How we rate our skimmers.Euro-Reef was THE FIRST* manufacturer to publish realistic ratings for
our protein skimmers and at Reef Dynamics we follow in that tradition
and conviction. We offer both "Capacity" and "Ideal""
ratings for all of our products so that you can properly compare them
against the other products.
CAPACITY: The INS350 is rated to filter up to 1000 gallons of total system water volume when compared with other like sized products on the market.
IDEAL: The INS350 is ideal for "Mixed Reef" aquarium systems with a total capacity of +/- 350 gallons with a medium/average bio-load. A "Mixed Reef" system is typically comprised of a mixture of soft corals, hard corals and a small fish population along with a few small crustaceans etc. These systems typically put out less DOC's that the heavier stocked "Fish Only" Systems and have less restrictive requirements on water quality than "SPS" systems
IDEAL: The INS350 is ideal for "Fish Only" aquarium systems with a total capacity of +/- 300 gallons, especially those that do not use any live rock or sand, typically have a much higher bio-load when compared to the same sized Reef Aquarium and therefore require a far more powerful protein skimmer. The reason for this is that fish with a similar physical "biomass" to a given coral or colony of corals release substantially more waste that the coral, and this puts a greater amount of DOC's - specifically urine and fecal matter- into the water column.
IDEAL: The INS350 is ideal for "SPS" aquarium systems with a total capacity of +/- 300 gallons with a heavy bio-load. "SPS" systems (aquaria with a focus on Small Polyped Stony corals) benefit from a high rate of organic extraction as it promotes and enhances coloration in corals by limiting the nutrients available to the symbiotic algae (Zooxanthellae) living within there tissue. In addition, a high rate of organic and particulate extraction increases the clarity of the water which in turn enhances the penetration of UV rays that stimulate the development of the corals colorful UV protective materials. Increased water clarity also optimizes the efficiency of the Zooxanthellae a thus decreases the number of the protozoa required to provide the coral with the food (glucose) it takes up in exchange for the CO2 produced by the coral through normal biological processes.
How to choose the right skimmer for your aquarium.Choosing the
right skimmer for your aquarium is all about understanding "Bio-Load".
When a skimmer can handle the bio-load of the system, it will actually
“idle” when the level of Dissolved Organic Compounds ( DOC’s) drops low
enough to limit fractionation. i.e., there aren’t enough DOC’s to form
a stable head of Foamate. When a skimmer cannot handle the bio-load, it
will continuously be creating foamate and skimmate and never “idle”.
This is a clear indication that the skimmer is undersized for the
system and should be upgraded or modified to handle the existing
bio-load. Most skimmer manufactures base their system rating or
capacity on one simple premise: Economy While this rating system makes
it look like you are getting more bang for your buck, in most cases it
will do little to actually achieve the purpose of a protein skimmer! To
get the most out of a skimmer and optimize your investment dollars, you
must purchase a well engineered, properly rated protein skimmer. At
Reef Dynamics, that's exactly what we do.
What is a Protein Skimmer and what does it do?“Protein
Skimming” or “Foam Fractionation” is a process of removing Dissolved
Organic Compounds (DOC’s) from seawater by way of ionic attraction and
adhesion. DOC’s are ionically attracted to the surface of the tiny
bubbles created by the skimmer pump or airstone.
As the bubbles
rise in the skimmers “Reaction Chamber”, their surface becomes coated
with these DOC’s and when they reach the top of the skimmer, they
condense in a frothy head called “Foamate”, much like the billows of
foam you might find on the seashore after a storm. The foamate is
pushed over the “Neck” of the skimmer where is falls down into the
"Cup" and liquefies (like beer when it over-foams in a glass). This
concentrated liquid is called “Skimmate” and is a collection of DOC’s,
algae, miscellaneous floating particles, and water.
of this DOC’s is critical in providing optimal water quality in closed
marine aquarium systems. If the skimmer is correctly sized for the
system, it will be able to remove most if not all of the DOC’s before
they become oxidized by nitrifying bacteria. Since the job of these
bacteria is to convert DOC's into Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate,
subverting this process is ideal since the goal is to limit the
accumulation of Nitrates and other toxins in the system.
Learn more HERE.
* (Circa 1996)