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Old 06-23-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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Protein Skimmer for Nano Reef tank worth it?

Hello all,
I have a 20g reef tank and am considering a protein skimmer for it. I was wondering whether or not it would be worth it. I do PWC each week, but still have brown film algae that I have to clean off the sides of the tank daily as well as the power heads, frag rack, and in tank refugium.

I feed every other day and only enough for each fish to get a mouthful. I dont understand the brown film algae issue, but am tried of having to pull things out of the tank to clean this stinky brown film algae. My nitrates and phosphates show as zero, but I imagine there is something in there feeding the algae. Other than this film algae, there is no other algae at all that I can see aside from coralline.

Would a protein skimmer save me some work, or wind up being a waste of money?

Thanks guys!
Matt
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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How old is the tank? You sure its not just diatoms/new tank syndrome?
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #3
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Its over a year old. This stuff has always been with the tank. I believe its common to most people, its just that im getting tired of it.:p

My acrylic tank looks terrible from having to scrub it so much with the mag floats. (Acrylic type mag float too!). Every day I have to go all over with the mag float and this creates countless micro scratches that is causing a haze to form. And then there is the occasional grain of sand that manages its way into the scubber that leaves a scar. :-(

So many pretty colors and then this nasty tan brown stuff to look at...And it smells TERRIBLE too! I could do with some more snails as they look to be eating it from time to time, but there is no way they could rid me of it. Just forms on everything but the rocks, sand, and coral (for the most part). It actually grows all over my chaeto! What a slap in the face!

It has to be finding something to eat, and I doubt I could ask my fish to eat even less than I am giving them as is. I just wonder if a skimmer would make the $100+ price tag worth it or if the money would be spent better on something else?
Matt
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:04 PM   #4
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IMO you dont need a skimmer for that size tank. PWC`s will accomplish the same thing.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:05 PM   #5
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Hmmm...I wonder how I ought combat this stuff then? Its a pain having to pull everything out once a week and soak it in vinegar (the stuff is so slimey) and scrub and scrub and scrub. Each week I also have to take a plastic scraper to the tank to get where the mag-float cant go. All that plus the every single day mag-float scrubbing of this stuff.

I wonder if its something else? Something related to cyano maybe? No other algae exists in this tank. No cyano either.

So you dont think a skimmer would help enough to justify the cost then? Maybe I ought to replace my GFO. (Been 1.5 months now in my Fluval 305). Should I try to load down my Fluval 305 with GFO? The chaeto is growing well, but is being overtaken by this messy, stinky junk. It seems to show up overnight, so it doesnt seem to need light (although it grows best under the 6500k CFL shinning on the chaeto).

Got to this stuff!
Matt
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:14 PM   #6
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Couple things, post some recent levels of your tank, they will probably show low because the algae is consuming it, but its good to check.
Also:
Check the levels of your fresh mixed SW, are you using RO/DI or chemical conditioners?
Do you have any eggcrate in your tank?
Is the tank custom made?
Do you see yourself upgrading tank size at all? If so a skimmer is never a bad investment. you can buy a bit bigger then you need now so you can carry it through a couple tanks.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:28 PM   #7
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Hello,
Nitrates and phosphates are usually at zero, but suspect that is due to this junk eating it. (As well as the cheato and GFO).

No eggcrate. Not a custom tank, bought it online and is made from acrylic.

I probably wont upgrade for quite awhile. I plan to one day, maybe when I get my EE degree and get a good job. Then I will go all out! Until then, it will cost too much as I plan to go to a 55g or so.

I use RO/DI water, but the TDS is showing a 1 now, so maybe its time for all new filters. (A year old now).

I dont dose anything, just food. (frozen mysis shrimp rinsed in the RO/DI water, and formula 1 pellets).

Matt
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:42 AM   #8
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I have a 29g biocube and have a Tunze 9001 nano skimmer. I wish I had never bought it. I have never had anything dark get in it. Sure bubbles and foam but not a measurable amount. You dont need it. If you do pwc weekly, you will be fine.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:47 AM   #9
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So the other day I went to a lfs and the guy suggests "TLC for saltwater". It is a bacteria supplement. He uses it on all his tanks. So I bought some and have not had to clean my galss since I bought it. I also battled different algaes and now things are receeding. I would give it a try. Only 12bucks. So far, I am sold.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
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So the other day I went to a lfs and the guy suggests "TLC for saltwater". It is a bacteria supplement. He uses it on all his tanks. So I bought some and have not had to clean my galss since I bought it. I also battled different algaes and now things are receeding. I would give it a try. Only 12bucks. So far, I am sold.
I am very intrigued by this, as I suspect this film stuff may not be a typical algae. I am worried about adding anything though, and hate the idea of being hooked on a product. How much is needed? How long do you reckon a bottle would last?

Anyone else here heard of this? Sounds like a miracle in a bottle...I know how the forum feels about those.

Matt
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