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

ReefRusty

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So I have a low nutrient level within my tank. Have alot more coral than I do in fish so my bio load is relatively small. 6 fish. Its a WB70.2 would it be wise to attempt to turn it off over night and on for the day? Or leave off for a couple days or make no change? Am now dosing 2 drop of aminos per day (200L)
 

oldbob50

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Mine is on a timer and is off from 8 AM to 2 PM everyday. This is the time for morning fish and coral feeding. In addition to coral food every other day I add 100 ml of phytoplankton every day and I want it to have time to move through the system before skimming. It is also off for at least 12 hours after I add copepods which is every Wednesday at midnight. That being said, the skimmer is capable of handleing a 180 gal system and mine is only 100 gal with a light fish load. So during the on times it is removing quite a bit of material.
 

SueAbu

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Chemi clean did great for me. Gave it 5 days and it cleared it all up. Followed directions, No ill effects. Gets a thumbs up in my book
Agreed. I was just realizing that is been a couple months since the Cyano treatment and it FINALLY hasn't come back (also knock wood). I inherited a tank full of "red" rock. Fingers crossed, chem-clean took care of it. (Two uses over last 5 months)
 

Saltysocks

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Agreed. I was just realizing that is been a couple months since the Cyano treatment and it FINALLY hasn't come back (also knock wood). I inherited a tank full of "red" rock. Fingers crossed, chem-clean took care of it. (Two uses over last 5 months)
Yup it knocked it out for me. I had the slightest bit of cyano try to creep back but I actually tied that to the dosage of microbacter 7 I was using.. after I'd dose mb7 cyano would pop up on the gha I was battling. Stopped dosing mb7 and no cyano. Gha mostly gone now
 

SirRoadwolf

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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?


I too have removed my skimmer completely from my sump for over 6 months at a time. Without water changes, and only noticed a very slight elevation in nitrates. Eventually I bought a new skimmer and placed it back in the tank, but I have it on a timer. I mostly purchased the new skimmer because I was concerned about a lack of oxygen in the water - which a skimmer is helpful with producing.

For whatever it is worth, I still pump air into the skimmer when it is off. Just doesn't push the water up to the cup.
 

dbdisok

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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
Dr. Tim recommends not running your skimmer for 8 hours after using Waste.
 

Nine Pieces of Eight

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My current tank is a 40g display with 10g sump, Deltec 600IX skimmer, which is over sized for this sized tank, plenty of flow from an MP40, 10x turnover through the sump running through a 200 micron sock and Purigen. There's 20kg of tonga shelf/ figi live rock, the rock was dry and fully cyclyed with Dr Tims One and Only prior to setup.

Live stock is just 1 juvenile 2" Yellow Tang and a few Trochus snails at the moment. ( upgrading to a bigger tank soon).

The tanks been running 4 months, I have Diatoms and green algae, the green algae is starting to out compete the brown Diatoms.

Parameters
Temp 25.5c
Salinity 1.025
Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
pH 8.2
Nitrate 15+
Phosphate 0.2

I noticed the skimmate is greener since the green algae started becoming more prominent, but before that it was a lite tea color.

Maintenance schedule: change 10- 12% water change weekly using rodi 0 tds water and H2Ocean salt, I vacume the sand and clean the algae off the glass.

I just couldn't imagine running this current tank without a skimmer. I am puzzled how some reefers can keep super low nutrients while running a heavier stocked tank, without a skimmer, fug, scrubber or even carbon dosing.

Any suggestions on getting my nutrients lower?
 

mabner

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I answered Yes.
I was having trouble with 0 nutrient and cyano was taking over. Turned the skimmer off for 3 weeks, managed to get nitrate to around .4 and the cyano was gone.
Starting to think I might have oversized it too much.

Tank is 135 litres in total, low stock and light feeding. Skimmer is a Red Starfish RS-N130, rated for tanks up to 700L low pop :oops:
 

StewL6

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22 gallon book shelve nano with 27 liter nano sump with a aquamaxx skimmer. I had a knock down drag out 3 month battle with dinos at my four month mark. Declared victory at least 5 times with Dinos returning each time. Also fought zero.zero phos and nitrate now consistant .06 phos and 20ish nitrates (coming down). Anyway I got use to turning off my skimmer for 4 hours every night due to bacteria dosing in the dino battle. I just like how my skimmer works with the short off time at night. It seems the skimmer makes up for lost time and skims hard for next 6 to 8 hours after coming back on time. A firm believer in Colony and Dr Tim's waste away bacteria and the Reef Dudes after my battle wounds.
 

