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Old 09-08-2003, 02:22 PM   #1
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Marineland Penguin Power Filter = Protein Skimmer???

I have a 30 gallon Salt Water Reef Tank w/fish. Its been cycled, and running perfect for about a month. ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite are fine. I have 2 Penguin Power Filters, one Penguin mini, and the other a 170, on opposite sides of the tank. I have been told that it is best to get a Protein Skimmer for all salt water tanks. My question is this: doesn't a Penguin Power Filter do the same job?

The manual says the Penguin Power Filter has a 3-stage filtration system:
1. Mechanical filtration: traps solid debris.
2. Chemical Filtration: uses activated carbon to absorb dissolved pollutants.
3. Biological Filtration: wet/dry bio wheel filter, adds oxygen and beneficial bacteria.
*also having the two filters makes good waves, and no dead spots where there is no water flow, or debris build-up.

That seems to me like the same description of a regular filter + protein skimmer!!! What do you think?
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Old 09-08-2003, 03:16 PM   #2
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There are many dissolved organics that your power filter cannot remove that a skimmer can. There is also the fact that what a skimmer removes is permanently removed from the water column, where there is constant waterflow over the detritus that is trapped and chemicals that are adsorbed by the carbon. Skimmers are not a replacement for biological filtration, but do reduce bioload by removing organics before they become mineralized by your filter. Whether a skimmer is necessary is a debatable issue but most feel they are beneficial for the beginner, after gaining some experience then it would be an issue of preference and being able to make an experienced decision.
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