Can turning your skimmer off benefit your reef?

BRS

Do you think there are benefits to turning your skimmer off for periods of time?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 126 28.0%
  • NO

    Votes: 128 28.4%
  • Maybe but not sure

    Votes: 183 40.7%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 13 2.9%

  • Total voters
    450

revhtree

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Today let's talk about the benefits, if you believe there are some, to turning your skimmer off for a certain period of time. I have always been pro-skimmer and I still am but I have to be honest with you. I took my skimmer off my 400g over 6 months ago or so and my reef has not missed a beat. It's actually doing better algae wise. Oh and I've not changed the water either but that's for another discussion. So let me here from you!

1. Do you think there are benefits to turning your skimmer off for periods of time? What?

2. What's the longest you've ever been without a skimmer on a reef tank?


No skimmer reef image via @CoralAddict645
48365192_271099800258275_6798431375524364288_n.jpg
 

Greybeard

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I took my skimmer off my 400g over 6 months ago or so and my reef has not missed a beat. It's actually doing better algae wise.

Any notable difference in pH without the skimmer? I've always believed that even an out of tune skimmer, not producing any skimmate, can be a good thing in a reef. Higher O2 saturation levels, pH tends to be higher...

Do I have any proof of such? Nope. A bit of anecdotal evidence... my pH probe drops maybe a tenth of a point if I forget to turn my skimmer back on after a water change. Would it remain that way? Who knows. I've always turned it back on when I notice the problem. As for O2 saturation, not something I can measure, so I'm going totally on some very old and unverified information.

My skimmer hasn't really done much, if any, skimming since I added sand to the tank, what, six months ago? Not certain why, but at that point, it became very difficult to keep adjusted... and I simply gave up. I could easily turn the blasted thing off and see if it made any difference.

I keep thinking, if one shows up cheap on black Friday, that maybe I'll pick up a DC powered skimmer, or maybe even a recirculating design to replace the Vertex 180i I'm running.

Maybe I should just drop it altogether :D
 

Greybeard

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I saw a video where a dude from some company ( I think it was Dr Tims) said that you should run your skimmer on a timer because if you don't when the beneficial bacteria reproduce they will be collected by the skimmer.
I've seen that one as well... and spoken to Dr. Tim on several occasions. Nice guy, by the way... I recently had excellent results using his Re-Fresh and Waste-A-Way products to wipe out a cyano bloom.
 

Stoney

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I personally dont think theres any benefit to turning it off. But that's because I dont think it was that effective at removing anything in the first place. Starting to think of skimmers as a jack of all trades but master of none. They help remove organics and control microorganisms in the long run, but not efficiently enough to save your tank when something major happens. I've been skimmerless for over a year now. No regrets so far, UV sterilizer 24/7 and the occasional micron socks have my corals looking better than ever *knocks on wood*. Nutrients almost undetectable as well with heavy feeding/dosing.
 

DaddyFish

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All my tanks are skimmerless. I was recently heard exclaiming... "I'll shut down my tanks and give them away before using skimmers."
I use fleece mechanical filtration, refugiums, algae scrubbers, but no skimmers. It's like going commando, not always popular but oh so liberating!!!
:)
 

LuizW13

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I saw a video where a dude from some company ( I think it was Dr Tims) said that you should run your skimmer on a timer because if you don't when the beneficial bacteria reproduce they will be collected by the skimmer.
I think you're talking about Lou from Tropic Marin on a Reef Dudes video.
 

Bpb

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Today let's talk about the benefits, if you believe there are some, to turning your skimmer off for a certain period of time. I have always been pro-skimmer and I still am but I have to be honest with you. I took my skimmer off my 400g over 6 months ago or so and my reef has not missed a beat. It's actually doing better algae wise. Oh and I've not changed the water either but that's for another discussion. So let me here from you!

1. Do you think there are benefits to turning your skimmer off for periods of time? What?

2. What's the longest you've ever been without a skimmer on a reef tank?


No skimmer reef image via @CoralAddict645
48365192_271099800258275_6798431375524364288_n.jpg

To those who run their skimmers and reactors intermittently:

Do you worry about the water inside going anoxic? When water sits stagnant even for just a day or so it gets kind of rank with how much bacteria is in it.
 

Saltyreef

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I recently removed my skimmer and have been tracking PH day and night, windows open and closed.
It doesnt swing but it did drop .1 from around 8.2 to 8.1.
I dont think ill be putting it back online.
My nutrients dont really need help anyways....

Going to turn the skimmer chamber of my sump into a big fuge eventually once i bump up my bioload and the tank is ready for more export.
 

galantra

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Do you think there are benefits to turning your skimmer off for periods of time?

Well I am one of those reefers that willing to give it a try. So I might try this out

I personally keep my skimmer on 24/7 but when it comes to my skim I like it dark But in all honesty I don’t really my skimmer constantly pulling out a lot compared to my smaller tank 180g and a 50gal)
Question to those who don’t have skimmer; was it setup without? Ran it and turned off in cycles till no use? Is there another time export method used like water changes or filtration?
 

galantra

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@rvhtree I have to ask when you say not missed a beat, what do you mean? Specially with no water changes this truly has my wondering what are you doing with your system? Dosing extra elements or routine?
 

wcreef21

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I've seen that one as well... and spoken to Dr. Tim on several occasions. Nice guy, by the way... I recently had excellent results using his Re-Fresh and Waste-A-Way products to wipe out a cyano bloom.
Where can I find this info on Re-Fresh and Waste-A-Way products to wipe out a cyano bloom?
 

Treefer32

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I have between 26 and 28 fish in my 350 gallon display. I've seen the local LFS have around 40 fish in their 220 display tank. It's all about nutrient export.

I have 6 nutrient export methods, and I barely keep up with phosphates.

1. ATS - full within 3 days and I clean religiously every 3-4 days.
2. Filer socks, change every 2-3 days.
3. 25 micron nu-clear cannister filter, change cartridge every 3 weeks when flow slows.
4. Vodka Dosing
5. Skimmer - which is necessary to assist with and remove bacteria from Vodka dosing.
6. Water changes 30-40% once a month.

Using these 6 methods, I am able to keep my phosphates around .6 to .1 ppm.

If any one of these slow down at all, It climbs from .1 to .16 within a week, then .16 to .2 within 2 weeks.

I feed 1 sheet of nori daily. Most of it is consumed by my 3 tangs and a few of the angel fish. I feed 1 oz of homemade frozen food daily and have a pellet auto feeder to supplement feed my anthias. Which, some of my angels have taken to eating the pellets too.

I did try taking my skimmer offline for 3 months. My phosphates rose to .66.. That's when I put it back on. Had corals starting to die everywhere. I couldn't figure it out until I did an ICP test and got a Hana ULR Phosphate tester. Gradually brought them down with phosphate-E and increasing my filtration by putting the skimmer back on.
 
BRS

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