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Old 10-08-2004, 01:19 PM   #1
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Protein Skimmer Help

I have had my tank about a month and a half now. I am wanting to get a protein skimmer so I can introduce an anemone to my clown. I have one problem though. The lfs doesn't have a skimmer small enough for my tank unless I buy a canister filter to open the back up completely. I went on petco.com to see if they had anything and they do. They have a skimmer for just ten bucks for my size of tank. I just want to know if anyone has ever used one of these: Lee's counter current protein skimmer, or berlin air-lift protein skimmer. Also, when purchasing either one of these...I do need to get an air pump right? New to the subject so any advice would be helpful.
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30 gallon tank with dual bio-wheels, live sand and crushed coral, 20 lbs of live rock. Inhabitants are two false percula clowns, one dwarf rusty angelfish, one cardinal, three snails, and nine blue legged hermits.
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Old 10-08-2004, 01:29 PM   #2
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Im no expert, but I would think that a skimmer for 10 bucks would be garbage. By reading your signature, it looks like you have a 30 gallon tank. I have a 30 gal also and I am running a Aqua C Remora skimmer. The price tag for that puppy was a little over 200 bucks I think. I had a CPR BAK PAK that ran a little over 100 bucks and it eventually stopped working on me.

I would look at the skimmer as an investment and spend some money to get a good one. I learned that after going the cheaper route on my first one.....now im out over 300 bucks!

Also, your tank is way to young for an anemone....I have heard that you should only introduce one after your tank has been well established....at least a year or so, and you have proper lighting.
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Old 10-08-2004, 01:35 PM   #3
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I had a CPR BAK PAK that ran a little over 100 bucks and it eventually stopped working on me.
How does a skimmer stop working? It is acrylic walls and plastic pipes. The only thing that could possible wear out is the motor, which is replacable.
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Old 10-08-2004, 02:48 PM   #4
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A $10 skimmer will not do anything. At all.

A CPR bak-pak would be perfect on that size tank. Maybe even a little overkill, but if you ever upgraded to, say a 55gallon you could still use the same skimmer and save.

As grimlock said, a bak-pak is just an acrylic box with a Rio600 pump...easy to find, and not very expensive. you can get a bak-pak for $118 shipped. PM me for a link if you want.

Someone might recommend a RedSea Prizm skimmer. Avoid it. I just replaced mine with the bak-pak because the Prizm couldn't do a good enough job, and my tank's only 10gallons larger, and only has 2 clowns and 1 six line wrasse, all young and not full grown.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:09 AM   #5
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what about...

the problem I am having is that the back of my tank is not large enough to accomodate anything...I was hoping that someone could recommend something that was free standing of small enough to mount on the wall of the tank...anything that doesn't require rim room. Maybe I should just get a 100 gallon and stop messing around with this smaller one.
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30 gallon tank with dual bio-wheels, live sand and crushed coral, 20 lbs of live rock. Inhabitants are two false percula clowns, one dwarf rusty angelfish, one cardinal, three snails, and nine blue legged hermits.
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Old 10-09-2004, 01:07 PM   #6
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just an opinion

Is 1-1/2 month tank a bit young to try to keep an anemone?
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Old 10-10-2004, 03:51 PM   #7
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[Maybe I should just get a 100 gallon and stop messing around with this smaller one.]

sounds like a plan
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:28 PM   #8
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Just looking across the room and eyeballing it, it seems like my bak-pak would probably fit on my 29.

You could always measure them, if you haven't already.
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:35 AM   #9
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I think he means his tank is too close to the wall to hand a skimmer off the back.
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:36 PM   #10
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Why not build a sump? lots more work, but lots more room.
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:22 AM   #11
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what does a sump do? I know nothing about protein skimmers. What I meant about not enough room is that there isn't enough room for anything that I've found on the back of my tank. I haven't checked into the bak pak though. my tank is about two feet wide. the back is already inhabited by the dual wheel penguin...doesn't leave but a few inches. Someone just give me a rundown about what a ptorein skimmer actually is and what is the use for a sump...i actually know nothing.
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30 gallon tank with dual bio-wheels, live sand and crushed coral, 20 lbs of live rock. Inhabitants are two false percula clowns, one dwarf rusty angelfish, one cardinal, three snails, and nine blue legged hermits.
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:39 AM   #12
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a sump is generally another smaller tank under your tank (usually hidden in the stand) water flows into it via an overflow or a hole in the tank drilled for this purpose. the water goes into the sump and is returned to the tank by a pump. This adds volume to the overall system, stabilizing the environment. Also, it gives you more spots for heaters, filters, skimmers, algae farms, etc

Most people here do not recommend bio wheels for SW tanks. They'd suggest 45lb of LR for a 30 gal tank with lots of water movement.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:31 AM   #13
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but if 45 lbs of LR is too expensive for your budget, you could do 20lbs of LR, and 25lbs of 'dead' base rock. It'll eventually become live rock and become encrusted with coralline algae. It's usually 1/3 the price of live rock.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:33 AM   #14
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yep! I got 60lb from hirocks.com for $80 shipped.
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:46 AM   #15
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is there no room because of your HOB filter? if so, your kinda outa luck. The only thing I could suggest would be hanging the skimmer on the side of the tank., or removing the HOB filter and repacing it with a nice canister filter system. this will free up room for your skimmer.

I have a CPR BAK PAK 2R and its about 8 or 9 inches wide. I also have a Magnum 350 canister filter. which is nice because otherwise I couldn't get the HOB filter and the skimmer to fit on the back of my 37 gallon.
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:05 PM   #16
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The CPR bak-pak is 7.5" W x 6.25" D x 19.5" H, a little smaller than the prizm I used to run (total junk skimmer).

Honestly I think the skimmer will do more for you than that HOB filter. If you feel the need to have a HOB, I'd downgrade the size of it to open up the 7.5inches for the bak-pak skimmer. It's going to clean your water by removing particles too small for you to see, while the HOB's only going to pull larger particles out. Plus on the HOB, you'll have to clean the sponge every other day to keep it from becoming a nitrate factory.
I know that sounds weird, but SW is different in a lot of way than FW aquariums. It's a more delicate eco-system, with more variables to keep track of, but it's a fun challenge, and once things start to click, it gets much easier.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:32 PM   #17
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so what you guys are telling me is...it isn't necessary to have bio wheels...is a filter even necessary if I have a sump and a protein skimmer with plenty of LR? The LFS told me the best idea was to get a canister filter and then a protein skimmer...the only problem is that I already blew fifty bucks on the filter, and to change it all around would cost an extra 250...seems kinda pricy for such a small tank. Just trying to find out what would be best so I don't have to keep trusting the people that make money off me being gullable.
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30 gallon tank with dual bio-wheels, live sand and crushed coral, 20 lbs of live rock. Inhabitants are two false percula clowns, one dwarf rusty angelfish, one cardinal, three snails, and nine blue legged hermits.
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Old 10-15-2004, 09:11 PM   #18
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just clean the canister out regularly and you should be ok for now.. add more rock (live or base) till you get to 45 lb, and save up for a skimmer. you can get a bakpak for around $105 now

if the filter is still in the box, return it. otherwise, you can use it to run carbon occasionally after you retire it
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:28 PM   #19
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Maybe I should mention this since I'm in the market for a skimmer right now, but there are some bakpak's on ebay right now for under 100...

-j
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