Replacing Skimmate Waste water in a 5 gallon Nano with an ATO

ChrisP

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I have a 5 gallon Evo 5 reef (mostly zoa and a few other frags right now, No fish and just a few sexy shrimp). It's been set up for about 2 months now and generally doing well. Here's my problem: The tank is open-top and I bought an ATO that works well in the interest of maintaining very stable salinity in such a small tank. But, especially when I feed, my (old fashioned) limewood-powered skimmer tends to remove up to two cups of murky skimmate overnight. The ATO keeps the water level where it should be which causes the specific gravity to drop up to a couple points. I then have to mix up a cup of very high-salinity salt water and slowly add it to the tank (back chambers) while I keep checking the specific. So the whole process causes some instability in the system and can be a time-consuming hassle. I'd really appreciate any suggestions.
 
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TriggersAmuck

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You can tweak the old school skimmers. (I used to use an acrylic/wood ayirstone one in the mid 90's, and it was surprising how much gunk it took out once I got the levels right). Keep moving the entire skimmer up a few millimeters at a time (waiting a day or two in between) until the skim isn't quite as wet as it is now (and be patient). Remember, in a really new tank, you may not get much in the way of a thick skimmate.
 
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ChrisP

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You can tweak the old school skimmers. (I used to use an acrylic/wood ayirstone one in the mid 90's, and it was surprising how much gunk it took out once I got the levels right). Keep moving the entire skimmer up a few millimeters at a time (waiting a day or two in between) until the skim isn't quite as wet as it is now (and be patient). Remember, in a really new tank, you may not get much in the way of a thick skimmate.
Thanks so much for the suggestion. My thought had been that you want a lot of skimmate after a feeding to remove a big chunk of protein before it it starts the nitrification process.
 

Tankkeepers

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You do but there is a difrence between a wet and dry skim sounds like your on the very wet side above post is correct just ajust it till you get a dryer skim but still taking alot of the nasty out
 

Tankkeepers

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Also stupid question but why even run a skimmer on the size tank why not just do like 1/4 to half gallon water change once a day or 2.5 gal once a week

Just a question as with a small tank like that you have other options that are just as effective if not more so
 
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Tankkeepers

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Heck on that size tank you vould do an entire water change once a week if you really wanted to pretty fast and cheap may even come out to be close to the same price as the electric your skimmer is using
 

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