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Old 09-10-2004, 08:26 PM   #1
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do i have enough filtration?

I have an 18-gallon tall reef tank with a clown fish, a bicolor, a green long tentacle anemone, a brain coral, Xenias everywhere, green star polyps, white star polyps, red blue and green mushrooms, and a hammer coral. I currently have only a compact lighting 60 watts total and aqua clear backpack filter. I change 30% of water every week and fill with ocean water. The tank is has been set up for 5 years.

About 3 months ago my protein skimmer broke; I began to neglect my tank I allowed algae to grow and the water level to drop about 3 gallons the salinity went up to about 30 and did not change water for 3 months. I cleaned the tank last week and to my surprise all my coral was still alive and the polyps had actually spread.

My question is, if the tank had gone that long with out a protein skimmer do I really need one. The aqua clear filter and power head seem to be doing the job ok. Are there long-term effects to not having a protein skimmer on an 18-gallon reef tank?
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Tank: 18 gallon tall reef
Filtration: Aqua Clear mini, power head, 20 lbs LV, live sand, no skimmer
Water: Ocean Water from Scripps SD
Lighting: 36 watts power compact
Change: 20% water change per week
Coral: Green LTA, Xenia, Hammer, Star Polyps white and green, Shrooms, Brain, zoos, & more
Fish: False clown & bicolor
Notes: Tank established 5 years ago

pics of tank:
http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=40352
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:07 PM   #2
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How much LR do you have in there? A protein skimmer would be a good idea.. but not totally necescary but highly reccomended.
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:12 PM   #3
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I have about 20 lbs of live rock
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Tank: 18 gallon tall reef
Filtration: Aqua Clear mini, power head, 20 lbs LV, live sand, no skimmer
Water: Ocean Water from Scripps SD
Lighting: 36 watts power compact
Change: 20% water change per week
Coral: Green LTA, Xenia, Hammer, Star Polyps white and green, Shrooms, Brain, zoos, & more
Fish: False clown & bicolor
Notes: Tank established 5 years ago

pics of tank:
http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=40352
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:20 PM   #4
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I noticed that you live in SD, do you live near scripps? Do you live near scripps? Is that where you get the Ocean water? It seems like you have enough filtration but w/o a protein skimmer you are gonna get more algea.
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:24 PM   #5
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Yes I do live very near Scripps. I have been using the Scripps water for many years with excellent results but to keep algae under control I must change water very regularly.
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Tank: 18 gallon tall reef
Filtration: Aqua Clear mini, power head, 20 lbs LV, live sand, no skimmer
Water: Ocean Water from Scripps SD
Lighting: 36 watts power compact
Change: 20% water change per week
Coral: Green LTA, Xenia, Hammer, Star Polyps white and green, Shrooms, Brain, zoos, & more
Fish: False clown & bicolor
Notes: Tank established 5 years ago

pics of tank:
http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=40352
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:32 PM   #6
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Thats cool. Yeah, a good skimmer would definatly help the with the algae.
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Old 09-11-2004, 10:40 AM   #7
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A skimmer is not neccessary, but often recommended in a reef tank. Especially smaller ones. they help increase the margin or error and add more flow. While not needed, they really help in keeping water parameters in check. Personaly, I would not maintain a reef tank without one.
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:06 AM   #8
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What do you reef people think of the skilter. I don't want to spend much money on a protein skimmer but i was told that i would need one to maintain a healthly tank. I don't need anything too powerful and it has both a filter and a protein skimmer. Is it just not worth even montioning?
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Tank: 18 gallon tall reef
Filtration: Aqua Clear mini, power head, 20 lbs LV, live sand, no skimmer
Water: Ocean Water from Scripps SD
Lighting: 36 watts power compact
Change: 20% water change per week
Coral: Green LTA, Xenia, Hammer, Star Polyps white and green, Shrooms, Brain, zoos, & more
Fish: False clown & bicolor
Notes: Tank established 5 years ago

pics of tank:
http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=40352
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:53 AM   #9
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With a 30% water change every week I don't think you needed a skimmer at all. Get back to the routine you had before and your tank will start doing well again.
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:47 PM   #10
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As many of you have heard before, I'm planning to start up a 55 gallon FO tank with 60 lbs. of base rock (I wont be keeping live rock). I plan to add 2 Maxi-jet 1200 Powerheads and I have a Rena Filstar XP2 canister filter, which I could use for carbon (as I've been told). I plan on doing 10-20% weekly water changes. Would I need a skimmer? I was told by alot of people (at my LFS) that you MUST have a skimmer if you keep SW. Would it be worth it for me to get one? The skimmer would be the most expensive thing I was going to purchase, so if I don't need one, that would be good.

Or how about this...

Could I get a FO tank going and when I have more money in the future, add a skimmer then? Should the fish be OK until then?
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