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More FAQs about Skimmer Selection for Marine Systems 15

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 16, & DIY Skimmers, Skimmers for Refugiums/Sumps, 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


Re: Protein Skimmer advice       11/8/16
Hi Bob,
thanks for your invaluable help. I will buy the bubble Magnus. Looking at its footprint I will likely need to remove a baffle in my sump.
I have a slight concern here. Do the baffles help hold the sump tank together, structurally?
<In all cases I've encountered in commercial and DIY ones, no>
The sump is well made but has no cross braces or frame, just silicon where each glass pane meets. I would like to redesign the use of the sump space which might leave just one baffle. The water level is 10 inches high in normal working but maybe 14 '' if the power is cut. Sump is 29'' long by 19'' wide. Glass is 5mm thick.
My worry is that the tank would 'pop' / break apart due to water pressure on the sides with the baffles removed. Am I underestimating the strength of silicon seals where the glass sides join (siliconed by a professional not me! ) or over estimating the role of the baffles in holding the tank sides together?
<You should be fine here... I would not be concerned given the dimensions and thickness of glass you list>
thanks in advance for your time,
<Welcome. BobF>

PRO-TEIN CLEAN Touch Less Plug & Play Protein skimmer New product Launch December 6th, 2015     11/26/15
Hello Bob,
<Hey James!>
It was great talking with you this evening! You clearly have a lot of knowledge in the field and know many of the important contacts in the industry.
<Ah yes; a lifetime well-spent in the trade, hobby and science of ornamental aquatics>
Thank you for offering to help me in the effort of promoting this advancement of this new technology and linking my business with other businesses in the industry.
<Glad to aid your success>
James A Vassallo here & I live in Covington WA and have invented, patented, & manufactured the future in protein skimmers by adding automation, silence & simplicity to the decades old protein fractioner!
With this design there are no more manual adjustment valves, no more collection container flooding, no more sucking & hissing sounds, no more sewer smells, no more unplugging water pump to empty collection container, no more worrying about how low your sump tank water level has gotten & how that has effected your protein skimmer, and no more babysitting your
fractioner! Just put it in & plug it in and forget it! It compensates for moderate algae growth as well as nighttime power increases when the lights go out on the same circuit.
I will be giving a live demonstration in the reserved Chinook banquet room at the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn, WA December 6th, 2015. Doors open at 2:00PM!
It is the first automated self adjusting internal water level PRO-TEIN CLEAN Touch Less Plug & Play Protein skimmer.
I have met with the owners of 8 of the area Salt Water aquarium owners so far and showed them the product and the YouTube video they are very impressed! They all have agreed to hand out my brochures to their customers and they are available on the front checkout counters in their stores.
<Good beginning promotion and opportunity for valid feedback>
Local saltwater aquarium stores in Western Washington that are promoting my event & product:
Owner Jonas at "Sierra Aquarium & Pets" Renton, WA
Owner Mike "Aquariums By Design" Tukwila, WA. He will be at the event.
Owner Dominic "Aquarium Paradise" Lakewood, WA
Owner Dan "The Fish Store" Seattle, WA
Manager Clayton "Denny's Pet World" Kirkland, WA. He will be at the event.
Manger Mikayla "Barrier Reef Aquariums" Renton, WA
Manger Shannon "Tropical Fish World & Pets" Sumner, WA
I received a phone call from the president of the Pacific Northwest Marine Aquarium Society John Manrow and not only is he coming in from Portland, OR to see the demonstration, he is organizing car pools for other Pacific Northwest Marine aquarium Society members as well!
<A very nice fellow>
YouTube Event Promo Video: https://youtu.be/Tv6GI4rw0sg (Please hit the "Like" button for me :-)
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv6GI4rw0sg&feature=youtu.be>  &feature=YouTube
U.S. Patent # 9078419 Public Website Link:
&s2=skimmer. I.&OS=TTL/protein+AND+TTL/skimmer&RS=TTL/protein+AND+TTL/skimmer>
D&d=PTXT&s1=protein.TI.&s2=skimmer. I.&OS=TTL/protein+AND+TTL/skimmer&RS=TTL
U.S. Patent Issue date July 14, 2015. Written by SEED Intellectual Property Law Firm in Seattle. Patent Pending in 148 countries.
Please feel free to contact me in any way you prefer.
Changing the world one protein skimmer at a time.
Inventor, Owner
J. Allan Vassallo
<As we chatted; please DO send along "releases" of information re your product/s, and ask away re whom you might contact for further help. Bob Fenner>

Pro-Tein Clean Review: one of the most automatic skimmers to date       3/9/16
Hello Bob,
Thought you might like to read the article Dr. Paul Whitby wrote on Reefbuilders.com today.
<Ah good>
Pro-Tein Clean Review: one of the most automatic skimmers to date
Thank you for all your help hooking me up with Jake Adams and Paul Whitby.
<Welcome. BobF>
Allan Vassallo
Inventor/ owner
Pro-tein Clean LLC

Looking for more avenues for product exposure; new skimmer     3/12/16
Hello Bob,
First of all I want to say I find your photographs very entertaining and your knowledge mind blowing on FB!
I met a young gentleman that works at Barrier Reef aquariums in Renton, WA that is extremely smart witted in the saltwater aquarium industry and when I mentioned your name he said he knew you from your visiting the aquarium
store in San Francisco! His name is Marc Imler! He said you used to come in & buy supplies and fish from him. He is a huge admirer of yours actually; he said you're a genius! After reading your FB posts, I tend to agree. I admire
your lifestyle, travels and underwater photography opportunities and would love to do the same someday.
I am thrilled with the impressive product review reefbuilders.com wrote:
For some reason the previous link I sent wasn't working like I though? Sorry about that.
It doesn't look like you have a link on wetwebmedia.com at this time so I was hoping you would do so :-)
Currently the article they wrote really isn't generating much traffic to my website like I had expected. I have a long, long way to go for people in the market to realize these exist. I am looking for help as to whom I might be able to contact as you mentioned in this previous email. Now that my product has been tried & tested by Dr. Paul Whitby and he has made several bold statements validating my protein skimmer I think aquarium magazines and other forums can be persuaded by someone of your notoriety that they should follow suit and write a story on it as well. I am willing to offer a free skimmer for further validation to whom you feel qualifies as a respected opinion in the industry; that includes you! If you have the time and application for one of my skimmers and would write on your findings please let me know now! Two or three independent people preferably to get this rolling!
You have the power of persuasion and I believe once one story from a very credible respected source declares it's "a revolutionary game changer in the protein skimmer market" that other media would want to follow suit.
Am I wrong?
<... how to put this? Not "wrong"; but new products take a good long while (typically 3-5 years) to "catch on">
I have sold a few units and need much, much more public awareness of this protein skimmer in order to bring sales to a level of sustainability.
<Mmm; I'd be offering to talk to local and not clubs, attend local to not "frag swap" types of hobbyist shows... Set up some "demo" units in LFS that you're friends with...>
Allan Vassallo
Inventor/ owner
Pro-tein Clean LLC
<Allan; howsit? Have cc'd Sanjay Joshi and Dana Riddle here; hoping they'll know who in turn may be best at helping you with a "pro" piece re your skimmer and the pulp and e-zines. Bob Fenner>
New Studio Image of Pro-Tein Clean TouchLess Protein Skimmer    3/12/16

Hello Bob, Here is a brand new product image never seen before to forward and add to wetwebmedia.com post!
<Real good. B>
Allan Vassallo
Inventor/ owner
Pro-tein Clean LLC

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>

Re: Horrible Protein Skimmer; sel.        8/31/15
I appreciate your response and I have been pouring over your website. I am writing back because I can't seem to find a clear answer to my question and I am being asked by the Deltec representative for my choice of protein skimmer (and credit card number).
<Deltec units are nice, just pricey>
I am concerned over the quality of the unit, the reef octopus produces huge water laden bubbles and overflows more often than not. I want to know if there is a hob protein skimmer that specifically addresses the issue of potential overflow?
<... none that I'm aware; however; they span a range of utility and adjustability...>
I think the Deltec mce600 is designed for any overflow to fall, flow, back in to the tank, but the model I am being offered is the Deltec mce400, information, in English, about it is scant at best. Do you know anything about this model, whether it has the overflow protection?
<It does not as far as I'm aware... again, w/o a sump.... for hang on/s I've already given you my (AquaC) rec.s>
It seems sketchy that there seems to be a lack of knowledge or even vendors of these Deltec products, and it is $400. I also am including api test results as suggested. My 65 gallon is only 6 months old so I just started testing for carbonate hardness 8 dKH, 500 ppm calcium,
<Too high by a hundred ppm. Please, READ on WWM before writing us>
I don't yet dose or use any chemicals, though I may have to find some help with testing. My calcium appears high for not having added anything? This can be so confusing.
<Then keep reading, questioning and NOT buying.

skimmer for a 150 on a 60 gal.       7/18/14
Hey Bob
I believe I have run this by you before. On my 60 cube, seahorse/mixed reef tank (20 pieces of coral, 6 seahorses, 10 small fish..gobies, Firefish, cardinal etc) I have a lss 1000 reef octopus skimmer. I feed pretty heavily because of the seahorses, about 4 cubes Mysis daily.
<Ok; about right>
I know the tank has to be loaded with docs, however, since February, my skimmer has not produced anything to speak of. Perhaps an ounce at best, for comparison, my reef octopus on my 155 fish only tank produces that in about 3 hours.
<Am with you thus far>
I have tried different settings, however, after 5 months can not figure it out. I emailed Jeremy at CoralVue about this, and he said that this skimmer needs to be on a 150 gallon tank. I have read elsewhere, asked several people, and they said that might be for optimum skimming, but it should be producing something. Plus I figure my bio load, given what I feed per gallon, has a pretty high bioload.
<Mmm; doesn't "have to be producing something"... Many systems "achieve" a balance... produce little to nothing>
Before I stash this skimmer, and eat the 300 I paid for it, in your experience, is a 6 inch body skimmer, not able to skim on my set up?
<Any size skimmer may be adapted, adopted to any size system... other considerations prevail... bubble introduction, too much added circulation... But cleaning the water too much? Not an issue>
I have a guy who is selling a used sca 301 which I have read great reviews on. But its rated for a 65 tank, and I know manufacturers over rate there skimmers. Even so, my 60 is stocked higher than most I 60 gallon tanks I would think.
Would like your opinion in this matter, swallowing that amount of money is never fun
<I'd stick with what you have here already. Bob Fenner>

e: skimmer... plus now... RO maint.       7/18/14
Thanks as always, Bob
From the reading I did, of course after buying this skimmer, is the bigger diameter body and neck, the more organics, volume, you need to sustain a foam head that drives the organics out.
I will leave it in there, cant really justify buying another skimmer to experiment.
Lastly, I have always changed it at 001, others say 015, but when would you safely change the ro unit membrane when using a tds meter?
<Depends on the application... either number for TDS is fine IMO/E... cheaper to use per gallon by letting the value go higher>
Mine has went to 008, hoping to squeeze more life out of it. What's your thought?
<Likely posted... B>

Protein Skimmer - High Water Level, Short Stand      6/11.5/14
I am installing a refugium sump that is 36x16x18"h and need to put the skimmer in the first chamber which is 12 x 15.5".
<No big deal...>
The water level is 13" high in this chamber. I do not have room to raise a skimmer in the sump so I was looking into a recirculating skimmer that can be gravity fed. After reading the owner's manual for the
Re: Protein Skimmer - High Water Level, Short Stand      6/11.5/14

Sorry, I had a lot more typed, but somehow most of the text got cut off.
Let me try again.
First of all, thank you very much for all the time and knowledge you share with the community, it is very much appreciated. I have a 60 x 18" 120 gallon FOWLR(90 lbs LR, 75 lbs sand, and 2 8x8x4" Marine Pure biomedia in sump). It houses a very hungry reticulated puffer(8" long), A 4" niger trigger, and 2 Chromis. I am replacing my wet/dry system and Coralife Super Skimmer 220 with an ADHI model 45 refugium that is 36 x 16 x 18"h and wanted to add a skimmer to the 1st chamber which is 12 x 15.5. The water level is 12" high but I am having trouble finding an in sump skimmer that does not need to be raised. My stand is only 28" tall. I was looking into a recirculating skimmer, but according to the owners manual for the Reef Octopus SRO 2000EXT I am worried that the output of the skimmer cannot be submerged. Do you have any suggestions on the type of skimmer I can use in this chamber without raising the skimmer, drilling the sump, or running the skimmer behind the tank?
<There are a bunch of squat skimmers on the market that can/will do here... most are on the expensive end though. Contact House of Fins in CT re what they stock, may send you... Oh, I see you're in the trade.... do you buy from the Chua's at their All Seas locations? I would contact them for much cheaper options (knock offs mostly)>
Would adding pvc to raise the output pipe be an option, or would it negatively impact the skimmer's production?
<Should be fine>
I would like to have the skimmer housed in the first chamber and be fed by one of the drains from the CPR overflow on my tank if possible, but anything that will provide consistant skimmate for the large bioload in the tank would be great. If it were your system, what skimmer/setup would you use with the tank and refugium?
<Ooooh, always a good question. Is money no concern? BobF>
Re: Protein Skimmer - High Water Level, Short Stand      6/11.5/14

