Skimmer in fresh water? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 11 Old 03-26-2009, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Skimmer in fresh water?

Ok, I know nothing about skimmers, I do know they are suppose to lower nitrate levels, right?
My question is, since I have nitrates in my tap, would it make since to add a protien skimmmer to my freshwater tanks?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-26-2009, 11:36 AM
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You could do this, but a lot of times skimmers have issues with FW only. You would need to find a balance and add some (very small amount) salt to your tank. I think it's 1tbs per gallon, or something like that. We in the SW world add 1/2cup to a gallon. You need to research this further and i'm not talking about table salt .

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-26-2009, 09:50 PM
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ive heard of people doing this, you just dont get the performance as you do in a saltwater tank.

you could use half RO water and half tap to cut your nitrates in half.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-27-2009, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ok Thanks! I will try to read up on it some more.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-27-2009, 07:58 AM
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Hang on a minute... the premise if flawed. Skimmers do not lower Nitrate. Skimmers remove organic waste before the organics have the opportunity to be broken down into Nitrate. Adding a skimmer to your freshwater tank will do nothing to remove Nitrate present in your tap water.

Moving on, saltwater fish excrete organic acids as waste. This makes the skimmer very effective at removing these organics prior to them breaking down into ammonia. Freshwater fish excrete ammonia directly from their gills, making biological filtration necessary to process the ammonia into nitrite and into nitrate. The preferred method of Nitrate removal in freshwater is water changes, or the use of a Nitrate sponge.

Protein skimmers can "work" on freshwater systems, provided the skimmer is a VERY high grade commercial unit with extreme amounts of bubbles and precise additions of salt. Unfortunately, the organics removed are only the organics which occur as a result of excess food breaking down and algae decay. The primary waste source, ammonia from fish, still requires water changes to remove the nitrate.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-27-2009, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info!
I have added more plants, bought Pura nitrate lock sponge, bought a countertop nitrate remover(does not work as well i hoped), and been doing more frequent water changes. (twice a week)
Even after doing all this, it has hard to keep the nitrates under 40ppm with 30ppm in the tap water.
At least now i know not to spend money on a skimmer.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-27-2009, 09:57 AM
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-27-2009, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistersmom View Post
Thanks for the info!
I have added more plants, bought Pura nitrate lock sponge, bought a countertop nitrate remover(does not work as well i hoped), and been doing more frequent water changes. (twice a week)
Even after doing all this, it has hard to keep the nitrates under 40ppm with 30ppm in the tap water.
At least now i know not to spend money on a skimmer.
In a freshwater aquarium, Nitrates of 40ppm are not a concern.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-28-2009, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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I discovered today that my countertop nitrate remover works allot better when you put the filter in the correct direction!
Not feeling at all smart right now, but at least I now know I did not waste $125 on a nitrate remover!
Today my nitrates are down to 10ppm from the tap (an improvement over the 30ppm I was seeing) nitrates are zero after going through the filter. Yea!
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-28-2009, 11:48 AM
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Pretty cool. Where did you get the unit? I would like to see a pic if possible.
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