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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I'm looking into skimmers at the moment & noticed that there are all different types. My system will be a 75g dt & either a 20g or 30g sump depending on what i can fit in the stand.

I've been looking at the REEF OCTOPUS NWB150 6” PINWHEEL IN SUMP PROTEIN SKIMMER........ My question is what is the difference between this model & say REEF OCTOPUS DNW150 6” RECIRCULATING PROTEIN SKIMMER? Besides $100 in price?

What would work better for me? Using a sump

Thanks, Frankie
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Actually, you have stumbled on one of the best skimmer(s) for the money.

With a recirc skimmer, rather than having the skimmer pump feed both air and water into the skimmer body, it is only really feeding air into the body (acting more like an air pump). This makes it more efficient in some ways but also requires a secondary pump to also feed the water into the skimmer body at a controlled rate. Recirc tend to be a bit more effective than their single-pass counter parts. This is mostly due to the skimmer pump not multitasking, and that you can slow down the flow rate so there is more air per pass. Are they worth the additional cost... it depends.

Recirc skimmer can out-preform other more expensive skimmer. For example, there are cases where that Recirculating Octopus out-skimmed $800 top of the line skimmer. But there is a cost. Recirc clean better, but more slowly. So as tank sizes increase, that inefficiency begins to plague them. It becomes the problem that no matter how clean the skimmer can perform, if it can not get to the organics before the bacteria/algae gets to them, there is little point. Finally, while Recirc are better than their equivalent single pass skimmer, other better single-pass skimmer can skim better at a lower cost as well because they pull more air per unit of water processed. It becomes an interesting trade-off.

Now, for your tank. The NWB-150 will be perfectly fine skimming the 75g+sump. The Recirc DNWB skimmer will perform better, but I do not think it will perform $100 better. There are other $300 range skimmer that would perform better and give you better build quality. However, if you are planning a very low-bioload tank, then the Recirc makes more sense as recirc are better at lower-organic loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply Future Doc,

My plan for the tank is to have some beginner lps & soft corals, possibly venture into some anemones when the time is right. I do like fish in reef tanks, but prob wont go too crazy. Couple of clowns, tang of some sort, maybe a wrasse.

You mentioned other skimmers that would be in the price range I'm working with, that would preform better & give better build quality? Please tell me more...... I appreciate any help you give me & any recommendation would be very much worth considering.

I think what you guys do on TRT is outstanding & I'm happy to be a part of it! (wish it was around 10 years ago!)
 

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Pretty sure TRT beens around for more than ten years. Lol. Futuredoc is like the skimmer guru round these parts. He's got some good advice. I like the space saving skimmer models personally so I can have more accessible space in the sump. Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had no idea about it if it was around.....lol

I can see your point about saving space, it always seems to be a issue especially when your limited to the bottom section of a stand. Thats kind of my issue with the sump, don't know what I will be able to fit. Waiting on the actual stand & tank to get to me so I can measure.

Just wanna be sure I don't make a mistake with something as important as a skimmer.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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I am just a humble skimmer geek. ;) If there is something to be found out about skimmers I will find it.... I hope.

