Originally Posted by mrmosin
There is a store here in Lubbock called Mr. Aquarium, and he has been in business several years. The owner and sales people all seem knowledgable and helpful. He cures his live rock, has lots of supplies, and it is convenient to stop by on the way home. He carries CPR equipment, and swears by it. I have also read on this forum some negative opinions of CPR.
The CPR unit is a rather unique design. They have the nitch at the LFS for skimmers that hang on the back of the tank. The units are crisp in design, clean to display, and easy to sale.
As for performance, I actually like the concept behind these filter systems. All of the water flows through the skimmer first, and then passes over the biological media. In theory, any waste not removed by the skimmer is broken down biologically into nitrate. If the skimmer is doing an efficient job, then no nitrates will accumulate. The problem lies with the skimmer, which is a total complete piece of junk in design.
I have used the CPR on several systems over the years. I actually have a CPR on my current 38 gallon quarantine tank. I am speaking from first hand experience. The skimmer just does not perform to any reasonable level. The Seaclone, which receives such poor ratings from internet folks, is hands down a more effective skimmer, for aquariums of 38 gallons or less in size.
Another factor on the CPR is cost. They are way overpriced for the performance. On your 29 gallon, I would suggest the Coralife hang on skimmer, which you can order for under $100 here: Super Skimmer with Needle Wheel - Up to 65 Gallon | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
On the 55 gallon I would prefer to see you use a sump system. You can then have a much more effective skimmer for the price. This is a good option for a 55 gallon: Marine Series Advanced Protein Skimmers | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
. Or, if you have a few dollars to blow and want to buy a skimmer that you can upgrade with, I would suggest looking at any of the ASM models ASM G Series In-Sump Protein Skimmers | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
. I use an ASM G3 on my 180. A G1 would be great for you and could handle a 75 gallon if you upgraded later. A G2 would be best for future 125 gallon upgrades. The bigger the better, you can not "overskim".