Please visit our Sponsors

More FAQs about Skimmer Selection for Marine Systems 11

Related FAQs: Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers 2, To Skim or Not to Skim, Best Skimmer Selection FAQs, Skimmer Selection, Skimmer Selection 2, Skimmer Selection 3, Skimmer Selection 4, Skimmer Selection 5, Skimmer Selection 6, Skimmer Selection 7, Skimmer Selection 8, Skimmer Selection 9, Skimmer Selection 10, Skimmer Selection 12, Skimmer Selection 14, Skimmer Selection 15, Skimmer Selection 16, & Skimmer Selection 13, DIY Skimmers, Skimmers for Refugiums/Sumps, Hang-On Models, Best Skimmer Op./Maint. FAQs, Skimmer MaintenanceSkimmer Operation/Maintenance 2, Algae Control, Corallife Skimmers, CPR Skimmers, Deltec Skimmers, ETSS Skimmers, Euro-Reef Skimmers, Prizm Skimmers, SeaClone SkimmersSkimmers for Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small SystemsSkilter Skimmers, Tunze Skimmers, Algae Control

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

Big fish? Big skimmer.

Skimmer question Dear WWM Crew, <Narayan>    Quick question... I hear it repeatedly stated on WWM that in-sump skimmers are better than HOB skimmers. <Need to define "better"... in-sump skimmers are no better functionally/potentially than non-in-sumps, but can be easier to manipulate, operate...> Here's my question -if two skimmers are processing the same amount of water per hour and their heights are about the same and they work on the same principle, shouldn't their performance be about the same? <Yes> For example I'd expect a Remora Pro and an Urchin Pro to have identical performances. Skimmers like the EV120 are only an inch or two taller than a Remora Pro. Will its performance be that much better? Forgive me for my ignorance... <Not ignorance, but its opposite... you are correct re performance. Bob Fenner> Thank You, Narayan P.S. My aqua-cultured Xenia from LiveAquaria.com is now in the display after a 3week QT. This one pumps at pH values down to 8.0! And seems very happy so far... (3 days worth of data)

Re: Loch Ness Monster in my tank! Hello Bob, Thanks for the info. on the monster (sea cuke) I read a lot of your FAQ's and once again have gained more knowledge. I do have another inquiry though I am powering my Red Sea Hot Skimmer with Totto TP-2100 pump rated at 2100 l/h at 8.25 ft. drawing 32 watts. This was the pump my LFS had and I was in pinch from returning my Red Sea Prism ( nothing good to say). Anyhow I personally know nothing of this brand, and I'm not very sure it pumping enough for my skimmer to run most efficiently. Could you help me out with this one. Once I figure this out I'll build my skimmer box <The brand "Totto" is a new one to me... Perhaps you can try the various chatforums, bulletin boards on the Net... Which is what I'd do... query actual users for their input. Ours: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Bob Fenner> Thanks again!! Barb & Justin

Need a bigger skimmer? Hello,      I read you site constantly and love it.  I have a question, I'm currently running a 55 gallon aquarium.  I'm having real problems with brown crud on the sand.  Can't seem to keep the sand clean.  I've been fighting with this tank for quite some time and feel like maybe the protein skimmer is not big enough. << Also try keeping some water movement along the bottom. >> This tank has a sump and a 20 gallon refugium.  I currently have an ES5-2 EuroReef protein skimmer rated at 70 gallons.  I have a Tunze electronic Turbelles running in one corner with a CPR overflow in the other.  Also, I have a 1/2" seal swirl returning 500 gal/hr from the sump.  Would I be better off buying a bigger protein skimmer and if so for what rating or buying a second protein skimmer. << Either way.  I would also try a filter sock on the refugium and increasing water motion by the sand to keep it suspended. >> I was thinking about the remora pro.  Are the hang-on protein skimmers better than the in sump skimmers? << Sump skimmers are better. >> Thanks, -Brent <<  Blundell  >> Which Skimmer? (12/4/04) Greetings Mr. Fenner! Greetings to you....Leslie filling in for the esteemed Mr. Fenner this evening.> I am fairly new to the aquatic life keeping.  When purchasing my first tank I went for the cheap Skimmer - Red  Sea Prism. I am beginning to realize it's time for a more efficient skimmer. What skimmer do you suggest for under $200? Please help me make the right decision. Thanks! Charles Tizano < I like the CPR Bak Paks, myself. The Remora C has a good reputation as well. HTH, Leslie> Skimmer and Fish Selection HI... You have a fantastic resource.  I was lost and frustrated with the answers I was getting from my LFS.  That leads to my 2 questions.  At their recommendation I bought a 65G tank, Penguin 400 BioWheel, medium crushed coral, 10 lbs Fiji LR and 25 lbs. of base rock.  I set up the tank and let it run for a few days until it was clear and the temp and salinity was stable ( 79 deg & 1.022).  Then I put in 6 damsels ,like I was told, to start cycling the tank. <A very common and unnecessary mistake.> (I'm 1 month in now and everything is on track they say)  One died in the first week and they said it was "normal." <Run away from this LFS!>  This worried me and that was how I found your site.  I was looking for more answers than "normal." <Well it probably died from ammonia in the water.  Definitely not "normal" in a reef tank.>  Now they are recommending that I get a CPR BakPakII skimmer.  They say that the bio bale is what makes it better.  From what I've read here it's too small for my tank to work effectively.  Is that true? <Yes, IMO>   I've seen a lot of talk about the AquaC Remora skimmer.  Would it be a better choice? <Great skimmer, and yes, probably.>   Should I add more LR to help with the Biofiltration? <A good rule of thumb is between 1-2 lbs per gallon total.>  I know it's more than 2 questions but my 2nd topic is fish selection.  I'm trying to plan ahead.  I tried to read as much as I can and it all seems a bit like guessing.  I want "happy" fish to watch.  What I'm considering are: Foxface Rabbitfish <Great fish.> Picasso Trigger <Will eventually outgrow your tank, and will make short work of any shrimp or small fish you'd like to keep.  Will also eat all the neat little creatures on your live rock that you paid so much for!> Valentini Puffer <Stays small, but same as above.> Dwarf Lionfish <A good choice if you don't intend on keeping any small fish or shrimp.> Snowflake eel <Same as the lion.> I plan on adding them in 2 week intervals <Might want to lengthen that to one per month.  And please quarantine!>.  I'm afraid that either they'd eat each other or outgrow the tank.  The Foxface and the Picasso are the definites.  What are some suggestions to what would go with them. I just want something that's different and colorful. <A few small colorful choices: Sixline wrasse Orchid Dottyback Clownfish, of course Flame angel Fairy wrasses Firefish Hawkfish Hope this helps!> Thank you for your help. Your FAQ's work better than Ativan for my nerves. :) Mike

Sand layers and skimmers     My 11 year old son and I set up a 55 gallon marine aquarium about a year ago. My local fish store recommended an A-Miracle wet/dry trickle filter (that hangs on the back of the tank), with a built in protein skimmer. They also recommended that I use about 3 - 4 inches of  substrate, a mix of sand and crushed coral. I've had all kinds of problems with nitrate levels, and never seem to get the protein skimmer working properly. I then set up a secondary mechanical filter (a simple two cartridge Whisper filter). Still not much luck. I only have a three damsels, a Pseudochromis, a feather duster and a couple of very small hermits, and a few pounds of live rock. Every time I try to add a fish or two, they seem fine for about a week or two, during which they are active, they feed, etc.,  and then  they die suddenly, with no sign of parasites, fungi, or any other visible problems. << This happens to people all the time. >> Yet the original inhabitants are fine. Now, I tried another local fish store that came highly recommended by some other more experienced aquarists, and I'm told that the A-miracle is a terrible filter system. They say it's protein skimmer is about the worst on the market. They also claim that it's far too difficult to keep fish and invertebrates together << What?  Crazy talk.  Of course you keep them together. >>, that I should go with an Eheim canister filter with a protein skimmer, and that I should change the substrate entirely, to just a very shallow layer of sand. << I don't like that idea.  I like lots of deep sand. >> I've read a bunch of your FAQs, and now I'm totally confused. We want to add a few fish and a couple of invertebrates with more live rock. Should I switch to a canister filter with a protein skimmer? << Well a good skimmer is always a good idea. >> Should I change the substrate and go with a thin layer of sand only? << No. >> Can I keep a few invertebrates with the fish? << Absolutely. >> Is a canister filter alone sufficient, and if not, what other filtration do I need? << Lots of live rock, and then a lot of time for your sand to become a live sand.  This is the basis for marine tank filtration. >> Please help!! <<  Blundell  >>

Pump and skimmer <Hi Chris>I just got a 75gal.  I have ordered two emperor 400's and I would like to get a AquaC remora protein skimmer.  Do you think this would be too much for my tank? <I personally think its going to be fine but the big question is what do you plan to keep in the tank? That will make a huge difference as to how it will do.> Thanks Chris Keller Questions pest and skimmer Dear WWM:  You are great source, thank you for your work and information. It is really helpful especially for we guys who are in lean country (lean for aquarium market and knowledge).<Glad to be of service!> I am from China, running saltwater tank. I had read lot of your great articles. But still have some questions can not find info. in the net.<I will do my best to help you out.> 1. Can you give an answer/description, or recommend some place/internet about marine aquarium pest? So I (and others friends) can know what normal pests we will meet when we buy coral, live rock, live sand, and fish. Now I know mantis shrimp, and maybe bristle worm and flat worm and fire worm, but only know some of the first better, the others not too much.  <Serious pests are rare.  Most bristle worms are beneficial scavengers.  Flat worms are in most if not all aquariums and only become a problem under certain circumstances.  True Fire worms are mostly from the Caribbean, so they shouldn't be a problem.> 2. Can you give a overview for the noise aspect of skimmers? What is the quietest skimmer in the market now?  <As a general rule, larger skimmers are louder, but a lot depends on the pump.  If you choose a skimmer that requires you to choose the pump, focus on choosing a quite pump.> A good example is which one (Turbo floater or Aqua C EV series) is more quiet under the condition that same skimming capacity is provided.  thank you and regards. Yutong, 041111 <Every model of Aqua C EV will outperform the turbo Flotor, so this isn't a good comparison.  An Aqua-C will only be as loud as the pump.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Skimmer and plumbing questions Hey guys, WetWeb is great. Every time I get on the site, I learn something new! <I as well> Have you had any experience with Schuran skimmers? If so are they as good as Euroreef? <Have only seen the former. Best to seek out multiple, actual-user inputs on BB's like reefs.org, reefcentral...> I am turning my wet/dry into a refugium. I would like to add two ten gallon sumps (1 for the return pump and 1 for the protein skimmer). <Mmm, do look into larger volume receptacles, ten gallons is not much considering transit volumes> On the one ten gallon sump, I am going to attach it to the refugium (wet/dry) by the 1 inch bulkhead. If I add the other 10 gallon sump it has to be elevated above my refugium do to space. This will also sit above the refugium "L" shape instead of a "T". This elevated portion will be where my overflow drains to and where my skimmer is located. My question is, how many and what size holes will I need to drill to make the elevated sump drain into my refugium? <Depending on flow rate... about one 1 1/2" inside diameter in each> Overflow 1 drain hose" ( runs great with my return pump Rio 3100) 2 ten gallon sumps 20" L x 12" H x 15 " W wet/dry 24" L x 14" H x 12" w Thanks so much, Greg <Bob Fenner>

