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FAQs about Skimmers for Small Marine Systems 1

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



Acanthurus glaucopareius... no tang species is appropriately kept in less than sixty or more gallons

Bob,

I have a TL-550 Nano marine tank, I've kept marines for about two and a half years now. The problem I have is that the protein skimmer that came with the TL-550 just seems to fill up as soon as its emptied and it has been this way since I have had it. I've cleaned it, adjusted airflow and well basically, I have done everything I can. I've even visited various marine fish shops over this period to ask the question whether I put another skimmer on the tank.

Now upon asking this question, they all say the same thing that I could but would have to leave the lid off the aquarium altogether, which I don't want to do.

I've asked about the Nano skimmers such as the v2 Nano and was told that the problem I would have is the height adjustment and that if it didn't have the height it wouldn't skim properly.

My livestock consists of a
Coral Beauty,
2 Percula Clowns,
PJ Wrasse,
2 Squibini Anthias,
Brittle Starfish,
Sand Sifting Starfish,
Hermits and Turbo snails
4 LPS corals 

I am planning to upgrade to a Juwel Rio 300 in the next year or two, but can't really afford to upgrade at this present moment.

I've been told from various people on reef forums that they have the same problem with this unit and it is just a cheap design.

Is there a remedy to this or do I just put up and shut up so to speak? 

Thanks,
Chris
Tyne and Wear 

I do concur that the Buyo 308 skimmer that comes with the TL 550 is of feeble engineering/design. You could upgrade this unit with their (Buyo 310), but I don't think this would satisfy me'¦  

                There are some trials in the way of modifying the existing unit that are worth discussing'¦ restricting, or diverting some of the skimmer intake, drilling (with plugs at the ready) holes of varying size in the skimmer contact chamber'¦ in attempt to lower the standing water level to just below the collector cup'¦  

                The best alternative, considering your intent to purchase the Juwel Rio 300 is to go ahead and purchase the skimmer you intend to use on this new system, and modify your existing sump to accommodate the extant unit. The BH 1000 Reef Octopus skimmer is a good choice, but there are several other possibilities, including smaller units in Tunze's fine line.
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:
Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
B
ook 2:
Fishes

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:
Systems

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

skimmers, rec. for small systems     10/25/12
Hi I have been reading at your site about skimmer recommendations, I see the Euro reef or Aqua C is mentioned allot, I live in Canada and the Euro does not seem to be available here like a lot of things, do you know where in Canada if possible, or if I can order it from the USA??
can you recommend anything else, I have a 30 gal,  and a 20 gal, I think I would need a hang on, what do you think? 
<Yes; I would have you look into Aqua C's Remora line:
http://www.proteinskimmer.com/Product%20Pages/Remora%20Series.htm
I did not have much luck with the aqua C in the past, maybe my fault, too many bubbles, could not adjust it properly, but it had the power head in the tank, with the big black box which took up a lot of room,  I would like one where the power head  is on the outside contained in the skimmer itself, any help here would be greatly appreciated.
<Do call them (Jason, Steve) at Aqua C... for excellent customer service should you have questions, concerns>
thanks again
in kind
Val Sammut
Toronto, Canada...
<Welcome, Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA>

Taam Rio Nano Protein Skimmer  4/25/11
Hello crew.
I have a simple question. I have a 20 gallon tall tank with:
Ocellaris Clown
Pink Spotted Goby
Bicolor Blenny
(one of the last 2 might be removed)
pistol shrimp
<... this may pose a (predatory) problem. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alphcompf.htm>
skunk cleaner shrimp
porcelain crab
few Shrooms
Kenya tree
2 Ricordeas
The question is regarding the "Taam Rio Nano Protein Skimmer"
Any thoughts on it?
<I think this is one of Taam's good products... does work quite well for the application, and the price! Very reasonable>
Some have told me that it is decent and its new so not much experience. Others tell me that they have never used it but are fond of Taam Rio
brand. Any input will suffice. Thanks in advance.
<Do read here as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimrs4smsysfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Deltec Skimmers: Skimmer Selection in a smaller tank. 10/12/2010
Hi Crew!
<Hi Sam, nice to hear from you again>
Thank you so much for helping with my previous questions, and now I have another for you if you don't mind.
<Certainly.>
I'm in the process of choosing a skimmer for my 30 Gallon FOWLR. It's pretty much between the Deltec MCE300 or MCE600, if you're familiar with those models. I've heard a lot of good things about the 600 and some bad about the 300 but I am concerned about over skimming.
<A needless concern.>
Do you think that would happen with the 600?
<No.>
I may change the FOWLR to a reef tank in the future. Do you think the 300 would be fine for my tank?
<Either should serve you well.>
I have read some of the FAQs on the site re. skimming and Deltec (consensus seem they are good quality) and notice some people prefer overskimming to underskimming.
<I'm firmly in the 'damn the torpedoes and skim the tank to death' camp.>
I know its subjective and is down to personal experience but wanted a more informed opinion!
<Well, I will give you the reasons behind my opinion. I have never seen an instance of over-skimming. You could search the WWM pages and be hard pressed to find definitive proof that over-skimming caused a problem in a tank I do not think it is realistically possible in a home aquarium. We are always going to overfeed our fish and corals, we are always going to skip a water change or two, etc. I say get the largest skimmer your tank can support. and run with it. If it were me in your position, I would go
with the 600.>
Thank you kindly,
<My pleasure as always.>
Sam.
<MikeV>
ps. I recently asked a question re a aluminum stand and well...decided to bite the bullet and get a wooden one!
<Ahh good news. I think you will be happier with it in the long run.>
Thanks a lot for helping in my decision, it was a tough one. (or I should say a financially expensive lesson!)
<You could always get another tank and make that into a freshwater tank, which would be fine with an aluminum stand.> 

in-line protein skimmer?   9/24/10
Dear WWM Crew,
I spent a few hours on the site (and the internet in general) searching for an answer, and haven't found one. I am really sorry if you have answered a question like this already. Anyway, I am not happy with my Red Sea Prizm Deluxe. It is difficult to adjust, and the skimmate is always very light.
<Not one of my higher-rated makes/models>
I just don't feel like it is doing a good job. I do not have room for an overflow/sump combo under the tank. I have a standard 29gallon tank (30x12x18) on a manufactured stand, and I already have a 4.5 gallon ATO reservoir in the stand.
I was thinking about plumbing the filter intake from a canister filter into an in-line protein skimmer,
<Mmm, no>
and then plumb the skimmer outflow into the canister, and then the canister outflow back to the tank. Is this a stupid idea?
<Too risky, fraught w/ potential for disaster to endorse>
Would it even work? If not, are there any modifications to this that would make it work effectively? If this is just a bad idea, do you have any suggestions for a good small-scale skimmer that is easy to adjust?
<Oh yes... My first choice, Aqua-C's Remoras... But please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/skimrs4smsysfaqs.htm>
I know you get tons of questions, and I truly appreciate you sharing your time and expertise.
Sincerely,
Elizabeth
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Lots of questions re: Nano system (protein skimmer, return pump size, plenum) 7/4/10
Hello from North Queensland, Australia where it's 2am in the dead of winter and 21 degrees Celsius!
<Ah, a nice 32 Celsius here at midnight in central California!>
I had a tank from my student days which was about all I could afford (2 foot tank of about 23 gallons with a sump of about 15 gallons) which I had the cheapest hardware known to man in. It was loud, ugly and didn't work very well. I still have all of it (a Queen Turboskimmer which I never got proper foam out of and a few hot 2000lph pumps) but I think I should upgrade. Which leads me to my first question
1. Protein skimmer. I've read a fair bit on your site about this. The range is fairly good here in Australia, though we don't seem to have the Euro-Reef range you guys rave about. I have narrowed it down to either the Tunze DOC 9002 ($235au) or the AquaC Remora ($220au + pump). Which is the better option? Also, as I have a plenum in my sump (and not much room), I'm thinking if the Tunze intake is at the bottom of it, it wouldn't fit anyway
<I have used and love both of these skimmers. My nod does go to the AquaC though. It is just simple to run, install and maintain. Do look for the Urchin option, it is the same as the Remora except it is configured for in sump use. The Remora will work in sump, but the Urchin will take up less room without modifying it.>
2. Which leads me in to my next question. Should I ditch the plenum?
I set it up according to this article by Roy Meeke
http://www.saltcorner.com/Articles/ArticlePics/Meek_PlenumSystem.pdf
Should I just go a pure DSB?
<I personally would in such a small volume.>
3. I've attached a photo of the return system from the sump http://img.whirltools.com/i/76018022453724210559.jpg
The top left (black pipe) is where the water from the sump will come back in and then the multiple two headed outlets hopefully will create a bit of a stir before the water goes back through the overflow weir (top right)... Is this a good idea?
<Nope. When the power goes out you will have to rely on siphon breaks and/or check valves to keep from draining the tank. It is far more safe to run such a return off a closed loop.>
What sized pump should I be using in the sump to power this? I'm looking at an AquaBee Up 3000lph, would it do the trick (and is it an OK brand/model)?
<Great pumps, good size for this system depending on your overflow drain diameters. See: http://wetwebmedia.com/BulkheadFloRateArt.htm>
From memory, the diameter of each of those outlets is 15mm... Any pumps you recommend?
<AquaBee, Eheim and Oceanrunner are all fine choices that you should be able to get your hands on down under.>
I've got good lighting (110w CF, tank depth 15 inches) and know I have to buy lots of live rock. I'm going to hang a stocking on the end of the weir->sump tubing and change it regularly. I can't wait to get the whole thing fired up again. I plan on just running it with plain water and no sand to ensure there's no new leaks from multiple transits and hopefully to get rid of some of the salt creep, then I'll get things going.
First I need to get the right hardware though! Look forward to hearing your thoughts and my apologies for the LONG winded questions.
<No problem, not too long! Look into a product called LocLine. It will allow you to keep your return outlets near the top to minimize siphoning and yet still allow you to precisely direct the flow to the tank. And do check your overflow capacity against the link above!>
I first started reading WWM 7 years ago!!! LOVE IT!
<That is about when I started reading WWM too! I have always dearly loved the site and now it is an honor to participate along with the crew. Thank you, it is always good to hear others are gaining from it too!>
I'm definitely excited about the relaunch.
<Congratulations on jumping back in!>
Cheers
Ben
<Scott V.>

Nano Protein Skimmers   5/26/10
Wet Web Crew
<Dom>
I have a Oceanic 29 Bio Cube, which is setup as a reef tank. It has been running for about 2 months and I would like to put a Nano protein skimmer in the back slump (bio ball location). I have read many review and am more confused than before. I have limited it to three different models, can you please give me some advice on which. Model 1 Aquatic Life Internal Mini Protein Skimmer Model 2 Aqua Euro Nano Skimmer Model 3 Fission Nano Skimmer.
<Of these, unless you need the Fission to fit in a tiny space, I'd go with the Aquatic Life unit first>
I am also having a problem with high phosphates, I can not get them below .5 ppm.
<What do you think is the source, or sources here?>
I am down to feeding the fish every other day. Load is 55 # live rock,
<A possibility>
2 peppermint shrimp, 1 CB shrimp, few hermits and snails, one clown, hippo, watchman, and Jawfish. Fish are very tiny less than 2 inches each. I have about 6 different coral frags and a few sponges growing on live rock. Thanks for your time.
Dominick Perrone Jr.
<Mmm, you may want to try "some" (a small amount) or HPO4 removing media... likely an ounce or so of GFO, applied as here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/phosphatemar.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> 
Nano Protein Skimmers, another Salty go   5/26/10
Wet Web Crew
<Dominick>
I have a Oceanic 29 Bio Cube, which is setup as a reef tank. It has been running for about 2 months and I would like to put a Nano protein skimmer in the back slump (bio ball location). I have read many review and am
more confused than before. I have limited it to three different models, can you please give me some advice on which. Model 1; Aquatic Life Internal Mini Protein Skimmer.
<I would choose this model over the other two.>
Model 2; Aqua Euro Nano Skimmer.
<Only rated for 24 gallons, that one is a no.>
Model 3; Fission Nano Skimmer.
<Mmm, don't care for the suction cups on this one.>
I am also having a problem with high phosphates, I can not get them below .5 ppm. I am down to feeding the fish every other day.
<Must be difficult to do with your culinary skills.>
Load is 55 # live rock, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 CB shrimp, few hermits and snails, one Clown, Hippo, watchman, and Jawfish. Fish are very tiny, less than 2 inches each. I have about 6 different coral frags and a few
sponges growing on live rock.
<As the fish grow, there will be too many fish for this system. The Blue Tang does not belong here at all, much too small a tank and is best suited for systems of 70+ gallons. I would return/find another home for this fish
as it will not last long in your system. Best to read/learn about fish before adding them, will save much grief and money.
As to the phosphates, you may be reading the residual of the test kit. Have your local store test/compare with your reading. If your kit is reading correctly, adding the skimmer should clear this problem up for you. Now, I have a query for you. I'd love a recipe for a good rib eye marinade:).>
Thanks for your time.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Dominick Perrone Jr.
Culinary Arts Teacher
East Bay High School
"Condiments are like old friends - highly thought of, but often taken for granted."
Marilyn Kaytor

Re: Nano Skimmer Selection, Original Thread Missing   5/27/10
Please do not post <recipe> on website this is for James (Salty Dog)
<Will alert Bob to your request.><<Done. RMF>>
1. Thank you for response I will go with Aquatic Life Skimmer. I will be moving the blue tang into a 125, that just finished its cycle.
<Great to hear this.>
I had planned on that when I purchased her she is a baby about the size of a dime.
<Lucky you, this size tang rarely survives.>
Thank all of you at Wet Web Media for the help.
<I thank you for providing, and I am looking forward to preparing this for the upcoming holiday weekend. My wife is already drooling. James (Salty Dog)>
Dominick Perrone Jr.

