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halfpint

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Keep a log of your tank, it will help you when your having a problem, revert back to old parameters. Plus its fun to see how your tank matures. Here is a free one.

 

http://www.download.com/ReefCon-2000/3000-...tml?tag=lst-0-2

 

and their home page...

http://www.infinitysoft.net/ReefCon/

 

 

I read this and said to myself what a handy thing...I downloaded it. Apparently, it isn't compatible with my Windows 64bit... Any reccomendations on other programs or should I just make an Excel sheet.

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Some people say a nano is harder to keep than a larger tank but I don't think it really is. The larger tanks are harder to set up but both are fairly easy, upkeep wise, if you follow some simple rules.

 

1) Don't belive what you read on the internet. I have found about 50% useful info and 50% complete bs (this post will be about 50/50)

 

2) Get a lot of water movement. I can't stress this one enough and this goes in the 50% useful category.

 

3) Get a good lighting source for the type of coral you want to keep. PC is good in some situations. MH is more adaptable to many situations and t5 is the best light possible but only if you have the right setup in mind.

 

4) Don't buy all the fancy equipment. Get an ro/di but do not do an auto topoff. The more auto stuff you have the more areas there are to go awry when you are not looking. A skimmer is also 'fancy' equipment. It is not needed to keep any type of coral and is a detriment in most cases in that it removes beneficial microorganisms. Do I have any proof of this? No, so make your own decision, this one is mine.

 

5) Read other peoples' opinions. If you like their ideas better, follow their advice. I prefer the simple approach and it has always worked for me. But I am just one person so read around and decide for yourself.

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This has been said before, but it can't really be said enough. DO NOT CUT ANY CORNERS! Save yourself some money by buying the best equipment right off the bat. Don't skimp on lights and you won't have to upgrade.

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READ THE Sticky threads.....

 

and remember Nancy said "just say no to bio-balls" J/K :lol:

Edited by Jackopus

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I'm sure this has been said before, but buy the biggest tank you can afford and have room for. Trust me. I probably have enough stuff on my 12 Gallon to keep the 20 gallon sitting in my garage, problem is I dont have room. I went from PC, to more PC, to a MH Pendant, then to MH in the hood. I have a skimmer, mini fuge, chiller, and a dosing pump. Trust me. Bigger is better.

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4) Don't buy all the fancy equipment. Get an ro/di but do not do an auto topoff. The more auto stuff you have the more areas there are to go awry when you are not looking.

 

You've got to be out of your damn mind to recommend that a beginner buy an RO/DI (who can't find RO/DI water in their town to buy?!) but to not buy an auto-topoff?!

 

Whats the number one most important thing to keeping a healthy tank? Stable water parameters. Whats the absolute easiest way to keep salinity constant? Thats right, auto-topoff. This is especially important in a nano.

 

A skimmer is also 'fancy' equipment. It is not needed to keep any type of coral and is a detriment in most cases in that it removes beneficial microorganisms. Do I have any proof of this? No, so make your own decision, this one is mine.

 

If you don't have any proof that skimmers are harmful then you need to keep it out of this thread. Skimmers are a great buffer for novices in that they reduce the damage done by newbie mistakes. There is absolutely no proof that skimmers are harmful to reef tanks, and in fact, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that they are very beneficial to have. They provide a lot of oxygenation to the water, and they remove a ton of organic material, lessening the workload for the biological filter.

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in all fairness to shaggydoo, he warned us his post would be 50% bs

 

LOL, I missed that part. Carry on.

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Stock NC12 DX,

Over 13 months old...

Everything is stock, no reactor, no auto top off, no skimmers...

 

 

Also, no crashes.

 

 

My clown did have a bout of pop-eye, but a few water changes cleared it up....

 

 

Don't over stock

Don't over feed

Keep lighting down to 13-12 hours a day

Make sure your tank is fully cycled

Do your water changes

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You've got to be out of your damn mind to recommend that a beginner buy an RO/DI (who can't find RO/DI water in their town to buy?!) but to not buy an auto-topoff?!

 

Whats the number one most important thing to keeping a healthy tank? Stable water parameters. Whats the absolute easiest way to keep salinity constant? Thats right, auto-topoff. This is especially important in a nano.

