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Old 08-09-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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protein skimmer

Hey all, ok so I have been doing some reading and have decided with the size of my tank and the type of fish and the meaty food they are eating and the fact that my nitrate level is to darn high that a protein skimmer would help. I have heard the inexpensive skimmers are just inneffective toys. Does anybody have any suggestions to a reputable quality skimmer? Here are my vitals:
72 gallon bow front tank
30 lbs of rock
30 lbs of sand substrate
Rena XP 3 filtration system
1 stripped burrfish
1 longhorn cowfish
1 porcupine puffer
1 snow flake eel
4 small red leg hemit crabs ( soon to be 10)

With all of the meat I feed them and the fact the puffer likes to chew and spit I need some help. I am currently changing 7-10 gallons a week and changing the bio chem every two weeks. Thanks in advance for the advice I have never used a skimmer before.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #2
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What's your budget?
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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I would like to keep it under $200.00
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:03 AM   #4
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Look for an Octopus. I assume you do not have a sump.

However a PS is not going to cut down on the nitrates all that much. Your cannister filter is trapping detritus and breaking it down to nitrate. That's its job. Add double the amount of LR to get to the 1 pounds per gallon of tank capacity and use that as your bilogical filtration. Then you can stop using the filters inside the cannister. That will help.

Double your PWC's to be 20% per week. Nothing works better to cut down on nitrates and clear up water quality issues like a 70% or better water change over a month.

Next would be cutting back on your feeding. How often are you feeding?
Cut that in half too!
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:52 AM   #5
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No I dont have a sump. As far as the LR goes, when I get a case of ich in the DP I treat the tank directly with cupramine therefore I dont think much of my LR is live anymore. So I dont think I can get rid of my media in the canister. I know I over feed they get fed thrre times a day once at 7:30am once at 5:00pm and once at 10:00pm. I was told with puffers and boxfish they require more feedings to meet there metabolism so they will keep growing. I feed them a combination of PE mysis brine shrimp and fresh scallop form my grocery store. I tend to get to much food in the tank at once in order to avoid fighting over the food and some of it ends up laying on the bottom. If I buy the bubble pack of PE I usually go through 3 0r 4 bubbles a day. I do take the time to really rinse the food well. I have started to increase my water changes to 20% and I change out the carbon every two weeks. The last time I had this tank up I used to vaccuum the substrate during the water change but it always seemed to do more harm than good. Somebody was always getting sick or getting ich after I was in the tank moving and vacuuming. So I am fearful of starting it now. As it is I rarely blow the rock off I try to keep my hands out of there as much as possible. So anyway backi to my origianl post so then are you saying the skimmer really wouldnt help my particualr situation and would be a waste of money?
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:58 AM   #6
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What's a "DP"? I hope you're not dosing Cupramine in your DT as it will kill any invertebrates you have now and in the future. Cupramine will also kill the beneficial bacteria located on your live rock and in your canister filter.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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the only inverts in the DT (display tank) sorry for the missspelling(DP) are hermit crabs and they are unaffected by cupramine. In the evnt I did have to treat again I would move them to my invert tank as a precaution until the dose is done. As far as killing bacteria I disagree Cupramine kills parasites not bacteria according to them and some other reputable resources I have checked. I know of several people who treat there fish only display tanks with cupramine when a ich outbreak happens with no negative affects. I know this is a topic of conversation on this forum but I believe there is less stock loss treating this way than a quarentine tank. I feel its less of a shock to all the tank mates from being moved from one tank to another for an extended period of time. I also believe it is almost impossible to "completely" break the ich cycle in a display tank I think it can lay dormant in LR for a long time but that is just my opinion. Anyway I know not everyone here agrees with this philosophy but as long as it is a fish only tank I feel it is my best option to keep it simple and everyone alive.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:46 AM   #8
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In your case, a canister filter may be the primary source of nitrates. You need to clean it regularly with tank water to get rid of the trapped pollutants.

And I respect your opinion on treating in the DT. However, the fact that you noted the ich continues to persists indicates that the parasite is not efficiently killed off during treatment. Your live rock may be absorbing the treatment and reducing the effectiveness of it. Copper is deadly to invertebrates (ie. snails, crabs, coral) but some invertebrates can tolerate it better than others, if at all. The Seachem Cupramine product page even hints the detrimental effects of dosing copper products with invertebrates.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:50 AM   #9
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As far as over feeding, you need to cut back to like a quarter of your current schedule. I feed my puffer twice a day with one small piece of scallop or squid and he is full grown. Once a week I give him a mussel or clam. He will beg for more (like a dog) during the week but he remains plump and healthy.
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110 Gallon FOWLR, 25 Gallon sump/refugium.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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Wow I guess I am over feeding I have already started to cut back I may have to put my segregation screen in at feeding time so everyone has a chance to get a piece my burrfish is a little pig he will suck up every piece he can get. I have taken to heart the effects of cupramine on the crabs thats why if I do have to treat again ( the only time I get an outbreak is when a new fish is added) I will remove them until the treatment is complete and plenty of water changes have taken place I am not a sadest I love all the under water world! As far as the canister goes I have no cleaned it out in months I was afraid of removing the bacteria in the sponges but I will on my next water change rinse everything out in saltwater and see if that helps. Thank goodness all my other levels have been good I check everything twice a week. So again my question is do I invest in the skimmer or do all the above and monitor for awhile? I know the nitrate level isnt toxic to the fish but it still isnt a good thing. Let me know.
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