What nutrients am I removing by skimming?

richardsantink

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I'm interested in knowing what exactly am I removing from my marine tank when I use a protein skimmer. I know it's to remove DOCs, but what exactly does that include?

I guess more importantly, I'm interested in knowing if my ferts such as Fe, I, etc.. are being removed by skimming. When I examine the contents of the skimmer, it has a distinctive green pea soup look, with suspended particles that look like microalgae (likely from cleaning windows, etc.)

Does anyone have any insight into the chemistry of skimming?

Thanks,

RAS
 

reiverix

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I have twice pulled the plug on the skimmer only to turn it back on.

The first time was after the plants had started establishing themselves and were growing nicely. After I switched off the skimmer for a day I noticed the plants were looking a bit raggy and there was a lot of particles in the water column. I turned on the skimmer and things looked much better. This surprised me a bit and I reasoned the skimmer may have been providing good gas exchange.

I eventually got round to buying an internal filter and set it up in the sump to replace the skimmer. I positioned it so there was plenty surface agitation and let it run for a week. Again, the tank had lost a bit of its sparkle and I once more resorted to the skimmer.

Now it could be that the skimmer is removing traces but since they are cheap I don't bother about it. The only additives I add to the tank are CaNO3 and an Fe supplement. I still suspect that the skimmer is providing excellent aeration and since I keep seahorses, I have a relatively low water turnover rate. What's more, I can go a month without emptying it.
 

Tom Barr

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I tend to think it stabilizes the CO2/O2.
I never get any skimmate in the planted systems and it's been years..........


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Laith

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I think we're talking two different things here:

A protein skimmer, a filtration system usually used in marine tanks to remove organics...

and

A surface skimmer, a simple device that skims the water surface (or an overflow which accomplishes the same thing).
 

Laith

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Sorry, I just re-read reiverix's thread and realized my post was rubbish. You can't unplug surface skimmers...

Ignore me please... :rolleyes:

Do you actually get skimmate in freshwater?
 

Tom Barr

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No skimmate from a fresh tank.

Do you know why?

What does salt do to the polarity of water?

Regards,
Tom Barr