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More FAQs about Skimmer Selection for Marine Systems 13

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 14, Skimmer Selection 15, 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

All fishes benefit from high and consistent water quality. Some outright demand it; e.g. Fairy/Velvet Wrasses

Seeking Urgent Skimmer Advice I have a problem, and need your help. <Okay> It would seem that I made a slight mistake when I built my sump. The skimmer zone is too deep, at least according to the fine folks at Corallife, who makes my skimmer. I noticed this week that the skimmer collection cup was filling quickly, even at the lowest setting. I assumed I my pump was too high in the water, <...uh, no> and caller the manufacturer to verify that theory. They indicated that the skimmer itself sits too low, and there is "not enough resistance." <Okay...> I am not certain what this means, but here's what I *do* know. There is not enough clearance on my rack to allow me to lower the sump, or to raise the shelf the skimmer sits underneath. What this means is I have an exceedingly tight space with which to work, and raising the skimmer is not possible. <... rats!> Additionally, hanging on the side of the tank is also not an option due to clearance issues. Damn! Here are some photos. Is there anything I can do, perhaps to mod this thing that will make it work? There's always SOMETHING.... <Really... not here with this skimmer, stand, sump... the best will be to switch to another brand/make of skimmer... Sell the one you have on eBay, Craig's List and get an AquaC... you'll be MUCH happier. Bob Fenner>

Re: Seeking Urgent Skimmer Advice >> Is there anything I can do, perhaps to mod this thing that will make it work? >> There's always SOMETHING.... > Really... not here with this skimmer, stand, sump... the best will be to switch to another brand/make of skimmer... Sell the one you have on eBay, Craig's List and get an AquaC... you'll be MUCH happier. Bob Fenner< Happy is relative. Maybe... <Mmm, can be... though in my working def.s of such, the terms love, beauty, goodness and happiness... and truth are sensorially linked... the first being the expression of truth, the second its semblance, the third its quality, the last its feeling/realization...> This will be tough to swing financially. I own a small HOB skimmer by AquaC and have been a bit disappointed. Is there any reason why you would choose that particular brand? <Their in-sump models are worthy... See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/aquacskimrfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

All-in-one: Solution or Problem?... protein skimmers, Uniquarium  11/03/07 <Greetings, Charles. GrahamT with you today.> First of all I would like to thank you for being such a great resource. <Excellent, yes. This place is a haven for some, refuge for others. Helpful to all, we hope! (...ramble on, G)> I had marine tanks in the late 1960s and 70s before live rock and protein skimmers. <Much fun! Glad to have you back...> My question for you is that I have recently purchased a 125 gallon marine tank. It is a Uniquarium <Never heard of it... Some research turned up a website that was last updated in 2003. Not a good sign.> with 100 pounds of live rock. The problem <...Among others...> is that the available space for the protein skimmer is exactly 4 inches by 6 inches and a height of 22 inches. <Not enough, really...> I am currently using a Berlin airlift with so-so results. <These skimmers are one of an earlier design. I believe they work very well with big, tall columns of water, but not so great as a miniature, unobtrusive skimmer.> It must be an in-tank model there is no room behind the tank or below the tank. <That will be your problem here, I'm afraid.> Can you suggest the best skimmer that will fit into the available space. <Sadly, I think not. A 125-gallon is too large for a little skimmer like that. (I run an old U.S. aquarium 4-ft air-lift skimmer on my *20-gallon* FOWLR).> The skimmers that will fit are not sufficient for this size tank. And the skimmers sufficient for this size tank will not fit into the available space. <Well said.> I am at a total loss. <I feel for you. My assessment of this setup is less than favorable. I still think that the best way to go is with the conventional - albeit clunky - remote sump setup. You have all the room you design to have, and end up spending about the same. None of the pictures of the Uniquarium were large enough to give me an idea of your options, but I think they're limited. I think I would have heard of this design if it was worth it's salt. Let me look at this another way, since you own the system already. You could either keep the compliment of species low, or you could plumb a sump. Speaking of keeping: you need not use the bio-balls in the rear, if you add a few more pounds of live rock to the display portion.> Thanks for your help. <You're welcome, but I think I was kind of a bummer, rather than a help. Here are some other opinions of the Uniquarium systems from other contributors here on WWM. Just look for the word "Uniquarium". http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimsel9.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimopmaintfaq13.htm Good luck and feel free to write back if I was unclear or left anything loose and hanging. -GrahamT>

Re: All-in-one: Solution or Problem?   11/5/07 <Hello again, Charles. GrahamT with you again..> Thank you for your help. <You are most welcome, friend.> The solution was so obvious, add more live rock, remove the bio balls and use that area for protein skimming and a refugium. There is more than enough space back there for a top of the line protein skimmer. <Geez, I didn't even think of that. Glad they left you some room somewhere!> I just hope this can be helpful to anyone else who owns this type of aquarium. <Will definitely be part of our archive, and searchable for anyone using the keyword: "Uniquarium".> Again thanks. <Glad to help shine some light, Charles. -GrahamT>

Skimmer Selection -- 05/24/08 Hi BOB, <<EricR here'¦while Bob frolics 'mit de Frauen'>> Need your opinion. <<Have plenty of those>> 125 gallon FO tank'¦20-30 gallon sump. Which skimmer would you go with? PM Bullet 1 or AquaC EV 120 <<Either will do fine'¦ But the AquaC will be easier to service in my opinion'¦and knowing Jason and Steve from AquaC, and the level of care/customer service they provide, the latter skimmer would be 'my' choice. EricR>>

Protein Skimmers, sel.  10/26/07 Thank you so much for you web-site, it has a lot of good information, almost too much. <Thanks, glad you found us, there is a lot of good information on the site. A person could read hours a day and take years to sort through it all!> One thing I have noticed is that almost all of the top brand skimmers are recommended in one form or another, based on the question asked. So I am sorry to take up your time but I think I am really confused. <No problem, here to help.> I am planning a 110 gal reef tank with about a150 lbs of live rock with a precision marine sump. The shop I am working with has suggested a precision marine Bullet 1 skimmer. Would you agree with this recommendation? I am looking for the best skimmer that combines effectiveness, and efficiency as well as quietness. <You will read many things simply because what constitutes the 'best skimmer' is a matter of opinion. The Bullet 1 is a great skimmer and would be very effective in your set up. If the skimmer height is an issue this skimmer or an Aqua C are good bets. If you want to concentrate more on efficiency (power use) then I would also take a look at the needle/pinwheel type skimmers (types like Euro-Reef, ASM and others). Their pumps tend to draw less power to get the same tank size ratings (you will also find the size ratings vary from manufacturer to manufacturer). Quietness varies from skimmer to skimmer, even from different sizes for the same manufacturer and will depend a lot on the pump driving the skimmer.> Thank you, Peter A <Thank you Peter, setting up a new reef is exciting and the best part is you can enjoy it for years to come. Scott V.>

Skimmer Concerns, sel. 10/10/07 To whom this may concern: I have been reading Wet Web FAQ's for about a year now and consistently I see Aqua C Skimmers with positive remarks. <Yes, a good performer.> Well I have 2 tanks, a 75 drilled with 30 gallon sump, 125lbs live rock in main tank and about 30-40 in sump/refugium. I have 3 inch sand bed in main and reef mud in bottom, Caulerpas and critters etc. Also, for lighting on main tank is Current outer space doo hickey, real fancy unit 150wX2 HQI,4x t5, lunar lights. Currently I am using Coralife 125 super skimmer (I bought this based on the advice of trusted LFS), decent enough I guess but not for my set up as it has become painfully obvious to me this device is rather ambitious in its rating. <Not familiar with the Coralife Skimmers.> The other tank is a 15 gallon high(20x12x18) standard. I have Rio Nano Skimmer on the tank as of now and an Aqua Clear 50 Power Filter with Pura Complete and Poly filter as media. I use distilled H2o, pH 8.2, nitrate is consistently up due to weak skimming, phosphates are non existent at least all the hair algae eats up the phosphates for me. I do regular 15-20% water changes every week to 10 days depending on test results. My methodology is essentially the same on both tanks, the same issues are in both tanks, high nitrate 5.0 by end of 7-10 days after water change. I have plenty of movement in tanks, have extra power heads and a canister filter on the 75 filled with only floss to polish water and for surface disruption with spray bar return. I can see that my corals are alive but not thriving as they once were mainly due to the jungle of hair algae that I scrub and siphon seemingly to no avail. so I am looking for guidance as to what skimmer and what methods should I use to rid my self of this hair algae and nitrate nightmare. Please keep in mind there is too much equipment to list and I do so many things with my tanks on an ongoing basis to keep them as best I can. There is much I left out but that's is the basics and it seems it isn't enough. <Dan, I guess my first question is your bio-load, how many fish in these tanks. Excess nutrients in the water is the primary cause of high nitrate levels. As for skimmers, the AquaC is a good choice, reliable, hassle free, and reasonably priced for it's performance level. Do read the links here along with linked files in each. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm thanks, <You're welcome. Dan, in future queries, please do a spelling/grammar check. We just do not have the time to edit before posting. James (Salty Dog)> Dan

Re: Skimmer Selection 10/13/07 Thanks Salty Dog for getting back to me so quickly. <You're welcome.> Apologies or misspelling and grammar. Anyway in my 75 I have One Tomato Clown 2.5", one Blue Devil 2", one Bullet Goby 4", one Fuzzy Dwarf Lion 4-5", one Six Line Wrasse 2-3", one 8-9" Leather Toadstool Coral, and rather large 9-10" branching Frogspawn Coral. The 15 gallon has two Ocelaris Clowns and a Pajama Cardinal. The invert list is as follows one 5" Tridacna Crocea Clam, one 4-5" Finger Leather Coral, one Mushroom Anemone 1.5", Zoanthid polyps , Xenia , Yellow Gorgonian, one dying Open Brain Coral, and lastly one not looking so good Branching Anchor Coral. I need to upgrade filters and skimmers. any solid recommendations would be appreciated. My budget can not abide $700.00 skimmers. I am looking to spend around $300.00 for skimmer upgrade on 75  gallon; as for the 15 gallon I will go about same. thanks again wet web crew. <Check out the AquaC Urchin and Urchin Pro. Both fall in your price range and should do a good job on your system. As for the 15 gallon, I think the Red Sea Prizm Skimmer would do a very good job here. James (Salty Dog)> Best Regards, Dan

Possible alternative Protein Skimmer -- 10/01/07 Hi there <Good morning> I would like to confirm if my logic on the following is correct. When I started my FWLR marine tank I only used a canister filter for filtration and had my system run for 2 years maintenance free. <Hmmm, I'm not sure what you must mean by "maintenance free." Are you saying that you have not cleaned your canister filter or done a water change in two years? Eek, I hope not!> It is now only recently when I am intending to start a reef system that I am reading a lot about protein skimmers. I recall that my canister filter had the intake above my air-stone (drawing air into the filter) which caused an effect of a stream of fine bubbles being shot out at regular intervals and I found this quite pleasing as an effect. I only now realize that this could possibly have had a "skimming" effect and is the reason my system was successful and managed a high bio-load. <I highly doubt this is the reason.> Correct me if I'm wrong but in principle, if any canister filter draws air in which is chopped up by the impeller and then pushed through the filter material then this is effectively a protein skimming effect? <I see why you're thinking this way. However, there's a bit more to protein skimming than the production of a lot of bubbles. The bubbles have to move up a column (leaving the water) and ultimately be collected. What's happening right now in your canister filter is that the bubbles aren't leaving the water. They're simply being created, then diced up and forced through a mechanical filter. This doesn't allow the mechanical filter to do anything it wouldn't otherwise be doing. Beyond this, it's a bit difficult to explain, but I'll try. Protein skimmers remove protein via the hydrophobic nature of many proteins (and/or their hydrophobic appendages). The hydrophobic proteins "want" to leave the water and the formation of bubbles (a water/air interface) give them that chance, but only if the bubbles can collect somewhere out of the water (i.e. in a skimmer cup). This is unlike mechanical and biological filters which utilize very different methods for removal/conversion. The filter of a canister filter won't remove any proteins using bubbles than it otherwise wouldn't when not making bubbles. The proteins will simple re-dissolve and move right through the filter again. The canister filter doesn't act like a protein skimmer unless it can somehow REMOVE the bubbles. Otherwise, it's just "teasing" the hydrophobic proteins, making bubbles but with no where for the bubbles to go except back into the water (even so through the filter).> If this is true, would it not be a great alternative for the hobbyist? <I hope my explanation helps you see why this is not the case.> Regards, Shaheen <Best, Sara M.>

