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Wet vs. Dry Skimmate

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Skimmate - How do you like it?

  • Wet

    Votes: 50 47.6%
  • Dry

    Votes: 24 22.9%
  • I alternate

    Votes: 15 14.3%
  • I don't pay attention

    Votes: 16 15.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    105

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
How do you like your skimmate? Does wet skimmate take out too many elements that we try to maintain? Is dry skimmate more concentrated? Have you noticed a difference in your own tank when switching from wet and dry?
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
I think you actually end up trying both as you get your skimmer dialed in. Right now, I am skimming pretty dry. I read somewhere, that if you skimmed wet, you would not have to clean your glass as much. NOT!!!!! Tried that:D .
Either way, whatever you pull out seems to smell equally bad, so why not skim dry, and not have to empty the collector as much?
 

bri7969

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2004
Messages
89
Location
spokane wa
come on now what do you guys and gals said is better I just strated running my frist skimmer would like to know
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
7,670
Location
Columbia Falls, MT.
they say a dry foam is the best. once you get it goin good, you can play around and see which way you get the best results for your situation.:D
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
The wetter the Better!

I like doing the small water changes running it wet. I also have my refugium on top of my tank bieng circulated with an air driven system.
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
What are our goals with foam fractionation? I.e. Protein skimming.

Let's work this like a tax return and start from the bottom and work upwards to arrive at the bottom line. :)

What are our goals? What does protein skimming do? Why is it desirable or not desirable? What is the difference between a wet skimmate and a dry skimmate? Why is one or the other better?

I'm good at questions rather than answers. I have a number of them after we answer those biggies.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
The goal is to remove all the DOCs (Dissolved Organic Compounds) and waste that we can. These fuel the growth of unwanted organisms in our systems, so the removal of these "nasties" will help keep the unwanted organisms at bay. One of the disadvantages I can think of...and it isn't really that much of one....is the removal of elements. I would like to know what the salinity of skimmate is....I'm curious with wet skimmate, how much NaCl does it pull out?

Here is a good article on Skimming ---> Skimming Basics 101: Understanding your skimmer

This is another good article on Chemical Filtration by Delbeek. March/April 1990 issue of Aquarium Fish Magazine - by Charles Delbeek

Of the various chemical filtration methods available, only foam fractionation completely removes most organics before they begin to break down (Moe, 1989). The list of substances removed by fractionation includes amino acids, proteins, metals such as copper and zinc complexed with the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, phosphate, iodine, fatty acids and phenols.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Check out the size of this skimmer....anyone for a swim in some skimmate?
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
Originally posted by NaH2O I would like to know what the salinity of skimmate is....I'm curious with wet skimmate, how much NaCl does it pull out?
I'll clean my skimmer today and let it run for a day or two and give you this reading.

DOCs are the waste molecules skimmers are designed to remove; these are produced as byproducts from the breakdown of biological materials. This pollution arises from not only the deliberate input of foods in our tank but also from decaying organic matter (bacteria, algaes, etc). DOCs are bipolar molecules; these surfactants are attracted to air/water interfaces, i.e., bubbles. A bipolar molecule contains one or more atoms attracted to air, and one or more atoms attracted to water. A skimmer exploits this
Okay, that's the gist of how it works chemically. Basically, this water is churning in the riser tube and then goes back to the tank. Depending on the efficiency of the skimmer, a lot of the DOC's, VOC's, etc. collect in the bubbles in the top of the tube. I got this info from the link in Nikki's Reefkeeping link.

The polar regions outside of the air bubble stabilize the air bubble very much like a soap bubble in your kitchen sink or your washing machine. This is why a foam begins to build up at the surface of the skimmer. As the protein laden bubble reaches the top of the protein skimmer, the proteins begin to accumulate which creates a stable foam bubble. These stable foam bubbles take a long time to pop. Thus, the proteins slowly are concentrated at the top of the skimmer where they are slowly pushed through the "throat" of the protein skimmer and into the collection cup.
This is going to result in a skimmate that is very concentrated in organics. Isn't that a good thing?
 
Last edited:

DonW

R.I.P.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,753
Location
Tacoma, WA
My question would be how do you know when your "over skimming" or is it possible?

Over the years we've seen skimmers grow and grow. Are we skimming more and just having to add more and more food to keep our corals alive?

Does a huge skimmer remove things like Ca and Mg?


Thanks
Don
 

reedman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
I think Don brings up a great point. What is the threshold between skimming alot and skimming too much? How do you determine if you are under/overskimming a tank? If your skimmer is producing plenty of skimmate and you still have algae does it automatically mean you don't have a big enough skimmer (as many people state over and over again)? What other factors play into efficiency of skimmers (i.e. a clean skimmer is much more efficient than a dirty one). Are there certain chemicals that could interfere with (or enhance) the operation of a skimmer?

All I have are questions at this point, but I really think that answering them will shed a lot of light on what size, wet/dry, what makes it go bezerk when you still up the tank, etc.

-Reed
 

reeffan

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
Messages
240
Location
Kent, Washington
DonW said:
.

I wonder who the poor guy is that has to clean the cups.

Don
Im glad its not me:p .

WET OR DRY?

For me, i like to skim both wet and dry. I run my skimmer dry when i just did a water change and wet skimmate after 2-3 weeks.

reeffan
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
DonW said:
My question would be how do you know when your "over skimming" or is it possible?
Not in my opinion unless you wanted to keep one of the rarer corals like an elegance coral.

Over the years we've seen skimmers grow and grow. Are we skimming more and just having to add more and more food to keep our corals alive?

Does a huge skimmer remove things like Ca and Mg?
The skimmers are getting bigger because we are more aware now of how to best get rid of nutrients and how important it is. Reefs are oligotrophic and very low in nutrients. By comparison, our tanks are cesspools even with good skimming.

Yes, some of the Ca and Mg will be removed through skimming as well as other trace elements. However, the amount is quite small.
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
Originally posted by reedman If your skimmer is producing plenty of skimmate and you still have algae does it automatically mean you don't have a big enough skimmer (as many people state over and over again)?
Skimmers can remove some forms of Phosphates but a lot of the phosphates are sequestered in bacteria, algaes, bodies of critters, and fish poop before it breaks down. Ammonium and high nitrates can also cause algae problems. Skimming can't solve all problems but it is a good tool to vastly improve our water quality.

What other factors play into efficiency of skimmers (i.e. a clean skimmer is much more efficient than a dirty one). Are there certain chemicals that could interfere with (or enhance) the operation of a skimmer?
We should discuss the different methods of efficiency. Definately, a skimmer that is regularly cleaned and maintained is going to be more efficient.
 

reedman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
The skimmers are getting bigger because we are more aware now of how to best get rid of nutrients and how important it is. Reefs are oligotrophic and very low in nutrients. By comparison, our tanks are cesspools even with good skimming.
I think this is true for certain biotopes of the reef. If you are keeping a soft coral tank, or one that is mixed rather than an SPS tank, this may not be 100% accurate. Many corals like some nutrients. On top of that, if you keep any grazing fish, then you will lose all of the algae that the fish graze on and you will have to add more nutrients into the tank via food. Visciuos circle.

The idea of having a tank that is essensially void of nutrients being the target seems a bit odd to me. It's like trying to look like a model when you know genetics won't allow it. We can't match the ocean. We try to come close. My opinion is that there is a limitation on how much skimming one should aspire to. There is a point where adding another 4 ft onto the tube and a larger pump is not going to produce better results.

JMHO
 
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