Do I still need a protein skimmer?

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Jedi1199

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I am curious why you got such an aggressive clean up system before you had anything for them to clean? Its kinda like "I got this awesome high end car wash system!! One of these days I'm gonna get a car"

Turn off all that stuff.. run your sump and leave your lights off. Start adding in some fish.. they will create the bio load you are looking for.

I have a 32g cube that has 4 fish, am emerald crab, a few snails and a dozen corals. I set it up and stocked the whole thing in a week. no skimmer, no scrubber,, just the AIO sump with rock rubble and a carbon filled bag. Don't get lured into the mindset that better equipment is better than proper maintenance. do your water changes and all that expensive stuff is a waste.
 
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CanuckReefer

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I am curious why you got such an aggressive clean up system before you had anything for them to clean? Its kinda like "I got this awesome high end car wash system!! One of these days I'm gonna get a car"

Turn off all that stuff.. run your sump and leave your lights off. Start adding in some fish.. they will create the bio load you are looking for.

I have a 32g cube that has 4 fish, am emerald crab, a few snails and a dozen corals. I set it up and stocked the whole thing in a week. no skimmer, no scrubber,, just the AIO sump with rock rubble and a carbon filled bag. Don't get lured into the mindset that better equipment is better than proper maintenance. do your water changes and all that expensive stuff is a waste.
True enough....fish poop is good....and this statement.... 'Don't get lured into the mindset that better equipment is better than proper maintenance. '
 

Jedi1199

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True enough....fish poop is good....and this statement.... 'Don't get lured into the mindset that better equipment is better than proper maintenance. '
Canuck, I am the "anti-reefer"!! I pretty much despise all of the new automated tech that makes people think that if they throw enough dollars at a tank, they don't need to actually learn or do anything.

My reef tanks (55 and 32g) are run on as simple equipment as necessary. The 55 has a canister filter, several powerheads for flow and a small HoB skimmer. I have been dealing with some uglies, but in the last week, it has apparently cleared out on its own.

The 32 is an AIO. It is in the ugly phase now (seeded with rocks and water from the 55) I am waiting that out.. cleaning where I can and just letting it run its course...

The 180 is a FOWLR tank.. It is the newest tank I have.. also seeded with rocks from the 55. It is only wet for a couple weeks now, so too soon to get to the ugly phase yet. This tank has a full sump, skimmer and refugium...

My point here is to illustrate that I am running 3 completely different setups. Most people here would flame me for the system I have on my 55.. but it is the most stable system I run. Canister filter and small skimmer.

OP, I am writing all of this to not only respond to Canuck, but also to tell you that despite what you read here, there is no substitute for knowledge, experience, and plain work. Learn all you can about this hobby. More money does NOT equal a better tank. The best tanks are a combination of work, equipment and experience. Don't believe me? do a search of tank crashes on this forum..
 
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Levinson

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One other thing...you say mix of live and dry? How long after the live and how recent did you add the dry? I could see that spiking a bit of a dino outbreak in a 30....
They went in together when I first started to cycle.
 
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I am curious why you got such an aggressive clean up system before you had anything for them to clean? Its kinda like "I got this awesome high end car wash system!! One of these days I'm gonna get a car"

Turn off all that stuff.. run your sump and leave your lights off. Start adding in some fish.. they will create the bio load you are looking for.

I have a 32g cube that has 4 fish, am emerald crab, a few snails and a dozen corals. I set it up and stocked the whole thing in a week. no skimmer, no scrubber,, just the AIO sump with rock rubble and a carbon filled bag. Don't get lured into the mindset that better equipment is better than proper maintenance. do your water changes and all that expensive stuff is a waste.
The tank is AIO and ATS is a simple diy overhead river style, connected to the return from the filter compartment. I may have excessive filteration but I'm not really throwing money at it with high-tech gear if that was the impression you got.
I had planned for a tank within the tank to experiment with breeding invertebrates so I planned on having the means to provide ULN environment if I wanted to. I made it so I could turn it down if I wanted to (ATS light intensity adjustable with $3 controller, or power plug timer, not exactly 'expensive stuff').
I didn't bother raising the nutrient up since I didn't have any issues and I had not experienced dinos before so I was not aware of the risk of dino thriving in ULN setup. Well now I do and I'll try to keep the nutrient levels up by making adjustments. I just wanted to make sure if there was any reason for me to keep the skimmer that I'm not aware of.
I don't plan on adding any coral or fish, although I was tempted to add some softies since the tank is purely for the experiment.

