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#1
Wizzy

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What are the benefits, if any, of not skimming bacteria/microflora out of the water?

I am now planning on trying to get as large a sump as possible and then creating a section for a protein skimmer, refugium, and return area.

I will set up the aquarium skimmerless and only add a protein skimmer if I feel that the tank needs it.

Need more input- Wizzy :happy:

------------------------------------------------------------

I am planning on setting up a 120 gallon display tank with a 60 gallon sump.

The sump would contain a refugium in the 20+ gallon range (I am trying to figure out ways to make it larger)

I am debating whether to use a deep sand bed in my DT/Refugium (what's the best depth)?

My water change schedule would be 10% every 2-3 months.

I want to keep a wide range of Soft, LPS, and SPS corals.

Is this feasible?

Would adding a skimmer be beneficial or would it strip the water of too many good elements?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

Edited by Wizzy, 19 March 2012 - 05:09 PM.


#2
dweeeezy

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Don't quote me on this but i'm just trying to help. With a 120 gallon and with water changes every 2-3 months a protein skimmer is probably necessary. Some people do "not" use a protein skimmer but they do have a weekly water change regimen.

Edited by dweeeezy, 20 February 2012 - 09:13 PM.


#3
altolamprologus

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Sounds like a perfect plan if you throw in a skimmer. FWIW the 750 gallon (plus sump is more like 900-1000) tank at my work doesn't have mechanical filtration (do skimmers count as mechanical?). It just has 2 giant skimmers and a water change every couple months. Been running with high end acros for like 8 years.

In your case a skimmer plus refugium and deep sand bed would guarantee perfect water quality. You would just have to keep up on dosing since you can't rely on water changes to replenish minerals.

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

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#4
Wizzy

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Don't quote me on this but i'm just trying to help. With a 120 gallon and with water changes every 2-3 months a protein skimmer is probably necessary. Some people do "not" use a protein skimmer but they do have a weekly water change regimen.



Sounds like a perfect plan if you throw in a skimmer. FWIW the 750 gallon (plus sump is more like 900-1000) tank at my work doesn't have mechanical filtration (do skimmers count as mechanical?). It just has 2 giant skimmers and a water change every couple months. Been running with high end acros for like 8 years.

In your case a skimmer plus refugium and deep sand bed would guarantee perfect water quality. You would just have to keep up on dosing since you can't rely on water changes to replenish minerals.


Thanks for the responses guys.

The only reason I am asking about whether a skimmer is necessary is because Kgoldy told me in one of my threads that a skimmer would remove too many good elements and also he doesn't run a skimmer on his aquarium which, in my opinion, is very nice.

I'd love to hear some more opinions on this topic though, so everyone, please, post away :D

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#5
altolamprologus

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http://www.advanceda...010/2/aafeature

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

29 gallon reef; 20 gallon angler lagoon

Posted Image


#6
Mojorizn

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Well, a skimmer is mechanical filtration if ya wanna get technical.

I like using a skimmer and filter socks in my tank. (65g) This combo, imo, allows me to feed and target feed heavily while maintaining water quality. But I also run 2 reactors ... one carbon ...one GFO and do ~weekly WC's.

Sure, I get issues from time to time, but not often. This is how i'm used to doing it...ya know?

I think with bigger tanks, like yours, frequent WC's get a little unfeasible and costly, so a skimmer might be a good idea.....who knows?
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#7
Wizzy

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http://www.advanceda...010/2/aafeature


To me, that article makes it sound like a skimmer is pointless- only removing microflora?

What is your understanding?


Well, a skimmer is mechanical filtration if ya wanna get technical.

I like using a skimmer and filter socks in my tank. (65g) This combo, imo, allows me to feed and target feed heavily while maintaining water quality. But I also run 2 reactors ... one carbon ...one GFO and do ~weekly WC's.

Sure, I get issues from time to time, but not often. This is how i'm used to doing it...ya know?

I think with bigger tanks, like yours, frequent WC's get a little unfeasible and costly, so a skimmer might be a good idea.....who knows?


Thanks for the input.

