Protein Skimming: What, Why and When

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snakeblitz33

Well-Known Member
#42
Maybe try not readjusting it every time? Sometimes its low because there isn't much DOC and then other times there is too much?

Have you been using any chemicals or anything in the tank? been using any epoxy putty or any smoke or chemicals being used around the tank?
 
#43
If I understand you guys correctly, Protein Skimmer is for helping control ammonia and nitrogenous waste, if I am able to control both, it means I don't need a Protein Skimmer. Right?

Is the truth that some organic is for coral's food.

A wild newbie
 

pegasus

Well-Known Member
#44
If I understand you guys correctly, Protein Skimmer is for helping control ammonia and nitrogenous waste, if I am able to control both, it means I don't need a Protein Skimmer. Right?

Is the truth that some organic is for coral's food.

A wild newbie
A protein skimmer cannot remove ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. It removes organics before they turn into Ammonia (first stage of nitrogen cycle), nitrite, and then nitrate. Yes, it's true that corals feed on organic material... however... the skimmer can and will not remove everything, because if it did, no tank would ever have nitrate issues. You don't have to have a skimmer. If you have enough bacteria to consume organics and turn it into ammonia, and enough bacteria to convert ammonia into nitrite, and enough bacteria to convert it into nitrate, then simply changing water to get rid of nitrate is all that you need to do. I prefer to use a skimmer to reduce the amount of nitrate that ends up in my tank, which will also reduce the frequency of water changes. In fact, I only change my water to replenish trace elements that I don't dose. I only change water once a month, or every other month, just to raise the levels of strontium, iron, etc. I don't have to change any water because of nitrate or phosphate, because those levels stay near zero.
 
#45
A protein skimmer cannot remove ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. It removes organics before they turn into Ammonia (first stage of nitrogen cycle), nitrite, and then nitrate. Yes, it's true that corals feed on organic material... however... the skimmer can and will not remove everything, because if it did, no tank would ever have nitrate issues. You don't have to have a skimmer. If you have enough bacteria to consume organics and turn it into ammonia, and enough bacteria to convert ammonia into nitrite, and enough bacteria to convert it into nitrate, then simply changing water to get rid of nitrate is all that you need to do. I prefer to use a skimmer to reduce the amount of nitrate that ends up in my tank, which will also reduce the frequency of water changes. In fact, I only change my water to replenish trace elements that I don't dose. I only change water once a month, or every other month, just to raise the levels of strontium, iron, etc. I don't have to change any water because of nitrate or phosphate, because those levels stay near zero.
Thanks. I am planning to change water every week for 10%. And every three moths for 25% water changes for master clean up. By the way I do feed my coral after water change
 
#46
Peg, I had no idea you were also a disciple of avoiding water changes whenever possible. Cool!
OK, I have the skimmer question to end all questions, and which will possibly lead to epic arguments, for which I'll be sitting back munching on popcorn.

You all say I should adjust my water level and then don't touch it anymore. You also say that many things, including salinity, water temp, amount of waste in the water, and phases of the moon, will affect the water level. SO....when do I adjust my water level, so that I may never touch it again? Have at it, boys, I've got some microwaving to do o_O
 

pegasus

Well-Known Member
#48
Peg, I had no idea you were also a disciple of avoiding water changes whenever possible. Cool!
OK, I have the skimmer question to end all questions, and which will possibly lead to epic arguments, for which I'll be sitting back munching on popcorn.

You all say I should adjust my water level and then don't touch it anymore. You also say that many things, including salinity, water temp, amount of waste in the water, and phases of the moon, will affect the water level. SO....when do I adjust my water level, so that I may never touch it again? Have at it, boys, I've got some microwaving to do o_O
You failed to mention Solar Flares. That's a big one...

If it goes nuts after changing the filter socks, I'd adjust it the day after. Let it run a day or so and see if it holds level. If so, let it stay there. According to the aforementioned pattern, it will drop after the socks get changed. Leave it alone for a day or two to see if it will resume skimming on it's own.

