . maybe I'll consider that little Cool Works Ice Probe thing. <<I'm not sure these can cool anything more than a 10g tank. A fan blowing air over the top of the tank to provide evaporative cooling might do just as well. You'll just need to work on your top-off system.>> Should I even add a heater to my tank? <<I would, just to make sure the temperature stays stable over night.>>. . . I'll think up lots more questions for you guys, but for now, THANKS! . . . and Alooooooha! <<Aloha to you. Cheers, J -- >>

Protein Skimmer Hello there, I am thinking about getting an AquaC Urchin or Remora protein skimmer. I have limited space under my 55g tank. The sump is a 10g glass tank with 4-5 inches of water and the box holding the carbon and bio-balls takes up most of the space. I've read that you really appreciate the quality of the AquaC products, so do you think that this would be a good investment for me?  <I would sooner not run most marine aquaria than do so without a good skimmer! Yes, very good investment> I like the small footprint of the skimmer (it'll just make it into the sump), and mostly the price. What is the general opinion about these skimmers?  <one of the best values for the price> Do you prefer the sump or H.O.T. skimmer? <I favor sump models when you can/care to make an internal skimmer box (for more reliable water level) see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/AnthonysPlumbingDiagram.pdf> Currently I've got six small pieces of live rock (three in the sump; do they need light?),  <yes, for many interesting growths to flourish> 3 Florida Condy anemones,  <do resist keeping or at least mixing anemone species... a recipe for disaster in the future with their competitive and motile nature. Feed VERY regularly (several times weekly with very fine shredded meats) and give very bright reef light if you are to have success> 3 serpent stars, 7 snails, about 10 blue legged hermits, a cucumber, a cinnamon clown, 4 damsels, a Kole tang, and a yellow tang (fish are 2 1/2 - 4 1/2" long, damsels are about 1 inch). I want to add some mushrooms in the future, and an E. quadricolor (?spelling) anemone. <this anemone like most belongs in a species tank...not to be mixed with other cnidarians if you are to have long term success (not just a year or two)> Thank you, Randy M. Yniguez, MA <best regards, Anthony>

Aqua-C Skimmer Trouble I bought a Aqua-C model EV180 30 days ago. The collection cup top is hard to get off, check with Aqua C was told to put Vaseline on the gasket it did not help much . I see know need of buying auto waste container at $ 79.95 and end up cleaning it and the collection cup to when the cap on the collection cup could be vented to let the air out and keep waste in and could be used by it self. I hope you can help. RGibson <I would "tap" the collection cup and attach a drain line to it to a one gallon plastic milk jug or such... Please get on down to a retail shop or look on the internet at how these ports are arranged... use a sharp drill bit... and either Weld-On solvent or silicone rubber. Bob Fenner, who finds it very hard to believe this part sticks... and will cc Jason Kim of Aqua-C re>

DIY protein skimmers how to create my own skimmer to support reef life. my tank is about 120 gallons. I f you have any schematics on how to create a system, or some one I can contact via e-mail, I would greatly appreciate any help. I recently went to a pet store and was told it would run me about 400$ to 500$ to purchase the system. I know this is way out of my price range. But still determined to have my own reef life. Sincerely, Carlos <Carlos... if you can have them shipped affordably to your location, please look at some of the fantastic skimmers online at some of the vendors listed on our WWM. You can get a very good skimmer for about half of what you were quoted before through the likes of Custom Aquatic, Reef Splendor and more. Some great brands include Aqua C, Turboflotor, CPR, and Euroreef. If you still need DIY plans... do a keyword search on a search engine for "DIY protein skimmer plans" and also follow the links on OzReef site (http://www.ozreef.org/DIY/index.html) Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Fwd by FAMA: Novel fractionation application Ms. Crews, Thank you for taking the time to read my e-mail and responding. I will be brief in the set up, however, I'm unsure who to actually send this to, so hopefully you can help by forwarding this on or you have the answers for me. To start, I have been an aquarist for most of my 35 years. My brothers started me into the hobby and I have taken it farther and into the marine world, very successfully. As part of the marine environment, protein skimmers are a valuable part of maintaining a system. I work in the fresh-cut produce world and would like to apply some the techniques used in fish husbandry world. Another words, I would like to install a protein skimmer on to the flume wash system to help remove excess proteins and chloramines from the water. I do have more specific questions, however I wish not to waste your time having to go through everything if you are not the right person to ask. I can completely outline the present wash system with details such as pH and oxidation levels, water volume, etc. I greatly appreciate ANY help that you can give me. Thank you very much. Jim Survey Orlando, Florida <Forwarded to me Jim. Fire away... do you have Phil Escobar's work on aquarium engineering? Let's chat. Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com>

