Many people would love to walk into a room and enjoy seeing a great protein skimmer with clear water.
That does not happen by itself, but rather by having regular cleaning. Whenever you get to feed your fish or any accumulation of dirt would lead to more trouble for your tank. It is the reason you have to clean it by using the best protein skimmers.
A number of protein skimmers exist today with some being great for reef tank, for biocube, and for nano tank. The trick is finding one that suits best your model and get one for yourself.
We get to look at some of the top models on the market right now and how you can choose them in this guide. Keep reading to make the most out of the guide.
Table of Contents
- How to Choose a Protein Skimmer?
- Best Protein Skimmer for the Money
- Best Protein Skimmers Reviews
- 1. SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer _ Best In Sump Protein Skimmer
- 2. Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer
- 3. Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer
- 4. Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer
- 5. Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump
- 6. AquaMaxx HOB-1 _ Best Hang On Back Protein Skimmer
- 7. Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9001 _ Best Nano Protein Skimmer
- Benefits of a Protein Skimmer for Aquarium
- How to Set Up a Protein Skimmer in a Sump?
- Protein Skimmer Q&A
How to Choose a Protein Skimmer?
The size of the aquarium is definitely going to be an important factor to consider. Each skimmer would come with a rating about the capacity of the aquarium it can handle.
The protein skimmers for nano tank or for large aquariums are supposed to be of higher capacity than the tank itself. Let us say you have a 35-gallon aquarium, then go for the 100 gallon skimmer. This means you have more room for cleaning the water and it should be done in less time without strains.
Depending on the model, you might get that some skimmer models are larger than the others. You need to keep in mind the size of the skimmer and how it would be mounted.
You want a model large enough to easily handle the cleaning process, but still compact enough not to take up a lot of space. It is always crucial that you get to pick the skimmer based on the aquarium size and mounting options provided by the manufacturer.
Types of Aquariums
The broad categories for aquariums would be either freshwater or saltwater aquarium. It is always important to keep in mind these types before buying the skimmer.
Of course not all the different types of protein skimmers would work for each time. You would get most skimmer manufacturers giving more information on whether the model is great for nano reef tank, for nano cube, or saltwater aquarium or for marine tank. Take into account such information so that you end up with the best skimmer for your aquarium.
Types of Protein Skimmers
+ Hang On Protein Skimmers – from the name, you can see that they would easily be hung on the back of the aquarium. This is possible by using the brackets often provided by the manufacturers. You would find such a model being compact and easy to fit on the aquarium.
+ In Tank Protein Skimmers – no more worries about ending up with wet floors or drained tanks as such skimmers would be mounted in the tank. They would come with an air pump that would help with cleaning of the water. The only downside is that they would take up a lot more space in your tank.
+ In Sump Protein Skimmers – the sump is a great way of cleaning your water without really exposing the skimmer. The sump acts as a reservoir where the water is circulated and cleaned at the same time. If you do not like having additional equipment on the aquarium, you can always hide the sump with the protein skimmer.
+ External Protein Skimmers – these should work just like the sump protein skimmers. They are designed to be housed outside the aquarium and would feed the cleaned water back to the aquarium sump.
From the types above, you can always choose the one you feel will work great based on the needs of cleaning your aquarium.
Protein Skimmer Brands
As part of choosing the best skimmer, you still want to end up with a model that delivers on performance and this calls for choosing the best skimmer brand. Not all the brands that you see on the market are the best.
The top protein skimmer brands include AquaMaxx, Bubble Magnus, Coral Vue and many more. Getting models from these brands is often a sure way of knowing that you have found the best product.
Anyone would want to end up with the best protein skimmer for price. There is no need to pay a lot more when the model would not provide the best performance you need for cleaning the aquarium water. The best protein skimmer to buy should show value for money. Your budget would often determine what model you end up with. What is important is that you get to choose a model that delivers on performance at all times even if you have to add a little of money to your budget.
Best Protein Skimmer for the Money
|SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer||Up to 180 Gallons Saltwater Aquarium|
|Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer||For Reef Tank|
|Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer||Up to 140 Gallons Aquarium|
|Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer||Up to 265 Gallons Reef Tank|
|Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump||Up To 220 Gallon Tank|
|AquaMaxx HOB-1 Hang On Back Protein Skimmer||Up to 75 Gallons Nano or other small Saltwater Aquarium|
|Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9001||For nano Reef Aquariums up to 37 Gallons|
Best Protein Skimmers Reviews
1. SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer _ Best In Sump Protein Skimmer
This is the newer model to the 301 model and one of the best protein skimmers on the market. There have been a number of features introduced to make the model better in performance as compared to the older models.
