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  1. #1
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    O2 affected by a protien skimmer?

    Interesting article on RC:

    Anyway a while back we were discussing O2 levels in aquariums and I suggested that the protien skimmer would have an effect, although diminishing as tank size increases.

    I'm not sure if anyone else bought into this, but here's some charts & points from the article:

    EDIT: RC redirects any links I try to make, and I won't "steal" their graphics so you'll need to go to the article and scroll down to the 10G tank and 10G tank with skimmer graphs.

    Sorry 'bout that.

    Here's the author's points on it:

    Airstones and skimmers appear to be a very effective means of oxygenating small water volumes. Their effect on larger water volumes appears to be less. While the effect may be relative, the larger tanks and systems described here utilized powerful skimming or air pumps, and to gain an equivalent amount of oxygen as occurs in small water volumes would likely require air pumps or skimmers far larger than those commonly employed by aquarists. This includes data from a coral farm where very large commercial sized skimmers and high surface area/volume ratios failed to produce water even nearly saturated with oxygen at night with a heavy coral population

    So I may have been on to something after all

    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  2. #2
    Moderator cres's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Well, come on, let's hear it:


    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    O2 is a very volatile gas and water will only hold it for so long before it is used to oxidize biological matter or be lost as part of the gas exchange that is always occurring at the surface. There is no doubt that the larger the volume of water the more air you need to pump into it to achieve the same levels as would be seen in a smaller volume of water. It is no different then anything else you could add to the water column. If the input source is delivering a fixed volume of any substance it will become more dilute in a larger volume of water.
    This is why Ozone is so attractive as an additional additive. It is really nothing more then O2 in a concentrated form

  4. #4
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Ozone is quite different. It's still an attrative additon, but it's not really concentrated O2.

    O2 is required for the biological reactions in the aquarium, but left to it's own it's pretty stable and usually won't oxidize anything without a metal ion as a catalyst.

    Plain old air (mostly nitrogen) works in your protien skimmer to remove dissovled organics becuase one end (of the dissolved organic compound) "sticks" to water and the other end doesn't. This means the gunk forms on the bubbles & gets pushed out into the collection cup.

    Ozone (O3) would much rather be O2 or at least something more stable. Typically O3 will degrade to O2 and leave an "orphaned" Oxygen atom.

    That atom wants to attach to something as quickly as possible, so O3 is a oxidant that requires no catalyst.

    O3 "burns" (oxidizes) stuff out of your water. You have to be careful with it becasue it's not terribly discriminate about what it burns out of the water, the rocks, the fish, the coral etc.

    It's espcially effective when a species (molecule) posses multiple bonds. Which I suspect most organics do. The ones you want to keep as well as the ones you want to break down.

    It can also cause hydrogen dioxide (aka hydrogen peroxide H2O2) to form in your water, which when exposed to light, eps. UV light and / or warm temperatures quickly breakes down into H20 (water) and HO (a free radical).

    HO is very reactive and will "suck up" anything it can. Usually it's another Hydrogen, but it's not picky & it's really not picky where it gets that second atom from.

    Anyway I could spend days chasing around the likely chemical reactions of O3 in an reef aquarium, but chem class was a very loooooong time ago and I don't have a spotter or safety net

    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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