Actually, My email address is a bit misleading. I work as office manager for a marine contracting company.
I have often advised them to let me help setup a large tank to better show our love for all that is saltwater though. As far as your advice on what you would do in my shoes, I'd prefer it to be under the $600 range on the skimmer and preferably something that makes my maintenance easier. My goal here is to selfishly give myself a break.
<I understand, and agree completely>
With current wet dry and CoraLife
skimmer that has yet to produce skimmate, I am doing ~40g water changes weekly to combat nitrates, and still struggle around 40-80 ppm. I have not purchased the refugium yet either,
<I would go ahead with this purchase. As large as will fit... include in turn as large and deep fine sand DSB>>
but have Chaeto and Caulerpa brachypus algae to add to it. I was planning to plumb the tank with 1" pvc
<Mmmm, larger diameter for the lines leading down to the 'fuge>
with three or four T's on the return pump to add additional equipment or sumps in the future and divert flow from the display tank. I have a Mag drive 12 or 18 to use as return pump already, 2 hydro evolution 1500's for in tank circulation aimed at each other in the top front area of the tank and a 1200 gps CPR Overflow with two drains. So if it were you, and you had around a $1100.00 budget for sump/refugium/skimmer, what would you go with and how would you set it up to improve water quality in the heavily stocked tank (puffers are so cute when they want food, he even performs tricks like sitting in my hand, helping me clean the tank, and making waves like shamu!)? :)
Thanks again!
<Mmm; check the dimensions under the tank, how much space to get an acrylic sump in (if this is where the refugium is to go... and check the listings... on the Net... and have a few folks bid if a special order one is better (Marc Levenson and others do this work). The skimmer... am partial for service and function to Jason Kim's line (AquaC)... Likely the AquaC EV-120 is what I'd choose here for cost... BobF>

skimmer question       2/6/14
Hello Bob, Bob here too.
I have removed my MTC skimmer from my sump, for it was robbing nearly 600 gallons an hour from my circulation in the tank. To make matters worse, I was not getting any skimmate, and the unit is probably 8 years old. I tried tuning, cleaning the Becket valve multiple times, and after some consideration and my LFS in put, decided it simply is not "good" enough.
Perhaps a sen 900, would help, but that's another gamble and more money going into something that may be not be up to specs anymore.
So after a lot of reading, and looking at the performance of my lfs skimmers, I really like the reef octopus. Specifically the SRO 2000 (in sump model) or the SRO 3000 (in sump as well) Both of them use a 40 watt or less bubble blaster pump, and from what I've seen, on a tank similar size to mine (155) pull between 4-6 ounces dark skimmate daily. In my MTC, I don't
think I got that in the last 6 weeks combined.
Being they are about an 80 dollar difference between the two, would you suggest the 2000, which is rated at 180, or would you justify going up to the 3000, which is rated for a 300 gallon tank?
<The bigger if I had any notion that I might have a larger system, more water down the line>
I plan on keeping tank moderately stocked with medium sized fish. I do not over feed, but there are some messy eaters I plan to have.
So would you just get the 3000, or is over kill for a skimmer not advisable?
<Is fine. B>
Thank you
RE: skimmer question, C. miniata sel.        2/7/14

Ok so it sounds like the SRO 3000 may be the way to go.
<One way>
My father was just on the phone with a local place, I am sure you heard of, Champion Lighting, and the guy on the phone, said he would go with an ASM G3 skimmer. I looked them up and did not see anything good about them.
<See WWM re these Euroreef knock-offs>
Another thing I wanted to ask was regarding bio balls. In order to fit any decent skimmer in my sump, I had to remove the bio balls case which sits on rails. With it my foot print for skimmer is 7 inches. Without it becomes 20 inches. I spoke with Jeremy of reef octopus (the number for customer service) and when I told him I removed them, he said I needed them for surface area bacteria. I was under the impression I already had enough surface area between live rocks, tank, sump, pumps etc/ So, bio balls, to be or not to be?
<Up to you>
And lastly, one of my lfs has a minuatus grouper that he has had for a few months. It is 6 inches long, and when I asked if he knew where it was from, he said Bali, which I know is Indonesia. When the time comes, and that fish is still available, should I get that, or should I get one from Fiji or Sri Lanka? I know the indo's are usually cheaper. He wants 100 for this one, but because my other grouper was killed by trigger, he said he would let me have it for 60.
<Cephalopholis are about all the same wherever they originate. B>

Protein Skimmer Question   2/18/13
Greetings from the frozen north!
<Nice and warm here in San Diego today, ayer>
I bought a Reef Octopus NWB-100 (I have attached a PDF of it for reference)
that I want to use in 30 gallon sump. The problem that I seem to have run into is the water outlet pipe is about 8" from the bottom of the tank and the tank height is 16" from my understanding this outlet needs to be above the water line which means that I will be losing 6-7 inches of usable water space.
<Mmm, can you fit (is there room) the skimmer base up on something chemically inert?>
The skimmer stands 19" tall and from the bottom of my stand to the top of the door is 22".
<Oh... well, is there room to lean the skimmer... or attach a collector to the collector cup... so you can save/use the three inches?>
 I will need to have room to take the collection cup off
<Mmm, look into drilling, fitting a drain line... to a container that will fit in the stand (outside the sump) that you can easily remove for draining, cleaning>
so raising the overall height would only get me a 1" or 2 which is a long way from 7". I was thinking about raising the pipe that the water outlet pipe is attached to but I don't know if that will affect the performance of the skimmer?
<Yes it will. Skimmers are (hopefully) engineered to either be adjustable in the contactor area water/bubble column height, or made to optimize the "bubble over area" in the collector cup... yours is only adjustable to a degree... shortening the space where the bubbles and water are mixing near the top will result in your skimmer producing a much wetter foam... you'll be dumping the collectant much more frequently>
 Any thoughts on how I could get this to work?
<As stated... or looking for another skimmer, or mounting it outside the stand...>
 I went with this skimmer because of how tall it stands and its only going to be used on a 90gal tank not knowing that I was limited on how deep the water can be.
<Understood. Bob Fenner> 


Sro vs. sro xp; skimmer sel.    12/28/12
Hi crew,
I had a question about the super reef octopus skimmers.  I'm setting up a 285 gallon aquarium with a 60 gallon sump.  It will be a mixed reef with fish.  I was hoping you could tell me if the SRO 5000 would work just as well as the SRO XP 5000 ( cone shape).  The SRO is $515 and the XP is $675.
 Is there any performance justification for this price difference.  What are your thoughts on these skimmers?
<Friends in the trade rate them as "good" (relative to other lines), and the cone-shape is a bit (nominally) better than the simple cylinder shaped contact chamber. Is it worth the extra $160? I don't know>
Thanks for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sro vs. sro xp - 12/28/2012

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the response.  What brand skimmer do you recommend using?
<Depends on the app., size of system, budget... see WWM for our input re Skimmer Selection (FAQs)>

  I know in some of the older threads reef dynamics was recommended, is this still the case?  I'm looking for good performance and something fairly quiet.
Thanks again
<Keep reading! BobF>

Protein Skimmers…Wide Range Of Quality/Performance – 08/30/12
Hello gang,
<<Hey Jamie>>
Question for you today regarding protein skimmers.
I've done my fair share of research on the subject and have pretty well come to the conclusion of purchasing a Reef Octopus for my 150 gallon FOWLR setup.
<<Not a bad choice/line of skimmers>>

I currently do have a protein skimmer in place; although not sure what kind since I purchased complete setup from someone else and the skimmer has no markings on it. Having said that, the main reason I am looking to purchase a new one is more due to the "sensitivity" of the one I currently have as opposed to its effectiveness. The one I have does work, seemingly very well, except that there is a very small "window" in which it works, so I find myself constantly adjusting it and checking it, pretty much several times a day.
<<Not unusual with “marginal” makes/models... The better designed units; in my experience, do not require daily fiddling about>>
Yes, I realize that they all require "adjustment",
<<From time to time, yes>>
but hope that not all of them require the frequency of adjustment that mine requires.
<<Nope… A well designed and made unit like my old Euro-Reef skimmer (now Reef-Dynamics) I’ve had for nine years rarely needs tinkering>>
Was wondering what your thoughts would be in regards to the issue?
<<I am in agreement with you…upgrade to a better unit>>
<<Happy to share… EricR>>

Skimmer selection question     7/1/12
I am planning a ~200 gallon aquarium with a 40-50 gallon sump / refugium.
I have the opportunity to acquire either an ASM G3 (rated 250 gallons) or AquaC EV 180. I'm well aware of the Crew's enthusiasm for AquaC, but am I better to go for the G3 given my system gallon capacity?
<Mmm, I would... for service-ability and function, the AquaC product is superior. BobF>
Thanks, Dave
Re: Skimmer selection question     7/2/12

Bob, thank you. Having read through Skimmer selection FAQs, and not knowing dating of some advice, I wonder what is the Crew's current suggestion regarding systems with heavy waste/bioload.
<Mmm, we have a range of experiences and opinions... It's mine that more money, efficiency is not so much the route to go at some price point.
Better to spend money on water changes, the addition of an ozonizer, even a drier for it>
 I will have a FOWLR with messy eaters (porcupine puffer, etc). I see that Beckett skimmers are sometimes suggested in the FAQs for this application, over the spray injection AquaCs and needle wheel designs. Please let me know your current view of the best skimmer technology for my planned tank.
<I'd stick w/ the AquaC>
 Many thanks for all the responses. Dave
<Welcome. BobF> 
Re: Refugium plan - Any feedback?   7/12/12

Bob, wow, thank you. More research done and still in process at WWM...on the return pump and your response that it likely isn't too low - I did more reading on WWM and wonder if I am missing the inline pump best-practice setup...
<There are quite a few variations on themes here>
The plan would be to have water enter the sump through the overflow,
<More than one I hope/trust>
then only place a single return pump in the sump, after the refugium.
It seems a 600gpm pump would only generate 2-3x/hour turnover - is this unsuitably low?
<... why aren't you searching, reading ahead of writing Dave? This is all gone over and over>
I see that your and Anthony's articles suggest much higher?
<Olde idea/s. Better by far to have most circulation in the tank>
 I would prefer to not use any powerheads/wavemakers/etc in the main tank and achieve water movement objectives purely through the return pump. Sorry if I'm missing key details on WWM or that are obvious plumbing questions about what to do (I probably couldn't have plumbed a bucket before last week, and my late night WWM reads since)
<Ahh, B>
Re: Refugium plan - Any feedback? skimmer choice/FOWLR    7/12/12

Bob, regarding the skimmer chamber and your suggestion that I reduce it. I thought I should target an ASM G4+ as my final system skimmer.
In recently acquiring this system, my biggest disappointment was that the stand would not be large enough for an AquaC EV 400 (32"). So I figured it may be best to plan for the ASM (rated for 400G), since the next-largest AquaC is only for 240 gallons. The ASM G4+ has a footprint listed online as 12" x 16", which is why my sump chamber is so large.
What do you think is best? Lower-rated skimmer (in gallons) with larger refugium or vice versa?
<... the AquaC... keep reading for now. B>
Re: Refugium plan - Any feedback?   7/12/12

Bob, sorry and shame on me for wasting your time.
<Not a waste, and never a bother Dave... just that there's so much more (and better, complete) info. stored on the site than I/we can deliver in the minutes available>
 For the hundreds of hours I've spent reading/searching WWM, obviously this detail has slipped me. Maybe plumbing is my greatest weakness and what I have read on this did not register. Back to research...
<Yes my friend. DO write in re specific questions, concerns. B>
Re: Refugium plan - Any feedback?   7/12/12

Bob, as always, a thousand thank yous to you and team.
<Ahh, as many welcomes.>

Re: Advice needed on large reef tank     4/22/12
Thanks bob. One last question would it be better for me to go with one more reef octopus 5000 int skimmer and have two of them operating or shall I just use one reef octopus 7000 ext model which would be better. Thanks once again for your advice
<I'd go w/ the same (internal) model as you already have. BobF>

Protein skimmer/Selection 4/6/12
Hi Crew,
<Hello Jim>
Jim again! So I am upgrading my skimmer. I have a Reef Octopus nwb 125. I like the Reef Octopus skimmers, but it has been really the only skimmer I have had since I have been in the hobby. I have been reading wwm and there are a lot of different opinions on what skimmer to buy. I was going to buy Super Reef Octopus 5000 in sump skimmer.
<The space saver or standard model?  I'd prefer the standard model.>
 It is rated for 500 gallons. I have a 180 fowlr with a HEAVY bio-load! Do you think that skimmer will do the load or should look for a different in sump skimmer?
<That particular model should handle your tank with ease.  I believe this model incorporates the new HY5000 bubble blaster pinwheel pump.  I would suggest feeding this skimmer with a minimum of 600gph.
 It will go in a 90 gallon sump. Water level stays about 13" deep. I hope all your adventures in the sea is going well.
<Mmm, that would be Bob's sea adventures.  James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmers 2/22/12
Hello guys,
<Hello Joe>
 I have a question regarding skimmers. I own a bnib Octopus int-ps-200 (09 model) skimmer. I was planning on selling it. Has skimmer technology changes <changed> that much in hte <the> last few years? A friend said the better the pump the better performance of skimmer.
<Not necessarily so.  There are many factors to consider in skimmer performance.  Pumps, contact time, reaction chamber, size of bubbles, amount of bubbles, etc.  Recirculating and counter current designs are known to improve efficiency.  Some of the older models of Octopus skimmers had some problems with the pumps used but Octopus replaced these with the Italian made Sicce Pumps which are very good pumps.  I do not recall which year they did this so you might want to see which pump came with yours.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
e Skimmer sel.  2/23/12

thank you...will be selling it and buy a newer one soon.
Have you heard of Aquaripure...Slogan "tired of water changes?"
<Yes, but it sure doesn't put trace elements back into the water or clean the substrate.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Skimmers, sel. ongoing  2/24/12

Hello guys,
<Hi Joe>
need your help on purchasing a new skimmer for a 125 gallon tank.
<I do not have any money. :-)>
Need one in sump, the selection is endless. Looking for something around 300 bucks. Looking at Octopus or a Bubble
Magus 180 perhaps. Something good and quiet and yes cast acrylic a must with a reliable pump. I have an old int-ps-200 Octopus that I'm selling.
Please guide me.
<Although both of the skimmers you mentioned are good skimmers, it's best to post this question on a few bulletin boards/forums and get actual user comments.  Our forum can be found here.
 thanks guys!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

