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Old 02-12-2005, 11:53 AM   #1
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Do I need a protein skimmer?

I'm setting up a new 75 gal tank. I am purchasing an XP3 filter (sorry, I don't know much more about it). The place I am purchasing this from said if just a fish only aquarium I don't need a protein skimmer.
I'm not sure about that so I thought I'd ask here.
what does all of your experience say? If yes, what kind/brand?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:11 PM   #2
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From experience, I say no as long as you do regular water changes, but of course everytime I post something I tend to be contridicted.
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:22 PM   #3
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Fish only IMO I would say no. If you add LR then yes. Just as BDAWG suggested, keep up with your water changes.
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
I say no as long as you do regular water changes, but of course everytime I post something I tend to be contridicted.

I actually find that to be a GREAT thing about this board - that there is a variety of methods which will work, provided that one is faithful about monitoring and maintenance. I actually LIKE it when someone challenges something that I or anyone else writes. The more we learn, the better our systems will be, and there is NO ONE out there who can guarantee that HIS method will work for ME.

I feel better knowing that it will be I who makes the final decisions, based on my own due diligence (research) and the opinions and experiences of the veterans who are kind enough to share their experience on this board.

Grazie a tutti i contributori!!
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:39 PM   #5
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Awesome, thanks for the replies!!!

Now, just from my expierence with fresh water, I know that algae tends to build up on the surface of the tank (and plants, etc). If I put in some kind of reef looking rocks (again, sorry, I don't have the technical jargon down yet), not LR but just plain old (dead?) rocks to form my "reef", how do I keep them clean?
Also, can I buy just one huge rock to by my "reef" or do I build it out of smaller ones? And, if it's out of smaller ones how do I keep them from falling over, or isn't that really a concern?

Again, thanks this is an awesome board - glad I found it!!!
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Old 02-12-2005, 05:35 PM   #6
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Most tanks that I have seen feature multiple rocks to create the "reef". It is easier to aquascape how you want it and also allows for more hiding places.

Another thing about adding "dead" rock is that it will eventually become "live". All it means by "Live Rock" is that the bacteria inside the rock is alive. It is actually a great way to filter your system.

If you want rock that will not become "live" I guess you could always go for some non-porus (sp?) rock in the tank. This would mean the bacteria could only grow on the outside, but to some extent it would still be "live".

As for the falling down of the rocks, as long as you are careful in your stacking you should be fine. You could also use zip ties to tie them together or use aquarium safe adhesive to stick them how you want them. Most people do recommend placing them on the bottom of the aquarium before you place the sand. This will stop diggers from upsetting the balance of the rock by digging underneath it.
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Old 02-13-2005, 01:53 PM   #7
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I would agree that no you do not have to have a skimmer but my question would be why would you not want one. It's going to benefit your tank my helping with water stability along with keeping the water cleaner looking and healthier fish in the long run. Live rock is basically going to accomplish the exact same thing even is you use dead rock, it soon will become live and as far as the size I would suggest using smaller to med size pieces and glue them together if need be for a more natural look, but thats up to your personal preference.
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Old 02-19-2005, 01:40 PM   #8
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You need to know the type of rock. All rocks will leach minerals into the water which can be a problem or benefit depending on what is leached. Nonporous rock will not become LR because the bacteria that make it live exist in anaerobic environment deep in the pores. If you use a deep enough substrate it will develop the bacteria and become live. You can purchase base rock, which is a porous reef type rock (dry) which will become live rock. As mentioned LR is a biological filter.
As to the reason for a protein skimmer, they help to remove proteins, fats and other organic compounds suspended in the water. The particles get trapped on the bubbles in the skimmer and are removed from the tank. I would think your need depends on the type of fish and how they feed since that will be the major source of organic material in the tank.
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