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DvBrien
04/06/2016, 07:15 PM
Since the search feature has been disabled... (great idea) smh... I'd like to get some feedback on the guys that have shut their skimmer down.

I am changing 20% of my water every Sunday. The amount of Skimate I was getting wasn't worth the cost of 100 watts 24/7...

I'm concerned if there are any long term issues I should be concerned with since I am replacing 99% of my water after rough 5 weeks.

150 Gallon Mixed.

TheYellowSnow
04/06/2016, 07:19 PM
So confused. No long term. It's actually better. The skimmer allows you to do less water changes. Electricity > salt +water

DvBrien
04/06/2016, 07:49 PM
Water changer are essential to add trace elements without dosing. 160 gallon bucket / 30 gallons weekly= $10 which over the course of a year is $520 / 10 buckets of salt.
It's not cheap but the difference of polyp extension I've seen since starting this 3 weeks ago is night and day. Growth is noticable sometimes on a daily basis. If I could find a really good skimmer that wouldn't consume so much energy I may switch back. But right now things are flourishing...

71xlch
04/06/2016, 09:01 PM
Do you test those trace elements? Are you sure they are being used up between water changes? There are a million ulns tanks with great polyp extension. That being said I toyed with the idea of running skimmer 12 hours and feeding less. In the end I just got a smaller skimmer. Lookup some dc skimmers way better on power.

epstein
04/08/2016, 02:44 PM
why not run your skimmer on a schedule with an apex?

jason2459
04/08/2016, 03:07 PM
What kind of skimmer are you running? There's LOTS of skimmers around now that draw a lot less.

Like an AquaMaxx EM300 would do well on at a 150. Draws around 30 watts. Or if you want a little higher end an ATB 840 would be perfect.

carrots
04/08/2016, 03:37 PM
I have been running a 125 gallon BB mixed reef for over 10 years with no dosing. I do 5 gallon water changes almost every weekend. Most acros are slow growing but the montiporas and all soft corals are very happy.

Timfish
04/08/2016, 08:01 PM
I quit using skimmers in '97 and haven't regretted it. Here's links to some of my skimmerless tanks:

23 yeqr old system http://youtu.be/KhcRz50cV0s
500 system http://youtu.be/_Uf5IyXvajg
240 filterless system http://youtu.be/-eCQSVdqBQA
17 year old system http://youtu.be/5AnmQXmE8d0
Sump of 17 year old system http://youtu.be/WDj0daKV2B8
Green Slimer Timeline https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyM6Y39iQ8M

Feldman, et al, did an intersting series of articles looking at GAC, skimmers and TOC (Total Organic Carbon). (I skip over a lot of the description of how the experiments were set up.)

Granular Activated Carbon Pt 1
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/1/aafeature1
Granular Activated Carbon Pt 2
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/2/aafeature1
Total Organic Carbon Pt 1
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/8/aafeature3
Total Organic Carbon Pt 2
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/9/aafeature2
Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 1
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2009/1/aafeature2
Protein Skimmer Performance, Pt 2
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/1/aafeature
Skimmate Analysis
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/2/aafeature
Bacterial Counts in Reef Aquarium Water
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/3/aafeature

Feldman's research showing skimmers are not good at removing TOC, also called DOM (Dissolved Organic Matter) got me looking into TOC closer. Unfortunately we as hobbiest cannot test for it but TOC can be divided into POC (Particulate Organic Carbon), about 10%, and DOC (Dissolved Organic Carbon), about 90%. The DOC can be crudely divided into Labile or easily consumed by microbes; Semi-Labile, less easily consumed by microbes and Refractory or very resistant to being broken down or removed. The refractory portion of DOC is roughly 2/3rds the total of DOC. Some of the papers I've found include:

DOC released by corals promotes autotrophic (good) microbes, DOC released by algae promotes heterotrophic (bad) microbes. (We need to think of corals in our systems as autotrophs)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23303369
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719129/

DOC released by algae kills corals, not phosphate or nitrogen
http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps2006/314/m314p119.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16796574

Sponges "eat" DOC and convert it into DIC (alklainity)
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279061640_2013_deGoeij_Science_Sponge_loop
http://www.rug.nl/research/portal/files/14555035/13completethesis.pdf

My own experience over the decades has been small frequent water changes are what's essential to keeping reef aquariums for decades, not skimmers. Now with the science now showing skimmers do not remove a significant portion of DOC, skimmers are likely removing only the labile types of DOC which includes the good types released by corals that promote autotrophic microbes and is food for sponges, and skimmers do alter the microbial populations in systems compared to pristine reefs I'll argue they may be irrelevant or even detrimental to the long term success (as in decades and decades) of reef systems.

jason2459
04/08/2016, 08:43 PM
....

