Skimmer or Reefmat?

Lostatsea

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Hi,
Would appreciate some feedback on the following dilemma! I have a fairly heavily stocked 6ft fowlr tank which I have been battling high phosphate and nitrate on for some time. I would not normally be to concerned about the levels for fish but I have some really nice delicate Angelfish in there so I would like to give them the best conditions possible. I originally had a Deltec 1000i skimmer running with a Red Sea Reefmat 1200 but my nitrates reached well over 80 ppm and phosphates were off the Hanna scale. I removed the skimmer and used the space for a Refugium growing Caulerpa and Chaeto and the nitrates have now dropped to about 50 ppm and phosphate about 1 ppm. Interestingly my PH has also increased. I have continued with my 20% weekly water changes so the improvement is definitely due to the addition of the Refugium. My question is I do not have enough space in the sump for the skimmer and the Reefmat (I want to keep the Refugium section) so do you think I would be better off swapping the Reefmat for the skimmer ie do you think the skimmer would do a better job at lowering the nitrates or is the Reefmats particular removal likely to have a larger effect. I know in an ideal world I would have all three (Reefmat, skimmer and refugium but unfortunately the sump is not large enough or set out right). I could also possibly fit a larger skimmer such as the reef octopus 200 ext in the Reefmat section as another option. Thanks for your advice.
 

Doctorgori

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surface agitation always helps but if it’s a one to one swap against a skimmer (with its zillions of micro bubbles) ?
I’d imagine probably not…
still there is no rule says skimmers are a absolute must have. Many folks here operate tanks with one, I have also
 

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