- Skimmer Choices - I am upgrading my filtration. Its going to be either the Aquaclear Pro Series Wet/Dry with built in Skimmer and pre-filter and water polisher or the Amiracle Hang-On Wet/Dry with built in Skimmer. There is only a $10.00 difference in price. I can't find any reviews on either. <Would be a question best posed on one of the many forums as you're more likely to find folks who have used one or both.> Any pros and cons? <The only thing I can add, because I've never used either one is that I tend to shy away from "built-in" products. I much prefer things I can remove for cleaning, maintenance. Cheers, J -- >

- Equipment Questions - Hi crew- I have been both researching your site and asking you direct questions, both have been invaluable.  I appreciate them both, as I'm sure countless others do also. The background info - I have been upgrading my entire 90 gallon reef system. I have already automated the evaporation top-off, added a closed loop with an 1800 gph pump to replace my 3 powerheads, added a 30-gallon circulating reservoir, and basically made it easier for me to keep faithful  water changes. The last 2 pieces of equipment I'm about to purchase are the halide system and the skimmer.  I've decided on a 4'- dual 250w HQI 13K halide  hood, with dual 54w T5 actinic, all made by "Won Brothers". Does this  company provide reliable equipment and good bulbs? <I honestly don't know... have never used their equipment before. This question might be better posed on one of the reef forums where you'll get a sample size greater than one.> (I shied away from  Hamilton after I read that their lights are fair at best)? My skimmer choice is a TurboFlotor 1000.  I would like your advice/opinion of these two products. <The Aqua Medic skimmers are good products - I'm sure it will treat you well.> I have a 90 gal tank, and will be keeping a lot of LPS  corals (frogspawn, flowerpot, xenia, etc) with some SPS corals, and 1 or 2 clams.  My tank is now open top. How many watts per gallon?? - (I'm kidding of  course).  Thank you so much for your time and help. James, RI <Cheers, J -- > - Skimmer Opinions - Hello Crew I am a newbie to the saltwater aquarium world.  My setup is a 55gal tank with 42lbs. of live rock. I have a 350 Magnum Filtration system and now looking to buy a Skimmer. I will probably purchase the Aqua C remora base on your reviews, but can you give me your opinion on this skimmer found on this website. http://shop.bigfishtanks.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=189 Thank You Jorgen <Well... I've seen these skimmers before but never used one. I'm sure that as is the case with skimmers, that any skimming on a marine tank is better than none, but if it were me I'd go with the AquaC Remora as I've used them before and am quite satisfied with the results. You might want to ask around on the forums to see if anyone has used one. Always hard to tell from just a picture. Cheers, J -- >

Re: Bioballs and Protein Skimmer, nitrates Thanks for your advice Bob, <Just stating what I might do> I just bought a Remora pro skimmer with the Mag 3 pump from MarineDepot.  Hope this is better then the Prizm.   <Yes... you will soon see, realize.> I assume I should also remove the bio-balls slowly.  Should I remove 1/4 every week?  I'll going to start doing it once the skimmer comes in.   <A good plan. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Neil Prizm skimmer hi there,    I've just bought a Prizm protein skimmer and need to fit it to my Juwel vision 260 tank, <260 gallons?  This skimmer is a bit inadequate for anything over 50 gallons or so...> now I read a article about how to cut/adjust the tank so it fits nicely but haven't been able to track it down as it was some months ago, can u tell me where I can find these instructions? <Sorry, but I'm not familiar with your brand of tank.  Does it have a permanent cover or hood on it?  I don't quite understand why the hang on the back skimmer won't fit on...> I have emailed Red Sea about this and they told me to cut the lid but I think this would be untidy please let me know if you can help. <Maybe try contacting your tank manufacturer as well to see if they have any advice.>                                                       Thanks Gareth

Finding a decent skimmer in Ireland! Hey Bob / crew, <Hello! Ryan here while Bob's enjoying the Pacific> Having recently set up my new 180 gal tank (6x2x2) I thought I'd do a little research on what skimmer to upgrade to. <Great> at the moment I run an old Berlin Classic with an Eheim 1060. Might I point out at this stage I am writing from Ireland, not the U.S. and have a very limited selection of skimmers on the market available to me. <I see...> I am interested to note that in the skimmer FAQ's, folks are quite regularly commenting on having a 'Turboflotor 1000 multi' for tanks in the 180gal range. <Yes, a decent skimmer for large tanks, and easier on the pocketbook than others.> Anyone in the retail business seems to think a skimmer of this size is quite simply not up to the job of skimming a 180gal tank. what are your thoughts on this? <I think it's underpowered for this water volume, especially for tanks with large, predatory fishes.> In any case, if I were to purchase a skimmer in this range, it would be a Deltec APF600, by D&D solutions, rated at: Heavy Stocking 750 Ltrs (167 imperial gals - that's 200 US gals) Normal Stocking 1000 Ltrs (222 imperial gals - that's 266.4gals) From anyone that I have spoken to, they say the Deltec is a far superior design than the Turboflotor. <Yes, I'd agree.> In your view, is this skimmer going to be enough for a typical reef tank? Or should I realistically be looking at something bigger? <This, combined with a nice water change regimen, great circulation, and quality live rock, should be more than enough.  I'd keep my stocking list on the conservative side, certainly to start.> Thanks for your input. <Are you fairly handy?  Many of my reefer-on-a-budget friends build their own skimmers.  It may be a viable option for you, since supplies are limited in your area.  See Calfo's Book of Coral Prop for an easy DIY scheme, or ozreef.org for more in depth skimmer designs.  Good luck! Ryan> regards, Matt

Aqua C in the UK Morning Crew, <Henry> Quick question, I want to change my skimmer from a Red Sea to an Aqua C based on the poor performance of the Red Sea and the good reviews/info on this site regarding Aqua C Products. I live in the UK and can't find a UK distributor of Aqua C products, I have mailed Aqua C themselves a few times but got no response. I'll even settle for ordering online. Any clues as to a UK distributor of Aqua C products? Thanks John <I don't... but have cc'ed a friend at TMC re (Jayne, please forward this message to Paul West if you would), and Jason Kim (owner and manager of AquaC) in the hopes of not only a solution directly, but the urging of a liaison between their businesses. Bob Fenner>

Aqua C European Distribution Hi John ( and Jason, Bob, et. al. over at WWM), We are still working on finding a distributor for our product line in the UK!  This is something that I have been working on (on and off) for a while now, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet.  John - when did you try emailing me and from what address if you don't mind my asking?  I apologize for not getting back to you earlier, but I must have missed your message. <Jason, if the fine folks at TMC are not responding I will gladly introduce you to the people at Underworld. You have fine products that deserve European representation. Bob Fenner> Jason Kim President AquaC, Inc. 9825 Carroll Center Rd., Ste. 400 San Diego, CA 92126 858-689-1121 phone 858-564-3419 fax visit us online at... www.proteinskimmer.com

Upgrading skimmer Hi, I am astounded by the amount of information on your site.  I am a newbie salt enthusiast and purchased a 75 gal set up at a garage sale.   I have the 75gal set up with a Fluval 404 canister, a Penguin Emperor and two power heads for circulation these are an AquaClear 400 and 300 series. I have set them up with "Quickfilters" which I initially put on to keep stuff out of the impellers (but hey might as well filter more right, so I filled the hollow core frames with carbon.) Have 90lbs live rock and all was going pretty well till.... On to my question: I also had an Excalibur skimmer. It was leaking, I fixed it, started leaking again and was finally damaged during my last repair attempt and tossed.  I have read a lot of the existing postings and am still confused about how to proceed. I have looked on EBay to see if I can find a deal on an Aqua C Remora and while there I keep seeing Won Brothers Clean-up hang on skimmers.  They seem very reasonable.  Any advice on that unit?? << Not familiar with that unit.  I'd recommend asking some local friends (aquarium club?) and also checking at some local stores to see what they have and say. >> I could also just go to one of the local shops and pick up another Excalibur.  I already have a 3 month old Rio 800. << Not a bad idea. >> What do you feel would be most logical?  Before the set back on the skimmer I was looking to upgrade my lighting.  So avoiding fish tank induced bankruptcy is a goal I have. << Well lighting is more important to me.  I'd rather put my money there and have a cheap skimmer (or no skimmer).  Again, I'd see what your lights are like now and make the decision from there.  But local stores have great options for skimmers. >> Thanks Steve Bystran <<  Blundell  >>

