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Equipment Discussion Related To Pumps, Lights, Skimmers, Powerheads And Other Equipment.

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Old April 10th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #1
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Question Protein Skimmer

Can someone tell me the purpose of a Protein Skimmer? What does it do? Can it also be used in a Freshwater system?
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Old April 11th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #2
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Default Skimmers

First a protein skimmer can not be used in fresh they don't work in fresh water, it has something to do with the size of the bubbles.
Second in my opinion a skimmer is one of, if not the most important piece of equipment in setting up a salt water tank. I would not setup a saltwater tank without it. This is not the place to skimp on price, get a good one or you will waste your money on those $69.00 special. Been there done that.
What a protein skimmer does is remove disolved solids, and toxic liquids(think fish waste)from your water, something no other filter can do. Most filter can only take out waste in solid form, but it is not only the solid that you see, it is what you don't see thats just as bad, if not worse for your fish.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:36 AM   #3
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Skimmers (also known as foam fractionators) originated in sewer processing plants. The original design was modified so that one can employ it on a salt water tank. It will not work on a freshwater setup because the bubbles will not create a foam thick enough to travel up the collection cup.

The great thing about skimmers is the fact that they are able to remove waste before it goes through the breakdown cycle and polutes the water. When this waste is removed by the skimmer your biological filter doesn't have to work on breaking it down to amonia, nitrite and then nitrates, thus water changes can be effectively minimized. (though not eliminated). Good skimmer will pull a lot of dark, stinky skimmate and have to be cleaned regularly (I empty and clean the cup every 2 days). Like stevem already mentioned I wouldn't setup a tank without a good skimmer either, although there are technologies effectively replacing it (provided you have the space)
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:17 AM   #4
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I strongly suggest using one with any saltwater tank.
There comes a time in this hobby when it's just cheaper to silicone around the windows.
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