DIY protein skimmer test you can do at home! Dry vs. Wet skimming? | BRStv Investigates

DIY protein skimmer test you can do at home! Dry vs. Wet skimming? | BRStv Investigates

– Today on BRStv Investigates, we finally answer the question, “Is dry skimming better than wet?” but more importantly, is it better in a manner that allows you to test at home on your own tank? For anyone who wants the best performance out of their skimmer, you’ll get your answer today. (funky pop) Hi, I’m Randy with this
Friday’s BRStv Investigates. We put popular reefing gear, theories, and methods to the test by experimenting on our own tanks so you don’t have to experiment on yours, and well, actually we do
want you to experiment on your own tank today, and we’ve got a test
that you can do at home to help decide whether more
air and wetter skimmate, less air and dryer skimmate, or somewhere in between, is right for your tank and bioload. But first, we’re gonna
show you the results that we came up with on this BRS 750 XXL. So, over the last handful of BRStv Investigates episodes, we’ve been on a journey of learning more about the way our protein skimmers work and better ways we can approach tuning or adjusting them, where during those tests,
we discovered some well defined lines between
dry and wet skimming, but there is still one
large looming question that we set out to answer
today, and that is, can you measure which skimming
approach, wet or dry, removes the most organics from your tank. Well today we’ve got our
answer for our heavily stocked BRS 750 XXL and when we’re
done, you’ll learn how to use this same experiment
on your tank and decide which type of skim is right for you. Let’s show you how we did it. Okay so using the results
that we saw from our last experiment on the BRS 750
XXL where we confirmed that lower air draw speeds produce dryer, thicker skimming foam, while
faster air draw created a more wet and watery skimmate. For today’s experiment, we
took those results to the next level by collecting all
of the organics that our regal 200 EXT recirculating
skimmer removed in a 24 hour period with the recirculating
air draw pump set to three different speeds
of one, three and five, which approximately worked
out to be 440, 810 and 1,080 liters per hours air draw respectively. After collecting the
skimmate produced in 24 hours at each of those different
air speeds, we then mixed each sample with enough RODI
water to create one liter solutions and compared them
visually where we would expect the most turbid
samples to be the most organically rich. We should keep in mind
here that our goal isn’t a peer reviewed scientific
study, which almost has no value to the reefer
at home and their specific gear, but rather the goal
is to help those reefers at home determine the best
setup for their equipment, livestock, and bioload. We believe that diluting
what the skimmer’s actually collecting from the tank
might be one of the easiest ways for the home reefer to
quickly visually identify the best way to tune
their gear so with that, here’s what we found on our tank. Using specialized lighting
equipment available to us in the BRStv studio, we were
able to place concentrated light behind each one
liter skimmate sample, and we arranged those samples
with the lowest air draw speed one on the left,
middle air draw speed three in the center, and the
highest air draw speed five on the right. In our example, although the
skimmate collected at speed three and five are a
bit close to each other, to me it looks as though the
middle of the road air speed three is slightly more
turbid than the other two, and clearly, we see that air
speed one seemed to collect the least amount of organics
since it lets the most light through. So we could stop here and
draw some conclusions about what we’re seeing, but in
an effort to refine today’s results by making them easier
to read and at the same time turn this into a fun experiment
that you can actually try on your own, since
not everyone has access to super bright studio lighting
and laboratory glass sample jars, we’ve taken
this one a little further. With that we diluted the skimmate samples even further into one gallon,
Mr. Chilly mixing jugs and using the sun from outside,
which provides us the best evenly diffused light source,
we compared the results again by placing them in a window sill. Looking at the samples again,
we can now more clearly see three distinctly
different levels of turbidity between the organic content
from each, and this time the consistency between
air draw speeds three and five are far more
discernible to our eye. I think today’s results
were obviously striking a balance between the right
amount of air and organics really drives home the
notion that more air and more horsepower doesn’t necessarily
mean better performance, and we’re putting a little
more thought into finding that balance will help
us optimize our skimmers to their fullest potential,
which is why today’s question, can you measure which
skimming approach, wet or dry, removes the most organics from your tank, gets an overwhelming vote
of ten out of ten for me. With this simple at home
experiment, using a few containers like these clear
mixing jugs that you might already have lying around, I
don’t doubt that we can all start to make better choices
when it comes to choosing a skimmer setting that
eliminates common skimmer tuning issues like overflowing
or underperforming, where in the end it’s not
about which protein skimmer is the best, but rather
what tuning method is the best for your specific tank,
bioload and feeding habits. For instance, even if speed
setting three and five turned out to be the exact
same, the thicker foam and lower air velocity of
speed three was actually much easier to tune and manage. The fact that in this case,
not only did it remove the most organics, but
was also easier to adjust, makes this more of a
beneficial choice that this particular skimmer has the
ability to create wetter and dryer foam with the simple
push of a control button. I think the next question
that we all have at this point, now that we have
protein skimmer elements of mechanical filtration
dialed in, is what can we reasonably expect from
implementing proper mechanical filtration like skimmers,
filter socks, and media reactors. In all honesty, it’s only
worth doing if they produce legit results, and in this episode of the VRS wwc hybrid series,
Ryan discusses what getting each of these components
right can do to help us achieve the most
stable, simple filtration approach that will
absolutely turn our dreams of a stunning show tank into a reality.



