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FAQs about Skimmer Selection for Marine Systems 5

Related FAQs: Best Skimmer FAQs, Skimmers 2, To Skim or Not to Skim, Best Skimmer Selection FAQs, Skimmer Selection, Skimmer Selection 2, Skimmer Selection 3, Skimmer Selection 4, Skimmer Selection 5, Skimmer Selection 6, Skimmer Selection 7, Skimmer Selection 8, Skimmer Selection 9, Skimmer Selection 10, Skimmer Selection 11, Skimmer Selection 12, Skimmer Selection 13, Skimmer Selection 14, Skimmer Selection 15, Skimmer Selection 16, & DIY Skimmers, Skimmers for Refugiums/Sumps, Hang-On Models, Best Skimmer Op./Maint. FAQs, Skimmer MaintenanceSkimmer Operation/Maintenance 2, Algae Control, Corallife Skimmers, CPR Skimmers, Deltec Skimmers, ETSS Skimmers, Euro-Reef Skimmers, Prizm Skimmers, SeaClone SkimmersSkimmers for Eclipse Systems, Skimmers for Small SystemsSkilter Skimmers, Tunze Skimmers, Algae Control

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

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

Prizm Skimmer...... Hi Bob... <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am a total beginner to Saltwater, So your advice would be very welcome. My main problem is that I don't know if my skimmer is functioning correctly. I recently set up a 55g tank ( 3 wks ago ) I have 2x Aquaclear 802 powerheads, Prizm skimmer, My Filter is a Rena Filstar xP2 (1050 l/h) This came with the Rena Tank. I also have approximately 4Kg of Live Rock and about 5 Kg of Ocean Rock. <some more live rock would help nicely in the big picture> I'm cycling it with 1x Yellowtail Damsel, 1x Humbug and 1x Green/Blue Chromis. My Test results from Yesterday are; Temp 75f , S.G 1.024 , Alk High , pH 8.6 , Ammonia >1.0 , Nitrite 0.5 , Nitrate 10ppm ... Can you advise me on any problems you foresee Thanx for the great info on a great website. I only found it today..... Lee Summerly, England, UK <overall sounds like a very nice start.. but your suspicions about the skimmer are likely correct according to popular consensus (overwhelmingly!). I'm inclined to agree with the masses. How about a second skimmer on the system to compliment it. An Aqua C, or Turboflotor would be nice. If you can afford it, a Euroreef would be top of the line and my choice. Good for many years and future tanks...always reliable. You really get what you pay for in this case. Best regards in shared admiration of the sea. Kindly, Anthony>

Skimmer Help Hi guys: <Hello, Steven Pro in this morning.> Need some sage advice. I broke my protein skimmer -- a Red Sea Berlin Classic -- which frankly doesn't upset me too much because it never really skimmed all that well. I've read through hours of your posts, but I am still confused on what to get as a replacement. I have a small Cyanobacteria problem that I suspect could be cured by better skimming. Circulation is fine, feeding is minimal, using RODI water, haven't resorted to macroalgae yet. My old skimmer collected about 1 cup every 4-5 days. Nitrates are 25 ppm, phosphates 0.2 ppm. 4 fish, 1 clam, 4 soft corals, 4 Acroporas, 80 pounds live rock. My other criteria is to get something that is QUIET. Based on your posts, it looks like a Turboflotor 1000 with an Eheim 1048 or 1250 is what I'm looking for, or perhaps an AquaC EV120 with an Eheim. Until I read your posts, I was strongly considering an ETSS (which you feel is too much power consumption) or a Euro-Reef (which you feel is not necessary to spend so much money on a small tank). My reef tank is 65 gallons with a 20 gallon sump. I just want to make sure I get the best choice to hopefully tackle the bacteria once and for all, and get the noise down as well. Please recommend the pump model number too. <I would get either the Euro-Reef model CS6-1 or Aqua-C EV-120. The Euro-Reef already comes with the pump. The Aqua-C needs either a Mag 500, a Rio 2100, a Dolphin DP-560, or an Iwaki 20 RLT. The Iwaki is probably the quietest.> Thanks, Jim <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Upgrade Options Dear WWM Crew, I have a question about upgrading my skimmer. First, I'll give you a quick rundown of my system: 75 gal tank, 3.5-4 in sand bed (CaribSea special grade reef aragonite), CPR BakPak II skimmer, CPR hang-on refugium with blade (?) Caulerpa on reverse daylight cycle, heater, 2 powerheads for circulation and 70 +/- pounds live rock. I add Kent buffer for pH/alkalinity control and Kalkwasser in top off water for calcium. Tank inhabitants include 1 Spotfin butterfly (4"), 1 chain link moray (9"), 1 royal Gramma (3.5"), 1 Redspotted hawkfish (2.5"), 1 neon goby, 1 banded coral shrimp, a few hermits, and a few snails. The CPR skimmer works great, but I feel it is too small a unit for the tank and bioload. <Agreed> It produces about a cup of skimmate each week. I know Anthony would like that much produced every day or so. <I am a little more relaxed (3-4 times weekly), but agree in principal-the more you remove the less there to fuel undesirable algae.> I will be adding a pygmy angel soon (in qt tank now) <Glad to hear about the QT.> and a short nose puffer later. I would like to upgrade the skimmer to a larger, more efficient unit. I recently upgraded tanks from a 55 gal to the 75 and everything listed above was in/on the 55 gal except the eel. After reading the WetWebMedia FAQs and articles, I have mixed opinions on which unit to get. I need to buy a hang-on model as I don't have a sump. I also would like a unit with a surface skimmer. Options include, but are not limited to, Aqua C Remora, Red sea Berlin HO, Big Mombassa, Excalibur Skimmer, or Aquamedic Turboflotor. What would your first choice be for efficiency? <The Aqua-C Remora Pro with Mag-Drive pump.> Any of the above units or others not listed? Thank you for your help. Sincerely, Jason Bartlett <You are quite welcome. -Steven Pro>

