Protein Skimmer During Cycle

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CodyB67

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I have a red sea reefer nano that im setting up, and i was wondering do i need a protein skimmer or should i finish the cycle then put one in?
 
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tsouth

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If you have one, you are very much welcome to use it. There is not much of any difference between using it or not using it during this stage of the lifecycle. If not, then wait it out until you can get one or want to get one. Totally up to you, and many successful tanks have come out of this both ways.
 

Spare time

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The reason why I say not to use it is that all manufacturers of the bacteria used in cycling tell you to not have it on when adding the bacteria. There is just not use for it to be on. Protein skimmers will remove bacteria and this is the stage where you want to build up populations of bacteria and other microfauna that are needed to compete with microalgae and protists (hence why new tanks go through algae phases as there is not enough microbe diversity to compete with the microalgae).
 
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tsouth

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I have only used BioSpira here so ymmv, but they say to shut off a skimmer in particular for 48 hours. My argument here is that the cycles can take upwards of 1 month to complete. Using the skimmer for 28/29 days I would hope doesn't deplete their bacteria, especially if they allow the water and foam to circulate back into the tank as it breaks in. Bacteria will reproduce in various other areas of the tank such as the sand, the rock, and on other hard surfaces. The bacteria in the water column would be small in comparison.
 
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