Canuck, I am the "anti-reefer"!! I pretty much despise all of the new automated tech that makes people think that if they throw enough dollars at a tank, they don't need to actually learn or do anything.

My reef tanks (55 and 32g) are run on as simple equipment as necessary. The 55 has a canister filter, several powerheads for flow and a small HoB skimmer. I have been dealing with some uglies, but in the last week, it has apparently cleared out on its own.

The 32 is an AIO. It is in the ugly phase now (seeded with rocks and water from the 55) I am waiting that out.. cleaning where I can and just letting it run its course...

The 180 is a FOWLR tank.. It is the newest tank I have.. also seeded with rocks from the 55. It is only wet for a couple weeks now, so too soon to get to the ugly phase yet. This tank has a full sump, skimmer and refugium...

My point here is to illustrate that I am running 3 completely different setups. Most people here would flame me for the system I have on my 55.. but it is the most stable system I run. Canister filter and small skimmer.

OP, I am writing all of this to not only respond to Canuck, but also to tell you that despite what you read here, there is no substitute for knowledge, experience, and plain work. Learn all you can about this hobby. More money does NOT equal a better tank. The best tanks are a combination of work, equipment and experience. Don't believe me? do a search of tank crashes on this forum..
I do agree on there is no substitute for knowledge, experience, and plain work. Hence seeking knowledge and experience here.
Sorry if I gave you the impression that I was for more money equal a better tank and not putting much value on the knowledge and hard work. I'm not.
 
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Levinson

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if you hate skimmers fine , increase water changes gets you to the same place.maybe even better ,
I don't hate skimmers. I actually like looking at them pulling the crap out, it's oddly satisfying to watch. I was just thinking if the sole purpose of the skimmer is to export nutrients (other than to oxygenate water), is there any other reason to keep it if you want more nutrients?
I thought increasing water changes were not good for a dino outbreak. Does it help?
 

Jedi1199

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The tank is AIO and ATS is a simple diy overhead river style, connected to the return from the filter compartment. I may have excessive filteration but I'm not really throwing money at it with high-tech gear if that was the impression you got.
I had planned for a tank within the tank to experiment with breeding invertebrates so I planned on having the means to provide ULN environment if I wanted to. I made it so I could turn it down if I wanted to (ATS light intensity adjustable with $3 controller, or power plug timer, not exactly 'expensive stuff').
I didn't bother raising the nutrient up since I didn't have any issues and I had not experienced dinos before so I was not aware of the risk of dino thriving in ULN setup. Well now I do and I'll try to keep the nutrient levels up by making adjustments. I just wanted to make sure if there was any reason for me to keep the skimmer that I'm not aware of.
I don't plan on adding any coral or fish, although I was tempted to add some softies since the tank is purely for the experiment.


I do agree on there is no substitute for knowledge, experience, and plain work. Hence seeking knowledge and experience here.
Sorry if I gave you the impression that I was for more money equal a better tank and not putting much value on the knowledge and hard work. I'm not.

Well this is information not included in the original post.

My simple answer is no, you don't need a skimmer (or the scrubber for that matter) Water changes will do the job.

That said, since you already have the equipment, I see no reason not to use them, or at least have them set up in the system to turn on when needed. The stuff you have is meant for systems with a substantially higher bio load that what you propose. It is unnecessary for your system at this time IMO.
 
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Levinson

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Well this is information not included in the original post.

My simple answer is no, you don't need a skimmer (or the scrubber for that matter) Water changes will do the job.

That said, since you already have the equipment, I see no reason not to use them, or at least have them set up in the system to turn on when needed. The stuff you have is meant for systems with a substantially higher bio load that what you propose. It is unnecessary for your system at this time IMO.
Thanks Jedi, good to know!
 
