Skimmer suggestions????

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Botheboss, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Botheboss

    Botheboss Director-At Large

    The skimmer I have on my 180 is old and to small. It came with the tank and I decided to use it for the short term. But it's now way overdue I'm tired of it. Looking for best price and decent quality. Everything I've seen is like $500 plus pretty pricey want to make sure I get a good one!
  2. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    No clue on price as mine came with my tank, but I have a lifereef Skimmer and everything I’ve read about them is good. You can use any pump ... I’m currently using a jebao dc pump on mine. I’m actually getting much better results with the variable pump than the little grey one that was on it. I have no clue what it was.

    The website seems old and outdated but the info is there.
    Botheboss likes this.
  3. I'm just curious, why is your skimmer too small?

    I ask because I'm highly highly skeptical of the commercial claims and ratings companies put out.

    If your pulling junk out and have stable nutrients, ide say your skimmer is working well.

    If pulling junk out and nutrients crazy high.....any level of Ammonia or Nitrite, something is wrong.

    Elevated Nitrate only......meh. Let it ride!

    Just my thoughts.
    Botheboss likes this.
  4. Brian

    Brian Blenny

    I have seen pictures of skimmers so huge that they would need a sump of their own to run. Why? I don't get it. I get a full cup of skim a week, my skimmer is definitely not huge, but it seems to be very efficient. It's a used magnus I bought on ebay from someone who thought he needed a bigger one. IMO, I think he fed his fish to much, this one works great
    Botheboss likes this.
  5. Botheboss

    Botheboss Director-At Large

    My nitrates are very low or undetectable every time I check but I'm still fighting hair algae. Think it's absorbing the nutrients. Thinking skimmer might be playing a roll in it but maybe not.
    LJC6780 likes this.
  6. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    What's your PO4 Bo? I've had NO3 around 15 with no algae and lots of algae with very low NO3 and elevated PO4.

    You may be right about the nitrate testing low because of the algae stripping it from the water. How well does you skimmer pull skimmate? How much and what does it look like?
    Botheboss likes this.
  7. Botheboss

    Botheboss Director-At Large

    I have to admit I don't have a PO4 test kit I just ordered one. I have been running gfo ;( won't get the kit for a couple days.
  8. Botheboss

    Botheboss Director-At Large

    Skimmer does ok fills the cup every 5-7 days
  9. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    If you're running GFO your PO4 is probably ok. If you're skimmer is pulling lots of dark, nasty skimmate it's probably doing it's job. What size skimmer is it? 6", 8" or 10"?

    Lot's of this may be new tank uglies. I just kept up my good husbandry, ran GFO and my horrendous GHA problem disappeared over the last 3 or 4 weeks. Really can't find any algae in my tank right now. I've been up and running 10 months now, how long has the 180 been up?
    Botheboss likes this.
  10. Botheboss

    Botheboss Director-At Large

    Think it was the middle of march when I put water in it.
  11. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    Just curious but what does having ammonia and nitrites have to do with having a Skimmer that is working or not?
  12. Pulling organics.......or not
    An overall picture of tanks denitrification process.
  13. It's not the skimmer.
    How do I know? Too many successful tanks run slimmerless.

    I've run GFO in the past without testing, so no criticism for that. But......why run GFO? This hobby is monkey see monkey do. And that's "okay." Until you begin diagnosing problems in the absence of data to do so. Again......I've been there! And been there! And been there! At some point I realized most internet posts are people rehashing anecdotal hearsay, also guilty!

    This is not a rant, just a call to have some sort of method for making changes and diagnosing tank issues.

    You want rant? Let's talk about Aminos. :D

    By the way, your growing nice coral with nice coloration, seems like your doing something right!
    Botheboss likes this.
  14. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    But you just said successful tanks run skimmerless ... so wouldn’t the issue (ammonia and/or nitrites) be with possible over feeding or an inadequate bacteria colony to process waste ... or inefficient water change routine and not the skimmer?

