Skilter 250

Hi justin - well 1st of all we need to determine where the nitrates are comming from. food, or makeup water. let us know what and how you feed, water change schedule, where you get your water for makeup and for water changes. just off the top with the little information you provided i would suspect you are introducing nitrates or feeding too heavily and not doing enough water changes. the crushed coral may also be contributing to the problem if it is medium to course rubble. provide information and water parameters as noted above, equipement and i will try and help. The skilter is deffinitly a consideration if you do not have any protien skimming now, anything is better than none. as far as the modification is concerned, I am not an advacate of modification but it appeared to be ok and worth trying. i would try the unit 1st without modification and if not satisfactory then modify. waiting to hear on system parameters and will try and help you with nitrates.
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He we go Ok,
I feed my fish every 2 days i feed them seweed sheets bout 1"x1",and flake food very little though just enough for the 2 damsels and i watch them eat, Im on a well so i use that water and put chlor out in it, it is marine safe, and it tests good w/ everything, I also airate my water while it is setting and mixing, my crushed coral is medium rubble, or small i think it is small , The tank has been set up about 6 weeks, this is how i started. My father in law bought a 150 from a guy that was cracked. (his girl hit it with a toy and blew a seem) He took enogh rock and his fish and water and cc put it in a 10 and had a skilter 250 or a 400 on it. we bought the tANK and i took the ten and crushed coral and 4 gallons of wtr. added new water and used same substrate. since then it never cycled rough just easy, i had a yellow tang but was to aggresive so took it back and got three damsles. since then i got 2 dmsls, 1 copperbanded shrimp , and a peppermint,( for the aipstasia anemi) tried my best on spelling. i also put 15 cerith snails snails in for the cycle in the beginning before i went crazy. I guess they eat waste. I got 3 pounds fiji and 2-3 pound tonga branch.and 2 carbon filters, i left the one i started with on because of the bacteria, so it is still on there, and i also added onther here recently just for more till i get a skimmer or skilter. and i also have in the tank a submersiple 301 pump,i just tested it and here is what it is reading,
Specific gravity--- 1.021
Ammonia---.o-.25ppm< between ideal and safe
Nitrite--- 0ppm
ph is ideal
there it is as of 3:25pm 08/03/05
i also use just a one light and the bulb says penn plax FL 15

If ther is anything else just ask, thank you everyone agian for helping this starter!!!

If you are using well water that could be alot of the issue.

Mix up some fresh salt water let it mix for about a day then test it and let us know what the nitrates are of the fresh water.

Well water can also have high phosphates, iron etc things that algea love....or even worse high metals depending on where you live which could include copper which is deadly to invertibrates.

You can buy RO water at walmart for 33 cents a gallon for a 10 gallon tank that might be a wise option for you, if in fact it is the well water.

I don't know alot about skilters, but i would imagine the skimmer that was linked above from ebay for 6 dollars or a used seaclone from ebay would probably be alot better.

I don't know where you live, but for a beginner a 10 gallon could be a rough way to go.... you could probably buy a 30 gallon at petsmart for 50 bucks or so...

Keep us posted.

My well water has tested fine with everythind no strong metals i just think that the crushed coral and waste is my problem but i think i should buy water , i will do that .
I know this is going to cause debate and you might want to get some other opinions, but I'll throw the idea out anyways.

Many people dont belive in vacuuming your substrate in Reef tanks, but in your case with such a small tank this might be an idea.... I would read up or look for other opinions first though.. a 30 gallon has been the smallest salt tank I have ever had.

For now, Do a large water change and change/rinse any mecanical filters you have. and see if that helps.

your substrait is part of your problem, another part is the carbon. once saturated it will leach stuff back into the tank so clean and change every 2 weeks or so. only use carbon that sissles when it contacts water. sounds like bacon in a frying pan. this is an indication you have good carbon. carbon should not be shinny black but flat black or kind of dull in color. you really only need to run carbon if your water yellows. you definitely need to use distilled water from the local grocery and mix up your salt with that. mix in seperate container and mix several gallons at a time, airiate and keep at same temp as tank. top your tank off with distilled water no salt until your tank is at its correct level, then drain out a half gal and replace with mixed salt water. start with a 1/2 gal water change per day and test a couple hours after the water change for nitrates. if the nitrates start to come down keep doing it until you are under 5 ppm. use a pump and blast your rock and substrait like a storm at least once a week or twice until your nitrates come down. do this before you do your water change. DO NOT ADD ANYTHING ELSE TO YOU SYSTEM UNTIL YOU GET THE NITRATES UNDER CONTROL. take a sample of your water to the local fish store and have them test it for you to verify your test kits are accurate. remember freshly mixed salt water is not suitable for your tank and will be detrimental to the animals you keep, it takes 24 to 72 hours for freshly mixed salt water to fully stabilize. strong airiation is needed also. try these suggestions and let us know how you are doing. with 10 gal and rock etc, your water volume is very small, so you need to be very careful on what you put into the system such as flake food ect. you could also be leaching from the previous systems nitrates that came in on the substrait and rock. will take time to get it out enough to lower your nitrates to an acceptable level. do get a protien skimmer going as soon as possible. remember to change out that old carbon and run carbon only for two weeks max. and then change out. good luck keep us posted. welcome to the salt water hobby. let us know if you have any more questions.
I am having problems getting that number to come up.Is it the one I linked if so $20 or so is the most you should pay for that skimmers.Anything more that that
I get the propak one I linked on Aquatraders.How much is it anyway?My first !2 gallon had crushed coral what a pain.I did vacuum the you know what out if it and the nitrates did drop.What brand of test kit do you use.Sometimes they expire.So would see if your LFS(local fish store) can test for you.If you do a gravel vac.You can move the rock,fish and shrimp to 5 gallon buckets with tank water added.Then you will get a through cleaning.Also to get it cleaned good you water supply will run out.Just add fresh water while cleaning.The tank should be empty after the cleaning or close to it.Fill the tank with new saltwater and let it circulate.If it is your budget you may want to get the stuff out and go with some live sand.
my 1st response in your thread covers my opinion on the skilter. with such a small system, most any proven skimmer will work for your as long as you do not overload your system with a bioload that is to high, i.e. too many fish, too much food. etc. hope something here helps. good luck.