Protein skimmers how to decide

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by SabrinaR, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I'm getting my octo on Tuesday so um... even if you dont know either of these skimmers based on the info given would you please at least take the poll. I REALLY need some advice here. Thanks

    Hi All,

    I have a choice to make in the skimmer I will be getting this week. I currently have a 55 gallon tank with a 20 gal refugium gravity feed with an Aqua C Remora protein skimmer. Never mind the ATO and other doom-a-whichies that make things run. I know my current remora by itself can not handle the load of an octo and I have found 2 really good deals but I wanted to get some opinions before I went and bought either one.

    The first one is an Aqua C Urchin Pro w/pump. This one is rated for upto 120 gallons and sits in the sump. For me this one is appealing because A. Its small enough to sit in the sump I currently have and B. I already run an Aqua C skimmer and I really trust the company. (I mean hey were are you going to find a company that after 3 years of having the skimmer are willing to fix broken bits on there dime?) Now I currently have my Remora moved to hang on my sump (I was testing it out and see if I like it there.) and I would also be able to add the Urchin to the sump with out problem. (I lean to this one because I know it will be more plug and play)

    The second one is a PM RL 200 w/pump. I know NOTHING about these skimmers except the little bit I could find on the net. Now much like the name its rated for upto 200 gallons. I like the idea of this one because A. Its rated for a larger tank which is always needed when keeping octos and B. Because it sits in the sump also, though I would have to add a larger sump on the side of my system to make room for it (this would add roughly 20-30 gallons to my system)

    Now, both skimmers are the exact same price used from craigslist. They both come with the needed pumps and from what I can tell from pictures they are both in really good condition. Either way I go I will still use my Remora as I truely LOVE IT!! Cant say enough about them or Aqua C.

    Part of me worries that I may be borrowing trouble by getting the PM as I have never used this type of skimmer. All of my skimmers have always been HOB because none of my tanks are drilled and I wanted minimum amount of conserns. So my questions to you all are, which one do you think would be better and why?

    And how would I run the PM? I thought I would put a tote (like the storage totes from Wal-mart) next to my system with 2 pumps feeding water back and forth from the sump with the PM back to my main refugium. Does this make sense? Or am I not seeing something I should be?

    Please help!!
     
  2. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I've not had the PM, but I have used the AquaC and it is a great skimmer for the money.
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    The Precision Marine skimmers are REALLY good. My LFS swears by them. I would have got one but they were too expensive new, $400. I got a pro clear aquatics skimmer instead which is very similar.
     
  4. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    oh yeah make sure you find out if the seller used any copper medications in the system. You don't want a contaminated skimmer!
     
  5. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Very good point. I will make sure, the answer may present its self.
     
  6. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I've used an Aqua-C Urchin (not the pro) on my bimac octopus tank (50 total gallons of water) for over two years. It's a great skimmer, and I trust the brand (great customer service), but given the higher waste load of an octopus, it's not nearly big enough. I've had problems with low PH because so much organic material stays in the water (not removed by the skimmer) and is broken down in the nitrate cycle. It would be much better to take that stuff out of the equation early with much more thorough skimming. Beware of the ratings. The companies are competing with each other, so the one that doesn't stretch the truth will look bad compared to the ones that do, so they all stretch the truth. The Aqua-c Remora/Urchin Pro is rated for tanks between 50 and 120 gallons. The 120 is for sparsely populated tanks with corals only, and no fish. The 50 is talking about heavily stocked fish only tanks, and that's our end of the spectrum, except that we want water that is even better quality than a fish-only tank.
    My guess is that if your octopus isn't too big, and if you don't feed your tank too much, the Urchin Pro is probably just big enough. The other skimmer would probably also be fine, since it is rated for an even larger max sized tank, but I have no information about them so I won't comment.

    FYI: I plan to upgrade my Urchin to an Urchin Pro for my 50 gallon bimac tank, but I think that even bigger would be better. I'm sticking with Aqua-C because their "Air-Injection" technology means that they run solely on high pressure water and so can be run from an external instead of a submerged pump. Skimmers that use a needle wheel need a submerged pump, which I'd like to avoid. Also, I found a good deal on a used Remora Pro.
     
  7. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Thank you for this review. That really does help. I had forgotten about how they rate them lol. I had thought about going with the Remora Pro and though its just as good I'm sure, I didn’t want another hang on back anything, not to mention that I didn’t want any more pumps besides the koralias so I didn’t have to worry so much about octo entanglement.

    For my lid I am getting a piece of acrylic and have it cut. I have a hob over flow for my refugium and then the return so thats 2 holes I have to consider... Plus I will be drilling holes through the top so there is more gas exchange.

    The way I am getting around the over flow is... I am going to lower it by say an inch or so and make a slot into the acrylic for the plastic piece of my overflow to slide through. That way I dont even have to worry about it. Its going to take a bit for it to get here so for the time being I will be putting window screening with duck tape over the tank with foam to reinforce the slits I will need for the over flow/return hose/pump cords. And then I will be making a flap on top of the screen using high end velcro to keep it shut.

    Does anyone have anything to say about the PM's?
     
  8. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Ok so I decided to go with the PM skimmer for a few reasons. One it can handle a larger bio load and I might want to take the remora off and put it on my 35 gallon tank. I hope it works out well other wise back to the Aqua C's for me.
     

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