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Old 02-25-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
janichols89
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Do I need a protein skimmer?


Hey guys!
So I had a 36 gallon freshwater tank and I was planning on upgrading so I started scanning craigslist for cheap bigger tanks. Long story short I got a 110 gallon with an overflow tank and a sump with a bunch of bio balls and I decided to turn it into a FOWLR. I have live rock already I'm not exactly sure how much because I didn't get it all at one time, but if I were to estimate I'd say I have about 25-30 lbs of it, maybe a little more and it's almost a week into the cycling process. I've been researching a lot of different things on the internet mostly forums because I like seeing everybody's opinion. This is only my second post and my question is do you think I need a protein skimmer? I don't know anything about them to be honest so don't leave out any details in your response ha, I've seen overflow tanks at LFS that have circles cut out in them and I think that might be for protein skimmers, but I don't know. But I do know that mine does not have such holes. Anyways, let me know what you guys think and thanks a lot!
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #2
scubadan1989
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u will need a protein skimmer for sure. and the holes on the side are bulkhead can be used for lots of stuff but ur protein skimmer would would be in ur sump or if u get a hang on the back one hanging on the back of ur tank lol.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
FutureDoc
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Do you need a skimmer: no. Will you likely have more success with your tank with a skimmer: yes!

Skimmers do a lot of really good things for the tank, remove organics, aerate, cool, etc... so life is just better with a skimmer on that sized tank. I normally put it this way, on tanks less than 20g skimmers are not worth it. Tanks 20g-50g, skimmers are functionally optional as water changes can keep up. On a 50+ such as a 110g skimmers save money, time, and livestock lives. While you do not "need" one, it make things easier to the point that having one seems like a necessity.

Oh, my recommendation: Minimum: Octopus NWB150, slightly better: Octopus NWB200, Octopus Extreme 160, Preferred: Super Reef Octopus 2000INT

Now, since you are newer, the biggest "trick" in the hobby is the so-called "ratings" on skimmers. Most are a down right lie, some are severely stretching it, and a very honest few are slightly realistic. So when looking at skimmers, do not look at the rating, look at the pump (the air draw) and the skimmer body size. You want a pump draw at at least 15-20scfh and a minimum body diameter size of 6 inchs.
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Last edited by FutureDoc; 02-25-2011 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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Welcome to TRT!!



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Old 02-25-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
janichols89
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Okay it looks like I'm getting a skimmer. Is there a size that I should get for a 110? and does it just sit in my sump or what?
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
janichols89
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Okay I'll look into those. And do you think I should get rid of the bio balls? It's either they're the best things in the world or the worst things in the world according to the majority of the forums I've checked out.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:14 PM   #7
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if you are turning it into a FOWLR without any corals in the future, then you can leave them bio-balls in there, but i would not. unless your bioload is extreme your LR and the other surfaces of the system will provide enough bacterial real estate to maintain the nitrogen cycle adequately.

they are a tool from a bygone era. they just trap detritus and make it harder to remove it. creating nitrates in return and allowing detritus to rot and release phosphates back into the water column.

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Old 02-25-2011, 02:38 PM   #8
janichols89
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Okay very cool thanks very much to Geoff and FutureDoc as well I really appreciate it!
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