No Skimmer

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration' started by silvano14, 29 Jul 2009.

  1. silvano14

    silvano14

    Joined:
    3 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it possible to successfully run a marine tank without a skimmer?
    If not why not?
    I read on another post that if you have an algae filter you can do away with your skimmer.
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Jaak

    Jaak

    Joined:
    2 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Good question! It is a very debatable subject. Some guys have had huge success going with a ATS only. Look at Mudshark's skimmerless reef as an example. How long has your system been running?
     
  4. werner5

    werner5

    Joined:
    3 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    500
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    krugersdorp
    lets wait for the pros tagging along :thumbup:
     
  5. Mtroboer

    Mtroboer

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    637
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Kimberley
    I would also love to try that one day! The amount and diversity of life is apparently much better- which also makes sense to me as the skimmer is pulling out beneficial organisms along with the unwanted nasties! But I would seriously not recommend beginners to try this!:)
     
  6. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    A skimmer removes particulate matter from the water before it has a chance to decompose into ammonia, which is then broken down in the nitrogen cycle. You will be left with nitrate in the water which must be removed by dilution. In a new system the biological filtration will not be stable enough to cope with an overload, which could be brought on by a death, overfeeding or other means. Suffice to say that at some stage there will be an overload. Your skimmer will prevent massive ammonia poisoning by removing the particulate matter and dissolved organic compounds(DOC's)

    That's the million dollar question. A system with tons of copods, isopods, filter-feeders, cleanup crew and most importantly an experienced owner, is ready to have it's skimmer switched off intermittently, to get the benefit of not removing all of the organisms from the water. In some cases, such as a heavily stocked system, it will never be advisable to switch off your skimmer.

    Good response.
     
    Jaak likes this.
  7. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    11 May 2008
    Posts:
    2,795
    Likes Received:
    56
    Location:
    JHB
    YES

    The real question is can someone without significant experience and vast understanding of reef chemistry and dynamics run a successfull marine tank without a skimmer ?

    If you have this sort of knowledge and experience then there is enough evidence in the literature to suggest that this is indeed possible, Mudshark is the local MASA guru on this ... and I think his reef is absolutely Stunning :thumbup:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 30 Jul 2009
  8. LRS

    LRS

    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    PE
    I've been running my 50l nano for 8 months with quite a high bio load without a skimmer. My fish and coral,to my surprise, are doing very well and I've lost nothing so far (touch wood)! Just good luck I guess and I do water changes every week which probably compensate for the lack of a skimmer.
     
  9. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    3,370
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Cape Town

    Any chance that we might see some pics of you system
     
  10. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Yes, IF you have a very light bio load.

    I have run a very successful skimmerless tank for a few years. It was successful because I only had 3 small fish in a 1.2m tank, and because I had lots of macro algae growing in the tank (and of course a properly set up deep live sand bed...)

    As stated above, given some (severe) restrictions, you can do away with your skimmer. You must realize, though, that there is no such thing as a free lunch. By going without a skimmer you SEVERELY limit your bio load, and you remove a large "safety net" from your system. If something goes wrong which would perhaps have caused a minor upset in a properly skimmed system, you would stand a good chance of wiping out your tank.

    I would suggest that one should stick with a skimmed system until one has gathered a few years of experience, and then only go skimmerless if one has the self control to not over-stock the tank, and the knowledge to know when that tank is being over stocked.

    Relying on only an "algae filter" is not very clever, IMHO. Although algae filters can work quite well, it does not give one extra bio-load capacity, and certainly does not for any "safety net" for when something goes wrong in the tank (as inevatably will happen...)

    Hennie
     
  11. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    If you do regular large water changes you can run without a skimmer
     
  12. silvano14

    silvano14 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    3 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    124
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the replies. I am about to install an algae filter and I read on one thread that the guys there then remove their skimmers, so I was just wondering. However this is not a cheap hobby and it is best to be safe rather than sorry.

    To answer Jaak's question my tank has been running for two years.

    I am now bored with it and it is not looking very good. So I am doing a major make over and will then SLOWLY start to add more new inhabitants.

    This is my step one of 3 majors steps that I am going to do.

    Great to get all the input, it is much appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    Thanks Hennie. Just to clear up that I don't advise anyone to rely on any one aspect of filtration as this would be asking for trouble. The average current marine setup has biological filtration in the form live rock, sand beds(substrate), DSB, "algae filters", filter feeders are some that I can think of. There is chemical filtration available in the form of activated carbon, phosphate remover, nitrate reduction and mechanical filtration in the form sponge/floss filters and protein skimmers. I agree with Hennie that you should use as many of these options as possible when starting out in the hobby, as this will give you the "cleanest" tank possible, ensuring that all of the occupants will be happy and healthy.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Skimmer Forum Date
NP pellets and Skimmers General Discussions and Advice Yesterday at 18:55
Skimmer bubbles Advanced Topics Yesterday at 13:19
Overflowing skimmer Curve7 - 2 days Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration Yesterday at 11:35
[wtd] Large skimmer 2000l and over Wanted 30 Nov 2016
[wtd] reefoctopus xps 5000 skimmer Wanted 29 Nov 2016
What to choose (skimmer) Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration 19 Nov 2016
[wtd] bubble magus sp4000 pump or skimmer Wanted 15 Nov 2016