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Old 12-22-2011, 6:03 PM   #1
SuperClown SuperClown is offline
 
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Can a Skimmer ever be too big?

I got this 30g cube 15/20g open sump it has a Skimmer that came with tthe setup but I was thinking of using my aqua c ev180 external and turning the sump into just a large fuge with some LR and cheato.

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Old 12-23-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
dme330i dme330i is offline
 
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Yes (from an efficiency perspective - e.g., too big may not produce much skimmate), but not an issue in your scenario.

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Old 12-23-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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You don't want your skimmer to be constantly working to pull stuff out. It is much better to have an over sized skimmer that can "rest" and only pull stuff when it needs to.

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Old 12-23-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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You don't want your skimmer to be constantly working to pull stuff out. It is much better to have an over sized skimmer that can "rest" and only pull stuff when it needs to.
What do you mean "only pull stuff when you need to"? I thought the idea of the skimmer is to clean the water of excess proteins as much as possible.

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Old 12-23-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
izoid izoid is offline
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If you have an efficient skimmer it will not always be producing skim mate. The skimmer will pull out all of the excess proteins and then it will settle down until more DOC's are present. The only reason a skimmer will always be producing is if it never cleans the water. The goal is to clean the water completely, rest, and then clean again. Bio load will have an impact on how much needs to be removed but a good skimmer should get rid of it all. Check out the You Tube videos by Reef Dynamics, they do a great job of illustrating this concept.

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Old 12-23-2011, 11:11 PM   #6
SuperClown SuperClown is offline
 
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I understand what u mean and it makes sense to me. Its been crazy cause I got the tank in the middle of a move so I don't even know what the Skimmer is that came with it. It may be a good one it may not just been too busy right now. I will tell u which one I have at another time and then get your opinions on Wich may serve the setup better

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Old 12-23-2011, 11:23 PM   #7
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If you have an efficient skimmer it will not always be producing skim mate. The skimmer will pull out all of the excess proteins and then it will settle down until more DOC's are present. The only reason a skimmer will always be producing is if it never cleans the water. The goal is to clean the water completely, rest, and then clean again. Bio load will have an impact on how much needs to be removed but a good skimmer should get rid of it all. Check out the You Tube videos by Reef Dynamics, they do a great job of illustrating this concept.
Oh I thought you were saying to turn it off periodically. Yeah Thats how a skimmer should be working unless you are getting a very wet skim.

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Old 12-24-2011, 12:42 AM   #8
cr500_af cr500_af is offline
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An oversized skimmer can be run only part of the time if you want. You can do so for noise reasons or for energy savings. Not an issue here, but my new build is using a very oversized skimmer (~400g total, MRC MR4-R skimmer). I am setting the controller up to run the skimmer for 12 hours a day, at night, in order to save on power. This skimmer will do somewhere between 900-1000 gallons, so I don't expect to have water quality issues.

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Old 12-24-2011, 1:48 AM   #9
SuperClown SuperClown is offline
 
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Why that's a mighty big Skimmer u have there

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Old 12-24-2011, 3:29 AM   #10
cr500_af cr500_af is offline
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Why that's a mighty big Skimmer u have there
It was the deal of the century... I had no choice!

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Old 12-24-2011, 11:59 AM   #11
Oil_Fan Oil_Fan is offline
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Why that's a mighty big Skimmer u have there
What is that?? A pick up line??

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Old 12-24-2011, 2:04 PM   #12
jmaneyapanda jmaneyapanda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izoid View Post
If you have an efficient skimmer it will not always be producing skim mate. The skimmer will pull out all of the excess proteins and then it will settle down until more DOC's are present. The only reason a skimmer will always be producing is if it never cleans the water. The goal is to clean the water completely, rest, and then clean again. Bio load will have an impact on how much needs to be removed but a good skimmer should get rid of it all. Check out the You Tube videos by Reef Dynamics, they do a great job of illustrating this concept.
Quote:
Originally Posted by izoid View Post
You don't want your skimmer to be constantly working to pull stuff out. It is much better to have an over sized skimmer that can "rest" and only pull stuff when it needs to.
I dont understand what you're trying to say. How does a skimmer "know" when to work and when not to work? How does it let the DOCs build up to a point where they "need" to be removed?

Maybe link the video youre talking about. I hate thet LA fish guy imbecile, but I'd like to see what hes talking about.

