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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a 55 gallon display and a 20 gallon sump. It has been up and running for over a year now and I have a small problem. I am still having to do weekly water changes. All my levels are fine except ammonia. I change my water right when my ammonia climbs to any readable level even though all my other levels remain 0 (P.S. I would not even mind Bi weekly changes i just would like to be able leave town and not have to worry about teaching someone how to change the water if I'm gone longer than a week...)So my question is this... I have a pump that is to small for my sump currently it is a marineland maxi jet 1100 so it's only pumping at about 175gph after taking the head into consideration. So I am trying to decide do I need to upgrade this pump or should I leave it how it is and add a good protine skimmer? Also if you think I deffently should go with a new pump instead of a skimmer do you know of a protein skimmer that comes without a pump and this Marineland would work with. The mainland would pump 300gph to a skimmer. If you could give me any input on these two questions I would greatly appreciate it!

A little background on my tank:
It is mainly a SPS reef tank but not overly stocked at all! I also have a handful of small fish like damsels and 2 clowns. I have a custom filtration set up I made and would like to eventually get rid of because it is tough to clean and change the carbon hints on wanting a skimmer...

Thanks for all the help!!!
-John*
 

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Not sure why you are comparing a pump with a skimmer? (Maybe your not that is what it seemd to me, Please correct me if I'm wrong.) They are entirly differant pieces of equipmant.
A pump just moves water a skimmer takes nutrient directly out of the column.
There are only two ways to do this, one is a skimmer and two is water changes.

Also if you are going with a SPS dominated reef, weekly water changes are Ideal.
You have to replenish elements that is in the Salt. (dosing is also an option but not my preferance).
With SPS its about water quality and elements.
Ammonia, Phosphates and other nutrient should be prevented.
And many succcesfull SPS Reefs have religious weekly water changes to keep a Low Nutrient environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No you are completely right they are two different pices of equiptment all together. My question was should I buy a skimmer to help with the ammonia problem or not even bother because my flow is so low it would not matter and all the problems are due to the flow rate? I did not know if people would say it is deffently a flow problem or you should just get a slimmer the flow is decent?
Thanks for the reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh no in the tank I have a 1050gph power head and another 950gph power head and the return pump. And a small power head in my sump.
 

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IMO you should get a Skimmer. Not sure what you are using as a filter but I would take that out as well. A skimmer to remove nutrient and Surface Bacteria in you tank will be the best filter you can buy.
 

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Just tagging along.

Interested in better undrestanding why he'd even be getting ammonia readings in a cycled tank. Would feedings, even a slight over feeding produce enough of an imbalance to fuel bacteria that breaks organics into ammonia faster than there are other bacteria to convert to nitrite > nitrates?

Or is something else at play here as well?

P.S. I too agree a skimmer would be a good choice. You'll definitely want to do both eventually, but a skimmer will help pull waste 24/7 and hopefully help minimize ammonia buildup.
 
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