DIY Skimmer Question    1/30/12
Dear WWM Crew,
I made a DIY counter current protein skimmer for my 24 gallon tank a year ago. It is constructed from PVC and the reactor body is 4" in diameter and 26" tall. It worked exceedingly well, pulling out dark green skimmate with gunk from my tank which used to house two fish and some shrimp and other invertebrates but no coral.
Recently I upgraded my system to a 55 gallon display tank with the 24 gallon tank becoming the sump. I am using the skimmer on this tank now and it is working wonderfully. My question however is that the flow rate through the skimmer is just over 30 gallons per hour. I am worried this is insufficient for my current system. Would it be an issue if I increased the flow through my skimmer?
<Only actual trial can tell, but the current flow rate is likely fine here>
I am also thinking of using my old main pump which is rated at approximately 500 gallons per hour to with a venturi before the intake since replacing airstones is quite expensive in relative terms over here.
But i don't mind retaining the airstones also. Do you think this pump would be too large to couple on this skimmer if it is being used with air being injected into the intake?
<Likely so, but again, only testing can/will be able to determine>
Unfortunately over here the best skimmer I can find is one made by JAD, a Chinese company, and i don't know if it will work and I don't know anyone else who is using these skimmers either and the aquarium shops here do not hold saltwater systems so there is no way to test it out either.
<Many good products (and some shoddy) are made for our interest in China...>
Bottom line should I do something or am I doing fine as it is?
<Fine as is>
Thanks so much for all your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sump/Refugium, and now skimmer as well Question. Upgrading    1/14/12
Thank you for your thoughtful and expert answer. I am forever grateful to you. This one is confusing me and please enlighten me. With the refugium that I have now, I am able to have zero nitrate and I think the Caulerpa in the refugium is doing a good job of nitrate removal in addition to my skimmer. Now, if I use the current S/R with almost doubling the water volume in a new tank, will I be at risk to have nitrate reading as the Caulerpa will not be able to cope with increased bio load (more fish, more corals)?
<Only practice, time can/will tell. I would not be surprised if this were so... You'll have to harvest the noxious Green algae more frequently>
And lastly, do I need to get a new skimmer because the one now is rated for 150 gallon.
<This too can only be found out through actual practice. T'were it my system, I would hold off on upgrading the skimmer>
 With the current
set up, it does not accumulate anything much in the skimmer at all.
Thanks Dai Phan
<Exactly. Cheers, BobF>

Skimmers 12/14/11
Dear Wet Web Media,
I see a lot of different type of skimmers.
<Yes, there are many.>
There are cone and non cone. Also recirculating skinners <skimmers, skinners sounds nasty>.
Is there one as cone work better then a non cone skimmer?

<This is all going to depend on the design and components used in any method of protein skimming.  The recirculating method is where the skimmer is fed dirty water from the aquarium and is recirculated within the skimmer multiple times before it is returned to the sump or the aquarium.
Aspirating pump skimmers are the most popular type of skimmer to use recirculating designs.  While there is a popular belief among some aquarist that this recirculation increases the dwell or contact time of the generated air bubbles within the skimmer, I am not aware of any documented proof that this is true.  In my opinion, the most hassle free skimmers are the spray injection type.   Water level fluctuations in the sump do not affect the efficiency of these type skimmers as much as other designs do. 
James (Salty Dog)>
John Michtich

Lighting, Skimmers'¦and a dearth of info provided -- 11/14/11
<<Hi there>>
I accidentally bought a 20k light bulb and I think I can just use it as a weaker actinic light bulb.

<<Or maybe return it for credit/exchange>>
Can I use this bulb with a 10k bulb?
<<Sure'¦though whether this combo gives the needed light intensity I have no idea as you have left out any detail of your system. Do have a read here and among the associated links at the top of the page (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm)>>
Also, how would I use a powerhead for a protein skimmer?

<<Not enough information to formulate a response>>
If I can't then do I have to use only limewood air stones

<<Ah'¦if your query re the powerhead is to provide the 'bubbles' for a skimmer, this likely will prove insufficient. Best to stick with the original design, or purchase a different/better skimmer>>
or can I use different ones?
<<In my experience with air-driven skimmers, most anything other than Limewood air diffusers have proven disappointing as they just don't produce a fine-enough bubble, in my opinion. You can 'make' a fairly suitable substitute from Basswood (can be found at arts-and-craft stores like 'Michaels'), if you have the tools/are a bit handy. Otherwise, I would stick to the Limewood. EricR>>
Re: Lighting, Skimmers'¦and a dearth of info provided -- 11/15/11

Ah okay, as for the lighting I am lighting a 20 gallon tall. Will the TrueLumen LED light strip 12000k be good?
<<Not for more than providing some visual enhancement'¦these units appear to be no more than 'moonlights'>>

What corals could I grow under this light?
<<Nothing requiring any kind of PAR value. You really do need to do some reading/research. Start here and do also read among the links in blue (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corllgtg.htm). In my opinion, you would be much better off with a suitable T5 or CF fixture for this size tank. Even MH (70W/150W), if the desire is for high-light requiring organisms>>
Would a Biocube protein skimmer be good for this system?
<<Not in my opinion (too small/too short a reaction chamber)
'¦though likely better than nothing, if only to provide some oxygenation/degassing. An AquaC Remora would be a much better option. And as before, please read here'¦and among the associated links (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm). EricR>>

Protein Skimmers'¦ Some Thoughts and Opinions -- 03/15/11
I've been exploring the reef aquarium hobby for about 2 years now, and you all have been a lifesaver.
<<We are happy to know>>
I'm starting to set up a new 60 gallon reef aquarium with a 50 gallon sump. I currently have a SeaClone protein skimmer
running on my 36 gallon tank. I'm not really happy with it and I want to upgrade to a new one before I build my stand for my new tank.
I've been told good things about the AquaC EV-120 and Tunze 9006.
<<Both good bits of gear, yes>>
Also one of the shops I go to a lot has told me that they would recommend the ASM G-1 or the G-1x.
<<These are a cheaper version (cheaper materials used in their construction) of my current fave the old Euro-Reef (now Reef Dynamics) skimmers. They can and do work well for some folks, but I would still spend the money for a higher quality unit if at all possible>>
I'm just curious if anyone knows if any of these would perform better than the others
<<I think any of these would suit your tank very well, though my own preference leans toward the 'needle-wheel' style of skimmer'¦though I would research other makers (the afore mentioned Reef Dynamics and even the Reef Octopus line of skimmers) in favor over the ASM>>
and also which would be the easiest to adjust.
<<Any of these (most any 'well designed high quality unit') is fairly easy to adjust and keep adjusted'¦but I find the design of the Euro-Reef/Reef Dynamics skimmers to be exceptional re>>
This SeaClone has been a nightmare and it's the only one I've had experience with so I would really like a user friendly one.
<<Pretty much 'anything' will be an improvement over the SeaClone>>
Any advice or preferences you have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the help.
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Proper Skimmer Reef Dynamics INS150?/Skimmer Selection 2/10/11
Hello Guys!
<Hello Jeff>
Happy new year and all the best!
<Thank you and to you as well.>
First time writing and still new in the hobby! Been reading and learning soo much from you guys!! Keep up the great work!
<We'll try our best.>
I need a little advice from you guys regarding skimmers....I have been researching skimmers and think I am confusing myself with the wealth of information out there! I presently have a 75g tank with a mix of corals and fish. Had this for 1.5 yrs and now upgrading to a 220g tank! I have atm <?> Aqua C Remora pro hang on skimmer with a Fluval FX5 bio filtration.
I am now building a 33g sump/refugium and was going to use the Vertex IN 250 in sump but found out that this is too tall to fit into my tank stand (I have 27" clearance and the Vertex is 31 1/2). I know you guys are big fans of Aqua C (so am I) as well as Euro Reef now Reef dynamics? I have looked at these as well but unsure to which one would work best. What would you suggest? Price range would be in the $350-$500 range.
<I can certainly understand your dilemma here in skimmer selection as I have had more skimmers than underwear in my lifetime. The Reef Dynamics as well as Aqua C are equally fine skimmers. The one thing I am always interested in is how difficult is the skimmer to maintain/clean.
Skimmers that are difficult to maintain generally do not get maintained as often as they should and this results in a loss of skimming efficiency. My other concern is the footprint, will it fit in my sump without having to remove other needed components such as a chemical reactor, etc. The Reef Dynamics INS150 is advertised to handle tanks up to 500 gallons but do not be mislead here.
This rating is for minimal tank loads based on information I have recently read.
Realistically, in a moderately stocked reef tank, it should handle a 150 gallon system quite well. In your 220 gallon system it will not be efficient enough. The AquaC EV240 would be more appropriate for your system and the cost isn't much higher than the Reef Dynamics INS150. The height of the EV240 is 26" and the collection cup is a twist lock design that requires very little height above the skimmer to remove it. But to be on the safe side, I suggest you contact Jason at Aqua C to verify this. jason@proteinskimmer.com. If it were me, I'd go with the Aqua C EV240. Another suggestion is to post this question on a few bulletin boards, see what other actual users have to say about either skimmer. Our BB can be found here.
http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/.  Above all, never rely on one person's opinion and/or review as improper set up/adjustment can turn
a good skimmer into a poor performing skimmer.>
Than you in advance for your help it is much appreciated!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Need help picking a new skimmer to replace an AquaC EV-400   1/31/11
Hi...great website...thanks for all the content.
<Hello, thank you!>
I've been reading here, looking at reef chat sites, reading reviews and watching U-tube reviews...I was hoping to get some input from you too...I have an AquaC EV-400 that I run with a Mag 18 that is both using too much energy and not producing as much as I would like.
<I hear ya!>
I have heard that I could fix this with a larger pump, but already I want something with less energy draw (heat and cost problems). After researching I've narrowed it down to the following:
Reef Dynamics INS180 45 watts -- rated for180 gallons
Vertex INS280 56 watts --rated for 280 gallons
Reef Octopus Extreme 200 30 watts rated for 225 gallons
Reef Octopus SUPER SRO 2000INT 22 watts - rated for 180 gallons
Reef Octopus SUPER SRO 3000INT 35 watts -- rated for 300 gallons
I have a 180 gallon, 75 gallon sump, mixed reef with 8 small fish and a few soft corals that was transferred from a 50 gallon about 6 months ago. I'm not sure I have the Octopus watts exactly right...I have seen different things on different websites. I'm leaning towards the Octopus Super SRO 3000 or the Extreme 200...any thoughts on these or other good producing low energy skimmers? I have a 180 gallon, 75 gallon sump, mixed reef with 8 small fish and a few soft corals that was transferred from a 50 gallon about 6 months ago.
<Really the two I would point you to and use myself on this system are the top two you listed. The Octopus skimmers are fine skimmers for the money, but not in the same class as the other two in my opinion and experience.>
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Skimmer Option/Skimmer Selection 1/18/11
Dear Bob
<Hello Srinivas, James with you today, Bob is out diving/having fun in Cozumel.>
Thanks for your ever dependable advice on various topics.
<You're welcome.>
I have got one more silly one to be answered for me. Though I surfed much on this one, there's no concrete/satisfactory/ confident answer to this one.
I upgraded form a 3.5 footer to a 6 feet marine FOWLR ( currently... intend to build a reef slowly)
I used all my previous supplies including the skimmer. The skimmer is rated for a 150 gallon tank, definitely not the best in the industry, but so far has been performing reasonably without much problems to the water/livestock.
<Is OK to mention the manufacturer.>
Now its time to upgrade to a in sump skimmer for my 200 Gallon tank.
Is it advisable to have another skimmer rated for a 150 gallon tank to run in conjunction with the existing one.
<I guess that would depend on your budget.>
My contention : more skimming through two machines. One as a back up in case of any breakdowns.
<Would be debatable depending on models used in both cases.>
The only downsides that were available with other experts were more cost/more heat/ more power consumption
<I don't believe more heat would be much of an issue in your tank. A  little more power/cost, yes. >
Is it better to upgrade to a skimmer ( reasonable in cost) rated for a 250-300 gallon tank.
<Mmm, reasonable would need to be defined, what is reasonable to you?>
Please advice.
<Again, will depend on your budget, how much do you want to invest. A good skimmer/pump combo for your tank would run a tad over 500.00. An additional skimmer/pump combo rated for a 150 gallon tank likely around 300.00 depending on brand/model. I base these prices on choosing quality skimmers, known performers. Another option would be to sell your present skimmer and put the money toward a new skimmer efficient enough to handle your system. I've had good luck selling unneeded equipment on EBay.
What would I do? I'd likely opt for one skimmer rated for at least a 240 gallon tank and likely choose the AquaC EV 240 with a Mag 12 pump.>
My current tank is approx 210 gallons with a sump system (40 gallons).
the sump has a DSB/and protein skimmer as filtration design.
The DP tank has about 100 pounds of Live rock and about 72 Kgs of Live sand.
It hosts 1 Koran angel, 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Hippo Tang, 1 Tomato Clown, 1oscellous <Ocellaris> clown, 2 Green Chromis, 1 Strawberry Dottyback, 1 hermit crab and 1 tentacle anemone.
<Unusual, a one tentacle anemone. :-D>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Srinivas Manian
Re Skimmer Option/Skimmer Selection 1/18/11- 1/19/11

Thanks James for the frank feedback
<You're welcome.>
I am currently using a Weipro Venturi protein skimmer rated for 150 Gallons.
<Not familiar with that brand.>
I was thinking of adding a AquaC Remora Pro rated for about 120 gallons.
Would fit in the existing sump set up without requiring any modification.
The Weipro model ( for that matter, any used marine equipment) would be hard to sell in India and would fetch a near nothing.
The cost of the Remora Pro would be affordable.
For the AquaC EV 240 , some modification in the sump would be required.
Moreover the cost is doubled as compared to the Remora pro.
Since I can afford ( and hardly so) only once, wanted to be sure.
<I'd go with the Remora Pro rather than modify the sump. Both skimmers should provide the skimming action needed for your tank provided you do not overstock.>
Have you heard about Sera Marin Protein Skimmer model PS 600 S ?
Fits in budget and readily available in India as well..
<I've heard of Sera but not familiar with their skimmer line. James (Salty Dog)>
Srinivas Manain