Sanders PS. Ozone Application 9/27/07 In your FAQs you mention the Sanders protein skimmer as a cheap skimmer to inject ozone. I can't find that available anywhere. Any links to where it can be purchased or effective cheap alternatives? <Don't believe too many etailers carry this anymore, probably costs more to ship from Germany than what they are worth. Try these etailers for inexpensive skimmers to do your job. www.premiumaquatics.com, www.drsfostersmith.com. James (Salty Dog)>

Skimmer Recommendations 9/20/07 Hi again, <Hello> Could you recommend a good skimmer that is quiet? The one I have is noisy, but it wasn't that expensive. <With skimmers you get what you pay for. For a hang-on-tank type I would go with a Remora Pro most likely, although it may be underpowered for your tank. Check out this excellent article by Steve Pro for more. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm .> <Chris> Lots of odd 180 gal Skimmer, Pump, and Sump Questions   8/26/07 Hello! As always, thank you for this incredible service you provide, it's the best help I've ever found. <Ah, good> I've acquired my 180gal tank and stand for my new reef (YAY!) and I've purchased a Coralife AquaLight Pro lighting system. I'm now beginning the process of purchasing sump/pump/skimmer equipment. I have a few questions though. The tank will have these main residents, plus a couple more if I can find them. All these animals are in normal 55 gallon tank size-ranges, nothing is "huge"... yet: Galaxea Pagoda Cup T. Crocea T. Derasa Finger Leather Mushrooms Zoanthids 3inch Yellow Tang 6-line Wrasse Lawnmower Blenny Diamond Watchman Goby Scribbled Rabbitfish (2 if I can find them) <Yikes... they'll all appreciate the new digs for sure> *Skimmers: I'm essentially sold on a Euro-Reef RS-180 skimmer. While perusing the FAQ's on your site I've read questions on this skimmer with other 180gal setups to which you guys have used descriptors like "plenty" and "more than enough". <Is a good unit, choice here> 1.) What is the most comparable Tunze model to the RS-180 and is there any reason to go that route instead? <Mmm, not really IMO...> 2.) Are there any other brands/models out there that I should consider looking at in the same price range ($500 or less). Coralife maybe? <Again... I would go with the Euro-Reef here> 3.) I'm "in" pretty good with the owners of one of my LFS's. They had a used Red Sea Berlin skimmer (no idea what model) that they were willing to sell me really cheap (doesn't seem to be broken, and I'd need to get a pump). Does Red Sea even make a model worth looking at if I'm thinking in the range of the ER? <Not in my estimation, no> 4.) Are ratings on skimmers to be trusted? Euro-Reef confused me by putting a "comparative rating" and a "realistic rating" on their skimmers. Should I compare the RS-180 to other skimmers based on the "up to 450gal" rating or the "135gal to 180gal" rating? <Some of them... to be sure, yes... Folks "mileage will vary" and all depends on definitions of suitability, what is being measured...> *Return Pumps: I have an in-sump Eheim 900gph pump (don't remember the model number) on my 55 that I was considering transferring to the new tank and adding another exactly like it (one for each of the two return lines). <Good brand, choice> 1.) Would one Mag Drive 24 (2400gph) be a better route to take? <Not IMO, no> 2.) Any other recommendations on brands/models? <Mmm, posted... in a size, shape system as this 180, you're encouraged to look into internal pumps, possibly with controllers (Tunze, Hydor...) or better, a contained "closed loop" arrangement... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm the light blue tray> 3.) Are the "Pond Master" Mag drives the same thing (LFS says they are and I'm skeptical)? <Mmm, quite... but... have seen where at least the screws holding the volute on were different... rusted> 4.) Is there any reason to use hard PVC as opposed to a strong tubing on either the drains or the returns? <Some... as posted...> Sorry for all the questions, but I don't have a Reef Club or anyone knowledgeable enough locally to ask these questions to so the questions build up... and then I turn to you guys. Thanks again, Eric <I/we're very glad to assist you in your plans to design, build, stock, operate your system. Bob Fenner>

Looking For A Skimmer Upgrade -- 08/21/07 Hi crew, <<Howdy Shaun!>> Shaun here. <<Eric here>> I've been using an AquaC Remora for about a year on my 80-gal reef. <<A good skimmer>> I have been adding frags like crazy, and I am pretty sure my bioload is just too high for it anymore. <<I see>> I am going to set up a sump and can't decide on a skimmer. <<Perhaps a larger in-sump AquaC model>> After a week on your site I am compelled to buy an AquaC EV-180 w/ a Mag7, or maybe an EV-120 with Mag5. <<Either would suffice>> I am also thinking Euro-Reef RS-100 or 135. <<Mmm, I have been to the Big Island with Jason and Steve from AquaC. I consider them friends and believe their products are exceptional'¦but I have to admit that the ER skimmers are my current fave>> What do you think about the ASM knock offs of the ER skimmer? <<Function is very similar'¦but the materials used in the construction are nowhere near the quality of those used in the ER skimmers'¦thus the cheaper price>> I was thinking about a G-2, or an Octopus. <<Youza gets whatcha pay for'¦>> I have about 30-40 SPS frags and colonies in my tank, misc zoos and 8 small fish. Any input or advice would be awesome. Thanks, Shaun <<I'll tell you straight my friend'¦if you have the bucks go with the Euro-Reef product'¦else choose an AquaC skimmer'¦but you won't go wrong either way! Eric Russell>>

Please help! Skimmer sel.   8/19/07 thanks! Also, i was wondering what skimmer you would suggest for my tank? <... posted> the skimmers I've used in the past have all been quite disappointing! Firstly a Red Sea Prism, which was noisy and inconsistent with its skimming and now a V2 Skimmer from TMC which despite all my best efforts is letting me down. Could you suggest a good, solid, no frills skimmer that can do the job? I have no sump so it must be a hang on...hope to hear back Clint Hamilton <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hang-onskimfaqs.htm And the linked files above... Likely the Aqua-C Remora line... Bob Fenner>

DAS skimmer   8/3/07 Hello, I'm sorry to email you with this question, but I can't seem to find any info anywhere. I'm in the market for a new Skimmer nad I would like to know if you have any opinions on the D.A.S. Ex-1 Skimmer? <Mmm, none directly, but am very familiar w/ other hand...> I've searched your site and no such luck. My stand is a bit small so I've had some trouble finding the right skimmer that would work for me. I've heard some great things about it and the setup would work perfectly. Just in case my fish tank is 150g. I would love to know what you feel about it. Thank - you for your time. -- Warmest Wishes, David

Bigger Marine Tank Coming...Which Lighting Choice? - -- 07/25/07 07/25/07 Hi again, <<Hello Daniel>> Thanks for the answers about lightning. <<Quite welcome>> I have one more question if I can take few minutes of your time? <<Certainly>> Protein skimmer, of course there are "hundreds" different brands on the market, but I am thinking about "Euro-Reef RS-135". <<A great skimmer maker>> I need really strong skimmer since my tank is gonna be BB. What do you think about my choice? Regards' Daniel P <<I think you can't go wrong with a Euro-Reef skimmer'¦is my current favorite. EricR>>

Skimmer Problems/Selection 7/19/07 Hey Crew. <Hello Andy> I have a question about skimmer selection. Currently, I have a Coral Life Super Skimmer rated for 125 gallons. I wish I had known about WWM when I was setting up my marine setup, because I would not have bought this skimmer, although when functioning properly (more about this below) it does produce a good amount of dark green skimmate. I have a 110g display with 65-70lbs of live rock, one 4" Sailfin Tang, one 3" Brown Combtooth Blenny (which is actually dark blue and my favorite fish), one 2" Gold Stripe Maroon Clown and paired BTA, one small Royal Gramma, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 6 or so Hairy Green Mushrooms, a small Tree Coral, about 24 small hermits, and 12 Turbos (and a few small crabs that came in with my rock). I intend to add only one more fish--a Canary Wrasse. Water parameters are 0 for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate, pH of 8.2, calcium of 400, alk is 3.5 meq/L, and temp 77.5*-80*. Lighting is by 6 T5 HO (4 10,000K and 2 actinics). I recently added a 30 gallon refugium (probably only holding about 20 gallons of water) with 40lbs of fine aragonite sand, 4 lbs of live rock and Chaeto, with lighting by two simple fluorescent grow lights on a reverse daylight cycle. Filtration is via a wet-dry system with bioballs (which I will probably eventually remove) and the above-mentioned skimmer (and the live rock and sand). My skimmer's pump is housed in the sump, with the actual skimmer sitting next to/outside my sump but enclosed in the cabinet. In the summer months, I probably lose about 2 gallons of water per day to evaporation (fueled in part by evaporative cooling using a fan)--I top off daily with RO/DI water. I'm sure that, even at some minimal level, the return from my pump (1250 gph Little Giant) is greater than the in-flow of water from the overflow. I use a ball valve to control return flow (tank is not reef ready), and I'm sure that the in-flow and out-flow don't match up exactly. <That is why ball valves are needed, not uncommon.> This is where my problem comes in. When the water level in my sump is nice and high (4"+) (i.e., when I top it off in the morning), my skimmer works very well. However, when my water level gets low and starts to get close to the my skimmer pump intake (estimate this level to be about 3"), my skimmer is pretty much ineffective. <There are many skimmers sensitive to water level.> I have read in other posts that the Coral Life skimmer is inefficient in this same situation and WWM Crew have recommended that an alternative location be found for the pump. Now, I realize that this skimmer can hang on the back of my tank, but this setup it is REALLY an eyesore. The pump is huge and, in any event, does not rest flush against the back of the tank (which I could secure with a suction cup I'm sure). As you also know, this skimmer has a separate bubble diffuser that sits in the tank into which the output flows. Thus, this skimmer has a pretty large footprint that is not pretty, to say the least. I tried to put the skimmer in or on my fuge, but that doesn't work (water too deep and can't find a good hang-on spot, respectively) and, in any event, I'm worried about chomping up all my pods, etc. Is there a good skimmer with a smaller footprint (and a reasonable price tag) that could work in my situation? I think if I could get a pump that has a lower intake, that would solve my problem. <If you decide to keep the skimmer, you will have to incorporate an automatic top-off system to correct the problem. As for a skimmer suggestion, I would go with an AquaC. These skimmers work by spray injection and are not as sensitive to water level as your present skimmer. Go to the AquaC site, www.proteinskimmer.com and email Jason with your skimmer concerns/needs. He will be more than happy to assist you. The Urchin Pro is probably the one I'd ask about. Should fit your needs and etails for well under $200. with pump.> Also, totally unrelated, but I'll save you the e-mail--the lighting from my fuge does illuminate my display at night to some degree, as it sits on a separate stand next to the tank. I realize that, in the real world, the moon illuminates the reef, but I'm thinking that my illumination is probably a bit brighter than natural moon light. Any thoughts on whether such illumination can, in the long term, have an adverse effect on the health/happiness of my fish/inverts? <Like us, fish do need rest. I can't sleep with the lights on unless I've had a few too many beers. Try putting a divider of some kind between the two during the night.> As always, your insight is appreciated. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Andy

Protein Skimmer Selection (HOTB)  7/11/07 Good day my friends- <Hello.> I feel I must start out like everyone else and state that you guys are my one stop "shop" for info. <Thanks.> You never know what you get on the internet in terms of information but without any doubt (easy sleeping at night ) you guys are the best. <Appreciate the kind words, really we do.> Ok ok, here's my question for the pros, please enlighten me. <Will do my best.> 46 gallon bow, 20 pounds live rock, 15 pounds more on the way, DSB, 3 VERY small green Chromis, 6 hermits, 5-6 assorted snails, fighting conch, the usual small clean up crew. 2 AquaClear 30's powerfilter, Chemi-pure and bio ceramic deals in each. <With the live rock, there really isn't a need for plastic/ceramic bio-media. I would keep the powerfilters around only for the occasional running of chemical media like carbon. Somewhere down the road you might even consider replacing them for a hang on refugium.> As you see, its in my plans so spend most of my money in terms of filtering on my skimmer. <They are essential, especially to the smaller system.> (and frequent water changes) <That's good too.> I want the best, most efficient HOT skimmer. <The economical choice is the Aqua-C Remora with the Deltec being the overpriced but very high quality unit...in this situation I don't think you can go wring with a Remora Pro though.> I'm not a fan of BAK-PAK. <It has it's place but considering it's price, I'd almost always opt up for the Aqua-C.> I don't know why, they're ugly, huge and have heard less good things about them. What do you guys recommend. <See above.> I'm leaning towards the Aqua C remora PRO with mag drive of course. <Good.> oh-yeah...future plans....easy to keep mushrooms, maybe pumping xenia, polyp colonies...that's it. <Simple, and that's a good thing.> fish to add- mated pair clown, carpenters wrasse, pistol shrimp and watchman goby combo...and maybe one more active, small, peaceful fish if I can. <I have a thing for bi-color blennies in small mixed-reef tanks.> if it matters I'm working with a 196w coral life powercompact. <Just keep in mind they burn out very quickly, lumen wise, for best results replace them every 6-9 months with 12 being the absolute limit.> 4 bulbs in all....3 true actinics and one 10,000k . <I would go for at least two 10,000k bulbs if not three.> What'da say on the skimmer choice. <Sounds good.> ALSO, what do you think with my bulb selection for what I plan to keep. <Ooh I touche don that already too, see above ^^^ .> You guys rock!! Could there be a better website with so many people to help us out. NO! Your #1 <Hehe, thanks, Adam J.>

Skimmer types... Not liking his AquaC  -- 07/03/07 Hi crew- Thanks for a wonderful aqua portal! I have a CPR SR-4 in the sump of my 75g reef tank. I am not sure about the efficiency of "Rejuvenation Venturi Technology", as they call it, and have not been thrilled with the nutrient export performance of this skimmer. Are these low-grade skimmers? <Mmm, no, not IMO> I have been considering an upgrade to a used Euro-Reef RS80. <Also a good unit, product in my estimation> Any sense of how much better this unit might perform? <Perhaps a bit better, but not a big difference> Got any advice for me? So long (and thanks for all the fish) jimgray <Heeee! It may be that the make-up of your system/water at this point has little to skim... Bob Fenner... Not Doug Adams, but alive... and will gladly settle for the difference> How to improve on Eheim filter / Red Sea skimmer set-up - 06/27/07 Dear Crew Hope you are all well. <Thank you> I have been reading and enjoying your pages as much as ever, but now I have to ask the 2 questions that have been bothering me since I started in the hobby 18 months ago. <Go ahead> I have a 40 gallon marine tank with a Red Sea Prism skimmer and 2 Eheim 'Professional' filters, 1 wet and dry and 1 mechanical. I have 5 fish, all of which look healthy and get on well : 2 true percula clowns, 2 blue tangs and a dwarf angel fish. The tank has 3 or 4 soft corals and 4 T5 tubes for lighting (2 blue, 2 white). I have quite a large amount of good quality live rock in the tank, although I am unsure of the weight of that. I use R O water only to top-up and for water changes, and test results show nil for ammonia, nitrite, and phosphate, with nitrates at around 0-15. I have no room for a sump, so will have to stick with essentially the same set-up of filters and skimmer. Firstly, I have read that the wet and dry filter is not one of Eheim's best ideas, <Agreed> and that it is best to do away with some or all of the media in the filters, or even to do away with the filters completely, or run them empty of media. Am I misunderstanding anything here? <Not as far as I can discern... this is one of Eheim's not so great engineered products> I like the Eheim filters, partly because I spent a small fortune on them, but also because they provide all of the water movement and circulation in the tank, and they are very quiet. <I am of the same opinion> I have been thinking of putting a PolyFilter in the mechanical filter - is there any point in that?  What else can one put into the filters to permanently replace the present media which is so often described as a 'nitrate-factory'? <Mmm, "denitrator" one-time purchase media... Siporax, Ehfi-Mech... other ceramic and sintered glass products...> Secondly, is there to your knowledge a skimmer which is a similar size/shape to the Red sea skimmer but more efficient? <Look to the Aqua-C Remora line...> The tank is in the lounge. I find the Red Sea skimmer easy to maintain, but a little noisy. Are skimmers necessarily noisy? <Mmm, no... this product has a few good ideas, but was not "finished" engineering wise... Try a Remora> I have this dream of getting nitrates down to naught and the tank looking even better that it does at the moment. Hope you can help. Thanks. Peter Hosier <Thank you for sharing... And do make it known what progress you make. Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Help, op.  6/20/07 Hi <Hello> I have recently setup a 30 gallon salt water tank, seeded with live sand and rock (Its only 5 days into the maturing process). I was looking to get a protein skimmer and accidentally ordered a WeiPro 2014 hang on, which seems to be for up to 150 Gal. I was wondering if I set this up would it over skim the tank (If there is such a thing). <Judging by what I've seen and heard of this product I don't think this will be a problem, it seems to have a poor reputation.. Previously I have successfully kept marine fish/inverts but this is my first tank since giving them up 4 years ago and a lot has changed, any advice would be greatly welcomed. Thanks Colin <I would probably try to return this and try to get a better skimmer, such as an Aqua-C, Deltec, Tunze, or even CPR BakPak.> <Chris>

Which Skimmer? (Neither, Given Other Options) -- 06/10/07 Hi, <<Hello James>> I can't decide between an Aquamedic Turboflotor 5000 Twin and the Reef Octopus 400 (one with 4 pumps). <<No other choices here? A Euro-Reef, H&S, Bubble King, or AquaC maybe?>> I would go for the Twin but a lot of people are raving about the Octopus. <<I'm not yet convinced'¦am suspicious these are cheaply made (workmanship and materials) copycats>> This is a big purchase for me so last stop is you guys. <<Is/can be a large (and necessary, in my opinion) purchase for anybody, so why not go with a top of the line quality skimmer?>> Both of these skimmers cost around the same here in South Africa. The winner is......... <<Given these as my only choices, I would have to go with the Turboflotor for the reasons stated above. To be honest the Aquamedic skimmer would 'not' be my choice given other options, but they are known to produce, even if a bit fiddly to get to work well>> Many Thanks in advance, James <<Regards, EricR>>

Double Skimming? -- 5/19/07 Hello, <Hi, James> Is it a good idea to run two skimmers at the same time? <Sometimes. It depends on your situation.> I have recently built a new 920 gallon system. <Ooh, nice!> I am using an aqua-medic 5000 baby skimmer, which is rated at 528 gallons. <Does sound like it's a little undersized.> It is  producing dark good quality skimmate non stop. <And you are wondering how much it is leaving behind...> So, I am looking at the AquaMedic 5000 twin which is rated for 1320 gallons.  Should I run the twin along with the baby or just use the twin? <If you have room to run both while you get the new one tweaked and broken in, you will have a chance to see what both will do.  If they both continue to produce significantly, then you may want to keep both if serious skimming is your goal.  If the larger skimmer makes the original obsolete, it will be obvious.  I am running a similar experiment myself, and am soon to remove the original, as the new skimmer is removing enough that the original is not earning its keep.> Many Thanks in advance, James.

Skimmer Functional Questions...   5/18/07 Let's say an internal skimmer is rated for 500gph, does that mean it sucks in water and pushes it out at 500gph or does it mean it only spins the bubbles at 500gph and you will need another pump? <Generally speaking this means that the pump on the skimmer can process 500gph of water. There are variables...Now this depends on how the skimmer is set-up and what type of skimmer it is; if you are using the same pump to feed water and air to your skimmer (how the common venturi/needle wheels are set-up) then a 500 gph pump is  probably not pushing 500gph, most likely less because you are also asking it to draw in air.  The way to circumvent this is to have two pumps (or more), one to feed only water (or you can gravity feed the water without a pump) and the other pump to recirculate, add air to the chamber for the foam-refraction to occur.> If is pushes out at that rate and you want to slow it down, how do you do that? <By restricting flow through some type of valve, i.e. gate valve> Also if you can slow it down does it matter if the overflow goes directly into the intake of the skimmer or to the sump? <I wouldn't force your skimmer to process all of your overflow water, you can T-off the overflow and use a valve to control how much water enters the skimmer.> I want to get a Bubble King 250 Internal but it says that it is rated at3000- 10.000 l/h Air suction min. 1000 - 3.000 l/h. <A pricey but effective skimmer.> I will have a sump/refugium that holds 100g water but that would make it turn over 7x. I read it is better to have it around 3-5x. <7 is okay in my book but I wouldn't want it to much higher than that, definitely not higher than 10. Adam J.>

Skimmer dilemma??? Sel., Inst.    5/16/07 Hi there, <Ho there> We've had our  90 RR cycling for 2 weeks without our skimmer, haven't had much free time lately. <Okay...> just got around to setting up the skimmer tonight and failed to check beforehand if it'll fit inside the stand. <Yikes!> With all the space my sump & pump take up, it'll take alot <No such word> to fit it in now.  I'd have to Dremel around the square base at the bottom of my Lifereef skimmer, as well as cutting out some of the bottom inside triangles on the stand <Mmm, don't know if I'd do this...> so I can move the sump flush against the stand.  Not something I was hoping to have to do and the tools I'd need aren't so handy I also have another option but I'm not sure if it will work.  About 4 feet away from the tank I have an armoire that I was planning on installing a future refugium in, it could easily house the skimmer with no problem. Would I run into trouble with putting the skimmer that far away from the tank/sump? <Nope, no worries... though I would like to mention that you should pay attention to what moisture, spray damage this gear may cause to the furniture> The bottom of the armoire is about 3 inches off the floor, the sump is on the floor, would this be ok that they aren't on the same level surface? <No problem... as a matter of fact, likely useful to getting the water back to the sump...> Option 3 which I don't really want to do is look to trade the Lifereef for something that fits a little better. Thanks for your time <This is the best suggestion yet... Do please look into the dimensions, suitability of other lines... like Aqua-C, Euro-Reef... their dimensions are stated on their sites... Bob Fenner>

Too much skimmer??   5/12/07 Hey!  I am in the process of slowly (next year or 2) upgrading from my current 55 gallon reef system to a 135 gallon with 55 gallon sump/refugium. I have been buying equipment gradually over the last few months so I won't be overwhelmed with the cost when the time to put the system together comes. <Good planning> I'm currently trying to decide on a protein skimmer and am a bit stuck.   At first I was set on the aqua c ev180, but recently started changing my mind and leaning toward the Turboflotor 1000 line, mainly due to cost.  I have read some reviews on these and they seem like a decent piece of equipment. <Yes, just take a bit of adjusting...> I really became interested in them when I saw the Turboflotor multi sl ( http://www.aqua-medic.com/turboflotor_multi.shtml) which doubles as a hang-on or in sump skimmer.  It's rated at 120-250 gallons so I'm assuming it would suffice for my future system, right? <Should> Now what I really want to know is would it be ok for my current 55 gallon as a hang on, or would it be way too much of an overkill? <Will/would be fine here as well> I currently have a Red Sea Prizm skimmer on the 55 gallon, which is mediocre.  I figured I could purchase the Turboflotor now and kill two birds with one stone; upgrading my current skimmer and having one ready for the new aquarium.  What do you think? Thank you in advance for your input. Jon <I do think this is a good plan. Bob Fenner>

