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Old 04-10-2004, 03:53 PM   #1
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Protein Skimmer vs. RO/DI

Weird topic huh? :) Anyway, which should be the next step for a 20g reef tank? I was thinking a protein skimmer would be more beneficial in helping keep the nitrates down (though my mother says they've virtually gone "poof" since we added the Caulerpa), but every article I've read has SW hobbyists screaming that you can never use tapwater ever. The tank is about three months old now-- my parents set it up initially to adopt a snail and an ocellaris clownfish from my aunt, but my mother was also interested in a reef so it was set-up for that too. Here's a brief rundown on the updated contents of the tank (I don't think my profile shows this yet):

20g "standard"
~25+ lbs of liverock (Fiji and "Tahimi?"-- my parents bought a new rock more recently and I'm not there to check it out)
1 ~8 lb volcanic rock
Penguin 170 Biowheel Filter (Haven't taken off the Biowheel yet...I was just concerned about causing a spike of some kind)
ThermalCompact 100w Heater
Coralife Deluxe Fluorescent 130 watt Aqualight (2 65-watt lamps, 30", w/actinic-- on 10.5 hours per day)
4" "live sand"

pH: 8.2
Temp: 78 F
SG: 1.023
-other parameters I'll give whenever my mother e-mails them to me; she said there were no fluctuations other than the Nitrates falling

Feeding: once per day (Cyclop-Eeze, frozen brine shrimp on occasion)

1 ocellaris clownfish
1 scarlet cleaner shrimp
1 emerald crab
1 unidentified snail
1 unidentified organism on Tahimi LR (sea squirt, possibly)
13 blue-leg hermits
12 astrea snails
1 red mushroom rock (4 new specimens in last 3.5 weeks or so-- originally had about 5 on it)
1 elephant-ear mushroom
1 torch coral
1 pearl bubble coral (the one inhabitant who has been looking a little stressed, though I haven't had an update on it since last Wednesday)
1 unidentified coral on Tahimi LR
7 clumps (estimate) of Caulerpa sp. macroalgae, more Caulerpa on the way (the clownfish really likes it)

In the future:
-1 blue tuxedo urchin
-another ocellaris clownfish or a wrasse (six-line or a fairy wrasse of some kind)
-more corals..someday...

Naturally if we were ever to add another fish I would definitely want the protein skimmer before that, but as it stands..what should I save my money for?
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Old 04-10-2004, 04:30 PM   #2
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Id get a protien skimmer first and use Distilled water for top off and make up water until you get your own RO/DI system.

hth
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Old 04-10-2004, 05:32 PM   #3
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I agree, you can purchase RO/DI water itself and use it for waterchanges and top off until you can afford a unit of your own, right now your better off with a skimmer, unless the above is not an option. It I had to choose RO/DI over a skimmer, I'd choose the RO/DI unit and do more frequent waterchanges till I could afford a skimmer.
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Old 04-10-2004, 07:35 PM   #4
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Thanks.
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