can i get away with no protein skimmer?


Pygmy Octopus
Nov 25, 2011
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hello! im setting up my first tank and i have no octo experience yet.
specs: 75g tank, probably a bimac, roughly 75lb live rock, Magnum 350 canister filter
with the magnum 350 be sufficient or is a protein skimmer necessary to the point that my future octo is pretty much dead without it?

i have 0 experience with skimmers. from my understanding, it is not absolutely essential for the survival of the octo. the main purpose is to cut down on the heavy load to make life easier on the filter, and to help hasten the cleanup process after octo inks/eats/poops.
so with regular carbon and water changes to help compensate, i can by-pass the extra $200 buying a skimmer, right? or is that wishful thinking.


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Oct 19, 2003
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Having an octopus without a skimmer is a bit akin to having a horse indoors without a shovel. As always, in case of being less experienced than others, you might do well with studying the ample resources already at your disposal in this very forum. I offer you this well intended advice, plus a big hearty :welcome: to our little corner of teh interwebz!

To quote Colin and Nancy on this one:

"Many an octopus and cuttlefish owes its life to a protein skimmer. This piece of equipment really is a life saver. It is adept at removing not only proteins and other organics from the water on a daily basis but also ink in emergencies. If an octopus or cuttlefish inks within the aquarium, the resulting pollution can be so bad that it is literally impossible to see into the tank. ... ... In the meantime the protein skimmer will work to remove the ink ... ... For this reason the protein skimmer is not an item of equipment that you should leave off your shopping list or skimp on. The bigger the better, and because of the amount of waste produced by the cephalopod, its messy feeding habits, and the odd inking session, a skimmer is worth its weight in gold! Aim for a skimmer rated for an aquarium about 50 percent larger than yours. They can be expensive, but the first time your cephalopod's life is saved by a protein skimmer you will be glad you spent the money."

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