New Skimmer Selection and Skimmer Set-Up    5/7/07 Hey guys, <Hello Rich!.> love the site! <Thank you.> First, my set-up: 75 gal fish only ESHOPPS-100 wet/dry with Rio-2500 return pump <Watch the Rio my friend...> TurboTwist UV (on the return line) SeaClone 100 in sump (yes, I've learned my lesson) <I bet!> Stock: Dog Face Puffer, Small humu, Tomato Clown, Threadfin Butterfly, Queen Angel, Dwarf Golden Moray and Baby Snowflake <Big and messy fellows...you'll be needing new homes for most of these critters down the road.> My question: <On to it...> My skimmer is in sump and simply drawing from the bottom, post-bio media. Is this set-up effective or do I need to re-plumb to draw off prior to the bio-media.  If so, suggestions? <Well as you elude to above and again below...the first problem is the skimmer itself...the one you have isn't much more than an expensive bubble maker. Anyway, to increase the effectiveness of your skimmer, if possible, you should always have it in-line first  to process raw overflow water.  In this case you have the bio-media first, now personally I don't like using bio-media at all in your typical marine-home aquarium but that's another story.> Yes, I'm going to replace the SeaClone.  Big mistake. <A lesson though, an expensive one but still a lesson.> Seems you guys favor either the EuroReef or AquaC. <Those are both great brands, both are easy to set-up...am not using one at the moment but have in the past.  If your deciding between an Aqua-C and a Euro-reef you'll be happy with either one, both have superb customer service.> Looks like either is a good choice.  Appreciate any insight. <If your going to replumb the system when you get the new skimmer, you can set it up (depending on the skimmer model) in-line with the sump (not actually in the sump), you can T-off your overflow line and allow the skimmer to be fed directly with overflow water.> Regards, Richard <Good luck, and let me know what you decide and how it turns out, AJ.>

Re: New Skimmer Selection/Set-Up AND Some plastic Bio-media issues...    5/7/07 Thanks guys, <Welcome.> appreciate the quick response. <Of course.> From what you are describing, sounds like it may be simpler to plumb a hang on (Remora Pro??), then to rearrange everything under the tank. <Simpler yes, as effective as a larger skimmer though?...no.> I'll probably go that route unless there is some other pitfall I'm missing. Interested in your thoughts on why the bio-media is not a favorite of yours. <Use the search engine on the WWM home page and search re: plastic bio-media in marine aquarium and also look into refugiums (hint-hint).> I'm learning every day! <Cool.> Thanks again, Richard <Anytime, Adam J.> Skimmer Problems...Looking For New Choices - 05/01/07 Hello, <<Morning Ron>> I was hoping that someone could pass on a little guidance and possibly some past experience. <<Happy to share what I can...>> My skimmer malfunctioned over the weekend causing a major flood. <<Mmm, yes...does happen...and one reason I am fond of "in-sump" skimmer models/installations>> I have been wanting to replace it (AquaC Remora Pro) because I have not been happy with its performance. <<Hmm, generally a very good skimmer choice.  Have you tried contacting Jason Kim (owner) at AquaC?  I am sure he would do his best to help determine/fix the problem>> There are so many choices and everyone says this one is great and that one is excellent.  Very confusing. <<Indeed...and does help to hear from those who own/use the models you are interested in to help "you" make an informed decision>> My setup is a 75 GAL with a 37 Gal sump.  My quantity of live rock is increasing every month.  I have a moderate fish load; four Tangs and the rest is small stuff.  I would like to start adding corals to the tank.  The skimmer and live rock are my primary filtration. <<I see>> Could you offer any suggestions to help me make a sensible choice? <<I think I can, yes.  My current fave skimmer is the Euro-Reef.  I employ an older model CS12-3 on my system...I think the RS100 would be about perfect for your system with an average stocking load, or the RS135 if you plan to stock heavy.  Though I haven't used one myself, I've been quite impressed with what I have seen of the H&S skimmers...quality construction employing Eheim pumps...and the performance looks very similar to the Euro-Reef in my experience.  Either of these skimmer brands would serve you well>> Thank you for your time, Ron <<Happy to assist...  I do think the AquaC line is also a good choice, especially for systems in your size range (excellent quality/value for the price)...perhaps their in-sump model (Urchin Pro) would suit better.  Regardless of what brand you choose, I suggest you still give Jason a call and discuss your issues with the Remora Pro.  EricR>> Re: Skimmer Problems...Looking For New Choices - 05/01/07 Thank you so much for your help; it's time to do a little comparative shopping. <<Yes indeedy>> I will definitely contact AquaC. <<Please do, at least give Jason the opportunity to address your concerns/issues...you may find you don't need another skimmer after all>> Thanks so much. <<Quite welcome.  Eric Russell>> Protein Skimmer Choices...  4/26/07 How do you feel about a Coralife Super Skimmer 65 for a new 55 gallon tank? <I would prefer another brand honestly, if you are going to use the Coralife in it's hang-on arrangement, the Aqua-C Remora would be my choice for a swap. If you are set on the Coralife I would go with the next size up, I believe it's the 125? Adam J.> Skimmer help! Sel.  4/25/07  Hi Crew!!! I am in the beginning stages of setting up a 56 gallon reef system, and am finally ready to buy my skimmer.  I will be setting up a sump with a refugium, and will put the skimmer in the sump.  I have been searching your site, there is so much info!, but can not find what I am looking for.  I am looking at skimmers on the SWF <Single White Female?> site, and am looking at the ASM Mini G Skimmer.  Any thoughts? <Don't know this product> Thank you so much for your wonderful site!! Kelly <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/skimselfaqs.htm and the linked files above, including our notes on querying hobbyist users through BB's... re gear issues. Bob Fenner> SPS lighting and skimmer questions   4/21/07 Dear Crew Love the site. Most of my knowledge in the hobby has come straight from you guys, so I'm of course very grateful. <Here to help> Now on to the good stuff... I'm in the planning and development stages of a SPS dominated system with LPS's near the bottom. I'm new to SPS's and would like to do it right the first time to avoid costly mistakes. I've bought the tank already, a 225-gallon acrylic show tank, 72" wide by 30" tall by 24" deep. <Olly's jealous Heehee> I plan on using two 3/4" sea swirls on the front corners and two stationary nozzles on the back corners running 24 hours a day, fed from the sump return pump. Then a closed loop with two spray bars behind the rock and two 3/4" nozzles positioned in the front/middle of the tank pointed at the rock, tied to an Oceans Motions 4-way (version 2) device that will turn on and off when the lights turn on and off to mimic tidal movements. <Sounds a very good set-up; of course try and aim the varying outputs at each other to create added random displacement> Sand bed will be about four inches, with lots and lots of live rock. First up is lighting. I would think that three 400-watt metal halides would be perfect; problem is my canopy lid is split down the middle into two separate lids. So to have a symmetrical look I'll need to install four bulbs. I know SPS corals like a lot of light but I'm concerned I might bleach some corals with 1600 watts of metal halides, not to mention four 96-watt PC actinics that I was thinking of using. <'Not to mention' electric bills> I'll be running a very powerful chiller and although the canopy is low, clearance is 8.5 inches; I'll be installing fans in the canopy and two vents directly behind the canopy with fans on the roof that will pull humid hot air up and out of the room. <Depending on the fixture used then the clearance may be reduced significantly, I imagine you will be left with around 5-6 inches> This should combat the intense heat produced by four 400-watt bulbs. So my question is, what combo of lighting would be best for the corals? Should I consider two 400's and two 250's? Or will four 400's be ok? <I personally think 400's are often used unnecessarily and a normally overkill. A tank with a depth of more than 28' is when they come into their own. For this reason I would use the combination of two 250's and two 400's. Or if you installed retrofit and read up on the many articles on ballast/bulb and reflector output then I think four 250's would work fine http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/jb/index.php> On to my skimming question. I was sold on an ASM G3 but now I'm thinking... why not over skim a little and go for the G4? I have room for it, question is, is it really possible to skim TOO much? And how much is too much? The G4 is rated at 350 gallons, the G3 at 250. My Tank is 225 and I figure the sump/refugium will be around 75. But actual water volume will be much lower. I don't want a crazy amount of fish but would like to be covered in case I over do it a little ;-) <I have no experience with this brand but looking over their products and ratings; I would go with the G4 as over skimming is a very influential part of many successful SPS systems. Also like you say, this covers the odd indulgence in future> Looking forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Chad <Hope to have helped. On the lighting issue -- I believe that part of being a Conscientious Aquarist involves striking a balance between taking from nature and maintaining what is already there. Using 400-watt halides isn't normally necessary unless you're striving for quicker enforced growth, and this often doesn't materialize. However you will significantly increase the amount of pollutants affecting the wild reefs with excessive energy consumption and also spend more on this electricity which could be used to further benefit your tank from other additions. I'm not trying to sway you ^grins^ but I'd stick with 250's -- save energy, benefit your tank, feel better with yourself! Cheers and that wasn't a lecture at you, it an opinion that I wished to share and found my incentive. Hope I've helped, Olly> Skimmer et al. set up  4/14/07 Hi folks, Thanks for the wealth of info on the site, I'm learning slowly. Our system is a 110 drilled tank with a typical wet/dry filter sump. The tank water first runs through a mechanical filter pad ( coralife pureflow <Proper nouns are capitalized> that I have several of and rotate every 3 or 4 days bleaching the used one and then rinsing and drying it to be used later) <Good technique> then trickles through the bio balls, <I'd remove these... see WWM> then to the open sump area where the skimmer is (aquarium life support systems 22v model venturi) then some chemical media (occasionally run ChemiPure and have started trying some stuff called Algone) then is pumped back to main tank via mag drive 950. From reading your info I now realize this is not a great setup, <Mmm, if you're happy with it, what it does, your maintenance...> but I'm not sure what to do different. <Keep reading> I don't think I could really do a whole new sump. What if I bought an aqua c remora? <Good product, addition here> I haven't been really thrilled with the skimmer but is does produce some dark stuff. sometimes it gets about a cup in a week but not always. My nitrates have been about 20 ppm before my every two week water changes and about 15 ppm after. I'm changing approx. 20%. In the main tank I have about 180 lbs of live rock, 60 lbs aragonite 30 lbs live sand from GARF (about 3.5 inches thick total), 1 regal tang, 1 ocellaris clown, 1 flame angel, 1 neon goby, 1 sailfin tang, 1 royal Gramma, 2 flasher wrasses (not sure what species), and 5 green chromis. Several scarlet reef hermits, a couple of electric blue hermits, several Nassarius and turbo snails. There are quite a lot of different corals, some growing, some just kind of sitting there. <... I'd improve this environment...> I've been dosing a two part calcium, trace element, ph, and alkalinity additive to try to keep the calcium around 400. Lighting is a Coralife pro AquaLight with 2 150 watt 10k (5 hrs a day) metal halides, 96 watt actinic power compacts (12 hrs a day) and the 3 moon lights (some times I run them 12 hrs a day and sometimes a shut them off completely). I have two Seio 880 for circulation in addition to the filter pump. I'd like to get the nitrates lower but have been having trouble doing it. I feed one cube of formula 2  and one similar sized chunk of mysis shrimp once daily. The fish eat it all very quickly and they seem to be fairly fat and happy. I have recently started running the Algone to hopefully lower the nitrate some but haven't noticed a big drop yet. Any advice you could give would be very appreciated. God bless you, Dusty <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/wdmodconv.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Refugium....I think he's got it! -- 4/13/07 Thank you very much for your advice. <Of course.> I have been trying to get mushrooms to grow in my tank but they always die. <Water quality issues, cnidarian life, even those as adaptable as 'shrooms can only tolerate so many dissolve organics/nutrients in the water.> I am really going to go and buy (or make if possible) a refugium. <A very worthy addition.> I have a coral life 260w power compact (130blue +130white) <...Fine for most photosynthetic life in this size tank, but be sure to change those bulbs out about every 9 months...12 at the very most.> Thanks again. <Anytime, Adam J.>

