Protein skimmers and Filters

Mollie8400

I'm really confused about filters and protein skimmers.

I just started researching about Saltwater tanks, so I'm still very new. I'd like to eventually set up a 15-20g nano reef tank.

Most articles I've read say I need a protein skimmer for SPS and/LPS corals. But, on a few YouTube videos of nano tank setups the people used a power filter with no protein skimmer.

So my question is do I need a protein skimmer, a filter, or both? My second question then is what kind of filter and/or protein skimmer would work best in this situation?
 

AquaticBrandon

Welcome to Fishlore!
Most people say a protein skimmer is not needed for a tank that small. Others say it is needed. Basically a protein skimmer removes organic compounds and like foods and particles in the water. They do help and can reduce the amount of water changes. I don't know about the LPS and SPS corals though. A filter is needed as it helps with the mechanical and chemical filtration. Your biological filtration will be the Live Rock.


 

ryanr

Hi,
Welcome to Fishlore

I feel your pain I was really confused when I started too.

Have a look at this thread, it covers marine filtration, skimmers etc. https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...ome-researching-equipment.119039/#post1300433

My personal belief regarding Saltwater setups - use a protein skimmer, don't use traditional filters, particularly canister filters.

I recommend protein skimmers on all Saltwater setups, irrespective of size. Nano tanks present their own challenges, in that the smaller the volume of water, the quicker parameters can swing. Do you need a skimmer? no. But it means more maintenance and water changes to help keep nutrients down.

Some other threads you may like:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...uarium-part-1-where-to-start-research.118422/
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...ing-nature-home-researching-equipment.119039/
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...ng-setting-up-and-running-your-system.120421/

https://www.fishlore.com/saltwater-aquarium-tank-guide.htm
 

matsungit

A filter has about 3 stages of filtration: mechanical filters out particulates from the water, chemical adsorbs chemical pollutants, and biological hosts bacteria that convert organic matter to ammonia, then nitrite, and then nitrate. In a salt water tank they may not have a canister or HOB filter but filtration can be done in several ways. For mechanical, they can have a micron filter sock at the overflow outlet at the sump, or they can have a filter pad on top of a wet/dry style sump. For chemical people can put media bags of their choice whether carbon, purigen, etc. anywhere in the sump. For biological people use live rock (in the display tank or sump), or bio balls or biological media in a wet/dry style sump.

A protein skimmer works differently from a conventional filter's stages. It exports organic compounds and particulates from the water even before bacteria can convert them into ammonia. Protein skimmers are sometimes called bubble fractionators. It's just a scientific way of saying chopping up bubbles. Through surface tension at the surface of a micro bubble, proteins and organic compounds tends to stick at its surface. The more micro bubbles you have the more surfaces proteins can stick to it. The bubbles then push each other up to a collection cup where it will not be in contact with your water anymore. You throw this gunk in the collection cup away periodically.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
3
Views
923
Nart
Replies
4
Views
9K
LittleT
Replies
4
Views
1K
gussy
  • Question
Replies
5
Views
435
Jesterrace
Replies
4
Views
847
ilovefishys17

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom