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Old 09-06-2005, 07:34 PM   #1
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Removing skimmer in favor of refugium only option- good/bad?

I've been talking to the guys at the LFS and they've been telling me not to bother with a skimmer (in the process of setting up a 125g). Instead, they say to just use a refugium only. With the assortments of algae, mushrooms, feather dusters, some gobies, and live rock amongst other things I am hearing that it is supposed to better than having a skimmer alone- in fact the guy told me I'd be better off without the skimmer... thoughts/opinions???
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:50 PM   #2
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humm well i think there full of crap everyone i know and everyone that i see post has a sump but still has the skimmer. in your tank you do not have the natural waves and a shore. like when the sea waves hit the shore and turn the water and all the bubbles carry protien and leave it on the shore. now i know that might be crazy but thats what i read out of " the reef aquarium" and i was told it was a trustable book to read. know i read the waves act like a skimmer. and if you ever have coral some give off toxin to fight other and you need a skimmer to keep this to the best mininum possible. plus the skimmer take waste away and lowers the load on your tank and keeps the surfuce clean. the skimmer takes wast away and therefore you can help ease the load and keep levels almost zero all the time.
so its just my opion i would continue to use them i just got a tank with all kinds of lr sump and i will be placing lr rubble and chaeto just to start and you wont ever see me without the skimmer unless they come up with some new adavance technology that works even better
well good luck
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:25 AM   #3
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thats pretty much the mindset that i had. if nothing else, i figured the skimmer would act as a backup to the refugiums filtering properties. Anybody else have any opinions on this?
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:08 AM   #4
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There are cases where you would not want to have a skimmer or only minimally skim, such as if you were trying to keep lots of filter feeders like sponges, sea squirts, etc, doing a seagrass biotope... However, such a tank is not recommended for beginners, you have to keep a very, very low fish load, and you can't keep anything that needs very clean water - almost all hard corals, many softies, clams.... The skimmer is not a backup to a refugium but an additional component, removing DOM before it begins to be broken down by the biofilter in your refugium and main tank. And filter-wise, a refugium has nothing unique that is not also occuring in your main tank - it adds more LR/LS to your tank, serves as a place to grow macroalgae to remove nutrients when you prune back but you could also grow macro in your maintank depending on what fish you keep. Many people consider a skimmer at the most important component of a reef tank or fish-only, and I think the only case where you might not want one, apart from the more advanced filter-feeder tank discussed above, is in a nano-reef.

HTH, Ryan
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:32 PM   #5
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Keep the skimmer!
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Old 09-08-2005, 08:32 AM   #6
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Flame; you are most definitely correct in your explanation. In my area of FL growth has outpaced infrastructure badly and the result has been a somewhat polluted inter coastal water way. Anywhere you look that waves lap up on sandy areas you will see a disgusting brown foam build up.

Now what does that remind me of?.... oh ya; my protein skimmer

I have gone as far as to bring home some of the water out of the ICW and test it with my aquarium kit. I don't know how accurate these results are but lets just say if my tank water was like that I wouldn't expect any thing to live.
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