View Full Version : protien skimmer in a cichlid tank?

02-06-2003, 01:10 AM
would that help out with cleaning the tank?....or is it pointless?....

02-09-2003, 05:05 PM
protein skimmers only work in salt water.

02-09-2003, 05:23 PM
There's a topic somewhere here that talks about protein skimmers in a tropheus tank, but I can't think of how it would work. Freshwater is so much thinner than saltwater. They might have confused a surface skimmer with a protein skimmer which is totally different.

02-10-2003, 06:48 AM
Iv heard from a # of people that a skimmer does a small amount of difference but its not worth the money

02-22-2003, 10:07 PM
so using a skilter would be useless?

JB wind
02-24-2003, 11:35 PM
Save your money and just get a bigger filter if you want, it's not worth it for freshwater. for saltwater it's a must IMO

03-02-2003, 01:53 PM
Protein skimmers are also called "foam fractionators" and are of little use in fresh water (but almost necessary in salt water).

Since fresh water doesn't foam readily, the skimmer doesn't serve the purpose for which it was designed.

Purchasing a Skilter or other protein skimer based device would be of little or no use in your fresh water tank.

With respect to the SURFACE skimmer, there are several new devices which attach to a standard power filter (Aquaclear has one). The idea, and it is well based in most circumstances) is that the majority of organic waste collects on the very top layer of the water surface, and a surface skimmer would then "feed" the filter with the dirtiest possible water. However, in most cichlid tanks, there is (or at least there should be) plenty of circulation throughout the water column, so the organics don't collect quite so well at the surface, and the skimmer would be of lessened effectiveness. Also, since so many people feed their fish floating pellet food, a skimmer would actually suck much of that food down the drain before it was eaten (quickly fouling the water if not removed). In fact, I match the type of pellet I feed with the type of filter on many of my tanks where the fish don't feed aggressively enough to eat the food before the filter eats the food! (sinking pellets with overflow based filters and floating with power filters, etc.). One instance where a surface skimmer WOULD be of great benefit is in a plnated tank where water circulation, especially at the surface, is unwanted in an effort to conserve CO2 to feed the plants. In this case a skimmer would work well (but would ideally be coupled with a submerged return from a canister rather than a waterfall return from a power filter).

03-12-2003, 03:27 PM
Protein skimmers are easily made on the cheep.

Cichlid Jeans
03-20-2003, 10:05 PM
Sometimes I get an oil film on the surface, which I assume comes from oils in food that break free. Since filters suck up water from the bottom of the tank, the oil film sticks around (but disappears, I've noticed, when I've got a duckweed crop!).

A Magnum 350 with microfilter cartridfe will get rid of it in about 5 mins. The angle of the intake tube on the Magnum is adjustable: I tilt it up until the intake is just below the surface. Makes for an interesting flow pattern too, and the borleyii go snake-o.

Jeans :wink:

03-22-2003, 01:27 PM
While skimmers do not work to any appreciable degree in fresh water, the fact that the majority of organics still collects on the surface does still apply (as described above). Overflow based designs are efficient for several reasons but a key reason is based on the fact that (by virtue of their design) they attack the most polluted water first (that is, the overflowed surface layer).

There are skimmer adapters available for most power filters and canisters now (Aquaclear and Fluval both are readily available) that are an inexpensive way of attacking that surface layer.

Also, the comments about the duckweed reducing the film are right on. The value of fast growing floating plants in naturally processing wastes is often under-emphasized. I try to use duckweed or water lettuce wherever possible.