BillyW

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When I first set up my tank, I programmed my skimmer to turn off if my PH got up to 8.4, because I’m using a scrubber hooked up to it. In our last house never had that issue.
We just moved and I noticed my skimmer wasn’t on but the outlet was on and I freaked because I thought that it had **** the bed.
Needless to say, I’ve never run a tank without one, but I’ve never ran a successful fuge either.
High import, high export, and different strokes for different folks.
 

sghera64

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Does everyone’s skimmer pull skimate all the time? Mine seems to put out foam mostly near lights-out when the pH gets near maximum for the day. Otherwise it just bubbles, aerates the water and does not necessarily remove anything into the cup. I guess that’s like running it for a number of hours at night and not in the day.
 

WallyB

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This is somthing ive been looking into a lot myself actually, and curently experimenting with myself.

Personally its a great way to balance your nutrients.

Allows nutrients to be taken up naturally by corals/bacteria/etc.

Other things ive picked up on from researching other peoples experiences is...

It allows benificial bacteria to grow in the water column without being skimmed out - dr tim, also Mark talks about cycling his skimmer off at night with great success.

Ive heard of more stability with PH by not running a skimmer - Mikeymikemike.
Exactly!!

I was just about to start using Dr Tim's Re-Fresh and Waste Away for a Cyano problem. Never endning cyano. Months. Dr Tim really explains the need for bacteria and replenishing.

I already turn off my skimmer for a few hours at dark when Corals feed, but after understanding that skimmer take out bacteria moreso than nutrients, it made me think.

I'm increasing the downtime on my skimmer. From 2 hours to 4, then 6 hours off.

I already have a Algae Scrubber so "MAYBE" why not turn off the skimmer completly. A reduction over time so things stabilize with the adjustment.

Of course it's a scary decision to stop using a skimmer when one has grown up in this hobby instilled with the mentality that skimmers are essential components of a reef tank.

Every tank is different and age/maturity/LiveRock of Tank System really deterimines the value of a skimmer's run time.
 

sghera64

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I've been thinking about this topic after reading 4 pages of comments. Now I have a question. Is it not true that more than 95% of the bacteria in our reefs lives on surfaces like sand, rock as well as within the rock? If this is true, then the skimmer cannot really be removing a lot of the "spawning" bacteria from the water column.

Am I missing something here?
 

edolan

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There was a video on YouTube from Reefdudes speaking with Lou Ekus from Tropic Marin. He explains that the corals are not good at taking up phosphate from the water column directly. However beneficial bacteria could take up the phosphate and then the coral would get phosphate from ingesting free floating bacteria. If that is accurate then possibly even if 95% of bacteria is on surfaces the corals are competing with the 5% that is free floating with a skimmer to get phosphate. I don't know if this accurate but seems to make sense.
 

Belgian Anthias

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Why using a skimmer?!

It is essential DOC is kept as low as possible for healthy corals , to have a by the coral manageable coral holobiont.
There are many ways for keeping DOC low.
Removing TOC before it is transformed in usable DOC.
Removing DOC before it is all transformed into buildingmaterials and inorganic nutrients, using GAC , polymers produced for binding organic compounds, or and a skimmer

One does not need a skimmer. A skimmer will remove the same kind of DOC as does GAC, both are not complemental, they both target the same thing, hydrophobic apolar organic compounds.
Some polymers claim to remove both polar and apolar organics.
A good skimmer will remove about +- 30% of DOC. ref: MB De Mille 2019

Most DOC removers have the same disadvantage, they only remove organic compounds and some are very selective, leaving inorganic nutrients behind with only part of the building materials needed to use up all produced inorganics, creating an unbalance which explains the need for a high denitrification capacity and ore a phosphate remover to prevent growth fluctuations and outbreaks and an unstabel environment for the coral holobiont.

Optimizing remineralization, braking down TOC and DOC as fast as possible, using an oldfasion bio, using the produced nutrients and buildingmaterials for growing algae which are easily harvested, removing this way all nutrients in balance while keeping the balance between CO2 producers and reducers. Using a good waterfurifier, GAC, polymer, at the end of the remineralization chain will remove yellowing and produced toxins .

No, a skimmer is not needed.

Active algae management may also restore an existing nutrient unbalance, shown by temporary growth fluctuations and outbreaks
 
BRS

What is the best "cleaning product" or home recipe for cleaning reef tank equipment?

  • Water and scrubbing

    Votes: 51 12.3%
  • Citric Acid

    Votes: 205 49.6%
  • Vinegar

    Votes: 131 31.7%
  • Hydrogen peroxide

    Votes: 10 2.4%
  • Lemon Juice

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 3.6%
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