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Old 02-14-2004, 03:54 PM   #1
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Skimmer Mandatory?

Hi everybody,
I've read the benefits of a skimmer but the question I have is is a skimmer essential or just an added assurance of maintaining good water quality?
I ask this because the LFS told me that I could go without a skimmer if I had enough LR and a limited amount of marine life in the tank.
I have a 33 gallon with LS and 45lb of LR. 2 Powerheads and a canister filter.
I only plan to keep 3-4 fish as well as a few inverts.

What do you all think? Is a skimmer essential?

Thanks for any reply.
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Old 02-14-2004, 07:27 PM   #2
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I ask this because the LFS told me that I could go without a skimmer if I had enough LR and a limited amount of marine life in the tank.
I would say this is a true statement, but I highly recommend a skimmer for a new hobbyest. Nutrient control can be very difficult, even for vetrans
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Old 02-14-2004, 09:40 PM   #3
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I have never used a Protein Skimmer, but I have always had as much live rock as possible.
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:27 PM   #4
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IMO, 45lbs of LR in a 33 gal tank is about the lower limit for effective biofiltration. Also, if you plan to go skimmerless, I would keep the bioload as low as possible. 3-4 fish covers a lot of territory. If you have 3-4 small fish, you might be OK. If two of them are fish that will get 4-5" long, you may find that good water quality is hard to maintain. Although I don't really subscribe to the "inches per gallon" theory, 1" of fish per 5 gal of SW (max) is a rough guide that you can go by unless you are keeping heavy eaters like lions, eels, ect... If you do decide to use a skimmer, I think an Aqua C Remora would do a good job on a 33 gal tank.
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:34 PM   #5
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Lots of live rock, lots of water flow, frequent water changes and VERY light bioload will give you a sucessful and beautiful tank with no skimmer.

The problem is most beginners overload the tank with fish and exceed the 'light' bioload requirment for a good tank with out a skimmer.

Now a skimmer can really go a long way in helping you out. From excess feeding, to large bioload to somewhat less frequent water changes.
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your opinions. I will take them all into consideration. It's just that with 2PH's, a heater and the intake/outtake of the cannister, there isn't much room in the back glass of the tank. It's sort of an eyesore but I guess the health of my fish is more important.

Do you all think a sump tank for a 33 gal is worth the work or not? If so what is the minimum gal I can use for the sump?
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:56 PM   #7
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The honest truth is no tank is to small for a sump. I know someone who has a 7 gal bowfront with a 10 gal sump.

Putting a sump on your system allows multiple things. First heater and skimmer can go in teh sump. The canister can go byby cause IMO SW tanks and canisters are not things that go together. YOu can add water volume to your system. Put some more live rock in your sump for added filtration and remove the PH's from the tank by properly sizing a powerful return pump and pluming it for multiple returns.

Net effect is less clutter in the main tank. more water in the entire system and more filtration capacity.
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Old 02-14-2004, 11:29 PM   #8
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Thank you Fishfreek for your experience. Will look into all the equipment needed for a sump and decide later.

Thank you all in this community for all your info. Definitely a number 1 site for aquatic info.
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