Skimmerless, will it work?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Yas, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    Hi Lasse, thank you for your post! I had quick glance at your thread. Just awesome!

    About flow in the sponge section, coincidentally, I put a small water pump to agitate a bit. I stop my wave flow at the main tank once or twice a day so that my slow-eating mandarinfish can eat things at the bottom of the tank. But when I do it for 10 minutes, gas exchange in the sump is lost. I wanted to prevent it.

    Lasse, I don't have Apex system. So I can't do 24H monitoring, but I'm very curious about monitoring maybe once in 4 or 5 hours. I use the following test kits.

    NH4 Tetra
    NO3/NO4 Red Sea
    PO4 Hanna
    pH Tetra

    I would like to replace those Tetra kits. My Tetra kits could be too old. So I'll have to start from searching alternative test kits for NH4 and pH. I have zero chamical knowledge, and I can't even do the guess work. So all I can do is just test. But if you can help me out from the data I got, that's great!
     

  2. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    25,344
    Likes Received:
    13,387
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    I would not assume that gas exchange is necessarily complete. With perfect gas exchange, there would be no pH swing day to night, and yet almost all tanks see that happen. Complete gas exchange is much harder than people assume.
     
    Lasse and MaiReef like this.
  3. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    Randy, could you tell me how I can make sure my gas exchange is at the acceptable level? Currently, all I can say is my fish look healthy, but that's just my feeling, not concrete test result or anything.
     
  4. shred5

    shred5 Valuable Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    412
    Location:
    Waukesha, Wi
    I have been in the reef hobby 30+ years I have seen allot of people go skimmerless , this is nothing new period it has been debated a million times.. Can you do it sure but every person I know who did unless running a small tank has gone back to a skimmer. It is simple why that is.. It is the easiest method to keep a reef aquarium. Far easier than doing extra water changes, far easier than maintaining a fuge. Plus it can handle disasters far better like a few few fish dying. A algae filter or fuge can not grow algae fast enough to make up for that especially if you cant get to the fish or what ever dies. so guess where the algae grows?

    Plus it is by far the best for gas exchange and maintaining ph. Want to start dumping kalk in to help with ph....

    Another thing is do not believe everything you read on the forums. I have seen so many scammers that say they are doing something and they are not or as long and have not. Some people like to exaggerate a little.

    Remember success in this hobby is not measured in months or even a years it is being able to maintain a tank for many years.

    Remember I am not saying it can not be done or has not been done I am just saying most people eventually go back to a skimmer.

    For some reason some people who go skimmerless feel like some sort of pioneer. When I first got in the hobby there was no skimmers in the U.S. yet or very hard to get. We started with trickle filters and grew maco algae in the tank. Some people had more macro algae than corals.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    MartinWaite likes this.
  5. Erick Camargo

    Erick Camargo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    13
    I removed the skimmer form my tank cuz the RSM250 skimmer is not good enough for the propose. Too much micro bubbles, high temperature on the pump and every evaporation from the water changes the skimming level inside the skimmer body.. and the pump noise is terrible!
     
  6. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    Thank you for your openness, Dave. I appreciate your opinion. That's why I felt scary doing this and wanted to ask. I was so supersized so many people are doing it. But, yes, I can see what you mean. If someone fails, he may not want to talk about it in public simply because it may not look them cool. So I can imagine things discussed here are not necessarily true.

    "For some reason some people who go skimmerless feel like some sort of pioneer." This comment is funny because I almost felt like that. Ha ha! I knew some people have already done it before, but because this was, for me, a very surprising fact, I was like "what's going on? Is it real?" I almost felt like a pioneer. You can laugh at me because I'm laughing at myself!

    Don't worry, I keep my skimmer. It's quite new, and I can't throw it away. :D
     
  7. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    Erick, it's too bad you got something that didn't work for you. Mine is different. It's working very well, I control sump water level using a solenoid valve, and noise is very very low. For me, the thing was the combination of well-working skimmer and also-well-working chaeto. For me, this is a strange symptom because when something works good it's almost always good, but in my case I want to alleviate the effect a bit. ;)
     
  8. Lasse

    Lasse Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,445
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    Location:
    Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
    There is a lot of misunderstanding about ammonia levels and how toxic it is. In Swedish (and many other language) we have different name for the ammonia ion (NH4) and for the ammonia gas (NH3) – British English -> ammonia and ammoniac -> the same in Swedish – ammonium and amoniak. Its only the ammonium gas (NH3, ammoniac) that are toxic – the ion NH4 is nontoxic. However – the percentage of each species in the NH4/NH3 is temperature and pH depended. If you have 25 degree C and a pH at 8 – the toxic NH3 is 5 % of the NH4/NH3 complex -> pH 8,5 -> 15 % is in the toxic form. Calculated on your 0.25 ppm measurement -> at pH 8 -> NH3 is around 0.013 ppm; pH 8.5 -> NH3 is around 0,038 ppm. This means that you probably did not have toxic levels in your aquaria. There is on test – that I have not try because its difficult to get in Europe – that only test the toxic form – Seachem alert – and its indicate if the NH3 level rise above 0.05 ppm

    NH4 itself it’s no poison – it’s the nutrient that most algae prefer. That’s the reason why I´m like nitrification filters that in a fast way take away the NH4 but a good and large fuge will take it also.

