In case you didn’t know, the most important part of your saltwater setup is your protein skimmer. Few other pieces of equipment have such an impact on water quality.
As mentioned throughout this site, water parameters are crucial when getting your clownfish to breed. It is very rare that clownfish will breed in dirty water. By dirty I mean water with high levels of nitrate and phosphate. You should always check both of these to make sure your water is clean.
So how does it work?
A protein skimmer works by forcing huge amounts of air through the water and causing the dissolved materials, such as dissolved food and fish waste, out of the water column. The air causes the dissolved materials to become foam. The foam is then removed (or skimmed) off the top of the water. The protein skimmer collects this foam it has produced in a waste cup. The waste cup will have to be emptied often to maintain effectiveness of the skimmer.
Not all skimmers are built the same
So now that you understand the importance of a skimmer, you must understand how to purchase one. The biggest mistake users make when buying a protein skimmer is purchasing the cheapest one the can get at their local “big box” pet supply store. Typically the chain pet stores do not carry the high quality skimmers. You are better off purchasing one online after doing your research. So typically, but not always the more expensive the skimmer the better. My favorite skimmer is AquaC brand and I prefer the Remora or Urchin because of its ease of use and ability to clean it properly. Which brings me to my next topic.
You must clean your protein skimmer!
A protein skimmer looses effectiveness very quickly when it needs to be clean. If you notice that your skimmer is no longer producing foam, it most likely is in need of a cleaning. Once you clean the skimmer you will notice that the amount of foam produced returns to normal. Keep an eye on this. Just because your skimmer is not producing foam, does not mean your water is clean and lacks protein to be skimmed. You must constantly clean your skimmer.
Yes a skimmer can be expensive
A skimmer can be expensive but just think about the money and fish it will save you in the long run. Dirty water causes your fish to become weak, stressed, and often die. You are throwing money away on fish. Why not spend a little bit and have better coral and fish.
You can save money on changing your water.
With a skimmer, you will not need to change your water as frequently and thus save money. If you don’t need to change your water as often you are buying less salt mix, less reverse osmosis water, and less water additives. So the larger upfront cost can be paid off in a matter of months.
If you are serious about your saltwater fish aquarium, you must have a protein skimmer.
Protein Skimmers – Great beginner skimmers and priced decently.
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