Make your own free website on

Skimmer Tips


Comparing skimmer is a difficult task so lets look at the basics first. The minimum of one tank volume per hour is recommended. Twice your tank volume per hour is best. Remember, this is the only method you have of improving you water purity (ie. redox) without using ozone. A 4 in diameter skimmer has almost twice the volume per foot as a 3 in diameter skimmer. A 6 in diameter skimmer has 4 times the volume per foot as a 3 in skimmer. A counter current air driven skimmer is about 25% more efficient than a venturi skimmer. Both require weekly cleaning. The effluent from a skimmer should be dark brown to black fluid. It is concentrated and should never be added back into the tank. In comparing skimmers you must look at the size and the height of the skimmer. How long the water stays in the skimmer is very important and so is the height. The taller the better. You will need a minimum of 400 liter per hour of air to stabilize the carbon dioxide exchange per 100 gallons of water. A Tetra G Luft pump is quiet and produces the required pressure to do the job. It is rated a 600 liter per hour with about 16 feet pressure. For aquariums 50 gallons and below, a 3 foot skimmer will do the job. For 90 to 150 gallons, a 4 in diameter and 4 ft tall skimmer is adequate. You could also use a 6 inch diameter with one air stone to do the job. We do not recommend tall 3 in skimmers with 1" throats as they can not handle the required air flow. You will find that some people will over state the tank size of their skimmers. A popular reference text on Reef Keeping recommends a 6 in diameter, 4 foot tall for up to a 160 gallon tank with a through put of over 300 gal/hour. Don't be fooled. A 4 foot skimmer with 4 in diameter will out perform those "new" noisy unit. To maximize though put you need height above your return tank, that is why we supply a side table extension to show off your skimmer like the Europeans do! You can also keep a good eye on it also. For your conveniunce and if you don't have a lower tank, then our hang on the back units are the answer. A new model 4 foot tall is now available.