If skimming why bio pellets?


New member
Many of us oversize our skimming. Guidance is often provided "œget the biggest skimmer you can afford". I even see folks reporting inconsistent skimmate production as over skimming removes organics quickly and the skimmer has little or nothing to work with.

So, why is there a need for bio pellets if you have a properly sized skimmer?


New member
I cant answer your question definitively, but as a new member to the hobby I bought into the "go big or go home" skimmer mentality. I have a quality reef octopus oversized skimmer and as of now have 0 nitrates or algea issues and I dont run biopellets or carbon dosing.


New member
Because even the best skimmer is not going to take all organics out of the water. Lot's of food/wastes will still decay in water on rocks, substrate and feed the nitrogen cycle, which in turn will produce nitrates.


Go Spurs Go!!!
Premium Member
Normally a skimmer alone is not enough, even an oversized skimmer. If your nitrates start to creep up then you need to do something to address it, carbon dosing is one effective way to keep nitrates in check and to a lesser degree, phosphates.


New member
Here's how I look at it.

It's about available tools to battle nitrates. You start off with a good set-up to include a good skimmer and good tank maintenance. If that keeps your nitrates under control, then that's all you need. If despite these your nitrates go up, then it's time for the next set of tools, in addition to what you already have. This includes a refugium, an ATS, and of course, the biopellet reactor.


New member
Skimmers Remove Dissolved organics mainly, before they have a chance to break down to N and P.

you can never skim the whole system, we only skim the water passing through the skimmer. so some of this Dissolved organics [DO] will remain in system, break down, and turn into ammonia which in turn converts to no3 and po4.

skimmer can no longer remove these chemicals from water.

so we use ORGANIC CARBON, to FEED bacteria and promote their growth. these bacteria take up no3 as their nitrogen source [every living thing needs it to grow] and po4 to make cell walls and DNA. as these bacteria grow more, they take up more n and p.

Skimmer can now remove/skim the excess bacteria :)

so we basically make a loop, convert the N and P to biomass [bacteria] and remove those.



New member
Hey thanks for your comments everyone. Although my phosphates are undetectable my nitrates have crept up. I have a fuge with dsb but the macro algae isn't growing. I've been seeding a pellet reactor for about a week now.

Having completed an upgrade in tank size to 150g (250g overall), I thought my skimmer (rated for 120g) might hold up given my light bio load. My new skimmer, rated up to 400g is on the way.

I'm glad to hear that together these will make for an improved environment.


New member
All you need is a good skimmer to remove dissolved organics and a filter sock to remove particulate organics. Your nitrates and phosphates will be undetectable. If you still get high nitrates and or phosphates, you need to find the source and fix it. Usually dead spots where uneaten food and detritus accumulates or just too many fish.