Protein Skimming Tactics Dear Crew, <Scott F. here today!> I'm setting up a 150 gallon reef tank that will eventually house SPS corals and clams.  I think I've made a choice on the brand which will be a Euroreef because I have read that it is user friendly compared to the AquaC and they both perform about the same. <Both are outstanding, but the Euroreef is truly "plug and play"!> I was thinking on purchasing the Euro Reef CS6-2 w/ Sedra 3500,  would it be overkill to move up to the Euro Reef CS8-2 w/ Sedra 5000? <I don't think so...A more powerful skimmer does give you the ability to keep a real handle on water quality, particularly in the typically crowded confines of a modern reef tank!> Eventually, I was going to purchase a calcium reactor. Then I was reading that the AquaC has a hook up to allow (aquarists to connect their calcium reactor effluent line to the skimmer's speed fit connection) will this option eventually make my life easier, will the calcium reactor perform better? <Well, it's not really there to make the reactor perform better- it's to help "off gas" any excess CO2 into the skimmer.> I do not know much about calcium reactors , how they are hooked up and how they function.  I would really appreciate your opinion on skimmer choices based on my future set up.   Thanks....Steve    <A calcium reactor is a very good investment for a serious SPS reef hobbyist. Most models have fairly similar installations, but adjusting and "tweaking" performance is unique to each model.  Consider performance, ease of use, durability, and size. Do some research on the unit that you are considering, and consult other hobbyists as to their experience with a given unit. This way, you can make an informed purchase. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>   Skimmer questions I have a 35 gallon hexagon tank.  I have approximately 30 lbs of live rock. I have an emperor filter, that hangs on back of the tank (no room for a skimmer, yet).  I have had this tank for over a year, lots of ups and downs.  I do 5 gallon water changes every two weeks.  I have  two starfish, a choc. chip and thorny star who have survived throughout.  I also have an unknown snail, which may be a Stomatella variata, climbing around in there.  I have a two feather dusters.  I also have a Bicolor Dottyback that is doing well, and a ocellaris clownfish.  The clownfish has Popeye in one eye, he has had it for several months.  I put it in a QT tank a few months ago, and treated it with both Epsom salts, and later Maracyn.  Nothing seem to help, so I decided to put in back in the main tank, since I had little to loose.  He seems to be blind in one eye, but is eating regularly, and the Dottyback is not bothering him, he has been this way for a few months. <Sometimes its irreversible depending on what caused it initially.> My questions are.  Should I get a skimmer and try to get my husband to modify the top of the tank to fit it, by cutting it carefully with a special tool (any suggestions would be appreciated).  I was thinking of purchasing the AquaC Remora, which uses little space. <Aqua C's are very well thought of, but couldn't you get a hang on the tank version and hang it on the side of the tank?> Or would a smaller Emperor, along with the new remora due the job as well, in this way I would not have to cut the top. <That's a possibility as well, the skimmer, along with your live rock will serve as the filtration. Perhaps an additional powerhead for circulation.> I was also told that perhaps putting Purigen in the filter, would do the job, without the use of a skimmer. <Don't get me wrong I like Purigen but I hate to use chemicals to get rid of problems without figuring out where the problem is.>  Is this true Another question, once I get this all straightened out, and things are going well, I would like to get some new fish. <Makes sense and very wise to wait.>  I am not sure what fish I could add, that my other fish will tolerate. <No clown fish nor Dottybacks for sure.> I have had a lot of bullying in the past.  And at his point I am not picky, anything will do, as long as they get long (worse than sibling rivalry with my kids). <Maybe a small wrasse? something like a six line?>  Or should I start all over.  I could return my Dottyback, and put the clown in the QT tank, and restock.  I would like to have only 3-4 fish in my tank. <There are some lovely gobies that might work well with what you have, although depending on how aggressive your Dottyback is that could be a problem.> What types would you suggest that would do well in a small 35 hex.  I would not even mind having three of the same types of fish.  Any suggestions? <Honestly I would probably start over BUT before you do, decide on the types of fish you want to keep. Get a stocking Plan and follow it. Good luck, Debbie from MacL> Any help you can offer would be appreciated Thanks a bunch, Debbie - Skimmer in a Miracle Mud System - Hey guys, I have a 6 month old 150 gallon tank.  It is stocked with 5 small fish and 25 different frags.  I have a ecosystem refugium with their "miracle" mud (I had to at least try it).  Everything is going great with the tank.  All the water parameters are excellent.  I have been pretty proud that I added a bleach white Sebae anemone a few weeks ago and its brownish green color is already coming back.  Which I have read that they lose all their color when they are stressed and they are very sensitive to water quality and lighting.  I'm hoping this is a good sign that my tank is on the right track.  Anyway I know the guys at Ecosystem say they don't run a skimmer on their systems but I have always ran a skimmer and when building the sumps for this tank I made a compartment for my skimmer just in case.  Last night I decided to run the skimmer just to see what was there and by morning it was full of black skimmate.  Which got me to thinking, If there are 0 nitrates, 0 nitrite, and 0 ammonia is this skimmate bad for the tank? <Stuff that comes out in skimmers is only slightly related to nitrogenous wastes... better off removing this stuff.> Should I continue not skimming as long as the parameters stay at 0? <I would skim anyway.> I hadn't thought about it really until I saw how much crud the skimmer pulled out.  I didn't think there would be much there honestly.  And either way all the corals seem happy before and after skimming. <Then by all means, skim away...> Thanks for any answers. Chris <Cheers, J -- > Looking for Skimmers 9/18/04 Anthony, I can't find a aqua c with the upgrade for less than about $160 plus shipping-any idea where I could get 1 for less? thanks, I appreciate your help <do try the message boards... they may have some direction for you. A few of my fave retailers are Champion light and Supply, Marine Depot, Custom Aquatic, Inland Aquatics, Premium Aquatics... no order of preference. Anthony>

Skimmer recommendation 9/17/04 How do you feel about the Bak Pak r2?  A little less expensive (a little more affordable for me)? thanks <Hmm... they just are a bit more finicky/less consistent. You get what you pay for my friend. If you are an experienced aquarist, have owned skimmers before and have a very good idea how they work and how to adjust them - then maybe the inconvenience and extra tinkering are worth it to you. For most folks, I'd strongly recommend a more friendly design like the AquaC. Anthony>

Picking A Skimmer That's A Winner (Protein Skimmer Selection) Hello Crew! Thanks ahead of time to whoever is taking the time to help me out. <That's why we're here! Scott F. with you today!> First off, I just want to thank you for your amazing site. If it weren't for you guys I'd be totally lost in my newest endeavor, a 55 gallon marine aquarium. <We're glad to be here for you!> I recently bought a SeaClone Protein skimmer and am kicking myself that I didn't read up on your site first. As you can imagine, I have millions of tiny bubbles everywhere in my tank, and have resorted to closing of the airline and am researching about different types of skimmers. A friend of mine recently purchased the Terminator Skimmer to stick in his sump, and has been really happy with it. I don't have a sump, but they do sell a sumpless kit that will make it something I can use, I was wondering if you guys have heard of this type of skimmer. I did a search of your archives and haven't seen anything yet. I wanted to make sure before buying it if it was even worth my time. If not, I'll probably go with another one. <I have not seen this particular brand/model, which certainly does not mean that it is no good. However, I can speak from my experience and the experience of many others that the Aqua C Remora is a great hang-on-the-back unit. You should also check out the CPR Bak Pak, which is another nice H.O.B. skimmer. I also saw some (pricy) hang-on-the-back units from Deltec at MACNA that look pretty cool, too. Do consider the Remora, though.> I also have a question about something that can sift through my substrate. I have a princess parrotfish, and she produces a mess in the corner and I wanted to get something to eat it up. Starfish haven't really done well in our tank so we purchased a Snowflake Eel, he's done a good job, but still can't keep up with princess and the other fish so I was wondering what other critter would be able to help him out. Thanks again, Michelle <Woahh! I've never heard of someone using an eel for a "cleaner"! As far as cleaning the sand is concerned, I think that the Parrot will be your best bet. These fishes can more-or-less decimate any sand bed fauna that you have. Probably the best bet is careful siphoning when you do your regular water changes. Take care! Regards, Scott F.>

Picking A Skimmer That's A Winner (Pt. 2) Thanks so much for the quick reply, Scott. You guys have really been a lifesaver. <Glad to hear that! I'm happy that we could help> I don't think that our snowflake eel really does clean the sandbed, but he does do a good job at eating whatever food has drifted to the floor after a feeding. I think the guys at my LFS just get confused at which particular fish does what. <Well, it seems like the roles are a bit confused here!> In fact, I was talking to the owner of the store, and she was telling me that her tank at home has had ick for weeks, and she can't seem to get rid of it. She didn't even know that carbon takes the medicine out of the water.... I sent her to your site so hopefully she'll read up and learn as much as I have. <Well, we can all learn something!> I think we will go with the Remora though, and I was wondering that since my parrotfish produces so much waste, would it be better to go with the Pro? <I like the "Pro" model, myself> I've been reading about her on your site, and I know we have her in a tank that's WAY to small for her to be in, which really has me worried that we are going to run into big problems down the road. I only wish I'd researched her before buying, and took another opinion than the LFS. I just figured that if they owned they place they knew what they were talking about. <Well, not always a good idea to trust ANYONE without doing your homework first!> I will be reading though, if we do plan on buying any more fish. I was also wondering, since our parrotfish has cleaned all the algae off our LR (even our pretty coralline) if some coral or sponges could be put in there to bring some color into our tank. I know she eats coral, but have read that soft coral can be put in there and just wanted to double check. Thanks again, and sorry to be such a bother. Michelle <You're never a bother, Michelle! As far as the Parrotfish and corals are concerned, I'd personally pass on this mix. Yes, soft corals are possible, but why chance it. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Skimmer Choices - hello aqua man and friends <Hello... although I wish I was Aqua Man, I'm just a normal guy.> I'm wanting to expand my livestock, but not wanting to add too many specimens. I have been looking at Aqua C skimmers and Euro-reef skimmers, and also on your website. I cant decide between the 2 brands, or what model of skimmer/pump to choose. Tanks been going 3 months about and I have a SeaClone 100 skimmer, It works but not as good as I should think, collection cup fills up once per 1-3 weeks maybe.... <Both are good skimmers - but I'm not certain that EuroReef makes one small enough for your system - the AquaC Remora would work well for you.> and 1 more thing, brownish algae is consuming some of my rock, I read diatom filters work well, any suggestions?  <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm > Equipment: I have 45 FO marine tank. My setup includes the following Whisper 60 power filter SeaClone 100 skimmer Ebo Jager heater Livestock: 1 Percula clown 1 coral beauty 3 blue Chromis  2 turbo snails 4 blue leg hermit crabs 1 porcelain crab 20-30 lbs of rock 3" sand bed about thanks a lot <Cheers, J -- >

Hang on skimmer recommendation 9/8/04 Hello, admit to buying the worst piece of aquarium equipment ever (sea clone skimmer). <Yikes... agreed perhaps> I have a 29 gallon salt tank that I want to make a reef tank. Now that I've run out of plumbing options and threw the sea clone out the door, what do you recommend for a hang on skimmer? Thanks <an easy one... I believe and many agree that the Aqua C "Remora" is one of the best skimmers (value and performance) on the market. You can buy them from MarineDepot.com Best of luck, Anthony>

