Home Skimmers aka Protein Skimmer

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Skimmers aka Protein Skimmer PDF Print E-mail

What is the function of a Protein Skimmer?

 

Protein Skimming (also known as foam fractionation), is a highly efficient way to clean your reef aquarium water. It removes both dissolved contaminants and particulate (dirt) contaminants in your water. Protein Skimming is by far the most efficient way to remove materials that can degrade your water quality and raise Nitrates and Phosphates.

 

We highly recommend a protein skimmer for nearly all systems. That doesn't mean that you have to keep them on 24 hours a day. Depending on your system and the amount of feeding and how heavily it is loaded with fishing corals, you may want to leave it on for less than a full 24 hours.

In Stony Coral Tanks (SPS)
For a stony coral system we think that a protein skimmer is essential. And I would recommend that you run a protein skimmer 20 47 and a stony coral system face-off coral system.

In Soft Coral Tanks
Depending on what type of soft corals and how heavily you feed it and how many soft corals are in your tank. You may want to run all the time or you may want to run it less time than 24 hours. We actually run our skimmers are protein skimmer's 24 hours a day on our soft world systems, but that's because we feed them very very heavily in another danger of course with feeding heavily is. He might have a recurrence of hair algae are systems are very well balanced and have no hair algae anywhere in the soft world systems. So we do run the skimmers full time because of our feeding.

How does a protein skimmer work?

A protein skimmer mixes water and bubbles in a column. Typically there is a clear tube made of plexiglass through which water will rise. The bubbles are injected into this rising column of water and because the physical nature of the bubbles for certain pollutants, the pollution (dissolved organics and particulate matter) will attach to the surface of those bubbles and will ride on these bubbles all the way to the surface.

At the surface the bubbles collect as foam. And once this foam is removed from the system you have removed a source of very concentrated pollution. So by feeding your tank water continuously through a protein skimmer and providing a means for bubbles to rise through it, you can remove most of the contaminants, whether they are particulate contaminants or whether they are dissolved organic compounds, and keep your water quality high.

There are many different types of protein skimmer's. The most important recommendation is that you find one that is matched to the size of your system.

Installation Note

It may take several days once you set up your protein skimmer for it to start to remove contaminants from your aquarium. Initially you might not get any bubbles forming. But after several days, it should start foaming up. It is important to remove this foam on a regular basis.

Overflow your skimmer before...

One other important consideration to remember is this. If your protein skimmer is running on your system and you make a change in the water chemistry of your system, then very often, the protein skimmer foam will collapse back into the water column, and a lot of those contaminants that have been collected over time can fall back into the water in solution.

So it's very important that before you work on your tank, and even before you put your arm in the water, that you overflow the foam in your skimmer to remove it from your system. Even the oils of your arm can easily change the chemistry of your water in just a few seconds and allow all the foams thats been collected over time to re enter your water.

So it is very very important before you add anything to your water, whether you put your hands in the water or just working on your aquarium that, you overflow the foam out of your skimmer before you put something in the water.

In general, you don't have to overfow it if just feeding fish food. But test it and see.

You also need to clean the walls of your skimmer on a regular basis. The skimmer will accumulate a thin coating that looks like mud along the sides and over time this will decrease the efficiency of your skimmer. So it's very important that you clean your skimmer on a regular basis and it will depend on how much foam production you have but typically if you clean the skimmer weekly.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 21:07
 
 

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