Protein skimming is a method of removing proteinaceous wastes that are otherwise difficult to remove and which break down over time to produce ammonia and other undesirable nitrogen compounds.
Protein skimming is a different form of filtration from all the other types discussed here. Protein skimming uses a very fine bubble to “strip” proteinaceous wastes out of the water as foam, which is then collected and removed. The same effect causes the foam produced by breaking waves at the beach. For home aquaria, protein skimming is only effective for marine tanks. It is possible to achieve freshwater protein skimming, but this requires very large reaction chambers (around 6 ft tall!) and extremely powerful pumps.
Best Protein Skimmers for Saltwater Aquariums up to 300 Gallons
Great Skimmer Easy to install – This is made of all top quality acrylic. The controller is sensor touch, no mechanical buttons. The pump is silent and powerful. With the milk bottle design diffuser plate this is very efficient model and a really great price. Nice to see affordable protein skimmer like this available.
Best Fish Tank Cast Acrylic Protein Skimmer For Salt Water Aquariums
Best Protein Skimmer – This device will keep your water clean because of the suction power of the pump. The water will become clear from waste and probably from fish too. For the price this thing is darn right amazing. Solid built, silent, air and flow adjustments
Best Bubblefin Aquarium Sump Refugium DIY Kit for Protein Skimmer Sump
Easy way to make your own Refugium – Great product, the pieces width had enough clearance for and 10 gal aquarium size variance. Using square magnets ( 4 sets at $2.00 each at a local craft shop or on amazon) made it easy to position and to glue pieces in place. Wished it came with a large foam block that was pictured to make it easier to hold the last piece in place.
Best Internal Protein Skimmer/Filter for Saltwater Aquariums
Great little skimmer! – Super quite, skims the heck out of the gunk in the water. easy to clean, no micro bubbles back into your tank. You will be VERY happy with this skimmer. yes if you need one for your small tank this is the only one to buy!! Love it!!! Just take it apart and clean it good every 3 months and it stays as quite as a mouse!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!
Best Skimmer Power Waterfall Suspension Oxygen Pump Filter for Fish Tank
A very quiet filter that has adjustable water flow and doesn’t have an overly strong current – This filter is very elegantly built and so far seems to be doing a consistently great job. The filter pieces are pretty easy to pull apart and put back together so cleaning has never been an issue. One thing definitely worth mentioning is the filter has suction tubes that go very deep in smaller tanks. You need a bare minimum 12inch deep tank for the filter to be installed properly.
There are two types of protein skimmers: air-driven and venturi, and two basic methods: concurrent and countercurrent. Concurrent means that air and water flow through the protein skimmer in the same direction, while in countercurrent skimmers they travel in opposite directions. However, some modern skimmers offer other designs, eg a prism-type mixing chamber.
Air-driven protein skimmers sit inside the aquarium and use an air pump to push air and water through the reaction chamber. Venturi protein skimmers use an impellor-driven pump to draw in air and force water through the reaction chamber. Skimming is most effective when the air bubbles are small (but not microscopic) and there is turbulent mixing and a long contact time between the air and water.
Venturi skimmers are more effective than air-driven versions but are larger and more expensive. They come in a range of sizes and styles including models designed to be mounted inside the tank or sump, hang-on-tank, and large free-standing types. Air-driven skimmers are internal, for use in the tank or sump. Sump mounting is popular because protein skimmers, particularly large models, can be obtrusive and unsightly in the tank. However, where a sump is not used, hang-on versions are very popular.
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Getting the most out of this filter system:
Choose a suitable model and style to suit your tank volume and set up. The air and water flow through the protein skimmer should be regulated so as to give the most foam. This may require a little trial and error. Airstones in air-driven skimmers should be either wood or sintered glass and must be replaced regularly for optimum performance. Glass airstones have a longer active life than wooden ones. Protein skimmers should be turned off when the aquarium is being medicated as they will strip most medications out of the water.