Skimmer Selection I recently set up a five foot long Acrylic 100 gallon Fish Only Aquarium.  It has a built in overflow and a large wet-dry system.  Water goes through a prefilter sponge in the overflow and then down to prefilter pads before it hits the bioballs.  It is then returned with a mag 9.5.  I do feel that this does a good job in filtering the water but I wish aquarium companies would seriously rethink their overflows as they are way undersized.   <Your sentiment is echoed by many aquarists, believe me!> The Tank is home to a 6"  Volitans Lion, a 6" Snowflake Eel, and two Blue Damsels (it used to be four, but two have met their maker via the Lion).  I do not plan on adding anything else to the tank as to give the current occupants room to roam. <Excellent!> The tank has 1" of crushed coral and reef bones stacked low and long with 1 large cave for the lion.  I am currently experiencing some Diatom Algae which brings me to my question.  I am getting ready to purchase a skimmer and would like your advice.  I have read everything I can find on Skimmers and I am leaning towards an ETSS Super Reef Devil.  I know from reading your site that you guys and gals are really fond of Euroreef and Aqua C but will the Reef Devil do the job for my tank. <I am currently using an ETS Evolution 750 on my reef, and I have to say that I have a love-hate relationship with it. It's a high quality, relatively straightforward design and easy to clean/operate, but I find it to be a remarkably "fussy" and inconsistent skimmer. I can say without hesitation that my next skimmer will be a Euroreef or an Aqua C. Both are well made, easy to adjust, and are very consistent producers. Don't get me wrong: ETS skimmers are great. I am personally not thrilled with mine, but many of my friends and fellow hobbyists, as well as public aquariums around the world, use them with much success.> I am assuming that with my current setup their is excess nutrients which could possibly be fueling the algae.  I currently change 5 gallons of water  about every five days and keep the prefilters clean.  Also will adding snails help with the algae, if so which type?  Thank You. <These measures will certainly help, but the commonly overlooked cause of many algae problems can be found in source water. If you are experiencing diatom problems, then there is a good chance that there are excess silicates in your water, which can be easily and efficiently removed with a good reverse osmosis/deionization unit. Without pre-treatment, you are simply replenishing these unwanted nutrients every time you perform a water change! Do test for silicate in your source water, employ the aggressive skimming (using any of the aforementioned skimmers), water changes, and maintenance practices you discuss, and I'm sure that your algae problems will begin to decline! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Eheim and skimmer selections I currently have a 55 gallon freshwater tank which I was going to convert to a FOWLR in a couple of months. <An exciting change> I want to buy a Eheim canister filter and use it for freshwater and then I'll use it when I convert to saltwater. I was deciding between the Eheim professional 2224 and the professional II 2026. The 2224 is rated for 185 gph and aquariums up to 66 gallons. The professional II is rated for 250 gph and for aquariums up to 92 gallon, plus it has the self priming button (which I don't know how hard it is to prime a regular canister). <I have used these fine filters (earlier models to the present) for decades... and can attest to the great value in the self-priming pump feature... you do want this> I can buy the 2224 for 65 dollars cheaper than the 2026, so its hard to decide which one I want to buy. I'm going to have a SeaClone skimmer rated for 150 gallons, at least 30 lbs of LR and about 50 pounds of aragonite/live sand when I do my saltwater. What do you think would be a better buy considering the price??? thanks Joe <I would definitely go with the larger unit in the Eheim, and do investigate skimmer choices before investing... there are much more suitable makes/models. We have MANY archived FAQs re skimmer selection on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Knop Skimmers 8/26/04 Dear Anthony...or whomever from a crew, <cheers, my friend from Macedonia... good to hear from you again> I need an assistance, actually an opinion on Knop skimmers, all models...I know for yours good relation but honestly, are this skimmers are good one. Best regards Boris <I must admit that I have very little personal experience with this line of skimmers. We do not get many of them in America. I have had experience with Knop calcium reactors and supplements and also am well acquainted with this brands reputation in Europe (we at WWM are friends with Daniel Knop as well). The entire product line has a reputation for very high quality. If their skimmers are anything like their calcium reactors, you will not be disappointed. Perhaps visit some of the European message boards for some feedback from experienced users. I wish I could be of more help, but again... I suspect you would be very pleased with Knop brand skimmers. Best regards, Anthony> <<Actually, the ones made in the U.S. have proven to not be well-designed/engineered or constructed. Ralf Schmidt does NOT make these, instead the company (foolishly in my estimation) allowed another outfit to use the Knop name... Do look into others opinions who have experience with the exact model/s you are considering. Bob F>>

Re: Knop skimmers Dear Anthony and Bob , Thanks for your assistance. Bob, I was very surprised when was watching at the USA models which are not accessible here in Europe. You are right, American models definitely are not made by Ralf Schmidt. <Yes. Ralf is a fine gentleman and a good manufacturer... but the U.S. made "Knop" protein skimmers are... to put it bluntly, junk> BTW, this gentlemen replies my enquiries this days about importing Knop products., unfortunately very shortly. It looks like a few hobbyist employ Knop in their systems here too, or at least I can not found any. You believe that original designed skimmers by Ralf are much better than one made in USA? <Yes... though as Anthony and I have encouraged, I would definitely check with others, actual users re specifics. Bob Fenner> Regards From Macedonia Boris <<Yikes, have been told by the boss (wife Diana, who is the N. American distributor for Knop Products) that Knop does indeed make skimmers in Europe... Germany, for other than U.S. markets... and that these are well-made Ralf Schmidt products. Sorry re the bad info. Bob F>>

Berlin skimmer capacity Hi WWM crew, <Hi, MikeD here> I am getting the parts together for a salt water tank (120-240 gal.) and have a question about one of my parts. I have a Red Sea Berlin skimmer that says that it is rated for 25-250gal. since most companies overrate there skimmers, what do you feel the capacity of this skimmer is. <I see a substantial problem here. You're tank will be EITHER a 120 OR a 240, and likewise the skimming capacity of the Berlin skimmer, ranging from 25-250 tells you that the range is highly dependent upon the size and power of the pump that's operating it. For a 120, the skimmer should be fine with a good pump behind it, while if you choose a 240 you're likely to end up wishing you'd bought a more suitable piece of equipment. That's quite a difference there and each choice needs to be viewed accordingly.> Thank You -Joey

Skimmers 11 Aug 2004 Michael  Maddox, <Hey Brian, this is MacL here with you tonight. Michael must be busy.> Thanks cant wait for the weekend to try and purchase said skimmer but you never indicated if it can go inside (as I said very limited space) again thank you for your time and knowledge. <Brian, some skimmers can go in the water and some can't. It depends on the individual model and they will tell you exactly how deep they can go.> Brian Kavanagh

Skimmer Selection Hello Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have to say that I love to read the daily FAQ.  You give a lot of good information and I find that I can take a lot of good information. <Glad to hear that! We really enjoy sharing and learning with our fellow hobbyists!> I know that you have a lot of good information on protein skimmers in your FAQ's but I wanted to get you suggestion.  I have a 125 gal "semi-reef".  The reason I say "semi-reef" is because I only have a couple of Mushroom rocks and some Green Star Polyps, of course I have a few fish along with them.  All has been going very well and the tank has been running for about 9 months.   <Good to hear.> Last night, I got home and found that my protein skimmer was not working (Berlin Classic).  I thought that maybe it was the pump so I tore apart the sump and check the pump and connections and concluded that the skimmer is bad. <I know some folks who made the same determination without even opening the box! Heh, heh..> Anyway, to make the email shorter I need a suggestion on a new skimmer. Since space is small, I need to have that as a consideration. This is a good time for me to upgrade skimmer as I am in the planning stages to upgrade my current pump to an Iwaki.   Thanks again and great information. Todd <Well, Todd- if it were me, I'd look into one of the Aqua C EV series skimmers. They don't take up too much space, and are very efficient. Another brand to consider is Euroreef. They are brilliant units that are both compact and powerful, not to mention really easy to use. Check both of 'em out! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Todd Rosencrans

Skimmer choices, choosing Hello There, <How goes it, Michael here> First timer into marine I have a 40 gallon 36 x 15 x 18 tank (due to limited space) <I have the same problem> since March 04, fitted with external Rena Filstar xp2 filter, 2 x internal powerheads (either end), and yes! a SeaClone skimmer (inside the tank) <ouch> LFS recommended, approx 15-20 lbs live rock (adding cured rock every 6 weeks to eventually replace 40 lbs base rock), with mushrooms sea fans and finger coral attached, frogspawn, crab, plus 1 x turbo and other snails free from rock (all thriving).  I have just bought 2 x Orange skunks (paired) and anemone 08/08/04, I then intend to add a dwarf fuzzy lion around xmas. <Have a look at our anemone FAQs to make sure it's properly cared for.  DO NOT add a lionfish to a reef tank!  40 gallons is too small for a lion, anyway, even a dwarf one>  I have read all the comment re; the SeaClone and ask what can I replace it with (internally) bearing in mind the limited space available to me. I live in England, so possibly some of the recommendations you make may not be available here. <I have a ~40 gallon 24"x18"x18" that I use an AquaC Remora hang on the back skimmer.  I have had excellent luck with AquaC skimmers, and highly recommend them.  They also make a sump model.  Look at them online: http://www.proteinskimmer.com/products/Remora.htm.  Several online retailers also sell them and would ship to you. I have also heard good things about Tunze skimmers, but have had no personal experience>    Look forward to your reply. <Hope I've helped> Brian Kavanagh <M. Maddox> P.S. Great Website I have learned a lot since finding it. <Thanks, so have I>

Skimmer application Michael  Maddox, Thanks cant wait for the weekend to try and purchase said skimmer  but you never indicated if it can go inside (as I said very limited space).  <It's hang on the back - only the pump resides in the aquarium or sump, the rest hangs on the outside.  Check the websites for dimensions> Again thank you for your time and knowledge <Anytime - M. Maddox> Hang On The Back Protein Skimmer Recommendation Can you give me your personal opinion on a great skimmer to use on a 125G low-light reef with no sump? I'm trying to keep this latest set-up, sump-free and everyone has a different opinion on the best skimmers, based solely upon which models they sell. I'd like your unbiased opinion on a plug and play skimmer, that can sit in the dry cabinet under this 125G reef. Thanks.-Pat <Well, Pat, for the money you'd be hard pressed to find a better hang-on skimmer than the Aqua C Remora Pro, IMO. A 125 gallon tank might be stretching its operational capabilities a bit, so you may actually want to run 2 of 'em. Or, email Jason Kim at Aqua C and get his opinion. He's a great guy and runs an excellent company. HTH! Regards, Scott F.>

Skimmers and DSBs Hi Guys,<Hi James, MikeD in Florida here> Two quick questions.<Sounds easy enough>  For my new 1650 litre system of 7 marine fish and LR<400 US gallons? I'm seriously envious, with my largest being a 1200 litre tank> only, would it be better to buy 2xturboflotor1000 or 1 x turboflotor5000 shorty? Here in South Africa AquaMedic is the only skimmers available and the 2 options come out at the same price.<if the cost is the same, I believe I'd go with the two as the likelihood of both going kaput at the same time is slim, thus when you eventually do have a problem, you're not under so much pressure to make instant repairs and the negative impact will be less> Also, should I put a DSB in the main tank or will one in the sump be enough?<That largely depends on your sense of esthetics and the type fish that you are keeping. Wrasses that bury at night, for example have been known to commit suicide diving into a bare bottom, and likewise many puffers bury at night.> If so, how deep a substrate in the main tank?<I run about 6" in my 1200 liter tank, but by living near the sea, rely on large marine snails and fish safe crabs to keep it from becoming a detritus trap.> Many Thanks again,<You're more than welcome.> James.

