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The Best of Skimmer Selection FAQs

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, 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

 

Choosing The "Best" Skimmer (A Lecture By Scott F) Hi Bob, <Actually- ya got Scott F. here today!> I am setting up a 100 gal reef tank, my first.  The saltwater store salesman talked me into purchasing a " kick-ass " protein skimmer: a $500 ETSS. I thought I had bought the best available until I came across your website telling me that needle valve technology is superior to downdraft. The skimmer is just out of the box and unused.  Should I return it and look for one of the brands you recommend? Thank you for your response,   Ed  Coupal <Well, Ed- you ask the $100 million question!!! I personally use an ETS on one of my systems, and I am quite convinced of its impressive capabilities! Yes, it is an expensive piece of equipment, but it can do an absolutely fantastic job on your tank once you get it dialed in. There is no one "superior" skimmer, or skimmer technology, IMO...They all have their pros and cons. Needle wheel skimmers have their downside, too, as they do require some maintenance and occasionally will go "down" because of mechanical failure...We consistently recommend Euroreef and Aqua C because they are very well designed, reliable, consistent, and rather rugged, for the most part. In the case of Aqua C, you've got an "ace in the hole" in that the owner of the company, Jason Kim, is one of the nicest guys in the industry, and will bend over backwards most of the time to help his customers. That being said- ETS is a great product, and very, very capable. The main "knock" on the ETS is that it requires that you place it in the proper location, that you use a dedicated pump of correct size, and can take a little while to get adjusted to the point where it's producing regularly and consistently. However all of the other skimmers we talk about have their limitations as well. All skimmers need regular cleaning and maintenance to work efficiently over time, too. If you have any doubts about the quality and capability of ETS, just take a look behind the scenes the next time you go to a public aquarium...Many times, you'll see an ETS skimmer cranking behind the tank! These systems are well-regarded among professionals, who need a powerful, reliable product to do the job...Now- in the end, it really doesn't matter if the guys down at the Waikiki Aquarium or Long Beach Aquarium of The Pacific bow to their ETS skimmers every day, or if Joe Blow of Saginaw, Michigan curses his Prizm Pro skimmer each morning...it's all about what works for YOU and YOUR tank! Just because Anthony, Jason, Craig, myself, or any other member of the Crew use a different model certainly does not make one the "best". In the end, even a relatively "average" skimmer, if sufficiently "tweaked", would do fine for most people...Having any skimmer is better than NO skimmer, IMO! Bottom line- you made an excellent choice- put it to work and enjoy what it will do for your tank! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Skimmer Question Dr. Fenner (Bob if you insist, (or the WWM Crew)), <Hi Steve, none of us is a Doctor! Just regular folks trying to help!> Your web site is truly a "hidden" treasure and I'm currently your biggest walking billboard to let people know about the wealth of information on your site. I wrote previously and the response I got was not only prompt but overall very helpful, especially considering how long-winded my laundry list of questions were. My questions in a nutshell, are: When it comes to overall efficiency of skimmers, are there brands you would recommend? I keep reading (on various web sites such as marine&reef.com or eReeftank.com) that Euro-reef and the ETSS skimmers are the best and admittedly more expensive. Is there truth to this? Does one generally get what you pay for? <The WetWeb crew goes for Aqua-C, Euro-reef and ETSS. There are some skimmers that are more efficient than others. They tend to cost more, and like most everything, the better models tend to cost more.> My current setup is using a CPR CY 192 which is a combo wet/dry and protein skimmer. I've removed the bio media and filled that space w/ medium-small broken pieces of live base rock. Tank is 55G and overall doing very well with the exception of relentless golden brown/diatom algae which spreads on the sand/tanks sides so quickly that I have to clean it off every 1-2 days. <Sounds like silicates/phosphates/nitrate, how's your top-off/replacement water?  Water changes? Circulation?> The way the skimmer is incorporated into the unit, and it's design overall, seems like it's efficiency might be questionable. <Can be improved upon!> These are the options I'm pondering: Buying/building a simple sump and buying a better protein skimmer (this depends on the answer to the above questions) and replacing the CPR.... OR... Building a medium sized refugium, use the "mud & algae" filtration method, together with the CPR as is; my logic (logic.... Now that's funny) being that if I have the surface tank water drain (gently) into the refugium, then have it spill over to the CPR, the refugium would get the "dirtiest" water which, being nutrient loaded, would benefit the algae and help "clean up" the water which might compensate for the inefficiency of the CPR's skimmer. <Best to skimmer first (perhaps a skimmer box depending on the sump) Sump/refugium combos are a poor compromise, see refugium articles at WWM. Refugiums are best placed above the display and passively drained to main, then to sump where skimming, mechanical and chemical filtration occurs. Also best to skim surface water with a good overflow box for this purpose.> When I started writing this, I thought this would be a short message. <Ha!  There is much more to know here! Keep researching and asking, you won't regret it!> If you could offer a pearl or two of wisdom, I would be very grateful. Silicon Valley Steve <I hope these words help you out Steve!  Craig>

