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dingodan87
12/06/2016, 09:50 PM
This may be obvious to some but i am confused what benefits skimming has in an nps tank if nitrates and phosphates are handled by other methods. Studies show skimmate is composed mostly of food, bacteria and other things that are food to nps corals. I have been running a skimmerless nps tank using a large ats, gfo, gac and carbon dosing. So far corals seem ok, flame scallops and tunicates have been thriving and above all nitrates at 0! Phosphates 0.5. Daily feeding 45ml shellfish diet, 15 ml rotifeast and some fauna marin foods 24/7 in a 90g tank, 150g total water volume with sump & refugium. Are there other benefits to skimming aside from preventing excess organics breaking down into nitrate? (Steady ph and oxygen is also handled by the ats)

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dingodan87
12/06/2016, 09:53 PM
Been goin over a year now only coral lost was a large sclero

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herring_fish
12/07/2016, 12:36 PM
I unhooked my skimmer 25 years ago. I used and ATO for many many years on my old tank and it’s going on my new one as well. I used to feed about a half cup of food or more every day.

dingodan87
12/07/2016, 05:46 PM
I unhooked my skimmer 25 years ago. I used and ATO for many many years on my old tank and it’s going on my new one as well. I used to feed about a half cup of food or more every day.
What nps corals are you keeping?

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herring_fish
12/08/2016, 02:39 PM
Unfortunately, I had an ATO problem that caused a total crash while I was on vacation. I am outfitting a new 180 gallon to replace my 130 which is going in the garage as a refugium. This time around I bought an Apex so that I don’t revisit that sad phone call. I am re-installing the old ATS now.

In the old days we could not keep many NPS. We called what we were going for filter feeders. …but as a general response to the ATS only comments/question, I feed as much as I wanted of powders, live and frozen food.

I even dosed fish fertilizer when I felt that the scrubber was running too lean. I never, ever had N or P problems. I did skimming at first and it worked great but I wanted to keep the food in the water column as long as possible. A lot settled out into the sand so I had lots of critters as well.
I played around with Vodka and just about everything else and all that they did was interfere with my scrubber’s operation, production and health. I had a big scrubber that was over sized so after “playing the field” I cut them all out and just went with the ATS.

I don’t say this to suggest that you do the same, quite the contrary. All I am saying it that it can be done. I did it and it worked …FOR ME!

What I find is that anything will work as long as you take it slow, one addition at a time, while watching out for one discipline starving the other. Don’t forget which one is primary (ATS, Skimmer, Zeolite, GFO …what ever) when you fine tune by playing with everything else.

dingodan87
12/08/2016, 03:16 PM
I know first hand how efficient ats can be if sized properly. My concern is if theres something else im missing that nps corals require a skimmer for. Chemical warfare, harmful byproducts and waste from corals or bacteria etc..? I do run carbon. Ive heard ozone is beneficial but no coral is worth risking health of my kids. Ive gone back and forth in my decision to run my skimmer and actually havent really noticed a difference good or bad. Biggest polyp extension i ever got actually is when i added an extra 25g of clean water to the system with the addition of my detritus settling tank. Not sure what to make of that.

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herring_fish
12/08/2016, 04:00 PM
Yes many corals can compete with chemical warfair. I did put carbin in a sock and place it in the water sream. I didn't pump water through it.

calk me Q
12/22/2016, 08:03 PM
actually i still remember an opinion raised by someone "berlin is probably a wrong path" and i really advocate it. Skimmer is only a tool to handle poor water quality which had long been a problem before SPS was even sustaibalbe. However, using skimmer will havoc any possible floating food in the water which is a huge amount in the real ocean that many NPS rely on. Remember, skimmer is just a tool for specific use, it is essential in most places but useless or even detrimental in minor cases such as NPS keeping.

reefzone123
12/31/2016, 03:24 AM
Skimming keep the water clean and doesn't allow for the build up of excess nutrients. They also oxygenate the water very effectively. Every tank benefits with a skimmer and is a pivotal part to any reef tank. They can pick up extra bioload you may not be aware of, say if you lose a fish, coral, or part of clean up crew. Sure you can run skimmerless, but there's more obstacles and increased maintenance. Imo, every reef tank does better overall with a skimmer.

SantaMonica
01/03/2017, 09:15 PM
Biggest polyp extension i ever got actually is when i added an extra 25g of clean water to the system with the addition of my detritus settling tank. Not sure what to make of that.

The extra water probably stirred up food particles, that were then finally able to get to the corals. I've seen this happen often when people just stir the sand. The trick is to get this to happen constantly.

