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Old 05-02-2008, 12:29 AM   #1
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Best protein skimmer?

Hi guys I just started my tank, got it to the right salinity, temp and all, but I was now doing some research on a good protein skimmer before putting live rock / sand in. What do you guys recommend for a good skimmer? I'd like to get a decent one thats not too expensive but still does a good job for a 55 FOWLR system.

Also do you recommend an air stone and a power head or one or the other or both?
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:34 AM   #2
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How much do you want to spend on a skimmer? Do you have a sump?

Powerhead, yes. Airstone, no.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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Right now, for cycling purposes I have an emperor 400 running. No live rock or sand yet. Once I get close to cycling, I may upgrade, or at least get another power filter.. I know its not a sump, but they're pretty expensive for me.

Are there really any decent protein skimmers to start out with less than $100? If not I'll certainly set aside some money to get a decent one, but the better for the most affordable price would be helpful at this point, anyhow.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Did you start cycling yet?

There is no skimmer under $100 worth buying. This Octo HB100SS is probably the best hang on back skimmer in your price range.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:02 AM   #5
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If you are looking to save some money check Craigslist and ebay for used equipment. A sump does not have to be expensive. With a 55g you can easily make one yourself for very little money. I use a few different sumps on my system. I have a 20g Tall as my fuge and 2 wet/dry filters I converted for additional water volume and then my main sump is a 30g tote from walmart. Using a tote from walmart is one of the least expensive ways of adding a sump to your system.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:18 AM   #6
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Make your own sump? Hmm might be worth looking into. I know i've seen a link somewhere. I might do that if its affordable. I have a good amount of money set aside each month, so it might take a while, but I really do want to get the best I can for my tank for the best price, but certainly not jeopordize my future fish - nope I havent started cycling yet. Just got the tank on wednesday, its at about 78 degrees, 1.022-.023 spef grav. I'll probably put the base sand in tomorrow.

I do like that protein skimmer, $150 doesnt seem to outrageous and it seems like it does a good job. My questions there being have you guys actually used the octopus? Ive seen a few postings on it.. easy to set up / use? and one last question for now.. should I wait to get live rock and sand until after I get the protein skimmer? or doesnt really matter until I get fish?

thanks again for all your help
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:33 AM   #7
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You don't need the PS during cycling. You should add the LR to (uncured) to start the cycle. You really don't need live sand as it will become live from the LR. A cup or two of sand from an established tank is all you need if you want to jump start it.
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:48 AM   #8
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True. I think I'll head that direction. Get base + live rock as planned ( and skip on the live sand) and start cycling as soon as this weekend I imagine. Cycling will give me enough time to save up plenty for a good protein skimmer. I get too excited and think I need to buy all the equipment right away
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:21 PM   #9
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Getting excited in this hobby is a good thing, just remember to ask questions, research each item first and don't always go with the recomendations of your LFS. Take your time and don't rush and you will have an awesome tank. You don't have to break the bank either.

As Cmor said get sand and just seed it with some LS from an established tank. A lot of LFSs will sell LS by the pound. Get some from them to seed your tank. Along with Base rock and some LR you will be well on your way to starting your tank.
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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It's always a good idea to post a question HERE about a purchase BEFORE making the purchase. I can't tell you how many times I wish I had done that my first year or two with my sw tank. It's great to be excited and cycling can be a bore, but taking your time is worth the wait.
Rememeber this " Nothing Good Ever Happens Fast In A Salt Water Aquarium"
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