RE: Skimmer Upgrade Options Dear Steve, Thank you for your input. <You are quite welcome.> I will look into getting the Remora Pro. Saw on a web site today that there is a surface skimmer/bubble trap available for this skimmer. <I am awaiting my catalog so that my aquarium maintenance business can carry this line of skimmers.> Also saw it can be purchased with a Rio pump but have heard these pumps aren't too good in the long run. <Yes, I have heard/read many of the horror stories.> Definitely the Mag-drive. I certainly appreciate all the help you, Bob, and Anthony have provided! Sincerely, Jason <Have a great weekend. -Steven Pro>

Protein skimmer Bob and Everyone: <"someone" in your service, named Anthony <wink>> Tested my phosphate and it is extremely low, so I am ruling that out as cause for my algae problem. Going to purchase a tap water filter, and protein skimmer.  <wow...two excellent and critical upgrades. Sure to temper the algae> I know you like the EuroReef, are there any others you would recommend. Like knowledge, everyone has a different opinion. I know you have seen or worked with others, so I value your opinion.  <in a nutshell... top shelf units like Euroreef and Tunze offer extreme reliability, ease of maintenance and high performance at the expense of cost. With a willingness to deal with slightly more maintenance or inconvenience, there are some excellent skimmers to be had at a great savings. Aqua C and Turboflotor would also be great skimmer choices> I would like to place in my sump area. I currently have an Amiracle wet/dry 200. I currently have a mag 9.5 pump in the sump area, with the heaters underneath the bio ball area. There is a large filter sponge in the sump area as well, I can take out if necessary since I have a filter pad at top of wet/dry.  <any skimmer will work best in the sump if it receives raw overflowing surface water (as in an overflow/skimmer box) before the Wet-dry filter. Feed a drilled box with the skimmer first by gravity and let the water overflow and continue downstream to the filter and sump for maximum performance and nutrient export ability> I would like to know the brands and approx. costs levels, so if I decide to move down from the most expensive get what you pay for) I have options.  <for this, may I suggest you try our message board and others for a wide scope of experienced consumers to help you make an informed decision. If you simply want my opinion and you intend to run this tank for more than three years... I would advise a Euroreef. You will get ever bit of what you pay for. As they say... good things are seldom cheap, and cheap things are seldom good> I was told that if I place the skimmer outside the sump I would need a very powerful pump to drive these units. Is that true? I only have so much room underneath the cabinet. <true for some... but many skimmers fit in sump just fine> Again thanks for your help and opinions. Mendy1220 <best regards, Anthony>

Protein skimmer, just 12 hours away from placing my order... I may have "confused" things with my last question, where I was asking for a BIASED decision on whether I should purchase a Aqua C EV-180 or a Euro-Reef CS6-2. I stated that I "might" be upgrading to a 200G later, but have since realized this probably isn't going to happen. So... for a 100G FOWLR with 5 medium sized messy eaters (trigs and puffs)... which skimmer would you purchase? <Mmm if not going to a much larger system just the EV-180. We used these on eight three hundred gallon coral frag culture "totes" with good success. The Euro-Reef line is excellent, but much more money and not that much % improvement in water quality in your application to warrant the cost> I'm aware that both are fine skimmers, and that you hate to pick favorites, but like I stated earlier, this is my 4th skimmer and I want to see a noticeable difference from the TF1000 I'm upgrading from. Thanks in advance... <You have my opinion. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Eclipse 3 Skimmer I was reading through your website...great info!!!....I was seeing that there were a bunch of people talking about retrofitting protein skimmers to the eclipse 3 tanks...what's the best skimmer to do this with??...has anyone made a skimmer just for the eclipse 3 yet?? <No particular one marketed for the Eclipse series, yet. I would ask the nice folks over at http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Their are several people on the message board that have successfully modified their tanks to accept skimmers. They would more easily be able to walk you through it.> Thanks for any info, John <Sorry, I could not be more helpful. -Steven Pro>