Protein Skimmer Options/Protein Skimmers/Selection 1/14/11
Hi Bob and Crew,
<Hello Paul, James with you today.>
I have a couple of questions regarding equipment I will be purchasing for my own personal 210 gallon tank that I hope you can help with or give your educated opinions on. The tank will be not be a full blown reef but not a FOWLR either, somewhere in between, but the fish load will be moderately heavy.
Through a distributor I can get several items at distributor prices but the selection is somewhat limited. The best skimmer they have for this size aquarium is the Eshopps Cone Snow S200 skimmer, which I can get for approximately $400 or slightly under. What is your opinion of this skimmer, or do you think there are better options to be purchased online elsewhere for approximately $400? What brand/model in that price range do you recommend?
<This skimmer is only rated up to a 200 gallon tank. With your moderately heavy fish load, I'd look for something a little higher, say around 240+.
I haven't heard any feedback on the Eshopps skimmer so I can't comment on it's performance. Likely the best skimmer for your system, and keeping within your price range would be the AquaC EV240, a very good skimmer from a company that is second to none in customer service. You may also want to check out the Octopus, Vertex, and ASM line of skimmers.>
2nd piece of equipment that I have a question about are R.O. units. Through the same distributor I can get either a Coralife, Kent or Seachem unit. All features assumed the same, what is your opinion here?
<Wouldn't matter which brand to me, basically the same, but I'd get one with a post DI filter like the Kent Maxxima RO/DI.>
I thank you in advance for your help as always and send to you the regards of Penn-Plax Inc.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmer Too Small?/Protein Skimmers/Selection 11/17/10
Hope all is well.
<As good as it's gonna get.>
Thanks for taking the time to help.
I bought a 75 gallon the from a guy the other day.
He said he housed sps in it.
The skimmer he used was a Reef Octopus NWB 110.
I plan on making the aquarium a softy tank with a medium to high fish load.
I've read that softies get a lot of their food from fish waste, depending on species of course.
I have about a 100lbs of live rock, not all the display. Most of the rock is in the sump.
My question is, would this skimmer be big enough for the fish and coral load I plan to have?
<That model is rated for up to a 100 gallon tank so with a medium fish load, it should do the job for you.>
Thanks again?
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Just Another Skimmer Question 10/26/10
Hi friends.
<Hello Jason>
I am currently in between skimmers and need help.
I have a 125 gallon tank with 30 gallon sump. Plenty of live rock and a deeper sand bed than most. I currently have a Euro-Reef skimmer that is the something or other 80 model I think.
<Likely the RS80P and too small for your tank.>
Anyway, the pump on it died and I never much cared for this skimmer in the first place.
<Mmm, is one of the better brands of skimmers. Incidentally, as of 12/31/2009, Euro-reef has ceased doing business. The former CEO has started a new company called Reef Dynamics and they will provide support to existing Euro-reef customers.>
It's caused me much grief. This is partially due to my sump not having a float valve auto top-off do-hicky. I'm just not going down that road. I did however, install a water line (small pump and simple 1/4" plastic tubing) with a valve on it that drips Kalkwasser into the sump that is fed from a big garbage can in the laundry room. So I do have some control in the water level in the sump, but not consistent enough for that Euro-Reef I believe. On top of that, so much monkeying either getting too much water or not enough gunk in the collection cup. Or my personal favorite, a half inch of real good skimmate that overflows back into the sump when I do a water change (forgetting to remove collection cup first) which makes me turn off the power the pumps which raises the sump level dramatically, which instantly causes the skimmer to overskim.
<Can happen with all skimmers using the same technology. Been there myself a few times.>
My LFS has turned me onto the idea of the AMS <ASM> in-sump skimmer, which he says is more forgiving than the rest as far as not having my sump level at just the right height. My other thought is the Aqua C Remora Pro which I have used before. I don't want to use the Aqua C as a hang-on in my main tank because I don't like seeing the pump in the water taking up space and I almost burned the house down once with that thing because the pump was not resting on the bottom of the tank, it just hangs off of the skimmer itself. Well then it worked itself free of the connection and I had water splashing out of my tank and lost about half of the water.
Oh and the water of course landed on power strips and such.
<Double sweet.>
I don't know which was worse, sopping up all that water on the floor or the smoky electrical billowing clouds in the basement. I then figured out to buy a piece of tubing to extend the pump to the floor of the tank so that bugger would stay on.
<Obviously no clamps were used to secure the hose to the pump.>
Also it's a spray type skimmer that makes a lot of racket. At least at first. I can't remember now if that went away after it was "broken in" for awhile.
<Depending on how good your hearing is, the spray noise is always present.>
Anyway, what are your thoughts of maybe using this Aqua C on my sump?
<That's too small for your tank as well.>
I would hang it off of the side where the Euro-Reef was. That way I don't have to look at it. Or would the ASM in-sump be a better route?
<My suggestion would be to first select a skimmer capable of handling your tank. With reef tanks, it is recommended to go one size higher than what is recommended by the individual company. I've been using a Vertex Skimmer for a couple of years now and have had no problems with it other than normal maintenance/cleaning. The Aqua C EV series skimmers are also a good choice. Sump levels do need to be maintained reasonably close for the best efficiency with most in sump skimmers. The Vertex is pretty tolerable to variations in water level as long as they do not exceed +/- 5/8". I just make it a habit to top off my tank every morning.>
Also, is it not recommended to put any live rock nor macro algae into the skimmer part of the sump? I'm just trying to make the most of all the free space I have.
<I would put nothing in the skimmer section of the sump, always the chance of macro getting sucked up into the inlet of the pump.>
Thanks for all your help, invaluable.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Drying off,

Choosing skimmers; creating Live Rock (was - Re: overstocked?)   9/12/10
Hi, once again. I value your expertise and opinions greatly, so two last questions.
<Fire away.>
I added the BioWheel 400. I was thinking of getting the salinity up to 1.018.
<I assume at 25 C/77 F?>
Then adding a skimmer. What skimmer is the best one for the money. I looked at the CPR Bak Pak, and Tunze. I believe Tunze is German made and a really good skimmer,
<Indeed, this brand is well regarded. Deltec is another good brand.>
From my reading. I really do not know and do not want to play around with buying garbage and having to return them. Can you recommend either of these brands. or another one?
<I'd encourage you to read here:
Broadly, the taller the skimmer and the stronger the air pump, the better the skimmer will work. In fish-only or FOWLR systems, any tall, powerful skimmer should do the trick nicely. If you're keeping Scats for example,
the sheer amount of food they eat means any decent skimmer should collect lots of muck without much effort. In reef tanks efficiency becomes more of an issue because it isn't merely keeping the water clear you're interested
in, but holding down nitrates and phosphates as close to near-zero values as possible.>
Also is there a way to turn my coral skeletons into live rock, i.e. a solution to buy that will put the organisms into the water column and that will attach to the coral?
Thank you so very much for your help.br /> &<Live rock in the filtration sense is live rock because it is highly porous, so you have lots of spaces in the rock with little to no water flow. That allows dysaerobic and anaerobic bacteria to grow, and these in turn remove nitrate and produce nitrogen gas. A lump of coral won't be nearly so porous. So while yes, "good" bacteria will colonise the thing very quickly, it won't ever mimic the efficiency of good-quality live rock.
If you want live rock, you'll need to buy some. Cheers, Neale.>span>&n 

Some Skimmer Advice, sel.  7/29/10
Hello yet again guys and gals,
<Hello Chris>
Much has changed since I last contacted WWM, mostly for the better, but I've got a few skimmer related questions.
I currently have 2 active aquariums, and one "on the way" (sitting in my garage, waiting for a stand and the rest of the build). My first aquarium is a 20H full mixed reef that currently is home to about 30 varied coral frags (as I'm learning what I like and don't like) along with 15 pounds of live rock, a serpent star, Coral Banded Shrimp, indigo Dottyback (adult), two percula clowns (very small, dominant one is about 2.5"), and a Red Barred High Fin Goby (I have a pistol shrimp on order with my LFS for this guy). All of this sits under a 70w MH and has 2 K-Nano 250 pumps and a little 50 gph power head to just give a tad more flow over the SPS section.
I also have a Whisper 40 on here full of macro algae that is lit 24/7 with a 6500K spiral bulb, I trim the algae by 50-60% every 2 weeks and nitrates are less than 3 via a LaMotte kit. I do daily 1 gallon water changes on this
tank to maintain calcium/Alk/and Mag levels without supplementation.
<Sounds good!>
My other tank is a 56 gallon with a 175W halide, Emperor 280 with filter floss only, a 1400 gph modded MaxiJet (great bang for the buck), about 40 pounds of live rock and the stock list (don't yell, the 90 gallon in the garage is coming VERY soon)...
<We don't yell.>
Two black percula 1-1/2 inches, 1 maroon (I know) about 2" who loves his RBTA that I'm nursing back to health (its name is Casper due to the color), two spot (blue eye) bristletooth tang, one spot Foxface (both the tang and Foxface are 3", and were purchased as they will be the "big fish" in the 90 gallon), <Mmm, do you have some future plans for the "big fish" as they grow? That 90 will be a little cramped.>
4 Firefish, 1 small (half dollar or smaller) Flame Angel, 1 large pink/blue spot goby, and a Neon Dottyback, I
also have a fire/blood shrimp. This tank has almost no corals (just a big Kenya tree) and I do 10 gallon per week water changes.
I currently have a CPR BakPak skimmer, which has been on "back and forth" duty. Normally I fill the skimmer cup in 2 days when it is on the 20 gallon but if it is on the 56 it will normally take over a week to make half a
<Likely less nutrients in the 56.>
I've just been gifted a Remora skimmer because the previous owner didn't have the lid or the little screw for accessing the injector, but thanks to some wonderful customer service I'll have it up and running in a few days. So, the real question is - which tank gets which skimmer, and why (if possible).
<The Remora would be the one I'd put on the 90 as it is a more efficient skimmer than the BakPak but may still be undersized depending on stocking levels.>
I also plan on moving almost all the stock from the 56 into the 90 gallon (and likely not adding much more) and making it a reef (Flame Angel may or may not move, depending on it's behavior), and I would like to get an idea
of what skimmer would be good. I'm okay with the skimmer being expensive being I'll build my own stand, and create my own lighting, so I'm budgeting around $300. Someone in my local reef club told me with that much bioload I'm going to need something rated much larger than 90 gallons, and they suggested SWC's Mini-S or that minimally an AquaC EV-180, or better to get the 240. I'm wondering what skimmer you might suggest (I'm leaning towards Aqua C as I like to buy American and the customer service is stellar), so would I be able to use an EV-120 which is a little more in my budget, or should I skimp somewhere else for a tad and get the EV-180?
<The EV-120 would be fine with a sensible stocking level. If you plan on upgrading to a larger tank in the future, you may want to opt for the EV-180 or 240 depending on your future tank size. In that regard, you won't have to buy another skimmer in the future.
And I do agree with you on Aqua C's service. Jason will bend over backwards for his customers, a very fine company.>
Thank you folks again for all the help before, and in the future, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmer/Refugium Opinion's 7/13/10
Hello Again Wonderful Wet-Ones!!
<Hello Jill>
I have been scrolling for days and days through your FAQs on skimmers and I think I know what I would like to do but wanted to run it by you first.
I have a 125 gallon tank with two corner overflows to a wet/dry, trickle filter, Marineland sump system with a Marineland skimmer. I have removed the BioWheels and filled with LR rubble instead. The sump is set up to run the overflow water through mechanical filtration before hitting the protein skimmer....After much reading, I can see why my skimmer never really produced much gunk. The footprint for the Marineland skimmer is very small and there seems to be no way to increase that without putting in a whole new sump system which the room through the cabinet doors makes virtually impossible.
Here is what I am thinking.
I am thinking to remove the in-sump protein skimmer and using that space for a DSB and LR rubble and buying a hang-on the tank skimmer instead. My only issue would be that I have to hang the skimmer on the side of the tank. I feel I would be giving up possibly good skimming but getting a "refugium of sorts" instead.
<If I had to make that choice, I would opt for an efficient skimmer. If I knew the dimensions of the skimmer area in your sump, I may be able to suggest a good skimmer that would fit.>
Tank inhabitants are: 100 lbs LR, Copperband Butterfly, Flame Hawk, Harlequin Tusk, Rabbitfish, Diamond Goby, 5 hermits, 4 turbo snails, 2 small leather corals, 10 mushrooms, Halimeda and a small bubble coral.
I am trying to upgrade more to a reef than a fish only and will eventually be adding more softies in once I have my lighting upgraded and this sump/protein skimmer issue resolved.
Any thoughts to my above plan?
<Send me all the compartment dimensions and I will suggest if possible, an efficient skimmer. With a 125 gallon tank, I'm guessing you have the Marineland Model 3.>
Thanks once again!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

R3: Reef Setup Critique -- 06/10/10
Hello Eric,
<<Hiya Mike>>
I forgot to ask, since you're a fan of needle-wheel skimmers is there a brand that stands out for you?
<<Several, actually'¦ I currently employ an 'old' Euro-Reef CS12-3 upgraded with ER modified Eheim pumps, and love it. Euro-Reef has changed their name and are now called Reef Dynamics. Royal Exclusiv (Bubble King/Vertex) and H&S also provide some very nice high-quality skimmers'¦other options worth considering are the offerings from Deltec, AquaC (though this is not a needle-wheel model), Reef Octopus, and of course the Aerofoamer driven Tunze skimmers>>
Also, how about having two pipes drain into one 7" filter sock, can you think of a disadvantage to that?
Mike Z
<<Should work fine'¦ EricR>>
R4: Reef Setup Critique -- 06/10/10
Oops, I know that you guys appreciate good grammar so please replace my "your" with a "you're" or a "you are" in case you are not a fan of contractions.
Mike Z
<<No worries, mate'¦was taken care of. EricR>>