24G Nano Cube algae problem and skimmer addition - Excess Nutrients in a Nano. 5/23/2010
Hi WWM Crew,
<Hi Tom, MikeV here, sitting in the airport shortly before my trip to South America.>
I'll apologize up front about the length of this email.
<No Apologies necessary - more detail is better.>
I have a few questions related to one issue that I have been chasing for a couple months. My Mom has a JBJ 24G Nano-Cube reef tank that I maintain.
The tank has been running for @ 5-6 years and has always used Oceanic brand salt. Last year, I replaced the crushed coral base with @ 30lbs of live sand. So the tank has 30lbs sand and @30-40lbs live rock.
<...and we have a smoking gun...>
Animals are 2-Ocellaris clownfish, 1-Green Clown Goby, a handful of Cerith snails, Nassarius snails, Astrea snails, blue-legged hermits, and some Asterina stars. Corals are Anthelia, Zoanthids, Lemnalia tree, Green Button Polyps and 2-varieties of Green Star Polyps. Lighting is 2x36W 50/50 pc (replaced 3 months ago and on a 6-month schedule). No skimmer (yet) and stock circulation.
<Skimmer would be of a tremendous benefit here, as would more circulation.>
The tank has been running great for years. About 2 months ago, I began noticing her corals losing vibrance. I wouldn't say they were bleaching as much as changing into odd shades (maybe that is a form of bleaching).
<It is.>
The purple anthelia began turning a dull lime green color (think of lime sherbet added to a bowl of milk). I began increasing water change volumes with no luck. I've done 50% water changes with no luck reversing this trend. Then the star polyps that were growing up the back wall of the tank began dying back. I have tested the water and found Ph-8.3, SG-1.025-1.026, Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-10, KH-12-13DKH, Ca-@400ppm.
Water temp steady @78*F.
<How about your phosphates??
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_5/volume_5_3/phosphates.htm >
I began second guessing my tests and had the water tested at a local LFS.
My Mom pulled the sample and let it sit in the car for @2hours before going to the LFS. They noted an extremely low O2 level (low enough that they felt everything in the tank should be dead), but decided that was most likely caused by the sample sitting in a closed container for 2 hours.
<I agree.>
Otherwise, their tests pretty much mirrored mine. They said everything looked fine and she should add a poly filter to one of the filtration chambers. We added the poly filter and it quickly turned dark brown (dissolved organics I believe). My Mom removed that poly filter and added a second. It too is dark brown and still the tank seems to degrade. The only thing ever dosed has been Prodibio BioDigest a few times early on in this process trying to boost the biological filtration. She never doses Calcium, Iodine, reef foods, etc
<I would stop dosing Prodibio as well.>
Despite my best efforts to date, I noticed green algae starting on one of her Zoanthid rocks. Since this rock was lying on the sand, I brought it home and put it in my 90G tank so my Tang, crabs, etc could clean the rock.
Within 2 days the rock was clean and the Zoos flourishing again.
Yesterday I visited my Mom and found the sandbed is covered in what appears to be BGA (cyanobacteria). So I'm going back today to do a major water change. I plan to siphon water into a cooler. Then pull the rockwork out
and "wash" it in the cooler while also vacuuming the sandbed beneath the rocks.
<That can help, but the key culprit here is likely the crushed coral now buried by sand, leeching nutrients into the water.>
I think I have an anaerobe condition caused by a lack of circulation combined with the fact that my Mom feeds way too much.
<More circulation, less feeding, and remove some of that crushed coral.>
I've tried for years to get her to feed maybe 2-3 times a week. To date I've gotten her to drop to once per day. She feeds New Life Spectrum flake food. I think the LFS may have been right about the low O2 condition, but
thrown off by the length of time the sample sat in the car.
I plan to add a powerhead to bottom of the tank facing the direction opposite of the stock return line up top. I would like to add a protein skimmer to this tank. However, my Mom is very particular about this tank and does not want the skimmer to be visible. I'll even have to hide the powerhead behind some rocks. So the skimmer would need to fit in the rear portion of the tank in one of the filtration chambers. I have tried researching Nano sized skimmers and not found many with decent reviews. If all else fails, would I be throwing money out the door to buy a simple air driven Lee's counter-current skimmer?
<Any skimmer is better than nothing..>
I'm also considering adding a sea cucumber to help sift the sand and eat detritus from under the rocks. Given her feeding habit, would her tank support a cucumber?
<I am not a fan of Cukes. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seacukes.htm >
What other suggestions can you offer? I'm nearing the end of my "expertise" and am afraid to start experimenting with off the wall ideas.
I've even considered setting up a Magnum canister filter for a week or two just to process large volume of water in a short time. Would this be worth trying or another dead end?
<More circulation can help, but the key is eliminating the excess nutrients.>
I guess I'm done for now. I appreciate your help. WWM articles are usually my 1st stop when I have a problem that I can't figure out. You've never failed me before and I doubt you'll fail me now.
<Good luck.>
Thanks,
Tom
<MikeV>

Sm. sys. protein skimmer   4/6/10
Hello Wet Web Media.
<Hi Rich.>
You guys make Neptune look like a brine shrimp! Anyway I have a serious question. If all of my water parameters are in order, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, phosphates , silica, .... and my 28 gallon Nanocube has only 4 fish (mandarin, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, and clownfish) then do I need a protein skimmer?
<Your tank is too small to maintain a Coral Beauty for any length of time, and ditto for the Mandarin unless you are one of the lucky ones getting it to eat prepared foods.
<Do read here before it's too late.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm.
An efficient protein skimmer will always improve the water quality of a system and is highly recommended>
I used my SeaClone ( so I know it works) in my tank and it pulled no skimmate. Do I need a protein skimmer? I just don't have 100's of dollars to spend,
<Mmm, I'd be changing your email addy to something other than Richie Rich.:)>
but if I do need one, then will a CPR Bak Pak 2R or an Aqua C Remora fit in a 28 gallon JBJ Nanocube?
<Will depend on the height of your tank.>
thanks!
<You're welcome. In future queries, please run your text through a spell checker and do cap proper nouns and "i's". It saves me time if I do not have to do it before posting. James (Salty Dog)>

Oceanic Bio Cube Protein Skimmer 3/10/10
Yes I know its terrible, but I have heard that most of the time it does do something. So I recently bought it. Yet I am having trouble getting it to work. I made sure the stock pump and airline tubing, including the air stone was free of clogs. It is placed half way in my aquarium as this was recommended. The issue is it is not producing enough bubbles to even reach the collection cup. Is there a break-in time?
<Break-in time has nothing to do with bubble production. Sounds like you may have a tight grained Limewood air stone. Try placing the stone in boiling water for a few minutes and see if that improves bubble production. If not, I'd replace the Limewood air stone and/or ensure your air pump is working properly.>
Please give me a hand or lead me to a FAQ about this skimmer.
Thanks a bunch,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Jacob

Protein skimmer... for 28 gal.   12/24/09
Hi wet web media! just a small question that I couldn't find out was about the oceanic protein skimmer for a 28 gallon aquarium. I have heard mixed reviews but I have had a sea clone and now I have seen it all (and sadly,
had to clean it all.....from the floor) anyway I just wanted a professional opinion on this thanks!
<The Oceanic(http://www.oceanicsystems.com/products/biocube-protein-skimmer.php)
is better than the SeaClone... but not by much. Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/skimrs4smsysfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Skimmer... Sel. for a nano  -- 12/09/09
Hi WWM! I have been searching buying returning and buying catalogs of skimmers for nano tanks that fit without killing my budget. Do you know any that would fit in a cf quad nano cube ( 28 gallon)?
<I have seen the Tunze Nano fit into these, a great little skimmer. Also do take a look at the Sapphire skimmers, specifically made for the all in one nano systems.
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Sapphire>
I will never use a sea clone again.
<You and many others!>
I wouldn't even recommend it to my worst enemy. Do you also know what kinds of sea grass would grow in there?
<Just about any.>
Because my tank is starting to become taken over by some sort of green sea grass. Please help!
<Get a good skimmer and see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm.
Scott V.>

Protein Skimmer/Protein Skimmer Selection 11/22/09
My fist saltwater tank has been up and running now for about a month and a half.
<Welcome to the hobby.>
It is a 38 gallon tank. For filtration I have a hang-on filter that has a mechancial <mechanical>, carbon, and bio filter in it and I also have about 45 pounds of live rock. I cycled my tank with 4 mollies then have added a blue green damsel, pistol shrimp and watchman goby, and a Flame Hawk fish. My parameters are all good and everything has been stable but I lost one molly to her stomach getting so big she split open and 2 other mollies have some fin rot they are now in my quarantine. I am seeing a oily haze in the water if I look through the side of the tank by the heater and I'm wondering if it the illusion from the heater <bc?>
<please do not use texting style abbreves in the future.>
it looks like the heat coming off the pavement on a hot summer day or is this nutrients?
<Without actually observing, it's likely the warm water from the heater mixing with the cool.>
I got alot <a lot> of surface agitation so don't see anything there. I don't have a sump so was wondering what type and brand of protein skimmer is recommended to hang on the back?
<Recommendations will depend on your budget and future plans. If you want to keep cost down and do not plan on upgrading to a larger tank in the future, I'd look at the CPR line of hang-on skimmers. If upgrading to a larger tank is in your future, look at the Aqua C hang-on skimmer here.
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Co
de=AQUAC-REMORA&Category_Code=AquaC>
Thanks for your time.
<You're welcome. In future queries do cap all "i's" and proper nouns, saves us time if we do not have to edit before posting.
James (Salty Dog)>
David

Protein Skimmer in 29 Gallon BioCube 9/20/09
Hey Crew.
<Jessica>
I have a 29 gallon BioCube and was wondering if it is necessary to have a protein skimmer in a tank this small? I have received mixed answers from LFS and other saltwater enthusiasts. Just wanted to see what you opinion is? And if I do need one, which one would you recommend? I have the Oceanic protein skimmer for this size tank and it does not seem to work very well.
<Protein skimmers will always improve water quality and are recommended.
If this is a new set up, it's not unusual for the skimmer not producing waste as there will be very little present. The Oceanic skimmer is air driven. It is possible that the air stone is clogged and/or the air pump isn't putting out enough air for the skimmer to function properly. Without knowing the size of the built-in filtration chamber, I would not be able to recommend a skimmer, and that is assuming you want the skimmer placed in this area. A very good in the tank skimmer, that
require little space, would be the Tunze DOC Nano Skimmer. See here.
http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=T9002.000&Category_Code=TUNZESKIM>
Thanks,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Jessica

Skimmers,  sm. sys. 5/12/09
Hi Crew,
<Hello>
I guess you could call this a plug for skimmers.
<Plug away, I won't run a tank without one.>
The question usually
comes up for the small tanks. I used to have a 10 gallon with no skimmer and changed one gallon per week. There was always a battle of Cyano or hair algae or both. I went to an a 24 gallon Aquapod which I bought used and it came with a skimmer. It is not the greatest skimmer and is not on anyone's list of suggested ones.
I only get a couple ounces a week out of it. But based on the color of what comes out and what sticks to the cup, I am glad that I have at least reduced the available nutrients for the pests.
<Amazing what they can pull out of your water.>
I can't say I have no problem at all because I do due to my overloaded tank but still it is better. Without the skimmer it takes almost no time for a pest to overtake the tank. Now it is minor infestations that stay minor.
Thanks,
Sam
<Thanks for sharing.>
<Chris>

Skimmer for 30gal tank? 5/11/09
Hi,
< Hello >
Do I need to get a skimmer for a 30gal tank? If so, which one would you recommend? Thanks!!
< In a word, no. You do not have to run a skimmer. If the stocking levels are low and maintenance is kept up, you can get by without one. I personally would not run a tank without one. Water quality can go real bad, real quick. Especially in tanks of that size. I would suggest adding one.
Which one would depend on if you needed a hang on the back or an in sump model. For an in sump model , I like the Octopus brand. If you need a hang on the back I would suggest looking into Aqua C. Look for something rated around three times your total water volume. GA Jenkins >
Angelica

Berlin Skimmer That Fits In Eclipse 37 Gallon Hood 2/13/09 Hello, <Hi Dennis.> I have no question for you, just a posting to help Eclipse tank owners who want to add a skimmer. These two photos show a Berlin 60 skimmer that fits into my 37 gallon Eclipse tank. This tank is about 10 years old so the hood design may not be the same now. The skimmer barely fits into the back right corner of the hood with no cutting or retro-fitting of any kind. The skimmer costs about 35 dollars and I remove an inch of skimmate every 3 days or so. The fish load is 2 Ocellaris Clowns, one Blue Damsel and one Royal Gramma. There are several snails and small hermit crabs. I clean the skimmer every few months and replace the airstone every 4 months. Thank you, <And thank you for sharing, Dennis. Will post on the Daily FAQ's. James (Salty Dog)> Dennis in Iowa

Skimmer Help 10/10/08 Good morning/day/afternoon WWM Crew, <Adriel.> I'm planning to set up a 20 gallon nano and I'd like a little insight into purchasing the best skimmer for it. I've narrowed down my choices down to the AquaC Remora Pro and the Deltec MCE 300. <Both great skimmers.> Since I do plan on upgrading to a larger tank in a couple of years, I hope that either of these skimmers can be used in future as a primary or secondary skimmer. Would really appreciate your insight on this. <Both could certainly handle a larger tank, equally well in my opinion. These are top performers for HOB skimmers.> Thanks, Adriel Rebello <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>

Nano reef tanks and Protein Skimmers 8/21/08 Hi all <Joanne> Firstly I wanted you to know how valuable this site has been to me. I started keeping tropicals 5 years ago in a Juwel Rio 180, which 3 years ago I converted to a marine system, with advice from my LFS and many hours sat reading on your site my system flourished with no losses, and eventually my clowns bonded and regularly laid eggs, which I also managed to rear on one occasion. <Wow, great!> Sorry for rambling, here is my question. After hours spent researching I am looking at buying a 24 US gallon D&D Nano tank as a mature set up, the system has been running for 2 years and is mature and stable. The system however does not have a protein skimmer. I have read conflicting advice on this, the consensus with several nano keepers is that natural filtration using live rock and sand (at a bed of up to 4") is preferred as the skimmer removes the good trace elements from the system as well as the bad, and that this is more detrimental. <This is really more of people trying to rationalize not putting a skimmer on a tank. I personally argue that skimmers are even more important with nano tanks. The reason being that many of these tanks are grossly overstocked, the skimmer not only helps with water quality, but oxygenation. A skimmer is not required equipment for any tank, only highly recommended; it does make things easier. > They suggest weekly 10% water changes to combat the unwanted ones. However I have also read that to use a skimmer is simply asking for trouble. Could you please clarify this for me? <It can be done without, but a skimmer is in no way a detriment to a nano tank.> My first instinct when I discovered there was no skimmer was to not purchase the system (particularly as the new model 28 gallon has a skimmer as standard) I know find myself confused and would appreciate any guidance. <See how it goes, but I would plan on adding a skimmer at some point, it actually makes things less trouble.> Many Thanks in advance. Joanne <Welcome, Scott V.>