Archive Hi Bob, I've attempted to relocate some advise you wrote at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ regarding your preferring not to have a skimmer box in the corner of an aquarium. You suggested another approach. Would you be good enough to send me the link where I might find this discussion and any other reference you could suggest. Regards, Susan <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob is away... please browse the articles and FAQ's at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marindind2.htm. Best regards, Anthony>

Skimming Follow-up Anthony, I must not of asked the right question. <Actually, it was me, Steven Pro with the previous reply.> I was wondering if the skimmer that I have has any track record. And what are the industries feelings about it (CPR CY194 wet/dry with Skimmer). And no, there are no fish. Richard <I have no experience with this model, just the Bak-Pak's. I have been happy with these and CPR has a pretty decent reputation. I would not put it in the same class as Euro-Reef, though. -Steven Pro>

Quick Skimmer ? WWM Crew, <Anthony Calfo in your service> My father and I are in the process of setting up another FO 125 gallon tank that will be a community environment. On our already set up 125 gallon we have a Berlin Turbo Hang On that seems to be working very well, collecting a lot of dense green skimmate. We are wondering if a Turboflotor Multi is the way to go for the new tank, and if it's really worth the extra 25-30% in money when our Berlin seems to be working so well.  <if you are comfortable with that former model I would agree> The Turboflotor seems to be met with a lot of praise and if it would perform better then we are more than willing to fork over the extra dough (hell I'd pay for a Euro-reef but the 125 G will have no sump). <the latter being my choice> Any who, I guess what I'm asking for is more or less an off-the-record endorsement for the best hang on skimmer available today. Here, I'll even start you off <grin>: #1. #2. #3. Thanks again for this is the umpteenth time I've solicited your advice. Is it possible I'm actually a fan of the WWM Crew? Robert A. Nardizzi <Robert... the skimmer choice is really a personal one to some extent... each of us weighs the amount of work that we are willing or not willing to do against the price paid. DO review the archives and gather an intelligent consensus that suits your needs based on like FAQs. And yes... you may be a fan... but I am too <smile>. Anthony>

Need a New Skimmer Hi My tank is an overstocked 37 gal Eclipse reef, doing okay, but my protein skimmer is driving me crazy and I really need it to perform maximally to keep me out of serious trouble. It's a Prizm hang-on and for some reason has really deteriorated in skimming ability over the past month, I haven't changed my cleaning procedures (every 2 days or so) but I just can't seem to get the finicky little thing running well anymore. I took apart the whole thing and cleaned it, and if possible that made it worse. I'm also not convinced it EVER produced enough (max was 1-2oz every 4 days) I need a recommendation for a skimmer I can put on this sad little tank with no sump. I hope to move to a 130gal within the next year or so but at the rate I'm going we aren't going to make it that far. <I cannot give you a good recommendation to effectively skim your 37 and move to your 130. You can see all our comments or various models here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimmerfaqs.htm And, you may want to perform a Google search of the site. If someone asks about hair algae export and one of us discusses protein skimmers, the Q&A maybe filed under hair algae instead of protein skimmers.> Also, I have planned to order a Macro-algae package consisting of Tang Heaven Red (Gracilaria parvispora), Tang Heaven Green (Ulva sp.), Tang Heaven Gold (Gracilaria sp.), Feathery Caulerpa (C. sertularoides, 2 types - Long and Short) and Floating Sargassum from Indo-Pacific Sea Farms. Does this sound like a good choice for nitrate reduction? <Yes, but not all will probably thrive. More likely certain species will prefer your tank and conditions more than others. -Steven Pro> Tracy Creek

Protein skimmers I have had a 72 gallon salt tank for about six months with about 40 lbs of live rock. I have a Magnum 350 canister filter and am about to buy a protein skimmer. I asked someone at the local aquatics store about skimmers and tried to sell me a Red Sea Berlin type skimmer that ran about $275. Not to mention the pump which would run another $60 to $70. When I asked about the Cyclone which cost only $115 and already has a pump included, he didn't speak highly of it. Do you think he's trying to take me or what? Robert <I have never heard of a Cyclone skimmer (sounds like an Amiracle product from the name), but in general I believe you get what you pay for. I am a big fan of Tunze and Euro-Reef and have heard excellent things about Aqua-C. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer, Turbofloater1000 I have the Turboflotor1000 for my 75gal reef tank. It is placed in a 30gal sump. The rio2100 it came with is used to just aerate the water in the skimmer. What pump brand, size, and model do you suggest to pump water into the skimmer and what size tubing to attach the pump to the water intake on the T1000? Thanks <do chime in on WWM message board and beyond to see what the intelligent consensus is. I have little personal experience with this model although it has a very fine reputation once you get it tweaked. I believe Steve also replied to a similar question in the archives, although I cannot find it at a glance. Perhaps you'd care to search the archived FAQ's too. Kindly, Anthony>