Selecting a Sub-$400 Protein Skimmer for a 125 Gallon Mixed Reef -- 06/08/10
Hello WWM,
I'm looking to do a moderately stocked 125g mixed reef and want to replace the Red Sea Berlin Classic skimmer that I have now.
<<A positive upgrade>>
Unfortunately, I have limited available space in the sump
<<A common issue (ah but to only have an accessible 'equipment room' for our systems, eh)>>
(Approx. 9.5' x 11.5', plus around 24' height for comfortable waste cup removal). Some of the skimmer models I'm considering have the proper dimensions and are listed to be good for my size tank or slightly bigger.
<<Okay'¦my vote would be for a quality 'needle wheel' model>>
However, I've read here on WWM that many manufacturers don't rate their skimmers accurately.
<<Tis true'¦as with most any advertising, the hobby also suffers from those who either think a whole lot more of their goods than anyone else, or just out and out lie about 'em>>
Euro-Reef and AquaC were noted as exceptions.
<<Also true'¦and maybe even slightly 'under' rated as to their efficacy>>
I'm looking at Reef Octopus (3 models: NWB150, EXT160, or SRO1000INT/2000INT); Reef Dynamics (formerly Euro-Reef) INS135; and maybe also the ASM G1-X or the Aqua Euro USA Classic 135. Do those manufacturers rate their skimmers correctly?
<<I think in this case it is 'close enough''¦especially considering you are going 'slightly larger' with your selected models>>
I read that the Reef Dynamics INS135 is conservatively rated like Euro Reef,
<<I would expect it to be the same, comparably>>
but it might be a tight fit (10' x 12' according to their website) for me.
The others fit the size profile, but are they underpowered for my potential use? Any other brand you might recommend?
<<AquaC and Tunze>>
I see a lot of support for the AquaC EV180 here, but I can't afford to go much over $300,
and the EV180 plus pump (not included) appears to be pushing $400.
<<Then assuming it fits the space, I would go with one of the Reef Octopus models you list (looking at the SRO models first). I use/prefer Euro-Reef (Reef Dynamics) skimmers, but I have seen and heard good things about these Reef Octopus skimmers from CoralVue. Cheers, Eric Russell>>

Protein skimmer, yes/no and sel.   4/7/10
Thank you for your early respond about nitrate..
<Not sure who got your original email, but Chris here today.>
Now I got another question.
I've got a 100 gallon sea water tank with a Hagen Fluval Canister Filters 404 and 2 MaxiJet 1200, with 70 lb of live rock and 3 inches of sand.
<Clean the canisters often.>
My question its if I need a protein skimmer, and if I do which one do you recommend best for that size of aquarium.
<I personally would not run a tank without a quality protein skimmer.
Aqua-C, Euro-Reef, Deltec are the brands that immediately come to mind as producers of quality products. Many others out there, some quality, some less so.>
I want it very clean, I know I have to clean one time a week, but something that can get all the left over from food, and be best for my fish.
<Ok, but if you have left over food in the tank you need to feed less, a skimmer will help but not a miracle worker.>
So far the levels of water ph nitrite ammonia are good.
I've got a chocolate chip starfish,
<Difficult to keep, especially in a new tank.>
blue banded coral shrimp, small crab, 3 turbo snails, and 3 damsels so far.
<The damsels may be problematic as well due to aggression.>
Thank you in advance.

One More Skimmer Question To Add To Your Site, sel.. Chaetomorpha tumbling, fan CFMs -- 03/26/10
Hey guys!
<<Hiya Drew! Sorry for the delay'¦ Work has been a bear and I'm afraid I let your query linger in my box a bit too long. But hey, as I have been reminded'¦I'm just glad to have a job [grin] >>
You've helped me out before so hopefully you can again.
<<I shall try>>
I read through your info on skimmer selection and found that really helpful, but am still in need of some guidance.
<<Mmm, indeed'¦ It can be a bit confounding/intimidating considering the considerable outlay of funds involved with the purchase of a 'quality' unit>>
I have a 180 gallon drilled tank with a MegaFlow 4 sump/wet-dry. It is going to become a well stocked reef and have a moderate bioload.
<<Do research our site re reef tanks and wet/dry filters'¦most don't advocate the use of such filters in reef systems>>
I found a Coralife skimmer 220 that was used for 3 weeks for $100 which is about half the cost of a new one
<<Mmm, did you check yourself? Marine Depot sells this skimmer new for $112.00'¦and a search on the net can get you one 'new' for as little as $105.00>>
so I picked it up just to have something on the tank.
<<And that's pretty much describes it'¦am not a fan of these skimmers>>
How well will this skimmer work when the tank is dully stocked with corals and fish?
<<I do think you will find the money would have been better put toward a better skimmer>>
Following that should I look into a better skimmer down the road?
<<Absolutely'¦ AquaC, Euro-Reef (now Reef Dynamics), H&S, Tunze, Deltec'¦and maybe even the Octopus line of skimmers>>
I know you guys are fond of the AquaC and Euro-Reefs.
<<Yup'¦the ER is my current fave>>
What style and price range am I looking at if I decide to get one of these down the road?
<<I favor the needle-wheel 'style' of skimmer, but other types offered by the manufacturers I've listed will also serve. As for price range this will be variable among the differing manufacturers. I do suggest you get the 'next size up' from what is 'suggested' where possible'¦and expect to pay $300.00 and more>>
Also I took out the bioballs in the sump/wet-dry because I heard they are a nuisance in a reef tank.
<<One way to put it'¦do research our site for a full explanation>>
Should I replace them with live rock or rubble?
<<You can, yes'¦or even use/rig the chamber for chemical filtrants (carbon/Poly-Filter)>>
The previous owner of the tank threw in a refugium that he had running with some success, but it was neglected and became a rotting mess.
The dimensions are 8"wide x 7"tall x 36"long. Because of the shape of it I can't figure out how I will ever get Chaeto to "tumble" any ideas?
<<Not to worry'¦the Chaetomorpha does not have to tumble. I have kept 'non-tumbling' Chaetomorpha in a 55g refugium for nearly seven years now. Just supply adequate lighting and flow (as little as couple hundred GPH has proven sufficient in my experience), and keep it thinned periodically, and it should be fine>>
It's hooked into the main pump using a tee section and a ball-valve, but I can't adjust the flow too much higher because of the baffle system at the entrance of the refuge that causes the sand bed to float into the water which drains back into the sump.
<<As stated'¦no need for a huge amount of flow>>
I know this won't work as a true refuge,
but my main concern was added filtration from the macro by pulling out nutrients.
<<It can/will work'¦but within the confines/limitations of its size>>
Lastly I've been looking into cooling fans for the halides in the canopy to keep them from running hot, keep evaporation under control,
<<Actually mate, 'promoting' evaporation will assist with cooling of the tank water>>
and to make sure the heat doesn't warp the wooden canopy I built. I found some great prices for a variety of fans, but don't really know what CFM I should be getting?
<<Pretty much anything that moves air will help'¦just keep in mind the higher the CFM rating the LOUDER the fan is likely to be. I utilize 12v fans for this reason (generally not as powerful as 110v fans given the same size'¦but lots quieter) but if you use 12v units you will also need a suitable transformer/s>>
I also don't really know what CFM means in layman's terms.
<<CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute and references the 'volume of air' the fan is rated to move>>
Could you guide me in the right direction?
<<I hope I have'¦do look to sources 'outside' the aquarium industry for the best prices>>
Sorry for the length of this, but I know you guys are busy and I hate to bother you with multiple questions.
<<No worries mate>>
So with that being said, I'll let you get back to work. Thanks for all your help and guiding words.
Sent from my iPhone
<<Is a pleasure to share, Drew'¦ Cheers'¦ EricR Sent from my HP desktop>>

Filter Question... Tidepool/Marineland Wet-Dry wheels, skimmer sel., CF lamp sel.  3/13/10
I have a 150 gallon aquarium with two corner overflows. I have 2- Tidepool 2 filter systems. Can you give my some advice on media to put in these?
Should I be using the bio-wheels?
<If you have live rock in your system, I would not use the bio-wheels.
Because of their high efficiency at denitrification, it is likely that the nitrate levels will increase in your system.><<RMF doubts this... I'd leave these wheels on/working... can be removed for experiment...>>
Can the heaters be housed in here or better in the main tank?
<Much better to place them in this filter/sump.>
Could you recommend a good skimmer?
<I like the Vertex and AquaC line up, a lot of bang for the buck.>
Lastly, would 4, 50/50 compact bulbs be as good as 2 daylight, 2 actinic?
<Should be, 50/50 is generally referred to as 10K daylight, 460nm actinic.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Oceanic Bio Cube Protein Skimmer 3/10/10
Yes I know its terrible, but I have heard that most of the time it does do something. So I recently bought it. Yet I am having trouble getting it to work. I made sure the stock pump and airline tubing, including the air stone was free of clogs. It is placed half way in my aquarium as this was recommended. The issue is it is not producing enough bubbles to even reach the collection cup. Is there a break-in time?
<Break-in time has nothing to do with bubble production. Sounds like you may have a tight grained Limewood air stone. Try placing the stone in boiling water for a few minutes and see if that improves bubble production. If not, I'd replace the Limewood air stone and/or ensure your air pump is working properly.>
Please give me a hand or lead me to a FAQ about this skimmer.
Thanks a bunch,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Reef Octopus Protein Skimmer-If You Find One Get It/Skimmer Selection 3/9/10
<Hello Debbie.>
I hooked up a Reef Octopus 300 Dual hang-on protein skimmer and it is great. Within 2 days I had the darkest waste in the collection cups I have ever seen. I have a primitive but very successful 75 gallon tank ( no sump,
Eheim canister filter) with 70 pounds of live rock, a Yellow Tang, purple and yellow Pseudochromis, school of Chromis, a mating pair of maroon clowns, and a little blue and gold blenny with assorted worms, stars and crabs.
<I can see why you "had the darkest waste" with your present fish load in a 75 gallon tank.>
Back to the skimmer, you adjust the flow of skim by raising and lowering the collection cups, There is an o-ring around the cups that sets the cups in the frame, but then there is also a tightening screw in which you must use-don't depend on the o-ring. The dual model is large but still fits perfectly in my tank which is about 8 inches from my wall. The 2 pumps are powerful and they go into the tank water; intake is located next to both pumps. The out take is a large pipe that barely skims the top of my water so it gives the added benefit of turbulence to the surface. The skimmer is also very quiet which is another great thing for me since my previous skimmer was a Red Sea Prizm Pro Deluxe that was so loud I had to shut it off sometimes.
Hope this helps anybody who is thinking of buying a skimmer. Oh yes the one compliant <complaint> is that the instructions are too vague. I contacted the company and they told me they are in the process of re-writing complete
instructions and maintenance procedures.
<And hopefully, they will introduce a surface skimming option.>
<I thank you for sharing your experience with us. Will post for others to read.
James (Salty Dog)>
Debbie Applegate  

Cheap Skimmer vs. Quality Skimmer with Miracle Mud Ecosystem 3/6/10
<Hi Michael.>
Great site, thanks for your great resource. I have read all of the mud filtration FAQs but have a more specific question. I am currently having a refugium built for my 55 gallon mixed reef. A 10" wide x 15" long x 20" tall refugium. The refugium is where I will use 1" of Miracle Mud, a few pieces of live rock, and Chaetomorpha algae in conjunction with a skimmer in my sump. I currently have the cheapest skimmer on the market: a SeaClone 100.
<Not the cheapest, but perhaps the worst!>
Since the Miracle Mud ecosystem method does not require a skimmer,
<I would still use one on any marine system.>
is my cheap SeaClone sufficient to supplement filtration, or shall I opt for a better quality skimmer?
<I would for sure.>
I am considering the Precision Marine RL100.
<Good line, do also look at the AquaC line of in sump skimmers too.>
Thank you,
Michael H. Lobato
<Welcome, Scott V.>
Re: Cheap Skimmer vs. Quality Skimmer with Miracle Mud Ecosystem -- 3/6/10
I just need a small, extremely quiet, efficient skimmer for a total volume of approximately 70 gallons and the footprint must be smallest than 9x9 inches. How about the AquaC Urchin? I already have a spare maxi-jet 1200 pump to use with it too.
<This would be my choice here unless you plan on a larger tank to take the skimmer to later!>
Michael H. Lobato
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Live Rock Anemone ID and Skilter Search 2/17/10
Hey guys, I had 2 quick questions I need your help with.
I have a little 10 gallon saltwater aquarium I am gearing up for a reef tank. I've been pretty religious in checking the salinity levels and doing 2 gallon water changes every other week.
<Probably not often enough for such a small tank.>
Current stock is a Firefish, a tiny royal gramma, a percula clownfish, 2 peppermint shrimp, some snails, and some blue leg hermits.
<Too much here, the gramma will eventually kill the Firefish most likely, then go after the clown. My gramma is very aggressive in a 46G with just a pair of clowns, in a ten it will most likely kill all other tankmates.>
One day while doing maintenance I noticed a small anemone on a piece of live rock. It doesn't appear to be a glass anemone, but I know most desirable ones require high light which is not available at the moment, yet the anemone appears to be thriving. Its about a half an inch across, beige base with clear tentacles tipped with white. I included a poor quality pic if that helps. I was wondering if it should be removed or kept.
<Hard to say from the picture, but I would guess a majano.>
<<Very hard to see, but my guess is a Pseudocorynactis. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mushrmidfaq2.htm
at the bottom for instance. RMF>>
Also before I turn the aquarium over into reef (I'm giving it 6 months to mature) I wanted to find a good quality Skilter to replace the current filter for increased current and skimming.
<I would not spend money on a Skilter, neither filters nor skims very well in my opinion. Look into a Aqua-C Nano for more bang for your buck.>
The only one we sell at the store I work at does 250 gallons an hour, probably much too much for the little 10 gallon.
<Depends on what you are keeping.>
I was hoping you might know where one could find a good quality Skilter for a 10-20 gallon aquarium. Thanks guys!
PS I give your website to any customer at the store who is starting out in the hobby! Keep up the good work-Ray

