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Old 05-03-2014, 12:59 AM   #1
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Protein Skimmer

So I have been doing a lot of reading as well as researching and am at the point where i need to ask for some Input from everyone. I currently have a 55g tank with 50lbs live rock. I do 20% water changes every week. I am curious as to if I need to add a good quality skimmer or not. I figured that if I am Investing as much in my tank as I am, then why not just add a skimmer but I am not sure if it is really necessary. I was thinking of throwing a HOB reef octopus on there but want to get some input on people's thoughts of the actual need or lack of need for one. Any input would be freaky appreciated! Cheers
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:00 AM   #2
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Freakly also known as GREATLY****** appreciated
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:43 AM   #3
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I'm nowhere near as experienced as many on this site but here is my 2 cents. I've had my 20 gallon reef running for about a year and a half. I've enjoyed moderate success I think, as I have not lost any livestock and my corals are mostly growing well. I can always tell how my water is by seeing if my Duncan is sprouting any new heads. Anyway for the first year I did not run a skimmer. About 6 months ago I bought a bak pak 2 skimmer on ebay for $80 and it has been a game changer. Best purchase ever. My water is so clear and nitrates are always near zero. I can be much more lax about water changes than I used to be and with no ill effects. The skimmer was sooooo loud the first few days I wanted to rip it out of the wall but it calmed down a lot.

I'm currently converting my 20 gallon reef to a 40 gallon seahorse tank. Would not have the courage to do so if not for that skimmer!
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:46 AM   #4
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Hey thanks for the input! That's awesome I think I'm going to get one today, it certainly can't hurt to have one so why not just do it right?my main concern was me just not having a large enough tank to really get any real benefit from using one.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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Hi there
If you're doing 20% water change a week it may not be necessary for you to have to buy a protein skimmer though they are very good piece of equipment and help with bio load it doesn't necessarily mean you need one if I was you I would do a nitrate test first and decide from there there are a lot of successful tanks out there that don't run skimmers
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:15 PM   #6
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I was also thinking that. My nitrates are low however not completely at 0 which is why I was beginning to lean towards one. My tank currently has 50lbs live rock a blue spotted puffer, a goby, an umbrella leather and a lobo so it's pretty light as far as livestock goes.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:35 PM   #7
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If it's mainly Fish you have and have no SPS nitrates of 20 would be ok but preferably under 10 in my opinion
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:11 PM   #8
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I'm at 10but I want to be at zero consistently plus taking a little load off with the water changing amount and frequency might be nice as well
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:46 PM   #9
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you don't need 1 but yes it will help some if you have coral ,
nitrates try to keep more towards 0 to 5 ppm
if your nitrates are high a lot you may want to check your phosphates as they all run in sink with each other somewhat
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
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There is no downside to running a skimmer IME. At very least it increases gas exchange.
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