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

AquaC Skimmer Hi guys, We found a Aqua-C Urchin Pro Skimmer that is used for $70. Right now we have a 35 gallon tank, and I know that the Urchin Pro is big, but we do plan on upgrading to a 75 gallon tank within the year. Is it possible to buy the urchin Pro and use it on the 35 gallon until we upgrade or should we go with the smaller Aqua-C Urchin? <No, do not buy this unit, just tell me where it is for sale. Just joking. I would pick this up in a minute, but I have a garage half-full of aquarium stuff and cannot park a car in there. I would still recommend you get the unit. It is a nice sump model skimmer. On your smaller tank, you may have to feed a little heavier and dose iodine a little more frequently.> Thanks for your advice, Marci <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Selection First off your website is fantastic at providing info! I purchased a Nautilus skimmer, seems this may have been a mistake, cannot get very good skimmate out of it even after going up one size and down one size in pumps. My question is this, I have read pretty good things about the Turboflotor 1000 but is it worth the extra money to buy a Aqua-C or a EuroReef? <For me, the easy of setup and operation/adjustment is worth the extra money.> Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Scott <Have a nice day. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Selection Hello Again, I have recently setup a Amiracle SR150 W/D filter and added additional sump space with a second acrylic box to accommodate my new Turboflotor 1000. The skimmer is feed with a Rio 800 pump. The pump valve is opened to approximately 2/3 - ? full open so I have estimated its input at approximately 80-100gph. For approximately 2 weeks I adjusted the different setting to make foam, but had not luck. Finally, I removed the pinwheel from the Rio 2100 and replaced it with the normal paddle wheel and added a small air pump to the air inlet on the skimmer. Once I added the air pump foam began to form instantly. It seems to me that the system is working but would like your input. In the funnel to the collection chamber there is a nice amount of dirty foam, but the foam is not in a constant column. The foam is pulsing up and down in the collection cup funnel forcing the foam in the collection cup. Does this sound correct or should there be a constant column moving up the funnel? <No, that sounds normal.> Do you have any suggestions on why I have to add the air pump to make the system work? <No, I don't, except I would add we get a lot of questions about this skimmer.> I don't have a problem running the air pump but I don't understand why I can't make the skimmer work without it. I've attached a couple pictures for your review; please give me feedback on the quality of foam and any suggestions on making the system more efficient. Stacey Hippen <The pictures you sent were helpful. The foam production appears normal. -Steven Pro>