In general, I think people have a misperception about skimming ability. Skimming isnt necessary whats removed into the collection cup. Its whats removed from the water volume (and out of the display tank). If it deposit it in the neck as thje "cake", its skimmed, because its not in the tank water and not in the system. Its just not in the cup.

I personally believed that a tank CANNOT be overskimmed. Take a look at nutrient levels in reef waters in the ocean compared to our aquariums. They are in the orders of tens, hundreds, or even thousands lower than what we accomplish. Furthermore, as I explained, just because its not putting anything in the cup, doesnt mean its not skimming. Foam fractionation is a very specific biochemical activity, and occurs, whether you have brown fluid where you have deemed it to be, or not.

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Old 12-24-2011, 2:44 PM   #13
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Skimmers can be too big and efficient in their workings. When coral keeping started in the late 80s...yes I've been doing this that long.....the practice was to not directly and specifically feed corals as the skimmers were paltry at best......and just feeding the fish produced enough dissolved organics for most corals that were kept back then. Also, the plankton and bacteria that resided in the water column tended to be sufficient. Of course, we kept mostly softies back in those days.

Nowadays, the skimmers are much better. Assuming you under stand how foam fractionation works and that any molecule that has a hydrophobic part to it gets pulled out...........skimmers remove proteins, amino acids, some bacteria, plankton, algal cells....as well as many other types of things. Some are beneficial and some are not.......the skimmer does not discriminate. So, if you use a skimmer that is top notch and removes more of these things than the corals would benefit from then......YES is your answer. Supplemental feeding therefore becomes more of a must for you and the corals you keep. Obviously, corals are continual feeders and not typically designed to feed like we feed them........but it does make us feel better. The truly best way to feed a coral dominant reef is a continual autofeeder type setup......but that is a different topic.

As for how realistic it is to assume that you are actually going to have this issue where your skimmer is TOO efficient? I would lean heavily on the side of NOT having such an issue. It is just rare for us to be so on top of things.....despite our best intentions......to have water that is so clean and devoid of organics that corals suffer. The only way to truly tell is to pay close attention to your best growing colonies and see if you notice a decrease in their usual growth pattern. If you do, you may need to place the skimmer on a timer and/or change your feeding habits.

Merry Christmas to all.

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Old 12-24-2011, 2:53 PM   #14
jmaneyapanda jmaneyapanda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Skimmers can be too big and efficient in their workings. When coral keeping started in the late 80s...yes I've been doing this that long.....the practice was to not directly and specifically feed corals as the skimmers were paltry at best......and just feeding the fish produced enough dissolved organics for most corals that were kept back then. Also, the plankton and bacteria that resided in the water column tended to be sufficient. Of course, we kept mostly softies back in those days.

Nowadays, the skimmers are much better. Assuming you under stand how foam fractionation works and that any molecule that has a hydrophobic part to it gets pulled out...........skimmers remove proteins, amino acids, some bacteria, plankton, algal cells....as well as many other types of things. Some are beneficial and some are not.......the skimmer does not discriminate. So, if you use a skimmer that is top notch and removes more of these things than the corals would benefit from then......YES is your answer. Supplemental feeding therefore becomes more of a must for you and the corals you keep. Obviously, corals are continual feeders and not typically designed to feed like we feed them........but it does make us feel better. The truly best way to feed a coral dominant reef is a continual autofeeder type setup......but that is a different topic.

As for how realistic it is to assume that you are actually going to have this issue where your skimmer is TOO efficient? I would lean heavily on the side of NOT having such an issue. It is just rare for us to be so on top of things.....despite our best intentions......to have water that is so clean and devoid of organics that corals suffer. The only way to truly tell is to pay close attention to your best growing colonies and see if you notice a decrease in their usual growth pattern. If you do, you may need to place the skimmer on a timer and/or change your feeding habits.

Merry Christmas to all.
Assuming these things are in there to begin with. Which is an assumption I'm not willing to make. In principle, yes. But our aquariums are barren wastelands as compared to the plethora of pelagic organisms in the ocean. So, is adding this company's or that company's "life" to feed corals really doing anything? Like you said, thats a WHOLE other topic. But, IMO, no way. I think people who feel they are overskimming and stripping their tanks of the "good things" are kinda deluding themselves as to 1) how much not removing the bad is harming them, and 2) how much benefits and quantity of "good" they actually have.

I am glad to see that someone does have a good understanding of the biomechanics of fractionation, though.

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Old 12-24-2011, 3:05 PM   #15
grouper therapy grouper therapy is offline
 
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For starters none of us know how much of what is being pulled out, so how can we derive at an efficiency of any skimmer?

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Old 12-24-2011, 3:13 PM   #16
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jmaneyapanda View Post
In general, I think people have a misperception about skimming ability. Skimming isnt necessary whats removed into the collection cup. Its whats removed from the water volume (and out of the display tank). If it deposit it in the neck as thje "cake", its skimmed, because its not in the tank water and not in the system. Its just not in the cup.

I personally believed that a tank CANNOT be overskimmed. Take a look at nutrient levels in reef waters in the ocean compared to our aquariums. They are in the orders of tens, hundreds, or even thousands lower than what we accomplish. Furthermore, as I explained, just because its not putting anything in the cup, doesnt mean its not skimming. Foam fractionation is a very specific biochemical activity, and occurs, whether you have brown fluid where you have deemed it to be, or not.
The neck has a very thick amount of skim build up on some tanks. Mine needs cleaning about once a week or so. Things can always be tuned and improved. This is the first tank I have run a skimmer on. I don't want another tank without one. It has made the water so much clearer.

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Old 01-03-2012, 2:14 PM   #17
nholderried65 nholderried65 is offline
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Originally Posted by jmaneyapanda View Post
Assuming these things are in there to begin with. Which is an assumption I'm not willing to make. In principle, yes. But our aquariums are barren wastelands as compared to the plethora of pelagic organisms in the ocean. So, is adding this company's or that company's "life" to feed corals really doing anything? Like you said, thats a WHOLE other topic. But, IMO, no way. I think people who feel they are overskimming and stripping their tanks of the "good things" are kinda deluding themselves as to 1) how much not removing the bad is harming them, and 2) how much benefits and quantity of "good" they actually have.

I am glad to see that someone does have a good understanding of the biomechanics of fractionation, though.
Thank god, someone jumped in. Getting an over sized skinner is a wast plus you are running the risk of an unstable tank. Due to the skinner losing its foam head because of lack of orgaincs. It will begain to skinner once the tank has enought organics in the system.really all a bigger skinner does is give you more head. For example, if a fish dies and you don't pull it out. (Not saying the skinner will pull the fish out) but it will help pull the extra organics helping to prevent spikes. Your better off spending the extra money on a good skinner Like a mrc then spending it on a skimmer that won't work 100%. and I watched that YouTube video that was mentioned above and its not that good. They pretty much bash every skinner besides the once they make.

Edit: And I'm all for over skimming I do it..I'm about to run a skinner rated for 700g on my 100g system but I'm still going to be running a small one as a back up

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Old 01-03-2012, 2:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izoid View Post
You don't want your skimmer to be constantly working to pull stuff out. It is much better to have an over sized skimmer that can "rest" and only pull stuff when it needs to.
This isn't a popular idea (for some reason) but I completely agree.

my thought is that if you are ALWAYS pulling stuff out then your skimmer isn't gaining any ground on the war with DOCs.

I was told this by the guy that use to own EuroReef, back when it WAS EuroReef.

Ya... its cool to see your skimmer ALWAYS producing skim mate, but if you decreasing DOCs then the skim mate should get less and less.

If you are ALWAYS pulling out brown gunk then you have dirty water IMO. Get it clean

Again, just an opinion from a noob.

B

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Old 01-03-2012, 2:37 PM   #19
grouper therapy grouper therapy is offline
 
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A skimmer doesn't loose it's foam head from a lack of organics. Foam can be reduced but not lost since no skimmer is effective enough to remove all the proteins/surfactants .

Last edited by grouper therapy; 01-03-2012 at 2:48 PM.

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Old 01-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #20
ichthyoid ichthyoid is offline
 
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Skimmers

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Originally Posted by grouper therapy View Post
A skimmer doesn't loose it's foam head from a lack of organics. Foam can be reduced but not lost since no skimmer is effective enough to remove all the proteins/surfactants .
+1 ^

Skimmers reach a point where the concentration of surfactants is insufficient to maintain the 'foam head'. According to some basic studies done using cow albumen, this appears to be around 35% removal, with ANY of the skimmers used.

Here is a start for all of the skimmer experts. Surfactants, and more specifically micelle chemistry, is an entire branch unto itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfactant

I worked in an R&D group where surface science was a 'core technology' of the company. The people that understand this would have difficulty modeling skimmer 'efficiency'. Why? There are a lot of different compounds involved, as a start. The analytical equipment involved is $$$$+ too.

Personally, I'm not concerned with 'overskimming'. Just the opposite.
-JMHO

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