12-21-2009, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by willieturnip
Depends what water you take out of the tank, how much flow you have in the tank and where the flow is directed if you ask me. Most of the dissolved proteins (70-80% if memory serves) in the tank build a film on the surface with slower flow up top, so if you manually "skim" the surface with water changes you can effectively remove a huge amount of waste when compared to regular water changes.
Take that with a pinch of salt though and I would almost always recommend a protein skimmer. I'm just saying that tanks can thrive skimmer-less.
I agree that tanks can survive skimmer-less, but I would use Activated Carbon in place of the skimmer. You are correct that a good portion of the organics find their way to the top of the suface of the water. This is why reef-ready tanks are more effective at protein skimming. They skim the water from the surface, and a good sump will have the skimmer right next to the inlet.
I still do not suggest water changes as a method of waste removal in a marine tank. Water changes, as I use them, are used primarily to replace ions and elements that keep your Calcium and Alkalinity in balance.