OK, I am a fan of the current Octopus line of skimmers (I have not always been and if you dig back, you might find where I disliked their previous models). In any case, there is a few "soft" price ceilings in the skimmer world. For the most part, it is nearly impossible to find a solid skimmer for less than $170-200 range. This is where the NWB-150 really shines as I feel it is the best skimmer in that price point. Other skimmers at the price-point often use inexpensive Atman Pumps. Octopus uses the a Ocean-runner clone of sorts which over time they have improved while the Atmans's reliability has not. For example, Eshopps makes decent skimmers and uses Atman pumps. The do a good job and hold up fairly well for the price but they seem to be just a half-step behind the basic Octopus skimmer. Octopus has other skimmer that use better pumps such as Sicce and their own "Bubble Blaster". Sicces have become the industry standard for a lot of brands and it seems like everyone has a Sicce model. These range from about $280 up to $500 plus. The older model Sicce's were as reliable as a 1980's Jaguar with rusted wiring, so you have to be careful as some older pumps (the PSK-2500) are still lurking for unaware consumers. These Sicce driven skimmers (some Eshopps, Vertex, SWC, Trigger, Avast) all are good skimmers so picking between them comes down to ease of use and price. The skimmer pump makes the skimmer so do not pay more for the same pump. The upper line of the Octopus range used Bubble Blaster pumps. In reality, these were meant as a replacement for the poor-starting Sicces but Octopus kept them for themselves. These pumps compete with those top-of-the-line RedDragon pumps ($600+ for the pump alone) but at a 1/3 cost. They are almost as good.... and I mean almost. They use just slightly more energy and achieve a hair less performance. However, if you really want the premium skimmers, then are almost worth it. Other skimmer makes such as ASM and Reef-Dynamics (formerly Euro-Reef) build quality skimmer but their approach is a bit dated. They work, no doubt, but their price-point for what they are selling is off. For example, my old Euro-Reef (now Reef-Dynamics) used to cost $200-ish in 2005, now they are asking $399... for nearly the same product. In fact, I think the quality decreased as the swapped to Eco-Plus pumps compared to the Sedra (actually made by the same company, just a less version).

Now, so far I have been mostly talking about pump aspirated skimmers (skimmers that use the pump and a pinwheel to draw and dice air into the water). Other skimmer techs also exist. For example, becketts are great skimmers, but require a lot of energy to run so they are better on 200-300g+ tanks. Spray-Induction (AquaC) is nearly as dated as the ox-cart and uses a lot of energy and performs poorly due to some other design flaws. Down-drafts have the same issues, post-pump venturis as well. While air-driven skimmer can still work, most hobbyist do not like the extra maintenance associated with them.

Now, in my skimmer thread ;) I did have a list of good skimmers for less than $250 or so. The Octopus is my favorite currently but there are definitely other options depending on the features. For example, if Vertex ever gets around to actually shipping their new Omega skimmer, I think that is a good choice for a smaller premium skimmer ($400).

For understanding the Octopus line, look at it this way:
NWB-150 : Chevrolet
XS/Diablo/Xtreme : Buick
Super Reef Octopus: Cadillac
Recircs are the SS/Trackday option
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Oh, and ironically, I do not like the "space-savers" :lol: For me, putting the pump under the skimmer makes it harder for me to clean the pump when it needs it. Sure, it might go 3-6 months without an issue but I do not want a headache no matter when it happens. I almost feel that many space-saver options actually need more space as you need to move the skimmer more to access the pump. However, I know that space is valuable and sometimes that is the only way to get the skimmer capacity in the space you have.... so it is a trade-off. Purely a personal choice. Oh, and they often cost more... :lol: and I have not figure out why other than they can charge more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think I'm going to give the Octopus a go, question is which model.....lol Everything you have said makes plenty of sense, being I am one for quality & reliability. The cost is not the deciding factor, I would rather hold off a few weeks & get the better skimmer.

As far as the space saving, I do agree with the pump on the bottom being a potential nightmare. I guess what I have to do is figure out the size of sump I can fit & that will help me decide on the size of the skimmer.

I'm glad you replied to my post, since now I know where to find you when I need to pick your brain....lol

Thanks again, Frankie
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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No problem, pick away any time.... but to warn you, I can give very complex and long-winded responses :lol:

Now, what type of bioload and coral biotope are you looking to keep? That plays a role in which skimmer will work the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nah the replies have been great!

How do you figure out bioload? And coral bio type? I want to answer your question as accurately as poss.
 

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Bioload: How many fish, what type of fish, and husbandy activity level. For example. 6 fish, but six dwarf gobies are much less than 6 tangs. How much are you wanting to do water changes.

Bio type: The type of coral reef? Softies in a back lagoon, LPS lagoon, SPS reef crest. Each has different care levels and demands
 

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For understanding the Octopus line, look at it this way:
NWB-150 : Chevrolet
XS/Diablo/Xtreme : Buick
Super Reef Octopus: Cadillac
Recircs are the SS/Trackday option
Doc,

I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I've been discussing skimmer options in your Skimmer Thread and the above statement sums up my latest question.