Protein Skimmer for 28 Gal. 3/7/08 I was just wandering what in your opinion would be the best protein skimmer for a moderately stocked 28gal reef tank. Thank you! <The best is largely a matter of opinion, so I guess you will get mine. You should look at the AquaC Remora series. The nano can do a fine job for your tank, or you may want the full size Remora if you plan on a larger tank down the road. Welcome, happy reefing, Scott V.>

Re: Protein Skimmer for 28 Gal. 3/8/08 Hi this question is for Scott V. <Here with you.> I recently asked what would be the best protein skimmer for my 28gal tank and after looking at your suggested remora nano skimmer (which was just great by the way!) I quickly realized that my previous question was not specific enough. <OK> You see money is real tight and as much as I would like to get a remora it is a little pricey. But if you say it is really that great than I will cut back and buy it but for now if it is at all possible than I would like to have another option or two thanks love the site! <The cost factor is one of the main reasons I like the Remora so much, it gives a good bang for the buck. There are cheaper skimmers out there for your tank, none of which I would recommend when compared to the small price difference for the Remora Nano. At around $140 it is quite the deal! A person would be hard pressed to even DIY a comparable skimmer for the price. Sorry for not having a better solution for you, but this is a case of you get what you pay for. Although I highly recommend the use of a protein skimmer, a system this size can be well served by water changes; 5 gallons a week can have quite an impact on water quality here. Thank you for all the kind words, Scott V.>

Re: Protein Skimmer for 28 Gal. 3/8/08 The response I got from you was kind of what I expected, but upon further research I found an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for the Remora line of skimmers, the most convincing of which was your backing of the product so you will be happy to know that I have decided to buy the Remora Nano. Thanks for answering my questions so fast LOVE THE SITE! <Very welcome, thank you. Tis the reason I and other crewmembers like the AquaC line, as you have read! Have fun, Scott V.>

Do I need a Protein Skimmer?   8/4/07 Hello, I was just wondering if I need a protein skimmer. I have a 35 gallon tank with life rock and crushed coral at the bottom and when I stir the coral or blow off the rocks the stuff that is stirred up does not get sucked up into the sump/sponge filter. Thanks <<Brandi: Unless you are trying to keep SPS corals, you really don't need a protein skimmer. Even then, you can grow SPS corals without one. If you stir the coral/sand of most tanks, all sorts of stuff will enter the water column. For that reason, most people don't stir the coral/sand. However, I have seen fish stores and tank maintenance people do it. When they do, they use a siphon right above the coral/sand to vacuum up all the stuff that gets stirred up. You could also use the same technique on the rocks if you like. Best of luck, Roy>>

Tunze Nano Skimmer Noise And Its Effect On The Fishes? - 07/17/07 Dear Wet Web Media, <<Hello!>> First off, thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions and post them. <<Is our pleasure...>> Even if you don't have time to get to mine, your responses to other hobbyists' questions have been invaluable. <<Thank you for the kind words...and fear not, we "will" get to yours (hey wait!...I'm doing that right now! [grin])>> I actually bought the Tunze Nano DOC protein skimmer based on the information on your website. <<I "do like" the Tunze products>> I have a 36-gallon All-Glass bow-front tank with a Penguin Bio-Wheel 50 filter and the Tunze Nano skimmer. <<I see>> It's going to be a fish-only tank with lots of live rock and live sand. <<Cool!>> I am definitely a novice so please forgive the likely stupidity of some of these questions. <<Mmm...consider yourself "thumped" on your forehead [grin]>> I have some issues with the Tunze Nano, probably due to my own inexperience more than anything else. <<Do visit the Tunze forum on RC...I'm confident Roger can help>> 1) The Nano is really loud. I have it submerged to the proper water line in the tank and it is upright as required by the instructions. I thought it would be a lot quieter. Should I raise the water level? <<Worth a try>> Anything I can do to decrease the noise? <<You might try "backing off" the water jet a bit...but do give Roger a shout and see what he suggests>> 2) There are no fish in the tank yet, just live rock and live sand. So far the Nano cup has just collected water. <<This may be all there is to "collect" at the moment. It may also be an indicator the skimmer is not yet "tuned" correctly and possibly the reason for the excessive noise>> I can see white foam bubbling in the inner compartment though. It's been running about 5 days. Is this normal? <<Hard to say...>> Should I empty the water from the cup and increase the air? <<Experimenting with both the air and the water inputs is a good idea and will likely improve performance and maybe even resolve your noise issue>> 3) Now here's my really silly question <<I'm poised to thump...>> If I put my ear to the tank, the Nano is even louder, which makes sense since the entire mechanical operation is taking place in the tank. <<Mmm, yes...the vibrations travel quite well>> My question is, does this noise bother fish? <<I don't believe so, no... One thing I noticed since beginning diving is the underwater environment is anything "but" quiet. Even though the noises in the tank may not be "familiar" at first, I do think the fishes become accustomed to these...much the way we become accustomed to noises in our home/workplace>> Have there been any signs of stress in marine fish due to noise level? (I know it might seem silly but I want to provide a proper habitat in every respect that I can). <<Not that I'm aware of...and not silly at all, mate>> Anyway, thanks a million for looking at this, I really, really appreciate it!!! <<Happy to assist>> Cheers, Lauren <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Tunze Nano Skimmer Noise And Its Effect On The Fishes? - 08/11/07
Just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you. <<You are quite welcome, welcome, welcome!>> With your help, my nano and I have worked out our issues and are getting along swimmingly. <<Ah, very good to hear (or "not" in this case [grin])>> Thanks for running this site - it's fantastic. =) A collective effort…we're pleased you like/have benefited from it Cheers, ~Lauren <<Ta mate! EricR>>

Nano Tank Critique (Pt2) - 06/27/07 Thank you for the quick response about my nano, and after some reading, I agree with you about the anemone.. <I'm glad that you did. In reality, anemones just don't do well in the long-term in most cases. The vast majority expire in mere months; others may hang on for a year or two and then die "mysteriously". Their husbandry requirements are still not completely understood, and they simply should not be attempted in anything less than a fully dedicated system, IMO.> Will 'fake' anemones work to 'host' the clowns? I know that's a wide statement with variables, but "generally speaking?"... <Hmm.. Hard to say. The bottom line is that most of the Anemonefishes that are offered for sale are captive bred; many have never even seen an anemone, let alone lived among one. They might instinctively go to a real or fake one, but it's really a dice roll!> I actually have an idea/suggestion about Fission Nano Skimmers... I was reading a lot about protein skimmers and I think I found something that will work a LOT better for this particular model. I read that in order to get the best production out of a skimmer, the intake needs to be near the top inch or so of water, where most of the proteins collect (correct phrasing?.. I think you know what I mean)... If you set up the Fission exactly how it recommends, it puts the intake at about 6-8 inches below the surface. To fix that-- (carefully, the plastic seems a bit fragile... haven't had any problems yet...) It's a bit hard to explain w/ words, but essentially if you utilize the 2 elbow joints that are included and rotate the pump location so that the pump and skimmer section are side by side and the intake is on the top side of the pump, it puts the intake within an inch of the top surface. After a bit of adjustment I saw much improved production and it's really pulling out some gross stuff.. <Excellent! Thanks for sharing! You are right on about surface-active proteins..> Just thought I'd throw that out there. Thanks again for the fantastic site and quick responses. Eric <And thank YOU, Eric, for sharing your idea...That's what WWM is all about! Regards, Scott F.>

Tunze Nano DOC 9002   5/25/07 Hi I have searched the internet high and low but can't find this information anywhere I've even emailed Tunze but no reply.   Basically on the dimensions listed for the Tunze DOC Nano Skimmer does the 55mm include the cup width? If it doesn't does any know the max width of this cup? Its driving me a crazy and I don't want to buy it unless I know it fits. Thanks Adam <Mmm, appears to be about twice this width: http://www.petstore.com/ps_ViewItem-SearchStr--action-view-idproduct-TZ5311-idCategory-FIPSISVSUH-category-Tunze_Nano_DOC_Protein_Skimmer_9002_Saltwater_Aquarium_Supplies_Protein_
Skimmers_In_Sump_Venturi_Up_to_100_Gallons-vendor-Tunze.html  Bob Fenner>
Re: Tunze Nano DOC 9002  - 05/26/07
Hi; <Howdy> Thanks for the reply. Me and my dad found a drawing of the skimmer in a pdf and did a few calculations on it and it seemed as thought it was a scale drawing so we did and estimate on the width of the cup and believe it is around 9.5 cm - and from what you've just said I think that as a rough guide 9.5-11 cm is a good guess. Cheers Adam <Thank you for this follow-up! BobF>

Protein Skimmer For Bio-Cube?  - 05/16/07 Are there any protein skimmers that will work in my 14g bio-cube? <Not many, without cutting into/modding the hood that I know of.> I talked to some workers at a local salt-water pet store and they informed me that I could try the Fission Nano-Skimmer. <Yes I am familiar with this one, and it would fit, however the reviews re: it's effectiveness are very mixed.> They told me that they are not sure if it will work or not and that they have not heard of anyone making it work. <Yes, again I don't have any personal experience w/ this product but some of the reviews I have seen range from, "it works okay" to ...."worse than a SeaClone."> Would it be wise to even have a protein skimmer in my tank? <Any skimmer is better than no skimmer, but in this tank your biggest friend will be frequent and large water changes; 20% a week.> Thank you very much for your help guys, I look forward to your answers. <Welcome and good luck.> -Chris <Adam J.>

High Nitrites, Cycling 4/6/07 Hey crew, I have an 8 gallon bio cube that has been up for about 2 weeks. I have 8 pounds of live rock with some polyps and a toadstool mushroom leather coral and also a pajama cardinal and a royal Gramma. <Way too much way too fast, need to cycle the tank first.>  My live rock has also  been growing some brown algae on it. My LFS gave me some of there water so I could start it quickly. <Worthless, the bacteria you are trying to culture lives on solid surfaces, not in the water column.> My recent water tests have shown a spike in nitrite and nitrate levels.  <Expected, your tank is cycling.> I have done my water changes and everything but the water is  the same. I went to another fish store and they gave me some liquid to lower the nitrites.  <What was it called?>  I'm not sure what it was called because they gave me a sample only, it had something to do with the bacteria. <Unless it is Bio-Spira kept refrigerated it is of no use.>  So then they told me I need a skimmer but I really don't want one because since its only an 8 gallon it would look horrible in the tank. <Your tank would greatly benefit from it.>  So if you could give me some suggestions on what to do it would be helpful. <An 8 gallon nano is almost impossible to keep, its going to be lots of work.  At most you could keep one very small fish in there.  Also your tank needs to cycle, see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm for more.> <Chris>

Nano Skimmer 5/6/07 Thanks for the good info, I have read some threads about ordinary people having skimmers on there nanos but nobody from the crew yet. Do you guys have a preferred  skimmer for the nano.  <I believe Aqua C now has a nano skimmer, I am a big fan of their products.  Otherwise check out some of the forums to see what people's opinions are.> I'm thinking about trying out the fission since its only thirty bucks. Sapphire makes a skimmer but its 80 dollars more. <Generally with skimmers you get what you pay for.> <Chris>

First-time Reef Hobbyist Question - 29 Gallon Skimmer?   4/22/07 Hi Bob- <Not Bob, it's Pufferpunk filling in for him--I hope I'll do.> Your advice is invaluable as I just bought and read your book and really enjoyed it thanks. <An invaluable asset to the hobby!> I am getting back into the hobby after a 15 year hiatus and recent trip to Bali and Australia (diving) and at the ripe age of 32 have decided to set up a reef tank at my place here in San Francisco. <Welcome back> My question is - I have a 29 gallon show acrylic tank, with enough space for a hang-on filter or even something sitting below in the stand. Budget is not as important to me as is noise (quieter the better) and efficiency for this combo coral and fish set up. Someone sold me a Skilter 250 but the thing is noisy and not a dedicated skimmer and I was looking at the Prizm model (hang on) as well as the CPR Bak-Pak etc. The choices are vast and I wanted to know what you recommend under $200 for my tank? <Forget about the Skilter & Prizm.  There are always jokes at my reef club forum about Skilters & what junk they are.  Prizms aren't much better.  Although I do have one on my 15g Mantis tank (got it for free), I definitely wouldn't trust it to remove much from a larger tank, especially if you're planning a reef.  I would go with the BakPak.  I have one on my 40g & it works great!> My plan would be to have a skimmer function as the sole filtration (along with the natural biological filtration of the live rock), although I do have an old Eheim 2213 that I could set up if need be? <For reef tanks, canister filters are only used for chemical filtration, like adding carbon, Purigen or phosphate removers.  As long as you have room under the tank, I'd add a refugium in there.  You'll have to add an overflow on your tank (or get it drilled) & pump the water back into your tank but this is the best thing to keep your nitrates close to 0 (very important in a reef tank).  Check Reef Central for a local reef club in your area & lots of ideas for your set up.> Lastly, any thought how I might use the Skilter rather than simply eat the money spent on it? E.g. Use it once a month for carbon, mechanical filtration of the tank for a period of hours/days? <They're complete garbage (& noisy!) & that's where they belong.  ~PP> Thanks for your advice!  Evan

Fission Protein Skimmer 4/13/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Sam> I have a 10 gallon with sand, 10 pounds of 1 large rock, some fish, mushrooms and candycane.  When you have questions about the 20 and 30 gallon tanks which you all consider small, just keep in mind that to guys like me it would be a dream. Someone questioned the use of a skimmer and the Fission was suggested. I did try it a year ago but all I got was white foam. It is small so it does not take up much room but I just did not think it was doing anything worthwhile. I would like to know if anyone has had success with it and how it was accomplished. When I bought it I found a lot of negative feedback relating to how it fell apart easily  but I did not find that to be a problem. <I'd post this question on our Talk Forum under Nano/Pico Systems.  Go here:   http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/> The only water movement I have is from a Penguin mini filter which is rated at 95 gph. Would a small powerhead be beneficial. <Yes, very much so.> I do have dead spots where the algae really grows well. A Candy Cane polyp that got half 'burned' by a mushroom ( I sent in a picture about 2 weeks ago) has recovered very well and the polyp is back to being a full circle. <Great.  James (Salty Dog)>