Skimmer Selection 4/13/07 Hi, <Hello Anthony> I am currently running a pro clear aquatics <Oh no, another keyboard with a defective shift key.><<Heeeeee! RMF>> Pro Clear Aquatics.> 150 wet dry with a built in protein skimmer for a 92 gallon corner tank.  This protein  skimmer has not been working so good and I <I> would like to put a new one in but the first chamber of the wet dry would only be able to fit a skimmer with a  footprint no larger than 6'' X 8.5''.  I am not sure if I <I> should try and  find a skimmer small enough to fit into this first chamber or mount the new  protein skimmer on the outside of the sump. <There are many quality skimmers that sit outside the sump.  The return lines can be run directly back into the sump minimizing any potential flooding.> I was also thinking  about replacing the bioballs in the second chamber with live rock and putting  the protein skimmer in this chamber.  This would leave me much more space  for the skimmer.  I am confused.  I was wondering if you would be able  to give me your thoughts/recommendations? <Bad thing about putting it there is that this is an area where the most turbulence occurs and may lead to excessive micro bubbles in your system.>   The tank currently has about 60  lbs of live rock in it as well as 1 Mandarin, 2 Clown Fish, 1 Six Line Wrasse, 1  Diamond Goby, and 3 Glass Cardinals.  I am planning on adding some soft  corals when I am done making the changes to the filter.  I would appreciate  any feedback. <May want to read here and other articles concerning skimmer selection that can be found on our site.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Anthony

Sinularia sp. coral cutting? Filtration questions. Alcyoniid comp., skimmer sel.   3/31/07 Hello Bob, I have been watching a sinularia sp coral in my 90 gallon reef for the last week since it was injured by something in the tank, (we came to the conclusion it was more than likely stung). <I do recall this> The dead patch on the coral seems to be spreading now, I was thinking of using a razor blade and slicing off (out) the infected (Dead) tissue then giving the coral a tech D or Lugol's solution dip directly after. <A useful approach... Do this cutting outside the main system... of course> The torch coral I mentioned in previous emails seems to be doing  well now, the one damaged head died off, however no sign of infection as far as  I am aware of and all of the other heads look great. I have another sinularia sp  coral same type and color about 8 inches from the injured one <Mmm... not advised... really... in the wild, all the Alcyoniids, in fact almost all alcyonaceans are found in single species AND single genus stands... Unless these are clones, I would keep them in separate systems...> and it seems to be  doing excellent. All other corals in the tank are doing very good. I am putting a larger filtration system on this tank, I don't have much  room to do a larger tank as you mentioned before so I decided to put in a larger filtration system below it. I will be using a sump that while running holds 30 -  32 gallons, (full sump size 53 gallons) with 1,270 gallons per hour flowing from sump to tank. In this sump I created an area for biological media since the tank is pretty heavily stocked. The water from the overflow runs through filter floss, then through bio media, a settling chamber then over  flows into a space for activated carbon (Chemi-pure), then into a chamber  that houses a poly filter pad. From there the water goes into a large empty  area for protein skimming, temperature control, and return to the reef.  Does this sound like a good idea to you? <Mmm, yes. Some folks would encourage the placement of the skimmer first... the chemical media last... In actual application there is little (a few percent) advantage...> I am also putting a larger protein skimmer on the tank measurements  7" diameter, 36" to top of neck in collection cup, the skimmer will be run by a 1,100 gallon per hour pump. Would this pump be excessive to you? <Mmm... no... if this "fits" the use of this device...> I already have the pump and I figured that is a pretty big skimmer. This skimmer is a venturi style skimmer. <For you and all readers, beware of "venturi" this or that... Sure, sure, it's a fun word to say, but has actually little to do with whether a skimmer is more/less "efficient"...> The bubbles from the venturi will have to rise 30" in complete contact with the water to the neck of the skimmer. The skimmer will also have a 10" diameter cup on it to allow for more collection between cleanings. I designed the skimmer to be completely taken apart for access to all parts of it  for cleaning and maintenance, <Ah, good!> and when put back together it is completely sealed. The return to the sump will have a gate valve, <Do remove the metal screw in the handle...> and entry to the skimmer  will also have a flow control valve. I will be using 3/8" air line for the venturi that will feed into the top of the collection cup to cut down on noise.  Both lines running into and out of the skimmer are 1" diameter PVC. Any feedback or comments on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. Brian  Crenshaw PS. I  also received my microscope (QX5) and the Fish Disease Diagnosis, and Treatment  book you recommended. Both are great! Thank you  again. <Ahh! Many enjoyable and constructive hours ahead... and the sharing with others!!! BobF> Less than Quality Protein Skimmers....to replace? (YES!) 3-13-07 Hey All. <Hello Eric.> I have a question about protein skimmers. <Sure.> I have a 75 gallon reef tank.  I recently replaced my Excalibur protein skimmer with a SeaClone 150, <D'oh! One clunker for another.> in large part because I had to replace the impeller in the Rio 10hf once every few months. <Yeah these pumps....well let's just say there are others I prefer.> Now the SeaClone is spewing microbubbles into the display, and everywhere they are sticking to the rock I am getting a funky algae. <They aren't of great or even mediocre quality to be honest.> However all other parameters, including phosphates, seem to be well within range.  In your opinion, should I get a new skimmer, <The real question is should you get a skimmer at all...because in effect right now you don't have one....to be honest the ones you have now are no more than expensive aeration devices.  So in short yes I would get a new one.> perhaps an Aqua C, mod the SeaClone, or find a different pump for the Excalibur. <The mods I have seen for the SeaClone help but they definitely don't turn it into an A quality device in my opinion. The Aqua-C is the best choice of those you listed.> Sorry for the long question. <Oh to be honest this one was short and easy compared to most, thanks.> You guys rock! <Thanks again.> Thanks, <Welcome.> Eric <Adam J.>

Skimmer Selection (Make Sure It's Big Enough!) - 03/12/07 Hello all! <<Howdy Brent!>>   I emailed last week about a clown trigger, snowflake eel and an emperor angel in a 240g (96x24x24).  They would be the only fish in the tank. <<Mmm, do keep an eye on that Triggerus reallymeanus...am sure you are aware they often become the "sole occupant" of their captive environments...>> The tank is not up and running yet.  Still in the planning stages. <<Ok>> I have been reading the section on protein skimmers and can't decide which one to go with. <<Only a handful of true options...in my opinion>> In a lot of the emails sent in everybody seems to recommend the Euro-Reef. <<Indeed, is my fave and what I use>> I was curious, with the bio-load that I do have, would a Euro-Reef RS250 in-sump protein skimmer do just fine? <<It might, though I think it may be "borderline" with this tank/mix of large messy feeders...the RC250, or the CS400 would likely be better choices and give you greater flexibility "down the road">> If not, could you recommend a reputable brand that would do a great job? <<As stated, Euro-Reef is "my" current favorite, but do have a look at the offerings from AquaC and H&S...maybe even Deltec>> Once again your opinion is of great value to me. <<And I'm happy to proffer it>> Thank you for all the time and effort all of you put in. <<Quite welcome>> It is very reassuring to have somewhere to turn for knowledgeable advice. <<We're pleased to be of service>> Thank you, Brent <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Re: Skimmer Selection (Make Sure It's Big Enough!) - 03/12/07 Thanks for your quick reply! <<Very welcome>> Brent here again to bug you with one more question. <<No worries mate>> I am considering an ozonizer. <<Ah, very good...is a worthwhile addition in my opinion, especially on larger systems>> I have read the FAQ's about ozonizers on the web site and I am still not sure how they work. <<Mmm, several different methodologies (e.g.- UV, hot-spark, cold-corona discharge) but the end result is the same...oxygen molecules sporting an "extra" oxygen atom that makes the molecules very unstable and reactive to their environment>> Could an ozonizer be used with a Euro-Reef RC250 protein skimmer? <<Indeed it can.  I use a 250mg unit in conjunction with my ER CS12-3>> Could you recommend a good brand to go with the Euro-reef RC250 protein skimmer? <<I can...Ozotech.  These units are high-end units and cost accordingly, but will outperform/outlast the other "hobby grade" units available>> Would you recommend an ozonizer at all? <<I would, yes.  I believe an ozonizer compliments a skimmer by breaking down (burning up) organic waste molecules...changing complex chemical compositions to "simple" compounds more readily "skimmed" or otherwise utilized by the system, and eliminating 'yellowing' compounds for unparalleled water clarity (better/more efficient than carbon in my opinion).  There may be some concern over excess bromine generated as a by-product of ozone reaction with bromide (part of that breakdown of compounds I mentioned), but I have yet to notice any ill effects I would associate with this though admittedly it is not an avenue I have spent much time pursuing.  I guess my bottom line would be the benefits outweigh any negative aspects'¦in my opinion>> Once again I am in the planning stages.  I am buying a 240g (96x24x24).  I plan to put a clown trigger (I am aware of the clown's temperament and at the slightest hint of aggression I am prepared financially to put him/her in another large system dedicated to the clown), emperor angel and a snowflake eel in the tank. <<Excellent to know>> With about 250 lbs of live rock and a 2-3" deep live sand bed.  Would a refugium also be beneficial? <<Added water volume is always beneficial...and a large vegetable refugium to help process organics would help...but in your case, the addition of a fluidized-bed filter to help cope with "rapidly" fluctuating bio-levels might be of a greater benefit>> Thank you for your thoughts.  They are always greatly appreciated. Brent <<Always happy to share.  Eric Russell>> Aqua-Medic Mini/Midi Flotor, skimmer sel.    2/27/07 Hi guys,   what a great service you guys have done to the community! Thank you!! <Welcome> I am new in the reef keeping, I have a 55-gal acrylic tank with a small 15 gal sump. I would like to add a skimmer in the sump, unfortunately, there's a very little space left free of sand.  This area (12" x 7") is to be shared with the return pump. <Mmm, big enough...> I am considering Excalibur HV1 <Mmm, isn't this a HOB (Hang on the Back) model?> which you recommend highly, however, this might be slightly too large (4"x6" footprint). <Should fit...> My second option is the Aquamedic MINI/MIDI FLOTOR (which is a sibling of TurboFlotor). What's the performance of these MINI/MIDI Flotor? How does it compare to BakPak II? <I think these are all comparable function-wise... the AM product a bit harder to initially adjust... but all three would work> Looking forward to hear your advice. Thanks, Moeljo <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Lifereef Skimmer, sel. period for a 600 gal. SW   2/27/07 Just one quick question today, I have had a 180 gallon for 6 months now. My skimmer is Lifereef VS3-30 powered by a Mag 12. I love my skimmer and everyone has their opinions on which is the best. The Lifereef is simple to use and keep tuned and pulls a full 1-2 cups of nog per week. Million dollar question: If you were going to set up a 600 gallon reef what skimmer would you use? <Mmm, either one or more Euro-Reef products, but would consider a Deltec...> I am thinking to just go with what I know and get a Lifereef VS3-72 (rated to 1500 gallons--I always double what its rated for) But there are so many custom and well known high dollar skimmer's out there that seem to work just as great. Deltec is seen many times on huge beautiful tanks. IMO the skimmer is the engine and I want to make sure there's not a diesel out there I would be more happy with even though my V6 is doing just fine. thanks Jeff <And am hoping still for the advent of RK2 hobbyist sized units... Bob Fenner>

ATI Bubble master 250. Skimmer Choices    02/17/07 I would like to know your opinion of the following skimmer: <Okay.> ATI Bubble master 250. http://blueribbonkoi.com/catalog.cfm?catalog_id=341 <It is efficient...There are other options (as always) but I do not think you would be disappointed.> It uses the thread wheel technology and skims very well. I have seen one at the LFS. <Sounds like you have your answer.> However, I am trying to see what other Needlewheel/thread wheel skimmers are available in this price range (~$800). <Euro-reef, ASM, Octopus skimmers, H&S, Deltec...and more.> I will be setting up a 315g reef tank, primarily fish (combination of angelfish, tangs, and butterflies), but some LFS corals and clams. <Research carefully.>   I need a skimmer that is rated for 400-500 gallons. I am not a fan of the downdraft skimmer (i.e. ETSS). <Nor am I.> Any suggestions you can give is appreciated. Thanks, <Of course.> Kirk <Adam J.>