Skimmer and location of Hi guys. I have a question regarding skimmer set up. I am in the process of setting my 75 gal tank up again. Had it drilled and upgrading on most aspects. Before, I had an Aqua C Remora HO skimmer. Am wanting to upgrade. From your site I've narrowed my choices down to the Euro Reef or New Aqua C EV series skimmer.  <either would be very fine> One problem (or main problem w/ Euro reef) is the footprint is too big for my sump, so I am looking at going with the Aqua C EV skimmer w/ smaller footprint for my sump. Now my main question. In my current sump, the skimmer would be placed in a way that it would receive water after it has passed thru mechanical and chemical filtration.  <ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!> Would this work fine or would it be better for main tank water to go thru skimmer b/f any other type of filtration. <OMG! It would be staggeringly AWFUL. Seriously... a skimmer must have raw water before ANY such filtration (mechanical, biological, chemical)> I guess this brings me to another question I just thought of. Would it be plausible to run 2 separate sumps,  <likely a nightmare> one for skimmer and the other for mech/chem filt. with skimmer dumping into the main sump. Thanks for your help, Bryan. <please be sure to seal a dam into the sump is possible for a skimmer box (for the skimmer to have a constant water level from raw overflowing water). See diagrams on this in my reef book or on Wet Web Media. Best regards, Anthony>

