Your aquarium is likely to get dirty due to the type of food you feed the fish or the dirt that can accumulate over time. To help with the removal of such dissolved organic compounds and the additional harmful substances, you will need to get yourself the best protein skimmer. The product will help eliminate such things on the biological filter installed in the aquarium.
The protein skimmer for a reef tank or biocube works by removing these organic compounds using air bubbles. These air bubbles are commonly found in a collection cup accompanied with the skimmer. Whenever water from the aquarium is passed through the collection cup, all the nasty stuff is removed completely. The protein skimmers have always been so effective that most people use them in place of a mechanical filter.
You will need to get the protein skimmer today for your nano cube or any other type of aquarium that you may own. Below are some of the benefits you can expect to experience with the protein skimmers.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of using protein skimmer for your aquarium
- Best Protein Skimmer for the Money
- Top Rated Protein Skimmers Reviews
- 1. SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer
- 2. Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer
- 3. CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus
- 4. Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump
- 5. Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer
- 6. Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9001
- 7. Coral Vue Technology AC20284 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer
- 8. Reef Octopus Classic 150 Space Saver Protein Skimmer NWB150SSS
- 9. AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang On Back Protein Skimmer
- 10. AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer with Cobalt 1200 Pump
- What is the best protein skimmer?
- How to choose a protein skimmer?
- Types of Protein Skimmers
- How to set up a protein skimmer?
- Protein Skimmer Q&A
Benefits of using protein skimmer for your aquarium
- The idea is to clean the water by removing all the dissolved organic compounds. In the end, you will always end up with an environment full of oxygen, which is important for the fish to survive while in the water.
- The skimmer will help remove nitrates and other material that could easily lead to additional breakdown and cause the emergence and spread of algae. The worst part is that algae can be hard to control if you don’t deal with it early enough—all the more reason to look into protein skimmers today.
- The buildup of dirt in the aquarium water often leads to issues, such as cloudy water that does not allow light to penetrate it. This would obviously affect the marine life in the aquarium. Using the skimmer, it is now possible to clear cloudy water and restore it to a pristine condition.
- The organic components dissolved in the system often lead to issues such as unstable pH levels. These pH levels might not be favorable for the fish and other types of marine life. It is time that you changed all that by using protein skimmers. They will easily lead to a stable pH level in the aquarium.
- The use of a skimmer will always have an overall improvement of the health of the animals in the aquarium. Just make sure to replace it whenever the skimmers might have stopped producing skimmate.
Best Protein Skimmer for the Money
|SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer||- Saltwater tanks |
- Up to 180 galons
|Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer||- Up to 140 gallons|
|CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus||- Up to 100 galons|
|Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump||- 65 gallons to 220 gallons|
|Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer||- Up to 105 galons|
|Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9001||- Nano reef aquariums |
- Up to 37 gallons
|Coral Vue Technology AC20284 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer||- Up to 100 gallons|
|Reef Octopus Classic 150 Space Saver Protein Skimmer||- Up to 100 gallons|
|AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer||- Nano or small saltwater aquarium|
- Up to 75 gallons
|AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer with Cobalt 1200 Pump||- Up to 75 gallons|
With many options available, you will need to learn about the top models to have an easier time making the decision on which to buy. Below are the best protein skimmers on the market today.
Top Rated Protein Skimmers Reviews
1. SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer
It’s a new model, and it sure comes with some features that make it better than the older models. The manufacturer included all the new features that many people have always wanted in a protein skimmer. Its size is based on a compact design that makes it suitable for multiple applications for various aquariums. The extra collection is a feature worth noting in this model.
The model still comes with a powerful Atman 2000 pump that delivers great bubbles needed for dissolving the organic matter in the aquarium water. The overall performance of the model is great when comparing it to other models in the same category as it is.
Since it is able to work great for large aquariums, it is for sure the best protein skimmer for the price. The manufacturer has rated it to be best for aquariums of up to 180 gallons. If you have any aquarium within its range, then you should have an easier time cleaning the water with this product.
