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Old 09-28-2010, 04:35 PM   #11
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Yea I should clarify my previous post a bit, a skimmer is the best way to go eventually as any tank and its owner grows, but at this beginning stage and with the OP's budget. I don't think blowing money on a POS skimmer is worth it. IMO you can do more then get by on the basic and natural filtration combined with proper flow at this point.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:46 PM   #12
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Here is a great article, albeit quite technical, on exactly what comes out of your skimmer.
Feature Article: Elemental Analysis of Skimmate: What Does a Protein Skimmer Actually Remove from Aquarium Water? | Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine

Some quotes:
When dried and baked to break down to most basic elements the skimmate contained,
Quote:
C: 21.08 %
Ca:17.43 %
Si: 4.76 %
H: 2.39 %
N: 2.22 %
Mg: 1.35 %
P: 0.16 %
Which they then reverse calculated the mass into percentages that make more sense in reference to common ions and compounds we hear about

Quote:
In summary, the skimmer is pulling out a solid, water-insoluble mixture of compounds that consist by weight of (approximately):

44 % of CaCO3
34% of organic material
11% of biogenic opal
5% of MgCO3
0.5% of phosphate
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:06 PM   #13
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Skimming Basics 101: Understanding Your Skimmer by Frank Marini, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com
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