Protein Skimmer Questions Bob, By now, you have brainwashed me into realizing the importance of skimmers. <Ah, another job opportunity looms large: cerebral scrubber!> I know you are a BIG fan of them. I was looking at the ETSS skimmers because they have several models with small footprints that would fit under my tank stand (that and I haven't heard back from EuroReef yet). <Euro-Reef technology is far superior> Anyway, I was looking at their sizing chart and expected results for given tank turnover rates. This is a quote of what they represent at 5x/hr. "Five Tank Turnovers per hour is ideal for fish only tanks and low organic level loving corals. The aquarium water has a sparkling look about it caused by its very high oxygen saturation. Nuisance algae can be eliminated totally, especially if you maintain proper calcium and alkalinity (This is also very important to a great looking fish only tank). Phosphate removal is very high. Very good tank water parameter stability. Very low PH fluctuation. Mechanical filtration not necessary and would degrade water quality if not maintained meticulously. This is also the best turnover rate for fish only aquariums." <Good spiel> So, I have a couple of questions in relation to my 500 gallon tank whose primary occupant is a Bonnet head shark. 1. With a super duper skimmer at 5x turns/hr., could I truly eliminate my canister filters and run the tank EFFECTIVELY just off the skimmer and my Ecowheel? <I would run both... but you could try "experimenting" with their removal... drain the canisters, leave tops off during trial.> 2. Do you have any experience with ETSS or their Model 1800 skimmer? If so, how would that compare to a EuroReef CS8-1 or CS8-2 (other than the fact that the ETSS1800 is ridiculously priced)? <Do have extensive experience with both... the ETSS takes a lot more energy/pumping pressure and volume, removes a small fraction of what the Euro-Reef does per pass, requires more "adjustment", maintenance... Down-draft technology is a "dinosaur" compared with "needle wheel".> 3. Did the guy from Euro Reef call and talk to you about Eheim vs. Sedra pumps? If so, what did he say about them? <No... but do know "Jeff and his dad" pretty well... They very likely went with the Sedras out of price point sensitivity.> Thanks once again, J.D. Hill <And to you for your pointed, intelligent questions. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Selection I'm looking at setting up 2 new tanks: 1) a 180 reef tank, and 2) a 110 fish tank with LR. I'm trying to figure out what types of skimmers to get for these 2 tanks, and I've narrowed the list down to 3 - I was hoping you could give me some advice as to which of the 3 you'd recommend for these 2 tanks (I've found praise for all 3 in past wetwebmedia FAQs, but would like to know which of the 3 you'd prefer in these 2 situations. <First off, is it your intention to keep these two systems separate? If not, I would recommend doing so, buying two different skimmers, two separate sumps, etc.> Tunze model 240/3 (rated for 500 gal). The Tunze advertises itself as 'plankton safe' (i.e. it doesn't skim out plankton). Is this just hype, or a real advantage that this skimmer has over the other 2. <Probably more hype than anything.> Euro-Reef, Model CS8-1 (rated for 400 gal) Aqua-C EV240 (rated for 360 gal) <Wow! What a line up/choice! Let me go through them one by one. I own a Tunze (model 3115) and have used several on customers' tanks. They are very easy to adjust and skim well, but their biggest drawback is they are difficult to clean. I have used Euro-Reef skimmers on several customers' tanks. They are even easier to use and very easy to clean. I have not yet used an Aqua-C, although they get nothing but rave reviews. If it was me, I would buy the Euro-Reef's.> Thanks! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Skimmer to Super-Size or not Super-Size Hi,  <Hello, Anthony Calfo in your service> I am setting up a 90 gallon w/ overflow into a sump. I purchased a BakPak2 for my current tank which is only 29 gallons, but before I even opened the BakPak2 I decided to get a larger tank-- <bless your heart!> hence the new 90 gallon. I am going to start out with LR/LS and fish, and then slowly progress into inverts--maybe even over a years time--I am in no hurry. I have been doing tons of reading and have read that some people with reef tanks are not necessarily using a super-sized skimmer.  <which depends entirely on the invertebrates kept... if you want a tank full of Xenia, great... a weak skimmer may be just fine. If however you want a tank full Alcyoniids (colts, leathers, etc) or LPS corals (hammers, octopus, elegant, etc) .then it will eventually fail to allelopathy (chemical warfare). Make a list of targeted livestock before making this decision> I am thinking that maybe I don't even want/need a skimmer rated at 250g when I will actually only have 75g or even less when the rock and sand are in place,  <a poor rationalization, my friend for the way most people set up reef tanks> and that a skimmer of that magnitude may pull out too much "good" stuff as well  <growing corals also pull out "good stuff", should we eliminate them to...hehe <smile>. Some species shed more noxious compounds than you'll know what to do with. It all boils down to what species are you keeping?> and that the BakPak2 rated at 60g will be sufficient. My question is this: Is it possible to over-skim?  <very unlikely given the dynamic of everyday Aquariology (a contestant degradation of water quality)> I can still exchange the BakPak2 and go a different route now, considering that I am going to slowly evolve the 90g tank into a reef tank. Thanks pat <I would strongly advise you to get a skimmer rated for slightly larger then your tank (like for a 125 gall). If you think you don't need as much skimming you can back off. If you discover that you are wrong, you can pick up the pace. If instead you put an undersized model on and discover that you are wring... then you are out of luck and have wasted money on an undersized skimmer while stressing invertebrates. Anthony>

My Next Skimmer Hi Anthony...again...O.K. sold on not spending money on 5 year old crap. I like two manufactures Precision Marine and Aqua-C. For Aqua-C, I've looked at the EV-180 (good for 60-200g so says the web site), would the EV-180 be O.K. or should I go to the EV240 for my 125g reef?  <I love this skimmer and design. If you can afford it and think that you will likely add refugiums or a bigger thank in the 5 year picture, go for the larger model>  For Precision Marine, they have two models I'm contemplating the CV626 (good for 150G) or the Bullet-1(same 150G). Again which one would you recommend?  <I have little personal experience with this unit and not enough feedback from fellow aquarists. I can provide an avalanche of testimonials for Aqua C however> Of the two manufactures would you lean towards PM or Aqua-C?? I know hard questions, may bring you hate mail.... but you are direct and I like your no B.S. attitude. Thanks,  Larry <my pleasure... and thanks :) I'd go for the Aqua C. Answering e-mail here with Bob (hundreds weekly) we have just heard so many unsolicited testimonials praising a product that we already admire. Is it the best in the world (whatever that is)... no. But it is one of the very bet values for your dollar and indeed one of the best skimmers around! Unless you have an extra $2K laying around for an RK2. Best regards, Anthony>