Skimmer Question Hi to all.  I'm back with another question. <Surely, Ryan with you today> I'm looking to buy a protein skimmer for a 40 gal. reef tank. <Great> I have looked at your various replies to people about which types are better, so I was already confining my search to the top 4 brands (based on what I read, that was Euro-Reef, Aqua-C, Tunze, Precision Marine).  I see that Aqua-C has an "Urchin" model that works in the sump.  From an aesthetic point of view that would be nice.  But I don't understand how those can work correctly, since they would be working on water that was already filtered.  Do those configurations work? <Yes, quite well.  In-sump models are quieter, and typically more productive.  Each manufacturer will give you specific mounting instructions for optimal results.> Thanks to all the crew so much.  You have helped greatly in the past, both from answering a direct question such as this to all the times I found what I was looking for on your site already answered, and didn't have to ask!  Have a great day. <Thanks for the kind words! Cheers, Ryan> Laura

Protein skimmer Hi, Tristan here <How goes it?  Michael answering a few before sleep> I'm 14 and have a fish only saltwater for 2 months everything is going well no signs of stress or any deaths. <Excellent. Got a 55 gallon marine when I was your age also> Currently I am running without a protein skimmer everything has gone well with out one but seeing as I'm introducing more fish I feel I should get one.  <A fish only tank that's not overstocked doesn't usually NEED one, but it's always an excellent investment> I'm am not made of money and was going to buy the prism hang on protein skimmer for my 55 gallon but after reading some reviews on it I'm not sure. <I've read some bad reviews, as well> What is your input? <Though a bit more expensive, I've had great luck with an AquaC line (maybe an urchin or remora would suit your needs)> I only have so much money I just have enough for the prism what are some good alternatives? <AquaC skimmers are the best bang for the buck IMO> Right now I have a Scopas tang, a false Percula, a pixy hawkfish, an orange lined Chromis and a six line wrasse. What else should I introduce? <Mostly personal preference.  Your tang will outgrow your current tank, btw> I was thinking of a coral beauty, false Percula and maybe a valentini puffer? <One of the above, most definitely not all 3.  Any one of the above should be fine, but I would get the skimmer before adding the puffer if you choose it> Are these okay is there any other fish you would recommend to me? <Any of the pygmy angels would be a good choice> Thanks a lot your help is GREATLY appreciated, seeing as I have the only saltwater tank in our town. <I know how that is, 10 years ago when I got my first marine tank knowledge was hard to come by for me.  I think you'll notice the benefits of a good skimmer when you purchase one.  M. Maddox>

Skimmer Recommendation I'm setting up a 90 gallon FOWLR tank and have a few questions. <Surely, welcome.  Ryan Bowen with you today> My initial setup plans include AquaC Remora Pro w/Mag 3 and overflow box, 2 x 65w power compact lighting, 90lbs of live rock and 80lbs of Aragonite sand bed.  Here are my questions: 1. I have an Oceanic 90g tank that isn't drilled so I'm limited to a hang on skimmer, however I've had some people tell me I need to go to an in sump skimmer for this size tank? <All depends on stocking.  Lightly stocked, you could easily manage with a Remora Hang-On.  Kudos on stepping up the pump.  Now, if you're planning on a heavily stocked aquarium, a bigger skimmer could be required.> 2. Will the 2 x 65w lighting be enough or do I need 4 x 65w lighting to grow coralline algae and maintain my live rock? <It's plenty for keeping live rock looking good.> 3. Do I have to purchase 90lbs of rock or can I get by with less? <I would aim for 90.  If cost is an issue, use a few pieces of "base rock" in places that won't be seen.> Thanks, Chris <Good luck, and thanks for writing in. Ryan>

Dual Skimmers Hello, <Hello! Ryan Bowen with you>      I decided to setup a 20 gallon refugium that runs in reverse photoperiod attached to a 50 gal main display with a 5 gal sump. <Sounds nice>  The refugium is being fed by an Eheim 1048.   I have a EuroReef ES5-2 rated for 70 gallons.  At this point I have two problems.  The sand on the bottom of the tank is coated with red crud and the refugium doesn't appear to be keeping clean.  I'm considering very seriously about adding a second protein skimmer, the aqua C Remora which is a hang on tank.  I've been reading the FAQs and also read Anthony's book on coral propagation.  Some FAQ's state that you can overskim while Anthony's book highly recommends two protein skimmers.  Can you shed some light on the subject? <Surely.  Each tank truly has it's own needs.  It depends on the application of the skimmer, the amount of feeding, the consistency of water changes, animals being cared for, etc.  I'm not sure that I have ever seen a tank guilty of "overskimming," I believe it's a pretty hard barrier to break.  On the other hand, Euro-Reef is very realistic if not modest when giving a rating.  You're right on with the current skimming, but adding Remora wouldn't hurt. It also won't solve the algal blooms overnight.> Additionally, can you provide advice as to resolving the refugium looking fouled and the red crud on the sand. <Likely a bloom from the "newness" of it all.  Time, pods will take care of it as long as other parameters are kept in line.>  I ran a test last night and the ammonia was over 2, the nitrates were testing about 2.5 so I performed a 15 gal water change.  5 gal from the main display and 10 from the refugium.  After the water change the ammonia tested close to 0 with a Salifert test kit.  <Then it's just a waiting game, and keep up the water changes.  I'd encourage you to use the funds earmarked for the Remora on main-tank circulation instead.  Good luck! Ryan> Thanks, -Brent

- Skimmer Time? - I have 90 gal tank with 1-Eheim 2217 and 2 Emp 400's with biomedia blocks and standard cartridges in each bay for filtration. Once the tank has cycled I would like to stock it with a dwarf and antennata lion, a yellow tang and a Picasso trigger. Is that too much for the tank too handle when the species are fully grown? <Probably not at fully grown, but obtained small, will last in this tank for a while. Would keep this list to just one lionfish, unless I've misread your intentions.> Will I need a protein skimmer with this system? <I wouldn't run a marine tank without one.> if so what brand/size should I get? <Perhaps an AquaC Remora Pro... is a good size for this tank, and works very well.> Should I run an airstone to help with gas exchange? <If that's the Eheim I think it is - the wet/dry model - then you've got a good start on the gas exchange. Pick up that skimmer and you'll be well on your way.> Thanks very much for all the great info on your site, it is helping immensely!!!!! <Cheers, J -- >

- RK2 Protein Skimmers - After reading through countless FAQ's on protein skimmers, many times those who were responding to questions concerning what skimmer was "best" would initially say, "well if you have tons of money laying around, go with an RK2 system".  Thus I have deducted that an RK2 system is considered the "Cadillac" of Protein Skimmer and that it is a "dream" skimmer. Is this somewhat accurate? <Well, better to say that they can fabricate skimmers of extraordinary size: http://www.rk2.com/test.htm - with "dream" features like auto wash, etc. Their work is used in many wholesale holding systems, but you may find the price tag is a bit closer to the Lamborghini of skimmers.> My follow-up question is that many on the crew tout the needle-wheel technology like that of Euro-Reef skimmers as being the most superior, yet RK2 systems from what I have read utilize the venturi style. Could you elaborate on the RK2 systems overall advantages? <Made to order... and pretty much for commercial use - not even sure they offer anything to the average consumer. I'd go with a EuroReef or AquaC, much easier to get your hands on and no need to mortgage the house to procure one.> Thank you for your time and interest in helping the success of others!! Corey <Cheers, J -- >

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

- Skimmer Choices - Bob, <Not Bob, but JasonC here today...> Sorry to bother you, but I have a question regarding protein skimmers. <Ok.> I recently bought a 45 gallon tank (6 weeks ago) from an individual that was already set up (2yrs old, VERY poorly cared for).  He had not invested much money in any of the equipment (lower level lighting, small hang on back filter with sponge, no heater, no skimmer).  At the time of purchase, the tank contained around 20-25 pounds of live rock with some mushrooms and Aiptasia, 2-3 inches of live sand, a 5 inch porcupine puffer and a large tomato clown.  Since then, I have traded in the puffer (too aggressive)  and added a small yellow tang, very small blue tang, 2 green Chromis and a tiny tomato clown (I know that I will need to upgrade to a much larger tank within the next year as my fish grow, actually looking forward to it).  I also have a cleaner shrimp, a dozen hermit crabs and a handful of snails.  The tank is much cleaner than it was at purchase (excessive amounts of stringy green algae are now gone and I am seeing more growth of coralline algae on the live rock).  However, I am experiencing a problem with my nitrate level and cannot seem to get it to drop (all other readings are fine, nitrite=0 ammonia=0 pH=8.2 SG=1.023 Temp=79-80).  After talking with my LFS, I removed the sponge from the filter, cycled some carbon for a couple of days, added about 7 pounds of live rock and did a 10% water change (which I perform every Sunday since I obtained the tank). <The proper solution is to step up the water changes - perhaps a couple of larger ones - 25 to 50% or so. If you think about it - if you swapped out only half the water at any time, you would only reduce the nitrates by half.> I would like to add a protein skimmer and am not getting much input from my LFS, who doesn't think that it is necessary.  I would like to stay in the $75-$125 range, but give myself some room to grow into a larger tank down the road if possible.  I have looked into the CPR Cyclone Bak-Pak Bio Filter, the Via Aqua Multi-Skimmer and Multi-Skimmer Deluxe, and the Prizm Deluxe.  I was wondering what your thoughts were on these units, or if you know of a better option? <Well... it might be out of your price range, but the AquaC Remora would be a good choice.> I would like a unit that serves a dual function of filtration and skimming. <Uhh... skimming is filtration.> Any insight that you have would be greatly appreciated! <The only skimmer you mention that is a dual purpose skimmer is the CPR BakPak II which is both a skimmer [chemical filtration] and also a biological filter. It's a decent skimmer, but not really appropriate for larger tanks. The Remora might cover you up to about 75 gallons or so.> I love my tank and want to make it as successful as possible. Thanks, Melody <Cheers, J -- >

- Picking the Right Size Skimmer - Hi, I'm planning on investing in a new skimmer for my 125G Reef tank.  I've been doing some research and reading and I think I'm going to spring for an AquaC EV series skimmer for use in my sump. <Good choice, is what I use.> The question I have is what size to use.   The AquaC web site shows: EV-120             40-150 gal EV-180             60-200 gal EV-240             80-350 gal Which one would be the most prudent choice? <Think the EV-120 would work very well for you. The EV-180 would also do quite well, and for me, I tend to oversize these things just a bit... makes for a larger margin for error.> I have about 100 lbs of live rock, soft corals and a few fish (Yellow Tang, 5 green Chromis, six-line wrasse, 3 PJ cardinals, a Firefish and 2 convict blennies).  I don't want to spend more money and use more electricity than I have to. My wife loves our electric bills and reef supply purchases as it is. <I bet.> Also, do you have any recommendations on a pump? <I'd send an email direct to Jason Kim at AquaC (info@proteinskimmer.com) - I know he's tested many of his skimmers with Eheim pumps which are super reliable, quiet, and kind on the electric bill. He'll know the proper size Eheim for the skimmer you choose.> Rio, MagDrive, DP, etc.  I plan on using it submerged in the sump. <The Eheim would be fine.> Any help or comments would be appreciated. Thanks, Larry <Cheers, J -- >

- Picking the Right Size Skimmer, Follow-up - Thanks for the help. <My pleasure.> I've been in contact with AquaC customer service via several emails (Steve Prince and Alex S.). They always responded within an hour of each message which is super! It makes me feel a lot more confident in my choice. <Indeed, is one of the reasons why I like these guys.> They basically confirmed what you said. The 120 would do the job, but the 180 would be my best bet for increased water quality. They recommended the Mag 7 as a pump. <Ehh... I've had some bad luck of late with these pumps. For the money, they work pretty well, but I've owned almost a half-dozen of these and all of them have failed to start at one point or another. Again, would really encourage you to go with an Eheim.> They answered some questions about their auto-waste containers also. I wanted to know how they were better than a milk jug with a hole in it. The automatic shut-off in case of an overflow may just save my carpet when I'm on vacation for two weeks this summer.   It's refreshing to get good customer service. <True.> I'm convinced that this is the skimmer I'm going to go with. Now I just need to sneak a $400 purchase past my wife (I bought an RO/DI system this past week). Well, my birthday is coming up soon. It's worth a shot... Thanks again, Larry <Cheers, J -- > 