If you don't have any proof that skimmers are harmful then you need to keep it out of this thread. Skimmers are a great buffer for novices in that they reduce the damage done by newbie mistakes. There is absolutely no proof that skimmers are harmful to reef tanks, and in fact, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that they are very beneficial to have. They provide a lot of oxygenation to the water, and they remove a ton of organic material, lessening the workload for the biological filter.

 

How hard is it to top off every day manually? Especially on a nano. I have read too many horror stories about an auto-top off failure to ever recommend one.

 

Skimmers are garbage. No one even knows what they pull out of the water... smelly gunk sure. But just about anything will smell once it is removed from its natural environment and allowed to die and rot. For all we know smelly skimmer junk is actually beneficial live food/bacteria/organisms that we pull out of our tanks and let die in a cup. I won't deny they can oxygenate the water fairly well but adequate water movement can do this just as easily.

 

Again this is just my opinion based on years of running skimmerless tanks. But the bottom line is skimmers will not make or break your tank, so I say when you are first starting why not focus on more important aspects of a setup? Lighting, water movement, and just an overall well thought out plan based on the livestock you want to keep. Compared to these major factors you can give or take a skimmer and still have an awesome reef.

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Skimmers are garbage. No one even knows what they pull out of the water... smelly gunk sure. But just about anything will smell once it is removed from its natural environment and allowed to die and rot. For all we know smelly skimmer junk is actually beneficial live food/bacteria/organisms that we pull out of our tanks and let die in a cup. I won't deny they can oxygenate the water fairly well but adequate water movement can do this just as easily.

 

Again this is just my opinion based on years of running skimmerless tanks. But the bottom line is skimmers will not make or break your tank, so I say when you are first starting why not focus on more important aspects of a setup? Lighting, water movement, and just an overall well thought out plan based on the livestock you want to keep. Compared to these major factors you can give or take a skimmer and still have an awesome reef.

 

 

Wow, is this a joke? Any real reef aquarium is 100% going to have a good skimmer. Mine is 60g, and has a crappy one, and if definently suffers from it. (excessive nitrates and algae)

If you want a healthy, balanced aquarium, use a skimmer.

 

Please don't post absurd things in this thread please.

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Wow, is this a joke? Any real reef aquarium is 100% going to have a good skimmer. Mine is 60g, and has a crappy one, and if definently suffers from it. (excessive nitrates and algae)

If you want a healthy, balanced aquarium, use a skimmer.

 

Please don't post absurd things in this thread please.

 

So I guess my reef isn't real since I don't have a skimmer. In that case I should probably report my 'fake' reef growth to some kind of scientific journal since I am seeing great expansion in many 'fake' pieces of coral ;)

 

I've got a 120 and kept an 18g very successfully with no skimmer. Skimmers are on a lot of phenomenal tanks but from my experience they are FAR from necessary and in my twisted view ;) they are harmful in that I imagine they are removing beneficial particles. Others imagine they remove waste. Either view is opinion only and so use your own judgement here.

 

I think it is absurd to say that just about anything is 100% in this hobby. I think the only 100% reality in this hobby is that we need to keep the water salty... although to what degree can even be debated. Keep an open mind and realize there are lots of ways to keep a healthy reef tank.

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So I guess my reef isn't real since I don't have a skimmer. In that case I should probably report my 'fake' reef growth to some kind of scientific journal since I am seeing great expansion in many 'fake' pieces of coral ;)

 

I've got a 120 and kept an 18g very successfully with no skimmer. Skimmers are on a lot of phenomenal tanks but from my experience they are FAR from necessary and in my twisted view ;) they are harmful in that I imagine they are removing beneficial particles. Others imagine they remove waste. Either view is opinion only and so use your own judgement here.

 

I think it is absurd to say that just about anything is 100% in this hobby. I think the only 100% reality in this hobby is that we need to keep the water salty... although to what degree can even be debated. Keep an open mind and realize there are lots of ways to keep a healthy reef tank.