Protein Skimmer Necessary? Nano-Reef   4/11/07 Hi again helpful people. <Hello.> Got a question here for you. <Of course.> Actually two questions.  First one, I have just started a 24 gal saltwater reef  and fish tank.  What are the repercussions of not using a protein  skimmer? <Well first read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm Simply put a protein skimmer is a device that produces fine and consistent contact of air and water through the production on tiny air bubbles. This process is used, and used quite effectively, to separate organics…bio-minerals, metals and other surfactants from the main water column. If nothing else protein skimmers are a great way of oxygenating the water within aquaria.> I am hearing mixed answers <A common occurrence in this hobby.> and I find you guys and gals to  be the most knowledgeable source. <Thank you.> A few responses have been: Tank is to small, wont make a difference. <Well it is true that in nano-aquaria protein skimmers are often left out of the equation, usually for space issues.  However to say that a small marine aquarium would not benefit from a protein skimmer…is well lets just say I don't have a very high opinion of that opinion.  If anything a small marine aquarium needs a protein skimmer more than a larger tank, small tanks like these are less chemically stable and require much more meticulous attention, see here; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nanoreefsysart.htm .> It is a must for any reef tank. <In your average, overstocked, reef aquarium….yes it is a must.> If  you don't have one you will have to do water changes 3 times a week.   <I would say 25%  a week at the least, but more often would certainly help.> And, don't use it, it strips your tank of essential nutrients. <An over exaggerated fear in most circumstances. Now here's the deal in an oversized, highly under stocked aquarium with a large refugium there could be potential risk by overusing a protein skimmer, but even then …but 99% of the time this is far from the case. Your average aquarium is overstocked, overfed and has an overabundance of nutrients. The fear of losing to much organic matter is actually pretty laughable most of the time, if anything most aquariums have far too many organics and nutrients. People also argue that the use of protein skimmers adds an unneeded man-made element to a natural aquarium. I also take up some disdain for those comments because I don't think keeping marine organisms in glass boxes powered by electrical water moving devices is very natural to begin with. As far as the protein skimmer removing useful elements/bio-minerals this an over-exaggerated fear as well, a regular water change regime will easily account for this.> Sooo,  what would be your consensus on this matter? <Well I think after the last comments that is pretty clear.> And If the consensus is  that I need one, have you heard of any skimmers that will fit the aquapod24? <I believe the "fission skimmer" is made to fit this application, though I have my doubts about how effective this particular device will be.  Though I do stress that using a protein skimmer if possible in this situation is a great idea, it may not be practical in all circumstances.  This is where the added attention would be necessary, extra water changes.>   Okay I lied, I guess I have 3 questions.  I am moving a Green Spiny Brittle Star, (about 6 inch legs, so 13 inches arm to arm) into this new tank from my old 60 gal hex tank which I'm shutting down.  Is this a bad idea? <I would say yes, not only to any potential fish in the nano tank but also to the starfish. This tank is to small.> For the most part she has always kept to herself, but do you see this downsizing a problem? <Yes.> Or should  I just keep her well fed?   <You should do that anyway.> Thanks in advance. <Of course.> Have an excellent  day.... <You too.> ADAM <**AJ**>

Nano-Tanks, Skimmers  - 4/9/07 HI, <What's Up?> Love the website, <Thanks.> it has saved my tank... <Great.> I am a beginner, you can tell can't you LOL. <Not yet…we will see won't we?> I thought this would be an easy set up to teach my kids responsibility with out dog hair etc... but having read over a lot of the postings I think I should have gone with a larger tank! <Yes! Nano's can be difficult even for experienced hobbyists.> However, I love this new hobby and want to get it right and not kill anything . <Well I'm here to help, and be sure to read as much as you can.> I have the oceanic bio cube 14g and realize I need a skimmer, I bought a fission but due to the design of the bio cube the only place I can place this thing is in the front of the tank, which ruins the whole look, plus I can't see anything in the tank! <Hmm…this is one of the smallest skimmers on the market…going to be difficult to find another. A DIY project may be necessary to get a protein skimmer that fits the application in the manor you want it to.  Though I was under the impression that this protein skimmer would fit snuggly in the rear compartments.  Now I have never personally used this skimmer but I have seen accounts that are not so positive…but it would surely be better than nothing.> my LFS said I can take out the bio balls which are in the middle back section of the tank and put the skimmer in there, this I am not sure about, I was told not to touch these buy another person. <If you have live-rock in the display portion I would go ahead and remove the bio-balls.  I would compensate for any ill effects wit a few extra water-changes and some activated carbon.> So my  question to you knowledgeable guy's is... can I put the skimmer and some of the bio balls in the back middle section like this guy told me, or do I leave well alone and get a different one? I would really like to get the thing (skimmer) put back in ASAP, <Go ahead and remove the bio-balls, if you're concerned you could remove them a little at a time over the course of a few weeks. But I would personally just go ahead and remove them all at once, and add the skimmer.> and obviously not want to throw good money after bad KWIM If can't do this can you recommend a skimmer I know you have in another thread (Remora made by Aqua-C) but does it fit easily in this kind of tank? <The Aqua-C is substantially a better skimmer, brand wise and quality wise…though like I said above I have never used the fission, having seen it in use, and comparing it with the Aqua-C I don't think I am out of line my preferring the Remora.> I have a percula clownfish, Rose BTA and a blue damsel, and about 6 snails, I really want to add fish slowly but mainly keep the BTA alive (it's my fav) <Yes but it may grow to large for this aquarium.  Anemones also prefer much more stable environments than nanos. See here for more detail/care of nanos: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nanoreefsysart.htm .> Thank you so much... Love this site too <Thanks/Welcome.> Georgie <AJ>

Damsel/tank (small) (skimmer) question  3/13/07 Good day to all the staff of this wonderful website! I've read this site and its archives for the past 3 weeks and its been very helpful, got a couple of questions though. 1. is it true that yellow-tailed damsels lose their "yellowtail" color when they mature? <Mmm, not really... actually intensifies under "ideal" conditions... good water quality, nutrition, social factors...> how long (is it months or years?) does a damsel of this kind mature?    <Likely just several months... You can look on fishbase.org... and read their Cartesian graphs re such...>   2. my second question is, i have a 20 gallon with 2 yellow tail damsels and 1 clown <... too crowded... not healthy, sustainable> with about 15lbs of live rock, everything is fine and i don't plan on adding anything more, do i still need a skimmer? thanks in advance! <I would have, use one, yes. See WWM re... Bob Fenner>

Filtration, Keep the filter with the Seaclone skimmer.   2/23/07 <Greetings, Mich here.> This might be a stupid question but I just started a 29 gallon marine tank and I was wondering if I have a filter running along with the SeaClone 100 protein skimmer or just run the skimmer by itself? <Probably best to use both here.  Seaclone skimmers are typically quite problematic.  More info here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seacloneskimfaqs.htm  Hope that helps,  -Mich>

Nano Skimmer/Operation 2/8/07 Hello Tank Saviors, My question is, I have an Aquapod 12gal. Been up for 8 months now. I recently purchased the Fission Nano Skimmer to give it a try. Figured for the money, why not. I would like to place it in the 2nd back chamber from the Left.  But my problem is the water level.  All 4 back chambers are at the same level as the display level, except for the return chamber, which I upgraded to a MJ900.  I cant seem to get the correct level of water for the skimmer to work properly that would also allow the lid to remain closed.  Any suggestions? <Sounds to me like you will have to modify the hood, cut out a section for the skimmer.  James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmer Choice For Nano 12/28/06 Season's greetings to the WWM crew, <And to you also, my friend.> you all deserve a pat on the back for the excellent information you provide ---thanks! <You're welcome.> Now on to the question, I have a 24G JBJ Nano running well after 3 months and was looking at options for a skimmer (all levels are good, nitrates run at 5 - 10 ppm as reported by the Hagen test kit I use). I have come across a skimmer built for the JBJ cubes manufactured by Sapphire Aquatics and was wondering if this would be a wise addition to my system to reduce/control nutrient levels. The available information on this product seems to be limited and I was wondering if you had any opinion on this before I spend the $120.00+ to have it shipped from the manufacturer in Texas. <I myself have never heard of the Sapphire skimmer.> I don't mind spending the cash if it is a wise choice, but with so many different products out there one needs to exercise caution. <Yes, many to choose from, all claiming to be the best.> Not sure if this would be best or if I should try Chemi-Pure in the back of the unit as a first option, the reviews on this seem to be quite positive. Thanks alot for any assistance you could provide--muchly appreciated. <One unit of Chemi-Pure would work very well in a 24 gallon nano.  There are certain waste/nutrient products that skimmers can remove which chemical media cannot and vice versa.  The skimmer that I have been using on my 40 gallon mini reef is a Tunze Nano Skimmer ($150.00).  I've been into this hobby 30+ years and I can say that this is probably the best skimmer I have come across for its intended purposes.  Extremely easy to clean and very efficient at removing nutrients, and is very quiet.  There are other nano skimmers out there that probably work decent, but for the dollar vs. performance, the Tunze is going to be very hard to beat. James (Salty Dog)> Karl

Protein Skimmer Application 11/23/06 I am so confused over all this information! I ( unfortunately ) have rather small budget and size restrictions for starting up a marine system. I  was thinking that to get the best chance in this new tank (I already have a freshwater tank set up) I would go with a Aquapod 24 gallon compact florescent system I really only want live rock in it for now no fish or corals and I was wondering if I needed a protein skimmer. <If the rock is fully cured, it would not be necessary.> Is this even a good choice for what I want to do? <If this is what your budget allows, sure.> Can I even really have just live rock in the tank? <Sure, would be boring though.> If so, what will it need to thrive, <All depends on what creatures develop out of the rock.> Is the Aquapod even ok to do this with? <Sure, I have seen some very attractive nanos that got my attention.  James (Salty Dog)>

Nano Skimmers  10/31/06 Your site is easily the best of its kind out there. Great job! <Thanks for the kind words! We're happy to be here for you! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight...> I have a simple question. I have a 12G Nano cube that is doing very well thanks to your advice. I have recently purchased the 70W halide unit from JBJ Lighting and in order to install, it I was able to remove the existing top to the tank. I would now like to purchase a protein skimmer for the tank. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks <There are now a few different "Nano sized" skimmers out there. Tunze, among others makes a small skimmer, and I have seen one called the "Fission Skimmer" for nanos in the Dr's. Foster & Smith catalogue...Do check them out! You may even want to check out some DIY internet sites like ozreef.org and see if you can find a design for a skimmer that you can easily build yourself! Regards, Scott F.>

Nano Aquarium Upgrades    6/14/06 Hey guys, <Hello Travis…>      I want to thank you for all you help in the past and for your great site. It's saved me a couple of times. <Always nice to hear.>   Anyway, I have a 20H nano reef with a CPR BakPak skimmer.  Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates all at zero. <Very cool, nanos aren't the most stable creatures.> My tank is stocked with a pair of pink skunk clowns, a cleaner shrimp (possibly another one later), and a colony of hairy mushrooms. I eventually want to add more corals.   <Okay.> Anyway, my CPR BakPak hasn't been pulling much it out.  Its like a tan/clear liquid with some tan sludge on the side of the collection cup.  I wouldn't mind the noise from the venturi if it actually pulled some gunk out. <In my experience the Bak Paks rarely produce dark skimmate, they usually skim very wet and produce loads of tea colored skimmate….its not a great skimmer to be honest…but obviously adequate in some situations.>   This has turned me towards refugiums. <Well I wouldn't give up on the idea on a protein skimmer altogether, especially on such a small system.>   I could get a large fuge that hangs on the back of the tank but I couldn't put a light on it (long story here).  Would this be sufficient if there was just rock and sand in it? <For microfauna production yes, for macro-algae growth and nutrient control….not in the least bit.> I was also considering an internal fuge that could use the main lights of the tank to grow Chaeto and mangroves (because I like mangroves) <Mangroves are too big for this tank and they aren't very helpful at pulling out nutrients to be honest (see A. Calfo's article re: this), an internal 'fuge can work though I will admit they aren't to pretty.> and to hold my heater.  Should either of these ideas be put into action? <Well an internal refugium, is not a true refugium simply based on the definition of a refugium which means "a refuge", the external idea is not a good idea because you can't grow and macro…and your main goal it seems to be is to use the refugium as a means of nutrient control.  Why not look to upgrade your protein skimmer, Knop, P.M., Aqua-c and Deltec all make great hang on models and MRC is also supposed to come out with a hang on model soon as well.> I was also considering upgrading my main lighting from a 65w compact fluorescent light to a 2 x 24w T5HO fixture. <That's a worthy upgrade.> I suppose I could keep all softies, LPSs, and a BTA clone. <Well the tank is a little small to be mixing the sessile cnidarians with an anemone....> Thanks again for everything. <No problem.> -- Travis <…Adam J.>
Re: Nano Aquarium Upgrades    6/14/06
Okay, I guess I wont do a fuge then. <Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…but do keep in mind that if you ever can add one they are of nothing but benefit, lots of pros and very few cons about adding more water volume, microfauna and nutrient control.> I just cant stand my BakPak skimmer and don't exactly have enough money to buy a Deltec or similar skimmer. <The Deltec is by far the most expensive skimmer on that list I gave you, probably DBL if not triple the price of the others, the Aqua-C would be the best bang for your buck, and they are quiet barring a very low hum from the pump. Don't get me wrong the Deltec is a great model but for a nag on skimmer Aqua-C is probably the most economical choice performance and price wise.> Would the tank do all right with no forms of filtration other than biological? <And LOTS of water changes with fish in the tank.> Or should I implement the use of some kind of HOB filter. <An HOB filter would only serve to add water flow, would not help much in this aquarium…especially with nutrient removal.> Thanks again, Travis <Adam J.>