Protein skimmer & Bubbles Hi there Bob, <Howdy> I'm not very chemistry or physics minded but I'm trying to understand how a protein skimmer might change the gas composition or chemical nature of saltwater in the aquarium. <Okay. Much of this is "documented"... the highlights? Elevated dissolved oxygen, lessened carbon dioxide, raised redox... removal of phobic organics> I've heard that if the O2 saturation of the water is low, use of a skimmer could assist in "blowing off" CO2 so that more O2 could be absorbed but that it would not be able to "supersaturate" the water with O2. Is this right? <Yes> Could the use of a powerful skimmer also change the percentage of other gaseous components of the water? <Yes...> By powerful, I'm not talking industrial strength or anything like that. Just bigger than needed for the tank that it is being used on. I know that the idea of using the skimmer is to catch dissolved organic waste on the air bubbles so that they can be removed when the foam turns back into a liquid in the collection bucket. Is there anything else that is caught up on the bubbles and lost in the foam? <Yes... notably some "trace elements" of consequence (vitamins, minerals...)> The reason I'm trying to figure out more about how the skimmer might change the aquarium environment is that I've noticed a problem with one of my fish that only occurs when the skimmer operates for more than a day. I keep 4 seahorses and one of the two males has a tendency to accumulate air in his brood pouch if the skimmer runs too long. <This is an important observation... you must need address the added small air bubbles being discharged into the seahorses space. Perhaps they can be coalesced by discharging the skimmer effluent onto foam, filter media... Perhaps you can adjust the skimmer, discharge the water into a sump first and have the water pumped back to the main/display tank...> I know there are a variety of reasons that people think that this will happen. Bacterial or fungal infections of the pouch, mechanically "catching" bubbles from the tank in their pouches while courting, and super saturation of the tank with a gas. <Likely a mild case of "emphysematosis". Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bbldisease.htm and the FAQs beyond> The skimmer I now use is homemade and adds no bubbles to the tank so I know it's not the mechanical cause,  <I would not be so sure here... the very small bubbles are hardly detectable> although this also occurred with a "cheapy" skimmer that I used previously that did produce a lot of micro bubbles in the tank. I guess I'm wondering if the skimmer is somehow changing the chemistry of the tank so that a low level infection is aggravated?  <Possibly, but doubtful> Or if it is somehow changing the gas percentages and that causes him to produce gas in the pouch? <I suspect fine air bubbles, super saturation here> I've solved the immediate problem by simply running the skimmer for 8 hrs or so every other day. And this has kept him without pouch bubble for the last 2 weeks. Just out of curiosity, which I'm cursed with, the other day I tested my theory that his problem is triggered by the skimmer and ran it for 2 days straight. And yep, he was full of pouch air by the second morning. I manually released the air again and dropped back on the skimmer use and he's been fine again for the last couple of days. Another interesting tidbit is that he seems to accumulate this air mostly at night. <... a few possibilities... could be the "extra gasses", overall metabolism of the system during light-period 'uses up' the gas in question... or the activity of your 'horses' precludes gas accumulation during such time> So any input that you could give me on how the skimmer might be changing the aquarium and effecting this would be great. Thanks, Penny <Mmm, suffice it to state that this is a serious situation, and one I would address immediately per the above recommendations. Either this or replace, try another make/model of skimmer. Bob Fenner>

RE: To skim or not to skim (protein that is) Hi Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo up at bat this time, good sir> Quick question. Did you have any advice on top of Mr. Pro's advice on the CPR Bak-Pak or Aqua-C Remora skimmers for my 35 gallon hexagon tank (18" x 21.5" x 24")? Thank you. - Derrick <I couldn't agree more with it. There is no such thing as a low maintenance, effective AND inexpensive protein skimmer in our industry. Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good, as the adage goes. I have literally operated tens of thousands of gallons of seawater as an industry professional in the past decade, and I can honestly say that a protein skimmer is the single most important piece of equipment once biological filtration is established. Personally, given to choose between setting up a tank without a skimmer or not having a tank at all, I'm inclined to the latter because I wouldn't want the work or aggravation of the tank without one. Put a crowbar in that wallet my friend and break out that communion money that you've been saving...<smile>. I promise you that a year down the road, you won't regret it. A good skimmer is an investment that will give you far greater returns. Best regards to you in your endeavors, Anthony>

