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FAQs about Skimmer Placement

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Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system        10/6/15
Hi Guys-
I really enjoy going through all of your forums and FAQ’s. I have been scouring your site for an answer to my question but don’t seem to see anything directly related… which is why I am now reaching out.
I have an 80 gallon saltwater tank that has been set up and thriving for about a year now. Despite everything I read about wet/dry’s being a nitrate factory, my levels are consistently at zero.
<There are possibilities of "striking balance" w/ such use.... enough "reverse reactions" occurring in live rock, substrate, care in what's fed and amounts; partial water change outs....>

Nevertheless, I understand the importance of skimming (thanks to reading through your many, many articles and responses on the subject), and want to put one into my system. My aquarium has a built in center overflow that goes down to a 30 gallon wet/dry sump. The bio media is in the first chamber and my return pump and heater are in the second chamber. I also have an air pump with two stones under the bio media. There is room to put a skimmer in the second chamber, but I’ve also read on your forums that the skimmer should be skimming water straight from the tank and not after bio filtration.
<It matters very little here. MUCH more important for instance, that the contact chamber of the skimmer and perhaps the collection cup be kept clean, than where the skimmer is placed>

Is there any way to add this in given my current set up, or do I need to slowly remove the bio media (handful every couple of days or so…) until all media is removed and then add in the skimmer in that first chamber?
<Yes; as stated, can be situated wherever you have room>
My long term plan is to convert this ecosystem into a reef environment which is why I feel the need to get the skimmer in the mix. If buying a new sump is inevitable, that’s okay, but I’d prefer not having to.
<Can't tell w/o a good photo or look... if a decent skimmer will fit in the current one; that is where I'd place it. However, I would be reading re how you might modify this sump to add a refugium, lighting et al. here>
What’s my best course of action?
Current bio-load is:
(1) small blue tang
(1) arc-eye Hawkfish
(2) medium blue-green reef chromic
(2) medium Bartlett's Anthias
(1) small foxface lo
(1) green bubble tip anemone
(5) dwarf hermit crabs
Other than my wet/dry filtration I’ve got:
(50lb) live rock
(40lb) live sand
Thank you very much for your help!! It is appreciated more than you know.
Chad Rattray
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system        10/6/15

Thank you very much for a quick response and your insight, Bob.
I will get a photo of the sump so you can take a look at it. I’ll measure the footprint available for a skimmer and let you know so you might advise something you know of that can provide descent results.
Thanks again!
Best regards,
<And you; BobF>
Chad Rattray

Re: Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system     10/7/15
Hi Bob,
<Hey Chad>
The day slipped away from me today, sorry for a late reply. Here's a shot of my wet dry. There's approximately a 12" X 8" footprint available on the right side of the sump and 30" in height. I can certainly squeeze one in there if you think it would be advisable.
<I'd put in with the pump if the one I'd like would fit>
Some more insight into the wet dry, it's a biofil1 rated for 125 gallons (not 30 gallons as I mentioned previously; that estimate was the total volume of the sump if filled to the brim)... This has been working great since installed. Again, looking to slowly upgrade to a reef system which is where the skimmer comes into play.
<Well.... I'd use the space you mentioned (to the right of the wet dry) to put in a refugium... tie/plumb it into the pump/sump with a couple of bulk head fittings, a section of pipe twixt, and run a slow input of water from the overflow to the 'fuge>
Again I really appreciate your wisdom and insight.
Best regards,
Chad Rattray
Sales Manager
<Bob Fenner, petfish kind of guy>

Re: Adding a skimmer to my wet/dry system
You’re a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you Sir!
<Well; a bit of both perhaps. Cheers Chad! B>

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