    Not arguing ... just trying to understand your thought process.
  15. Brian

    Brian Blenny

    I believe he said some successful tanks run skimmerless. I also believe it's pretty easy to decide if a skimmer is working or not. The smell of the organics in the skim is horrible. But then again, a skimmer can be set to skim aggressively or not, at least mine can, and that determine how much organics is removed. As far as ammonia and nitrite, I believe ammonia level is a function of bacteria in the live rocks, and nitrite is a function of water changes or something filter specifically designed to remove it, I use both. I agree that treating something without knowing whether it needs treated or not, surely can get expensive. Is everything in the tank healthy and eating? How does the water smell and look. In my eyesight I can tell the difference between clean water and really clean water, biologically clean. Other than that, don't know how you would decide if you need to do something else
    SilentReefer likes this.
  16. Bo is concerned his skimmer is too small.

    My question is why do you think too small?

    Denitrification is a fairly simple process.

    And I'm not suggestion there is a problem, quite the opposite. (With the skimmer).

    And specifically to your question, skimmers are simply a nutrient export vehicle. As Brian wrote, if it's pulling junk it's working.

    The question comes from a size standpoint. Manufactures have ridiculous recommendations based on "bio load," and volume. My opinion, this translates into absolutely nothing.
    Where and what data do they have to support their claims?
  17. Botheboss

    Botheboss Director-At Large

    Your probably right. I was just thinking the skimmer was adding to the algae issue. Which is probably just the new tank uglys like doc mentioned. I'm just gonna do my best to keep it under control and ride it out. The whole story is that I had some hair algae a few months. Got rid of that, then cyano started popping up and back to hair algae. Once I get my pO4 test I'll probably have a better understanding of the situation. Thank for all the advice I appreciate it.
    LJC6780 and SilentReefer like this.
  18. LJC6780

    LJC6780 Grouper

    I wasn’t trying to argue. Like I said I was just trying to understand where you were coming from because all of your comments didn’t make sense to me.

    In my reply I didn’t say ALL successful tanks were skimmerless ... but that there are successful tanks. Anyway ... there is bacteria that eats the ammonia and turns it into nitrite. Then bacteria turn the nitrite into nitrate. Then we either remove the nitrate with water changes, or denitrifying bacteria. (Low flow, anaerobic bacteria).

    I guess having a skimmer pulling dissolved organically means there doesn’t have to be as big of a bacteria colony to process the whole load ... but I don’t see how having ammonia or nitrites signals that the skimmer isn’t working. (And maybe I’m being too literal ... it can be a curse at times) I agree with Brian that if you see it pulling out gross funk then it is working. Will a small skimmer pull enough out of a large tank to be effective? I have no clue! I have the one that came with my tank and it seems to be doing ok.

    Bo, what test did you get?
  19. huntindoc

    huntindoc RRMAS BOD Membership Director Staff Member

    IMO a skimmer is just one tool to help control nutrients. There certainly are tanks without them that are very successful. With the amount of fish I like to keep and feed I'd say is a skimmer is a necessity for me to maintain nutrients at a level where I can keep SPS. It just depends on what you're trying to keep, how your tank is stocked and what other nutrient export tools you are using.

    Some examples of others.....sulfur denitrator, algae turf scrubber, large refugium with macro algae, GFO, Chaeto reactor, water changes (the least effective IMO), filter socks (and other mechanical filtration), ceramic media, live rock and of course skimmers.

    Does skimmer size have any relationship to how much organic material it can remove. Sure, but lots of other factors may be as or more important in how well your skimmer functions.
    Thom, LJC6780 and SilentReefer like this.
  20. @LJC6780, I don't think your being argumentative. Ask any question you want. My replys are short due to time. In truth every answer is "it depends." Doc's reply is spot on.

    It's common to rely heavily on skimmers, I do. But as Doc pointed out, lots of other options that actually work well. Skimmers are not necessary, rather the most common choice because they're so easy to use and maintain.

    The post though, revolved around when to go bigger. Skimmer working but nutrient load too high. That's where we were.

    "Skimmer not working," not pulling out enough junk.

    My point was don't blame equipment. Tanks tank time to balance, months and sometimes years because we constantly add and change variables. I honestly think small skimmers work as well as large, just may empty collection cup more often than desired.
    huntindoc and LJC6780 like this.

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