    And a fuge with a good flow and lot of growing Chaeto (producing oxygen and a large surface) is a number one nitrification system also. It has been shown in freshwater with dense growth of Elodea.



    Sincerely Lasse
     
  9. Lasse

    Lasse Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,445
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    Location:
    Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
    I have been running skimmerless tanks in the past but in my new aquaria I have an oversized skimmer - but of only one reason - gas exchange. I run it very, very dry and with this skimmer I have now I can do that and have a high air intake and water flow - without any microbubbles in the display. the skimmer its the best gas exchanger you can have.

    Sincerely Lasse
     
    MartinWaite likes this.
  10. shred5

    shred5 Valuable Member R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    412
    Location:
    Waukesha, Wi
    Sometime typing a post sound worse than it is.

    Well most people leave this hobby quietly and do not say much they just stop posting, doesn't matter if something bad happened or not.
    But a few people are just flat out liars trying to get raises out of people, it is the internet now a days I guess. For example: This was a long time ago on another forum in a thread on Not doing water changes this guy post these pic of his reef. He said it was like 3 years without a water change and he has all these hard to keep corals and anemones like a magnifica anemone. To keep it short someone found a thread by him where it was a build thread and he was claiming his tank was only 3 months old.

    Most people are honest in this hobby and a few just exaggerate a little.

    Like I said a reef can be kept without a skimmer just more work especially on bigger tanks..

    Like I said we did not have skimmers in the early saltwater days and the very beginning of the reef hobby. They were developed to make life easier and do a better job. Will something come out to do a better job? Maybe.
     
  11. Sea MunnKey

    Sea MunnKey Valuable Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,319
    Likes Received:
    438
    Location:
    Toronto, CANADA / BORNEO Island
    I "suck" when I first started in this hobby and still AM ... :D. Sucky as always, Me ... the only time when you don't suck is when you hit the pinnacle of Excellence in Reefing ... No, Never Ever!!! :(
     
    Yas likes this.
  12. Frag's

    Frag's New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    3
    My tank was running skimmerless, for the last 3! years and for the last 2! years It only had rodi top up and maybe food one time a week, As ;Smuggrin had ;Dummy;Dummy and a new home, And all the gear was off so only the life in the sump was keeping it going,,,,, I did take out all the sps and lps but on the rock the sps was coming back and had more fish and lots of life,,, The pic is from the last week before the big strip:( and a clip of the sump working,,
    DSC04313_zpse3b3246e (1).jpg
     
    dricc, Chris Villalobos and Yas like this.
  13. Jr'sReef

    Jr'sReef Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    42
    Looking at your display I did notice something similar in my skimmerless tank, and that was that my zoas/palys (not all), and some other corals that I had purchased turned a brownish color after sometime. Not sure if it was coincidence or if it directly related to the fact that we don't skim
     
    Yas likes this.
  14. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    Sea MunnKey, when you say "sucky as always," you mean water change? o_O
     
  15. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    Wow, this is very interesting. You feed them in your sump! Looks like a matured sump though.
     
  16. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    Jr'Reef, I'm interested in this as well. I want to achieve colorful corals, not pale, not brownish.
     
  17. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    25,344
    Likes Received:
    13,387
    Location:
    Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
    O2 meters are expensive and O2 kits may not be very precise. I’ve never used either one. So I don’t have a good answer.
     
    Yas likes this.
  18. Yas

    Yas Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Japan
    That's ok, Randy. Thank you! But I understand I have to at least keep an eye on it.
     
  19. Cae

    Cae Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Queensland Australia
    Sounds great, good luck with it all and keep us posted cause I would like to see the results after 12 months.
     
  20. Chris Villalobos

    Chris Villalobos Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Boise, ID, USA
    If the only thing we are using a skimmer for anymore is gas exchange I know of many less expensive and less noisy options. How about the old fashion bubble stone? I've also seen that in some supercharged refugiums the algae respiration alone was enough to raise the ph of a system.
     
    elisa h likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...