 

 

Skimmers, by design, remove waste. Whether or not they also remove anything beneficial is what cannot be proven. One thing is for sure though, nothing that a skimmer removes is necessary to keep a successful reef tank, as the huge majority of tanks use them and not one of them has crashed because of it (with the exception of Steve Weast's, but that was a combination of factors).

 

Nanos can definitely be run without a skimmer. But, as I've already said, using a skimmer will help counteract many newbie mistakes, ie overfeeding, adding chemicals that shouldn't be there, dead fish, poor oxygenation, etc etc.

 

 

Now, as for ATOs, the only time you hear of a horror story involving ATOs it is always due to poor planning or human stupidity. Any decent ATO will never fail, but thats not where these horror stories come from. What happens in those stories is that the ATO pumps too much fresh water into the tank and lowers the salinity too fast. Now, with proper cleaning, this should never happen on its own. It usually happens if:

 

1) The reefer does a water change and forgets to turn it off - Stupidity, check.

2) The reefer has automated too many things on his/her tank and hasn't thought through all of the potential failures - Stupidy, check. Poor planning, check.

3) The reefer changes some aspect of his/her setup without thinking through its potential consequences with the rest of the sytem. - Stupidity, check. Poor planning, check.

 

 

Now, what are the benefits of using an ATO? Constant salinity, less maintenance (constantly topping off), more automation.

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A skimmer is designed to remove compounds which are part hydrophilic and part hydrophobic. It does this by trapping the compounds on the bubble (hydrophobic part inside bubble away from water and hydrophlic part outside bubble in the water). Do you know the chemical makeup of 'waste'? No? I don't know it either and have yet to find someone that does. So how can you say a skimmer is designed to remove 'waste'? You can't. Plus the definition of waste is unclear since one organisms waste is anothers food.

 

Well as a beginner can plainly see everything can be debated. So bottom line is read a lot of opinions (cause that is what everyone dishes out), and then choose what makes sense to you. I also highly recommend joining a local reef club (if available) and go see some local tanks around you to get an idea of what you like. You can read articles and see hundreds of pics on the internet but nothing beats seeing a setup in person.

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One thing is for sure though, nothing that a skimmer removes is necessary to keep a successful reef tank,

 

Then why do we have to use additives/supplements along with a skimmer?

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A skimmer is designed to remove compounds which are part hydrophilic and part hydrophobic. It does this by trapping the compounds on the bubble (hydrophobic part inside bubble away from water and hydrophlic part outside bubble in the water). Do you know the chemical makeup of 'waste'? No? I don't know it either and have yet to find someone that does. So how can you say a skimmer is designed to remove 'waste'? You can't. Plus the definition of waste is unclear since one organisms waste is anothers food.

 

Well as a beginner can plainly see everything can be debated. So bottom line is read a lot of opinions (cause that is what everyone dishes out), and then choose what makes sense to you. I also highly recommend joining a local reef club (if available) and go see some local tanks around you to get an idea of what you like. You can read articles and see hundreds of pics on the internet but nothing beats seeing a setup in person.

 

Waste is just a general term, so there's no way that anyone can know the chemical makeup of it since it'll be different for every tank. Can we at least agree that skimmers have some benefits to a beginner?

 

Then why do we have to use additives/supplements along with a skimmer?

 

Idiocy? I have no idea, because there's no need to supplement anything in a reef tank except calcium in some instances (SPS, clams) which would need to be done regardless of whether or not you're running a skimmer.

 

If you've been told that you have to supplement anything in a reef tank you should seriously question your source material.

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If you've been told that you have to supplement anything in a reef tank you should seriously question your source material.

 

 

During my research on skimmers when I first started my tank, I read all over this site that if you use a skimmer you should replenish the nutrients taken away, additives being the recommendation for how to do so.

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During my research on skimmers when I first started my tank, I read all over this site that if you use a skimmer you should replenish the nutrients taken away, additives being the recommendation for how to do so.

 

I'm sorry if my other reply was harsh, I was just having a rough day and was a bit on edge.

 

I had a really long reply drawn up for this, but decided that this one is better off.

 

For nanos, different rules apply in some instances than large tanks. In some cases, a skimmer is definitely not needed, in others you'd better believe that you should run one.