Tip of the Day: Be careful not to sniff the vapor immediately after opening the buttery popcorn bag... you could wind up with "popcorn lung". Seriously. The technical term is bronchiolitis obliterans. And you thought popcorn was harmless...
 

snakeblitz33

Well-Known Member
#51
It's not really a debate. Keep your water level in your sump stable and adjust the skimmer to a normal skim on a regular day. Don't keep adjusting it after your foam head is lost. The foam head breaks when you feed the tank or put oily things in the water or put your hands in the tank. Just keep it stable.
 
#52
LOL... I hope it's not from sniffing popcorn!!!
Well, that was kind of the gist of the joke :mad:

Snake, for the last, last, last, last, LAST time. I'm not talking about the foam raising or lowering or the tiny bubbles between the foam and the water level, I'm talking about the water level. THE WATER LEVEL!!!! :eek:
 

pegasus

Well-Known Member
#54
Why is the water level inside the skimmer so important to you?
Easy answer: For the same reason the water level inside is important in any skimmer... the water level determines how (or if) a skimmer performs. If the water level is too low, the foammate will never rise high enough in the neck to spill over into the cup. It'll just cake up in the neck. If it's too high, it skims too wet and/or overflows the cup. While foam levels can fluctuate depending on water parameters and/or conditions, the internal water level of the skimmer should remain fairly consistent. I see it every time I perform a water change and start my skimmer up again. For quite some time, there will be no foam, and bubbles barely making it to the base of the neck, but the internal water level is almost exactly where it was before the water change. Once water conditions stabilize and it starts collecting organics and creating foam, it's dead on the previous level.

As we discussed on another thread, there are things that can cause a skimmer to go nuts. Marine epoxy is the worst. But... the only changes that have been discussed in his system are the filter socks. I can't see how filter socks could change the water level in the skimmer unless the sock was clogging the skimmer intake. That would be pretty obvious and easy to spot...
 
#55
Why is the water level inside the skimmer so important to you?
This has gotten beyond the point of ponderous. If it's 5-7" BELOW where it should be it doesn't do anything, and if it's 4" ABOVE where it should be the collection cup fills with and overflows with water. And that's the end of it. I'm unfollowing this thread.

P.S. Thanks, peg. I read your response after posting mine and it backed up what I said, a bit more eloquently. Oh, and it isn't the sock filters. That was just one example. The water level will change without any provocation whatsover. Plus, this problem was 2 months old when it get restarted. I haven't thought about the skimmer at all, other than the occasional water overflow such as what happened the other day.
 

snakeblitz33

Well-Known Member
#56
The skimmers I have recently used have bubbled so much that there is no decernible water level inside the skimmer at all. No water line. Nothing. the whole inner chamber of the skimmer is milky white, even below the sump waters surface.

In your case, that really makes me wonder if the pump is bad or you just need a better skimmer.

As far as what a "regular day" is, I would say it's just before the lights come on and before the tank is fed and before you put any hands or chemicals in it.

It doesn't sound like a problem with your tank, it sounds like some kind of mechanical problem.

But whatever, just trying to help.
 

pegasus

Well-Known Member
#57
I suppose it's time to stop beating the dead donkey. As for your skimmers, snake... while it can be very difficult to discern where the water level is, there is one. A skimmer can't function without a specific level of water inside the body, as this is where proteins to attach to the bubbles. The foammate is where the protiens are lifted from the water column and concentrated into skimmate. While you may not be able to see it, there is definitely a volume of water in the skimmer. The only way I'm able to see the level in my skimmer is to shine a bright light through the skimmer body.
 
#58
On the subject of skimmers I was afraid my skimmet collection can was going to overflow within hours as my skimmer was going heywire and lots of excess was coming out. On a normal cycle I don't have to worry about it for weeks before I dump the residue out. This morning it was just crazy....but thank goodness for google. Turns out having my arm in the tank rearranging my new coral shipment from last week and adjusting my live rock was the cause.....oil and lotion from hands and arms getting into the water. Things have gone back to normal after that little mishap.

Skimmers are working wonders...
 
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