New Protein Skimmer I am moving up to a 160 gallon tank and need a larger protein skimmer. I am considering the venturi style 24 inch AquaFoamaster made by Emperor Aquatics. Have you heard any negatives about this particular one? <Not that model in particular. The store I used to work for used Emperor Aquatics UV sterilizers on the central filtration system. They worked great, so we purchased a Emperor Aquatics commercial model protein skimmer. It barely skimmed anything. At the same time, Emperor sent us two hobbyist model skimmers, one a hang-on and the other a sump model. The hang-on would not actually hang on a tank. The fittings did not leave enough room to go around the tank trim. The sump model worked about as well as the commercial unit. Needless to say, my previous employer did not pickup the Emperor Aquatics line of skimmers. Their UV's are very well made, though.> Any suggestions on certain things to consider when purchasing a skimmer? <Size of the skimmer body, contact time inside the skimmer, size of bubbles produced, easy of maintenance, recommendations from people who own one, etc.> Do you recommend this particular one? <Based on my past experience, I cannot recommend it.> Do you recommend any other ones? <Euro-Reef's are very nice.> As always -- a big thanks for your help! Elizabeth K. Birdwell <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: New Protein Skimmer I WISH I could have a Euro-Reef! But, I just can't afford them right now. <I feel your pain.> I'm also looking at a Red Sea Berlin Turbo Skimmer -- do you have an opinion on this one? <I have not tried the Turbo version, a needle wheel design I believe vs. the old venturi models. I was not happy with the old model. I would look into Aqua-C's. They are supposed to be very good and are priced more reasonably. Try Marine Depot on the internet.> Thanks again! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Protein Skimmer Upgrade Hello my friends, I am seriously considering upgrading to the Aqua C EV180 Protein Skimmer based on your advice to so many aquarists. My setup is a 90 gallon reef with sump and 15 gallon refugium. Would this be over doing it in your opinion? <No, sounds good and leaves you with room to upgrade the tank in the future.> Short one today! Thank you as always. John <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer Opinion Hi WWM Crew ... Looking for an opinion on the AE Technologies ETSS 800 Gemini Dual Downdraft skimmer. Looking at package of skimmer, large auto waste container, Dual Air Filter and Iwaki 55 RLT pump for $595. What do you think? <Do read through the WWM site regarding skimmer selection, etc. I would buy a Euro-Reef over just about anything else.> Thanks as always for the great site and information. Beckie Joslin <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Used Protein Skimmer Most humble greetings great Oceanic Oracles.  <and an intoxicated howdy from one of the oracles with Jack Daniels on his breath <VBG>. Anthony Calfo in your service> I come upon bended knee to worship nightly at your WWM altar and hope the tidal wave of your vast knowledge will wash away much of my ignorance.  <speaking of ignorance... did you bring a lot of small dollar bills for the dancing girls?> All joking aside, this site truly is a knock-out and all hobbyists should be singing grateful paeans that you fellows are so willing to share your expertise and time.  <thank you my friend... it is very redeeming to hear> WWM really is a marine "wet dream". <OK... I'm not touching that one> I have ordered a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" which should be arriving soon and look forward to reading/studying it. <yes... one of my absolute favorite references!> After a 15-year hiatus in keeping a marine system I am about to set-up a new reef tank. I am not a total novice to many of the fundamentals but with so much having changed over the years I have a lot of catching up to do. Hence my nightly forays on your most excellent site. <The CMA will put a lot of this in perspective once you've read it> >From a local dealer I have ordered a 140 gallon glass aquarium (48-1/2"L, 24"W, 28-3/4"H) which will be filled with at least 50 to 100 lbs. of Live Rock.  <yes, more the better> The system will include a Tidepool 2, Mag Drive 7, Mag Drive 5 and 2 sets of BJB 4ft Retrofits with full-spectrum bulbs. He put me down for a Top Fathom TF110 protein skimmer.  <echhhh> However, he also mentioned he has some used protein skimmers, one was a Red Sea unit (don't know the type)  <I wouldn't take it for free...heehee. Actually, I would only use it on a fish system or other high bio-load system. I'm sure you can find a better skimmer. Try Aqua C, Euroreef, Turboflotor... even CPR> that he said was very popular at one time but needs periodic cleaning of a particular part to keep running properly. Should I stay with the Top Fathom or opt for the used Red Sea?  <neither> Or do you have a better recommendation. <seriously, yes... above> Does this mix of equipment seem adequate to properly support a 140 gallon tank that will house some corals and about 8 fish and some assorted scavengers <you don't even need the Tidepool... a fine product, but more live rock would serve you better in this particular application> or do I need to kick it up a notch or two in certain areas? <the lighting will limit you to moderate need invertebrates. Most soft corals, and Zoantharians will be fine under it... but resist clams and SPS corals. If you must have some, keep them in the top 8" of water> Also, would a 12 gallon Eclipse aquarium be adequate for a QT/Hospital tank? <sounds very fine for most fishes, yes> Thanks for any guidance you guys can give me. Best regards to all, Diane (down on the bayous in Louisiana) <oh, my... Louisiana. Now I'm hungry for crayfish. Best regards, Anthony>

