Is bigger really always better?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Jacojs, 7 Aug 2010.

  1. Jacojs

    Jacojs

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    Hi everyone.

    Something has been bothering me for a while now. Everybody here says go for the biggest skimmer you can afford but not smaller than double your tank volume. I latched onto this idea the minute I read it because it does make sense BUT then someone told me that if you go too big on a skimmer you can actually skim out food for the filter feeders and corals causing slow gowth, no growth or even death, now this also makes sense.

    Any info, experience or views please.

    Jaco.
     
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  3. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    i believe a big skimmer is good but like all things it should be in moderation, for example, if you had a uge bioload, a overstocked tank plus a reef you would need a uge skimmer and then maybe a skimmer rated double will not work anymore then you would prob need a skimmer closer 4 times.

    thats my 2c
     
  4. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    This can lead into quite an interesting discussion. There are new views on the subject with the latest generation of skimmers. Here is my understanding.

    The function of the skimmer is to remove DOC (dissolved organic carbons) whilst this is the primary function they also remove some particulate matter along with bacteria and phytoplankton. There is a long list of substances that is removed but in short by their removal the skimmer lowers the chemical and biological oxygen demand reducing nitrate build up.

    The skimmer along with organic and inorganic carbons also removes suspended solids. This can be good and bad. The good is that these solids do not break down adding to the DSB or filter load and that the clarity of the water is improved allowing better visibility and therefor light to reach your corals. The bad is that they do remove a food source. But generally there is so much food source in a closed aquarium system, and it is continuously produced, that one would need an extremely large and efficient skimmer to deplete it completely.

    In my opinion the size of a skimmer should have the capacity to, at a minimum, process all of the aquarium water volume in an hour. Most aquariusts with SPS systems look at skimming about 2.5 to 3 times the aquarium volume per hour.
    As a rough guide i would recomend a skimmer capable of about 1.5 to 2 aquarium water volume turnover.
     
    Last edited: 7 Aug 2010
  5. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    A skimmer will only skim out so much, even though its a lot. To get even more out of the water you then go the bacteria route. I dont agree with the writing in red. Bigger allows you to feed more without your tank getting so heavy in phosphates, its also better for when you are in a pickle after a period of no power as it will skim out stuff faster than a smaller skimmer will so you can get back to usual faster. When skimmers are 2x 3x your system volume have been running a while they dont foam all day. As in when you feed yes they will go nuts, but then after that they slow down. That would be when it cant remove anything more. That wont be everything, but it will be a lot. So for your filter feeders you then would need to feed it with some kind of coral food. Going back to the red. You can have a skimmer rated for say 1x your system, you just cant stock as much as you would with a bigger skimmer and your have to be carefull about feeding. So which is better?

    But, saying you might have to feed coral food. Gorgonians are filter feeders (correct me if i'm wrong) and George is running a skimmer well over rated for his tank and possibly zeolith yet his is huge and growing. That would be because of his feeding (brine/krill landing on the coral). So its not such a bad thing IMO
     
  6. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your explanation Nemo :thumbup: Just 2 Q's again, why would a sps system need a bigger skimmer than lps system, sorry but am still learning, secondly lets say I get a skimmer turning over 2 times my tank volume per hour however this is still an unstocked system. Would I need to get a bigger skimmer later on as my live stock increases, and how would one know that it's time to get a bigger skimmer and why not just have bought that bigger skimmer from the start......Aaaaaaw crap now I'm confused again.

    Jaco.
     
  7. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    I have about 300L-350L+ with both tanks & sump & made the big mistake by getting a cheepo shit skimmer rated for 400L that works half day & paying the price for it now. I am currently saving for a Grotech [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT] skimmer hea150 which is rated for a 1000L & costs 4 times of the skimmer I have now but worth every cent & probably should have done this ages ago. As Johan said there are limitations as to how big the skimmer needed & double your water volume is much better.
     
  8. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Some of the free swimming planktonic stuff will be skimmed but there will always be more being produced from the live rock ect
     
  9. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Hi Scuba.

    Thanks for your input, I was thinking more in the line of feather dusters and fan worms although obviously there are other filter feeders as well, but do you actually have to feed the fan worms as well, a bit off topic but hey, wis are my fred :)

    Jaco.
     
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    The SPS guys are extremely concerned with water quality. They do not want Nitrate build up. So the skim heavily and feed heavily. When i say feed i mean feed their fish so that they poop over the corals.

    Guys with softies and some LPS corals do not skim as heavily. Lighting is not that much of an issue and Nitrate of about 15 - 20 is not uncommon.

    Scubaninja hit it on the head for you. Skim big and feed big.
     
  11. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    you dont kave to worry about feather dusters and stuff. They grow no matter how low your nutrients are :p To a degree of course but you get my point. In my 2m i was WAAAAAY over skimming and they just grew like nuts in the sump. Feather Dusters shouldnt really be fed though as they do get out of hand, i had a maroon clown that hosted in them in my old 4ft cause it was so thick. Tube worms are another story, if you think they arent getting enough food you always have the option of trying to feed them
    :thumbup::yeahdude:
     
  12. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Cool thanks dudes!!

    But still how do you know if your bioload is too much for your skimmer?

    Jaco.
     
  13. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    You will have a Nitrite issue and your water will look yellow/green. I would recommend going along with a quality skimmer. Look at the Deltec, Tunze, Bubble King range. You will get good advice from both Tony at D-D and George at Tunze.
     
  14. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    Reeftek is also very good for the price they are. I have a TS3. +-3 times overrated for my tank and it skims like a beast. But i do think that the new range of bubble blaster is something else entirely.. Magic almost ;)
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Yes, TOO big can be wrong. You simply could not have enough bioload to create enough film in the bubbles to fill the neck with bubbles. Thereby your bubbles are not dirty enough, and do not push up all the way in the skimmer neck to overflow to the cup.
    So yes, you can have too big a skimmer on your system.

    so 1.5 to 2 times is ideal.

    Unless you know that in 6 months time you want to upgrade your Nano to a 1000L system.
     
  16. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    the part in red is not actually a problem IMO. All that means is that you have removed what the skimmer can remove and its waiting for more stuff to skim out. A skimmer not having foam to produce isnt an issue really, its the gravity of it having removed everything that is the problem for softies etc;)
     
  17. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Okay everyone.

    Some advice please.

    I am looking at getting myself a tank custom built. The size will be 1200x900x600 and the sump will be 1100x500x400.

    What skimmer do you guys suggest I get that won't need replacing later on and a little off topic, will the DSB footprint be sufficient in a sump this size and which size Tunze pumps can I use if I want 4?

    Jaco.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2010
  18. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    Bubble blaster 3000 would be a great fit for your tannk. If you can afford the bubble blaster 5000 it would be even better
     
  19. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    A Reef Octopus Bubble Blaster 3000 will be ideal for a tank that size or even a skimmer from the Reef Octopus Extreme range. It will keep up with a heavy SPS, or even LPS bioload. I have a SPS dominated tank which is heavily stocked, the tank is 1.2*800*600 and is powered by a Reef Octopus Bubble Blaster 5000.
     
  20. Jacojs

    Jacojs Thread Starter

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    Thanks Ziyaad and Mekaeel :thumbup:

    Anyone like to comment on the part in red please?

    Jaco.
     
  21. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Go for the Tunze 6045's dude! The DSB should be fine.
     
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