The new features are what more people have always looked for in the protein skimmers. The size is made to be great for multiple applications for the different aquarium sizes.
The model is made to maintain the powerful Atman 2000 pump. What this pump does is to deliver great bubbles important for dissolving the organic matter present in the aquarium water. You should easily notice the changes from the moment you get to start using the skimmer. It would get the water looking great in less time.
There has been a vast improvement in terms of the size and capacity it has to deliver to the users. As much as it might look compact, it can work great for different aquariums of up to 180 gallons. For those who have an aquarium within the range they should always have an easy time cleaning the tanks in less time.
Being a newer version, it has to deliver on more features and it truly does that. This model comes with a silencer that keeps it working quietly without causing a lot of disturbance in the room. The model further features a larger collection cup as compared to the previous models.
- It works great for the large capacity aquariums
- It comes with a strong pump
- It is easy to assemble
- It has a larger collection cup
- The pump often breaks easily
- The micro bubbles might make the water look cloudy
2. Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer
Starting with the capacity, the model can easily handle different aquarium sizes up to 210 gallons in capacity. This is better than the previous model, which would only handle 100 gallons. With such a performance, more people would feel comfortable using it on their larger tanks knowing that it would get the job done easily.
Another thing that makes the model great should be its powerful pump. The pump makes the process of removing the dissolved waste from the water easier and faster.
There is better foam production too thanks to the use of the hailea otp pumps. It is through this foam that the waste could easily be dissolved and leaves your water clean. The use of the new impellers on the model further makes it great for easy handling of its duties.
Compared to the older models, you get to realize a 100 percent increase in performance. There is also the 4-inch cone-neck that eases the transition of the bubbles with the waste to get into the collection cup.
The manufacturer further gives you a guide on how to clean the whole model with ease. You do not have to take it to a specialist when the instructions are so simple. The gate valve found on the model makes it easy for adjusting the water levels.
- It comes with a powerful pump
- It is easy to clean and maintain
- Made of strong acrylic material
- It is great for larger aquariums
- To get it running for the first time takes a while
3. Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer
The model is one of the best skimmers you can get on the market today. One thing you will notice first should be its small size and compact nature. This should be great for most people looking to save a lot of space with the skimmer.
The model is built to be great for the medium size aquariums even though it can work great for different aquariums up to 140 gallons of capacity. This should make it quite versatile so that different people can use it for cleaning their aquariums.
So, what about the pump? A pump is an important part on a skimmer. The pump on this model is extremely powerful to deliver better performance. It will help in removing all the dissolved water from the aquarium water.
The collection cup is another thing made easy to access and open. This means that you can easily dispose of the waste when the cup is full. With the disposal done, you can still clean and maintain the collection cup with ease.
It is not just the ease of unscrewing the collection cup that people enjoy, but also the quiet nature of operation of this model. You should not worry about the model producing a lot of noise in the room.
The model still comes made of out of strong and thick acrylic material. This type of material makes it durable, making sure you get an easy time cleaning your aquarium years to come. It is ideal for varying types of aquariums, simply get it into position and watch it easily handle the waste.
- Strong solid construction
- It can handle more water
- It is smooth and quiet when working
- Easy to maintain
- Installation takes time
- It does not have the best customer support team
4. Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer
This one top model when it comes to the in-sump protein skimmer models. It is not just about looks, but it is known for delivering impressive filtration for different types of aquariums up to a capacity of 265 gallons. With such a capacity, you can always use it for different types of aquariums with ease so long as they have a capacity below 265 gallons.
This skimmer is made of high quality cast acrylic material. This type of material makes it so easy for you to use the model for a long time without worrying about replacing it. The product further disassembles easily for cleaning. You can disassemble the model into different parts so that you can clean it before putting it back into the aquarium.
The use of a wine glass shape cone makes it great for stabilizing and channeling the rich foam to where it is needed for dissolving the waste in water. You should now easily get more foam into the aquarium and handle the process of cleaning.
