Skimming & Bacteria

mfollen

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What’s everyone’s experiences in success of acropora health in relation to your protein skimming and/or the availability of bacteria in the water column from skimming?

It would be very helpful to hear different approaches to skimming and how that impacts success.

Do you skim 24/7, part time, not at all? Why? Does organic availability or bacteria play a role in this decision?

This discussion might help aquarists with newer systems better get into the groove of an established system.
 
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mfollen

mfollen

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Is that decision to allow more organics in the water column at night or also more of a long term view?
 

Chaswood79

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Is that decision to allow more organics in the water column at night or also more of a long term view?
Nope
The opposite. The skimmer is on at night 12am-12pm when the lights are off. The skimmer is off when the lights are on to allow more organics in the water column when the corals are being blasted by 350-500 par.
 

SeaDweller

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I skim DRY (empty the cup every 2+ weeks) and dose bacteria weekly, currently MB7 and Eco Balance; seems like all is very well in my tank. I does bacteria to maintain biodiversity
 

Pedoconfuego

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There is no easy way to tell what type or how much bacteria is in your water so I don’t think anyone will be able to tell you how skimming affects our acropora really. From what I understand bacteria will always be in the water even if you skim more than most do.
I like to use a carbon source to boost bacteria, which benefits things from the bottom up which in turn will help the acropora. There are also many who think adding bottled bacteria doesn’t benefit a healthy stable tank as well. I have used vinegar for a long time and never needed to add a bacteria for it to work. I have tried once or twice and never noticed a difference so I am with the side that thinks once the tank is going well there is no need for any other bacteria and the dominate strain will always out compete the other.
 

blasterman

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Horses for courses...... A big tank with a lot of fish is going to be easier to skim than a smaller one and not create a nutrient roller coaster.

Case in point, I have a 20 long (I consider that a really small tank for SPS) that has SPS on one side and rapidly growing paly colonies on the other. Everybody is happy. That tank devours nutrients like a sewage plant and if I skim for any period of time nitrate / P04 drop to barely a trace on my kits and within a few days my blue stag and birdsnest start protesting. I actually have to watch my nutrient levels before a bi weekly water change. Ah the joys of running SPS in a small tank vs my old 125.

Short form: consistency of nutrient levels is most important. A lot of reefers over skim young tanks to correct for immediate nitrate reduction and end up doing a yo-yo.
 
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mfollen

mfollen

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@blasterman Is the yo-yo an over removal of organics and/or bacteria? Or more-so just inconsistent inorganic nutrients?

@Pedoconfuego interesting take, makes sense. Do you run a refugium or other algae-based nutrient export? Or solely rely on the carbon dosing?
 

LARedstickreefer

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I let my skimmer run 24/7 but the cup only goes on when my nutrients rise.

The skimmer is also good for aeration of the water, which is why I let it go non stop like that.
 
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