Salty Confessions: Procrastination Never Pays in Reefkeeping!

Ignoring a protein skimmer in need of maintenance could make you pay later! Regular SWS readers know that CC and I always emphasize the importance of staying on top of routine maintenance chores so small problems don’t develop into big ones. Great advice for a hobby in which only bad things happen quickly, right? Unfortunately, my recent failure to follow my own “sage” advice nearly led to disaster. Allow me to set the stage: Over the holidays, my wife, Melissa, and I had to ready our house for a large family get-together. Because we’re generally messy and disorganized people who like to procrastinate, that meant major cleaning and decluttering in the last few days prior to the gathering. On the first day of our cleaning odyssey, I was vacuuming around my reef system (situated in the living room) and noticed that the protein skimmer was in need of a tear-down and cleaning. Specifically, the volume of water discharging from the skimmer was greater than usual and the water level in the reaction chamber was higher than normal—both tell-tale signs that the air-intake was getting clogged.