Another Skimmer Problem Good morning WWM Crew! <Good evening, now. Steven Pro in today.> I have a AquaC Urchin Pro skimmer on a 72g tank. The skimmer is not working correctly, I am lucky to get a half inch of nasty stuff a week. <Has production decreased or was it never producing?> I have read through the book for adjustments but, can't find any reference for adjustments to be made. If you have any ideas I would greatly appreciate it. <The first thing I would do is to clean the skimmer pump thoroughly. This may also include, after cleaning, a half hour run/soak in hot water with vinegar to remove any deposits. If this does not rectify the situation, I would contact Aqua-C for help. Jason Kim and his company are known for outstanding customer service.> Thanks for all your hard work and dedication. The WWM is a daily stop for me as I am sure for others as well. <Glad to hear it.> Sincerely, Lori <Have a nice night. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Problem I have been running my Berlin Classic Skimmer/RIO 2100 pump within my wet/dry filter below my 125 gallon tank for roughly 6 weeks now. Roughly 1.5 weeks ago the bubble activity dropped tremendously and I cannot figure out why. I removed the Venturi Cone, which contained no material, I ran hot water through the air line tube, still nothing. My skimmer is currently not skimming, any advice would be appreciated. <I assume the pump is functioning and water flowing through the unit. This means that air is not getting in for some reason. Perhaps replace the neoprene tubing. You may also want to contact Red Sea for Customer Service, too. They should have contact info on their webpage which you can find from our links.> By the way, your book, 'The Conscientious Marine Aquarist' was a great read. I learned a ton. <I am sure Bob appreciates the compliment.> By the way, what style of filter do you prefer? Peter <I use different methodologies for different situations. It all depends on what your desired outcome is. -Steven Pro>

Protein skimmers  Hello Gentlemen, <Cheers, reefer! Anthony Calfo here> Another question for you guys. After finally getting disgusted with a total lack of performance with a Berlin skimmer, I purchased an Aggressor skimmer by Marine Life Aquatics Inc.. So far it seems to be outperforming the Berlin skimmer by about 10-1. Is this that much better a skimmer, or are the berlins that bad?  <answer to the first question: I have no experience with this model or brand..... answer to second question: er, .... how about those Lakers! What a game!> I was just wondering if you guy's had any experience with the Aggressors.  <zip> I don't know if I should be mildly happy or ecstatic. <that depends on if you are sitting on the venturi or not> Once again, thanks a million, Joe G. <no... thank you, my friend! Anthony>

Re: Skilters (nature of human involvement, commitment) Steven, That sounds right. I need something though less complicated. I just want a small saltwater tank to enjoy and just want to know what I need to set it up. <To be truly successful, you will have to understand what is going on and why.> Probably not the best, but really don't care why I need it. There has to be a simple way to set a tank up with the basic requirements. As I read the sites, as I did some of Bob's stuff last night I don't call it simple and basic. No offense intended here. <Take a look at Mike Paletta's book, "The New Marine Aquarium". It is supposed to be pretty simple, but I do caution you. Saltwater tanks are inherently complicated; chemistry, compatibility issues, terminology, etc. Much to learn.> I appreciate your input and will just try to check sites out and see what I can find that I understand and can apply to my own situation. <Hope you find what you are looking for. -Steven Pro>