So given the above, would the SRO-1000INT be considered better than the XS-160? Would be great if the answer is a yes because the SRO is a little cheaper than the XS which would make me feel like it's a great deal:agree:
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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I responded in the other thread too.

It is tough between the two (SRO 1000 and the XS-160) both are very similar and will likely do things better depending on the variables. The 160 offers better overall numbers but the 1000 likely offers better numbers per water unit processed. In general, I would prefer the SRO over the XS series but that is really splitting the finest of hairs
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bioload: How many fish, what type of fish, and husbandy activity level. For example. 6 fish, but six dwarf gobies are much less than 6 tangs. How much are you wanting to do water changes.

Bio type: The type of coral reef? Softies in a back lagoon, LPS lagoon, SPS reef crest. Each has different care levels and demands
Whats up FutureDoc?

I haven't chosen the exact fish I want, but I'm thinking around 8-9 fish.
If I had to give you a quick list it would be: 4 clowns (2 percale,2 snowflake), Powder blue tang, Bartlett's Anthias, Firefish, some sort of Wrasse, poss an Angel? Im not sure I will even add that many fish (I don't like crowded aquariums)

As far as corals go, I like them all! lol
Is it ok to mix them? I know they all have different requirements, lighting, flow, so on so forth. I'm not sure about mixing lps with soft corals, or sps with mushrooms or polyps......
What I will most likely do is start out with some beginner corals & see where it takes me.

Unless you have any suggestions
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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OK. Lets begin...

First I want to point out the stocking. 4 clowns is going to be exceedingly problematic once the dominant two clowns pair off. While multiple clowns can exist in a tank, this only really works is extremely large tanks. Often breeding clowns have a territory of up to 3x3 meters, so a 75g tank is basically one small clownfish territory. I know my former breeding female would not let me stick my hand in the tank without drawing blood. As a result, stick with a pair for the 75g. Next, I would recommend against the Powder Blue tang. Most acanthurus need a 6 foot tank at the minimum. These fish tend to stress out when kept in a 4" tank long term and a 75g tank just does not give them enough space. Not enough space combined that these fish tend to be prone to diseases when stressed makes them better for larger tanks. Otherwise, the stocking is not all that bad. Less fish means less work and sometimes (and this is my personal view) that the smaller, less flashy fish can be more interesting. Sure, a powder blue has more of a "wow" factor but blennies and wrasses are much more interesting over time with better personalities (they are not dumb roamers).

Next, corals. A mix is ok. Folks normally recommend "picking" a type. This is because each different group of corals likes different parameters. Some like low flow in low light, others high flow in high light and there are bunches in between. Thus, keeping everyone happy can be problematic. If you want a mix, one has to accept a different attitude, and this is what I said in a different thread talking about a mixed tank:

Not worrying about it.
Accepting that it is not optimal.
Keeping the activated carbon fresh.
Accepting loss due to real estate wars.
Good placement that avoids immediate conflict.
Personally, my nano is a mixed tank but is mostly geared towards softies. My main tank is mostly SPS with a few LPS.

Often, I like to recommend LPS to start off with. Most say softies, but I find that LPS are robust enough for a beginner but still allow someone to either go towards SPS or Softies later down the road. They also tend to be the easiest to remove from a tank if need be. A lot of softies are tough to remove and grow extremely fast, often overgrowing other things. Finally, LPS are better at telling you when things are not perfect (softies not so much) but are more forgiving once corrected unlike SPS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok so Tang is out & down to a pair of clowns (My wife will not be happy about that.) The good news is I do like the smaller guys..... Let's say I start off with LPS corals how do I know how many is too many & how do Polyps and clams work?

Getting back to the fish, considering I stay within the smaller blennie, wrasse, & clowns. What would be a reasonable amount of fish?
 
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