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Celestion

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over my head sir , smaller tanks get away without it often , and most advanced reefers consider skimming is a absolute, ill see if anyone chimes in
 

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Knowledge IS KEY. Either way a skimmer or the most expensive latest gadget will NOT help if you do Not understand Your tank s Biology and what to trouble shoot.
 
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Levinson

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Knowledge IS KEY. Either way a skimmer or the most expensive latest gadget will NOT help if you do Not understand Your tank s Biology and what to trouble shoot.
Agreed, as anyone would.
Don't mean to be rude but I hope you are not implying that I'm in any way against the idea of knowledge being the key or understanding the biology of my tank or thinking the most expensive latest gadget will fix all my problems. Cuz I'm not and I have not written anything in the posts that would imply such thought.
I wanted to clear that up just in case there's any misunderstanding. If not, my bad.
 

BostonReefer300

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+1 on OK to get rid of both skimmer and ATS given your setup and stocking assuming you do modest water changes weekly.
+1 on, if you get rid of anything, ditch the ATS because the skimmer will keep the system oxygenated and remove complex organics from the water.
+1 on "Where are the fish???"
 

srobertb

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I have a 30g tank with a protein skimmer, an algae turf scrubber, a filter sock. It has a low bioload with only 6 sexy shrimps as the main residents and the rest are worms, pods, snails, and other small critters.
Due to the lack of nutrients in the water, I've recently had dino appear in my tank so I've started to take measures to increase the nitrate and phosphate by...
- feeding more
- reducing ATS light time
- turning off the skimmer
- dosing phosphate
- reducing the intensity of the tank light

I'll have to wait and see how things will turn out and I'm going ahead of myself a little here but IF the water being too clean is the cause of the dino and assuming the increase in the nutrient will fix the dino issue, is there a reason for me to have the protein skimmer running in my tank?

Is protein skimmer purely for nutrient export (and gas exchange which I'm not really worried about)?
Is there something about the way protein skimmer exports waste (that I'm not aware of) that gives me the reason to have it in my tank even if I want to elevate the nutrient level?
Any time you change something in your system it will cause an imbalance- perceptible or not. I don’t run a skimmer on my 10g but I haven’t since day 1. I like feeding my anemones so it gets pellets + 1-2 silverfish a week.

I would say if you pull it, don’t start over feeding and dosing all sorts of stuff immediately. Make one change, give it a week or two, make the next one, wait, and so on.
 
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Rmckoy

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I have always ran a over sized skimmer on every system .
but I also think I’m close to a stocking limit with fish .

that being said , I believe a skimmer is similar to thinking if a running racer requires running shoes .
They are not required but I’m sure they will help

Skimmers don’t reduce all nutrients but will remove organics before they decompose and change to nitrates .
The added benefit of oxygenation which is never a bad thing .
 

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I would honestly lean toward ditching the scrubber at this point unless you have another form of oxygenation. It's huge importance imo. If you have another filter creating it then I would say keep the Scrubber. Not sure if @Mashbox agrees or

I would honestly lean toward ditching the scrubber at this point unless you have another form of oxygenation. It's huge importance imo. If you have another filter creating it then I would say keep the Scrubber. Not sure if @Mashbox agrees or not...
I would agree with that. Scrubbers are VERY good at removing nutrients, so I think that's a good step to take.
One of the best things you can get to battle the dino is a UV sterilizer. What kind of a tank do you have? Brand wise I mean. Is it just a drilled 30 with a sump?
 

zoa what

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Why would you want a silly lil thing like balanced air quality in your water? Like the Oceans don't need white capped waves.

Corals do great in low pH and heavy CO2 levels


.
 

Timfish

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I wouldn't use a skimmer. It doesn't matter where you look, sustainable farming or sustaining our own mental and physical health, the right microbial balance is essential. Feldman, et al, showed back in 2009 skimmers skew the microbial populations in tanks. Additionally, de Goeij, 2008, showed the cryptic zones on reefs remove labile DOC about 1000X faster than the bacterioplankton supporting Steve Tyree's Zonal system he developed in the 90's. Perhaps the biggest concern is the emphasis on using skimmers overlooks the hydrophilic stuff in aquariums that promotes pathogenic shifts in coral microbiomes and also is not removed by activated carbon. My advice, keep equipment to a minimum and do regular water changes.
 
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