Refugium W/W/o Skimmer - 03/23/2006 Hello Crew, <Hi Mark.> I really appreciate your site and all the great help you provide. <Thanks! We're glad to be able to help others.> I just got a Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer to replace my GREAT Sea Clone (ha ha) and I'm anxiously waiting for it to break in so I can see exactly how junky the Sea Clone is. <You should be pleased with your new skimmer.> I have a 30 gal. tank, 20 gal. sump and a 10 gal. upstream refugium. I was wondering if I should put the Sea Clone in the refugium or would I lose the pods and phyto I'm trying to grow. <I would leave this out. Would cancel out some of the benefits of having a refugium. The AquaC is more than enough for your system on its own.> Thanks Mark <Welcome. - Josh>

20 gallons seawater aquarium... skimmer? Stkg.   3/18/06 Hi, I wonder if you can help solve these few issues. I made a home made 20 gallons seawater aquarium as I live in Puerto Rico. I put a few rocks, and so far I have seen a few crabs and hermits going around. Also, I have a small spirograph in a rock, <Likely a Featherduster worm to other readers> 2 sea cucumbers and 4 fishes captured (2 young damselfishes and 2 blennies). <Neat> 1) There is some fighting around with the damselfishes, should I wait a bit more to see if they get along (they are together for a week)? <Mmm, no... a twenty is too small for but one... and even this might prove too aggressive to other fishes... I'd remove at least one> 2) I'd like to put a doctor fish (young) but I know they like space. I captured one last year in another tank I made but it didn't eat and died... Anyway to find something to please it? <A larger system...> 3) I have a good filter but I guess I still need a skimmer soon... What would you advice CHEAP for this small aquarium of tolerant fishes...? <A small in-tank model or a hang-on type... even a modified "Skilter" would be of benefit here. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/skimrs4smsysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> thanks... -- Pascal

Skimmer for a 20H    3/2/06 Hey guys, <Hey Travis.> Thank you for the advice for the about the cherub in my 20H. <You're welcome, from the crew member who gave you the advice.> I've decided to stick to just a clown pair instead.  Anyway, I need a suggestion for a skimmer for a softy-only tank.  This tank will only have 2 -3 fish, one or two skunk cleaner shrimps, xenia, and mushroom corals.  I may add a leather coral or zoos later on.  I want to know which HOB skimmer will work best.  I only have about $40-50 to spend so I'm looking at getting a used Prizm or CPR.  Any help would be great. <Any one of the two will be fine for the 20.  If a choice has to be made, I'd go with the CPR.> Thanks, <James (Salty Dog)> Travis

Micro-mini skimmer 01-10-06 Dear WWM, <Garen> I want to build a small skimmer for my 5 gallon mini-reef.  I know, kinda stupid.  But I would like to know how to size down the DIY skimmer that you guys designed here on WWM.  What are the sizes for the pipe to be used??? <To be completely honest, you would be wasting your time. You will be more effective using the time it would take to design and build the skimmer to do water changes. Travis> <<I'd have suggested just buying/using a more feeble make/model... RMF>> Thank you very much, Garen Wright

Nanos and Changed Minds  12/12/05 Hello, <Hi again Mark.> My plans for the 7 gallon minibow are finalized. <Cool.> I am not buying the  7 gallon minibow anymore. <Oh, never mind then, hehe.>   I have decided to get the 6 gallon Nano Cube by  JBJ. <Okay.> It supplies 3 watts per gallon of power compact lighting and a built in filter. I am also putting a Red Sea Prizm Skimmer on it.  How do  you recommend I should rig this to work? <You'll have to do some heavy modifications, like cutting out a large portion out of the back of the lid.> I am just going to keep 1 Black  Percula Clown and some mushrooms and colony polyps, along with the 10lbs. live  sand and about 8 lbs live rock.  Thanks for all of your help!! <Quite welcome.>   I  will have more questions though... <And I will be here my friend.> Mark <Adam J.>

Skimmer recommendation - Nano 20 gallon  12/13/05 Hi all :D, <Hi Ernest! Crewmember Zo with you today...>      hmmm spec.s for my tank are as follows :      20 gallon (86 litres, maybe slightly less as curvy in front)      Running on a SEIO 820 pump (should be plenty of flow I think)      Bare Bottom      Lighting - solar max (1 x 150W MH, 2 Actinic T5)      Tank only 2 to 3 months old      22 pounds of live rock      2 tomato clowns      1 butterfly fish (Black-Backed Butterflyfish - ID from your webpage :D)    <This is normally a fine choice amongst the B'flyfishes. But your tank is MUCH too small for this guy (or any butterflyfish).>   No mechanical filtration ( I thought I'll utilize a pure Berlin style method , I do have a hang on filter than i can use on occasions say after water change when debris are everywhere )      Ok, those are my equipment specs, water chemistry as follows:      Ammonia = zero   Nitrites = zero   Nitrates = 20 - 30   pH = 8.3   SG = 0.022   Calcium = 240      Ok several questions:      1) on protein skimmers - I'm planning on a protein skimmer for this tank as water changes every day maybe too stressful for the fishes. But I want a recommendation on a quiet and efficient skimmer on this tank. I'm still unsure whether skimmer is necessary but I'm sure it will tend to benefit my tank :D <Small water changes are not stressful. A gallon every day of well-mixed, aged saltwater would not disturb anything and would certainly be beneficial. But it might eventually get expensive in salt costs. As for a skimmer, a small hang-on will be fine. I like the AquaC Remora, but I hear these are hard to come by in Europe. Tunze make a nice hang-on, as do Deltec, though theirs may be serious overkill for your little aquarium.>      It'll eventually be a nano-reef. <It's pretty hard to overskim a small crowded tank.>      By the way my tank is sumpless and further has no refugium as I want to keep it as simple as possible.      2) my two tomato clowns are always fighting, well bigger one chasing the smaller one, but I've noticed that every time I either dust up the tank or change water, the smaller tomato tends to have problems with fin damage. I'm unsure whether this is due to stress from water change (I have been changing water almost 3-4 times a week) <Fins don't just deteriorate from stress - they either get chomped by other animals, or rotted by microbes... in this case, it's almost certainly the larger clownfish.>      The bigger clown does not show any sign of stress of fin damage. My butterfly is fine and loves finding food in the rocks tho it won't take any flake or pellet food. <This butterflyfish will starve before too long. If it doesn't start taking prepared foods very soon, I hope you will consider finding it a new home, one with about 10x the amount of live rock you'll be able to pack in this aquarium.>      3) I've recently bought a pack of Kent Nano reef Part A and Part B. Yet to buy a KH testing kit to be able to dose them properly, I'll wait till i get the kit before using this product. I want to know if they are any good at all. <It's fine. Good call on testing everything you dose though.>      As I'm quite new to marine aquarium, hopefully I won't fail this tank. Might consider adding a sump or refugium later but at the moment, there's not much area for that yet. <A hang-on refugium is pretty simple and always a nice addition.>      Anyway thanks in advance, your website is great. <Very welcome, and Happy Holidays from Sunny California! -Zo>      Ern

Small Tank Lighting/Skimming - 11/18/05 Quick history, I used to have a 55 gallon reef with 4x65 lighting, deep sand bed, CPR and refug, everything went well but I just didn't have the time/attention after my daughter was born to take care of it properly so I broke it down before I neglected the animals. <<Good for you...>> Well my daughter is 2 and loves Finding Nemo so I decided to purchase a 20 gallon standard tank and make it FOWLR and of course... Nemo and Marlin (two Percula clowns). <<of course>> No Dory (blue tang) I don't want the tang police to come after me for housing in a small tank. <<Glad to hear...I have their number on speed dial...>> Anyway, I was lucky enough to get back some of my live rock I gave to a friend two years ago and a few nice pieces at the local store to about 20 lbs (will add more periodically till about 25-28) <<may not be necessary>> and I have a 3-inch bed of sand., and an Aqua Clear mini for debris (will pull sponge and only run it a week at a time, don't want the nitrates). My question is lighting and skimmer. I don't plan on adding anything but a few more fish  <<Very few I hope.>> a shrimp and some crabs, and maybe a few small mushrooms/polyps. Total would be 4-5 very small fish (one inch each) <<Fish grow up...>>  1 shrimp, and a few snails, a small hermit crab or two. Possibly a few nice mushrooms near the top or middle and a polyp rock if I find some. Not much bio-load for a 20. <<Mmm, use caution...all adds up/multiplies quickly.>> I was tempted to buy a 2x65 watt power compact for the thing but all I want to do is keep the coralline on my rock, perhaps propagate the little mushrooms and add a few more. Do I really need that much heat/lighting or can I get away with just one 65 watt 50/50 power compact bulb? <<For what you have proposed I think a single 65w (my choice would be 10000K) will do fine.>> I won't add more than a few pieces of mushroom and maybe a polyp or two. <<The will grow/multiply, sometimes very rapidly...just be ready to deal with them.>> The 2x65w heat concerns me as well as the instability of the hood (clips), with the two year old around. <<understood/agreed>> Price is not the issue, there isn't much difference. Just don't want the extra heat/fans and hood accessories, just more to go wrong/break. And if I change the water enough do I really need a skimmer for that? I could get one, just curious. <<I always recommend a skimmer...but you are correct, you can probably get by on this small tank with frequent partial water changes...but don't neglect else there will be trouble with those noxious mushrooms and polyps in there.>> I had one on my big tank but the load was so much higher. Thanks for the great info, I can read this stuff all night. Just trying to keep it simple. Frank <<Simple is fine. Regards, EricR>>

SeaClone 100 vs. Red Sea Fish pHarm Prizm Hang-on Skimmer... battle of the Lilliputians... skimmers for tiny tanks  11/9/05 Hello Everyone, I would like your opinion on this. I have a 20gal. nano reef that I'm going to get a protein skimmer for. I have found these 2 skimmers that are in my price range: The Seaclone 100 and the Red Sea Fish pHarm Prizm Hang-on Skimmer. Which one would you guy recommend? <Neither/either... both have their semi-merits, shortcomings... the first is quieter, the second more efficient. Have you searched WWM for skimmers for small marine systems?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimrs4smsysfaqs.htm and the FAQs files for these two lines of skimmers?> Also in my tank I have found small bug like things crawling on the live rock. They are small white things that look like pill bugs. <See WWM re "Crustacean ID"> I have also found them living on the filter foam. I will sometimes find their sheddings ( at least that's what they look like. They could be dead ones) on the rock. The tank has been running for a year and a half. Thanks for the advice, PJ <Keep reading. Bob Fenner> 

Protein Skimmer Choices  9/28/05 Hi, <And Hi to you too, Adam J. with you.> Here is the situation. I have a 20-gallon reef with softies and LPS accompanied by a Bicolor Blenny and Percula Clownfish running on a Hang-On Remora and Fluval Canister Filter. I am starting a 37-gallon Reef with 20-gallon sump divided into 3 sections (skimmer/refugium/return) with SPS and clams and will also be modestly stocked. I have a spare Hang-On Bak Pak and In-Sump Bak Pak that would both be used in my sump, and I was wondering if I should use the remora hang-on in my sump, use the 2 Bak Paks, or get a new skimmer such as Urchin Remora Pro and sell the 2 Bak Paks. Any advice would be great. <I'll say this before I say anything else, in my experience the Remora will/can easily outperform the Bak-Pak. Having said that if it were me, I would like to see your current Remora moved to your new system because of its larger water volume rather than leaving it on the 20 gallon.  I would then employ the use of your spare hang-on Bak-Pak on the 20-gallon. While the remora may be better than the Bak-Pak, the Bak-Pak should work just fine for your 20 gallon. Of course if you don't feel comfortable disrupting your 20-gallon I would try running your spare Bak-Pak skimmers on the new set-up.  See how it works out before you spend more money and upgrade.> Nick <Adam J.>

Nano Reefs  9/21/05 <Hello, Adam J here with you> Hi I  have a 20gal. tank that's been up and running for 14 months which I   would like to start turning into a reef tank. It has 130watts of  compact   fluorescent light (1 65watt super daylight and 1 65  actinic). <Good, the lighting is sufficient for most photosynthetic organisms.> I have two box filters. One Whisper Second nature power  filter. It filters about 145gph. And one   Aquaclear 50 power filter.  It filters 200gph. The Aquaclear has foam, carbon and  bioballs in  it. <Carbon is good to have in case of emergencies because of its absorbent properties, but it has a very quick half-life. In other words, after 24-hours it is near useless. In a mature tank it is unnecessary to run carbon 24/7.> I have about 10lbs. of live rock, two mushroom corals, one   Royal  Gramma, two Ocellaris Clownfish, one Yellow-tailed blue  damsel, a cleaner shrimp and one neon goby. <That's plenty of fish for a 20 gallon tank, eventually you may have to remove some of them, personally I would remove the damsel before it becomes a problem> I have a few Blue leg hermit  crabs and some turbo snails. All of my fish are under 1in. and if any of  them  ever get to big they can be moved two another system. <Sounds Good.> My species  plan includes one Peppermint shrimp, several species of mushrooms corals,  star polyps, a baby giant clam ( perhaps you  know of a good one that is  easy to keep and around $30) <The two "easier" of he giant clams to keep (genus Tridacnid, T. Deresa and T. Squamosa) both get well over 12" in length, so unless you could provide a set-up for a growing clam I would not recommend it.> and possibly some yellow polyps. I would also  like to put an anemone in, preferably one the clownfish will like and is  around $30 and is easy to keep. <Most anemones are very difficult to keep so make sure you read up on them in the WWM FAQ's. Also bear in mind that the clowns can live happy captive lives without a host anemone.> I do not have a protein skimmer at the moment  as the only ones I have seen are to big and/or cost  $100+. If you know  of a good one for under $50 I would be glad to hear about it. Please make  suggestions and adjustments to my species plan. <A protein skimmer is definitely an important piece of equipment for maintaining a reef tank, and there are varying levels of efficiency amongst brands. Unfortunately most of the cheaper ones offered are not very reliable.  The two I would recommend for this set-up are the Aqua-C Remora and CPR Bak-Pak, both are near or slightly over the 100$ mark. I would save up for one of the two and perform extra water changes until you re able to get one. I would rather you pay a little extra for something efficient than buy a cheap one which will perform to sub-par standards.  You may be able to find the two brands I mentioned on e-bay slightly used or refurbished for a better price.> Thanks, MDM <Any time, Adam J>