- It has an amazing support for the large capacity aquariums
- It has a strong pump for producing the best bubbles
- It is easy to operate thanks to its easy controls
- It has a seamless assembly process
- The pump often breaks after using it for a couple of months
- The micro bubbles make it look cloudy and need a lot of regular cleaning
2. Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer
The manufacturer had to make something that could rival the other competitors fairly in terms of features. It is a great product you get to use for your aquarium to clean the water. It might not be really compact, but it sure has a great design that can fit in tight spaces. You will not have to relocate your aquarium just to use this product.
The needle wheel design is quite amazing as you get to experience fine bubbles being generated each time at a faster rate. Such a design is what has led to many people online giving it high ratings.
The set up process if quite easy, even for someone who has not assembled one before. It will take about 15 minutes to assemble the different parts. These parts can also be dismantled easily during cleaning. The parts overall are well-built to ensure that it can last longer.
- Its parts are highly durable
- It is easy to take it apart for maintenance
- The needle wheel design produces many fine bubbles
- It is easy to set up
- It needs regular cleaning to remove the skimmate
- You might experience overflow issues
3. CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus
When it comes to finding a model that would deliver the best performance, then get one from CoralVue is always going to be an option. This is another model from the company that should give you an impressive performance over time. Being a HOB skimmer, you should have an easy time fitting it to the aquarium as such types of protein skimmers are easy to handle and install.
The model is best known for having a compact nature. This is crucial so that you can fit it even in tight spaces so that it can work. You no longer have to create more room to handle the size of the model. The design is further important so that it does not end up transferring heat to the water. This is a great improvement from other models that would often overheat. This model will simply work great over time without any overheating issues.
Having an impressive capacity of up to 100 gallons should make it great when it comes to using the model for various types of aquariums. It will always deliver effective way of cleaning the water in your aquarium so that you end up with clean water at all times. The design also further makes it easy to clean it when there is the need for maintenance. You may have to separate a few parts, but it will always get easier when you have to clean it. If you had troubles cleaning the other models before, all that is now a breeze.
This skimmer makes the list of the very best protein skimmer for reef tank.
- Great performance
- Easily adjustable
- Quiet model
- Some complaints about the set up instructions
4. Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump
Anyone who owns an aquarium, the chances are that you are going to find such a person having a skimmer in the house. It has become an essential part of making sure that your aquarium water gets maintained properly. Most people would get this model as it is known for having the best performance that many people need today. Its best performance sees you easily get rid of the organic compounds that might have dissolved in the aquarium water with ease.
The model comes with a high-performance fractionator for the foam. This means that you no longer have to worry about the production of the bubbles. These bubbles are important for the filtration process so that the dissolved organic compounds can easily be removed. The impressive design is crucial for making sure that you get to save on energy each time you are going to run the model. This makes someone to no longer have to worry about a significant increase in the energy bill of the house.
How about the setup process? That is a common question any newbie to using the skimmers would want to know. The best part about using this model is that you get easy to setup model. With the instructions being clear with illustrations, you should be done with the setup process in no time.
The filtration capacity is another thing you get to enjoy with this model. It has been designed to have various sizes that can handle different aquarium sizes from 65 gallons to 220 gallons. You should find it easy to always find aquariums that can work with the skimmer.
- Impressive strong needle wheel impeller
- Easy to set up
- Great capacity
- Impressive bubble production
- Could use a better customer service
5. Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer
The first impressions of the skimmer are that you get a model that would be great in terms of size. The manufacturer has the model to be compact so that it can always deliver on the performance that people need to handle the filtration of their aquarium water. Being a decent size, it should be great when it comes to installation. You can have it hooked onto the aquarium in a few minutes and you are done.
The setup of the model is fairly easy as compared to various models available today. The instructions are made to be easier so that you can take a couple of minutes to finish it. For a newbie, you might end up taking more because it is a newer model with more parts to assemble. The best part is that the manufacturer sends you the model with all the parts so that you do not have to buy any additional tools to set it up.