I'll argue they may be irrelevant or even detrimental to the long term success (as in decades and decades) of reef systems.

Well, I hope PaulB's system doesn't crash soon since it's been up for decades and decades and decades and decades running an evil skimmer. [emoji4]

No doubt you have some beautiful tanks. No doubt it can be done. No doubt zero water changes can possibly be successful too (GlennF).

Many of the articles above can be twisted any which way to support a cause.

Pick your poison and stick with it I say. That IMO is the most important thing to creating success.

Timfish
04/15/2016, 08:16 PM
Well, I hope PaulB's system doesn't crash soon since it's been up for decades and decades and decades and decades running an evil skimmer . . . Many of the articles above can be twisted any which way to support a cause. . .

:) I'm quite familiar with PaulB's impressive accomplishment and hopefully I will be lagging behind him by a couple decades for a long time to come. It seems to me though, you've done a fine job of "twisting" his thread by leaving out Paul's skimmer would be considered anemic by the standards of many "Reef Gurus" and on a regular basis Paul is collecting stuff from tidepools and adding to his system, introducing new microbes as well.


. . . Pick your poison and stick with it I say. That IMO is the most important thing to creating success.

I certainly agree consistency is critical to long term success but some poisons kill faster than others. More and more research is showing how critical the correct microbial population is for the health of reef ecosystems. For those interested a good very readable book to start with is Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas". The kindle version is $10.

jason2459
04/15/2016, 08:25 PM
:) I'm quite familiar with PaulB's impressive accomplishment and hopefully I will be lagging behind him by a couple decades for a long time to come. It seems to me though, you've done a fine job of "twisting" his thread by leaving out Paul's skimmer would be considered anemic by the standards of many "Reef Gurus" and on a regular basis Paul is collecting stuff from tidepools and adding to his system, introducing new microbes as well.




I certainly agree consistency is critical to long term success but some poisons kill faster than others. More and more research is showing how critical the correct microbial population is for the health of reef ecosystems. For those interested a good very readable book to start with is Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas". The kindle version is $10.
I don't believe I was twisting anything to push any certain way. I did ask what he was using and suggesting there's many alternatives out there now as it sounded like a pretty power hungry skimmer.

I don't believe success lies in any single item like a skimmer. I, however, see nothing negative still in using a skimmer and in my situation only positive in regards to the aeration more so then the skimming of extra stuff in the water. There's a lot of "stuff"

Which circles right into those microbes. I also believe they are extremely important and necessary part of the system. I don't believe my system is limited at all in that regard.

Thanks for the book recommendation I'm definitely going to check it out.

onetrickpony
04/27/2016, 08:18 AM
TimFish
From the articles, GAC is better at removing DOC and that Protein skimmers max out about 30% TOC/DOM.

Carbon dosing and protein skimmers
“Finally, mechanical filtration in the form of skimming but not GAC does provide an effective means of bacteria export, at least up to a point. It appears likely that some types of bacteria are indeed "skimmable", but others are not. Thus, skimming inadvertently provides severe (?) evolutionary pressure to skew the tank's resident water column bacteria population to favor the "non-skimmable" cohort.” (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/3/aafeature)

For protein skimmers to work as a form of nutrient export you would have to regularly add bacteria that are skimmable for nutrient export.

Would GAC remove or mitigate the DOC released by algae (Algae scrubber) for nutrient export?

What would you change to this list in setting up tank today, from the articles and your experiences? Sand, Rock, Coral, Sponges, water changes, running GAC, GFO,and Biomass to uptake DOC.

Thanks
Ken