Mini-Reef Protein Skimmer Question - 09/07/05 I am going to set up a 2.5 gallon reef.  It will also have a 2.5 gallon sump.  Top tank will be drilled for overflow.  Just wondering if you think a small powerhead returning water to the main tank, would be enough flow.  And would I need a protein skimmer on a tank this small?  Thinking carbon would be enough for a tank this small.  Just thinking a few small rocks, and maybe a snail, and a few hermits. Thank you, Troy <<Hey Troy!  Gotta tell ya, I'm not a fan of small (nano) tanks.  They go "south" way to fast in inexperienced hands.  But considering your very reasonable stocking plan...a small powerhead, a small amount of carbon in the sump (changed weekly), and bi-weekly 50% water changes will get you by just fine.  Just don't lose your vision for this tank, mate.  EricR>>

Skimmer for 29 gallon reef/fish tank- nitrates 8/17/05 Great Website. <Thank you> I just started my first reef/fish tank about 6 months ago. <Great> Currently I use a Skilter 250 on a 29 gallon tank.<mmmmmmmmmmmmm> I have about 35lbs of live rock, live sand, 130 watt power compact lights. I have a tomato clown, blackcap Basslet, torch coral, button polyps, open brain, carpet anemone, blood shrimp. Everyone is doing well. I do weekly water changes of 5 gallons.<Good> Recently my Nitrates have gone up (past two weeks). Currently are at about 20, previously always b/w 5-10. Algae has also been an issue.  All other parameters are fine. I do not feel that the Skilter 250 does an adequate skimming job. <It's not>I have decided to switch to A Bak-Pak 2R. I also have a PowerSweep powerhead. My question is can I use the Bak-Pak and powerhead only- or do I need additional filtration. I'd rather not use the Skilter at all if possible.  <Anthony, with the live rock present, I think you would be fine with just the Bak pak and power heads.  I would like to see a total flow rate of 300gph in your tank.  Keep in mind for skimmers to be effective, they must be cleaned weekly.> Thank you ahead of time for your help. <You're welcome, James (Salty Dog)> -Anthony

Nano Reef skimmer - 2/13/04 Hello (whoever is there now)! <Heyo! It's me, Paulo> You have a fabulous website, with great information.  I love to just read through the archives (even ones that don't apply yet). <Totally> Sorry for the long email for a short question: I have a 10 gallon nano-reef. <Cool. Me too! I have two of them established over three years ago.  Same inhabitants for the past 2 years> 16 lbs of live rock and 22 pounds of live sand. <Na-hice!!!!>  64w PC (50/50).  Running about 7 months. <Just coming out of the complete cycle process> My corals have all been started as 'rejects' from friends or LFS. <Sweet> All growing and extending beautifully (8 different soft ones).  There is about 150 miniature feathers that came in on the rocks and have now multiplied. <Same here. Usually a result of feeding true phyto> I have a 3" clump of Caulerpa in the corner, the added green color swaying is cool (but I have keep it trimmed a LOT). <Oh yeah> I have a 2.5" T. Maxima, brilliant blue color (already grown from a 2" original size).  4 little hermit crabs and 5 snails. <Sounds sweet. Send some pics!> The main inhabitant is one coral banded shrimp. <Beauty, I bet> Side issue: the 150 gallon reef is researched and about 50% setup and will be matured slowly over the next 12 months (future home for Mr. Clam!). <You sound like a Conscientious Marine Aquarist.> It took about 60 days to get through the algae cycles but now everything seems too perfect! <All too true. So many are not willing to hear that though.> I have one PowerSweep Powerhead that really creates turbulence in the little tank and a HOB Whisper Filter (no carbon). <Sounds like my set-up. Have you been spying over the fence??>  I do a one gallon water change twice per week (I estimate about 6.5 to 7.0 gallons total in system).  Water is as follows: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Phosphate 0, Calcium 450, Ph 8.3 (even at night!?), Temp 80-82 deg. F, <Sounds like my maintenance routine as well>  Salinity 1.023 to 1.024 (depending on daily top-off).  I add 24 ml of Phytoplankton every other day, 1ml of calcium on alternating days with the Phyto, 2 drops each of Kent Iodine and Kent Strontium once per week (probably need to test for these, but it's only 2 drops?). <If isn't broken then don't fix it but, typically there is not a need to add any supplement unless testing for it. In most cases, if you are changing water frequently (as you are) then you could probably discontinue dosing money into your aquarium. =) Hehehh> Now the long-winded question. <Whew!> After tons of research, I would like to add a skimmer. <Not necessary in my opinion. Hard to find a decent sized skimmer and usually because space is not available it becomes a big hassle to fit one. Sounds like your maintenance regime is doing more for keeping nutrients from building up and becoming a problem.> My original readings and research were against it's use in a nano-reef <Well, let me say this though, I believe a skimmer is a necessary piece of equipment (a good skimmer is worth it's weight in gold for sure) but in the nano-reef, it is more important to do frequent water changes which will in turn, help to reduce the build up of nutrients.> but I think I now have converted. The problem is that I'm out of physical space. <Exactly!> I would have to eliminate the HOB filter, so the skimmer needs to be about that size. <If it isn't broke then don't fix it.......> I'm looking at the Skilter <Never used it but for the most part I have heard it is a piece> obviously (same size) or a little inside-tank air stone skimmer. <Don't even bother>  If it hangs outside the tank it can't be too big.  The tank is a three sided viewing display so the equipment is at the 'long' end. <Whoa. You are outta space, then. Good viewing idea, though> If I get a normal skimmer it would be as big as my tank and hood! <No kidding> I guess I'm asking for your thoughts on continuing not using the skimmer since I change a lot of water. <That is what I would recommend>  Did I just talk myself out of it? <Me thinks you did.> Any thoughts? <You already got 'em> Thank you for any advice and / or assistance!!!!! <Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul> Kevin Cobb

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

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 sand bed. 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>

- 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 -- >

Protein skimmers (for small systems) Mr. Fenner, I have an Marineland eclipse 3 system its a 37gal saltwater tank, and I would like to know what brand and type of protein skimmer you suggest for this size of tank your vast knowledge of this subject matter would greatly be appreciated thank you. Michael Camacho <Hmm, to some degree matters what sorts of livestock, how much of it, what you hope to do... but likely one of the smaller, lower-efficiency type skimmers will do/would be what I used here: the newer Prizm, even a modified Skilter (see: http://WetWebMedia.com/hang-onskimfaqs.htm and beyond), or a CPR BakPak. Do read through the WWM site re modification to the top/Eclipse that others have suggested for fitting such a device (skimmer). Bob Fenner>

Nano-Reef Skimming? Dear Robert, I found my self setting up a "Nano-Reef" way before I knew there was such a thing. I was limited by space and money yet was dieing to set up a marine tank. My 7 gallon nano has had it's share of up's and downs over the last 10 months. Particularly the ongoing battle with "pea soup syndrome". The algae bloom in my tank. I'd like to know what your opinion is about using a protein skimmer for such a small volume of water. At present I have 3 small fish, 4 hermits, 3 nails and a shrimp in my tank. I have about 6-8 pounds of live rock and a penguin 125 power filter. <I would use one... probably the Prizm hang on> A recent article I read by Christopher Marks (http://www.nano-reef.com/filtration.htm) suggests that a powerhead and weekly water changes are sufficient in a nano-reef with a high volume of live rock (1 - 1 1/2 PPG)? <Mmm, can be done... but the use of a small skimmer is a real plus. Systems with such are less risky, prone to crash... and (bonus!) much less pea-soup possibility> Quote: "With this natural method, no protein skimmers or dosing is used. Studies of skimmers have shown that they remove various trace elements, along with pods and plankton. When people run protein skimmers, they dose trace elements to replenish them after their corals and skimmers use them. Because the skimmer removes most of the elements, such as iodine, it is dosed back in causing almost an endless cycle. The main problem this holds in nano reefing is that many of the trace elements cannot be easily tested for, so no one ever knows where their level is. This can lead to overdosing which will crash a nano reef in a matter of hours. The skimmer also begins to starve your corals by removing their food source. It's simply too risky. " I have a feeling that a Skimmer on a larger scale does more good then harm but on a nano? <Mmm, no... about the same... there is a huge range in "efficiency" in foam fractionators/skimmers... the inefficient ones (the vast majority of makes/models) are well worth the trade-off in removal of useful materials...> My plans to purchase a Prizm protein skimmer have been put one hold because of this article. I'm hoping you can shed some more light on the matter bob? <I would buy, put this skimmer on... experiment with turning it off after a month or so... see if you can tell the difference in A) the health of your livestock, cleanliness of your system, maintenance, B) the apparent and measured loss of biominerals, alkaline reserve... You'll very likely see why I'd add the skimmer. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time and help as always, Ed

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

General help. <fitting an Eclipse system with a skimmer, (over) stocking, more) Good Morning Mr. Fenner,  Was wondering if you could help me with some questions? <I will try> I currently have a 37gal eclipse system with about 40lbs of live rock, live sand, a Fluval 204, 55watt custom SeaLife PC, 3 grabs, (1-emerald, 1-red and some other type unknown.) 4 red legged hermits, 10 blue legged hermits, 7 or 8 snails not Turbos) for algae, 1 yellow tang, 1 Kole Tang, 1 long nosed hawk, <Watch this Hawkfish... may eat your crabs, hermits in time... especially during molts> 1 wrasse (blue and White in color), 2 clowns, 1 angel and 1 goby. (all these fish are small to med in size "3-4")  I also have two anemones, 1 sand sifting tiger starfish, 1 type starfish and 2 horseshoe crabs, and some small rocks with sponges and green polyps.  <This is a bunch of life for this size, type system...> I currently don't have a protein skimmer on the tank, I am looking at getting the AquaC remora hang on this week, I'm not sure it will fit. <The top of the tank will have to be modified (cut) to fit it over the side... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimmerfaqs.htm and beyond re others retrofits> My Ammonia is 0, ph 0, nitrites 0, nitrates about .20, and salinity at 1.023. I just did a partial water change (7gal) with distilled drinking water, (my pet store advised Spring Water but I saw on the label that minerals were added so I went with the distilled) Spring OK? <Yes... but would make more frequent, smaller changes... maybe five gallons maximum> couldn't find this in the FAQs. My question is do I have too much going on in the tank?  <You are at a "limit" and will be beyond with fish growth...> The stores I frequent seem to keep trying to sell me more fish and tell me that I'm ok with room. <Get this in writing... I would either secure larger quarters, or plan on trading in the Angel, perhaps the Hawkfish... in time> I seem to think I have reached my limit or maybe passed it. should I worry about trying to lower the nitrates? <Mmm, not likely... especially not from current levels> My tank has been running for about six weeks. I'm a beginner and just need to be steered in the right direction. Thank you in advance for any assistance that you can offer. Brian S.  <Do keep looking into possible amendments to your current system... a natural evolution might be to add a refugium sump to what you have... with more volume, live rock, lighting... Bob Fenner>

Skimmer on a Nano? Hey Jim, Alex here one more time   I asked him if I should add on my Skilter 250 to my nano tank, I told him that it will be only a nano reef tank and he said that no filtration is needed for that kind of tank just a good power head. Now if I would add fish later on I should add on the Skilter. Right know as is I do not have my Skilter running. Should I be running my Skilter  any way??? >>>Greetings once again Alex, Since water changes are SO easy on a nano, I usually recommend to people that they don't bother purchasing a skimmer. Since you already have one, feel free to use it. I don't use them on such small tanks myself. Water changes take all of 2 minutes. :) Cheers Jim<<<

- Skimmer for a Nano Tank - I currently have a 10 gal nano reef set up. I am currently using the Skilter all in one filter and protein skimmer with a Coolworks ice probe that I adapted into the bottom . I also converted it to an air stone driven skimmer instead of its noisy and inefficient stock venturi system. I'm still not really happy with it and I was looking at the Prizm skimmer by Red Sea or the Bak Pak skimmer. Have you had much feedback on either of these devices? <Think both may be more than is useful for the tank. With only 10 gallons of water, you really can't expect too much out of any skimmer. What you have set up now sounds ideal to me.> The only thing I have heard about either one is the Prizm is noisy. I would appreciate any input you could give. Thanks, Mark <Cheers, J -- >

Small Tank Skimmer 9/15/04 Anthony, Everyone seems to have the same recommendations (Aqua c or BakPak ) but both are kind of expensive. My tank is only 29 gallons, so I figure I might be able to use something less expensive. Tight budget-3 kids ) <no worries... you can skip the skimmer altogether and just do healthy weekly water changes> Do you know anything about the Prizm? <a very poor quality product... do check the archives for considerable feedback. No skimmer is better than a bad skimmer <G>> Thanks for your help <best regards, Anthony>

Protein skimmer I just put a Bak-pak 2R skimmer on my 37 gal. tank... I am getting a lot of tiny bubbles in my tank ( I know that is good oxygen, but it has gotten worse during the day) I think that my skimmer and powerhead (230 gph) are too much for the size of tank. The tank water isn't clear because of all the tiny air bubbles. I can't turn the skimmer down, except almost close the air tube. I just turned the skimmer off now and the shrimp are coming out again. I don't want to run it overnight , because I don't know if it is set right. I was getting clear water in the cup, so I raised the cup. Should I stop using the powerhead? Cheryl <Keep the powerhead going, but turn off/submerse the venturi intake feature which determines air entraining. For the skimmer outflow consider attaching either a bit of coarse foam over the in-tank portion, or having the water dump into a submersed cup with same (like the refugium/isolation tanks CPR makes. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Pump Selection Hi, <hi! Ryan with you> We have a 30 gallon tank that has two clownfish, 12 lbs of live rock, and a few turbo snails and hermit crabs. <Cool> The tank has just finished cycling. We need to get a protein skimmer and from reading the articles it seems that AquaC makes good hang-on-tank skimmers. <Yes, very reliable name> My question is since it is a 30 gallon tank - would the AquaC Remora Pro be too much protein skimming for the system (it is rated for tanks between 40-120 gallons and has a flow rate of 110 gph) - or should we get the Remora (rated for 20-75 gallons with a flow rate of 85 gph)? The Remora Pro is supposed to provide better performance (AquaC says that it is 3x as efficient as the Remora). Also, if the Remora Pro was a good choice, do you have a preference for pumps (Rio 1400 or Mag 3) for use with a 30 gallon tank? <I like the pro, with the Mag 3.  I have had good luck with some Rio pumps, but the 1400 sure isn't one of them.  I think you will be very happy with this skimmer for this application.  Have fun, Ryan> thanks, Edward

