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Old 02-06-2019, 03:58 PM   #1
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Skimmer on a 55 gallon reef?

Hey guys. It's been a LONG time since I posted on here. Cancer had a strong grip on me but I'm back now


I know this is a loaded question but what do you guys think about not having a skimmer on a 55gallon lps, softie tank. I have a eshopps skimmer on it now but i have a very low bio load and it seems like it's a waste. I KNOW it works cause I had it on my sps reef and it collected so much. I guess my question is, do you really think I need it on this 55 gallon. I do water changes every sunday or every other sunday.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:05 PM   #2
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A skimmer is not needed on any tank. The shear ease of their operation over other forms of filtration is their main reason for their abundance in the hobby. Your nutrient levels will determine if your system has enough nutrient reduction/production.

I personally would not run skimmerless on a new tank that doesnt have ample mouths to eat particulate or macro nutrients. But as a tank matures taking filtration offline is definitely a serious option.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:49 PM   #3
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If the bioload is low enough that water changes are keeping up with the nutrient levels it is very possible to go skimmerless on a 55.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:23 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. Think I'll just keep the skimmer on. Just don't understand why my ricordias look great without the skimmer and soon as it's put on, they close up until the skimmer is back off. No microbubbles or anything bothering it. Weird i swear.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:49 PM   #5
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It isnít a new skimmer is it?
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
It isnít a new skimmer is it?

Nah I have had it for a while. Just a few vinegar soaks every now an then.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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Strange. Wonder whatís causing that. Even it pulling nutrients from the water column wouldnít be active enough to see a difference between on and off...Iíd do a good soaking in vinegar and then in maybe some ro/di water baths to see if you pull anything off of it. If they close almost instantly Iíd say chemical or even vinegar still on the skimmer?
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemach7 View Post
A skimmer is not needed on any tank. The shear ease of their operation over other forms of filtration is their main reason for their abundance in the hobby. Your nutrient levels will determine if your system has enough nutrient reduction/production.

I personally would not run skimmerless on a new tank that doesnt have ample mouths to eat particulate or macro nutrients. But as a tank matures taking filtration offline is definitely a serious option.
This is a reply to the OP and to you as well, gemach7.

As mentioned in the quote above "A skimmer is not needed on any tank," seems to me a very bold statement. Before I begin explaining why, I would like to just clarify some things.

To begin with, this is most definitely NOT an insult, belittling of any sort, or question of your methods, gemach7. However, I do find that topics like these when discussed properly bring about solutions, opportunities to learn, and new ideas. I do hope that you find what I say to not be malicious, but in good faith.

I support the second part of your statement. To explain why, is simple. We all know what skimmers do, or I will assume so, when working properly they remove proteins from the water column. This keeps ammonia, a byproduct of bacteria that consume proteins, from ever being created. But if that is so, why would we even be interested in cycling the tank in the first place? Simple, it is not a fail-safe, but a tool I still find valuable. It physically breaks, it misses proteins, or it malfunctions. It's a supplement to a system, not a cure. The bacteria colony, will only be as big as your bio-load. They are directly related. Something I think we will all agree on. However, things happen like fish unexpectedly die. Now we have something that extends the reach of our colony's consumption rate. Microbes grow quickly, but not instantly. What we know about ammonia is, even the slightest levels, it is extremely toxic to fish. Protein skimmers can remove those proteins and keep a bad situation from becoming worse. Without a skimmer, you are on the clock. If that deceased fish gets lost within the tank and can't be found, it becomes very problematic. Basically, it becomes a slow-leaching ammonia bomb. In the ocean, this is not a problem. For one, that's a whole lot of water volume out there! Secondly, that's the largest colony of beneficial bacteria contained within a water source on earth!Which is possible due to their system!

