Do I need a skimmer?

skimmerDo I need a skimmer for my basic mixed reef tank? For our KIS system, the answer is no. The negatives include initial expense, noise, electricity consumption, heat, and possible leaks.

For us, there is no substitute for water changes, so we removed the skimmer and have not looked back.

Exactly what does a skimmer remove?  The bad stuff?  Some good stuff?


Our overflows are gravity fed to the sump and end-up in a filter sock.  We get some skimming action from the agitation of the water in the filter sock.  We just wipe the suds away with a paper towel.

Our skimmer was shut down at the beginning of the KIS System evaluation period.  The benefits of a skimmer are questionable and the problems numerous which include: cost of the skimmer, heat, noise, electricity use, and potential leaks to name a few.