FAQ #30: Should I run my protein skimmer during my tank cycle, and while curing rock?

December 30th, 2016
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Today on BRStv, we have another episode of BRS 52 FAQ where we answer all of your frequently asked reefing questions from our popular 52 Weeks of Reefing series.

This week we are answering HuggyBear’s question: "Should I run my skimmer during my tanks cycle?"

To get straight to the point, I would definitely recommend running your skimmer during your tank cycle. As organic material in your tank breaks down into smaller particulate matter, running your protein skimmer will allow for air and water to be mixed into a dense foam where these particles can make their way up through the skimmer body, over the skimmer neck, and finally end up exported in the skimmer’s collection cup.Without running your skimmer this particulate matter would further break down into nitrate and phosphate which will fuel algae growth and only cause you headaches in the long run.

This is equally as important, if not more important when curing dry rock in a separate system or in the new tank itself. The amount of dried organic material on certain types of dry rock like Pukani for example, results in some pretty nasty water during the cure – much more than your typical cycle with rock that has been pre-cured. This large amount of biomass will quickly break down into smaller particulate like I mentioned before where it will be highly beneficial to remove it before it has the chance to break down further.

One thing to note however, is that the water will likely be so foul that your skimmer will tend to produce so much foam for the first few days that it may overflow the cup. You will want to make sure that you are actively monitoring the collection cup level to prevent any nasty spills or overflows. Trust me, once you see what your skimmer removes from the water during a rock cure you’ll be happy ran it!

So follow along as we answer today's question, provide some helpful insight, and help make reefing just bit more fun and easy for you and your tank.

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