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Old 07-29-2003, 02:38 AM   #1
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Hi i'm new - Two Questions.

Hi all. I'm sorta new here -- just discovered this site and man is it nicer than the previous aquarium site i was using. So I've got a couple questions:

1)
I'm wondering if I need a skimmer for my 20 gallon tank. The tank has been running succesfully for about 7 months now. I have about 40 pounds of live rock and want to start getting into a reef. Right now I have a Skilter filter which has got the skimmer built in. I know the skimmer on this is a toy, but even when i turn that on, I don't get a whole lot of foam. Is this because my water is basically clean?

Also, whenever I have the Skilter's skimmer on, the entire front of the tank gets covered with little bubbles. If i get a real skimmer, won't the tank just be overwhelmed with bubbles? I'm looking at the CPR Bak Pak skimmer and am worried that the cons will outwiegh the pros.

So, do I need a skimmer and what kind of difference will I notice?

2) Is my 80 watt PC lighting sufficient for a reef? What exactly am I limited to?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any input.
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Old 07-29-2003, 03:13 AM   #2
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i'd say you should get a protein skimmer... if you're planning to go reef, being that corals, inverts and such don't tolerate high nitrate, a protein skimmer should help you lower your nitrates..
i think that the lighting you have is pretty sufficient.. just look for corals that require low-medium lighting...
if you plan to keep anemone.. ive seen a survey that says the best survival rate for anemone is in small long tentacle anemones...
this is all just my opinion..
i'm pretty sure that all the AA administrators have lots to say.. they're SMART!!!!
oh yeah.. imma do this before anyone else does and WELCOME YOU TO AQUARIUM ADVICE!!! 8)
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:59 AM   #3
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oh yeah.. imma do this before anyone else does and WELCOME YOU TO AQUARIUM ADVICE!!!
LOL,

to AquariumAdvice.com!!

I think you would benefit from a skimmer and the bak pak skimmer is a good one for your size tank, it is what I use on my 20g reef When first set up (and after water changes) it will produce copius amounts of bubbles in the tank, but it will settle down within a day and there will be very few, if any, bubbles entering the tank.

80 W PC (I'm curious what configuration gives that on a 20) should be good for most softies and LPS, maybe even a couple of hardy SPS, like M. digitata, or M. cap, Pavona, Stylophora or Hydnaphora.
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:59 AM   #4
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Poor performing skimmers wont produce much foam so its hard to say if your getting low amounts of foam because your water is that clean or if its simply because the skillter is just that ineffective.

Skimmers help maintain water quality. If you do regular water changes then you could get by with out a skimmer but your going to make sure you monitor the degree you feed the tank much more closely since there is no mechinisum to remove disolved solids from the water other than water changes.

A skimmer should NOT output bubbles if its properly setup and running. There should be baffles in the skimmer body that trap the bubbles and basicly keep them from comming into the tank.

Is this tank a 20 gal LONG or a 20 gal high? It will make a big difference in what we say about the corals since the 20 LONG is not near as tall as the 20 HIGH is. To give you a frame of reference I have a 20 HIGH and I have 110W of PC lights over mine and I keep soft corals in it like leathers, mushrooms, green star polyps, macro algae. I have also kept frogspawn frags in it but I think they ultimatly prefered higher lighting of my other tanks when I moved them they really colored up.
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Old 07-29-2003, 03:09 PM   #5
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Welcome to AA visuvius !! Nice to see someone local on here!!
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Old 07-29-2003, 05:05 PM   #6
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HEY.... i'm from california TOO... never heard you say that to me.. JEALOUSY!!!
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Old 07-29-2003, 05:10 PM   #7
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I'm sorry! Hey Sokhamik you are from California TOO!! Cool!! How bout joining the California forum!!

I'm sorry I should have said something, my husband is from up north also, he was from San Leandro/Oakland area, and I've got realitives up in Walnut Creek area, is it hot up there too?

Sorry don't mean to take away from this post 8O
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Old 07-29-2003, 07:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

To answer the questions, my 80 watt PC breaks down to 2 40 watt bulbs, 1 regular and 1 actinic.

As far as the tank size is concerned, it is a 20 gallon long.

I'm sorta pissed -- on ebay, I saw what i thought was a new CPR Bakpak for $50, but then when i read closely, I saw that it noted "CPR Bakpak Clone". I don't think I want to risk it.

Can anyone recommend a decent HOT budget skimmer?

Thanks all

Vis.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:14 AM   #9
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Prizm skimmer will run ya less than $100.
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:42 AM   #10
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I haven't used a prism skimmer before, but they look (to me) to be superior to the bakpaks. I have a bakpak and it burps out a lot of junk, but it just doesn't look as well-designed as the prism does to me. That's a pretty uneducated observation, but I would like to hear someone else's thoughts on the matter.
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