- 20g Skimmer Recommendation - First let me start by saying THANK YOU to all of you guys for your invaluable information.  As someone who is new to the hobby, I would be lost without you guys. <We're happy to help!> I have a 20 gallon hex (I know...small to start with) and was wondering what type of skimmer would best suit my needs.  I have 15lbs of Fiji live rock, penguin 170 hang-on filter, CSL 36watt pc light, small power head.  I have  had the tank running for about a month (just got the light a week ago) and am seeing the dreaded diatom outbreak.  I currently have a percula clown, peppermint shrimp, yellow watchman Goby complete with shrimp (really cool by the way) <That they are!> bumblebee snail, 4 blue legged hermits, a bubble tip anemone and some flowerpot coral.   Everything is doing awesome, but I think I really need to start skimming.  I change 10% of the water weekly and all my levels are normal.  Thank you once again for any advice you can give me. <Since you have an anemone in there, I'd suggest bypassing they cheesy prisms and sea-clones and go straight for either an AquaC Remora or a Precision Marine HOT-1. Unfortunately if the "flower pot" is a Goniopora sp. then a protein skimmer may actually expedite its demise (in general, Goniopora only survives in captivity for 8-10 months. It is thought that they may require higher levels of nutrients than we are prepared to supply in our tanks.) Good luck, and happy skimming! -Kevin> You guys are AWESOME!!!!  Jody

Protein Skimmer (8-7-03) I have an Excal protein skimmer (hang-on with Rio 800) 37 gallon tank...First, is this skimmer too much for my tank size and secondly how do eliminate the tiny bubbles. The small half inch sponge is not efficient HEEELLPPP!<This skimmer is fine for this tank.  As for the bubbles you could try getting a pre filter box for the surface.>

Skimmer selection for a 35 gallon FOWLR - 9/5/03 Hey friends thanks for the earlier replies, I am upbeat and excited about my 35 gallon FOWLR tank to be. <very good and glad to hear> I have Skimmer decisions to make and hope you can help narrow it down for me. <Have checked the various reef forums for real time reviews?> Four to choose from as listed: Prizm <I can see how this one works and I don't exactly think it is a horrible product but a little noisy for sure> Berlin <Have very little experience with this product but here it does do the job> Aqua-C remora <Love it.> Cyclone Bak-Pak 2 <CPR Bak-Pak? I use this on my 20 gallon reef only setup. It is OK. The RIO pump is underpowered, there are micro bubbles after new installation and cleanings. Not easy to clean. Does do the job, though, I guess.> Prizm: I am finding out pretty quick that this is an all around crappy skimmer (my opinion only guys from other peoples experience). that gets rid of this one. That makes the list down to: Berlin Aqua-C remora Cyclone Bak-Pak 2 The Berlin: is over priced for what it does here in Edmonton Alberta (again my opinion only). That makes the list down to: Aqua-C remora Cyclone Bak-Pak 2 You guys seem to tout the Aqua-C remora horn quite a bit and I have eagerly tried to seek this one out and find out what the price for it is here in Edmonton. Behold what I came up with. No where to be found, some of the major LFS like Big All's haven't even heard of it. I kind of gave them a little education about it telling the manager to check out your site, and who knows, maybe I'll start seeing it here soon long after my tank is up and running). Well that removes this from the list. <Why? Why not order it from an online reseller? I know some exist in Canada. Do a search through our reseller links and do a search for Canadian Marine retailers.> So that leaves me with: Cyclone Bak-Pak 2 <CPR Bak Pak?> The price is about $230. CDN. so the price is about right for me. What do you think guys? good, Bad, Ugly, Noisy <Noise can be adjusted for the most part. Cleaning is a pain, and the RIO pump could be a little more powerful. Overall, I utilize this skimmer and am somewhat happy with the results> or is there something else that you would recommend I research? <Try to search out an Aqua-C and the Turboflotor series seems to be highly touted.> I hope you had a little fun reading this one, that was the intention. <OK> Cheers. <Cheers -Paul> Mike

- Bak-pak versus Remora - Hi Kevin, I can't tell you how much you have helped me in setting up my 35 gal FOWLR tank with your past replies. Can't say thanks enough, you and all the other guys there deserve all the gratitude handed to you. <We're exceedingly happy to help!> I was wondering what your thoughts were between the Aqua-C remora and the CPR Bak-pak. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and I am finding it extremely hard to find the Remora. I found only one place in Coquitlam, BC http://www.jlaquatics.com that carries it and its $259 CDN. but that comes with a Maxi-Jet 1200. A reputable LFS carries the Bak-pak for $230 CDN and it comes with the Rio 600 (Have read in your site that this is a little underpowered). I found a Site that did a comparison on the two and I would like to know your thoughts. http://www.thereefweb.com/protein_skimmer_comparison.htm I'd be more inclined to go for the remora and spend the extra cash but right now it looks as though availability is the hold up. <I believe Marine Depot does international shipping. And as for getting the thing up and running, most of us have used them.> in addition to that, I am not to comfortable buying things online yet. I am wondering if I would be "just settling for" if I choose the Bak-pak? <For this size tank, you could go either way. I can tell you that the remora is a much more efficient skimmer, and the maxi-jet is a much better choice than a Rio in terms of quality> Or in your opinion would this be more that sufficient for me? <The Pak-pak should be fine, especially if your dealer can show you how to use it right in front of you.> Just to give you a little background, I will have a little more than 16 times per hour turnover rate with just the two power filters and two powerheads. so what ever protein skimmer I do go with will be in addition to that. does that sound okay? <Sounds good! -Kevin> Cheers. Mike

Small Tank Setup (12-13-03) What kind of protein skimmer would you recommend for a 5 gal tank?  How do you think of my set up right now.  I got a 5 gal tank, 25 watt heater, a ten gallon wet/dry filter, power head and 3 lb of live rock it been cycle for 3 weeks and all test are good.  all I'm planning is to put 1 clownfish.  what  else would I need to complete my setup?<I would go buy a larger tank as I think this would be much too frustrating.  I would not put any fish in there it is just too small.  It could be a nice setup for a mantis shrimp display or something though.  If you do have your heart set on this I like the aqua c remora skimmers.  Other than that your setup looks complete but I think it would just be too tuff to keep stable.> I also got a 30 gal tank, 300 watt heater, 330 penguin filter with bio wheels, power head, and a 2 inch of crush shell.  what else would you recommend to complete my setup?<That's a little better size!  I would get a good skimmer such as the remora I mentioned above, some live rock and a good book or two.  Some good books are: The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Bob Fenner and The New Marine Aquarium by Michael Paletta.> and what do your think about BIO SPIRA? <Never heard of it, you try posting on www.reefcentral.com to see what others think.  Cody> Thank you for all your reply , it have been so informative

Remora Skimmer for 29G? (12/27/2003) Just a simple question that I could not find on your site.  Is the Aqua C Remora to much skimming for a 29 gal reef tank. <A quick check of the AquaC website reveals that the Remora (not the pro) is the right size.>  I am in the planning stages and want to make the right decisions now and not have to pay for it later.  I plan on having a few clowns, tangs, and anemones.  <Bad plan. There is no Tang that is appropriate for such a small  tank. Minimum 75G for one yellow, bigger for a purple. No anemones. Very difficult for beginners and require a lot of light, pristine water conditions and care beyond the ability of a beginner. BTW, clownfish do not need and anemone. Also, I would not keep more than two clownfish in this small tank and I would stick to ocellaris/percula. Do consider other fish for your tank such as the Royal Gramma, a small Hawkfish, and smaller gobies. Perhaps a small flasher wrasse.> Live rock will be a must.  Let me know.  Thanks Jeremy <You're welcome. Steve Allen>

Over-skimming With Remora Pro? (12/23/2003) One more question regarding my 40 gallon setup.  For future flexibility (larger tank) should I go with the Remora Pro now?  I'm willing to spend the extra $70., I've read (I think here) that it is possible to 'over skim'.  Would the Pro be too large for the 40 gallon tank? Thanks, Rick <I checked AquaC's website. They list this skimmer for as little as 40 gallons. If you plan on going to a bigger tank in the foreseeable future and have the extra $, I see no reason not to go for it. Steve Allen>

Skimmer and fish I have a 29gal tank. I have 3 fish, yellow watchman goby, a pyjama cardinal, and a Firefish (?). my first question: I feed them 2 times a week, is that ok? <No, Feed them sparingly twice a day.> I don't want to overfeed them. Second question: My tank has a hood which has the filtration and light incorporated into it, what kind of skimmer can I get for this tank?<there are many to choose from, I would go to your LFS...and see what they carry and then do research on those skimmers> The opening it has (2) are not large at all for the skimmers I've seen. <find smaller skimmers, Good luck, IanB> Thanks Viviana

- Hang-on Skimmer Choices - Hi there everyone at WWM... where half of my reading time is spent!!!  Thankfully!~ Ok, here's the question at hand...  My system...  29 gallon FOWLR (so much for being a species tank for seahorses!!!!) 2 seahorses 1 fridmani Pseudochromis 1 yellow clown goby 2 scarlet cleaner shrimp 2 peppermint shrimp 1 male Saron shrimp -numerous smaller hermits (scarlet, blue, red and so forth) 3 feather dusters Caulerpa prolifera 1 Banggai Cardinal - numerous assorted snails 32 pounds of premium live Fiji rock *CPR BakPak dual pack... (of which I'm not so very fond of) *Eheim Professional2 canister model 2028 * CSL compact fluorescent, 2 65watt daylights plus moonlight. I would Like to buy ANOTHER skimmer... or maybe sell the dual BakPak... I know almost everyone has at some point or still do in fact... have an issue with the micro bubbles they seem to spew back into the tank.  I do realize this is partially because of the individual organics in the system and partially because not all skimmers are created equal in regards to each individuals set up.  <You could try their bubble trap... it's quite possible that any skimmer would introduce air bubbles to the system.> ...with that in mind... Could you rec. a skimmer that you think would suit my system?   I have no sump... and no refugium.  The refugium is another story.  I gather it's going to be AquaC or EuroReef... as EuroReef is coming out with their new HOB skimmer. <I've not yet seen a EuroReef hang-on, so I was going to recommend an AquaC Remora.> Maybe I should wait it out and invest in that one.  I'm quite unsure.  Will the skimmer really have its toll on the copepod population and such??? <Not in my opinion.> I can't believe the action of the skimmer would be THAT drastic on the pods population... even if I don't have a refugium yet.  Basically... I don't know what to replace my BakPak dual pack with. <If you are unsure, it's best to post these questions on any of the popular forums where you can get a broad range of opinions.> It takes up too much room, because I want to add on a HOB refugium (the AquaFuge, if you have used it by any chance) <Have one running on my tank right now.> So, as I failed to mention in the start of this... I'm pressed for space... and want a new skimmer which will make room for a small or medium sized refugium to HOB. Lastly... believe you me, I've read through every article here time and time and time again... but I just DON'T understand why it is that the skimmers for the most part release microbubbles back into the tank. <Because they cavitate the water, introduce air to it... is a by-product.> If the bubbles aren't made in the tank, but in the chambers of the skimmer... and bubbles don't rise to the outlet of the skimmer... then why on earth do they present themselves back into the tank? <Out of a matter of practicality... especially with hang-on varieties... is space... if the baffles, settling chambers were large enough this wouldn't be an issue, but the thing needs to fit on the back of the tank. Sump skimmers sometimes have this problem too, but this is usually due to the design of the sump.> I hate this micro bubble ordeal with these skimmers.  Almost makes me feel all ANTI skimmer!!!!  All the money these skimmers cost, they can't come up with one that's a HOB and one that truly won't leak micro bubbles back into the tank. <Personally, I don't have a problem with the bubbles. I come from an age in aquariums where aeration had to come from an air pump and bubble wand. Certainly there is no adverse affect on the health of the animals as these aren't 'those type' of bubbles.> I would love your comments on the above... I'm well read and still reading all over and talking to everyone... surely I wanted to hear from all of you guys as well.  I thank you in advance for your experienced time... <Cheers, J -- >

Skimmer Selection well this is my scenario 20 gal tank looked great for two years with just regular water changes lots of living things.  Added a 10 gallon sump so I could add a skimmer.  With all the rock etc.. there prob. is about 20-25 gallons of water tank looks horrid after converting most things died a few still living.  I am in desperate need of a skimmer to start balancing things out so once again it will look great.  plenty of room on my sump what should I go for?  I have tried a Berlin 25-250 and was greatly disappointed by its touchy performance.  Willing to spend about 200.00 to achieve my goal.  Must be under 22 inches.  I have looked at the little devil, CPR's in-sump model, EuroReef, Knop, etc.. I just don't want to buy a dud again any advice would be GREAT!  <  I would choose the euro reef, good design, awesome customer service, all around good skimmer.  Some other good skimmers are the AquaC line.  The urchin or urchin pro would work well here.  Cody>

Skimmer choice <Hi Jeremy, PF here tonight> Hi hope you're doing good,:) Quick question. would the Remora Pro (with mag 3 pump) be too much for my 29gal. tank (with mostly soft corals)? I just don't want to buy the Remora then later decide I should have spent the extra 60 and got  the pro....just incase I upgrade tank size.... thanks for your time, Jeremy <Well Jeremy, I used one on my 29g, but with the Maxijet1200 (roughly the same output as the Mag), and it worked great. How's that for a recommendation? Have a nice evening, PF>