Re: Filtration Options   2/6/07 Thank you, Adam. <Anytime.> You guys really burn the midnight oil! <Well I work graveyard so I'm nocturnal by nature...you can call my house at 4am but don't dare think about calling before noon lol.> Right now I have two prism's hanging on the back for protein skimming. I'm not happy with the performance and am considering a Deltec hang on MC500 skimmer. <Now that's a worthy upgrade.> Although the cost is a little prohibitive, it's rated for up to 170 gallons with normal stocking and 100 gallons for heavy stocking. Do you recommend Deltec? <If you hang on this is the top-of-the-line hang on skimmer....price tag to match too.> Can you recommend a protein skimmer that would be effective for my 125 gallon aquarium that is more economical? <Remora Pro if it modestly stocked.> Thanks Again, Mark <Anytime, AJ.>

Protein Skimmer For A 210 Gallon Tank 2/1/07 Dear Crew, <Paul> I have a brand new Aqua C Remora HOB protein skimmer. I originally planned on setting up a 75 gallon FOWLR which is what the Aqua C was planned for. However, good fortune has allowed me to get a 210 gallon tank instead.  I know the Aqua C would not be enough for this size tank. However, I can't return it and know how well they work.  In your opinion would I be okay if I added another Aqua C Remora and use two together.  Additionally, since I will now be able to have a sump, would it be okay to use the HOB type and one in the sump.  I thank you for your time and help as you have assisted me in the past as well. <Sure, no such thing as overskimming.  You may be surprised with the AquaC HOB.  My feeling is they are underrated and you may be fine with this providing your animal load isn't too high.  If nuisance algae starts to invade the system, then go with an additional skimmer.  You may want to try and sell it on EBay or elsewhere and just buy one large enough for your tank. James (Salty Dog)> Paul Demas

Re: Skimmer Advice, Cyano   1/28/07 The skimmer is a Sea Clone 100 Instant Ocean by marine land. <One of the most infamous skimmers in the marine hobby, it notoriously difficult to tune this machine to be consistent and reliable'¦.to put it lightly.  By having the adjustment valve removed I would assume you are allowing the maximum amount of air/oxygen possible in this machine'¦.but as I mentioned it's just historically not a highly praised piece of machinery.> All water conditions such as nitrite, nitrate, pH., ammonia, alk etc. are all well. My problem is that I developed a purple slime on my sand and have discovered that is not a Algae but is a bacteria. little concerned.   <Search WWM re: cyanbacterium/blue-green (red) hair algae'¦.there is likely a root problem here either dealing with the chemistry (phosphates/dissolved organics) or even improper (old) bulbs lighting schemes'¦water flow is to be considered as well.> :-(   Virginia <Adam J.> > Skimmer advice...but what type?   1/28/07 > I have a 72 bow saltwater reef tank. I find that my protein skimmer > works best if I take the adjustment regulator off completely. Skimmer > becomes a little noisy but works great. Am I hurting the skimmer? I am > using a Aqua Clear 110 for filtration, seems to be fine. I am told that I should be on a sump. > <Virginia I would love to answer this question but without more detail I don't think I can give you the information you are looking for...what type of skimmer (brand? design? size? pump model/size?) Also how is the skimmate production...tank parameters?> > Virginia
> <Adam J.>

Skimmer Selection 1/24/07 Hey crew, <Hey BJ> I need some advice. I am running a 55G tank with a wet dry (being used without bio balls as a sump) and a 10G fuge. It is time to upgrade my skimmer from a cheap $55 PetSmart special to something that can really clean. My two choices are a Aqua Medic Turboflotor Multi (Used) with the ocean runner 2500 pump (used) or a Downdraft skimmer (New) running either my Mag 2 or my Mag 7 (both Used). I have read the pros and cons of both from the WWM site and am still on the fence about which one to choose. Both are about the same price, under $100. I am worried that the Downdraft might be over kill, if there is such a thing, <No such thing as overkill with skimmers.> on my 55G but I would like to think that I can move it to a larger system if/when I upgrade. I have included pictures of both skimmers for ya'll. <Can't open them, get page display error.> I am only keeping mushrooms now as far as coral but that might change in the future. So I am looking at what is best now and in the future. Can you help me make the best choice here? <Without seeing the pics, I don't know what brand downdraft skimmer you are looking at, but I'd probably go with the downdraft model.  You may also want to look at the AquaC line, a very dependable and efficient, hassle free skimmer.  http://www.proteinskimmer.com/> <James (Salty Dog)>

Octopus Protein Skimmer Hi crew! Have you ever heard of the Octopus protein skimmer?  Here is a link to the one I am considering: http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=495 . <I see it... looks like a cheap knock-off of Aqua-C's Urchin product> It is a hang-on model, which is what I need for my 55 gal. sumpless reef tank that is in pretty cramped quarters.  Do any of you guys have experience with this brand, or would you recommend it? <Don't and nope... I don't like such "off-brands", not knowing their history... and really don't like O-ring fittings to make the junction twixt the collector cup and contact chamber as shown here... these fail in short fashion> I could not find any info in the FAQs about this brand. <Mmm, I think it's new... made in someone's garage> I know you guys are partial to the Aqua C, but my Remora Pro just met its demise after 6 years, with a leaking/spraying injection screw hole, as well as the Rio pump that is clunking and dying. <Oh! I would contact Jason Kim (the owner/mgr. of Aqua-C re... and ditch the Taam-RIO pump for something better... My and others input re this archived on WWM> A new screw did not fix it, <? Again... contact Jason re... he/they are very interested in such input> so rather than dump money into this one for any sort of repair, I'd like to try a different brand this time.  Please let me know your thoughts on the Octopus HB-100.  Thanks!  You guys are the best! <I wouldn't go that far... w/o a further superlative... as in the best what? Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Lifereef VS2-24 skimmer sel.   1/11/07 Hello, <Howdy> No matter where I search (google, several reef sites) I am not finding many references to the LifeReef vs2-24 protein skimmer. < http://www.google.com/search?q=lifereef+vs2-24+protein+skimmer&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8> I currently have a 75 gallon FOWLR tank with around 70 lbs of live-rock and about 30 lbs of sand that I plan on converting to a reef tank once I can afford it, and I am using a Prizm Protein Skimmer that does not work (I did not purchase it separately, tank, light, filter, skimmer, live rock and live sand all purchased at the same time for $200). <I'd dump the Prizm... look to other brands...> I have found a VS2-24 for $100 without pump plus shipping. Is it worth getting or should I instead get the AquaC Remora Pro (I can get it with the mag 3 for $138)? <I definitely would opt for the AquaC product here> Thank You, Adrian <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Quiet and Quality Protein Skimmer    1/5/07 I have a 50 gallon salt water tank with fish and live rock.  I currently use a Prizm Deluxe PS-RS50181 Protein Skimmer.  Though the system works great, I makes too much noise.  What other options do I have for a Protein Skimmer that is "quiet".   Thanks in advance for your help. <I highly recommend the Remora AquaC; in fact, based on personal experience and reviews, it's likely the only skimmer I'll ever use. Best regards, Jorie> Dan.

Re: Bio-Spira  12/14/06 Thanks for the super fast response! I used Cycle by Nutrafin and followed directions for marine use. OK, so I'll get Bio-Spira, do an 80% water change and all fish and inverts will be ok? <Yes, you need to remove the toxins in there.  Just be sure the SG, pH & temp are the same as the tank water.>   Should I also put in new carbon filters? <Wouldn't hurt> I have a Skilter Filter 400. Also, the protein skimmer isn't getting any foam yet, I'm assuming that is normal since the tank is so new.   <Get yourself a decent skimmer.  Skilters are junk!  In addition, that pad will collect nitrates on it.> Thanks Pufferpunk! <You're very welcome!  ~PP>

To Upgrade Or Not? - 12/12/06 Good Afternoon Guy's & Gals: <<Good evening Jeremy>> I have a quick question that I value your opinion of. <<Okey-Dokey>> I have a 75-gallon reef tank with a 20-gallon sump.  I currently have an AquaC Urchin skimmer rated up to 75-gallons. <<Great little skimmers...and I had the pleasure of meeting the company owner at Bob's place in HI last month>> Do you think this skimmer is undersized for my setup? <<Probably not...These skimmers are "sized" very accurately...unlike the boasts of many of the lesser quality skimmer manufacturers>> Should I look to upgrade to something a bit more substantial? <<Up to you...why not give Jason Kim a call at AquaC (or send an email) and see what he suggests?  I'm certain he won't steer you wrong>> The skimmer does pull out about a half a cup dark skimmate every 3-4 days. <<Much like "watts per gallon" for lighting, there are many factors to determine "how much skimmate" your tank should be producing.  Rest assured you have a quality product>> Bioload consists of: *Fish:* Yellow tang, 2 blue-green Chromis, convict blenny, pink skunk clownfish, algae blenny *|* *Coral:* Ricordea yuma mushrooms, yellow polyps, devils hand (Lobophytum sp.), frogspawn (Euphyllia divisa), Torch (Euphyllia sp.), various Zoos & 2 Acropora frags *|* *Inverts:* coral-banded shrimp, 10 blue-legged hermit crabs, two astrea snails. I plan to add maybe 1 more fish and a lot more corals. <<Do keep in mind that "corals" place a bio-load on the system just as fish do, albeit usually somewhat less...and not without other considerations such as allelopathy>> Your input is appreciated. <<Hope you find it useful>> Jeremy <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Euro-Reef Skimmer Sizing - 12/11/06 Thanks for creating this forum. <<We're pleased to be here>> I have only one question.  I will be setting up a 180 gallon acrylic.  I already have purchased an All-Glass stand. <<Made/designed for an acrylic tank I hope (entire bottom of tank requires support)>> The clearance is just under 26".  I will be placing my skimmer in the sump.  I am planning on purchasing an ER RC/RS 180 but wanted to ask if this skimmer will be powerful enough.  The Euro-Reef website contains the following specs for this skimmer: Average load: 180 gallons Heavy load: 135 gallons Comparative Rating up to 450 gallons I would prefer not to have to attempt to modify the stand to accommodate the RC/RS 250 which is 30" high.   <<If anything, I tend to believe Euro-Reef "underestimates" their skimmers a bit...the RC/RS 180 will likely be "plenty" of skimmer for this tank>> My load will be mostly Acropora w/ some soft corals and the following fish: Small school of Scott's fairy wrasses (or 4-6 different wrasses) Magenta Dottyback <<Pseudochromis Fridmani?  Do try to obtain a gentler "tank raised" specimen>> Shrimp Gobies/Pistol Shrimp 1-2 Tangs Mandarin <<You will need a fine sand bed and/or in-line refugium; as well as letting the tank mature for a year or more, before adding the mandarin>> Thanks again and Merry Christmas. Scott <<And to you in kind.  EricR>>

Re: Euro Reef RS/RC 180   12/11/06 <Hey Scott, JustinN with you today> The stand was built for a glass aquarium but I will be placing a sheet of plywood under the tank.  I've been told that this is acceptable.   <As long as the weight is evenly distributed with the plywood, all should be fine here.> Thanks for the input.  I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have such experienced reef keepers available to ask questions of.  I'm really starting to get excited about setting up a little slice of the ocean in my living room.  Thanks again!   Scott <Thanks for the kind words, Scott. I think I speak for everyone here when I say we take pride in the service we offer, because we believe in it. Good luck in your endeavors! -JustinN> Skimmer Choices/Selection -- 12/01/06 Hi all, <<Howdy Tim>> I'm planning on a 75g reef tank with SPS, LPS, and maybe a clam with perhaps 8 fish.  I'm having difficulty picking a skimmer that would best serve my needs. <<Hmm, should be pretty simple...choose a reputable brand/manufacturer and follow their recommendations>> One of my fears is that I need a skimmer which is $600+ (Euro-Reef, H&S etc.). <<Debatable for sure...but the high-end skimmers really do perform better/give more value for money in my experience/opinion>> Do you think this is a likely scenario or will an AquaC or less expensive skimmer be adequate? <<I consider AquaC to be one of the better choices in skimmer selection...very good quality/customer service...an AquaC skimmer would be a fine selection>> In addition, what is the difference between a recirculating skimmer and a non-recirculating? <<A recirculating skimmer is generally "gravity fed" from the display tank and the pump then pulls water from/returns water too the skimmer body in a "recirculating" fashion.  A non-recirculating skimmer generally feeds water to the skimmer body through the pump from an outside source (sump)>> And is one superior to the other. <<The recirculating skimmers are considered by many to be superior in performance (all things being equal), but that's not to mean the non-recirculating skimmers aren't excellent choices as well>> Thank You, Tim <<Quite welcome.  EricR>>

