How big of a difference does a protein skimmer make?

neltel_7

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Hey guys I’m installing my first protein skimmer tomorrow and I’m curious what sort of results I should expect to see in the next week or so.
My nitrates are at 35 (I had a spike when my canister filter broke and It took me a week to get my sump up and running) and my phosphates are at .10
Should I see a significant drop in these levels?
 
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revhtree

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It really depends on the skimmer, the bio-load and the tank size among some other things! What skimmer and can you tell us about your tank?
 

Pntbll687

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Totally dependant on the tank.

I have two frag systems running with just live rock and some wave makers, and still struggle to keep nutrients in the tank. I have to dose aminos and feed heavy in order to keep dinos at bay.

Then I have my 180g, where I think about feeding the tank and algae starts growing, so I have a skimmer on that one
 

HB AL

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I would say huge, I have a huge bioload for my 90G stuffed with corals and fish, with limited space for any extra add ons as my tank is in my bedroom and if it wasnt for the skimmer I dont think I could pull this thriving tank off. Pic for reference of what stuffed with corals and 14 fish looks like.
20200429_181243.jpg
 
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neltel_7

neltel_7

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It really depends on the skimmer, the bio-load and the tank size among some other things! What skimmer and can you tell us about your tank?
It will be an icecap k1-130 skimmer because I’m getting a really good deal on it. It’s a 100 gallon thank with a kole tang, yellow tang, bullet goby, a couple wrasses, lawn mower blend, 2 clownfish and a chromis. I’m planing for a mixed reef. I have About 200 pounds of 4 year old live rock and 180 pounds of 4 year old live sand. I have a 10 gallon sump area connected to a 5 gallon refugium and a 5 gallon cryptic zone(probably doesn’t have any sponges yet because I just established it.
 

ca1ore

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As a card carrying cynic, I’m going with ‘very little difference’. Skimmers are certainly helpful, and should slow the rate at which nutrients increase; but won’t solve the problem alone. Needs to be used in conjunction with other export mechniams.
 

Anchor

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As a note, Skimmers are used to remove things before they break down. Mostly... It can only be as effective as you can tune it and usually will never be 100%. Combined with socks/pads, water changes and other means of removing stuff that will break down into nitrates (and some phosphates) a skimmer can be very effective. You want numbers? I don't have them.. But.. pick a number and test for it. Don't use other mechanics and just go with the skimmer. Remove the skimmer and just go with WC and filtration. Go with filtration alone. Use all of it.. measure, Measure, Measure.. but then once the tank is running you don't want to keep starting over to make a new test.. so.. umm take my word for it that it is useful??
 

Fishingandreefing

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I would say huge, I have a huge bioload for my 90G stuffed with corals and fish, with limited space for any extra add ons as my tank is in my bedroom and if it wasnt for the skimmer I dont think I could pull this thriving tank off. Pic for reference of what stuffed with corals and 14 fish looks like.
20200429_181243.jpg
Nice tank and a clown trigger with corals?
 

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