Skimmer Selection (AquaC or Euro-Reef) -- 02/10/10
Which Skimmer would you recommend for a 175g FOWLR lightly stocked? The AquaC EV-240 or a Euro-Reef RS180? The skimmer will run in a sump.
<<Both are fine pieces of gear from fine companies and 'either one' would serve you here. With only about a $50.00 difference in price it pretty much comes down to availability, personal preference, what 'fits,' or maybe just energy consumption (the ER uses a pump that consumes about half the energy of the recommended pump for the AquaC). My current fave skimmers are the needle-wheel units from Euro-Reef (I have an 'old' ER CS12-3), but I don't think you will go wrong with either choice here>>
Thanks for your recommendation & wonderful website,
Les Currey
<<Happy to share, Les'¦good luck with your skimmer selection! Eric Russell>>
Re: Skimmer Selection (AquaC or Euro-Reef) -- 02/10/10
Thanks Eric,
<<Quite welcome Les>>
One quick follow up question.
Considering both the Euro-Reef RS180 and the AquaC EV-240, will the RS180 properly handle my "true" water volume of 190g +/- 5g (160g display & 30g sump)?
<<It is 'my' opinion that it will, yes>>
I see it is only rated for 180g vs. the higher rated EV-240.
<<Indeed'¦ While I do not believe AquaC overrates the efficacy of their units (though some other manufacturers do, in my estimation), I do think Euro-Reef is a bit 'conservative' re the 'system capacity' of their skimmers>>
I'm leaning toward the Euro if it can handle the water volume.
<<Again, I think you will be very happy with either unit'¦so, make your choice with confidence>>
Thanks again for your help,
<<Always welcome>>
Wetwebmedia.com is a life saver!
<<Thank you'¦that is our hope and indeed our belief my friend>>

Skimmer Trade? (And Plumbing Issues Too!) -- 02/01/10
Hi, and thanks in advance for any help you provide.
<<Hiya Pam'¦let's see if I can be of service>>
I have inherited my college freshman's reef.
<<Mmm'¦hopefully this will read better than the majority of such>>
Started with a free ('it will only cost you $40 worth of salt to get running') 55 gallon set-up with standard fluorescent lighting
<<Ha! I'm guessing you didn't inquire/think past the 'to get running' phrase'¦>>
'¦over three or four years it is now a 150 gallon set-up.
<<Ah! This is actually better for you/your livestock re the increased stability of the larger system. Also'¦I'm just a BIG/BIGGER tank kind of guy>>
(hmmm if only we had known'¦that was a really dirty trick...just kidding!)
<<Ah well, rare is the hobbyist who doesn't think about upsizing>>
We love the 'little piece of the ocean' and I don't mind the upkeep while the progeny is away at school studying biology.
<<That's a good thing as you will likely keep/have this tank for some time'¦I'm betting>>
However, I am an amateur and working hard to learn through on-the-job training...
<<Read, read, read'¦>>
Bought used, the system came with a ProClear Pro 300 used as a sump, no bioballs or anything.
<<It's not uncommon to see 'converted' wet/dry filters used as sumps on reef systems>>
The ProClear is a strange design with one end side lower (yikes! I'm sure there is a point to that, but it annoys me)
<<Indeed'¦a wet/dry filter generally runs with a quite low water level (remember, it wasn't designed as a 'sump'). I reckon the design saves on material'¦perhaps eases access'¦or maybe someone just thought it looked snazzy [grin] >>
so to avoid the possibility of an overflow in the event of a power failure I only keep about 15 gallons of water in it. The water level is about 7-8'.
<<This is about normal'¦though if there is room and it is desired'¦a larger, simple plain glass tank could be utilized to increase volume>>
Overflow water dumps into the first compartment then into a felt filter sock that is washed 2X week.
<<Kudos on the maintenance of the filter socks'¦a huge source of decaying organic matter>>
We are using an ASM skimmer (G-3 I think) with a Sedra ksp-5000 needle wheel pump in the second compartment; it is emptied/cleaned 2X week. The return pump is in the third compartment along with the float switch for the auto top-off and the return for the phosphate reactor. Oh, and there is Chaeto growing albeit very slowly in the third compartment as well.
<<The Chaetomorpha would serve better in a dedicated refugium receiving raw water from the tank, and then drained directly to the pump chamber of the sump. The slow growth is likely due to much of the organic/nitrogenous material being removed by the filter sock and skimmer before it reaches the macroalgae (assuming it is sufficiently 'illuminated' for growth to begin with). But still, this is not all bad'¦ As long as the Chaetomorpha is healthy and not decaying/falling apart, it is providing an excellent matrix for epiphytic matter, small beneficial crustaceans/planktonic organisms, et al>>
I use Bulk Reef Supply's two part product and magnesium to keep parameters at about:
dKH 9
Calcium 400
Magnesium 1280
pH 8.2
Others are:
Salinity 1.026
No detectable nitrate, phosphate or ammonia on API kit
<<All good>>
There are just a handful of fish, a yellow tang, hippo tang,
<<This tank is quite borderline for this very robust, active, and even skittish fish'¦in my opinion>>
three Chromis, a scooter blenny, and a pair of clownfish. A lot of coral, and a very mixed assortment'¦About ten smallish sps colonies, a few mushrooms, a small cauliflower sized hammer, a softball sized candy cane and two smaller ones, a huge open brain, two large Cynarina, a Sinularia and two Sarcophytons, some pulsing xenia, GSP, as well as several blastos, micros and Acans. Lots of Zoanthid colonies'¦I think that is the bulk of it.
<<Ah yes, the ubiquitous 'reef garden' for sure. If not already, I would run a cup or two of carbon on this system, or perhaps some cut-up Poly-Filter (not to be confused with polyester filter material) as a hedge against this noxious mix of organisms>>
2-250W metal halides and two actinic VHOs. I have no idea how much rock, it was bought a little at a time'¦it probably takes up about ¼ of the volume of the tank'¦just a guess. Everyone seems to be happy and healthy and growing.
Too much information? LOL
<<Not at all>>
My question is this, and I feel crazy considering it'¦ My friend is getting rid of a 240 gal set-up. She has been using an AquaEuro USA downdraft skimmer with a RIO 2500 pump. It seems quieter than the ASM
<<Really? I wouldn't expect this (I generally find downdraft skimmers to be noisier and requiring more powerful and 'energy hungry' pumps than needle-wheel skimmers)'¦I wonder if the skimmer is 'underpowered' with the RIO pump'¦ And as a note'¦the RIO pump is not a good performer for the long term>>
and she's willing to trade the ASM for it before her system goes to a new home. My husband and I would love to reduce the noise a little, however, since everything seems to be rocking along pretty well, I wonder if I am nuts thinking about trying something new. To add to my worries, I can't find a lot of info about the AquaEuro downdraft pro or con. What do you think?
Given the option, would you trade skimmers?
<<I would not'¦but then I am extremely fond of the needle-wheel style of skimmer (I have a Euro-Reef CS12-3 on my own reef system). While the GSM skimmers don't necessarily utilize the best of materials in some instances in my opinion (polycarbonate vs. acrylic), I would still favor it over the 'unknown' downdraft skimmer here. As for the noise re the GSM'¦ If it is more than a couple years old, replacing the pump and/or impeller may help, as the Sedras do 'wear' quite readily in my experience>>
On a side note, a lot of the noise seems to stem from the overflow water as it rushes into the sump
<<Oh'¦very common>>
'¦any suggestions there?
From the overflows the water travels down flexible ribbed tubing that looks like something from a swimming pool.
<<Hmm'¦replacing this with 'smooth' rigid PVC pipe can help re the induced turbulence>>
Each dumps into T's that have about 7-8' of perforated pvc pointing down into the sump and about a 3-4' length of capped off PVC pointing upward. (if they aren't capped, it burbles water out the top.) I don't know what that is all about; it is the way it came.
<<Likely to alleviate the turbulence/noise (and associated bubbles) you mention. Perhaps an attempt to 'aspirate' the drain line, though this is better done 'at the top' where the drain exits the tank (do search WWM re). You could remove the 'tees' to reduce resistance/splash-back, and replace these with an 'ell' fitting to divert bubbles from going 'back up' the line, and positioned below the water line to further 'mute' noise. But if all this seems too daunting to take on'¦simply reducing the volume of water pumped to the tank will result in a reduction in noise from the overflow(s). If you can tell me the specific number and diameter of your overflows/drain lines'¦and the type/capacity of your return pump'¦I can then better determine if this is a viable route to take. It is very possible that you are merely pumping more water to the tank than the drains can quietly (and maybe even safely) handle. It is very likely that a flow of just a few hundred gph would suffice'¦and if you have a 1' drain trying to handle more than that, well'¦>>
Plumbing is not our strong point'¦my husband is an electrician :)
<<So the lighting is no problem, eh [grin]'¦>>
Could some noise be reduced there with some modification?
<<No doubt'¦but I need more/more detailed info on your pump and plumbing system>>
Thanks again!
<<Happy to share'¦be chatting! Eric Russell>>
Re: Skimmer Trade? (And Plumbing Issues Too!) -- 02/02/10
Thanks Eric,
<<Quite welcome, Pam>>
Ha ha'¦ After previous encounters with a steady parade of reptiles, amphibians, mammals I fully knew that no "free" pet only costs $40 LOL!
<<Indeed'¦ And though I don't think it is the case here'¦oftentimes the 'cost to that free pet' is much more (worse)>>
We know we'll end up with the 150-no problem,
<<Ah good>>
but of course it has involved a lot of education for me.
<<And some measure of enjoyment as well, I hope>>
I really appreciate your role in that. :)
<<Is my pleasure>>
Back to the matter at hand. There are two overflows in the tank each fitted with a dursa.
<<Durso'¦as in Durso Standpipe'¦a very helpful device for improving the performance and increasing the 'silence' of the drain lines>>
I believe the outlets are 1" diameter.
<<Very likely so as this is (unfortunately) a very oft used diameter on production tanks. This being the case, you maximum flow capacity is about 600gph'¦and maybe less depending on the design of the system>>
The return pump is a Mag-12 1200 GPH.
<<Hmm'¦even with head loss I imagine the output is still a bit too much for your drains'¦creating a dangerous and 'noisy' surge/siphon effect. I suggest you install a gate-valve (not a difficult to adjust ball-valve) on the output side of the pump and temper the flow to see if this eases the noise from the drains>>
When you say the ells should be "positioned below the water line", they already are, the water level in the sump is above where they are plumbed in through the wall of the sump (if that makes sense) and of course they also discharge under the water level as the current pvc is about 7-8 inches long.
<<Ah, okay'¦then the 'tees' you mention are attached to this and positioned on a vertical plane? If it's possible, try twisting the tees to a horizontal plane (uncap the plugged end as well). Though this will probably be unnecessary if you reduce the flow from that Mag-12 pump>>
My question with reducing the size of the return pump would be with regard to flow and water turnover, etc.
We currently have the return water coming through LocLine that is positioned to emphasize the flow as well as two middle sized Hydor powerheads. Not sure what size but not the smallest and not the largest...how's that for being technical?
<<Hee-hee! Don't forget to adjust that thingy bob on the watchamacallit, too>>
That is it as far as flow or circulation is concerned. If we used a smaller return, do you think we would need to add another powerhead?
<<Maybe not, it depends on how the different organisms you have are positioned/placed in the tank and how the flow is adjusted re, and of course how much there is'¦but it most likely wouldn't hurt. I've seen very, very few instances where a system wouldn't benefit from more water flow>>
Any other questions?
<<Not from me'¦you?>>
Oh, and thanks for the opinion on the skimmer.
<<No problem'¦have lots of 'em [grin]>>
<<Cheers'¦ EricR>>

R2: Skimmer Trade? (And Plumbing Issues Too!) -- 02/02/10
<<Hiya Pam>>
I love this, what started in my mind to be a skimmer question has evolved into a plumbing/noise reduction project. Thank you!
<<Ah yes! I had a feeling'¦>>
We love the reef, but wow, making it quieter has been a challenge that I had just about given up on after insulating the cabinet, etc. I am now filled with optimism that we may at least incrementally reduce some noise.
<< It can be done'¦ There's rarely any need to flush large volumes of water through your sump in my opinion, and the fact here is that your 1' drains just can't handle a lot. Reducing this flow, and the subsequent bubble/noise issues, will make a marked difference. Additional water movement in the display itself is easily attained with the any number of the great products on the market today just for such>>
You have been a great resource.
<<Redeeming to know'¦thank you>>
I think I completely understand all your instructions.
I looked around on WWM, but I didn't find any actual instructions for installing a gate-valve
<<Mmm yes'¦and this is something Bob has been after me/others to do something about for some time>>
<Heeeee! How come you don't see Clark Kent and Superman in the same time/place? RMF>
but that is probably because it is not rocket science for non-plumbing challenged folks!
<<Indeed'¦just make sure you place it in-line on the 'output' side of the pump. An alternative (though it still wouldn't hurt to have the gate-valve installed) would be to downsize this pump to a Mag-9.5'¦or better yet, a higher quality Eheim 1262. I suspect that head loss on your system would render a flow rate 'about' ideal for the pair of 1' drains, with either of these pumps versus your current Mag-12 pump>>
If instructions are out there somewhere, please shoot me the link. LOL in the meantime I'll figure out where I can find the valve/plumbing adapters/etc. One of our LFS has pond stuff and we have the usual big box hardware stores (maybe in the irrigation department?)
<<You want something made of plastic/PVC'¦I use these: http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=39923&catid=584&clickid=searchresults Even though your pump's outlet is less than 1' in diameter, I suggest you get a 1' valve and 'bush-up' the line connections to fit. Doing this ensures just the 'mere presence of the valve' doesn't overly restrict flow from the pump >>
Since you have recommended it, I'm guessing that restricting the output of the pump won't have any negative consequences for the pump.
<<No'¦magnetic-drive pumps like the Mag-Drive, Eheim, many others, are designed to work very well in such situations>>
I will report back in a few days after the modification is complete.
<<Please do!>>
Sounds like a good time to do a water change!
<<No time like'¦>>
One last question. I know there is some sound that is the vibration or something from both the skimmer pump and the return pump that is being communicated through the sump/cabinet
<<Ah yes'¦>>
...do you know what I mean?
<<I do indeed'¦ You need to place some thin 'inert' cushioning material under the pumps and even the skimmer body itself. I use pieces of ¼' fan-fold insulation from Lowe's/HD, etc'¦ Some folks use computer mouse pads. Any soft, cushiony, but not too thick material will do'¦as long as it is chemically inert>>
Like it is making those things faintly vibrate or reverberate or something.
What about putting some sort of pad, rubber or something that is not porous so as to be a bacteria factory, under those pumps? Something to insulate the hard surface from that slight vibration...Something that I can get while I'm at the LFS or the big box possibly? ;)
<<Absolutely'¦ Don't worry about the 'porosity' though'¦ Any additional bacteria settling sites will only benefit biological filtration. Think about it'¦why do we advocate high-quality 'porous' live rock'¦>>
On a mission...
<<Queue theme music from 'Mission Impossible'>>