Equipment list for 500 gallon system   11/26/07 Hello, <Hey Kirk, JustinN with you this fine evening> And thank you for answering my question: <No problems, is what we exist (as a group of like-minded individuals, not as a personal crusade! *grin*) for> For my Xmas present this year, my wife has given me the OK to get a 450 (96x36x30) custom acrylic gallon tank for our new home. <Very nice! Quite an undertaking, and quite a woman for letting it happen. *grin*> The largest tank I have had to this point has been a 125gallon tank. I have been in the saltwater hobby for 8 years, but I must say this is an exciting but seemly overwhelming task. <Can be daunting> I know the choice of filtration, pumps, skimmers and crucial to the success of this project. <Absolutely> With that said, I would like to know what types of skimmers would you recommend for a tank of this size.  I am going to have a mixture of fish (large angelfish, triggers (pink tail or bluethroat), butterfly (copperband), clowns, and possible a Naso tang) and corals (mostly being LFS and a clam or 2).  I am NOT going to keep SPS corals. <Am sure you know this, but still feel I must mention that both the angels and the butterfly run a very high possibility of nipping both corals and clams to death.> Skimmers ------------ The research I have done so far has led me to the following skimmers: H&S Bubble King Deltec Klaes I would like to know if a Euroreef or ASM skimmers are a good choice for this large of a tank.  Whatever skimmer I decide on, it needs to be a well design skimmer AND produces a sufficient amount of skimmate. <I believe any of these would be sufficient. Just to be safe, get a skimmer that is recommended for a tank larger than your overall water volume. That should give you the piece of mind you seek, regardless of manufacturer.> Filtration/Pumps ------------------- I am planning on a closed loop system, and for a pump choice it must be quiet and emit low heat.  I was thinking about Dolphin AMP Master pumps, but some other reefers have mentioned larger Bluelines, but I do not know much about them.  Can you offer any suggestions in this area?  How much water flow (i.e., gph/hr) should I plan for?? <Alas, I have no experience with either pump, but going on what I've heard, I hear nothing but glowing praise for the Blueline line of pumps. Sequence pumps also seem to carry a similar reputation. Sorry I'm not of more assistance here.> Calcium Reactor ------------------ Is this a mandatory piece of equipment with a tank this size? If so, can you suggest some models for me to research. <I would not consider it mandatory, no, but it will simplify and automate that much more of your maintenance. Korallin, Knop and Tunze all make readily available calcium reactors.> Thanks for any advice you can give. Kirk <Well, wish I could say I had more specific recommendations for you, here, but I think you will do fine. Just read as much reviews of equipment as possible on online forums, talk to local reef clubs, and research before you purchase. Do keep us informed on this wonderful sounding project! -JustinN>

Skimmer Recommendation 11/21/06 I have a 35 gallon salt water set up that I am just starting.  I have a Fluval 204 and was looking to get a skimmer to add on for a reef set up. Cost is kinda an issue and I was looking to get the most "bang for my buck."   What do you suggest as for a skimmer for this set up? I'm kinda new at the game  here so please keep that in mind when e-mailing me back ha ha. Thanks for the help on this.   Chris Moski <With skimmers you really get what you pay for.  Perhaps a DIY would be an option depending on how handy you are.  Otherwise please see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm for some ideas on currently available skimmers.> <Chris>

Question on Skimmers for a commercial operation of curing live rock   11/5/06 Hello Crew. <Andrew> Love the site but can't find an answer to this question I have. <Let's fill in the gap here> I am looking at setting up a live rock wholesale distribution business in Ireland. I plan on making up 2 large vats to hold up to 1000kg of live rock at a time.  Here are my thoughts of the setup. 2 Vats not plumbed together with closed loops via maxi jet mod.s for circulation. I am thinking of running 2 skimmers - one off each vat to be able to handle the load when the rock first arrives - also for resilience if one happens to die. Also a Calcium reactor to help the coralline to grow. <Very good idea>   A refugium for nutrient export.  UV to keep it all clean and Ozone before the skimmer for performance. My query is what type of skimmer to go for.  I was looking at a large Beckett style but after looking at the electricity cost <You are wise here> (expensive in Ireland) I guess it is better to spend more up front than constantly on the power.  I assume that the total water volume will be in the region of 3500 gallons. I will be using Natural sea water as I have tested the local stuff and it seems fine. <I would seek out/use a cheap source of carbonate (not much) and bicarbonate (a bunch) here as well. Natural seawater has precious little buffering/alkaline capacity>   As I will firstly be dealing with live rock I feel that this should be OK. Other idea was to make a few skimmers - but worried that if they don't work and the rock is in the vats then the spikes will be to high. Love some advice. Andrew <Mmm, well, the cheapest way to extract the most undesirable material involves pumping/eluting air into a stream of water... about a ten times saving in efficiency over pumping the water instead... So "air-injection" type units are preferable here... Perhaps a trip to Tropic Marine Centre there in one of their UK locations... to see what they have on offer/manufacture. Otherwise, DIY or commercial air injection units like those from Euro-Reef, RK2... and many others are what I would search out. Importantly, I want to mention that there are a few very important "pre-soak" procedures that you can/should employ that will make this whole process much easier, timely... profitable... Including seeking out the better "initially clean" source of LR... expediently picking up, cleaning/rinsing/removing excess muck and dead biota (possibly a rinse tank series like those pictured, discussed being employed by friend Walt Smith in Fiji... see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Couple More Questions - 10/31/06 Hey Eric, <<Evening Ken>> The tank is moving along.  I put in the rock last Thursday night. I tested for Ammonia on Sunday using LaMotte Colorimeter and the reading was .75 ppm.  I took it again today and it is .12 ppm. <<Ah...progressing nicely>> I will do my water change after the cycle as discussed.  What % should I do? <<I recommend 50%...and then retest after 24 hrs.  You don't usually want to make changes that large as a matter of routine, but at this juncture it will be fine>> Does it depend on the nitrate level? <<Indeed...the tank is cycled when ammonia/nitrite/nitrate all read 'zero'>> Once I do that water change, and the tank is cycled, I will put in the sand. <<No need to wait...but is up to you>> I am just putting in about 3/4" depth for aesthetics more than anything. <<Will be fine>> Lastly, skimmers.  I am going to sell my MTC HSA-1000.  It worked great, but the heat from the pump (BlueLine 55) is quite a bit into the tank, plus the 180 watts electricity. <<Mmm, yes...and the noise>> I am going to go with a needle wheel. <<Sweet!>> I am most likely going with a Deltec. <<cool>> I like to oversize my skimmers.  Is this a bad thing? <<Not as far as I'm concerned>> I had heard someone say they did that on their tank and that they could only get the bad stuff out of the tank by turning up the flow and getting wet foam (which is not what we want). <<Wet foam works too...but I have never seen/heard/experienced the phenomena you mention.  Many things can keep a skimmer from performing as we "expect," not the least of which being poor design/engineering...regardless of the size>> How big can I go, or do you think this is not an issue? <<One or two sizes above the manufacturers recommendation will be fine.  If you expect to upsize to a larger system in the not to distant future you may even want to consider sizing the skimmer to the bigger system>> I have a 90-gallon tank and was thinking of either the AP851 or AP701.  I think that the AP600 is probably the one most people would buy, but I wanted to go bigger unless it had a negative effect. <<Honestly mate these are very good skimmers, the AP600 would be fine (rated for 200g systems), or maybe the APF600 (rated for 270g systems) for a bit more "oomph".  But it's your nickel, if you want the AP701 then go for it>> I appreciate your help with this decision. Thanks and regards, Ken <<My pleasure to assist.  EricR>> Multiple Skimmers?  10/31/06 Dear Scott and crew, Thanks for your reply. <Our pleasure!> On the same topic, if I kept my Berlin Turbo and added two Remora's would the skimming capacity be the same as a sump unit?  Are the effects of having several small skimmers additive? Jeff <Actually, having more than one skimmer is a really nice idea. I know several hobbyists who have employed multiple skimmers to great affect. This provides additional skimming capacity, as well as redundancy if one goes down for maintenance. Sure, it is possible to "overskim" at tank, strange as it may seem, but I don't think that you'll have this problem with your projected bioload. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Counter Current Protein skimmer dimensions?   10/8/06 Hello, it's been a while since I've pestered y'all because everything's been going so well...shucks! Well, I'm moving to a larger house and will be upgrading my 55 gal reef setup to a 150 gal setup (72x18x28) <Man! Wish I could triple my income!> and I'm wondering about upgrading my protein skimmer with a DIY similar to that on your site. I would like to make the body out of  PVC and about 24-30" total height--ish. I would like to know what the recommended diameter & height should be and if using a Surge 3500 pump (660gph @ 0') would be advisable for this application. Also, would it work more efficiently to use the venturi in conjunction with the air stone(s)--I'm thinking 2-3 lime wood stones? <Nah! The diffuser and air driven mechanism is an outright pain to maintain... use a venturi...> Here is my design to make sure I'm not forgetting/missing anything: 1 overflow w/ 2x1.5" drains (currently in use on the 150gal) into 15 gal DSB algae scrubber/refugium (heavy-duty Rubbermaid-type bucket) which spills over into 30 gal settling tank/sump (another Rubbermaid) for protein skimmer/auto-top off from RO/DI. <Mmm, I'd reverse these two sumps and their contents... easier to keep a constant water level in/with the skimmer... and more room for the DSB/Algae...> Depending on budget, a Nielsen reactor as well. A 1" bulk head will feed into a little giant 1/12 hp industrial application pump w/ 3/4" inlet & outlet (currently feeding the 150 gal with a measured 550 gph w/ approx 6' head and feeding an under gravel jet system, so about 14' total of 3/4" pvc structure.), with ball valves before and after, and running through a SQUID. A CAP 2200 (675gph @ 0') will power a closed loop and additional current will be added by 2-3 MaxiJet 900 or 1200s. Total flow target is 1200+ gph. The tank will be set up for soft corals and inverts and will likely be lightly stocked (small budget). I'm planning a 4" DSB w/ plenum and will be starting w/ 70-150#s LR (I already have 70# and may get the rest, pending some good fortune), <And specials on "whole box" deals...> with plans to add more as $ is available. Lighting will be 2x250W 10000k Ushio MH and 2x60W CFL actinics. Oh, I was also offered a snowflake moray and told they're reef safe...opinions seem mixed on this. Any input? <Mmm, "safer"... but still will eat all smallish crustaceans... run into things... produce a goodly amount of ammonia with size...> Thank you for your invaluable assistance.      Branon <Do look over the fab DIY site: OzReef.org for input re the skimmer... and more! Bob Fenner>

