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Old 02-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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Question Bio-wheel versus Protein Skimmer in Marine Tank HELP

Hello! I am starting my first saltwater tank and have heard tons of different things about protein skimmers. I have a 40 gallon breeder tank. I am currently cycling water through the tank and preparing it for live rock and sand. There are two biowheel filters hanging on the tank. Do biowheels make protein skimmers ineffective? Do I need a protein skimmer with two biowheels? Which is more important to have; protein skimmers or biowheels?

Thanks in advance for any and all help. I'm just a college kid who's low on money and trying to make this tank the most effective I can without spending too much extra cash or having to do way more water changes than necessary because of conflicting equipment.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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I personally would go with the skimmer because your LR will accomplish the same thing as your bio wheel. If you are strapped for cash I would just stick with the bio wheels that you now have and do PWC`s. Esp in that size tank you should be OK.
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Do biowheels make protein skimmers ineffective? Do I need a protein skimmer with two biowheels? Which is more important to have; protein skimmers or biowheels?
First off, they are 2 different things and not really related. A filter with the biowheels is there to filter the water both mechanically and biologically. A skimmer removes dissolved organic compounds (DOC's).
So, to answer your questions....
1- No
2- Yes, a skimmer should be used on a 40g tank
3- Both, but if you have live rock you can eliminate the filter with the biowheels as the rock is the biological filter.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:17 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for your help. I'm glad I got some clarification.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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If you're looking at saving money, consider that a protein skimmer won't do much for you until the tank is well established. There's a thread on here recently about that issue where one person states they didn't run one until 6 months+ on the tank. So keep that in mind, but you definitely will need one, the sooner the better to be safe. Also depends on bio-load, if you cycle it up and then fully stock it right away, you want it right away.
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