Protein skimmer Mr. Fenner, I have a 90 gallon tank that contains 100 pd.s+ of live rock, a 5" Blue Angel, a Maroon Clown and anemone, two cleaner shrimps, 40 hermits and snails together. It has a Eheim Professional Canister with a surface extractor and a 8 watt U.V. hooked up to it and two power heads for circulation. I recently bought a Prizm Skimmer and can't seem to get it to produce much, just a little every now and then.  What is your opinion on this product?  <Mmm, there might not be much to remove... but this is a puny product, good only for small systems... not well designed, engineered... noisy, difficult to adjust. My further ranting, ratings on skimmer selection are posted on our WetWebMedia.com site>  At the moment I don't really think it very efficient, although I really don't know much about skimmers and what kind of waste they should produce. I've been considering getting a Euro-reef skimmer, would this be too efficient? <A light year jump... very good products, but do consider an "intermediate" line before deciding. Again, you are referred to WWM> Or is the Prizm Skimmer fine (suggestions please). <I wouldn't use on anything more than forty gallons, maximum> Another Question I have is do You think that my filtration is adequate? I use to have a Eheim wetdry but I took it off because I thought it might be the reason why my Nitrates have been high. I do regular water changes every two weeks although I plan to start doing weekly until the Nitrates drop. Thank you for your time. Tim <Mmm, much to state here. I would put the Eheim W/D back on... look into more filtration... perhaps a sump/refugium is in your near future. These are chatted up on our site as well. And talking re, be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmer Just wanted to know what you think of the Prizm Pro Deluxe Skimmer.  <I wouldn't take it for free> The manufactures claim it is for aquariums up to 300 gallons.  <and Bill Clinton "did not have sex with that woman"> I would like to use it on a 125 gallon marine tank.  <get two... they can be like matching earrings <G>... perhaps as effective too> The tank is full of live rock with Tangs, Angels, Eels, and two Maroon Clowns with their Bubble Anemone. The sump also has live rock and a Rio 1400 circulating the water back to the tank. On the opposite side of the tank I have another Rio 1400 for water agitation/circulation. <please do yourself a favor and don't just take my opinion... check the message boards across the Internet, our archives, WWM FAQ opinions from many aquarists that write in, etc... the public opinion on this product is quite strong.> The reason I'm looking at the Prizm Pro is a heat issue.  <huh?> I was running a Rio 2100 in the sump but the tanks temperature was too high, so I switched to the 1400 which appears to have stabilized the temperature.  <good heavens... the problem isn't the pump volume my friend... it is the airflow (or lack thereof) around the tank and the very hardware application. The lack of a good skimmer and the now reduced water flow may very well create a terrible nuisance algae problem for you. What you need for starters is an external water pump to dissipate heat better (Dolphin Ampmaster or Iwaki would be fine choices for low heat, quiet and long-lived). Get the flow volume back up again and enjoy healthier fish and less detritus/nuisance algae. Small PC muffin fans (only 9 watts!) sucking air across the tank and/or sump will lend evaporative cooling that can reduce tank temp easily by 3-4 F. Plug into the same timer that the lights are on if the heat rises during daylight photoperiod> If you feel the Prizm Pro can actually run close to a 300 gallon tank, shouldn't it be fine for my 125 gallons?  <ahhh... do look up some fellow aquarists in a local or regional society and see one in action. Reef Central has an aquarium clubs forum if it helps you find one. Quite frankly... any skimmer including the Prizm that you can get to work on your tank and produce a CONSISTENT dark and DAILY skimmate is fine by me> If not, could the Urchin Pro or the Remora Pro handle this highly stocked tank? Maybe better, the Nautilus TE or the Turboflotor? <Turboflotor and Aqua C brands have a much more favorable public opinion that I agree with. Euroreef is more expensive but perhaps even easier to run and quite consistent. For anyone that doubts my opinion or possible bias... for the record: I use Tunze and homemade varieties> Thanks for the great site, Bobby <best regards! Anthony>