I always thought a skimmer was necessary from what I've read here, but now I'm having doubts which I want to have cleared up.


Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#8
altolamprologus

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To me, that article makes it sound like a skimmer is pointless- only removing microflora?

What is your understanding?

I wouldn't quite say it's pointless, but it does support your concern about it taking too much stuff from the water. That said, I've never heard of a large tank running skimmerless with very few water changes having success, though by no means does that mean one doesn't exist.

Now that I've thought about it more, I think you could run it skimmerless. If you can find a way to get the fuge into the 30 gallon range and slap a good light on it with a bunch of chaeto, that should remove more than enough nitrates and phosphates to keep the system healthy. As long as you stock very slowly and allow the system's natural denitrification to take hold, you may be able to create a tank that's more balanced and healthier than heavily skimmed ones.

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

29 gallon reef; 20 gallon angler lagoon

Posted Image


#9
Mojorizn

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If ya think about it....skimmers, carbon, GFO, Chemipure, Purigen, Peroxide, Bio-pellets are all "cheats" in a sense.

I'm sure ya could maintain a natural system with some planning.
Seems to me, the only thing ya would have to do with a large mixed SPS system is dose ALK/Cal/Mag unless ya had a continuous WC system in place.

There was a doctor here in CC that had a 180 SPS reef with a dialysis machine hooked into the system.
Push button WC's, dosing, continuous WC's ....pretty awesome. Little on the pricey end for the average hobbyist however.

+1 on the controller ... like an RO/DI unit....once ya have one, ya won't wanna live without.
following your build .... best-o-luck
Mojo's 65 RR MH+T5 *Thinking of LED*
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Fun with Google Sketchup
RLK Dosing Programs
It's not the plant ... it's the laws

"The longer I wait, the more I learn and the more $$ I save."
"Por que la leche queste mas, que los huevos...."

#10
Wizzy

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I wouldn't quite say it's pointless, but it does support your concern about it taking too much stuff from the water. That said, I've never heard of a large tank running skimmerless with very few water changes having success, though by no means does that mean one doesn't exist.

Now that I've thought about it more, I think you could run it skimmerless. If you can find a way to get the fuge into the 30 gallon range and slap a good light on it with a bunch of chaeto, that should remove more than enough nitrates and phosphates to keep the system healthy. As long as you stock very slowly and allow the system's natural denitrification to take hold, you may be able to create a tank that's more balanced and healthier than heavily skimmed ones.



If ya think about it....skimmers, carbon, GFO, Chemipure, Purigen, Peroxide, Bio-pellets are all "cheats" in a sense.

I'm sure ya could maintain a natural system with some planning.
Seems to me, the only thing ya would have to do with a large mixed SPS system is dose ALK/Cal/Mag unless ya had a continuous WC system in place.

There was a doctor here in CC that had a 180 SPS reef with a dialysis machine hooked into the system.
Push button WC's, dosing, continuous WC's ....pretty awesome. Little on the pricey end for the average hobbyist however.

+1 on the controller ... like an RO/DI unit....once ya have one, ya won't wanna live without.
following your build .... best-o-luck


Thanks for the responses guys.

I would like some more opinions on skimmer v.s. no skimmer.

If I do the DSB what's the best size (inches)?

Should I use a DSB in the DT and Fuge?

Should I use mud in the Fuge?

I plan on NOT having HH such as bristleworms, asterina stars, stomatella, etc. (I will have copepods for mandarins).

Will not having HH affect my system as long as I add a mix of CUC (snails, crabs, etc)?

Anything else you can help me with?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#11
Wizzy

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#12
Formula462

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Well, a skimmer is mechanical filtration if ya wanna get technical.

I like using a skimmer and filter socks in my tank. (65g) This combo, imo, allows me to feed and target feed heavily while maintaining water quality. But I also run 2 reactors ... one carbon ...one GFO and do ~weekly WC's.

Sure, I get issues from time to time, but not often. This is how i'm used to doing it...ya know?

I think with bigger tanks, like yours, frequent WC's get a little unfeasible and costly, so a skimmer might be a good idea.....who knows?