Protein Skimmer Problems I have a protein skimmer (Amiracle wet/dry with hang-on skimmer) that used a Rio 600 powerhead to produce thick black/green waste at a rate of about 1/2 cup every 3 weeks. <Very low production.> The tank is a reef 72 gallons with 3 fish, 100 snails/hermits, and about 10 soft corals. After reading some articles on your page, it stuck me that my protein may not be skimming enough compare to some similar setups on your page. <You are correct.> Is there a standard of waste that a skimmer should be producing? <You want to strive for 1/2 to 1 cup of dark skimmate produced daily.> Anyway, I decided to step up my powerhead to a RIO 800. Since then the waste isn't as dark (black/green) but it is more clear and watery (brownish to green tinted water, no sludge). <Dark tea to coffee is best.> It has a lot of mist go straight thru the air hole in the top of the collection cup & it also tends to build up with this liquid at the top of the skimmer where the air hole is and over flow. Is this proper or am I better of going back to the Rio 600? <I would use the recommended unit.> Amiracle standard for this skimmer is the RIO 600 but they also recommend using a 400GPH water pump on there filter for a 72 gallon tank. Bob Fenner says use at least 700 GPH on this size tank, which I tend to agree with. So you can see why I don't trust Amiracle recommendations. <There is a world of difference between skimmers and W/D's. Use the Rio 600 for best performance. I would also take the time while the pump is off to clean it thoroughly, including running the pump in 5 gallons of warm tapwater with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to remove deposits. Also, clean out the airline and the rest of the skimmer and see if your production does not increase in a few days.> Hope I explained myself clearly. Thanks for your time. -Anj <Loud and clear. You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Skimmers & Calcium Reactors I am in the process of setting up a 180 reef tank and need to get a new skimmer. The skimmer I currently have makes use of an external air pump and bubble stone, which I don't think will be anywhere near good enough for my new system. After reading through all your FAQ's and articles on skimmers, I've narrowed it down to 2 choices, the ETSS Evolution 750 ($344 w/pump) and the Berlin Classic ($169 w/pump). It seems that both of these skimmers will handle my tank easily, and from what I have read both do a good job. Is the extra $175 for the ETSS really worth it? <I would not recommend either. There are far better choices, namely Euro-Reef and Aqua-C.> Am I correct that both these skimmers will work GREAT with my 180? <I would say marginal.> Are there any maintenance issues that should effect my decision? <The Euro-Reef is incredibly easy to clean.> The same goes for calcium reactors. There are many good ones out there, all with good reviews, but there is a $70 price difference on the 2 that I am leaning towards, the Knop C ($249) and the K2R ($419). Any preference for the 180g? <Both come with Eheim pumps. The K2R is a good bit larger, capable of holding more media, which means it will go longer before needing opened and added to. Either will serve you well.> Any advice is greatly appreciated. Will <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Do I need a bigger skimmer? <what kind of question is that to an aquarist <G>! Does any man need more tools... bigger tools... more toys? Heck ya!!!> You were a great deal of help to me about 5-6 months ago with an Anemonia problem I was having in a newly set-up 135G. The answer to that problem was simply a Raccoon Butterfly - this fish wiped out the entire population of pest anemone (60-70) in less than a week. I am now enjoying the rewards of a great looking tank thanks to your input. <excellent to hear> Anyway, my reason for writing today is one of a skimming nature. I will refresh your memory on my setup. 135G FOWLR and a few soft corals, 4.5" DSB , 150# LR, 2x 175wt. M/H & 1x 96wt. PC, 30G sump w/AquaC EV90 and next week a 1/3hp chiller- a must for those nice toasty Texas summers. The AquaC skimmer is a work horse and is constantly pulling muck out of my system.  <very fine skimmers... I/we recommend them highly and often> My tank parameters are stable and happy. Because I never seem to have any skimmer effluent downtime (always producing),  <and let this be a lesson to other FAQ post readers... this is how any good skimmer should operate... daily skimmate! There is almost no such thing as a tank that cannot produce skimmate daily: especially if the tank has fishes that get fed> I am wondering if this skimmer should be upgraded. <not necessarily/at all based on this reason alone... this is how a good skimmer should work> According to AquaC, this skimmer is a little small for my system. I am prepared to replace the skimmer if needed but realize the next stop on larger/ more efficient skimmers will start at about $400 and up.  <actually a better solution for this and any tank is TWO skimmers (small/med OK) that are cleaned alternately so as to try and ensure uninterrupted skimmate production> I do not wish to purchase a cheap mediocre skimmer or one that will need replacement again should I choose to start a larger tank.  <agreed> I am considering a EuroReef, ETS, Aerofoamer or another AquaC assuming that it is a cost-effective/necessary upgrade.  <although the Aerofoamer is very good... I strongly favor the Euroreef (highest quality/durability/reliability... although you pay for it) and the Aqua C (very reliable and great value for the money spent)> Could you please give me your opinion and / or suggestions ? <definitely a second skimmer and it does not have to be huge> Thank you for your assistance. Have a wonderful day. Chris <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Tunze skimmers Hello once again, I have a 150 gallon FOWLR tank filtered by an Eheim 2228 filter. My problem is that when originally put up I put the tank too close to the wall (2.5") clearance to be exact. Moving tank is not an option. I want a good skimmer but my choices are limited. I emailed before and you guys suggested a remora but even that is too wide for a hang-on. The LFS now tell me that they found a skimmer that would work called Tunze.  <an excellent top shelf skimmer from Germany. I have personally owned a half dozen of them through the years> He said that it mounts on top of tank but knew nothing else about them. He suggested either a Tunze universal automatic 230/3, Tunze automatic 0235/3 or a Tunze Comline automatic 3130/2. Could you tell me which skimmer would fit my system and how exactly they mount. inside tank? hang on?  <they are to fit inside the tank at the surface...rail mounted and/or with hang-on clips... do review the specs on site to measure which one you can fit at your surface. Excellent skimmers and very popular with the Europeans but not so much with the Americans less charmed by Techy tanks. This skimmer will block some light where it sits at the surface... do consider if you have reef lights or canopy> My LFS for some reason has no idea how they operate.  <high precision plastics/molded Venturi... very good after you get it tweaked (tricky at first but almost no adjustments after that!!! Just empty the cup... VERY low maintenance> Before I invest in one I want to get your ok that it would work in my situation and if they are even good skimmers. I emailed Tunze over a week ago with this question but they have not answered.  <parts and replies are hard to get from them it seems> Thank you in advance www.jonuh10@aol <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Protein Skimmer Selection Hello (whoever is answering today), <Hello, Steven Pro in this afternoon.> I have a 75g saltwater tank I've had running for about 4 months. Recently, I noticed that my protein skimmer (DIY air-stone driven) is not producing much of anything. Instead of trying to build/fix this, I've decided to buy a new protein skimmer. I've narrowed down my choices to the Turboflotor 1000, Aggressor, or an AquaClear from the LFS (other two are mail-order). Was wondering if you could give me any information on the quality of these skimmers. <We have written much on various skimmers and our preferred choices here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimselfaqs.htm and on the subsequent linked pages.> Thanks in advance for your assistance, you maintain a great, very helpful site (I scan the daily FAQ's daily). <Glad to hear it. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer First of all I have to mention you have a great web site. I have learned more from it then anywhere else, I wish I would have found it sooner. <Anthony Calfo in your service and in total agreement <G>> I have a 55gal tank. It's been set up for 8 months. When I purchased the setup no one mentioned the need for a protein skimmer.  <holy crap! That's like a Lincoln dealer forgetting to mention that you need a leopard spotted throw pillow for the back seat! (Heehee... at least in my pimpmobile). I don't see how either can be done! Ha!> I have recently had an algae bloom (it has taken over the tank).  <I'm only surprised that you made it all the way to eight months before it happened> So far it hasn't had any negative effect on fish or corals, but the tank looks horrible. I am assuming this is from nitrates building up from the bio balls.  <that's just the tip of the iceberg... so many dissolved and concentrated organics are acting like fertilizer right now> I have read many FAQs on your website, and it seems like a Skimmer would be the answer. <I would never recommend that a new aquarist run a tank without one!> If that is the correct answer I was hoping you could give me a couple of good skimmer choices for my setup. 55 gal tank w/ 10 gal sump, Wet/Dry system w/ bio balls 2 Rio pumps for circulation, Approx. 65lbs of Live Rock. <Aqua C has a nice and narrow skimmer that hangs on the back of the aquarium... Euroreef is a fine choice for a beefy heavy duty sump model... and Tunze has a great rail mount unit for the top of the aquarium when the sump or hang on models are not convenient. None of these skimmers are cheap... but a good skimmer is one of the most critical investments in a marine aquarium... and remember: Good things are seldom cheap, and cheap things are seldom good> Also what sort of clean up crew should I add to remove the algae that has taken over the tank. I currently have 2 tuxedo Urchins 10 small snails, and 2 emerald crabs. <Hmmm... depends on the type of algae. Do scan through photo references to ID the nuisance species and then you can address the necessary herbivores (so many specialize)> Thanks for your help Will<best regards, Anthony>