Sump And Skimmer Question, des./sel.  1/21/10
Hello, Hope all is well today.
<Is OK now that my annual physical is done with. I think my doctor had a large ring on when he did a particular exam. Yuk.>
I have a 55g FOWLR and a 34g reef tank. I am in the process of upgrading and I have two 135g tanks that are in the planning stages of becoming my new FOWLR and reef tanks. I am trying to decide on what skimmer/skimmer's I want to use before I pick out my return pumps. I've heard that you want the same flow through the sump as the skimmer pumps flow rate, for the skimmer to be at max efficiency. Is there any truth to this?
<Not that I'm aware of. Most decent skimmers do not process that much water per hour, at least compared to what a required pump would put out properly matched with your size tank.>
I am playing with the idea of doing a large stand alone DIY skimmer and have it feed both sumps. I haven't really seen any pros or con's of doing one skimmer for two tanks. So my options are set up both tanks separately, 135g tank with 75g sump each and have two skimmers. One large DIY skimmer stand alone (as mentioned above), or I have an acrylic 180g that I could setup as the sump and plumb both tanks to it, and use one giant skimmer.
One last question, if I did both tanks plumbed separately, could I use the ASM-G1X off of my 55gallon setup on one of the tanks, or do you think that the ASM would be too small for a 135g setup? Sorry for the long set of questions.
<The problem I have with a community sump is that if a disease outbreak should occur in one tank, it can quickly spread to the other tank. I'm in favor of a separate sump and skimmer for each tank. The other negative factor is if you have a problem with the skimmer, both tanks suffer. The ASM-G1X is rated for a 150 gallon tank and is powered by a Sedra 3500 pump. This should be fine for a 135 provided the tank is not heavily stocked with fish.>
Extremely thankful for your time,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Yet another question on skimming, Two, sel.  1/9/10
Dear All,
<Hello Carolyn.>
After several years I'm having to downsize my 600l reef to a 250l tank (finances, etc etc, the usual sad story!). My current issue is finding a skimmer to fit my new tank - there's no longer a sump and so the stocking level is going to be kept light and I only plan on keeping my soft corals/xenia/Zoanthids together with the few fish I'll keep from the current system (the rest have new homes at Sealife centres who've promised to take excellent care of them all).
The problem is fitting a skimmer along the side of the tank due to the placement of the integral lighting bar and lid - we could butcher a skimmer to allow it to sit fine on the tank however am averse to doing that - however I do have an excellent Nano skimmer I ran for years on a 70l marine tank (a V2 Nano skimmer). This skimmer is only rated for tanks of 120l, however could I run two next to each other on my new 250l tank?
<Certainly, sounds like the way to do it for your situation. Two smaller skimmers can be better than one larger one. It gives you a backup and allows one to skim while the other is being cleaned.>
Sorry for the long question!
<No problem, not long!>
<Scott V.>

Protein Skimmers/Selection 12/26/09
<Hello Werner>
I see you posted a message from Jeremy of Premium Aquatics regarding the new line of Vertex skimmers.
Jeremy indicated the Vertex run circles around a Euro reef.
I have a Euro Reef 80 on a 75 gallon with 20 sump, 7 fish, the largest being a Coral Beauty.
Would the Vertex be an upgrade? By what %, and is it quieter?
<I personally use the Vertex IN100 on my 80 long and I feel it is one of the best skimmers out there for the money. It is one of the quieter skimmers I've used and I especially like the way it assembles/disassembles for cleaning.....very convenient. As being an upgrade, you may want to contact Jeremy yourself, as they test every skimmer they sell, and in that regard, he could give you a more accurate "side by side" than I. I have no user experience with Euro Reef skimmers to give a fair evaluation/comparison.
You can contact him here and feel free to mention my name if you wish.
Thank you
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmer Questions, sel.  11/3/09
Dear WWM. I'm in the process of setting up a 210 gal reef/fish tank. I was considering the following protein skimmers:
· ASM G4 plus with Sedra 9000 pump for $410
· Octopus extreme 350 with a Sicce PSK-2500 pump for $650
· Tunze 9015 for $478
· Aqua C EV 400 with either a Mag 18 or GEN X MAK4 for $630
I have ample room for the skimmer and it could be placed in or out side of the sump.
Considering the following factors: ease of use, set up, cleaning, and cost. Could you recommend one of these skimmers?
<My first choice among these, much a personal one, is the ASM. That over the AquaC purely due to ease of use. The Tunze is nice and effective, just a bit odd to install while the Octopus cannot compare to the rest IMO.>
With thanks Dan
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Skimmer question 10/15/09
Dear WWM. I'm in the process of setting up a 210 gal reef/fish tank. I was considering the following protein skimmers:
· ASM G4 plus with Sedra 9000 pump for $410
· Octopus extreme 350 with a Sicce PSK-2500 pump for $650
· Tunze 9015 for $478
· Aqua C EV 400 with either a Mag 18 or GEN X MAK4 for $630
I have ample room for the skimmer and it could be placed in or out side of the sump.
Considering the following factors: ease of use, set up , cleaning, and cost. Could you recommend one of these skimmers?
With thanks Dan
<A tough choice, as all four choices will/would work... For ease of use, cleaning, overall function, I'd narrow the choice down between the Tunze and Aqua C unit... Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Benefits and Disadvantages/Skimmer Selection 10/9/09
Hi Crew,
<Hello Richard>
I'm finally getting around to setting up my system and I have a couple of questions about Protein Skimmers that I didn't find a complete answer for on the site. My system will include a 240 gallon display on the main floor (house is newly constructed with additional joists to handle weight of tank) with a 150 gallon sump below it in a large equipment room in the basement. So space is not an issue with the sump.
<Sounds nice.>
1. Beyond the issue of linear space, what are the benefits and disadvantages of an external skimmer sitting outside the sump to an in sump skimmer?
<No real benefits, more so for folks without room in the sump. Potential problems with external skimmers, leaks, overskimming, etc.>
2. Which is better? Gravity fed or pump fed skimming? Does it change for an internal or external skimmer?
<I prefer one pump systems. Gravity fed will require a separate feed from the tank or
an additional powerhead in the sump to feed the skimmer.>
From the recommendations on the site I'm looking at one of 5 skimmers for my setup. Would you be as kind as to run an eye over my choices and comment on anything you see that may be detrimental to my setup or give a personal recommendation?
<No problem.>
1. AquaC EV400 - Reasonably priced but more power consumptive (up to $60/year) than other models. Guess that's because it's a spray injection skimmer and uses a bigger pump? Rated up to 450 gallons.
<A good choice here.>
2. Vertex Alpha 250 - Expensive but the least consumptive skimmer of the ones I'm looking at and therefore cost effective over a 5 year+ period. Rated up to 350 gallons
<Another good skimmer. I use a Vertex skimmer in my system, very pleased with it.>
3. Euro Reef VS250 - Most cost effective skimmer of the bunch.
Rated to 600 gallon, suited for 250 gallon. Will it actually reach the upper rating?
<It may in a lightly stocked tank. They are also regarded as a good skimmer.>
4. Deltec AP851 - I understand the Deltec skimmers are very good; however it would have to be head and shoulders above the others given the additional cost.
<I would prefer the AquaC or Vertex.>
5. CoralVue Octopus SuperReef 5000 External - The internal version is rated for a lower capacity. This one is showing 400 gallons and is very cost effective. First reviews seem positive.
<Agreed, and the cone design is said to increase efficiency. You may want to post
this on a few bulletin boards and get actual user input on these models.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Richard Cullen

Aqua C Remora Pro too big for my tank?  10/5/09
Hi there,
<Hey Sarah! JustinN here!>
I recently purchased a used Aqua C Remora pro with the mag 350 pump from someone locally.
<An excellent, high quality skimmer with quite a reputation/following..>
I only have a 25 gallon tank and I am wondering if this skimmer is too large for it.
<Over-rated for the size of tank? Sure. Too large? Not sure such a thing exists!>
I'm pretty sure he will take it back if it doesn't work, but if it won't do any damage I would like to keep it. I know it is rated for 60 gallons plus (I think),
<Up to 125 Gallons for the Pro w/ Mag3..>
but the fellow I bought it off of said it would be fine on my tank.
<...And I would agree. Better to 'over-skim' than to under-skim.>
I'm just doing more reading and concerned about over-skimming.
Thanks very much,
<Well Sarah, your concern is understood -- but don't worry, there's no way you could over-skim the tank. Have a look over http://wetwebmedia.com/skimselfaqs.htm
and related links. If you decide to keep it (which, unless you have a specific desire to return it, I highly recommend keeping), it will do nothing but benefit your tank in the long run. Another way to look at it is, you've got a locked in upgrade if/when you decide to move to a larger display! Ciao! -JustinN>

Re: Aqua C Remora Pro too big for my tank? - 10/05/2009
Thank you so much :)
<You're welcome!>
The only reason I was concerned is because I was reading on WWM a similar question where the answer was the skimmer may be too big and there is such a thing as over-skimming :)
<Well, there are excessive levels -- but the range on these skimmers (which are admittedly in the lower end size-wise of what's on the market) is far from being excessive. You're not running a skimmer that expects more turnover per minute than you have in your entire display, so it should be fine.>
It's still quite noisy but I understand it will get quieter in a week or so and there are also mod.s which can quiet it down. The bubbles have gone down dramatically since first setting it up. At first my fish were
scared of them :)
<Yes, the bubbles will calm some, but fine-tuning will be necessary. If I recall correctly, the tuning is done by adjusting the height of the O-ring that is on the collection cup. As far as quieting it down, you could also
reduce the pump size on the skimmer to something like a Maxi-Jet 1200, and it would still be more than sufficient for your needs, while quieting it down quite a bit. My thought here is that if and when you decide to get a larger tank, you've got one of the more expensive single parts already purchased -- up to 120 gallons without a problem. Let me know if you've got any more questions! -JustinN>

