Do I Need A Protein Skimmer?

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers' started by Camkha1234, Jan 18, 2012.

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  1. Camkha1234

    Camkha1234 Great Blue Whale

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    I am just starting the cycle for my new saltwater aquarium. After it's done, I was thinking about adding corals. If I do, will I need a protein skimmer? I have also heard that some corals like dirtier water. I wasn't sure what that meant. Please reply!
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  3. kreator

    kreator Flamingo Tongue

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    I have a 28 and all I run is a skimmer, my water is clear and my tank is stable, but that skimmer pulls out some stuff that made me a true believer quick. Best investment you will make for your tank.
  4. arentspowell

    arentspowell Skunk Shrimp

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    Some corals do like slightly dirtier water however running a skimmer does help keep things cleaner, and easier to manage IMO. What size tank do you have?
  5. sticksmith23

    sticksmith23 Giant Squid

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    Tank size and more about what you are running will help us out. What kind of corals do you want to keep? Softies like Kenya trees like "dirtier" water. Most will like cleaner water though. Depending on your tank size though, you may able to get away with weekly or bi-weekly water changes.
  6. Todd_Sails

    Todd_Sails Giant Squid

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    It pulls out organics, which helps keep the Nitrates down I thought?
  7. m2434

    m2434 Giant Squid

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    "dirty" is a relative term. All of our tanks are "dirty" compared to the ocean. No corals come from "dirty" environments compared to our tanks. Some corals may benefit from extra food sources, such as bacterioplankton. These can be low in our systems and a few corals are reported to do better with slightly "dirtier" water. However, in my experience, all corals I have kept, with and without good filtration (which tends to include a skimmer), have done noticeably better with a better filtration. This includes some that like "dirtier" water.

    You don't need a skimmer though. You need filtration, there are many ways to accomplish this. Whether or not a skimmer would be beneficial depends mostly on the tank size. Larger tanks get tougher to maintain without a skimmer. Smaller tanks can be easier to maintain without a skimmer though, as small skimmers don't work well and add a lot more problems than they solve IMHO.

    So, need more info.
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  9. SeminoleB

    SeminoleB Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Anything that will help stabilize your water quality is a plus!
  10. khowst

    khowst Bangghai Cardinal

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    A skimmer is a type of filtration, not THE type of filtration. Its just another piece of kit in the toolbox. HoB filters, skimmers, ATS, canisters are all supplimentary items. None of them alone is bad. Its just a part of a way to do it. I ran an ATS on my tank for probably 6 months before I got a skimmer. Only reason I bought it cause it was too good of a deal to pass up. Without getting really scientific and ten lbs. brain on it they all do clean the water in slightly different ways. I would say one or two methods of filtration in conjuction with each other is the best route, although that is purely my personal opinion.

    I would say its definitely possible to have to little as well as too much filtration depending on what your goal is. Like mentioned above if you are keeping softies, zoas, shrooms, kenya, etc then no you dont have to have high quality super pure water. My nuclear green paly's for example exploded when I forgot to turn my skimmer back on for like a day & a half. The heads looked bigger and fuller and I honestly (maybe jedi mind trick myself) think I have visible growth signs in a 24 hour period leaving the skimmer off. Now I put it in my regimen about once a week. Some types of SPS for example are much more demanding on water quality.
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  11. Servillius

    Servillius Teardrop Maxima Clam

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    There are a variety of subtleties that get offered in response to this question. hey are all correct. That said, I think until you are much more experienced at keeping corals, the answer is a definite YES.

    Also, don't skimp. Lights and skimmers should be good. That is not to say buy the most expensive. There is much for sale at median or below price that is excellent. Just make sure what you buy is well regarded, well made, and adequate to the task.

    A cheap, underpowered skimmer is not "better than nothing." I fell for that way too often and failed.
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  12. khowst

    khowst Bangghai Cardinal

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    +K.

    Very true and very good point, and I second it. Lights like mentioned can be debated, argued and beat to death for days. Filtration on the other hand is something best kept in the realm of brand name & reputable dealers and away from the ebay no-names. Truely a get what you pay for item, and not something to skimp on.