03-04-2008, 01:57 AM
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I will do my best to try to clear up some of your confusion. I need to ask my husband about pump size for what you are requesting, but I can explain the need for 2.
A skimmer is a piece of equipment all of its own, and needs a pump to function. The pump forces the air bubbles up into the skimmer, which seperates the proteins from the water and expells it into the cup in the form of a thick foam. Different skimmers use different types of pumps to do this, and some skimers are designed to work a little differently than others. Once we know what kind of skimmer you have, we then know what kind of pump it needs, and can relay this information to you.
Now, the other pump is going to run the sump system, providing flow and circulation in the tank, filtering the water as it cycles through. This will be a much larger and different type of pump. Some of these pumps are submersible, some are not. The key is in finding what works best for your situation. I haven't seen the photos yet, will share those with my husband before we comment on that.
Can I ask what animals you are planning to keep? Wasteload and current are important to consider when choosing a pump and/or filtration unit overall. This will also tell you how many powerheads you will need for inside the tank itself. Every tank is different. Every tank functions differently and at a different rate. When dealing with saltwater it's a good idea to choose the animals and then prepare for them instead of setting up and then finding something that will work with what you have. Your options will be much wider ranged, and you will then have the ability to allow yourself some leeway for changes in the future if your interests should expand. A good example would be starting with a fish only tank, using sand instead of crushed coral as substrate, working with a sump system (which is going to be the most effective filtration), and choosing lights that will support a wide range of easy corals. These simple things and choosing fish that are reef safe allows for the tank to morph into a reef if later you decide you want it, with very little to change.
Lots of planning, that's always the best way! I'll get back to you tomorrow night when Rob has had a chance to catch up here and can suggest pumps for you. I'll watch for your reply with the type/brand of skimmer so we can advise on that too.