As much as the design is made to be as basic as possible, it will still make sure that you get the job done. You should be able to see the different working parts of the model, you should have an easy time using the model. Whenever it gets dirty, you should be in a position to get it cleaned in no time.
The model will also work great in no time once it is set up. Its reliability makes sure that you end up with a model that would work properly without any need to get the model repaired all the time.
- Impressive filtration capacity
- Unique design
- Compact size
- Great working pump
- It is not sturdy enough
6. Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9001
This model could be a nice choice for those people looking for a great protein skimmer that can still help them with their aquarium cleaning process. The model is designed to be highly durable so that you can use it for a long time.
What about the setup process? Anyone who is going to assemble the product at home would want to know that; you will be happy to know that the model is quite simple to set up and start using. Its controls are well positioned so that the user can have an easier time cleaning the aquarium water. Getting this model would be the best decision you ever made when it comes to maintaining your aquarium in pristine conditions.
The model is still energy-efficient, meaning that you will get to use it more often without worrying that it will increase the energy bill. This has been quite a selling point for the model, and something that many people love about it.
- It is easy to operate this model
- It is energy-efficient
- It has a compact design to fit easily around the aquarium
- Cleaning it is easy, as compared to other models
- It has a sturdy construction
- It tends to produce tons of micro bubbles
7. Coral Vue Technology AC20284 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer
This should be what you think of the next time you head out to buy yourself a great protein skimmer. The model comes with an amazing wheel design, which is important for the bubble generation process. The bubbles generated are important to help with the dissolving of organic waste in the aquarium water. You will be able to use this model for various aquariums so long as they have a maximum capacity of around 100 gallons.
From the many users who have used it before, they all agree that the performance of the product is quite impressive. It is also efficient on so many levels that you will get be sure to fall in love.
The design of the products makes it quite easy to use. You will not have to keep on referring to the manual each time you have to use the model.
- It can be used on large-capacity aquariums
- It is easy to operate
- The pin-wheel impellers offer impressive performance
- It is easy to clean the model
- The model pump is loud
8. Reef Octopus Classic 150 Space Saver Protein Skimmer NWB150SSS
It is not called “space saver” for nothing; it has a cylindrical design, which gives it a unique look from the other models of protein skimmers you might have seen before, and also saves on space. The best part is that the model does not cost a lot, as compared to other models that offer the same features. This model is best suited for aquariums that have a capacity of 100 gallons. That is quite a lot so that you can clean the aquarium water easily.
Setting it up should be easy, as the parts will easily come together. Using its manual, few people have had any issues when it comes to the set up process. It is crucial that you follow the steps given by the manufacturer to easily assemble it.
- Larger filtration capacity is offered by the model
- The unique design makes it operate quietly
- The compact design helps with fitting the skimmer in tight spaces
- The pinwheel pump offers a great way of generating bubbles
- Some people find it to be expensive
9. AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang On Back Protein Skimmer
Some of the features you get to enjoy with the model include a responsive collection cup and a powerful pump that should make the generation of bubbles easier and more efficient. Comparing it to the previous models, it is easy to see that this one is actually improved and offers a lot more features. The capacity it can handle has also been increased, as this model can work on various aquariums up to 75 gallons in capacity.
To help effectively remove the organic wastes in the aquariums, this model comes with canonical diffusers. The turbulence in the reaction chamber is also reduced to ensure that you do not have a lot of shaking when cleaning the aquarium water.
The model is still fitted with the latest technology in terms of filters. You will have an easier time filtering the water and keeping it clean with less effort and power.
- It has an overall look of quality
- It is easy to assemble and clean
- It has a low noise when turned on
- It does a great job of producing bubbles
- The manual instructions are not clear
- Some users have complained about micro bubbles that make the tank cloudy and dirty.
10. AquaC Remora-S Protein Skimmer with Cobalt 1200 Pump
This model is one of many other skimmers from AquaC brand. The models from this company are known to deliver the best features and performance for better cleaning of aquarium water. The high performance should be something that you enjoy when you choose the 1200 pump today. It is the reason you will see this model labeled as a best seller in most stores.
The patented spray injection system is what sets it apart from other models in its category. With this high-pressure injection system, the skimmer is able to generate many fine bubbles to help in removing the waste. In the end, you will have clear and clean water in the aquarium.
The model is powerful enough to handle saltwater aquariums of up to 75-gallon capacity. The protein skimmer offers an easy way of draining and cleaning it once you feel it needs some cleaning and a bit of maintenance.
- It can generate many fine bubbles in a short time
- It is a hang-on model, thus easy to setup on the aquarium
- It can handle large-capacity aquariums
- It is easy to drain and clean
- It is noisy while operating
What is the best protein skimmer?
For a model to be considered one of the best, it should be able to meet several features. It is important for a model to deliver on great performance so that it can work great at all times. Reliability is still important when it comes to picking the right model. As for this list, the CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus is the best. It comes with many features that should get you like it even more. It will always deliver the best performance each time you get to use it.
How to choose a protein skimmer?
You will need the perfect guide to help you make a decision, as there are many protein skimmers available today to help with the whole process of cleaning the aquariums.
Type of aquariums
Of course, not all the protein skimmers will work for marine aquariums or for saltwater aquariums. It is important that you learn more about its applications before making a decision on which to buy. The manufacturer will always list the different applications where the skimmer can be used. Use it correctly and you will end up with a clean aquarium.
It is not just about the type of water in the aquarium, but also the size could be of importance – you can get some for large aquariums or for nano tanks. It all depends on the design and capability that the skimmer can deliver. You can always get one for small tanks if you do not want to spend more on the skimmers.
Setting up the protein skimmers is not rocket science, but it is important that you get it right at all times, ensuring that it will actually work. The best part is that most manufacturers will give you a detailed manual to help you with setting up the skimmer for your aquarium.
Ease of use for the skimmer will be great, especially for a person who is yet to use one. The reviews could be a great place to start looking for the good protein skimmer that is easy to use.
Protein skimmer brands
Not all brands will be great when it comes to delivering the best products. Some will be great at it, while others will just be playing catch-up. It is crucial that you get to learn about the brand reputation first. It is only from the previous owners that you can actually find out if the product is a top brand.
Some of the common top protein skimmer brands include Coral Vue, AquaMaxx, and Bubble Magnus, among many others. You can still talk to your friends who have owned a protein skimmer before for some tips about the best brand to get for yourself the next time you’re shopping for one.
You would not be dreaming about spending all your time emptying or maintaining the skimmer when it is supposed to be working. If you choose a model with a larger collection cup, it means that you do not have to worry about emptying the cup all the time. Some models come with a built-in drain, which should make it easier for you to drain the skimmer.
If you choose the counter current type of protein skimmer, it will always need a higher maintenance. The issue with such a model is that you have to keep on replacing the air stone found in the model to keep it working properly.
The ozonizer is important when it comes to producing fine bubbles. The best part is that you get to control it yourself, meaning you decide on just how many bubbles you need. The ozonizer is important to help in the destruction of disease-causing organisms, raising the pH to a stable level, increasing oxygen in the aquarium water, and also improving the overall efficiency of the protein skimmer.
Sometimes the budget you have in mind might lead to ending up with a certain model of protein skimmer. It is always crucial that you have the right model for the right money, too. The protein skimmer to buy should not be just about what you pay for it, but also what it can deliver in terms of features. You should always take the time to compare between various protein skimmers before making your move.
Protein skimmers for cheap budgets could be great or costly in the long run. Some might be cheap at first, but the maintenance needs just make them not worth it.
Protein Skimmer Reviews
Sometimes you could benefit from the word spread around by the other people when it comes to choosing the best protein skimmer. It is always better to learn from what other people have undergone and learned from their success or mistakes. The reviews sometimes can be deceiving whenever you choose to read one from the highly promoted websites.
The best way to end up with the best product would be opting for reputable online stores that allow their customers to leave reviews once they have made the purchase. It is from such reviews you can now easily make a decision from the many options of protein skimmers available.
Types of Protein Skimmers
Air Driven Counter Current Skimmers
They are seen as the most effective way of filtering the water of your aquarium by opting to buy this type of skimmer. As much as they are the most effective, you will get that they need frequent cleaning and maintenance thus becoming costly to run. Such skimmers would be using wooden air diffusers and powerful air pump important for producing the bubbles.
Another thing you will enjoy about this type of skimmer is that it is designed to offer excellent foam volume generation. You also get the bubbles being consistent each time you get to operate it.
Since it uses the airstones, you might have to replace them after a while. This is going to depend on the amount of organic load that has to be filtered, you might have to replace the air stones every two months. You also have to check the air pump diaphragms and get to replace them if they are weakened. Since it will always produce the best results, you can expect that more people would be happy to have one for their aquariums.
This is another type of skimmer that use a venturi injector for making the air bubbles. In terms of size, you will find that it is shorter than the air driven skimmers. They further need a stronger pump to drive its venture valve. One of the reason you will get more people also opting for this model is because of a number of bubbles it can produce. The venturi injector can produce tremendous amount of bubbles for cleaning the aquarium water effectively.
It is always important to have this type skimmer matched with a high-performance pump. You should easily end up with the fine bubbles important for dissolving the organic compounds with ease. Most would come with a spray head design important for increasing the amount of air that gets mixed into the water.
The installation process for such models is further made to be easier. You should be done in no time with this type of skimmer. Most would even come with image illustrations that should make the installation easier. The high performance pumps often installed in the models would be great so that you do not have to keep maintaining them more often. It can take a while before you have to clean and maintain the model.
This type of skimmer is designed to be different as compared to the others. It is designed to work differently by having a jet of water being sprayed into the column with bio balls at a high velocity. Once the bubbles have gone through the bio balls column, they will then enter the sump box. This should then help to deflect them upwards to help with foam formation in the skimmer neck.
For this type of model, it would have a lengthy water path this is because of the bioball column that has to be integrated into the model. The lengthy water path is great so that it can end up increasing the reaction time. In order for the model to work properly, you have to consider getting a very powerful pump. It is the reason you would find this model being bigger than other types of skimmers.
Aspirating impeller skimmer
You could possibly say that this is a different style when it comes to inexpensive aeration system. It is designed to easily direct the air into the impeller of the pump that creates the bubbles. The impeller would come with the specialized needle wheel which is important for chopping up the air bubbles to make them finer. With the fine bubbles, you should have an easier time with dissolving the organic compounds in the water.
You will that it is easier to run this type of skimmers are they will run on low power pumps that still generate a lot of bubbles. As much as sometimes people tend to be worried about the durability of the specialized impellers. The best part is that you always get a model that is cheap and will also work relatively well for a long time.
How to set up a protein skimmer?
The setup of a protein skimmer is always going to vary from one model to another. It is the reason you have to start by getting familiar with the various components that have been provided with the model. Most manufacturers of skimmers would send you a model that is separated into different parts. It would be impossible for some people to handle the setup without the manual. It is the reason you will also get the model coming with the manual important for setting up the skimmer.
Proceed to assemble the skimmer making sure that you get the model working correctly. Depending on the type of skimmer, you may have to install on the back of the aquarium or any other position. Always make sure that the connection is done properly so that there are no water leaks the moment you start using the model.
Protein Skimmer Q&A
1. What is a Protein Skimmer?
This is a device commonly used in removing the dissolved organic components in an aquarium. If the organic matter is left to be broken down, then It can have some consequences to the aquarium. The protein skimmer is designed to use an air driven system to create a dense foam for eliminating the organic matter from the aquarium.
2. How does a protein skimmer work?
The protein skimmer works by creating fine bubbles in a reaction chamber, important for the overall process. When the organic waste adheres to the air bubbles in the reaction chamber, in a chemical process commonly called adsorption, these bubbles will then propel the waste material to the surface of a reaction chamber before they can be expelled into the collection cup. Depending on the number and size of the bubbles, it can determine the type of efficiency you get with a unit.
3. How to clean a protein skimmer?
It is recommended that at least every six months you take out the protein skimmer and clean it properly so that it can keep on delivering the best service. As part of cleaning, the first thing would be replacing the air tubing. There is no point to cleaning it, as it does not work efficiently after a while.
Disassemble the skimmer part by part, and then soak it in hot water for about an hour. Using a brush, scrub the parts to remove any deposits of the organic matter. Once that is complete, rinse it with plenty of water.
4. Does protein skimmer remove salt?
No. It is possible that you would dumping a small amount of the aquarium saltwater as you filter the water. It might not be enough to cause trouble for you although. You can always add more water to fill up the water in the aquarium.
5. Does protein skimmer remove nitrate?
To remove the nitrates, they have to be attached to something else. If the nitrates are consumed by the micro algae found in the aquarium, then it is possible to remove them when removing the micro algae.
6. Does protein skimmer remove phosphates?
The protein skimmers are designed just to remove the proteins, which are the organic waste products and cellulose. Phosphates on the other hand come from other sources such as tap water. So it is not possible to remove the phosphates with protein skimmer.
7. Does protein skimmer remove algae?
It is possible to reduce the amount of algae in the aquarium water with the protein skimmer, but it is not going to bring it to zero. Just make sure that you get to use other methods to completely remove them.
8. Does protein skimmer remove ammonia?
Skimmers can only remove low levels of ammonia. If you need more ammonia removed, you might have to use other types of filtration for the aquarium water.
9. Does protein skimmer remove calcium?
Most of the people who have used the skimmer for the process would claim that it did not help much with removing the calcium. Running the skimmer for this sake would be just a waste of time.
10. Can protein skimmers be used in freshwater tanks?
You can use the skimmer for freshwater tanks without any problem. There could be some substantial difference in the generation of bubbles, but it gets the job done. The fine bubble generation would be easier in the salt water.
11. Why is my protein skimmer not foaming?
Many things could lead to the skimmer not foaming and not all of them mean that it is broken. It could be that the skimmer is too large for your aquarium as one reason. Another thing would be that the skimmer is still within its break-in period. Having a low bioload is another reason you would find that the skimmer is not foaming. Sometimes a bit of adjustment could make the skimmer to start foaming once again.
12. Why is protein skimmer overflowing?
Having excess foam can easily be corrected if you get to adjust the protein skimmer. You might want to read the manual of the model before making changes to the settings, as each brand would work differently. You might have to raise the collection cup height so that you can allow the excess water to easily drain away.
13. Why is my protein skimmer so loud?
Having noise coming from the skimmer is mostly because of a pump. You have to check the pump just to make sure it is the reason for the noise. If it has some of the parts worn out, then you have to get them replaced to keep the model operating quietly.
14. How to quiet protein skimmer?
The loudness sometimes would come from the skimmer vibrating. This can be resolved by placing rubber mats under the skimmer so that the rubber would help with the vibrations coming from the pump.
15. Where to put protein skimmer in sump?
You have to make sure that you compare the sump size to the dimensions of the protein skimmers before buying. The reason is that most of the time you will get the sump coming with a limited open space. Get a separate submersible water pump whenever necessary when it comes to installing the protein skimmer.
16. When should I turn on my protein skimmer?
On the overall, you might want to let the protein skimmer run all the time. The fish, bacteria, coral, and algae would continue to release slime and dissolved organics all the time. When the water is not filtered continuously, with time you end up with poor water quality.
Right now, you have a clear understanding of what a protein skimmer is, the top models, and how to choose one. If you have not made up your mind, the SCA-302 180-gallon model seems to have more features you could use. The model is newer, meaning it has all new features to improve its performance compared to the older models. It should be the best choice protein skimmer for hobbyists, or even professionals, with large aquariums. You can always choose any other model that you feel will give you the best performance.
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