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View Full Version : To skim or not to skim...


AquaAdam
09/16/2017, 12:48 PM
I've had my 60 gal. cube tank set up for a year and a half now and I have never had a protein skimmer. I had a small 10 gal. homemade sump which cracked recently and I ended up getting the eshopps rs-100, which I am very happy with. Since the new sump has a lot more room, I have been thinking about getting a protein skimmer for it. One side of me wants to, and the other side says you've made it this far why spend the money on it if you don't really need it. This is the only reef tank I've ever owned so I have no experience with protein skimmers.

If I was to get one for the sump, and my budget was $300 what should I be looking at? Has anyone else gone skimmerless to skimmer and been happy that they did?

Interested to hear your thoughts on this.

SAT
09/16/2017, 01:16 PM
The principal value of a protein skimmer is nutrient export: any nutrients (particularly phosphates) you add through food will either be removed by some export mechanism or they will accumulate in the tank. Other export mechanisms include growing and harvesting algae (e.g., Chaetomorpha), filter media of various sorts, and water changes.

To tell whether you have a problem in this area, and should add some additional mechanism, I suggest you monitor the phosphates and nitrates in your water. As long as the nutrient levels are stable at an acceptably low level, don't worry about it.

Scurvy Dawg
09/16/2017, 04:39 PM
Skim

Once you get a good skimmer and see the crud it takes out of your tank, you'll wonder why anyone wouldn't want one.

That being said, there are plenty of people that don't skim. To each his own.

UTCReefer
09/16/2017, 05:16 PM
I skim and recommend it for sure. It also aerates your water a ton which is probably a benefit as well

Harbour
09/16/2017, 06:41 PM
Search for skimmerless tanks. You'll find some beautiful tanks without skimmers. I ran a 55 skimmerless tank for many years. Currently running a nano skimmerless - SPS and Acan tank. With Orbit marine LEDs.

Harbour

heathlindner25
09/16/2017, 06:49 PM
Search for skimmerless tanks. You'll find some beautiful tanks without skimmers. I ran a 55 skimmerless tank for many years. Currently running a nano skimmerless - SPS and Acan tank. With Orbit marine LEDs.

Harbour

Pictures?

on the spot
09/17/2017, 01:08 PM
I've had my 60 gal. cube tank set up for a year and a half now and I have never had a protein skimmer...
If I was to get one for the sump, and my budget was $300 what should I be looking at?..

I'd look through the equipment forum for discussions on skimmers. You want to find talk of the longevity of the pumps, shortcomings in design, and if the buyers would buy or not the same one again.

I won't suggest one at the moment, haven't replaced a skimmer in years. Haven't sold any of them either. just in case and whatnot.

HTH

on the spot
09/17/2017, 01:11 PM
...As long as the nutrient levels are stable at an acceptably low level, don't worry about it.

this is good advice.

rtparty
09/17/2017, 02:48 PM
What kind of bioload? What kind of corals are you hoping to keep? Do you feed heavy? What are your nitrate and phosphate readings?

Finally, what size is your skimmer compartment?

Timfish
09/17/2017, 03:27 PM
Don't waste your money. Read Feldman's research on skimmers, they don't remove as much as people think (I've posted links on my 20 year old skimmerless system thread (http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2601390&highlight=skimmerless)). That they dramaticly alter the microbial populations makes them very questionable in light of the research showing how critical microbes are to the health of a reef ecosystem. (For more info start with Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas".)

Here's some other systems Iv'e setup and maintained:
https://youtu.be/Oaf3pCvBzX0
https://youtu.be/-eCQSVdqBQA
https://youtu.be/_Uf5IyXvajg

thegrun
09/17/2017, 11:23 PM
I'll take the other side of the discussion, beyond reducing primarily nitrates and to a lesser extent phosphates, skimmers also oxygenate the water and thus raise your pH by driving off CO2. You can and I have certainly run a successful system without a skimmer but for me the positives far outweigh the negatives.

bcb577
09/17/2017, 11:37 PM
I run a nano skimmer and although not tbe best im still supprised at what it gets out