Skimmer Choice ... Aqua-C, Euro-Reef  10/7/06 First I'd like to thank all of you for putting up with all of us and our repetitious questions. <Heeeee!> Now for yet another skimmer dilemma.  I've narrowed down my choices, as have many others, to an  Aqua-c 120 or 180, and a Euro-Reef RS100. <Good units/manufacturers> It seems to me as I read through your responses to similar questions that you prefer the Euro-Reef while stating that the Aqua is also a fine choice.   <Mmm, could proffer a more discrete recommendation. Really depends on the sort of system... livestock choices, arrangement, choices of other gear...> Could you be more specific.  Why is the Euro-Reef preferred over the Aqua-C? <The livestock make-up mostly... more crowded, "reef" I'd go with the Euro-Reef product by a small margin... For the vast majority of hobby systems, the Aqua-C is preferable...> Does it produce a more concentrated skimmate ? <Either can out-compete the other depending on adjustment...> Is it easier to adjust? <Mmm, no. Both about the same> Is the NW simply a better way of making tiny bubbles?  Is it simply a more reliable and consistent performer? <Both have their promoters/detractors... do require the same lack of actual attention once set-up...> I have read through countless forums in an effort to sort this out and  have ascertained only that skimmer choice is a leap of faith. <Heeee! This is often the case in pet-fish matters> No one is doing any comprehensive product testing. <These are about, though generally not at all, let alone well-indexed... Most pulp 'zines in our interest don't make their way into citation services... mostly a lack of bibliographies... An issue I've gone over and over with publishers, editors... But Bob Goeman's among others has tested, reported on skimmer "choosing"> That said, I hope you can provide some solid reasons for choosing one over the other. P.S. I'd also consider an H&S if their distribution network was better. Thanks. <Again... there are (IMO, not a matter of any scientific data, testing), no great discernible functional differences twixt these lines... Both do work well in doing what they're intended to do. Bob Fenner, who will further gladly admit that the makers/owners of both companies are indeed also friends>

Re: Was, Euro-Reef vs. Beckett Skimmers, now Deltec...An Opinion - 10/29/06 Hey Eric, <<Hi Ken>> What is your opinion of Deltec skimmers since I am now debating needle wheel skimmers? <<Excellent skimmers>> Also, is this a bad time to switch skimmers while curing live rock, since it will take a new (clean) skimmer a day or so to get up to speed? <<Not a problem at all, in my opinion>> Thanks, Ken <<Cheers, EricR>>

Refugiums/Selection 10/4/06 Hello crew, <Hello Mike> I have read though the questions on the hang on tank refugiums and did not find my answer. In the future I will be converting a 125 gallon fresh water over to FOWLR. I only have room for hang on tank refugiums. I was thinking about 2 of them on the back of the tank spaced out evenly. It will not be a heavy bio-load, maybe 10-15 small peaceful fish. My question is, are the protein skimmers that come along with some of the refugiums are of the quality to handle this or should I purchase them separately? <The CPR's incorporate their Bak Pak skimmer in their hang on refugiums.  A decent skimmer, but I would rather go with skimmerless refugiums and an efficient hang-on skimmer.  Seems to me like you are helping to defeat the purpose of a refugium by having a skimmer incorporated into it.  Much better to surface skim water to the skimmer.> I have a Remora on my 46 gallon now it works great (thanks guys & gals ) on that one. Any input or suggestions will be greatly appreciated and put to good use. Thank you in advance and for all the help in the past, Mike, your fishin buddy. <You're welcome Mike.  James (Salty Dog)> Re:  Refugiums/Selection  10/5/06 Thank you for the lighting quick response Salty Dog. The way you explained it makes perfect sense. I will purchase a separate skimmer as suggested. Thanks again, <You're welcome, Mike.  James (Salty Dog)> Mike. Which Skimmer Is The Winner?   9/30/06 Hello Bob, <Scott F. in tonight!> At the outset, I would like to compliment you for the excellent website It has loads of info which has been so useful for me and for my hobby. <We're thrilled to hear that. We have a lot of talented hobbyists here who graciously volunteer their time to help fellow fish geeks, and I'm proud to be associated with them!> I am installing a 900 litre reef tank. I would like your help in choosing a skimmer for my tank. <Sure, will try!> What is your impression about the TUNZE DOC Comline 9010 skimmer and Aqua Medic Turboflotor 1000 Multi SL with OR2500 pump? Which is a better choice among the two? I want your opinion so I can make choice! Thanks again. <Well, you've chosen two excellent skimmers from reputable manufacturers. The Turboflotor has been around for a while, and is a proven, reliable unit. It can be just a bit finicky, in terms of adjustment, but once you get it dialed in, it's really a joy to use. I can't say anything bad about the Tunze, either. Tunze Comline DOC skimmers are absolutely quiet, easy to set up (I mean, REALLY easy), and do a fine job, like all Tunze products. They are consistent and easy to clean. Bottom line- you really cannot go wrong with either, IMO. I'd probably try the 9015 for this sized aquarium, however. My edge might be to the Tunze, as it uses less energy, is a little easier to set up, and is very quiet. On the other hand, you'll be just fine with the Turboflotor. Gee, I'm not being too much help here, huh? Seriously, get the one that fits your needs and budget, and rest easy that you have a fine unit. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Skimmer Recommendations 9/26/06 Hey there crew, <Hi> Thanks for answering my questions; they've got me through a lot. I just have a few more to hold me over for another month or so. I have a forty-gallon tank with thirty-something pounds of live rock, and some mushrooms. Currently I have been using a very simple carbon filter that hangs on the back of my tank (yes, I know, pretty sad). I wanted into more corals, and for this I would need a protein skimmer, so I was wondering: What is the cheapest (I'm fourteen and lawns need mowing), but most effective way for me to go? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks again, Nathan <Unfortunately with skimmers you tend to get what you pay for.  I like either a Aqua-C Remora or CPR BakPak for that sized tank.  They are not cheap, but better than wasting money on a skimmer that doesn't work.  Otherwise if you are handy you could try to build a DIY skimmer, lots of good plans available on the internet.  Please read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm for more.> <Chris>

Skimmer Suggestions 9/20/06 Hey there Crew! <Hi> I have a forty gallon aquarium with a clownfish and some mushrooms. I wanted to expand my reef with more corals etc. and I was wondering what is a skimmer I should get for this. I really need a cheaper route, because I'm only fourteen, but I can make pretty much any amount of money when I put my mind to it! Alright, Thanks, Nathan <Cheap skimmers are usually not worth the money, with these products more money really does equal more value.  Have you tried to make a DIY?  Several good designs available on the various message boards.  Otherwise give this a read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm > <Chris>

More Skimmer Recommendations 9/20/06 Evening folks, <Hello> I need some help on deciding on a skimmer. I am torn between: 1. Lifereef HVS 3-24 (hang-on). 2.Deltec MCE 600. 3. Aqua C pro.  I have a light to moderately stocked 125 gallon tank. Money is not the problem just what skimmer would give me the most efficient skimming while being the quietest. Any opinions are welcome. I thank you for your time. <I am a big fan of the Aqua-Cs, but I'm not sure it would be big enough for a 125, might want to check with Aqua-C to make sure.  I also really like the Deltecs, they have an excellent reputation.  I am not familiar with the Lifereef.  I would check with some of the message boards to get a wide range of opinions.  Also give this a read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/protein_skimmer_impressions.htm > <Chris> Too many bubbles in protein skimmer... SeaClone   9/19/06 I have a 55 gal marine tank with 1 yellow tang, 2 clowns, 1 royal Gramma and 2 cleaner shrimp. All water tests are in the zero range. <?> My question: this past weekend I added a Coralife Turbo Twist UV Sterilizer running thru a Fluval 205 canister filter. Ever since all of this has  been up and running I am getting mass of small micro  bubbles coming out of the Seaclone Protein Skimmer - no amount of cleaning or adjusting seems to remedy this, also not a lot of gunk in the skimmer cup. Am wondering if all this added equipment has somehow caused this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, DiAnn <This skimmer is hard to adjust... and really more a toy than functional. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seacloneskimfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

In Tank Skimmer - In Picture in your Book  9/18/06 Mr. Fenner, <Don> My wife bought me your book The Conscientious Aquarist yesterday at of all place a yard sale......$1.00.....best buck ever spent. <Heeee! Guess it was bound to happen... but so soon?! What's that line from that Billy Joel "Entertainer" song? "... I get stuck in the back of the discount rack, like another can of peas..."> When she brought it home I sat down and read half of it..... my eyes got blurry and had to stop. <Yikes!> She saw, in the beginning of the book, a Fish Only aquarium picture.... has blue & white fake corals etc and she wants me to duplicate that tank appearance in our 75g.......and keep the whole process simple. I noticed in the tank description that the tank in the picture has an "in tank" protein skimmer. My wife really liked that idea instead of hanging one on the tank and a possible flood situation. Are "in tank" skimmers ok to use for a fish only tank of my size (75)? <Mmm... well... not really. Let's see... there are some "rather nice" European in-tank units (Sander products: http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquarium/sander-skimmers.asp on TMC's site... But these are only imported (as far as I'm aware) in the very smallest sizes... require a strong (pressure) air pump, and almost continuous change-outs of air-wood diffusers... besides, they look like heck. For this sized system (and even tiny ones) I'd get/use an outside unit. Oh, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm and the many skimmer selection FAQs files above. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

<Aqua-C> Skimmer rave and Angel Question  - 09/14/06 Hi Crew: I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for recommending the Aqua-C Remora.  I replaced my Prizm with one and had some trouble getting it to work. I emailed Aqua-C and the quickly responded to me that my fake decor could be the problem. They recommended I remove it and rinse it all 3-4 times for an hour at a time.  Needless to say my skimmer is working like a charm now.  They mentioned that fake coral is notorious for causing issues with the skimmer due to the oils that leech into the water. <Yes... a problem that a couple of friends in the manufacture of this are earnestly endeavoring to fix> For anyone that is considering purchasing an Aqua-C please do! They have amazing service and the difference is unbelievable in the skimmate that they collect.  Now for my question, sorry to go on for so long. My local fish store is very good and separates all of the Angel fish that they have. <A wise move> I noticed that the only exception to this is that they always keep Flame Angels and Lemon Peel Angels in the same tank.  I questioned them and they said that they are the only ones that are compatible together.  Have you ever tried this mix? Would you recommend it? Thanks for everything, <Mmmm, by and large, no... have seen this and other combinations of Centropyge together... with and w/o success/compatibility. I would not give carte blanche to this combo. Bob Fenner> Skimmer Selection  - 09/07/06 Hi hello, first congratulations with your page is wonderful. I am buying a skimmer for my new tank a 250 gal reef aquarium. I am thinking about  the Tunze DOC 9210. <Did you mean 9010?  If not, the 9010 is more than enough for your tank.> or Turboflotor 5000 Shorty. Which would you recommend, and if you have any other suggestion I will be happy to hear it. <I would definitely take the Tunze over the Turboflotor.  AquaC and Euroreef are two other quality skimmers. Thanks a lot. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Mauricio Cano

Is it worth it? Upgrades to a FOWLR/Reef... Skimmer and circ. concerns  8/28/06 Hello again WWM crew! <Mohammad>     I'm currently planning to upgrade my new FOWLR into a reef aquarium. Currently, my circulation and the Protein Skimmer are not suitable for a reef setup.     My preferred place for a Protein Skimmer is in a sump. <Mine too> I currently don't have a sump for my 100 gallon tank. I have very limited space for a sump, around 12.5x14" footprint, and about 22" height. I thought maybe I can use an AquaC Urchin Pro for it's slim profile, but after thorough reading in the net and WWM a small sump won't be easy to make (That is, for a 100 gallon).    Would it be a better idea to use an AquaC Remora Pro H.O.T. instead? <If the space limitation is as you say, yes> Or do you think that making a small sump with the Urchin (I personally don't think that I can even squeeze 5 gallons in there...) is a better idea? <Mmm, too little "room to spare" IMO>     My second question concerns the circulation. I came to understand that corals in a reef tank prefer random turbulent flow. <Most species, communities, yes> I plan to buy two Tunze Turbelle Streams (6060) to place on opposite directions of the tank. Since Tunze Streams are very powerful, I believe they should only be placed on the top of the tank. Will this cause dead spots to form in the bottom of the tank? Or is it not a problem? <Not likely on both counts, due to the force and volume of flow> I appreciate your help. Enjoy. Mohammad <And you, Bob Fenner> Tunze Skimmer Choice - 08/27/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I need advice; do you know how good is the Tunze DOC Protein Skimmer 9015? <<Not first-hand...but do know/believe Tunze makes a well engineered, quality product>> I own a 250 gal aquarium and I am thinking about getting one of these. <<I think you will be quite pleased with this choice of skimmer>>

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