Skimming keep the water clean and doesn't allow for the build up of excess nutrients

Skimmers don't actually remove any nutrients. They only remove food particles. If you put a skimmer in RODI and add ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate, the skimmer will do nothing. No foam, nothing.

They can pick up extra bioload you may not be aware of, say if you lose a fish, coral, or part of clean up crew

Unfortunately relying on a skimmer to help with a dead fish would be a very false security. As the animal decomposes into ammonia/ammonium, the skimmer would remove nothing, because ammonia is not an organic, and skimmers don't remove ammonia. The skimmer would remove nothing, and the ammonia from the fish would kill your other animals.

dingodan87
01/05/2017, 10:40 AM
The extra water probably stirred up food particles, that were then finally able to get to the corals. I've seen this happen often when people just stir the sand. The trick is to get this to happen constantly.



Skimmers don't actually remove any nutrients. They only remove food particles. If you put a skimmer in RODI and add ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate, the skimmer will do nothing. No foam, nothing.



Unfortunately relying on a skimmer to help with a dead fish would be a very false security. As the animal decomposes into ammonia/ammonium, the skimmer would remove nothing, because ammonia is not an organic, and skimmers don't remove ammonia. The skimmer would remove nothing, and the ammonia from the fish would kill your other animals.
Interestingly that wasnt the case as the 25g was added by means of an external tank in the drain line. The only things the corals should have felt is a slight change in chemistry, clarity and maybe temperature.

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Tripod1404
01/05/2017, 12:25 PM
The extra water probably stirred up food particles, that were then finally able to get to the corals. I've seen this happen often when people just stir the sand. The trick is to get this to happen constantly.



Skimmers don't actually remove any nutrients. They only remove food particles. If you put a skimmer in RODI and add ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate, the skimmer will do nothing. No foam, nothing.



Unfortunately relying on a skimmer to help with a dead fish would be a very false security. As the animal decomposes into ammonia/ammonium, the skimmer would remove nothing, because ammonia is not an organic, and skimmers don't remove ammonia. The skimmer would remove nothing, and the ammonia from the fish would kill your other animals.


Skimmers do remove nutrients. They not only remove food particles, they also remove proteins(especially hydrophobic ones), amino acids and pelagic microorganisms such as free floating bacteria and algae. Food particles, proteins and amino acids are all classical "nutrients", if not removed they will eventually be converted to nitrogenous and phosphorous wastes such as nitrate, and phosphate by biological activity. Microorganisms on the other hand are not classical nutrients but skimmer constantly removes those from the water column and makes nutrient export exactly like harvesting macro-algae from a refugium does.

About the dead dish case, you are both right and wrong. Having a skimmer does not mean you can leave a dead fish in tank but it will earn you some time and speeds up the recovery. As an organisms decomposes, a large bacteria population start to consume it. Bacteria degrade most of the proteins of the fish into its building block amino acids. These amino acids are either used to built bacterial proteins and eventually more bacteria or they are further degraded to be used as building blocks for other molecules, glucogenic amino acids can be converted to sugars and ketogenic amino acids can be converted to fatty acids(lipids). Neither sugars or lipids contain nitrogen (unless modified), so the nitrogen of the amino acids is expelled by the bacteria as ammonia. Amino acids, or the sugars and fatty acids derived form them, can also be used for energy production and again if it contains nitrogen, it will be released as ammonia. Now skimmer cannot remove ammonia or nitrite or nitrate or phosphate but it can remove microorganisms, proteins and amino acids. As the bacteria population on the dead fish grow, some of the bacteria leave (or forced to leave by flow or competition) the dead body, these can be removed by the skimmer. Ammonia and phosphate and their downs stream products such as nitrite and nitrate fuel the growth of other microorganisms, (mainly algae), these can also be removed by the skimmer. Lastly some proteins and amino acids of the dead fish simply dissolve into water as the fish cells lose their integrity, skimmer can also remove some of those. So yes skimmer do help to deal with a dead fish.

SantaMonica
01/05/2017, 08:41 PM
We are using different definitions of nutrients. Mine is ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and CO2. Yours is "nutrition", i.e., organics.

In bio studies, it's mostly termed that nutrition is "organics", and the organics are re-mineralized by bacteria into (my) "nutrients".

Regardless, if you are going to remove (your) "organics", it's probably easier to just feed less of the organics in the first place. But you still need to remove (my) nutrients.

dingodan87
01/06/2017, 01:07 PM
For the purpose of this thread feeding less is not an option

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