The Aquatrance 3000s pinwheel pump is important for producing the perfect mix of air and water needed for the optimal waste removal in the aquarium water. You should easily note that it is faster in its operation thus less energy is spent on cleaning the aquarium water.
- Ultra-efficient pump
- Solid construction
- Bubble dispersant plate
- It is compact
- It is expensive
5. Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump
With the various options of mounting the model, it is the reason you get it being liked by many people. This model is made to either be put in the sump or it you can hang it off the back of your aquarium with brackets. Such versatility drives more people to think about getting the model for themselves. Depending on the mode that you get to choose, you always end up saving a lot of space too.
Another impressive feature of this protein skimmer should be the patented wheel aspiration system. This is important to ensure there is better performance with its dual injection inlets. You will always get to maximize the amount of time in which the aquarium water will get in contact with the generated air bubbles. Such a process is great to ensure that more waste is dissolved as much as possible. You should easily notice that removing the waste from your aquarium water has never been this easy.
The presence of a bubble diffuser is important for keeping the amount of micro bubbles getting into the system to a minimum. The micro bubbles are the one responsible for making the aquarium water look cloudy. Your water will now remain clear and still keep the fish tank looking great at minimal use of energy.
You always get to save a lot of energy and money when using this model. Its impressive capacity of 220 gallons should make it one of the best models to use today for handling the larger aquariums you may have.
- Impressive high capacity
- Powerful pump
- Versatile in terms of mounting
- Energy efficient model
- Durable build
- Bad installation instructions
6. AquaMaxx HOB-1 _ Best Hang On Back Protein Skimmer
For those looking to end up with a reliable model when it comes to a protein skimmer, then you might want to settle for this model. One thing that stands out for the model should be its Sicce Syncra 1.5 pump. It is a powerful pump that most people owning aquariums would appreciate having the model for their aquariums. The powerful pump is great for eliminating more waste from the aquarium easily.
The model is great for the different aquarium sizes. It can work great for aquariums of different sizes up to 75 gallons. For those who have a larger aquarium, this could be a great model to consider having to clean up the aquarium. The skimmer is made to use the air bubbles and water circulation mixture to remove the different water waste. All the waste easily end up in a collection cup.
The collection cup can easily be moved up or down depending on the adjustment required. It should be easy to also remove the collection cup and dispose of the waste whenever it is full. The process of emptying the collection cup is easy as well.
The manufacturer made the model to deliver on performance, as people would have expected a product from such a top brand. The model is made of high quality acrylic material that is strong so as to deliver on a quality build. The material further makes the model lightweight so that it hangs off easily on the back of the aquarium.
The model is made to run smoothly and quietly with minimal disruption. Such a thing is what makes the model loved by many, as they know that the model would keep on working quietly without causing a lot of noise in the room.
- Made of strong materials
- Easily handles larger aquariums
- Easily removes different kinds of waste
- It offers quiet operation
- The bubbles tend to make the water cloudy
- The bracket for mounting is not strong
7. Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9001 _ Best Nano Protein Skimmer
One thing you will definitely enjoy should be that the Comline Protein Skimmer is made to be energy efficient. For those who tend to worry a lot about the energy costs, well you have a model that would help you save a lot more on the energy bills.
The compact size is another feature to easily note when choosing this model. The compact nature means that it does not take up a lot of space when hang on your aquarium back. The model features a magnet mount important for easy mounting of the product in position.
As much as it is not meant for the biggest aquariums, it can easily handle different aquariums to a capacity of 37 gallons. It should be ideal for the medium size aquariums that most people own today. So, instead of going for models that would cost you a lot more for your small aquarium, you should opt for this one. Compared to some other models in its category, it further works quietly to make people feel comfortable about using it.
The model is further made to be more powerful for its price range. It is for sure great to help in dissolving the organic compounds in the water. At the end of the process, you should have clean water important for keeping the fish healthy and alive. The skimming consistency you get with this model is top notch. The construction is fairly great to ensure that it keeps the model working great for a long time to come.
