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Old 01-20-2003, 10:15 PM   #1
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Protein Skimmer

I've heard protein skimmer mentioned a few times in the forums. What is a protein skimmer and why do you need one? I haven't heard of them.
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Old 01-21-2003, 12:00 AM   #2
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Since this is in the freshwater/brackish section, I assume you have a FW tank?? If so, unless your tank is very full of organics and waste...a protien skimmer will not function. The water does not have enough surface tension to maintain bubble size. I have read of people using them on very dirty FW tanks with mixed results. I have no idea whether it would work on a brackish tank or not, I suspect it would, but not nearly as efficiently as it will on a SW tank. Now to answer the question...
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=16
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Old 01-21-2003, 09:08 AM   #3
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Yes I have a freshwater tank. I found the topic that you listed yesterday and read through it. Good info. I thought a protein skimmer was for salt but I read a post here or there that mentioned using a skimmer on freshwater.
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55 gal fresh - planted 2wpg ~ Eheim eco filter ~ south american theme
java moss - misc anubia - amazon sword - Red rubin sword - tennellus chain swords
4 ottos, 1 pleco, 3 high fin white tetras, 3 Black Phantom Tetras, 1 high fin black tetra, 1 black tetra, 2 diamond tetras, 3 yoyos


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Old 01-21-2003, 09:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
thought a protein skimmer was for salt but I read a post here or there that mentioned using a skimmer on freshwater.
Skimmers can be used in FW, but there has to be something in the water to maintain surface tension on the air bubbles, like lots of DOC, I have also heard of people using them that have alot of tannins in the water. IMO a better cheaper alternative for FW is GAC and frequent water changes.
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Old 01-21-2003, 02:41 PM   #5
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I have read that for a skimmer to have any efficiency at all in FW, it needs to be at least 6 feet tall in order to have enough contact time.
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Old 01-21-2003, 06:35 PM   #6
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Hi mitche8359,
You wrote;
Quote:
I found the topic that you listed yesterday and read through it. Good info. I thought a protein skimmer was for salt but I read a post here or there that mentioned using a skimmer on freshwater.
I am not sure which post you are talking about but I have a sneaking suspicion that you are confusing a protein skimmer with a surface skimmer.

I use a surface skimmer connected to my Fluval 304 canister filter in my FW tank. A surface skimmer connects to the intake of your power filter and is positioned on the surface of the water. As your filter draws in water it draws it from the surface. (You can adjust it so it draws from the bottom/top or a combination of both).
Basically, they remove organic film on the water's surface and help to improve oxygen exchange.
Here's what they look like...
http://www.bigalsonline.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-21-2003, 09:26 PM   #7
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Hi targaboy78
Quote:
I have a sneaking suspicion that you are confusing a protein skimmer with a surface skimmer.
Yes I was. I saw skimmer mentioned in one post and protein skimmer mentioned somewhere else. Connected the two.

The link you posted didn't work but I found the fluval surface skimmer on the same site. So basically the skimmer is an additional water intake? Does it remain under water or partially on surface? Is it noisy? I'll have to take a look at the packaging at the lfs.
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55 gal fresh - planted 2wpg ~ Eheim eco filter ~ south american theme
java moss - misc anubia - amazon sword - Red rubin sword - tennellus chain swords
4 ottos, 1 pleco, 3 high fin white tetras, 3 Black Phantom Tetras, 1 high fin black tetra, 1 black tetra, 2 diamond tetras, 3 yoyos


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Old 01-21-2003, 10:06 PM   #8
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Hi mitche8359,

Yup, I botched up that link ...
If you type surface skimmer in Big Al's search you'll find it.

You wrote;
Quote:
So basically the skimmer is an additional water intake? Does it remain under water or partially on surface? Is it noisy? I'll have to take a look at the packaging at the lfs.
The answers to your questions;
1> The "basket" (for lack of a better term) floats on the surface. It can slide up/down but it is always floating on the top.
2> It makes no noise at all. It is adjustable so you can set how much water is drawn from the top versus the bottom. It may get louder if you set it for 100% up top. (But the noise will only be the water falling into it.)

Just a bit of background for you...
I have a 35G "swim-thru" tank. It is basically 2 separate tanks with two tubes so that the fish can swim from one to the other. I have a Fluval 304 and it is rigged up so that the intake is in one tank and the output is in the other. What ended up happening, was that the intake side was just drawing water in, but there was no surface agitation and a "film" was developing on the surface. I was concerned about the oxygen exchange.

I added the skimmer and it cleared up in a couple of minutes.
I'd recommend a surface skimmer to anyone.
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