Skimmer Question 9/13/09
Hello Scott V/WWM Crew,
<Hello Adriel.>
Hope you're well!
<I seem to be now!>
I don't know if you remember, but since our last conversation, I've set-up a 260gal FO (soon to be a FOWLR, hopefully). Thanks for your help on that, its been invaluable.
<A pleasure to have assisted.>
Have a question that's been bothering me for quite a while, with regard to skimmers. It may seem a bit silly, but here goes, What provides better skimmate, 2 separate skimmers rated for 150gal or 1 skimmer rated for 300gal? (power consumed is not a criterion)
<Depends entirely on the particular model skimmers used and system configuration. There are pros to using two smaller skimmers, such as one can run while the other is being cleaned and repaired. I like one larger
skimmer myself, if for nothing else the look of a big skimmer!>
The reason I ask this, is because, I'm looking for a proper skimmer setup for the 260Gal. Currently, I have a Deltec APF600 (good) and a TUNZE 9010 (not very happy with it, will remove).
I'm thinking of upgrading to a better skimmer configuration. This is why i ask, i could keep the Deltec and buy another similar skimmer, or buy 1 BIG skimmer and use the Deltec elsewhere. Price is a factor.
<Since you already have the Deltec it certainly would be more cost effective to purchase another smaller skimmer, though the APF600 is a fair size here to begin with.>
What's your opinion on Cone skimmers? I do like the Vertex Alpha Cone 200, but a bit pricey. Any recommendations on cones or any others?
<Cones are neat, the idea is the bubbles will concentrate more as they rise through the body. The downsides are expense (cone shapes just cost more to produce) and you do lose skimmer volume per a given footprint, an important factor in performance too.>
Thanks a ton!!!
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: Skimmer Question, sel. f' 9/17/09
Hi Scott V,
Great to hear from you! As i was saying earlier I've now got a 260gal FO.
Thing is, I'll probably be upgrading to a reef soon, (if finances permit).
My question is, if i keep the Deltec PF600, and get a Vertex Alpha 200 Cone, and plumb them from the 1 1/2 overflows on either side of the tank into 2 sumps and then return from a third, would this make it an efficient skimming system?
<Running the overflows directly to the skimmer, no. There would be way too much flow through. If you mean into the chamber the skimmer sits in, yes, fine.>
The sumps will then hold a total volume of about 75gal roughly. Would this configuration be enough for a FO or a reef?
Otherwise, i could just go for the Alpha 250, and leave that as the sole skimmer. Which would you prefer?
<Both if you can swing it.>
My stocking plans are roughly, FO would be pretty heavily stocked with approximate bioload 8xTangs, 3xLarge Angelfish, 6xAnthias (plus or minus a couple other small species).
<Too much even for a 260.>
If a reef, would keep it 6xAnthias, 3xTangs, 3xDwarf Angels (plus or minus a couple other small species)
Am I going overboard? :-). Would the skimmers be enough?
<They will be fine.>
On a side note, would a 3 - 3 1/2 sandbed be of any use on a FO?
<Yes, but I would go ahead and increase the depth by an inch or so.>
By the way, the 3 inch DSB that you recommended on my 45gal Nano Reef works great so far, 0 Nitrates.............. finally!!!
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Protein Skimmers/Selection 9/4/09
<Hi Steve>
I've been using your site for the past 5 or 6 years now and have been helped out beyond belief. Thanks for all that you guys do.
<You're welcome.>
My current tank is a 10 month old 75 gallon DAS system. 4x54 watt T5 HO(2-18000 k, 2-actinic), 1x40 watt VHO actinic, 97 lbs of live rock, and a 1" layer of live sand. Corals include a large colony of Eagle Eye Polyps, Green Star Polyps, mushrooms, and large frogspawn. Fish are 1 Yellow Tang, 3 Green Chromis, 1 False Percula, 1 Bi-color Blenny, and 1 Tomato Clown w/ a Long Tentacle Anemone (the False Percula is tank raised so it wants nothing to do w/ the anemone). The skimmer on this tank sucks, its the old style with an air stone producing bubbles. It does pull skimmate but its not very efficient as I'm sure you are aware.
I'm wanting to add more LPS and some SPS with moderate light requirements but I'm worried that I'll need to add a better skimmer. What do you think?
All of my levels are perfect w/ 0's for nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and I do a 15 gallon water change once a week.
<The water changes do help in your situation since corals do require good water quality, and with your present fish load, I would not add any more corals until you can incorporate an efficient skimmer into your system.>
If I was to add a skimmer how would I go about doing that? I don't want a hang-on or in-tank skimmer and I don't have room for an overflow box.
<You are going to have to live with a hang on skimmer, like it or not. The AquaC Remora Pro would be a good choice for your system.>
Is there any way to pump the water directly into a stand alone skimmer under the tank and have it pumped back into the tank ( like a canister filter)?
<Not if you like sleeping at night, no safe/foolproof way of doing such that I'm aware of.>
Can I get by with this skimmer or will I run into problems in the future?
<No, the future is now.>
Thanks Again,
<You're welcome. Steve, in future queries/replies, do cap all "i's" and proper nouns such as names of fish/corals. Saves us much time if we do not have to do it before posting. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Protein Skimmers/Selection 9/5/09
Thanks James for the quick response. I really appreciate it!
<You're welcome Steve.>
Installing the AquaC Remora Pro on my tank would involve cutting in to my cabinet and removing some glass strips on top of the tank. I would like to avoid that if possible so I have another idea to run by you. Here is a link of my H39 DAS filter. If you scroll to the bottom there is a little diagram for you to look at.
I was wondering if I could install a Tunze DOC Protein Skimmer 9005 in the first chamber and take out the spool that's currently in there. The chamber measures 5.5" x 5" so I think it would fit but I'm concerned that it would take away too much biological filtration.
<It would fit as the DOC skimmer's footprint is 4.9 x 4.4 inches, but it does require an immersion depth of 9.4 to 11.4 to operate properly.
With the amount of live rock you have, biological filtration should not be a problem.>
I could add some media in the old skimmer compartment to help but that's pretty small. The spool compartment is pretty deep as well but it looks like the Tunze skimmer comes with some sort of mounting system that could raise it off the bottom of the tank. Is that true?
<Yes, I believe an adjustable hanging device. See Tunze instructions (in three languages) for this model here.
Also, I've read nothing but good things on these skimmers on this site but other store reviews have been pretty bad ("noisy", "not much skimmate", "broken pieces on arrival" etc...) Are these good skimmers?
<I've used Tunze skimmers in my 35+ years in the hobby, and thought they performed very well. Here is a link to one etailer that handles Tunze skimmers.
Please let me know if I'm on the right track or if the AquaC Remora is my best option.
<If you can provide the immersion depth required, the Tunze looks like the best way to go in your situation.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Type and brand of protein skimmer: Skimmer Selection 9/1/2009
Hi again Wet Web Experts. D'Ann here.
<Hello again D'Ann.>
In my 55 plus tank I have added a power head (#3). The water is moving in all spots. I still have 2 Green Chromis that seem to be quite stable now!!
<Good news.>
Though the larger one tries to bully the smaller.
Also my Yellow Star Polyps are full and beautiful A very small Zoanthid looks good (to me), and a Green Star Polyp is actually growing like a weed.. And now there is a brown mushroom appearing on the stone with the Green Star polyp. Kenya tree is growing taller. Took out some Hermits because they kept setting on the Green Star Polyp, and I didn't trust them not to be hurting it or nibbling on it. Water is doing well. I think I should go ahead and add a protein skimmer at this point.
<A very good addition.>
Question #1.. Is there one (Protein skimmer), that is quieter and most efficient??
<Most newer skimmers are pretty quiet actually. They will all produce some noise, but there are things you can do to minimize it - make sure the skimmer is not touching the side of the sump, a small piece of neoprene under the pump will keep the pump noise down, etc.>
Do you have a favorite?
<I'm a fan of Euro Reef, Aqua C, and Sealife Systems Impact Skimmers. All are efficient and well built, but like anything else, each has their advantages and disadvantages.>
I have read about the amount of noise some produce and this is a centre piece in my living/dining area.
<Some of the things I mentioned above will help with the noise.>
I am knew to this hobby, as you can figure. My wet dry under the tank is one made standard for a 75 Gallon tank and has a Rio 3100 pump in it.
Question #2.. I am reading that some of you think you really don't need the bio balls. Is this true?
<With enough live rock (1 - 1.5 lbs\gallon), bio-balls are not really necessary, and will contribute to high nitrates.>
I bought this set up 15 years ago and just recently got around to telling my husband I was setting it up whether he liked it or not, (he is liking it), and therefore I went with what I was told to buy 15 years ago!!
<That is fine, you can just take the balls out if you want.>
Question #3.. the temp is running 74-76 degrees. Is this too cool as I suspect?
<A little on the cool side, but not by much.>
And what is the very best heater for my 55 gallon, young reef tank?
<I'm a fan of Rena and Jaeger heaters.>
I would like to not waste my money and get it right the first time.
<Both make good equipment that lasts.>
There are so many products/brands I do not know which to trust the most, and the 2 shops in the area give conflicting 'opinions'. Your help and guidance is greatly appreciated.
Much thanks. D'Ann
<My pleasure, MikeV>

SW Setup: Skimmer selection\sizing 8/30/2009
Hi guys,
I recently posted an idea for a rather inventive space saving sump, which wasn't without its pitfalls. It's my baby so I will look to see if I can find a way to solve the problems you pointed out to me.
<Feel free to bounce ideas off of me, your design has me intrigued.>
I have another query for now, if I've got a extremely well stocked tank, and I need to chose a protein skimmer for my sump. If a skimmer has a rating for a heavily stocked tank equal in volume to my tank would you suggest doubling up. Basically can I over skim??
<I don't know if doubling up is necessary, but I agree that some of the claims regarding tank size are over optimistic, so I would go to the next larger rated size.>
And how do the Deltec turbo skimmers perform, I've seen the stats but haven't read an aquarists
account of how they found it?
<Not familiar with the brand myself, perhaps someone who reads this can chime in.>
Cheers guys

Protein Skimmer sel.    8/19/09
I was doing some e-bay shopping for a new upgrade protein skimmer for my 100 gal with refugium. I have two messy triggers and a eel.
<Too much for this volume>
I have read most of your FAQ and I am still not sure which skimmer is best for me. I currently have the Coralife super skimmer 125. I came across a few vertex: IN 180 for $284, Turboflotor T100 for $179, ASM G2 for $ 270
and vertex in 250 for $260. Can you please tell me if I am on the right track?
<Mmm, sure. You're not>
I am on a budget of about $300, is my budget enough to purchase a good skimmer for really messy fish? I am having nitrate problems. I do regular water changes, refugium with mangrove trees, Chaeto and tons of different
types of Caulerpa. I have about 80-90 lbs of live rock. I have a UV as well. Thanks
<Use the money toward buying a system of suitable size... new or used... rather than fighting a gradient of your own mis-devising. Bob Fenner>

Protein Skimmer Recommendation 8/17/09
I have a 100 gal with a 15 gal refugium, uv sterilizer and a coral life 125 skimmer. I was thinking about upgrading my skimmer. Can you recommend a few for me please?
< Sure. I personally go by the 2 Xs rule when it comes to skimmers , i.e. , you need a skimmer rated for twice the size of your system.
Of course stocking levels come in to play as well. There are lots of good skimmers on the market depending on your price range. AquaC- EV180ASM , Reef Octopus EX-200 , Vertex IN-250 are a few good moderately priced in-sump skimmers that would suit your needs. If you are looking for a hang on the back I would go with a CPR product. GA Jenkins >

Re: Protein Skimmer sel.   8/18/09
Does it matter if I go with a in sump or hang on, is one better than the other?
<There are some makes, models that are superior, inferior in/to both>
My skimmer now is hanging on the side of my refugium. Do you have a prefer choice of protein skimmer?
<Oh yes: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimselfaqs.htm
and the many linked files above>
I want to get the best valve for the buck. I was thinking about getting the Coralife super skimmer 220, I have the 125 and it seems to work well and is easy to adjust. I have two triggers and a eel, I have a healthy refugium with mangrove trees, Chaeto and tons of different types of Caulerpa, I do regular water changes and feed twice a day small portion and I'm battling nitrate issues.
<There are other avenues to pursue re... see WWM...>
I built a coil denitrator a week ago,
<Ahhh! Such constructs take "a while" to "kick in">
I running out of ideals to keep my nitrate lower than they are now, 20-60ppm. Any help or ideals would be appreciated. Thanks Terry
<Read on. Bob Fenner>

Aqua C or Octopus/Skimmer Selection 7/28/09
<Hello Juan>
first of all congratulations for your website, it has been my first reference when I have needed help with my freshwater tank. Now I am planning to set a saltwater aquarium of around 100 or 125 gallons (first year only fishes and then after getting more experience move to corals little by little).
The first thing I am planning to purchase is the skimmer, so I can custom design the sump. I have read several posts about skimmers, but I just have 2 options Aqua C EV 240 or Octopus Skimmers (Extreme 200 and maybe DNW 200 Recirculating; I don't know yet which one is better between these two).
<The DNW 200 requires a feed pump or plumbed from an overflow to inject water into the skimmer, so do keep that in mind.>
Based on reviews on this site AquaC looks great. It seems it only has one drawback which is the big pump needed to work (145 watts with Mag 18 for excellent performance). In the other hand the Octopus only uses a 30 watt pump.
<And less heat transfer.>
Aqua C seems better than Octopus, even though here in my country, Octopus is quite popular and some people start to prefer it over AquaC, so I am a little confused. Do you think is it worth the much higher operation cost of an AquaC over any of the Octopus Models.
<Although the EV 240 is a great skimmer, in this country, we are looking at $400.00 plus the cost of the pump, versus the Octopus 200 for just under
$300.00 with an Italian made Sicce PSK-2500 pump. The disadvantage of the Octopus 200 is that it requires a sump level of 8-10 inches to operate properly.
Both are good performing skimmers, but if it were my choice, with a budget in mind, I'd likely go with the Octopus.>
The initial cost is not a matter since the difference in price is not that much, what worries me more is the operation cost and the cost-benefit overall.
<Yes, the Mag 18 will draw nearly 79% more energy than the Sicce pump and with your tank selection of 100-125 gallons in mind, the Octopus 200 will be
a good performer for you. The EV 240 would be a little overkill.>
Thanks a lot for the time you take to answer our questions.
<You're welcome.>
If you find hard to understand my mail, please let me know I will try to rewrite it in a better way for you.
<Your writing is just fine my friend.>
Have a wonderful day.
<And you as well. James (Salty Dog)>
Juan Carlos

Re: Metal Halide Migraine... now skimmer chatting 7/17/09
Thank you so much!
I am making this T5 light my next purchase!! I am also needing help choosing a skimmer for this oddball size `50g tank. Which skimmer would you point me to that would accommodate anything I might want to add in the
<EuroReef, AquaC or the new Vertex series (quite some bang for the buck).>
Thank you again for sharing your wisdom! There just aren't enough hours in the day for me to re-invent the wheel reading and learning from all of the good and not so good stuff on the web. You're awesome!
<Thank you, have fun, Scott V.>

Skimmer Upgrade? 7/13/09
<Hello Steve.>
I was just wondering if you can help me make up my mind.
<Can try/suggest.>
I've been running a Coralife 220 super skimmer on my 180 gallon (50 gal sump) reef tank for about 3 years and was wondering if an upgrade would be beneficial to my system. My choices are between a Vertex in-sump 250 (399.00 Cdn) or an Aqua C EV240 (690.00 Cdn).
<This skimmer does not include the pump which will add another 125.00 or so to the cost.>
The price difference has me leaning towards the Vertex. The issue is basically algae on the glass, which I have to clean off every 3 or 4 days, and sand which gets that browny look to it about 2 days after my bi-weekly water change (RO water) and sand vacuum. I run carbon for a week, a week after the water change until the next one.
<All carbons use phosphorous in the manufacturing process, and depending on the quality of the carbon, will leach some phosphate into the water. I use Chemi-Pure which is a mix of high grade carbon very low and ion exchange resins. This product has significantly improved my water conditions and lowered nuisance algae growth.>
My corals also don't look happy all the time (opening and closing), especially my very large Colt Coral. I have about 180 lbs of Live rock. The fish are happy, have not lost any in about a year (whenever I buy a Goby, it disappears). They include a Naso tang, Yellow Tang, Regal Tang, Tomato Clown, Maroon Clown, Saddleback Butterfly, Coral Beauty, and Flame Angel.
Thanks and I appreciate your opinion!!!
<The EV240 is a great skimmer, but will run you over 500 bucks with the pump. I use a Vertex Skimmer and I have found it to be one of the best skimmers I've ever used and is very easy to clean and service. You may want to read the review I wrote on the model I purchased. See here.
James (Salty Dog)>

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