Jump to content
Bamzam

Skimmer/no skimmer?

Recommended Posts

Bamzam

I know this has been discussed plenty, but every system is different. 22g tank, ~15g sump. I am very consistent with weekly water changes and I will have a klir filter roller, so hopefully all the junk my filter picks up is taken out quickly. But I feed heavy and would like to have maybe ~4 fish if possible. 

 

With all that in mind, would a skimmer be a waste of money or would it still be beneficial?

Share this post


Link to post
Zer0

It's hard to say that having a skimmer wouldn't be beneficial at all, so the real question is, how beneficial will it be for you. That's a difficult question to ask without actually having a skimmer running on your tank. In my opinion, considering that there are so many good inexpensive skimmers out there nowadays, if you have a sump and the space for one, I would get one. However, by no means is a skimmer absolutely necessary. That is an already well established fact.

 

That being said, if you are as good and consistent with water changes as you say you are, then you probably don't need a skimmer, even if you feed heavy.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Bamzam
On 3/18/2021 at 8:36 AM, Zer0 said:

It's hard to say that having a skimmer wouldn't be beneficial at all, so the real question is, how beneficial will it be for you. That's a difficult question to ask without actually having a skimmer running on your tank. In my opinion, considering that there are so many good inexpensive skimmers out there nowadays, if you have a sump and the space for one, I would get one. However, by no means is a skimmer absolutely necessary. That is an already well established fact.

 

That being said, if you are as good and consistent with water changes as you say you are, then you probably don't need a skimmer, even if you feed heavy.

Thank you. I will definitely be consistent with the water changes. I have the room for a skimmer, im just debating the cost/benefit (I'd want a nice one thats quiet). Would you say a refugium would be more beneficial?

Share this post


Link to post
mcarroll
On 3/17/2021 at 3:22 PM, Bamzam said:

every system is different.

I think it might be more helpful to see that every system has similar problems to solve.  Good systems should fundamentally be pretty similar in all the ways that matter.

 

On 3/17/2021 at 3:22 PM, Bamzam said:

I am very consistent with weekly water changes and I will have a klir filter roller, so hopefully all the junk my filter picks up is taken out quickly. But I feed heavy and would like to have maybe ~4 fish if possible. 

 

With all that in mind, would a skimmer be a waste of money or would it still be beneficial?

With all that in mind, I'm not even sure you need to be doing the water changes or using the roller system.

 

Is it a fish only system, or a reef?  

 

What is the "junk" you referred to?

 

If you're thinking of a skimmer like it was a roller filter or something....it's not in the same category.  It can do a little mild filtration...mostly of surfactant molecules.  I think it's generally OK (maybe even good) that these are removed.  But the aeration a skimmer can provide might be as useful to the tank, or more.  This is especially true if you're going to have a higher bio-load tank.  IMO (depending on the answers above) you might consider replacing the filtration you currently have with a skimmer.

 

Also, what fish are you considering?  22 gallons doesn't indicate a lot of swimming or hiding space in the tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Stanboy

It is more gauging your water quality. I like the skimmer because it helps aerate my tank. I’m not 100% sure how great mine is in terms of removing nutrients since its for a nano tank, but every little bit helps give me a piece of mind. Makes like a tea like water and all the crude collects at the neck. 
 

I feed corals every day and I change water religiously. 
 

If you have the space why not. Well money to burn also lol

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Bamzam

It will be a reef tank.. I know I want a dwarf angel and clown for sure. Was hoping to find another 2 that would co exist with those.

 

The thought with the filter roller is that it will remove a lot of the waste (poop/uneaten food) before it can become dissolved organics for the skimmer. That's why combined with weekly water changes, I was wondering if a skimmer would still be worth the money.

Share this post


Link to post
mcarroll
8 hours ago, Bamzam said:

It will be a reef tank.. I know I want a dwarf angel and clown for sure. Was hoping to find another 2 that would co exist with those.

That will be a lot of fish – and those are really medium-size tank fish, not small tank fish.  There will possibly a lot of stress from their being in such a small tank.  

 

I would definitely only add one fish at a time.  And I would definitely monitor closely for a month or so after every addition in case there were ANY issues at all.   

 

8 hours ago, Bamzam said:

The thought with the filter roller is that it will remove a lot of the waste (poop/uneaten food) before it can become dissolved organics for the skimmer. That's why combined with weekly water changes, I was wondering if a skimmer would still be worth the money.

