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Old 11-27-2004, 07:28 PM   #1
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Thoughts on Skimmers, UV Sterilisers & Chillers


I am at a point where I can purchase either a skimmer, UV sterilizer or a chiller. My aquarium temperature is between 28-30C and has been for some months. The corals seem fine. They aren't dying and they don't look sick (other than the golfball one which is 'normal' for that species).

My lights are on for 8 hours daily, and I have algae problems. I don't overfeed (once every 1-2 days).

In live in Australia where the outdoors temp gets to over 40C but inside maybe 28-30C as well. I want to get a chiller to regulate my aquarium temperature to 26-27C, but then I am told that a UV sterilizer will eliminate my algae problems. My problem is that it will also nuke my good bacteria and trace elements.

I have never run a skimmer and to be honest I only see the shops doing it with no visual difference to the aquarium or inhabitants.

I would like some advice on what to get. My biggest problems at this stage are:

a) algae is pretty bad (it's all brown algae and some brown hair algae).
b) golf ball coral has a hard time opening.



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Old 11-27-2004, 07:53 PM   #2
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A UV will not kill all algae only free floating... So it will not help with hair or brown.
A skimmer is a must IMO for a healthy tank, this help remove crap from the water before it breaks down into food for the algae. Not sure what the conversion is for those temps
If every thing is healthy without a chiller I would say your number 1 item to get is a Skimmer.
How old is the tank?? What are you water paramiters, nitrate, phosphates?

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Old 11-27-2004, 11:18 PM   #3
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The tank is around 1 year old. Levels are:

Amonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 8.4
Phosphates: 0.05
KH: 185
CA: 220

Can you get inline skimmers? I have a canister filter without a sump and a hood on my aquarium, so having it inline would be ideal.

I did a little math and it turns out that if I run my air-conditioner to keep the room temp at 24C, it's far cheaper than getting a chiller. The best price I could find was $650AU for a chiller, and after everything is said and done, it will take over 2 years to save back what I paid for the chiller, so it's a no brainer really.
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Old 11-27-2004, 11:27 PM   #4
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I agree a skimmer is a must. Yes you can get an inline skimmer and run it externally. Will help with the algae problem.
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Old 11-27-2004, 11:30 PM   #5
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Right, so can you recommend an inline skimmer?
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Old 11-28-2004, 02:41 AM   #6
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Well...I'm going to have to disagree on the inline skimmer. I don't know of any skimmer that can actually run inline like a canister filter does. You can get a skimmer that will run externally, but you'll need a sump for that as the skimmer can't pump the water back up to the tank. You can get an HOB skimmer that won't take up much room though. I'd recommend an Aqua C Remora Pro with a Mag 3 pump for your tank. You may have to modify the hood a little, but the improvement in your water quality will be worth it. JMHO.
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Old 11-28-2004, 11:26 AM   #7
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I myself have been looking for an inline skimmer that can run externally, but without a sump. I found only one, but it is rather large and looks complicated to install.

If you want to take a look... http://www.danddmarine.com/page0020.html

Is anyone else out there running a "Terminator" skimmer from D and D marine?

I wonder if it works any good?

Anyway, I hope this helps,

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Old 11-28-2004, 11:52 AM   #8
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just a couple observations, if the the golf ball like coral you mentioned sounds like a hard coral. it may be having problems due to your low calcium. from what i understand you are at about half of what you should be. a reading of 400-420 is desired. it also looks like from your signatue you only have 70 watts of lighting over a 46 gallon tank. that is only 1.5 watt per gallon. this may also be giving your coral some trouble. i may be wrong, i am a rookie here

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75g RR. 2x250 14k MH / 2x54 T5 act. 29g sump. ASM G1X skimmer. phosban reactor. 80lbs LS, 90lbs LR, 2x seio M620.
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Old 11-28-2004, 03:28 PM   #9
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Sorry it's 420 not 220.

Yeah I should have more lights, but this whole theory of watts per gallon means you basically must have MH installed, which is just not feasible for some. I calculated once that I would need like 5 or more of my type of lights to be in the "normal" range for lighting -- maybe I am wrong tho.

How much is that inline skimmer by D&D Marines? Anyone know?
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Old 11-28-2004, 03:39 PM   #10
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hey flanque, I agree with Steve R, you likely need to upgrade your lighting(for the corals anyway). You mentioned that you can't get more light without MH but that is definitely not the case. There are some great lighting systems using PC lights or even T5 flourescents now that are easily as good as MH. If you're tank is only 47gal, you could add a caralife 192W PC fixture or something which would easily give you 4W per gallon. They are simple affordabel compact fixtures, and there are lots of other options for lighting without MH.


Equipment: 33G SW Reef tank (pic), 192W Coralife PC lighting, PHs for H2O circulation, Red Sea Berlin Classic Skimmer
Aquascaping: 3" DSB, 50lb live rock (~35 lbs home made Cement Base Rock)
Clean Up Crew: Blue Leg hermits, Cerith snails, Astrea Snails, Stomatella snails, Brittlestar, banded brittles.
Critters: Hawaiian feather duster, Coral Banded Shrimp, Emerald Crab
Corals: Open Brain Coral, Cabbage coral, 4 RBTAs, Melon mushrooms, green Zoos, yellow polyps, finger Leather, orange Zoos, Brown Zoos, Chocolate Zoos, Xenia, GSP, Kenya Tree Coral, 2 acropora SPS, blue sponge, candy cane
Fish/Inverts: Maroon Clownfish, Scooter Blenny, Coral Beauty dwarf angel, Sea Hare
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