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Old 09-11-2003, 05:36 PM   #1
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skimmers (does size really matter)

i am about ready to by a protien skimmer. but my question is does size matter? i have a 55gal swfo with a wet/dry and a magum350 canister currently running . the different aquarium stores here tell me i should buy the biggest skimmer i can afford. my tank has just finished its cycle but i plan to wait atleast another week before adding new guest. please let your opions roll in. thanks tmac
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Old 09-11-2003, 09:27 PM   #2
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I would say that size does in fact matter. I am pretty new to the hobby, but there are certain obvious issues that stood out for me when researching products. Here are a few to think about.
#1 A larger skimmer uses a larger pump. Therefore it will turn the water in your tank more often. A giant plus. In theory you could use a larger pump with a smaller skimmer, but at some point the benefit of the larger pump will diminish as the water will be forced out of the skimmer at a rate that does not allow the water to be in the chamber long enough for the bubbles to rise.
#2 More surface area. A larger skimmer has a larger volume chamber, which allows the bubbles to rise for an extended period of time. Therefore, it is more efficient. Consider that any piece of dissolved waste will be in contact with more bubbles and for a longer period of time.
Unfortunately this is an expensive hobby. I'm sure many people try to buy undersized products due to budget and the such, but you could probably save yourself some time and money in the long run by "Going Big." Besides it could be one less variable to worry about if you find yourself running into problems. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2003, 09:54 PM   #3
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The trick to a skimmer is contact time. The longer the bubbles are in contact with the water, the longer they have to pick up DOC's. Of course, the larger the skimmer body, the more contact time is possible. Having said that, you don't need a 5' tall skimmer with a V8 Chevy powered pump for a 55g tank. I would say that if you want an HOB type, go with an Aqua C Remora. If you're going to run the skimmer in the sump, or in your case, the wet/dry, I'd look at the Aqua C Urchin or a Red Sea Berlin. If you could afford the Remora Pro or the Urchin Pro, that would probably be even better. JMHO.
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Old 09-11-2003, 10:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis
In theory you could use a larger pump with a smaller skimmer, but at some point the benefit of the larger pump will diminish as the water will be forced out of the skimmer at a rate that does not allow the water to be in the chamber long enough for the bubbles to rise.
I disagree. You must stay in the manufacturer's suggested GPH range on pumps, or you will pump water directly into your skimmate cup and overflow like crazy. I think what is more important than size is a good bubble producing set-up, whether its the pump or an airstone, the bubbles need to be small and plentiful.

If you are on a budget, You might think about using a smaller, less costly skimmer, and use Mangroves to help with DOC control. JMHO. HTH.
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Old 09-12-2003, 01:08 AM   #5
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Sorry, maybe I made a typo on my post. I thought I said the larger pump would simply push the water through the skimmer too quickly, allowing no time for disolved waste to contact the bubbles. At any rate a larger pump will not produce the desired effect.
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Old 09-12-2003, 02:30 AM   #6
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This is a controversial topic and one I've battled with hardened marine veterans about, but I'd rather have a more efficient skimmer with less waterflow like the above *strongly* recommened Remora vs a much larger skimmer that's less efficient yet pushes more water (cough seaclone cough).

I've said this before, but most skimmers use the *same* powerhead brands with the same airflow/water ratio, and then claim a larger mixing chamber or some other marketing non-sense. If you're talking about your typical $100-200 retail skimmer and not Becket/quad airstone driven 1000gph custom monsters that could be broken in at the Shedd, well, they are all the same to me.

The Remora doesn't push as much water, but it doesn't have to because of it's high efficiency. I juist wish I was the guy who thought of it.
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:17 AM   #7
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I have a 55 gallon and swear by my Aqua C Remora with Maxi Jet power head. I've never seen such disgustingness come out of anything that looked so perfectly clear as my fish tank water in my life. Money well spent. My water quality is better than it's ever been.
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