- It has a powerful pump
- It is compact
- It is energy efficient
- It is a quiet model
- It is only great for small and medium aquariums
- The magnetic mount is not made to be strong
Benefits of a Protein Skimmer for Aquarium
- The aquarium water is bound to get dirty after a while, so you need a way of cleaning it and making it better. You now need the protein skimmer, which will remove the dissolved organic compounds from the water. In the end, you will end up with water full of oxygen that is important for the fish survival.
- For a dirty environment full of nitrates, you are likely to see the algae starting to spread out. With the use of a skimmer, you get to easily break down the nitrates and stop the spread of algae. If the nitrates are not dealt with, you might end up having a lot of trouble controlling the algae from spreading.
- You would have issues such as lack of light penetration as the water is cloudy. The cloudy water is all due to the dirt in the water. For the plants in the water, they would have a hard time making food with the lack of enough light. It is the reason you need a protein skimmer to make the cloudy water clear again for better light penetration.
- The dissolved organic components could also have an effect on the pH levels of the system. Some pH levels might not be great for the survival of the fish and plants in the tank. This means that you need the protein skimmer to help keep a stable pH level needed in the aquarium.
- The overall health of the marine life would be improved whenever using a protein skimmer. You simply have to make sure that you get to replace the skimmer if it stops producing skimmate. Having a proper maintenance of the skimmer is a sure way of having a clean aquarium at all times.
How to Set Up a Protein Skimmer in a Sump?
- The first thing you have to do is select the best skimmer based on the volume of your tank. For a tank with 100 gallons of water, opt for a skimmer with higher capacity such as 150 gallons. This should make the model work efficiently.
- Ensure that you check the instructions on installation before you can start the process. Depending on the model, sometimes you get one that need assembling a few parts first. If that is the case, make sure that the parts are assembled before putting the skimmer in a sump.
- Some filtration system would come with a sump, so that you have an easy time mounting the protein skimmer and get it started. If it lacks the sump, then you have to connect an external sump and content the inlet and outlet hose to it. Plug in the pump and see if the water is circulated from the sump and back.
- Based on the recommendations from the manufacturer, determine the best depth for hooking up your protein skimmer. Always make sure that the skimmer is at the right depth of water.
- Allow the skimmer to fill with water once you place it in the sump. Proceed by plugging it into an electrical outlet and turn it on. You should see the production of foam within a few seconds of the skimmer operating.
- You need to allow the skimmer to work open for 3 days to complete the break-in period. Make sure that you check on the skimmer more often making sure that the foam does not exceed the recommended level by the manufacturer. A few adjustments might be needed to get the skimmer running optimally.
Protein Skimmer Q&A
1. What the best protein skimmer for a reef tank?
The Reef Octopus classic protein skimmer seems to be the best thanks to its large capacity and impressive performance. You would get to use it more often without worrying about replacing it any time soon.
2. What is the best protein skimmer for a biocube?
The Coralife Protein skimmer is seen to be one of the best when it comes to a biocube. It comes with multiple features such as a strong pump to aid in cleaning the water faster and maintaining it at the right pH.
3. How does protein skimmer work?
The protein skimmer is designed to create fine bubbles in its reaction chamber. These bubbles are important for the whole process. The bubbles will propel the different types of dissolved waste material to the water surface where such waste would be expelled to the collection cup. Just like that, the bubbles help in cleaning the water.
4. How often should protein skimmers be cleaned?
After every six months, the user is supposed to take out the protein cleaner and do a proper cleaning. This should ensure that the subsequent aquarium cleaning processes should be efficient.
5. How often should i run protein skimmer?
For the first time, you are advised to leave it running for about 3 days to handle the break-in period. You should keep an eye on the foam level and close it when necessary. After that, you can run the protein skimmer as needed.
6. How to quiet a protein skimmer?
The noise in a protein skimmer would come from the pump most the time. It would be important that you look for ways to keep the pump from transferring the vibrations to other surfaces. You could use suction cups or rubber as a way of minimizing the noise from the protein skimmer. Also, get the broken parts replaced or repaired if they are the ones contributing to the noise.
Many people who own aquariums have had the problem of cleaning their aquarium once in a while. As you can see, there is the option of choosing to use a protein skimmer to deal with such issues. The best choice protein skimmer should be based on the various considerations mentioned in the guide.
In the end, you will end up with a model that works great and delivers on value for money. You can always be sure that the model is great by also keeping in mind the reviews. You should then have an easy time picking a model you think is worth the money.