Sea Clone Questions  Hi Guys -  <cheers, mate! Anthony Calfo in your service> My daughter bought / rescued a 70 gallon predator tank that came with a SeaClone on it - When I helped her move it from the rather inexperienced lady's house - she had assured us all was fine - it was not functioning at all. With a little cleaning and some tweaking it is producing foam - however it is somewhat to clear for my liking -  <yes... some say it is an inherent design flaw> Her fish load (all bought as juveniles according to the lady) Zebra lion, 18" snowflake moray, 5" Niger Trigger, 7" Lunare wrasse, 3" aqua popcorn Coral Beauty and lastly a very belligerent tomato clown again popcorn. I think because they were all introduced together at a young age they coexist "OK" for now.  <wow... an interesting mix to say the least> My first order until I can purchase a new skimmer for her is to get this one functioning better  <there's an old saying... "You can't polish a turd". Just know that you and all WWM FAQ fans can always count on me for such lucid and high brow wisdoms> (unfortunately for her she caught Dad in process of building a new 55gallon reef $$$) - Would you guys have any suggestions - I went to their website and from the look of it they believe themselves to have invented the wheel (I say that because they only had a few issues/solutions displayed).  <heehee... yep> Anyhow Dad is broke for the moment and needs to make this work for a month or so until I can get her a quality Aqua Sea or CPR unit.  <agreed on your inclinations... in the meantime, may I suggest careful feedings and extra water changes. Very helpful and will buy you a couple of months easily> This is a priority for me as the guys lived in somewhat abysmal conditions prior to our involvement - When I broke her tank down it stank up her house there was so much excess protein and crap in it. To make it short here all is clean now - I put the largest penguin I had spare on it in addition to the penguin single she had with it and tuned it up - All have responded with improved color and more active behaviors. Remarkably they were all in good health - I politely suggested to the lady we purchased this from to check out Bob's book and WWM site prior to indulging her desire for pretty fish again. <very thoughtful of you...seriously! Good to offer education with the hope of improving/saving fellow aquarists from attrition> Any help you can offer would be great - Thanks in advance. <always welcome... and sorry for no revelation about the skimmer, but I don't believe that it is worth your time to try to modify it short of building your own all new DIY skimmer from scratch> By the way - The new look is nice on the site, my wife can now research things a lot easier. Regards, Ric Raley  <yes... thank you, and agreed. Big Props to Zo in particular for many hours spent. Jas, Barb et al too! Kindly, Anthony>