First you should not be adding food that doesn't get eaten – over feeding.  That is pure waste and usually leads to excessive algae growth, often cyanobacteria.  Do everything reasonable you can to prevent over feeding.  Try feeding smaller amounts at a time but more frequently, just for one example.

 

Second, poop is food for corals, it's not waste.

 

There is no third.

 

That more or less eliminates the need for mechanical filtration.  (I look at corals as my mechanical filtration.)

 

Poop and leftover food would not turn into dissolved nutrients for the skimmer to remove anyway.  That sounds like wishful thinking.....but I'm curious if you read that somewhere or saw it on a video?

 

Skimmers work more or less like waves on a beach and remove the same types of things from the water.....mostly, it's anything with surfactant qualities....often byproducts of algae growth.  Skimmers cannot remove dissolved nutrients, and skimming action is greatly reduced during feeding so removal of food items is unlikely.

 

IMO a skimmer is a good addition to just about any reef and seems like it would make sense in yours.  A skimmer is a one time purchase, BTW....after that it runs forever.  In the long run a skimmer costs very little aside from the electricity to run it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
SaltyGallon

As others have touched on there's other benefits to a skimmer (e.g. aeration) but really it comes down to what your tank needs. Get it up and running, stock and feed as needed... If you're not happy with your nutrients over the first few months then by all means purchase the skimmer - at it's crux it's just another tool to reduce waste. If you're diligent on your water changes and maintenance then a skimmer could be totally redundant. My advice is don't bother at first (save your pennies for sweet coral) and just 'see how you go' 🙂 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
onthefly

Years ago....I fought the battle with low pH, and remember it well!  This time around I was going to go skimmer less, but now I realize that household pH is suppressing my tank pH (and was the likely culprit years ago).  I decided to drop a skimmer in and will plumb in a CO2 scrubber (maybe even an outside line).  So, it's not so much for nutrient export as much as gas exchange.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
aclman88

I’m with @SaltyGallon. Save your money until you actually need one. You might not, especially if your plan on keeping up with water changes. @jservedio ran a 20H and he can correct me if I’m wrong, but ended up not running his skimmer and his system is similar in size to yours. 
 

I would research dwarf angels more. 20 is a small tank, and I have read they are hit or miss on whether they will or won’t nip coral. Just hearsay though, I have no actual experience. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Bamzam

Thanks all. I'm going to go skimmerless to start with and see how it goes, hopefully get to save some money.

 

For the dwarf angel...I used to have a 3' long 12 gallon with AIO tank and was inspired by some of the experts on here keeping dwarf angels in their 3' 12 gallon. I'm no expert, so thats why I upgraded to the 3' long 22 gallon and I added a sump for extra stability. Hoping the extra size and water volume will help keep it happy. I'm ok with the risks of it nipping coral. I've read if you feed it enough, it should leave the coral alone, so thats why I planned to feed on the heavier side

Share this post


Link to post
jservedio
45 minutes ago, aclman88 said:

I’m with @SaltyGallon. Save your money until you actually need one. You might not, especially if your plan on keeping up with water changes. @jservedio ran a 20H and he can correct me if I’m wrong, but ended up not running his skimmer and his system is similar in size to yours. 
 

I would research dwarf angels more. 20 is a small tank, and I have read they are hit or miss on whether they will or won’t nip coral. Just hearsay though, I have no actual experience. 

If you are running a roller, your tank is going to be heavily filtered to begin with so unless you have an actual need for the skimmer I would skip it for now. Over filtration is a much bigger issue than a little excess algae, particularly in newer systems that are becoming established. Bottoming out nutrients is a great way to get dinos or chysophytes. If you have issues in your home with higher CO2 levels and your tank has poor oxygenation, then I would consider a skimmer and maybe backing off with the roller so you aren't bottoming out nutrients.

 

Another big issue with over-filtering your system is when it becomes heavily stocked with growing coral (and a 20g tank fills up fast) and other life, there won't be enough nutrients and dissolved organics to go around and your coral will suffer for it. My 20g high that @aclman88 is referring to (link in sig) had two huge 11 year old clowns and a 9 year old wrasse in it and there wasn't a square inch of lit rock that wasn't covered in coral or nems, so I ran absolutely no filtration whatsoever - no skimmer, no mechanical, no chemical and only did water changes every 2-4 weeks. But, it was a 10 year old system that could absorb insane amounts of crap and there just weren't any surfaces besides the glass for algae to grow.

 

Just go slow and don't over do things. Filtration of any sort simply isn't a requirement for a nano sized tank, it's just a bonus to make managing waste and nutrients a little easier. You can never under-do with filtration in a nano, but can easily over-do it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...