Protein skimmer with fw setup ??

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by w_boughner, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. w_boughnerValued MemberMember

    I am setting up a salt water tank when we move in a couple weeks and I've been reaserching setups and I'm constantly fighting to keep the algea under controle in my fw (too much sunlight) and am wondering if a protein skimmer would help keeper under controle ?? And not sure if I should put this in here or start a new thread but any wayse .... Would live rock work survive in fw?? I really like the look of live rock and live sand but would its inhabatince survive in fw?
  2. Orion5Well Known MemberMember

    Hi! :)

    Unfortunately live rock and live sand (from salt water reefs) will not survive in fresh water. There are many reasons why, but suffice it to say that live rock is populated by micro/macro organisms that can only survive in salt water. For similar reasons, it's also why salt water fish cannot survive in fresh water, and vice versa.

    Protein skimmers really only work in salt water. The density of salty water allows foam (bubbles) to form more readily, thereby allowing the organic pollutants to be separated in the top of the skimmer. That's why they're also called "foam fractionators." Fresh water simply doesn't foam up in the same way, which is why a protein skimmer won't work on a FW tank.

    Hope this helps! :)

  3. cichlidmacWell Known MemberMember

    I've heard of people using skimmers on fw setups, maybe for phosphate control? I've had foam on top of my water before also.
  4. w_boughnerValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the info much appreciated this will be my first time with salt water so I'm still trying to wrap my head around it and learn how everything works so I understand what I'm doing to eliminate as much trial and error as possible
  5. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    I've used skimmers on freshwater. They're great! Skimmers remove dissolved organic compounds from the water. So basically they help keep your water cleaner. I doubt that would help terribly with your algae problem though.
  6. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    ive been tempted to get 1 for my fw sump
  7. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    I bet my turtle would love one haha
  8. scotty bWell Known MemberMember

    ive herd alot op people use them with red eared slider turtles so that would leave me to think that they work ok in fw
  9. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Both Orion5 and Rogue are correct.

    Generally speaking, skimmers are quite ineffective in FW, and as pointed out by Orion, they rely on the foaming to work really efficiently.

    Rogue - When you used the skimmer on FW, do you know the GH of the water? I'm led to believe that FW skimming works better in higher GH water, or is that hog-wash?

    I think the trick for FW skimming is to inject enough bubbles fast enough that the bubbles can stay bubbles and rise into the collection cup. SW keeps its bubbles better, and thus tends to be more effective.
  10. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, I used it in a varieties of GH but I never noticed a difference in skimmage.

    I totally agree, you need to add something into the skimmer to help it along. I normally glued a tiny airstone to the bottom of my FW skimmers. Also I usually used a larger pump than needed.

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