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Thread: Skimmer vs Filter Floss and Chaeto

  1. #1
    Clownfish
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    Skimmer vs Filter Floss and Chaeto

    I have a BioCube 14. Currently stocked with two clows, a yasa goby, pistol shrimp, and various zoaz and acans. I want to keep the stock look of tank, and I am considering either purchasing a media rack for the middle back chamber and configuring it with chaeto and filter floss, or purchasing a Sapphire Aquatics NC12/BC14 Protein Skimmer. I know the media rack will be the cheaper route, but I am not concerned about cost as much as benefit. So does anybody have and opinions on which would give the most benefit to waste removal and in turn water quality?

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    Sponsor garrettm85's Avatar
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    If it were me and assuming I kept a light bio load, I would go with the media rack, filter floss and chaeto. I would also add live rubble rock to any free area in the back.

    Garrett
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  3. #3
    Shark COReefer's Avatar
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    small skimmers are useless in my opinion due to lack of dwell time in the skimmer chanber. That's a small enough tank that I think weekly water changes would be the best way to go.

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    Zoanthid siskiou's Avatar
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    My first tank, a 20H with a HOB fuge, did wonderfully without a skimmer! I only had three fish, though, and mainly LPS and softies.
    Did a WC once a month.
    Was the stablest tank I ever had!

  5. #5
    Zoanthid downhill_biker's Avatar
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    I agree with what has been said above. With a small tank like that water quality can be easily maintained with your bio filtration(rock, floss, chaeto) and water changes. Water changes will help you maintain your chemical balance as well ie calcium, magnesium, alkalinity. In small tanks that dont cost much to do water changes I would do them weekly, maybe 2 gallons a week and you will see great stability and success.
    The friendliest GIANT you'll ever meet.

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    Angler twogirls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill_biker View Post
    I agree with what has been said above. With a small tank like that water quality can be easily maintained with your bio filtration(rock, floss, chaeto) and water changes. Water changes will help you maintain your chemical balance as well ie calcium, magnesium, alkalinity. In small tanks that dont cost much to do water changes I would do them weekly, maybe 2 gallons a week and you will see great stability and success.
    Yup, that's about it. Although I will defend nano skimmers a bit I agree most suck, but I forked out the money for a top of the line Tunze and it worked really good!
    30g Cube

    60 cube in the works!

    GO BEAVS!!!!!!!!!

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    President pledosophy's Avatar
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    A skimmer is going to do the most for water quality in your situation IME.

    I have run many skimmerless tanks, honestly I'm not a huge fan of skimmers. That said, the amount of macro algae you can grow in that space is going to do little to help you. Filter floss and refugiums are not so good together IME. I learned much of this from Leng Sy.

    Chaeto will do good for some nutrient control removing ammonia, nitrate, phosphate and some other toxins, it is also a great place to grow things like pods that will benefit your LPS. But IME/IMHO unless your refugium is around half the size of your tank you are not going to see great benefits from those little critters. There is just not enough room for them to multiply to a large enough population to be beneficial.

    That leaves you with cheato as a filtering option alone. With all other factors removed cheato vs. skimmer, the skimmer is better.

    JME

  8. #8
    Zoanthid downhill_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pledosophy View Post
    A skimmer is going to do the most for water quality in your situation IME.

    I have run many skimmerless tanks, honestly I'm not a huge fan of skimmers. That said, the amount of macro algae you can grow in that space is going to do little to help you. Filter floss and refugiums are not so good together IME. I learned much of this from Leng Sy.

    Chaeto will do good for some nutrient control removing ammonia, nitrate, phosphate and some other toxins, it is also a great place to grow things like pods that will benefit your LPS. But IME/IMHO unless your refugium is around half the size of your tank you are not going to see great benefits from those little critters. There is just not enough room for them to multiply to a large enough population to be beneficial.

    That leaves you with cheato as a filtering option alone. With all other factors removed cheato vs. skimmer, the skimmer is better.

    JME
    I intend to disagree with the above statement. I am not saying you are wrong, I am just have a different point of view. I have always understood live rock and other biological filtration to be your main source or filtration. Nano skimmers are usually very poor in performance. With these two factors I would think that biological filtration from live rock, chaeto, ect. the weekly water changes should take care of the water chemistry. I do agree with not using floss, it tends to be a detritus trap and cause a rise in nitrates if not changed out often, very often.
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  9. #9
    Sponsor garrettm85's Avatar
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    I have used many nano skimmers and have never had one or seen one that is as good at keeping waste down as live rubble rock and chaeto. That being said if there were a really good nano skimmer out there that I were to try and feel confident in, I would still probably have the rubble and most likely make room for the chaeto. There are just too many benefits to miss out on without them IMO. If this was a larger system I would have a large, efficient skimmer, a good solid amount of live rock, and a large refugium. I would probably add a cryptic zone, a deep sand bed, more live rock and probably another refugium lol.

    Edit:
    Oh yes and if I did use filter floss, which I probably would, I would make sure and take it out regularly and clean or replace it with new floss. I feel that catching detritus from your system is a very good thing as long as the detritus is disposed of and doesn't just sit in your system for a while only to become a waste factory.

    I usually try an mock a larger, successful system when seting up a nano system. All things in equal proportions to systems that I have seen be successful shoulf result in success in theory(many, many factors affect each system)

    Garrett
    Last edited by garrettm85; 04-19-2009 at 06:09 PM.
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  10. #10
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    I agree with the LRR and cheato with floss.

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