Skimmer ratings and how we should interpret them

Kanga

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So here I sit reading post of what skimmers are rated at. Does anyone know what criteria manufacturers use? Is there a standard criteria or is it a thumbsuck.

I mean I can think of so many variables, Bioload, feeding regime, water changes.
Even salinity and temp would effect efficiency of the skimmer.

And then the important thing, how should we interpret skimmer ratings by the manufacturer?

Come on guys any help?
 

jacquesb

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Good morning, Mr Kanga, Sir - a very good question indeed. I wonder if Obi Wan or Mille would like to assist in answering part of your question.

My personal opinion is: it's not specifically the rating the really makes a difference - it's the contact time which the tiny air-bubbles have WITH the water in the skimmer, that makes the skimmer good, really good or just OK (or bad ;-)

I would personally think that a tall skimmer should take out more DOC's and POC's, than a short fat skimmer should take out.

BUT - that's my take on this..... Not a skimmer guru though.

Something else I just want to add to your list, Kanga - oils in the water (from human skin / hand in the water constantly) also affects skimmer performance, as does the "cleanliness" of the skimmer.

I would also think that where the skimmer's located, also makes a difference to how the skimmer performs.... (where in the sump/external, direct feed from tank, etc...)
 
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Very interesting!

Also what about pump size, that should surely make a difference? heard of some people putting bigger pumps and it helped, but if you pump too quickly wouldn't that cut down your contact time?

Why doesn't somebody do a controlled test, using the same water supply and run different skimmers simultaneously!
 

Alan

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Geeez, on most skimmers i would halve the rating as i do believe it is mostly a thumb suck i have not ever heard of a tank being over skimmed. Having said that there are skimmers that rate better because of bubble production, water flow and design that have realistic ratings for the moment that is, but this will change when a new model hits the market and moves it uo a notch. The best way to judge a skimmer is by the state of your system.
 

jacquesb

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That sounds logical Alan - So - the crux of the matter, is that one should not JUST go on skimmer rating as such. Even though this makes it more difficult for the newby to choose the correct skimmer - the MOST important bit is if the life-stock one keeps is happy and growing well....

That said - this will also most likely depend on WHAT life-stock one has in the tank, and how much you feed this life-stock.

As Irie Ivan has also basically proven - it does NOT matter what size skimmer you really have, because it will still not remove ALL detritus from the water.

So - skimmers should NOT be rated on how much water it "can supposedly skim" - they should be rated on how MUCH life stock you can safely keep with the skimmer.... (based upon fish sizes and feeding).... (I know - this complicates things).

One thing that Mille once told me, JUST before I bought my TS2 - "the skimmer does NOT know how much water is in your tank".....
 
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I saw on an Australian site where they rate the skimmers on a normal bioload and a high bioload.
 

jacquesb

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That's interesting Alfie - I think that THAT would be the better/best way to go. Then at least one would know IF your skimmer can really handle the amount of fish you want to keep (and corals of course - not that they produce SO MUCH crap as fish do ;-)

You don't perhaps have the URL somewhere, do you?
 

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