  • Bulk Reef Supply

    More from BRStv !

    ➡ See all our Skimmer Experiments! :

    ➡ We also tested Refugiums! :

    ➡ Don't forget about Salt Mix Testing! :

  • Alex G.

    This is awesome thank you guys for all the hard work. It's always greatly appreciated!

  • E. Asinus

    Freeze dry the skimmate and weigh it. I would gladly run it through mine if you guys dont have one

  • Eric's fishing adventures

    Yessss! I've been waiting for this video forever! Thanks so much brs!

  • Ross B Reef'n

    I would like to see a sump setup with the skimmer before the filter socks. If I could get nori debris out of the tank, before it hits the socks, the filter socks wouldn't get clogged so fast, and it would be out of the water.

  • Christian Vye

    Measuring dry weight will give you your answer.

  • Mike B

    Awww here I thought you were going to drink them to test them non scientifically 😀

  • Marc Gordon

    What about testing the diluted skimmate for phosphates and nitrates

  • Jesus Rodriguez

    Thank you for this great test.. It's a great time to be alive with all this free reefing information with repeatable results.

  • Tony Halik

    The same test with non dc pump – Red Sea Skimmers. Thx.

  • Andrew Adrian

    Use a protein standard. Start with powdered milk.

  • Saint Nova

    Don't you just hate when results are down the middle? That's much much harder to tune on skimmers that are not DC and even if they were I'm sure different DC skimmers would behave differently. Do it with the Vertex Omega please. Let's see the skimmer that people have seen you run time and time again under that test. Thanks.

  • Scott Campbell

    The skimmer only skims a small amount of water. Most your water goes right past the skimmer. Once in the skimmer just some is kept in long enough for skimmer the rest falls back into the bypass water. I would like to see a video on multiple small skimmers in a tank vs one large one.

  • Edson Jerez

    What about looking into posible reasons for RTN in sps. People might stay in the hobby if we avoid these events. Let say you expose frags to temp swings, and alkalinity swings etc. Send tissue samples to a lab to find what bacteria is present. Etc contact me If you have any questions. [email protected]

  • Dominic Aubrey

    Is it really fair to compare equal quantities of skimmate when you would normally get more collected fluid from a wet vs a dry skim and overall organics “may” end up balancing out?

  • The Best

    what about level 4? i have a 300 ext. i need to know this. lol

  • Ted

    I have no air or speed setting.rofl. Deltec for life. Set it and forget it.

  • Dan Bodily

    I have a problem with this test

    It sounds like you tested setting speed 1 next setting speed 3 then the final setting speed 5 every 24 hour one right after the other?
    Let me guess you tested speed 1 then 3 then 5?
    So setting speed 3 could pulled more organically rich water because setting speed 1 did not gather much in 24 hours? making the water more rich in organics for test number 2. Is this possibly why we see less organics in speed 5 vs speed 3?
    Just a thought

    Or did you reset after each test? letting the skimmer run at the high setting 24 before the next test?

    It is just a thought not that the test is wrong just that it could be wrong and explain the difference between test 2 and 3?

  • Rob’s Red Sea max

    Great test can’t wait to try this myself, and doesn’t cost anything to do it

  • Tom Gionet

    I'm running a 250-E on my 750XXL at max air draw, with a CoR [email protected] 13w and roughly 1300 RPM. Skimmer is external with the water height roughly the length of the tip of my thumb to knuckle from the bottom of the cup mount. Skimmate is thick, black, and the foulest smelling I've ever experienced.

  • JAH Reef

    Does this test include the organics that were caked onto the inside of the skimmer? The video only showed you pouring the liquid skimmate

  • otchoa94

    it'a a good idea but non perfect : if you want to compare wet vs dry skimming, you must JUST adjust the level on the skimmer (high, medium or low), not the quantity of air (the same for the 3 test)

  • CrotalusHH

    I was wondering how you were going to measure how much protein was skimmed? Good answer!

  • Octapus Dude

    Cool vid, I have a question, is clear silicone stronger than black ?

  • Eric Johnson

    I don't understand how this test shows us anything? The "wetter skim" on setting 5 is already more diluted with water than setting 3 before you added the additional water.

  • Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *