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Old 11-08-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
Megan_09
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Do I need a Protein Skimmer?


Im about to set up a salt water tank. It is a 75 gallon and I have a fluval 305 canister on it. I plan on putting live sand it in with live rock. The fish will be a picasso trigger, a lionfish and a snowflake eel. My question is do I need a protein skimmer for this tank if they are the only three fish in there and I have the live rock and live sand. I have seem some places that say yes and others that say no. Any help would be great.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:24 AM   #2
richkor
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Do you "need" one? No. Will one be beneficial to the point that many experienced hobbyists would call it a requirement? Yes. I would never run a saltwater tank without one unless it was something really small, like a 10-20g lightly stocked unit. Protein skimmers pull a lot of "stuff" out of the water column into a separate collection cup for disposal. The cannister filter collects it, but it is still in the water column until the media is removed/cleaned. This is why cannisters tend to be known as nitrate factories. I'd replace the cannister with a protein skimmer. Your live rock and sand will provide plenty of natural filtration with the skimmer and normal maintenance removing nutrients and left over food, etc.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
Megan_09
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ok, so I could go a month or so without one and do some extra cleaning until then. The lionfish and eel would be the first to go in. I have to special order the trigger from the petco I work at but I can get in a good quality one from them.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
richkor
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correct....I'll defer to your judgement on your specific Petco. Overall, their repuation isn't very good on TRT, but some stores are going to be better than others depending on who is running the department.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:11 AM   #5
Megan_09
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yea understand on the petco part. At mine our GM has had salt water for over 20 years and the aquatics specialist has had them for about 30. Both can tell you off the bat what type of fish is right for each tank and how to set them up. They had both told me I could wait about a month on the skimmer but while reading I found other stories. I think ill go with the skimmer, make life easier. I want to do this right from the start, have the cannister for extra filtration and extra water flow.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
richkor
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Sounds like you have one of the better Petcos. I have seen a few with people working there with little to no experience and giving really bad advice. The one by me stopped selling saltwater livestock and I thanked them. The employees were relieved they stopped. There is another one that does a pretty good job with their training and knowing what they don't know, which is good. They have no problem telling a customer "I think, but let me double check to make sure". I have no problme with that type of answer.

As for the protein skimmer, it is the old "what you can do versus what you should do" debate. I'd say getting the protein skimmer is the right move. If you have LR and LS, then the cannister won't be needed for extra filtration. It will likely cause more harm than good unless cleaned religiously. For extra water flow, get a powerhead. It is cheaper and works better as it won't hold detrius anywhere.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #7
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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