 

But as for supplementing depleted nutrients because of a skimmer? I've 1) Never seen any evidence that would suggest that anything a skimmer removes needs to be supplemented back, and 2) Have never heard of anybody doing such a thing.

 

If you don't mind, would you post a link or 2 where you found this advice? I'm just curious.

Edited by VicSkimmr

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I'm sorry if my other reply was harsh, I was just having a rough day and was a bit on edge.

 

Well, I can certainly relate to that. I didn't see it as harsh, anyway, so much as a strong opinion. I can hold pretty strong views myself, so that's no problem.

 

Thank you for your views on things.

 

I would like to hear from experienced reefers who do not use a skimmer, why they made that choice.

I had chosen to not use a skimmer (I have a 6 month old 20H with a 5 gallon chaeto/live sand refugium), but much of that decision was based on that info that I now hear from you is erronous. I'd really prefer to NOT spend the money on a skimmer unless it's absolutely necessary. I'd like to hear more discussion on the whys and why-nots of this.

Edited by Tyrsdottir

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Its a hotly debated topic, but here's a couple of links.

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...l=skim&st=0

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...826&hl=skim

 

They're definitely optional equipment. If you're striving for water quality where SPS could thrive, then I'd say you should definitely run one. If not, then its not near as necessary.

 

I definitely wouldn't supplementing anything though.

Edited by VicSkimmr

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Its a hotly debated topic, but here's a couple of links.

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...l=skim&st=0

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...826&hl=skim

 

They're definitely optional equipment. If you're striving for water quality where SPS could thrive, then I'd say you should definitely run one. If not, then its not near as necessary.

 

I definitely wouldn't supplementing anything though.

 

 

I won't be keeping anything that needs strong light. Moderate light only.

I seem to like the soft corals and LPS more than SPS.

And no, I don't use any supplements, having the understanding that any nutrients lost are replaced with the water changes.

 

Thanks for the links.

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The sort of advice I mentioned is stated right in the first post and also in subsequent posts and a quoted article on the first link you gave. I haven't looked at the second link yet. That skimmers remove beneficial trace elements seems to be a very popular viewpoint.

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The logic falls apart because many people do use skimmers on their nanos and haven't come across any problems. If what he is claiming is true then everybody who runs a skimmer on their nano would have corals in poor health instead of having corals that are thriving.

 

Edit: Oh I see where you got it from now:

 

article by mike paletta:

 

These compounds not only include proteins and amino acids but also include molecules containing copper, magnesium, calcium and manganese as well as detritus, phenols, and microalgae (Wilkens, 1973). As you can see not all of the compounds removed by skimming are bad. Therefore when adequate skimming is employed trace elements need to be added either through water changes or trace element supplementation (Nilsen, 1990).

 

Thats a misleading statement. Supplementing trace element depletion is a dangerous topic because its difficult to test for (as far as I know), and one of the primary rules of reefkeeping is that you never add anything to the tank that you can't test for. When supplementation is brought up it leads you to believe that a large amount of these trace elements are being depleted, or that these trace elements are essential for coral growth. Evidence suggests that neither is true though. If you can replenish all of the depleted trace elements with a simple water change that hardly sounds like you would need to physically supplement them otherwise. Additionally, this information was from 17 years ago, and people were at that time just starting to have success keeping SPS corals, whereas now people are keeping those same SPS corals in nanos.

 

Actually in 1990 I think the common belief was that nano-reefs were impossible to keep. Times change.

Edited by VicSkimmr

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The sort of advice I mentioned is stated right in the first post and also in subsequent posts and a quoted article on the first link you gave. I haven't looked at the second link yet. That skimmers remove beneficial trace elements seems to be a very popular viewpoint.

 

 

I dislike skimmers but they do not remove trace elements. No matter how popular this viewpoint. Anyone who understands how a skimmer works knows that the only way any elements (ca/alk for example) would be removed would be by wet skimming. And even then it is fairly minimal unless you are really pulling out a lot of water via wet skimmate (and then you probably have a hard time keeping salinity stable). No one knows exactly what a skimmer is pulling out but you can be sure it is not pulling out ca or other such small compounds because they don't have the necessary hydrophobic and hydrophilic ends required to get caught by the skimmer bubbles.

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