Protein Skimming: Bubble Your Way to Better Water Quality

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  1. Avatar Jane Rodriguez says:

    Hi I am a newbie on the salt water tank thing. I have a 30 gal tank which will get larger as I learn how to take care of it. I have a question and every saltwater place I ask gives me a different answer. I have a black plastic cover that goes down the back of my tank which covers the filter system and it has gotten a lot of white hard things on it. It looks almost like a kind of salt build up. I can’t take it off because it needs to be scrapped and I am afraid to damage the plastic wall. Everyone tells me to leave it and someday it will glow purple with the blue light on but it getting more and more on it. I just want to make sure it won’t hurt my tank. Hopefully you have seen this before a can tell me what this is. I have my water checked at least once a month and it is always testing good. Please help.

    Jane Rodriguez

    1. Avatar Jeff Kurtz says:

      Hi Jane. We have a few ideas of what this might be, but it would be very helpful in making a determination if we could see a photo of the buildup in question. Would it be possible to post one to our Facebook page or email one to us?

      1. Avatar Jane Rodriguez says:

        Thank you I just posted a picture on face book for you. Couldn’t figure out how to get one on here.


  2. Avatar James Kotara says:

    I’ve firsthand dealt with skimmer blues. In fact i’ve gone through a good 4-5 skimmers on my 180 display tank. From what i can understand in the market here in the US is that most protein skimmers are over-rated on what they are “Spec’d at”. Hence a 180 gallon with a skimmer rated for up to 220 gallon tank is moreless pushing the capabilities of the skimmer. In essence it’s like buying a car with 200 hp and flooring it all day to get anywhere. Not very effective. Especially if you wish to feed your corals! That in itself creates a huge bioload most companies won’t take in for account on rating there product’s true abilities. With that said, I’ve always tried to tell people that if you want a skimmer that will be a product you won’t be regretting and later upgrading, get a skimmer rated double your tank’s water volume total.

    1. Avatar Jeff Kurtz says:

      Great insights, James! Thanks for your thoughts–and for being the first to comment on our new site. I too have experienced the undersized skimmer blues, so I can relate. A system’s protein skimmer is definitely not a good place to cut corners or skimp on costs, as it’ll just end up costing you more in the long run (much like reef lighting).

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