Re: Sea Clone Questions I had the feeling that would be the response so no great surprise there. I have heard nothing good about the product. And Yes I thought it a rather eclectic mix of fishes to say the least. The lady we purchased it from was conscientious minded, but rather uninformed and unfortunately she went to the rather unscrupulous (sp.) LFS -  <yes... it is too often the problem. Good hearted aquarists that don't have the good fortune to find reliable counsel. If there is a local aquarium society in the area, please to attend and recommend to others> She was sold a single penguin with the SeaClone to be adequate for filtration and base rock as prime -  <arghhhhh!> I pointed her in the direction of some quality dealers and recommended you guys as a source of information.  <very well... kudos to you> I try to do my bit for things as I in the last year switched over to salt from fresh - Had great success with the fresh even before there was a wealth of information just from observing the local ponds and things and then transferred that observation over to salt with the help of Bob, Tullock and the rest of the guy's who show no disdain for the newcomer.  <as it should be> Fortunately I make semiconductor chips for a living so mechanical, plumbing, chemical, electrical are all in the bag. <very cool... you have great advantages as an aquarist!> I do have a question for you I have been unable to get your book - I have Julian's books and was hoping to find yours - Can you point me in the right direction. <hmmm... yes, and thank you. From vendors here at WWM we have Di's aquatics, Custom Aquatic, Reef Splendor, and Flying Fish Express> Ric <best regards, Anthony>

Skimmer Suggestions Hello gentlemen, <Steven Pro here this afternoon.> Thank you for your prompt response in the past. I have a tough question this time. I have a 150gal fish only w/approx 65lbs of live rock. An Eheim 2228 canister filter and 2 penguin powerheads for circulation. My problem is that when I originally set up tank I made the rookie mistake of placing it so close to the wall I only have 3 inches of clearance behind it. I want a protein skimmer that either has to be inside of the tank or 3 inches of clearance or less for a hang-on. I really appreciate your help. Several suggestions would help, so I can shop around. Thanks, Jim <Take a look at the Aqua-C Remora models. They have a slim profile. -Steven Pro>

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

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

Queen Skimmer (Chinese knock-off?) Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am starting up a 120 gal reef tank and have just placed 120lb of live rock into it for cycling (3 days ago). I bought a "skimmer package" which consists of a Rio 1700 power head with a "Queen" skimmer. I think it's a Chinese copy of a European model. Anyway, I can only get liquid scum out of it (brownish foul stuff) with very limited foam output. The instructions it came with (if you can call them that) just talked about the "super billion bubbles making clean with power"!! A poor translation of the Chinese no doubt (reminds me of when Honda's were cheap and powered by lawnmower engines). <hmmm... regulate and restrict the air flow slightly or diminish the inflow water slightly (use a gate valve) to try to collect drier skimmate (more coffee colored... not tea colored> PH is just up from 7.9. Ammonia is 5 + ppm. <that pH needs to be way higher! 8.3-8.6 for reef invertebrates if you have any hopes> The unit can be tuned through a water output knob and I keep the water/bubble layer midway up the riser, although I have tried a few positions with the same result. Have I bought a dud?  <little experience here in the States with this skimmer> What is your best recommendation for a skimmer for me? <A Euroreef (German) hands down gets my vote!> I attach a photo for reference. Many thanks for a great site, MJP
<best regards, Anthony>

Queen Skimmer II Bob/Anthony, <Steven in today.> Thanks for the answers. I mention a low PH (below) and expect this to lower as my live rock cycles. I do intend to perform an 80% change once my Ammonia drops which should bring the PH back up to 8.2 - 8.4. Anything abnormal here? <The lower your pH goes, the more life you are going to loss on your liverock, the more ammonia that is going to be created. I prefer to over skim when curing liverock and to perform water changes when testing shows it is needed. In this case, I would do a water change now. -Steven Pro>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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