Picking Skimmers That Are Winners! Dear Sir. <No need for the "sir"! Just Scott! Glad to be here with you today!> I bought the required hardware to setup (another) 24x24x18 freshwater aquarium only to decide it was time to take a walk on the other side -marine! <That's what I'm talking about! No pun intended- but there is a whole "ocean" of new possibilities out there for you!> I've skimmed (!) through the skimming FAQ's and learnt much. Prior to finding your site I was looking at a Red Sea Prizm Deluxe which sadly don't appear to get the best wrap in regards to being niggly and a little noisy (though the noise problem would appear to have been addressed by upping the 12 fin impellor to 18). Anyway, could you  possibly recommend several protein skimmers that'll do a bang up job for my 45gal tank? I ask for several as 1 or more you recommend may not be available in Australia. <Well, if you're looking at the hang-on-the-tank models, I'd recommend the Aqua C Remora...One of the best of the bunch. I believe that it's available through several e-tailers for delivery to Australia. Also, do consider the (pricey) Tunze "Universal" skimmers...amazing performance in a small package. Another Great model is the Euroreef series...Still another highly regarded skimmer is the Aqua Medic Turboflotor (has rep for being a bit touchy, though...Finally, you can check out the ETSS line as well. Pricey, but good...All of these may be available from various e-tailers, so do some checking. If you're a DIY'er, be sure to check out the great "local" site, OzReef for some of the best ideas on the 'net> I'm trying to track down a AquaC Remora/Remora Plus and have emailed the chap who runs the show and am awaiting a reply but figured it couldn't hurt to obtain some backup suggestions in the event they're not available here. <Jason Kim is a great guy, and he'll definitely get back to you!> I do have a little skepticism over this model however, the Rio's aren't my choice of pump by some measure! <They can be optionally equipped with other pumps...> Many thanks for your time and congratulations on your tremendous efforts into helping us J. Bloggs'  Kendal <My pleasure, Kendal! We're thrilled to be able to share our experiences and learn with hobbyists around the world! Good luck. Regards, Scott F>

Skimmers For A Small Tank What would be a good, relatively quiet protein skimmer for a 30 gallon salt set up? I tried the Red Sea Prizm and it was quite loud. Jo Fredericks <There are a number of good choices. Among the best, IMO are the Aqua C Urchin (or Remora, if you want a "hang-on-the-back" type), and the CPR Bak-Pak 2. Both of these are quality, proven units that would be well-suited for a small tank. Regards, Scott F.>

Do I need an protein skimmer Is a Visi-Jet protein skimmer  good for a 30 gallon tank (price wise) ?? <Not IMO. Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimselfaqs.htm and on through all the Skimmer Selection FAQs. Bob Fenner>

- Skimmer Selection - <Greetings, JasonC here...> So what about using a sea clone protein skimmer on a 30 gallon tank, I heard the sea clone is a good skimmer for the price, do you recommend a sea clone (did u have an experience first hand with that skimmer)??? <I do not have first hand experience with it, but do know many people who do... it doesn't rate as well as a Prizm. If I were you, I'd pose this question on our chat forum where you can get a range of opinions as well as perhaps feedback from people who have used them. The forum can be found here: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk > thanks again <Cheers, J -- >

Don't Skimp On The Skimmer! Is a Red Sea Prizm Skimmer , a good quality skimmer for a 30 gallon tank ?? Thanks, James <Well, I'd have to say that the consensus of the majority of our readers who have used this skimmer are that it is not a very efficient unit. And, a protein skimmer is the most important piece of equipment that you can buy for your tank, as far as I'm concerned! On that basis, I won't recommend this skimmer. I have no personal experience with this skimmer, so I certainly won't "bash" it. However, you might want to post on the wetwebmedia.com chat forum and hear what your fellow hobbyists who have used it think. I always tell users of this seemingly problematic unit that, if it's pulling out a few cups of dark, yucky skimmate per week, then it's good enough for me! On the other hand, I can tell you that we consistently recommend the Aqua C, Euroreef, and Tunze skimmers to our readers who inquire about skimmers. The reason is that these are well-engineered, dependable, and productive skimmers, and have been proven to, and used by us. Again, don't take my word for it-check with fellow hobbyists who use them, or have used these skimmers. In the end, it's your tank, and your money! Don't skimp on a skimmer! Do some research, and make your move accordingly. I'm sure that you'll make the right decision! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Skimmer Selection - Hey, <Hey... JasonC here.> Thanks for all your help in the past! Looking for a bit of advice right now. I have a 35 gallon FOWLR setup currently cycling with 2 damsels and about 25 lbs of live rock. I am planning to get a skimmer and have narrowed it down to 2: the Aqua C Remora (which I know everyone recommends) and the Prizm. I have read the FAQ stuff so I know that the Remora is the better quality skimmer, however, it is not easy to come by where I live and so it's about $150 more expensive than the Prizm (about $345 vs. $195). <True... have you tried the online e-tailers?> Basically, is the extra money worth it? <I think so, and it will set you up nicely in case you decide to upgrade that tank to a larger size one day.> I can say that I am hoping to upgrade to a larger tank in the next couple of years so if the Remora could handle a larger tank (say 90 gallons) then maybe it would be worth the extra investment now. <It would certainly handle it, and you could also upgrade the pump at the same time you get the new tank... make it better suited for the 90.> Money is tighter than expected in this venture, however, so if I can get away with the Prizm, I might settle for that. <Yeah... but you would end up replacing it...> Any help is greatly appreciated, Derek <Cheers, J -- >

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

Tight fit for skimmer Wonderful web people, <Whazzzup?!> Quick question. You all talked me out of installing a Red Sea Prizm protein skimmer.  <I do believe you can find a much better skimmer> (But in fact it did not fit anyway.) I have a wide P.C. light fixture over my 29 gallon reef tank. The very most space I have in the back from the edge of the light fixture to the rear top rim of the tank is 1.5" I have plenty of room behind the tank but it's the 1.5" that is stumping me. What type of skimmer would work with this configuration? <Alas, I/we don't have the specs memorized for skimmers... let us just access the manufacturer's web sites and customer support. I'm wondering if a hang on Aqua C Remora wouldn't do the trick. It is famous for its slim profile and efficiency. Look here... http://www.proteinskimmer.com/products/Remora.htm > Thanks a million!!! <best regards, Anthony>

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

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

Filtration for 29 Gallon Tank Hi Bob, <Hello, Gage here> I have read a lot of you FAQ's and they are very helpful, but I have yet to come across one that helps my specific problem. I have a 29 gallon tank which will be set up to keep SPS corals and as well as a mated pair of Green Clown Gobies, a Scooter Blenny, and some clams. When I ran this tank previously without a skimmer, even with 45lbs. of cycled live rock, I had a horrible slick on the top of the water. This has made me sure that I want to skim this tank. I also previously have kept a Scooter Blenny, but it died while I was on vacation because it wasn't getting enough food. This makes me sure I want a refugium. My question is - should I do a hang-on skimmer (such as the Remora Pro) and use a spare ten gallon under the tank as a refugium? Or should I get a hang-on refugium (i.e. Aqua Fuge) and have my ten gallon hold a "real" skimmer and other media? <I would probably go with the hang on refugium and the skimmer in the sump idea. The hang on skimmers are good, but if you choose to go with an in-sump skimmer you are going to have a lot more choices and will probably end up with a more productive skimmer. Best Regards, Gage> Thanks, Michael

Skimmer Dilemma I'm a newbie with an empty 39 gal.  I plan to keep fish only with liverock and sand.  I've read your reviews of the AquaC protein skimmer and am curious if anyone has an opinion of the CPR Bak-Pak 2.  I can't decide between the two. <Well- these are two skimmers with great reputations. They both have their supporters and detractors. Both are well-made, and have been proven for a while. I'm going to assume that you're comparing the Aqua C Remora to the Bak Pak? In my experiences with both units, I have gotten great skimming for such a compact size. I don't think you'd do poorly with either one, with a slight edge to the Aqua C. Why don't you go on our WetWebMedia.Com Chat site and see what other users have to say? Good Luck!   Scott F.>

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

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

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

Skimmers I have a 29 gallon reef tank. I also have a SeaClone skimmer. From what I have read you do not recommend the Sea Clean skimmer. Should I upgrade my skimmer. So far it seems to work very well. Or do you just not recommend it for large tanks? <The SeaClone is fine for small systems. Bob Fenner>

Skimmers I have a 29 gallon reef tank. I also have a SeaClone skimmer. From what I have read you do not recommend the Sea Clean skimmer. Should I upgrade my skimmer. So far it seems to work very well. Or do you just not recommend it for large tanks? <The SeaClone is fine for small systems. Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmers What is a protein skimmer, and is it required for a saltwater tank. My tank has been going on for 2 months now - and the person at Petco (the only place I've found a decent selection) says not to add one for a few months. I don't know how much I trust Petco. Do you have any experience with the Prizm skimmer? <It is a piece of filtration equipment used to separate organics from the water. There is much for you to learn/read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimmerfaqs.htm The Prizm is OK for a smaller tank. The box says good for 100 gallons, but I would not use it on more than 30.  I always use and recommend a skimmer be used.> Does Live Rock need any special maintenance - special additives, etc? (ok, maybe two questions :) )) <Proper amounts of calcium, alkalinity, and lighting to encourage coralline alga growth.> Thanks ~bill <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Question Hi Bob, I've started a mini-reef (15 gal) recently after enjoying fresh water and planted tanks for many years. Primary purpose for starting this reef was fascination with the technology and the beauty of the fishes and corals (plus too much free time!). <Well-stated> Anyway, with no experience, I did not want to spend too much on it. Most of the stuff I used are spares or are cheap! But, the $$ are beginning to catch up.  <Many, many people will be bobbing their heads up and down like old Beatles dolls in the back of ancient Chevies with no shocks on reading this> For instance, initially I purchase a cheap (<S$20) skimmer (Orca 300). It's an in-tank, counter-current air powered unit. However, I don't think it's working. There is no foam in the cup, only a clear liquid (and a only bit at that). To give you an idea of how much a bit is, I only need to drain the cup about once in six to eight weeks! I was thinking of replacing it with a HOT unit. I am thinking of a Red Sea Prism. Can I solicit you opinion on this skimmer? or do you have a better solution. <Many choices, much input my friend. Please read re skimmers on our principal site... starting with the index here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marindind2.htm> I am using a canister filter (Eheim 2023) without a sump. Hence, it cannot be a sump skimmer. Also, given the small size of the tank, I don't want an in-tank unit. I fear my choices are limited. <Not as much as you will soon know... there are a few excellent hang-on models for you to consider.> Also please note that over here in Singapore, my choices are very limited. Most of the popular ones are very expensive and for much larger tanks. <Mmm, I visit SG fairly often... as countries go, it is likely the one with the greatest selection (was just there a few months back for the Aquarama trade show...)> Regards, Anthony <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner, who will send your note to a friend in Sing., Perry Chong for his kibitzing.>

Hey Bob! Skimmer for established coral tank, refugium Hi Bob, Quick question....I have looked up and down your site (good one) and was wondering if you had a 20 gallon refugium type tank and were looking for protein skimmer would you use the CPR back pack or the AquaC Remora? I went through every link on your page including the chat rooms but nobody really seemed to ask this question. I have no sump, no extra filtering, 3 powerheads, no fish, 48 lbs of live rock and various propagated corals. Growing very well by the way.) Thanks again for all your assistance. <Likely the CPR Bak pak here... as only want "some" fractionation and the system is already up, going well. Bob Fenner> Beers, Paul (again) =)

Re: At my wits end (refer folks to the FAQs... on skimmer sel.) Could you recommend a protein skimmer. I am interested in the Berlin skimmer. Is this one good or would you use something else. If so, what? <For your 10 gallon tank the Red Sea Prizm should be fine. -Steven Pro>

To skim or not to skim (protein that is) Hi Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo up at bat this time, good sir> Quick question. Did you have any advice on top of Mr. Pro's advice on the CPR Bak-Pak or Aqua-C Remora skimmers for my 35 gallon hexagon tank (18" x 21.5" x 24")? Thank you. - Derrick <I couldn't agree more with it. There is no such thing as a low maintenance, effective AND inexpensive protein skimmer in our industry. Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good, as the adage goes. I have literally operated tens of thousands of gallons of seawater as an industry professional in the past decade, and I can honestly say that a protein skimmer is the single most important piece of equipment once biological filtration is established. Personally, given to choose between setting up a tank without a skimmer or not having a tank at all, I'm inclined to the latter because I wouldn't want the work or aggravation of the tank without one. Put a crowbar in that wallet my friend and break out that communion money that you've been saving...<smile>. I promise you that a year down the road, you won't regret it. A good skimmer is an investment that will give you far greater returns. Best regards to you in your endeavors, Anthony>

Protein Skimmer Could you recommend a hang on tank skimmer suitable for a 20 gallon tank with appx. 20lbs of live rock. Thanks Jeff Woods <most of the small commercial skimmer are tedious and weakly effective. You might try looking at Bak-Paks though. Very favorable feedback from many aquarists on this brand. Anthony>

SeaClone skimmer Dear Bob, I have read the FAQs on skimmers and your opinions on the SeaClone skimmers. I was shopping for one for a skimmer for my 20g and someone just offered to sell me a used SeaClone for 50 bucks. I was wondering if I should get it since you say there good for small systems? <Maybe... fifty dollars seems a bit steep though> if not can you recommend another? <Most any of the smaller types will do... or even a larger one run on a tied-in sump> if I do get it what are the pros and cons?? <Of usage? Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/marphysf.htm Skimmers are covered there. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Choice I need to choose a skimmer to use both now on my 29 gallon reef and in the future on my 125 gallon fish-only with live rock tank. I work in a pet store, and we stock CPR skimmers. However, I have gathered that they aren't so hot compared to other products on the market. <Good products in my estimation, better for smaller systems> I am choosing between three skimmers - a CPR SR6, a Aqua Medic Turboflotor T-1000, or a AquaC EV 150. I have read your FAQ's, and you seem to fluctuate between recommending the T1000 and the AquaC. Which do you think is a better solution in my case? <Let's see what more you have to offer about the actual application, below> Both are, or will be, what I supposed you could call "Berlin" systems. My 29 has a 100 GPH Eheim canister filter, several powerheads in the tank, 55 pounds of Fiji reef rock, and 20 pounds of Fiji pink live sand. I've got 2 gobies and a pistol shrimp, a mandarin, lots of Turbos and blue legs, bubble and scroll coral, and feather dusters. The 125, which has been purchased but has yet to be set up, will be a fish-only tank with all those great fish that you just can't put in a reef.  <Seems strange that they likely do hail from an actual reef.> Expect a heavy bio-load there, although that tank will have live rock in it (At $2.25 a pound for premium live Fiji reef rock, who can resist?). The 125 will probably have a 40 gallon homemade sump and possibly either a little Eheim canister or a big AquaClear power filter. Basically, my question is - which skimmer? The SR6, T1000, or EV150? Thanks, Ben <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

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

Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:
Invertebrates, Algae
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
B
ook 2:
Fishes

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:
Systems

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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