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Skimmer....Needed or not?
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Joined: 03 Apr 2004
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

PostPosted: 2004.04.03(Sat)13:17    Post subject: Skimmer....Needed or not? Reply with quote

I have a 20 gal. tank with soft sand bottom (like babypowder) and no live rock or corral (fish only).

I have heard many different views on this subject and was wondering what view is best. Many people have told me that unless I am running live rock, reef tank, corrals and the like, there is no need for a skimmer. Others say it is a must for any saltwater tank.

Who is right?

Please help.

Very small budget so I would like to cut out whatever I really don't need.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: 2004.04.15(Thu)4:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not quite sure but I think it is a good idea to have a skimmer. how about I ask my dad (who knows a lot more than me) and I'll reply when I find out. (I'm at my friends house now, so I can't ask him at the moment)
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.05.05(Wed)6:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some people do go skimmerless but if you do make sure you keep up on your water changes. A skimmer does help a lot thats a argument though and up to the keeper to decide if ones needed or not. I ran a 39 with no skimmer and it did fine that was a FO then I went bigger and added a skimmer 75 FOWLR now becomming a reef.
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Joined: 23 Jan 2004

PostPosted: 2004.05.06(Thu)2:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have good biological filtration and a decent mechanical filter then a skimmer really isn't necessary.

If you have a lot of coral and expensive fish, then it's a good investment.
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2004.07.12(Mon)20:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an old post, but a good subject.
Certainly you can maintain a healthy marine system without a skimmer.
I have done so for years, with the same specimens thriving for years in tanks set up with only an undergravel filter. This success was secured with under populated systems and minimal feedings. Years ago skimmers were useless, underpowered airstone gizmos and not worth the money or the constant tinkering. However, the newer turbo models offer something that no undergravel or wet dry filter offers... they actually remove harmful substances from the tank. Over time, fish only systems will build up acidic chemicals that will lower the pH and lead to system crashes, stress, etc. The bio beds found in wet dry, undergravel and other "filters" do a great job of converting waste, but they merely convert it to a less toxic substance that will pollute the system more slowly. The skimmer cup removes at least some of this, and therefore warrants serious consideration by all marine hobbyists.
They are a costly addition, good ones can run 200.00 or more.
If budget is a concern (see original post) the undergravel powerhead solution will get you started for a year or so. The skimmer can be added later.
Although I have used the undergravel in combinaton with the trickle filter with great success for years. However, for fish only systems, the skimmer may prove to be more beneficial than a trickle filter in the long run.
Keepin' marines happy for 25 years
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