Protein Skimmer Size?

Kimara
Member
I just got a 46 bowfront that I'm turning saltwater. I was looking online on kijijI and there is a free one that was in a 35 gallon tank. He said he "thinks it's good to 90." If it is, great. If it isn't, then would it be bad electronically to put this skimmer in my tank as a permanent thing? Should I do it since I'm on a budget?
 
Jesterrace
Member
You don't need a skimmer on that size of tank. HOB skimmers are only marginally effective outside of a few standouts (ie Eshoppes PSK-75H or 100H models or the Reef Octopus Classic 100). Skimmers overflow by nature and can be a pain in the butt to get dialed in (ie overflowing all over the outside of your tank or not skimming anything at all). It usually takes about 10 days to get a skimmer broken in properly. You will also need to completely clean out and sanitize it with vinegar which will turn an HOB Simmer into Mount Vesuvius (violent volcano in Italy). I know it's free but I would personally give it a pass and go skimmer free unless you get one of the nicer units. Just make sure you don't overfeed, stay on top of partial weekly water changes and have good hob filtration.
 
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Kimara
Member
I've been told by many people that I need a skimmer for any kind of saltwater tank... Also it would help if I couldn't do a water change every single week I heard...
 
Jesterrace
Member
Not true on the skimmer being required for any size tank, most folks with smaller tanks don't run them. They are pretty much a must on a 55 gallon or larger tank with a sump setup, but on smaller tanks they are only necessary if you are running a higher bioload (ie heavily stocked) or if you are feeding heavily. As far as helping go further between water changes it might buy you 2-3 extra days at most between water changes, so I don't consider that a real benefit to the skimmers. I ran without a skimmer for a while on my 36 gallon and it did run a bit cleaner with the skimmer, but I am not sure it ran $155 cleaner (the cost of the skimmer). In hindsight with the upgrade to a larger tank I wish I had skipped it as it proved to be a waste of money. Mostly due to the fact that I ended up upgrading to my 90 gallon 6 months later. Given the fact that you are trying to keep this setup as cheap as possible I would try it without first and see how it does. If you feel it's not cutting it you can get a nice skimmer. As mentioned though you need to either pony up the cash for a solid HOB Skimmer or simply skip it. If you want a visual of the HOB in action here is mine in action on my old 36 gallon bowfront:

 
rugerjr
Member
Get on BRS site and get that HOB reef Octopus or the skimz. I run skimmers on even 10 gallon tanks. They just make the tank so much more enjoyable. You could also go with a algae reactor. But as for me, skimming is the way to go. You could even do a HOB fuge on that thing. There's plenty of room for all three on there. Nice looking tank by the way!
 

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