That's why I agree, for a new tank, do not make it a part of a cycling system. It would be counterproductive, because we are trying to feed these necessary microbes! Plus, most of these require a break-in period, which can take some time. I consider the vinegar bathes of skimmers as part of a break in period. I can see considering running a protein skimmer, that involves a fishless cycle. Like the one of my preference, which is where I purchase a source of pure ammonia (no additives such as scent) and dose to a level of about 4ppm. Then allowing time and nature to do it's thing. Once ammonia properly processed all the way to nitrates, I then does back up to 4ppm and check to see if they have been fully converted to nitrates within 24 hours. But this process does not contain physical proteins. I could be mistaken, but I have not seen anything that supports or claims that protein skimmers remove actual ammonia. So if you did a fish in cycle or a fishless cycle that involves the decomposition of something like a shrimp, the skimmer does not allow that to efficiently start, because it removes the initial proteins that these sources produce.

With all that being said, is a skimmerless system possible? Yes, I do believe it is very achievable. Is it worth it? That depends on how you see things. Me personally, the peace of mind that skimmers offer me are worth the investment. I have my own personal advice that I like to use with this hobby, "The more I keep my hands out of the tank, the more the tank is a hobby and not a chore." Skimmers assist in not only bettering my water quality, but maintaining it. If you feel that you can take the risk of not having one and also perform the work that it may need, I fully support it! There are more than one ways to skin a buck!

In my closing statement, I would like to say some things that support my agreements with gemach7, and prove that I am actually not against them! Haha, I am a firm believer in natural. Nature has already designed everything around us, so it knows how it works. We are the ones still working to fully understand it. Skimmers do not replace beneficial bacteria, they just work alongside them. Yes, I do understand that an argument can be made that it works against them by cutting out the source, that creates their food. But like we mentioned earlier, skimmers are not 100% effective and the bacteria grow and adapt to what is present. I find that my skimmer in a way helps me to promote a more natural setting, even if it is not natural itself. If you design a system correctly, then you can significantly reduce water changes that are needed. Reason being, we are doing water changes only to remove wastes and toxins, or replenish nutrients. If you design it right, the skimmer and BB take care of the toxins. In the beginning stages, a system is to small to remove the amount of nutrients that will require frequent water changes. When a system gets big enough, then it will need frequent nutrient replacement. This can be met in multiple ways with the help of routine testing. You can plumb reactors and chambers to the system or even dose the nutrients by hand. Nature does not need that in a open system such as the ocean. However, we are working in a closed system. So we have to assist nature, because if we do not then it will do what it always does. It will destroy or kill what is not efficient. That is how ultimately, we can not outsmart it.

I am not a biologist, or a scientist of any sort. At least not yet, haha. I am still pursuing my higher education. However, through my own research, others opinions, and the application of basic biology principles I come to find my preference of solutions. I understand that money is also a variable in all of this, but it can to be solved. New inventions become available all the time, which in turn makes older but efficient technologies more affordable. So instead of saying, "A skimmer is not need on any tank," let's just reform it to "A skimmer is not necessary for every specific system."

In the end, with the proper research and dedication it all do able. Just remember, it is suppose to be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable! No matter what system you choose, or how you choose to do it, if it begins to feel like a chore it is time to change something up! Good luck with whatever that choice may be! I am looking forward to seeing your progress, and learning something new!

*Side note concerning the problem with your corals and the skimmer. I agree with statements that were said earlier. Seems that there could be some sort of chemical leach. It happens, and from my understanding can be connected with certain brands. If you have tried multiple methods to solve this problem, with no results, it may be time to switch models or brands! In the mean time, you can try skimmerless!

Also, congratulations on whooping cancer! It is a terrible illness but I thank the good Lord there are people like you with the bravery, dedication, and will-power to fight it! Thank you for being who you are and I am very happy to hear you are doing better!
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:11 AM   #9
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Well this is going to be hard to believe. It wasn't the skimmer at all. It seems to have been the Phosguard I was adding. Once I removed it and did a water change, EVERYTHING opened back up and looks happy. I put the skimmer back on and things got better No more Phosguard. It really makes Leather corals look real bad. Once I removed it, my leather opened back up and back to it's green glowing self. thanks everyone for the feedback on my issue.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:00 AM   #10
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Was it rinsed beforehand? I want to say it needed to be washed or soaked or something prior to use.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:28 PM   #11
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Yep I always rinse it. For some reason Phosguard and leathers don't like each other. Come to find out in google search that several people have had this issue and it caused seachem to do their own investigation.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:58 AM   #12
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Yeah I remember such claims, but never seen it actually happen.
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