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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
Im getting back into the hobby and have a question regarding a protein skimmer on a 20 gallon tall. Now, i've heard that with sufficient surface aggitation on smaller aquariums (not sure if a 20 gallon is classified as small) a skimmer is unnecessary. I have an aquaclear 110 (rated for 60-110 g aquariums) that I use as a HOB refugium, right now with some chaeto and live rock rubble in it, along with two eclipse six filter pads. The aquaclear has an adjustable flow rate, which right now is on its lowest setting. The surface hasn't gotten a protein film yet, but its a relatively new setup. Im wondering what all your opinions are on this matter, and if you could suggest a skimmer that does the job but doesn't break the bank. Oh, and here are a few pictures of the set up.
Thanks all, I hope I posted this in the proper section. If not, I apologize, im new =)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So ive been doing some research and found that skimmers are used to keep the water nitrate free, air-water exchange causes the nitrates to latch to small microbubbles where they are trapped in a container, and so on. The key purpose seems to be nitrate removal. I currently have a refugium set up with chaeto and live rock, the chaeto specifically to absorb nitrates. Do skimmers remove phosphates from the water as well? I've also heard mangroves can be quite an efficient method of nitrate removal. I may give those a try.... although it seems to me that the chaeto and mangroves would end up competing for nutrients and one or the other may end up absorbing all of the nitrates, in which case I would have a useless dying mangrove hanging out of my refugium. Just thinkin out loud here, any more opinions?
 

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I don’t have a sump on my 22 that is a project underway, the other thing I have started is vodka dosing, but I just started today so I don’t have any more info on the effectiveness of that yet.
 

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From what I understand it is not really nitrate removal, as much as nitrate prevention. It removes the undisolved organics before they breakdown. That is the point of vodka dosing; it helps grow bacteria the bacteria and (wrong term but micro plankton) consumes the nitrates and the skimmer can pull out the organic growth.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks scribbles, I think im going to go ahead and buy a skimmer, it sounds like a sound investment, and it couldn't hurt to try it. Could anyone suggest one that I could get for under $100 that he/she has had experience with?
 

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I have had 3, I bought the Sea clone, it was HORRIBLE, I cannot overstate that, I have had the red sea, and I really liked it very simple to use and efficient. And am currently running the Odessa 75, I could not afford the red sea, and I wont run a tank without a skimmer.

Sea clone Aquarium Systems Seaclone Protein Skimmer in Pet Supplies on eBay!

Red sea
Protein skimmers: Red Sea Prizm Deluxe protein skimmers for saltwater aquariums

Odessa 75, It is great but is extremely picky about water level adjustment, http://shop.aquatraders.com/Odyssea-PS75-Protein-Skimmer-p/43012.htmadjustment
 

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For the price it seems like the oddysea one is the best buy. I think ill place an order later this afternoon, thanks for the help all.
 

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That is why I got it, when you get it let me know and I can help you set it up and break it in. The only bad thing about it is it has no instructions.
 
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