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Protein Skimmers Notes

Posted 08-30-2010 at 08:28 AM by NASAGeek
Updated 09-12-2010 at 04:52 PM by NASAGeek

The main benefit of a protein skimmer is that it removes wastes from the water before it has a chance to break down. This is accomplished by injecting massive amounts of tiny air bubbles into a column of circulating water. As the bubbles rise through the column, proteins and amino acids cling to the skin of the bubbles. As these wastes build up, the bubbles become bigger and eventually overflow into a collection cup. There are three main protein skimmer types; air stone, venturi, and down draft. A venturi type skimmer uses a venturi valve to inject the air and eliminates the need to replace the air stones. They are also more efficient than the air stone protein skimmer. The down draft skimmer by ETSS is probably the most efficient skimmer for larger tanks of 100 gallons or more. The air and water is mixed by forcing water down a 2 inch column filled with bio balls. There are some people that argue protein skimming takes out trace elements along with waste and that you can actually over skim the water. It is true that protein skimmers do remove some trace elements, but this is minute and can be replenished through normal water changes and additives. Protein skimming benefits far out weigh any drawbacks and allow for a heavier bio load than otherwise possible.

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What is Skimming?
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