how long to stop skimming after reef feeding?

homegrowncichlid

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Hi all, I've been stopping my skimmer after feeding phyto and homemade ground up foods for about an hour so that everything gets mixed into the water as per their instructed usage.
Recently, I was reading Eric Borneman's book Aquariums Corals, Selection, Husbandry and Natural History, which suggested that I feed after the lights go out.
Since then I've noticed that about 15 to 60 minutes after the food goes in AND lights go out, some species of coral extend their tentacles! Ascans, favia, war, trupet and chalice corals specifically. Of course the dendros and sun corals open up also regardless of the lights.
In addition, according to Broneman, not only do the corals consume the plantonic foods, but also the bacterial flock, which also comprises a significant portion of marine snow. So I'm now thinking in my mind, that I should leave the skimmer off for the entire night, and just turn it on in the morning, so that all the suspended foods AND the bacterial bloom that follows all gets properly filter fed to the feather dusters, sponges, mussels, etc.

I feed my reef 2 or 3 times a week and I'm thinking shutting down the skimmer for 8 hours versus my normal 1-2 hours after feeding isn't going to affect water quality too much, (I hope at least, because the past couple of weeks I've been feeding at night, I fall asleep and forget to power up the skimmer). I've also noticed that the skimmate, which is usually light in the morning, is thicker in the evening after I skip the overnight skimming, which seems to provide evidence of the better feeding. Of course this could simply be due to collecting a double portion of proteins during the day.

Thoughts?
 
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Mattl22

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Does the feeding make skimmer over flow? I leave mine on except 1 night a week I use prodibo reef booster and it causes skimmer too over flow so the night I feed the reef booster I unplug it next mourning usually Sunday I do my weekly maintenance 5 gal water change clean skimmer equipment ect... Then plug skimmer back in! Been working for me ! I use oyster feast few times a week don't unplug skimmer just let it run
 

homegrowncichlid

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AH, so you also get a much better skim after a night of no skimming and feeding. In your situation Mattl22, there are 2 possibilites, either the prodibo is still circulating in the water, and the skimmer is pulling it out the next morning, OR more likely it does as advertised and you have a massive bacterial/plankton bloom which is feeding your reef and your corals are feeding/metabolizing it up. The trick and the question I'm asking, is when to turn the skimmer back on. Too early, and we're skimming off the food bloom. Too late and protiens build up.

So, does the skimmer have to be on 100% the time? 75% (skipping weekends when traveling) or even as low as 50% (every other day) and still maintain water quality?
 
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