-Turboflotor dimensions- I think I have a simple one...Can someone tell me how much space I'll need between my tank and the wall to install a Turboflotor 1000 multi? <I don't have a Turboflotor here to measure, so ask the manufacturer: http://www.aqua-medic.com/contactus.shtml -Kevin> Thank you very much! Jeremy White

Best Skimmer for a 140 gal reef tank - must use Iwaki 20 RLT Hello Guys, <Howdy> Thank you for having such an informative website. I have had 140 gallon reef tank for four years. I keep mostly soft corals some hard. I want to take my system to the next level, as many aquarist eventually do. I am currently upgrading my system with halides and better circulation etc. In the upgrade, I have an Iwaki 20RLXT that I can dedicate solely to a skimmer (I'm getting rid of my Sealife 150 skimmer that sits in my sump). My tank guy plumed all of my pumps and chiller into my garage (just behind one wall). I would like a skimmer that can stand alone - not in sump. In my research, I have narrowed it down to ETSS Evolution 500, Super Deluxe Reef Devil, and an AquaC EV-180. <I believe the AquaC is the best value overall here: cost and performance for price paid> I was about to pull the trigger and get the Aqua C EV-180. But then I read that this pump is designed for in sump use. What do you guys recommend? <check with Jason Kim of AquaC (easy to reach) but I believe it can be used outside of the sump> What is the best skimmer out there that can operate with my Iwaki pump? <I'm really not sure how to answer my friend. It seems a bit backward to pick a skimmer that fits your pump best, and not a skimmer that meet your tank's needs best. Alas, we do not have all of the dozens of skimmer brands and models and their flow requirements committed to memory either <G>. You need to do this research here mate> Keep in mind that I have a dedicated pump and that I want the skimmer to sit in my garage.  <unless you get a killer deal/price on the ETSS, I'm not inclined to recommend it regardless. I simply don't find them to be a very good value> Thanks so much for you time and help. Juan Escobar <best of luck. Anthony>

Dual Skimmers (5/21/04) Do you recommend two protein skimmers for a tank or is that overkill? <No> I have a 50 Gal reef tank that I'd like to add a CPR hang on AquaFuge. Should I add the refugium and then an additional skimmer? <There are benefits to having two skimmers, but one that is correctly sized for your tank is enough. I have no idea how you could fit 2 skimmers and an AquaFuge on this size of tank. I have an AquaFuge and love it. In your shoes I'd be happy with a quality skimmer (such as AquaC Remora or CPR BakPak in combination with the AquaFuge.> Thanks, -Brent <Hope this helps. Steve Allen.> 

Oceanic Skimmer info >Sorry guys. >>Me too, someone's been sitting on your email for a little while here. >I did a search for information regarding an Oceanic Plus model 6 protein skimmer and can't find anything. I was trying to get some reviews and info regarding this skimmer. Can you help me? >>Not really. My suggestion is to visit the following sites: http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk http://www.reefs.org/ http://www.reefcentral.com/ Sorry I can't be of more help, but these bulletin boards are an enormously helpful resource. Marina 

Skimmer Recommendation To the temporarily tiny, skeleton crew: <Hello! Ryan with you today> I wanted to say thank you for hanging in there while other crew members "suffer" in Europe. <Just call me the "Fort Holder!"> I've become addict (I confess) to the daily Q&A's and spend the first 30 min.s (sometimes more) of my "computer" day catching up on the new Q's and the certainly very interesting, informative and caring answers. <Wonderful excuse to get your mind off work- I too did this before I started donating my time here.>  I've learned quite a lot, and think that just have scratched the surface, but on behalf of all my livestock, I thank you for helping me not making mistakes or explaining how to correct the ones already made. <Absolutely> First a success story: Due to a well achieved quarantine period (5 weeks plus) I was able to avoid an ich outbreak in my tank, which appeared on one of my Clarkiis during his first Q week. Diagnosed, treated and cured in QT. Further more, based on WWM crew recommendations introduction of the Clarkii to the display tank with territories already established went smooth and without harassing from the other Clarkii or the maroon just by re-arranging the rock work and removing temporally both the maroon and the larger Clarkii to a in-tank "fish trap" for 12 hours. <Nice work!> Now my inquiries, I'll try to make this short, but please bear with me. First the specifics: <Surely> 95 gal (360 liters 120cms front 50 back 60 tall) FOWLR water parameters:  Ph 8.2 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, temp 26 Celsius, 2 power heads in tank for water circulation and a wet/dry bio-ball trickle filter - skimmer - activated carbon in sump (the water turn over is around 10 times/hour, planning on increasing it as far as 20) <I'm sure you have read about the various benefits and costs of using wet/dry media in combination with live rock. Just be cautious, and keep an eye on nitrate.> As of the show tank I have around 80 pounds of live rock and a 2 inch crushed coral bed (system's being running for almost 19 months now).  Live Stock: 2 Clarkii clownfish 2" and 1", 1 Maroon clownfish 1.5", 1 Sail Fin Tang 4.5", 1 Raccoon Butterfly 2", 1 Cleaning Wrasse 2.5", 2 Chocolate Chip sea stars, 1 long tentacle anemone (8" diameter home of the Clarkiis), 5 green BTA's (+- 1" diameter one is home of the maroon (at the beginning there were only two but one has split into 4 individuals), several red legged hermit crabs, 1 Mexican turbo snail, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 banded coral shrimp.  I'm planning on setting a 55g tank in a near future (+-) 5 months in order to separate anemone species to avoid allelopathic competition and the maroon before it grows bigger and starts acting as a maroon clownfish J.<Good>  (Lesson learned, no research before stocking = deal with the consequences, it is a perfect excuse to set yet another tank though ;)). Question one is: I know for sure my lighting is not enough as it is right now for the BTA's and the long tentacle, so I'm planning on updating with PC's (can't afford MH right now), I've done some surfing on the net an found a very nice couple of options a) CORAL LIFE LUNAR AQUATIC: 1-96 watt 10,000K Daylight & 1-96 watt 03 Blue Actinic Compact Fluorescent Lamps, 2-3/4 watt Lunar Blue Moon Glow LED Lamps, 2 cooling fans.<not strong enough> or b) CURRENT: Power Compact Hooded System With Moon Lite Feature: (1) dual Premium-Daylight (96w) 10,000K & 6,700K (1) dual Ultra-Actinic (96w) 460nm & 420nm, 3 moonlights. Which one do you think is best? <Second option, but I wouldn't rule out VHO. If you're handy with the DIY stuff, you can save big. Hellolights.com is an example of a vendor that carries all the parts needed to do this project without spending a huge amount. Also, you may be able to pick up a used MH fixture on a selling forum somewhere.> Additional to this I will keep my actual 30 watt 20,000K daylight and 30 watt blue actinic form coral life for a total on any case of 252 watts and an average of 2.65 watt/gallon. Would this be enough for the anemones or should I aim for an average of 4 w/g? <between 4-5 is a good range for anemones. Perhaps natural sunlight could be incorporated in your setup?>  I'm not planning on keeping corals of any kind in either tank. (Perhaps a new reef tank in the future?, who knows I have surely been bitten by the bug).  Second and last question (I promise) I'm planning on updating my skimmer, and have the next options: a) Kent Marine Nautilus TE, b) AquaC EV120, c) CPR SR Series SR4, d) EuroReef CS6-1, e) Red Sea Berlin Classic or d) Precision Marine Bullet Series your opinion on this options will be much appreciated as well as taken to consideration for my final decision. <It's a toss up for me between the Euro-Reef and the Aqua-C. Both are awesome skimmers, you'll be happy with either.> Sorry for a long mail but thought background and specifics necessary for you to try helping me better.  <You do read this daily!> Again thanks and do please hang in there, we all appreciate your daily work helping us around.  <Not a problem. I'm so glad you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy answering them! See ya, Ryan> Alfonso Funds Restrict Skimmer >I recently stumbled across your site, and must say, there's an overwhelming amount of info to be read.  A+ >>Glad it's of help to you. >I've recently set up a 100 gallon saltwater tank (fully cycled), have wet/dry filter, lots of water flow, 2 powerheads, and no skimmer.  The brown haze covering EVERYTHING in the tank (at least everything exposed to the light) is a reflection of the lack of skimming, or at least a major contributor, from what I've gathered by reading.   >>Can be, yes, but there are other ways to deal with this.  Even WITH skimming, it's really very common. >My question is this, Money is unfortunately a roadblock for me, but I can't go without the skimmer any longer.  Could you recommend a skimmer ($200 or less hopefully) that can get the job done efficiently, but for the modest price?   >>I am rather out of the loop on pricing, but if you're handy then Anthony has an article on a home made skimmer.  One of the caveats is that it may be tricky for the novice to use.  But, may be worth a shot. >Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, as every pot store I go to tells me something different.   >>Whoa.. you have pot stores where you live???  Can I come visit? >The knowledge I've found here seems to be far superior.   >>Forewarned is fore-armed; even here you'll see conflicting information.  This endeavor is as much art as science.  Oh yes, be sure to look for AquaC Remora, and CPR BakPak (I believe they're sponsors). >Thanks a bunch. Dean >>You're welcome.. and I think I should link you (or something like it).  Marina http://www.wetwebmedia.com/diyskimmer.htm

Skimmer recommendation for compact space 4/25/04  skimmer Nazi? lol.....very well, the blitzkrieg shall begin...I will look into getting a better skimmer. My crud isn't that dark.  <not surprising or uncommon as you will see/hear in time from certain brands/designs>  are there any you prefer (limited space)?  <Aqua C urchins and Tunzes have some very efficient skimmers with quite small footprints>  also, I'm not sure I want to see any smurfs...no smoke for me. although I wonder how they would look under actinic lighting *like whoa! far out man*  <change the album selection to Pink Floyd and they look even better <G>>  lol. Again, thanks. I appreciate your time.  <always welcome. Anthony>

- Skimmer Too Big? -  I wrote to you previously about a skimmer vs. water changes...since you said skimmers take out approximately 98% of the organic wastes and therefore is very crucial to saltwater tanks, only if I do not over skim with a huge protein skimmer. <Actually, if you look back, that's not what I said - to be specific, if you look at the time period in which you would do a water change, let's say one week. In one week you might change 5 or 10 percent of the water - in that same period of time, the skimmer might see 98% of the tank water - NOT remove 98% of the wastes. I have no way of calculating the amount of waste a skimmer could remove.> Would you consider the Aqua C Remora to be too big for a 10 to 15 gallon tank??? <Yes.> I don't want the skimmer to over skim my 10-15 gallon tank which will take out my trace elements. <Ahh see... you left these details out in your previous email. In a tank of this size you could easily get by with only water changes - given the size of the tank and the space a skimmer might take up, you pretty much have to skip the skimmer unless you want to modify a hang-on filter or something similar.> I really like the remora skimmer and that is the only skimmer I am aiming for. <The Remora is a fine skimmer, but perhaps a bit much for the task, even with the smallest specified pump.> Thanks again.  <Cheers, J -- >

- Protein Skimmers - Dear Mr. Fenner; Thanks again -in advance- for your precious help for this hobby.  As I told you before, now I am getting my PS [protein skimmer] and have two options: 1. One dealer in my country imported -for this month- the brand AZOO TRI SUPER SKIMMER, which I read in one of your WWM post stating that is a new brand for the USA and you have not seen one yet; but I did not see the date of your comment.  <Azoo is not all that new any more, but it is quite possible their entire line does not make it state-side.> Have you seen one lately? <I've never seen one - past or present.> 2. A friend in this hobby sells a second hand (two years use?) TOP FATHOM TF-110. Which one would you recommend me, considering it is going to be my first and last acquisition, for the amount of money already invested in my hobby; corals yet to come! <I would recommend you develop a new attitude towards spending money... either skimmer would provide benefit, but it's possible there are other options that will serve you better. If these are the only skimmers you can get your hands on, then I'd probably go with the Top Fathom.> I am concerned with the PS having a: * soundless running operation, <There is not such thing that I am aware of.> * easy adjustable (tune up), <You will have to determine this by examining the skimmers.> * durability, <Again... not much you can do about this if you limit yourself to only these two models.> * easy cleaning <Something you will soon know when you inspect these products.> * other Thanks again Bob.  Regards, Richard <Cheers, J -- >

Skimmer Choices and Light Height!  Thanks for the response.  <Your quite welcome>  Any thoughts on what skimmer I should use?  <Many good brands...Euroreef, Aqua C, Tunze, just to name a few...>  Been hearing a lot of good things about Euro Reef?  <One of the best skimmers out there, in my opinion. They are reliable, skim well, and produce large quantities of product virtually right out of the box>  How many hours a day would you run the below lighting?  <Depending on the animals you're gonna keep- I'd go for 10 hours a day, myself>  Would you put the MH's at that height?  <I'd mount them a bit lower, myself- maybe 8 inches off the water...Lots of view on this>  Thanks for all your help. Jimmy  <My pleasure, Jimmy! Regards, Scott F>

- Eheim Pump for AquaC Skimmer - Hi, I'm in the UK and have just ordered an AquaC EV180 skimmer from America (having put up with a Berlin for far too long..), I don't have access to any of the recommended pumps for the AquaC skimmer, didn't order pump from US 'because of different voltages. <Understood.> Have you seen the EV180 working with an Eheim pump? <In fact, I have.> Which Eheim pump would you recommend? <Gosh... I keep forgetting their model numbers...> I was thinking either the 1262 (3400 lph) or the 1264 (4500 lph). <I think you are right.> (I think the recommended pumps range from the Mag 7 (2650 lph) to the Rio3100 (3780 lph)) <Do think you should contact AquaC directly... have seen Jason Kim running Eheim pumps in his facility but just can't recall which one it was - info@proteinskimmer.com > Thanks, Pete <Cheers, J -- >

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

Skimmer Comparison 3/27/04   I wonder if you can tell me of any product comparisons on protein skimmers. I am looking to buy a good skimmer for my 150 gal. I have narrowed it down some , the two I am looking at the most are the Euro-reef CS3-8 and the Precision marine Bullet 1. With all the hype everyone puts on their products it is hard to make a solid decision without the help of one's peers. I sure would hate to spend 300 to 500 plus on a skimmer and then wish a couple of month's later I would have bought something else. Any help you can give would be great thanks.   Thomas Giddens <there are several brands of skimmer on the market that get my vote as very good values re: performance, price. Euro-reef stands out as one of them. Very reliable and efficient, it is the definition of plug-and-play. Once adjusted for your tank, it is very low maintenance and yet quite consistent. It gets my strong vote between your two choices here. Anthony>

ASM Skimmers 3/26/04 Hello, Hey great site! <thanks kindly> What size ASM Skimmer would you recommend for a 72 Bow Front All - Glass tank? I have heard many different answers from dealers in my area. Should the skimmer be rated double what the tank size is or about the same size? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks, Jason <always larger my friend. Please do oversize to be safe. Else, run two right-sized skimmers at the same time and clean them alternately (to reduce interruption of skimmate production). Anthony> Protein skimmers I have read dozens of articles on your website and always find it very helpful.  In this case, I couldn't find an exact answer for my situation.  I am setting up a 125 marine aquarium for some fish and corals, and I have a 30 gallon sump tank to go with it.  My question is what type of protein skimmer would you run?  I am still in college so I don't have all the money in the world, but I have it narrowed down between Precision Marine and the new ETS which utilizes bio balls...I have done a lot of reading up on these, and they both look good.  Is one brand better than the other?<They are both very good protein skimmers in my opinion...either one would suffice>  Also, for the sump I want to keep things as simple as possible.  Is it necessary to have a canister filter with media before my sump tank?<You could do this>  I was planning on just running it directly into the tank, and fill the tank with live rock to try to keep things as natural as possible. <agreed> If this is ok, would you put a sand bed in the sump as well, or even grow macro algae?<that's a thought>  Any input on sump/skimmer is very much appreciated.   Matt<I think you are on the right track my friend, Good luck, IanB>

- More Questions about ASM Skimmers - Hello, Thanks for all the great advice but of course I have a few more questions. <Ok.> I've seen many different ratings for the ASM G2X Skimmer between 100-200 gallon tanks. I have the 72 Bow front so would this be too much, and should I use the ASM G1 or G1X? <You might be better off with a G1 rather than a G2.> Or can you not overdo the Skimmer? <Yes, you can over-do it.> For the water flow I was going to go with either 800 or 950GPH return pump. Do I need more or less for this? <Something close to 10 times the system volume, circulated per hour is worth shooting for.> For the return from the sump is it better to some how split the return to two different areas creating a wave effect I hear about in your FAQ section? <You can... does provide more robust circulation.> And  my question about Live Rock and Live Sand. Would it be o.k. to add the sand and live rock all at once? <Sure.> I have read that some people have live rock or sand in the sump. Do I need this in the tank or sump? <Is up to you... would be better if you did both.> Finally do I need any additives for the calcium? <What are you planning to keep that needs calcium?> I read a lot about different chemicals that people add and wanted your opinion. Thank You, Jason <Cheers, J -- >

- Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral? - Hi, I'm setting up a 72 Gallon Bow Front Reef aquarium and have been getting a lot of advice on the way to set it up. I was told I would need a good skimmer and after reading your site and local dealers I see that you recommend the Euro Reef skimmers. My local dealer told me about a knock off of Euro Reef called GX2? Have you heard of this? <Yes... ASM.> Is this really a knock off and if this is just as good? <It really is a knock-off... difference between a Patagonia jacket and the house brand at Wal*Mart - with one you are paying American labor to make it out of American materials. In the other case, it's a low-bid job out of China. The ASM model does have some enhancements like being able to remove the neck [not just the collection cup] to clean it... something you can't do with the EuroReef. So yes... a well designed skimmer that comes with the same pump as the ER and is cheaper.> Do you know where I can get this? <Sounds like your local dealer should know, but you can also Google for that brand name and probably find what you are looking for.> I searched the web and haven't found anything. Second I was told that I would need about 1lb. of live rock per gallon, but should I get it with base rock or only the premium live rock? <You can do a combination, but if you can afford it I would go all premium... 0.75/lb per gallon would be pretty good.> Should I get this cured or uncured? <You can go either way... if you are going to jump-start your tank with the rock, you might as well get it uncured.> Or does it make a difference if I'm going to have to cured it anyway? <Certainly not if you are making plans to do additional curing.> Do you recommend adding it all at once or a 10lbs at a time? <A little at a time is fine, although you could go as much as 1/3 your total intended amount of rock each time.> Do you recommend Aragamax sand with live sand? <Sure.> I Third question is how large of a sump would you recommend? <As large as you have space for and can still work around it.> And finally what type of lighting do you recommend for a reef tank? <All depends on what you want to keep... most of the reef animals have different requirements so it makes sense to add this to your planning... your choice of livestock will dictate your lighting choices.> I appreciate any help you can tell me. Thank You, Jason <Cheers, J -- ><<This line is made and distributed by All Seas... of Los Angeles, Miami, and Manila. RMF>>

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

Trying to be Cheap! Hello to whoever gets this,<Cody, here today!> Thanks for the great site and all the good info.  I have been searching the site for some information on doing a very inexpensive FOWLR tank.  I have a 29 gal with an eclipse hood, and a Fluval 204 canister filter.  I would like to be able to set the tank up for around or under $200 (not including livestock).  I was thinking of using base rock and very little live rock at first, This will take longer for the rock to establish, but I can't afford mass quantities of live rock.<That would be fine and works well.> What I would like to know is what is the cheapest skimmer that will still give me good operation and not be extremely noisy?  I really want the AquaC Remora, but it is just to costly for me at this point.<Hmm, I would definitely go with the AquaC, you can get them for about $170 shipped.  Other than that the quality drops quickly.  But the Bak Paks do a decent job.> DO you think I am missing/forgetting something? <What do you want to keep, you may need to upgrade lighting.  Cody> Thanks for the help, Tim Winzeler a.k.a. Starving Student Phoenix, AZ

- Skimmer Selection - Good morning, <Good morning to you.> Recently I purchased a 55 gallon w/ wet/dry filter.  It has been running for about two weeks.  I just put 50 lbs of live rock in my tank (last night), and plan to get another 20 lbs today.  This is my first salt water aquarium and I cannot stress enough how much "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", has helped me.  Many thanks to Robert Fenner.  My question is: My local fish store carries the "Excalibur" line of protein skimmers.  I trust the people at the store very much, but would like to get another opinion on them before I make my purchase.  Is the Excalibur "in sump" a worthy skimmer for a 55 gallon fish and hardy invertebrate system? <It will work fairly well and the Excalibur's are usually available at a very competitive price. Cheers, J -- >

Skimmer and shark questions - 3/8/04 Hey Crew! Got two quick questions for you.  One of them will settle a argument at a poker game and the other is to help clear things up for me. 1.  Can you ever have a tank large enough and stocked with a complete enough ecosystem (bacteria to sharks) that you never have to do partial water changes?  I'm talking 1,000gal, 10,000 gal, Sea World scale?  I say no but my friend (who also took all my poker chips) says yes. <No. I think the reasons are rather obvious. Sharks are messy messy animals to food as well as the bi-product of eating. Water quality deteriorates over time with no way of really charging it much again. Sure there are additives but dosing is not only expensive but not error proof. One mistake and your changing water. So many more reasons> 2.  In your opinion, what is the best hang-on protein skimmer on the market--money no problem--and why? <Not just one per se. Different tank configurations (size, bio-load, filtration level, feeding and many more) and space may require a different HOB skimmer. I can tell you I like the CPR skimmer products and the AquaC offerings best. Reliable, good support, great price point and sound design.> Thanks, you guys (and gals) rock!! <We do our best, mate. Thanks for doing your part. ~Paul> -Ray

Skimmer Selection <Ryan with you> My 80 gal reef cabinet has no room in it with a Tidepool II and a chiller so I need a small skimmer that will fit in my sump and a small de nitrator that will fit in my sump with it! can you tell me who makes the best small most effective units. <Hi, not really sure what kind of space you're working with.  Aqua-C makes some small units, as does CPR.  Most web pages list the exact size so you don't over-buy!  There are also some nice hang-on style models.  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks Kirt Joseph

Skilter 400 on a new tank - 3/2/04 Hi, I need help. <That is what we are here for> I have a 55 gal. tank, Emperor 400, live sand, live rock, and started on 2/4/04. <Very new tank. Just because Ammonia and Nitrite check out OK doesn't mean the cycle is finished but I digress> Every thing has been fine. <Good> I was told to get a protein skimmer so about 2 weeks ago I added a Skilter 400. <Not really a skimmer in the worst sense of the word. I know it is marketed as such but this is as much of a skimmer as I am talking mule, wait.....> My tank is stocked with 3 cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermint shrimp, 1 turbo snail, 3 Mexican Turbos, 3 pajama cardinals, 4 hermits, 1 scarlet crab, and 1 true percula and 1 false percula. <This is a recipe for possible disaster in such a newly setup tank. There is a lot of bioload in a short amount of time. Watch the water chemistry carefully> My questions: 1) When I added the Skilter my tank filled with a lot of little bubble and it was unsightly. <One reason the Skilter is not considered a very good product. There are some sites out there that have some DIY modifications for them. Do a search in your favorite search engine.> I took the Skilter off and cleaned it and reinstalled it and the same thing happened. <Well......looks like dog doo.....smells like dog doo....maybe it is dog doo> If the Skilter is off the tank clears up. What do I do? <Well, I would look to a quality skimmer. Check out the recommendations on our site> 2) I tested my water for ammonia and it was a little high <Whuh???? I thought you said everything has been fine? This is not good> so I changed out 5 gal of water (over a 30 min. period). After I did than my clowns started acting funny (breathing hard and not swimming erratically but just different) <Maybe something wrong with the makeup water> then I noticed one of my pepper mint shrimp dead. <Not good, mate> (was moving than just quiet). I made sure the temp was about the same <Make it the same> in the bucket as in the tank and the salinity was the same. <Be sure to aerate your water for a good 24 hours. Did you use R/O water? Was it out of the tap? Could have had ammonia and chlorine it if it was out of the tap> What did I do wrong? <See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm Or was it time for my tank to have a water change? <Should be doing weekly water changes> Please can you help. Monica <This is to start you off. Keep reading through our site as there is much info to help your decisions and pocketbook. Let us know if we can be of any more assistance. Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul>

HELP!!! skimmer Hi fish crew and skimmer aficionados!    Please pick the quietest: Remora, Remora Pro or the CPR Bak pak 2  ( for a 55 gallon, No sump, reef)<probably the bakpak2> Please pick the easiest:  Remora, Remora Pro or CPR Bak pak 2.    <again probably the BakPak 2> Thank you, you have just made my life easier and I will order up!  ~missy <IanB> Skimmers Hi fish crew and skimmer aficionados! <Howdy, Sorry for the delay.> Please pick the quietest: Remora, Remora Pro or the CPR Bak pak 2  ( for a 55 gallon, No sump, reef)<They are all about the same.> Please pick the easiest:  Remora, Remora Pro or CPR Bak pak 2. <I have used all three of these skimmers and the remora pro would be my choice.  If you do go with the remora pro make sure and get the mag 3 pump instead of the Rio. Cody>    Thank you, you have just made my life easier and I will order up!  ~missy

- Skimmer Selection - Was wondering if you had any experience with the CPR sr6 skimmer with the Rio 2100rvt powerhead. <Personally, no... I have not used this skimmer.> I was also considering the AquaC ev180 with mag7 pump, they are pretty comparable, although Ev 180 is double the price, is it worth the extra bucks, my tank is a 125 with 55 gal. sump. <I do think so - have used the AquaC products now for many years and fine them to be well built and dependable. Is a power skimmer compared to the CPR unit.> thanks, Louie <Cheers, J -- >

Skimmer Selection Hey Guys,     I have a 125 gal. reef tank, and I made a 55 gal. sump for it. Can you recommend a protein skimmer for my sump, preferably a one piece unit. Thanks, Louie <Your best bet would be to check out the forums for others opinions, reefcentral.com, wetwebfotos.com/talk/, etc.  The two brands that I am always hearing good things about are Aqua-C and EuroReef. http://proteinskimmer.com/ http://www.euro-reef.com/ You should also check out our Skimmer FAQs to learn of others experiences.  Best Regards, Gage >

- Aerofoamer Skimmer Info - Hi Gang, I'm seeking information on the Aerofoamer series of protein skimmers. I have thoroughly read through your sections on skimmers, and didn't see this skimmer mentioned. <It will be now.> According to Reefweb, it was the top performer on the first three tests performed. It beat the AquaC, ETS, and Euroreef. <Am familiar.> However, I'm looking for more opinions when the price tag is $600! <Has a lot of appendages... complicated build, American made... adds up.> I'm willing to spend the money if the product is as good as advertised. <I'm sure it works quite well, but have not used this skimmer myself.> What about Beckett injectors in general? <They do work... the Beckett venturi is from the hot tub/spa biz... made to run with brute force pumps, so as an air induction device for a protein skimmer a little inefficient. Think the protein skimmer test should have also measured electricity use... most Beckett skimmers that I've seen require larger pumps than other skimmers rated to the same tank size. The larger pumps perhaps create a tendency to strip the water... overskim. Might be what you want, but for me a sterile tank is not necessarily a healthy tank.> Thanks! <Cheers, J -- >

Time To Ditch An Ineffective Skimmer? I have a 55 gallon tank. I set it up with an A-Miracle wet/dry trickle filter with bio balls, and an attached protein skimmer that was part of the A-Miracle system when I purchased it. Although I haven't had any real significant problems in the year or so that the tank has been up and running, the protein skimmer doesn't seem to being doing all that much. I was told by a local pet shop that the protein skimmer should be removing lots of garbage......enough so that I should have to clean it out every week or so. <That is true. A productive skimmer is a real ally in tank maintenance> Yet my protein skimmer is not foaming over, and is accumulating little in the way of "dirty water". I've tried many times to adjust the air intake at all different levels, but there is little change. Could it be that the tank just doesn't have that much "garbage" to remove? <Generally, no. Even well-established, nutrient-poor systems will still yield skimmate regularly if you have a properly tuned skimmer. Doo try to keep tweaking to get the right balance of air and water flow...> I only have a few damsels (4 small) , a hermit crab and a feather duster. Or is the A-Miracle a poor quality setup? Or worse yet, am I doing something wrong? <I don't necessarily think that your skimmer is poor. However, it may simply be a case that the skimmer is not ideally located in the setup; perhaps it isn't positioned to receive a level flow of nutrient rich water from the system. In the end, however, if you just cannot get the darned thing to work, you may want to consider purchasing a skimmer that has a reputation for effectiveness in a variety of set-ups. We like Aqua C and Euro-Reef models. They have a great track record for quality, versatility, and efficiency. Worth looking into. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Live rock lighting and skimmer selection Hi gang, two questions if possible. First, I am setting up a 125G FOWLR tank. I've read a million and one articles on the proper amount of light (watts per gallon), but I'm not sure what's appropriate for my setup. I plan on having flourishing liverock, but don't plan on purchasing any corals, with the possible exception of some mushrooms. I don't want to overdo the lighting since I won't be keeping corals. What is appropriate just for the liverock to do well with it's variety of life? <Coralife makes standard T-8 bulbs (the 48" bulbs are 40wts each) which would be fine for supporting the inhabitants on the liverock. If you're up for it, 2x 96wt power compacts would be great for supporting low light corals (such as mushrooms, zoanthids, etc.) and support the life on the liverock. Either choice would be good.> Also, as far as skimmers go, what is the best? I've tried an AquaC with pretty good results, but now I'm reading that the Aerofoamer is testing out to be the best. Any suggestions from those that have probably gotten to try them all? <I've heard some amazing comments about the Aerofoamer. While I haven't any first hand experience with that model, people who have used it claimed that it was extremely high quality and pulled out quite a bit of dissolved organics. Hope this helps, Graham.>

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

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

Skimmer and Ozonizer 2/10/04 Hey WWM, hope all is well with everyone!! Please Help Me!! I am completely  frustrated this morning trying to find out what skimmers are compatible with ozonizer.  I am very interested in using an ozonizer on my reef tank, but  absolutely everyone I have talked to has a different answer on what skimmer to use with the Red Sea Ozonizer, (and wouldn't you know it, the guy at Red Sea that answers questions on ozonizer is out today). <My best suggestion is to be patient and wait for his return.  It is hard to predict what materials will be affected by ozone, and following the manufacturers recommendation should protect you from voiding any warranties.> So after reading through your FAQ's on ozonizer and talking to about six different people, I am just turning  to you for some much needed guidance here.  I have several Red Sea Prizm  protein skimmers, and I also have a Seaclone Protein Skimmer, are either of these capable of injecting ozone into? <There is a way to get ozone into any skimmer, but as I said I would check with the manufacturer.  The downside with the Seaclone is that it is such a poor performer regardless of ozone usage.> If not, I have read on your FAQ's of people using a CPR Bak Pak, and also the Aqua C Remora, would you recommend either of these for using with an ozonizer? <The remora is an outstanding performer and Aqua-C customer service is second to none.  Do check with Jason concerning ozone compatibility.  The CPR is a very capable product and has the distinct advantage of a chamber to which carbon can be added.> I need a hang-on as I do not have a sump, I am also limited on the space behind the tank to 4 1/2".  One final thought, I believed the Seaclone to be the best candidate for the ozonizer, as it snaps together with no gaskets (so no premature wear on the gaskets from the ozone), however the guy at Aquarium Systems said the ozone would prematurely wear the impeller on the powerhead, but I have read through your FAQ's and it seems a lot of ozonizer are run this way.  I truly appreciate your thoughts on this, <Again, hard to predict, but I would worry a lot less about seals and powerheads (which are easily replaced) and worry about some kind of failure that would lead to a flood on your floor.> I would like to do it right the first time, and avoid any mishaps if at all possible.  Thank You,  Jen Marshall      <Just a follow up to my comment about the CPR back pack....  Whenever ozone is used it is wise to use carbon to remove any remaining ozone before the water returns to the tank.  Ozone can be quite harmful to live animals if it is allowed to pass into the display.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: