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hi im looking for a protein skimmer for my 125gallon PFO. i need to know what a good protein skimmer for it. since i have fish that will outgrow it soon, im lookin for 1 rated for 250gallons. it needs to be stand-alone-i do not have a sump and will not hang a 15-20lb item on the back of glass. and it needs to be inexpensive. can't really pay more than $150.
 

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inexpensive and skimmer dont mix. save some $$$ and look into the Reef Octopus Extreme skimmers. I have the 200 on my 150.
 

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Im not sure there are much in the way of skimmers I would put on anything bigger than a 20H for less than 150 fun dollars, at least one that works well enough to recommend. To an extent, what you pay pretty much is on par with how well it actually works. There are some short cuts and some secrets to doing this hobby on the cheap, skimmers just dont happen to be one of them. Since you dont have a sump and arent willing to hang one on the side (at least I kinda get that impression although I might be wrong...) thats going to seriously limit your choices even if you up the ante on what your willing to budget for a skimmer.

On a tank that size I would seriously consider finding a well used and therefore cheap 55 gallon tank and with a couple of pieces of glass (also cheap) tube of silicon, used 350 gallon overflow box and a Mag Drive 5 install a sump and then house a skimmer in the sump. This would greatly improve your filtration, get some of the other clutter out of your tank and keep things neat and orderly for you. This would also set you up for using several really good reasonably priced skimmers too. This would also allow you to have some additional water capacity to support your fish and make things such as water changes much easier and less intrusive to your tank inhabitants.

Just a thought as I realize we all have confines we have to work around and we all have budgets, especially these days.
 

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You could always try building one if you're handy and brave enough to try. I built one that works pretty good. Including pump and all parts I think it cost me $120. It was for a 40g tank and I only used 4" pipe but it's not that much more to go up to 6". You could do it for around the price you were looking for. Mine is in a sump and you really should look into getting one of those too. A sump build is much simpler too. go on craigslist you should be able to find any size tank you want and I even found a guy selling scrap acrylic real cheap I got some 2-4' pieces for way less than retail. The pump will be the expensive part but again you can find one of those, perhaps even on the site. good luck
 

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In addition to the reef octopus i have been using an Aqua C remora for a few years now and have been really really happy with it. It is a hang on the tank model though. Not sure why you are opposed to this, but without a sump you don't really have a choice. Also they are nowhere near 15-20 lbs in weight. You can look at Welcome to AquaC, Inc.
 

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it will be almost impossible to do a stand alone unless you hob or have something to sit it on thats at the water level of the tank. Reason being if it is on the floor when you turn the pump on it will syphon the water out of your tank and overflow the skimmer on to your floor.
 

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Good point you have made Robert!!! Many over look that simplistic little fact and often do so with disasterous results! Suprises like that are not cool. + 1 to your reply!
 

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You need a sump. If your tank isn't reef ready use an overflow box. Get a 55 gal to throw under your tank and a Mag 7 or 9.5 for a return. At this point you'll be ready to look for a good used skimmer but it will probably cost you at least $200 for one that will do the job.

I know it isn't what you want to hear but it is what you need to do.
 
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