We have a 225G true non-mechanical/filterless at work. SPS can live in it, color up, but won't really grow. Have to do LOTS of water changes too. Like 80 gallons a week to be exact.

#13
Wizzy

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We have a 225G true non-mechanical/filterless at work. SPS can live in it, color up, but won't really grow. Have to do LOTS of water changes too. Like 80 gallons a week to be exact.


This is where I'm confused.

Kgoldy's system, for example, seems to be a true non-mechanical/filterless system and yet doesn't do any water changes.

What's the difference?

Do you use a refugium, etc?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#14
john&steph

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The only large systems would required weekly large water changes. You could use filter socks and carbon to try and help. From what I read ORA does not use skimmers on their systems but very frequent water changes.

I think it boils down to having your cake and eat it too. If you want to keep your water pure and not remove "good" nutrients with your skimmer your going to have to do frequent water changes. If you don't want to put in the time to do the water changes you will need a skimmer.

#15
Formula462

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This is where I'm confused.

Kgoldy's system, for example, seems to be a true non-mechanical/filterless system and yet doesn't do any water changes.

What's the difference?

Do you use a refugium, etc?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:


Stocking list includes: Powder Brown Tang, Black Tang, Copperbanded Butterfly(well behaved), Falco Hawk(about to get harpooned), Blue Spot Jawfish x2, Mated Pair ORA Ultra Grade Picasso Clowns, Mated Pair of Yellow Watchmen Gobies w/giant Tiger Pistol, Leopard Wrasse, Radiant Wrasse, Pipefish that live behind rock wall, Banded Coral Shrimp, Skunk Shrimp x2, CUC, Big Giant Sea Cucumber, I am probably forgetting something else.

All sorts of LPS, and zoanthids, Red planet, Shrooms, Gorgonians, etc

Feeding: Copious amounts of Garlic/Zoe soaked PE mysis twice daily, California Black Worms twice daily (lots), Arcti-Pods, Phytos, Cylco-peeze, enriched brine daily.

long story short, this tank gets FED and I mean FED. It has Tubastrea just randomly growing all over and reproducing Gorgonians, Blue Sponge and alot of other filter feeding inverts.

fed



oh and the Red Planet looks badass in that tank, it really does not grow fast at all. It has a darker green base and its polyps are blood red but it shows little progression. Meanwhile in the coral bay tank right next to it, the Red Planet frags have to get moved around ever other week to keep them from growing onto the crate. They have lighter red polyps with whiter tips (indicating rapid growth) they table out way fast.

#16
Wizzy

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The only large systems would required weekly large water changes. You could use filter socks and carbon to try and help. From what I read ORA does not use skimmers on their systems but very frequent water changes.

I think it boils down to having your cake and eat it too. If you want to keep your water pure and not remove "good" nutrients with your skimmer your going to have to do frequent water changes. If you don't want to put in the time to do the water changes you will need a skimmer.



Stocking list includes: Powder Brown Tang, Black Tang, Copperbanded Butterfly(well behaved), Falco Hawk(about to get harpooned), Blue Spot Jawfish x2, Mated Pair ORA Ultra Grade Picasso Clowns, Mated Pair of Yellow Watchmen Gobies w/giant Tiger Pistol, Leopard Wrasse, Radiant Wrasse, Pipefish that live behind rock wall, Banded Coral Shrimp, Skunk Shrimp x2, CUC, Big Giant Sea Cucumber, I am probably forgetting something else.

All sorts of LPS, and zoanthids, Red planet, Shrooms, Gorgonians, etc

Feeding: Copious amounts of Garlic/Zoe soaked PE mysis twice daily, California Black Worms twice daily (lots), Arcti-Pods, Phytos, Cylco-peeze, enriched brine daily.

long story short, this tank gets FED and I mean FED. It has Tubastrea just randomly growing all over and reproducing Gorgonians, Blue Sponge and alot of other filter feeding inverts.

fed



oh and the Red Planet looks badass in that tank, it really does not grow fast at all. It has a darker green base and its polyps are blood red but it shows little progression. Meanwhile in the coral bay tank right next to it, the Red Planet frags have to get moved around ever other week to keep them from growing onto the crate. They have lighter red polyps with whiter tips (indicating rapid growth) they table out way fast.