Skimmer Selection Dear Mr. Fenner: I noticed you receive a lot of email regarding skimmer selection. I think this attests to how little we really know about these devices and how many there are to choose from. I myself have been running a small ETS clone downdraft with little success. I run it with a Mag 700, but am constantly adjusting and readjusting it. <A problem with so-called downdraft type skimmers in general> I only have a 58b gallon reef (with a bubble algae problem, exacerbated by lack of skimming I'm sure!), however, I am desperate to find a skimmer that works without constant adjustment. <I can imagine> I noted your recommendation of the Turboflotor 1000 (in sump) and have found a good deal on one (<$150). I am very close to placing my order. Any last minute advice, I need skimming and fast! Tim <You will not be disappointed with this unit. More skimmer than you likely need for now... but better than too little. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Choices/Models for a 100 Gallon Reef Do you have any opinions between these two protein skimmers: -Turboflotor T1000 (venturi) -AquaC Urchin Pro (induction) for a 100g reef? <Both are fine products for the job...> The Urchin is rated at 75+ gallons but this new design seems a bit more efficient since it uses the Rio1400 compared to T1000's Rio2100. However, T1000 seems to react a bit quicker. I'm not sure how to weigh the advantages and disadvantages between the two... I was hoping you had some insight which will steer me one way or another. Thanks in advance for your time. Jack <The Turboflotor will/would remove more "gunk", more quickly than the Urchin... but very few systems call for the small differences here in "efficiency"... Bob Fenner>

Upgrade Skimmer? Lately I have been searching for a more effective skimmer than my regular Red Sea Berlin, using an Iwaki that does about 500 gph. I don't have a huge of a budget (around $300). I have a 55 gal tank, Berlin reef style (so I need powerful skimming). I have about 15" of fish total and I was wondering what your favorite skimmer of these three is: Aqua-medic Turbo floater, Top Fathom, or that new Evolution Downdraft skimmers. Oh, and just out of curiosity, what is your favorite skimmer overall? Regardless of size, price, style, etc...Thanks! <Thank you for writing... and If I had to choose, I would take the Turboflotor, but not so fast.... I would not actually switch from what you currently have... What's wrong with the Berlin Style (is this a Red Sea product?)... it should be fine for a fifty five with fifteen inches of fish life in it... Maybe you just don't have much to remove... Maybe it needs to be cleaned (to remove organics... under the freshwater... with a brush, paper towels...). Do have a fellow aquarist come over and check your skimmer and set-up with you... I'd spend the money on more, better live rock, maybe lighting, books... instead. Bob, the pauper Fishman>

Aqua C vs. Euroreef Hi All, <cheers> Love your site! The information here is mind boggling. Thank you all for taking the time to answer our questions. <our pleasure> I am setting up a 180 gallon reef tank. The DIY sump (40 gallon long) will have live rock instead of bio-balls and a small refugium. Since I was told by my LFS that the refugium should have a turnover of about 2 x's per hr., (I hope this information is correct???) <not really... likely too slow but depends entirely on the type of refugium and its inhabitants> I thought to have the skimmer overflow into it which would then overflow towards the return pumps. <if the skimmer is getting raw water from the display first then I'm Ok with it all>> I will be purchasing a skimmer within the next few days and would like to ask your opinion regarding this. Looking over your site it seems the AquaC and Euro-Reef are the two top skimmers mentioned. <many good brands for different peoples needs...these two are at the top considering value and performance. The "best" may be an RK2 starting at $1500 and self cleaning...heehee> The Marine Depot site lists that you would have to double your water capacity when purchasing the Euro-Reef skimmer. Is this true? If so, my stand height is 26 inches and the CS8-2 rated for 200-500 gallons is 24 inches which would make it a real tight fit. When I looked at the AquaC there is not a reference to double the water capacity. In that case I could go with the EV180 rated for 60-270 gallons and only 20 inches high. The EV240 is 26 inches and that puts it right out of the ballpark height wise. Thank you for any help you can give me in this. <the Euroreef needs high volume, is possibly a slightly more consistent and idiot-proof design... the Aqua C gets my vote for value and performance with educated consumers> Chris, Williamstown, NJ <best regards, Anthony Calfo>



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