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Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. Default Skimmer size question


    0 Not allowed!
    I recently had to remove my Remora skimmer because it sprung a leak. and for the last few weeks I have not had any skimmer at all on my tank. My water quality hasn't changed much, but the nitrates are a little higher requiring more frequent water changes and I think I just diagnosed a sponge outbreak which would indicate high nutrient levels.

    Today a friend offered me a hob skimmer/refugium combo that he never used because he decided to get out of the hobby. It is only rated to 75 gallons and my system is 110g. I think I am going to try it out just to see how well the combo works while I figure out what I am going to do about building a sump and getting a new skimmer.

    My question is what are people's thoughts about using a skimmer that is not rated to your system size? My thoughts are some skimming is better than none.

    On a side note, has anyone ever had any experience with a skimmer/refugium combo. Not sure who makes the one I was offered, but it sounds like an interesting idea so I thought I would check it out.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I would always recommend a skimmer rated for twice your total water volume

    But having said that, a under rated skimmer is better than no skimmer at all. I have a under rated skimmer on my 180 gallon reef with a large(ish) algae scrubber and macro algae in the sump. The combination of the three give me excellent water quality.

    I would suggest trying that skimmer until you get your sump and a proper sized skimmer for it. If you can put some macro algae in the refugium compartment, that would also help
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    I would always recommend a skimmer rated for twice your total water volume
    That used to be true for all skimmers, however with recent advances in technology there has been a drastic increase in efficiency of these skimmers. The 2x theory is no longer necessary for many brands of skimmers. For example, the Reef Octopus skimmers with the Bubble Blaster pumps are extremely efficient and are very accurately rated.

    Personally, I am a fan of determining the planned stocking level of a tank, and determining what kind of tank it will be. If the tank will be a FOWLR then you can get away with a smaller skimmer, however if you intend to do a reef then I would find the skimmer appropriate for your tank size, and then go one step higher. This is the approach I took with my tank. As a result I ended up with the SRO-3000INT on my 220gal tank. Although I have a skimmer with a highly efficient Bubble Blaster pump, I still went larger because I planned on some a relatively high bio-load for my reef.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I still see the rule of thumb for skimmers to be twice the size of your tank. Is it accurate, I have no proof either way. I found a site in the past that showed rated tank size and actual tank size. The large skimmers lots ~100g off their manufacture rating. The smaller ones were about half. That list was made in 09 so it is outdated.

    I have used a reef octopus 150 on my 120g and it worked great. For the size of your tank I would go with a skimmer rated for 150+ gallons and consider a recirculating skimmer especially if you have a big bioload. I would buy something like this... Click Here

    There is another one that is similar that runs ~279 with a smaller footprint but is still for 180g.

    There are some other ones that have the pump inside the skimmer body which helps for sumps with very little room to spare. I personally like external skimmers so they don't fluctuate when the sump water level changes.

    My friend just setup a coralife cone skimmer and says he likes it so far over his aquaC. Click here

    In the past I have had aquaC, octopus, some brand I don't remember and coralife. Had the worst luck with aquaC. The coralife did good for what it was and the octopus is great.
    300g + 240g in wall build! - Follow Here
    120g SW Reef, LED lights, cool fish and corals!

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The simple fact is, those "actual tank sizes" are concocted by hobbyists who approach the subject with a bias. I'm not saying that manufacturers accurately rate their skimmers, because they definitely do not. However, one has to realize, that those ratings are based on moderate stocking levels. The truth is, those skimmers CAN handle a tank at the size they are rated for providing that tank is seriously understocked. Obviously none of us stock our tanks that way and thus we need larger skimmers. The "double the rated tank size" guide is as outdated and as useless as the "watts per gallon" or "X number of inches of fish per gallon(s)" guides as well. The only reason to double your skimmer size today is simply to account for excessive bioloads. Like so many areas of this hobby, the "recommendations" online have spiraled out of control away from the simple towards the ridiculous. The result has been new hobbyists buying more light, more filtration, and more "stuff" than they need to get going in this hobby.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above

    Internet folklore aside, I think why the rule of thumb of getting a skimmer that is rated for twice the volume is still being used today is that people’s stocking plans / approaches can change over time. When you have a skimmer with more capacity, you could avoid purchasing / upgrading to another skimmer later on if you choose stock more towards a heavy stocked level or even up-grade to a slightly larger tank.

    With a typical mid-price point and average quality skimmer, like the bubble magnus, the difference can be between $280 and $330 but you increase from a maximum stated capacity of 240 gallons to 400 gallons assuming the manufacture’s stated capacities are somewhat accurate (which I would say they are somewhat closer to accurate for that manufacture than most). Spending an extra $50 now can help you avoid spending $330 dollars later. At least this is my reason for recommending this approach as if I would have spent a little more money 2 years ago I would not be looking at up-grading one of my skimmers right now. When it comes to filtration, most of us do want to have a little extra as it can also help us to have a more stable aquarium as well.

    I’m not saying bigger is always better tho. With top quality skimmers that would less of an issue and you can have a lot more faith in the maximum stated capacities, but most people do not want to spend in the neighbourhood of $500+ on a single pc of equipment.

    Both approaches can give you a great and healthy set-up

    I certainly would not apply this rule of thumb to anything else other than filtration as that almost certainly leads to spending more money than what is reasonable.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The problem is that it is completely possible to over-slim a tank. Protein skimmers are non-discriminate pieces of equipment. Along with all the negative stuff, you remove some of the good stuff too. You really end up shooting yourself in the foot if you end up with too large of a skimmer. What's the point in skimming off so much stuff that you have to dose or do more frequent water changes just to keep up with your skimmer? This is certainly one area where over filtrating is completely possible.

    I'll be perfectly honest with you, I have come to a conclusion that the real issue we face in the hobby today is actually ignorance. We have a new generation of hobbyists that have grown into the aquarium hobby with the advanced technology. They never dealt with under gravel filters, air stone driven skimmers and dump box wave makers. They have been so spoiled by the advances in technology there is not a real deep understanding of what is actually going on inside the tank. The recommendations are not keeping up with the advances in technology, and in ways they are headed in the opposite direction. With today's technology, we are doing more with less. We are generating more PAR, skimming more, and pushing more water but we are doing it with far more efficient equipment. The manufacturers are keeping up with the technology and somewhat basing their recommended tank sizes on that advanced technology. On the other hand, the old information and old recommendations are being regurgitated online and in some cases, even being expanded. The result has been tanks being way over lighted (even noted by Jason Fox) and being over skimmed. If I had listened to the "conventional" wisdom of the internet, I would have purchased the SRO5000 skimmer for my tank. Thankfully I ignored that "wisdom" and only purchased the SRO3000. The 5000 is rated for a 400gal or 300gal heavily stocked, and my 3000 is rated for a 300. Since my tank is a 220 with a 40 gal sump, some would even suggest that the SRO5000 would have been insufficient. I would have to bet that anyone who actually believes that has never seen either one of these beasts in action. The SRO3000 is more than sufficient for my tank, and having seen the 5000 in action, I couldn't stock my 220 to a level that would require such a monstrosity without running into other issues. I would put my SRO3000 up against any skimmer from 6-10 years ago that was rated for a comparable sized tank and I'll guarantee that it will out perform it. I'd put it up against any skimmer from that same time period that would be in accordance to the above stated "guide" and I would bet on my SRO3000; no questions asked.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Yup, no way I would have bought a SRO5000 either. Those are what I put in the catigory of higher end skimmers that will actually handle what they are rated for, and likely a lot more. I have not seen those skimmers used, but I am farmiler with the older versions of the bubble blaster pump and seen them in action on other skimmers. Those things work amazingly well

    You have to know what your buying I guess as well
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Question, how can over skimming be bad? Is it taking out more elements which would be added back by dosing?

    @cliff, that's the hard part knowing what your getting. In all the time I've been doing this Skimmers have been wildly debated. Most comparisons I found were out dated or seemed a bias review. For me, it was tough finding good skimmer information for large tanks with big Bio load.

    How could you scientifically test manufacturer claim vs actual?

    I saw a Skimmer rated for fowlr 300g tank or 150g sps tank per manufacturer. To me, that means the bioload is important to account for which can be difficult to calculate.

    :)
    300g + 240g in wall build! - Follow Here
    120g SW Reef, LED lights, cool fish and corals!

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    When it comes to stuff like that, I go by first hand experience or by checking out another follow hobbyist’s set-up and getting the benefit of their first hand experience in person. Knowing a lot of people through our local aquarium society here really helps with that. I start there before finding other information. It makes researching stuff like this a lot easier and you can better figure out which info is good and what is a load of BS. What has helped me was to learn about the pumps used in skimmers. Once you get a good feel for what pumps are good, then it is a lot easier to figure out if the skimmer will be any good or not. IME, the mid quality skimmers and mid price point skimmers (bubble magnus, Vertex, Skimz,….. etc) are somewhat over stated in their ratings which I have always felt was related to the pumps more than anything. The higher end and very high priced skimmers with Sicce (spelling?) and Bubble-blaster pumps for example (like many of the Reef Octopus skimmers) do not have overrated capacities and one may even argue they are understated.

    IMO, its almost like comparing a Ferrari with a Ford Focus. Sure they’re both cars, but one of them is a little more expensive than the other and one of them is going to out preform the other if you know what I mean.

    In theory, you certain could skim too much. As a lot of life forms need a least some proteins from the water to survive, you could take out too much of the protein content from the water for them to live. I have aslo read that over skimming can remove far too much of some needed trace elements from the water (one that would require more complex dosing), but I can't remember the book I found that in. From what I had read, you would need a seriously over rated skimmer to achieve this tho, many times more than the total water volume in most situations.

    I have yet to find a very good way to calculate bio load, other than talking with other hobbyists with much more experience than I have and get their opinions to help categorize it as low, moderate, or high. I wish it was more black and white as well

    Once again, this is based on my experiences and research.


    Edit: The below article could help explain what a skimmer removes from the water, a lot better than I can explain it

    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/2/aafeature
    Last edited by Cliff; 05-12-2013 at 06:35 AM.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

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