Thanks for the info guys.

If anyone else has any input on this topic, please let me know.

I was planning on getting a skimmer until I got some people who said it would be better not to use one.

I just need to know whether a tank like mine will benefit or not from a skimmer.

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#17
Wizzy

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#18
mndfreeze

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Unless you are good or very lucky at running a true biological system I would invest in the skimmer, if only that. I'm a fan of biological controls in a tank but I still have a bag o carbon and a skimmer in my systems. I find a healthy fuge is the biggest factor of all, but without a skimmer problems always seem to crop up.

The carbon I find is good for corals that like to poison each other when they detect each other close.

#19
Wizzy

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Unless you are good or very lucky at running a true biological system I would invest in the skimmer, if only that. I'm a fan of biological controls in a tank but I still have a bag o carbon and a skimmer in my systems. I find a healthy fuge is the biggest factor of all, but without a skimmer problems always seem to crop up.

The carbon I find is good for corals that like to poison each other when they detect each other close.


Thanks for the info, but I was under the impression that a Protein Skimmer mostly removes microflora in the tank (thus removing nutrients from the water).

So, wouldn't it be better to have the micro flora in a system where water changes were only every 2-3 months?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#20
mndfreeze

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A skimmer removes Dissolved organic carbons. DOC.

#21
Wizzy

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A skimmer removes Dissolved organic carbons. DOC.


Is that in addition to micro flora, or am I wrong about that?

Also, so DOC is like decayed material, organic waste, etc ( i.e. extra food that has rotted, dead fish in the water, etc)?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:

#22
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It does remove some microorganisms; although, they are themselves carriers of organic carbon.
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#23
Seamonkey84

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Thanks for the responses guys.

I would like some more opinions on skimmer v.s. no skimmer.

I plan on NOT having HH such as bristleworms, asterina stars, stomatella, etc. (I will have copepods for mandarins).

Will not having HH affect my system as long as I add a mix of CUC (snails, crabs, etc)?

Anything else you can help me with?

Thanks- Wizzy :happy:


If you plan on having a dsb you absolutely need those type of critters to clean your detritus and turn over your sand. Bristle worms, spegetti worms, mini brittle stars just to name a few are better at detritus control than most things you can buy (expensive too if you do buy them separately as a clean up package) plus they can reproduce in your tank depending on the need for them. I also recommend regular re-seeding of these type creatures along with Copepods and such thorough true live sand or grunge at least yearly just to keep diversity and balance.

#24
Trick

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well let us know how your skimmerless system goes if you do set it up....... I would do a huge refugium though if i were you. A 20 gallon sump is tiny. I had a 20 gallon long for a sump on my 15 gallon tall.

#25
Wizzy

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It does remove some microorganisms; although, they are themselves carriers of organic carbon.
http://www.advanceda...011/3/aafeature


So much info! omgomgomg

Thanks :D

If you plan on having a dsb you absolutely need those type of critters to clean your detritus and turn over your sand. Bristle worms, spegetti worms, mini brittle stars just to name a few are better at detritus control than most things you can buy (expensive too if you do buy them separately as a clean up package) plus they can reproduce in your tank depending on the need for them. I also recommend regular re-seeding of these type creatures along with Copepods and such thorough true live sand or grunge at least yearly just to keep diversity and balance.


I may actually have bristleworms in my tank. I'm experimenting w/my 12 gallon right now.

well let us know how your skimmerless system goes if you do set it up....... I would do a huge refugium though if i were you. A 20 gallon sump is tiny. I had a 20 gallon long for a sump on my 15 gallon tall.


I will, but the sump will actually be 60 gallons, not 20.

------------------------------------------------------

What are the benefits, if any, of not skimming bacteria/microflora out of the water?

I am now planning on trying to get as large a sump as possible and then creating a section for a protein skimmer, refugium, and return area.

I will set up the aquarium skimmerless and only add a protein skimmer if I feel that the tank needs it.

Need more input- Wizzy :happy: