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Old 09-24-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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Can a protien skimmer kill?

I just installed a new Red Sea skimmer into my tank a few days ago. When I woke up this morning the waste container was overflowing into the tank and all but 4 out of 14 fish were dead. Could the skimmer kill them? It's a 55 gallon tank
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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A protein skimmer will actually flip out if something enters the system that isn't supposed to be there. Think of say windex being used to clean a nearby window entering the system. The skimmer will flip out and overflow itself like you described. I would be more likely to point the finger at something being in the tank, even something like vinegar could cause this, that ended your fish and overflowed your skimmer.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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It should not matter, at least i would not think so. The skimmate being pulled came from the tank in the first place.

I guess if a concentrated glob hit the fish in the face... Then again, it takes a Red Sea skimmer a while to break in. You wouldn't see a whole lot of skimmate for a while. Maybe a light tea, but not the dark stuff.

Lastly, if the cup filled completely in one night, then it would have to be very watered down. I cannot speak on the size as I run an reef octopus. However, with all this said, I would venture to guess something else may be going on.

Might be one of those coincident things, just happened to happen when you added the skimmer but still unrelated. Either way, good luck, hope you get this figured out.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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I'm thinking you having 14 fish in a 55 with no skimmer in the first place was the primary issue. Thats a huge bioload for a 55. I never go over 6 fish in my 55 and have a skimmer, a canister filter and do water changes weekly without fail. Your biosystem may just be equaling itself out right now...
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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Was it a used skimmer? That could explain it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Animal-Chin
I'm thinking you having 14 fish in a 55 with no skimmer in the first place was the primary issue. Thats a huge bioload for a 55. I never go over 6 fish in my 55 and have a skimmer, a canister filter and do water changes weekly without fail. Your biosystem may just be equaling itself out right now...
All the fish in the tank except 2 were small totall of 4 cardinals, 4 puffers, 1 chromis, 3 clowns and a tomini tang and a one spotted angle
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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Was it a used skimmer? That could explain it.
Yes it was a used one that my mom gave me it hasn't been used for about 2 years
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xkentc

Yes it was a used one that my mom gave me it hasn't been used for about 2 years
Ask her if she ever ran it through the dishwasher or washed it with dish soap. Soap residue would cause it to overflow the collection cup and it could definitely harm the fish. Don't blame her or anything, even if she did wash it. It still could be something else.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xkentc

All the fish in the tank except 2 were small totall of 4 cardinals, 4 puffers, 1 chromis, 3 clowns and a tomini tang and a one spotted angle
That is a lot, no puffers (unless of the Toby family) should be in a 55 much less any tangs.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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Unless the skimmer had left over soap or something, they can't inject anything into the system that wasn't there already except air. Skimmers that dump to a drain can accidentally lower the salinity if you have a auto top off system. Good reason to not dump to a drain.
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