Tank running without protein skimmer - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-05-2010, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
Tank running without protein skimmer

About three weeks ago I turned off my protein skimmer since it stopped producing any waste. Since then I have tested my water every day and have yet to see any ammonia or nitrites. Nitrates stay at a barely traceable level.

My tank has a pretty large bioload:
2 false percs
2 blue chromis
1 banggai cardinal
1 yellow watchman
1 small yellow tang
1 cleaner shrimp
1 peppermint shrimp
1 emerald crab
20 hermits (scarlet and blue legged)
7 snails (turbo and
Various sift corals

The tank is a 46 gallon without a sump (will be upgraded soon)
1" sand bed
45 pounds of rock (started with about 15 pounds if live rock)
RO-DI only for top off and for making saltwater.

Coralline algae is out if control, there is no sign of nuisance algae, sponges are starting to pop up, copepods are all over the place, and I am seeing a ton more of those tiny brittle stars. My base rock is entirely covered with coralline algae. Everything looks extremely healthy on the surface.

Am I playing with fire by removing the protein skimmer out of the mix? I know live rock and sand are the basis of any marine filtration system but I didn't think it would be working this will with the bioload I have in such a relatively small tank.

The tank was started 6.5 months ago and has been extremely stable thanks to the help of the Pasfurs, Wakes, etc. of the world.
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Last edited by NC Frank; 06-05-2010 at 06:33 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-05-2010, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
Salinity stays in the 1.024 range, Ph never dips below 8.2, calcium is 460, hardness is a 9. The only thing I dose is Kent superbuffer dkh and calcium (dose both every 2 weeks).

BTW I knew nothing about reef tanks other than what I researched myself before getting the help of the people on this forum. I took their advice and most importantly was patience and I view the project as a success so far. So basically what I am saying is listen to those who are here to offer assistance and above all else be patient!
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-05-2010, 09:13 AM
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as long as you are doing regular W/C i personally dont see a major issue with it... that said however if you wash the skimmer with super hot water and turn it back on. let is sit for a week or two you may see a difference in the amount os skimate it produces also look for issues with the skimmer set up i know you have done a great job on this tank but i am just wondering if the inflow may be impeeded in some way or if pehaps the fine tuning could be the issue?
you really are doing a wonderful job with this tank BTW....

Back in the Game!!! Live Bearers in a 40 Breeder
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-05-2010, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
Thanks. I am looking forward to doing a larger tank. Going to keep this one in tact and move most of the fish and corals into the bigger one once it is mature. I will then keep this as a QT/hospital tank. As part of my maintenance tomorrow I will break down the skimmer and give it a good cleaning.

I am enjoying this tank more than even my discus. ;)
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-05-2010, 05:23 PM
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i must agree with the enjoyability of salt water i was majorly scared to start one and now (even with my recent wipe out) i love every part of this adventure

Back in the Game!!! Live Bearers in a 40 Breeder
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-12-2010, 10:08 AM
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I am sure this answer is predictable coming from me, but you need to turn the skimmer back on. It is not uncommon for a tank to reach a point where the skimmer begins to produce less. But even in these situations the skimmer has a huge value.... it is insurance against future risk of loss!

This about this. You go 2 or 3 days where life gets busy. Something happens you don't notice. A fish dies or a coral dies, hidden behind some live rock. Without the skimmer you risk the entire system crashing. The skimmer provides that extra piece of mind.

Plus, you aren't testing for everything. The test kits show you the basics, but there are a ton of factor at play that we don't have test kits for. The skimmer provides stability, and that is the key.
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