Skilters  Hi Bob <Hello> I was told today that I would need a Skilter for my saltwater tank. I haven't a clue what this is, what it does or where to find it. Can you help?? <This is a brand name for a line of combination outside power filters and skimmers. A protein skimmer, aka foam fractionator is an important tool for improving water quality in captive marine systems. Please use the Google Search tool on the bottom of: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ and/or read through the article on Marine Physical Filtration: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphysf.htm and the many FAQs beyond on Skimmer Selection. I encourage you to delve into the hobby, reading a good general book or two, chatting on line or browsing the hobby bulletin boards if you have time/interest. Bob Fenner> Dianne

Re: Skilters, Confusion Hi Bob, <Steven Pro in this morning.> thanks for the info. I have been reading and asking questions, but everyone has their own opinion and of course, these all differ. <Different methodologies, but many have the same roots and desired outcomes.> Very confusing for a newbie. Some of the reading also only leaves me on the confused side. <I would highly recommend Bob's book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". It is incredibly informative, in an easy to read format. You can get a copy on-line at Di's Aquatics, www.disaquatics.com> I have had freshwater tanks for many years. These sure seem a lot easier to understand and setup. <Many of the same principals; mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. Just different ways of accomplishing some of them. -Steven Pro>

RedSea Skimmer Questions <<Jason C here, Bob is out... diving.>> Hi, I am going to get a Red sea Berlin hang on skimmer I already own a Rio 2100 pump (700 gph) 1.is the Rio 2100 good enough for the Berlin hang on skimmer? and if its not powerful enough then what will be the outcome? will it just skim slightly less or will it significantly reduce in quality or will it not function properly at all? <<you do best to ask this question of RedSea who make the skimmer. They're in the best position to answer this. A link to their web site can be found on the links page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/links.htm >> 2.what is the ideal Rio pump for the Berlin hang-on skimmer? <<check with RedSea>> 3.red sea also makes the Berlin turbo which includes a pump. is this pump quieter than the ideal Rio pump? <<ditto>> 4.is it worth it to spend the 20 dollars more and get a Berlin turbo hang on protein skimmer? <<possibly>> thank you very much for your help <<you are welcome, but I hope I was helpful. Cheers, J -- >>

Skimmer Questions Bob. <<JasonC again...>>I have always been a big fan of protein skimmers. <<myself as well>> I have read many articles and postings on the net that do not use or use protein skimming infrequently. <<this is true, but certainly not the way I would handle my tanks.>> They say in a reef tank it takes out many goodies that a reef needs. <<perhaps if you install the "Whammo-Jammo" skimmer which is as large as a house, otherwise I don't think this is as big an issue as people make it out to be. [pulling out too many nutrients, etc.]>> My latest reading on this is in FAMA's WaterMarc. November's issue. Wild article indeed. <<will have to read this myself.>> I would love to hear your thoughts on that article about Ich and protein skimming. <<will have to wait until I read it for that or until Bob comes back and reads it. Whichever comes first.>> Hmmm. Since my fish are in the q-tank being treated I am not running to skimmer on my main tank. The live rock is growing tons of different tube worms. There is all kinds of tiny critters everywhere. I know the fish eat these things but this is a lot more than I would have ever expected. <<I really don't think these two things are related.>> Since I have always skimmed, I do not know what a non-skimmed tank is like. I can even see little things swimming around the tank that the corals can eat. I think that most can evade the filtration system but not the skimmer. <<tell you what, do and experiment - turn the skimmer on and see if the numbers of these things goes down or stays the same. I will place my money on just the same. You just didn't notice this stuff because the fish ate most of it.>> Is a skimmer less system O.K. for a reef tank or just too risky. <<I don't think it's wise. As an aside to your previous email about people who don't aerate their tanks enough. If you are running a good skimmer, this will aerate your water more than enough... no need to add extra pumps - effluent is loaded with oxygen.>> Zimmy
<<Cheers, J -- >>

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