Saltwater Aquarium Protein Skimmers

Graphic by Don Carner

Information about what a protein skimmer is, how skimming or foam fractionation works, the different styles of skimmers there are to choose from, and the various ways to install one in a saltwater aquarium or reef tank system to filter the water. Read protein skimmer product reviews and compare prices on the top protein skimmers on the market.

  • 01 of 09

    Each type of skimmer has its own good and bad points, but the bottom line is that you have to know where you are going to put the skimmer. In tank skimmers are generally the least expensive but offer the fewest options. In-sump or reservoir skimmers are a convenient way to take full advantage of valuable space. For those that do not want unsightly equipment in or alongside their aquarium, these units are an ideal choice because they can easily be hidden. In-sump skimmers are usually...MORE counter-current, Berlin, or venturi driven units, but often have combined skimming capabilities.

     

  • 02 of 09
    Graphic by Don Carner

    What Is Protein Skimming, and How Does It Work? An Introduction to Protein Skimmers, what protein skimming is and how it works. Protein skimming uses, of all things..... Bubbles, to collect the gunk in your tank and deposit it a cup for disposal. This takes a huge load off of the biological filter.

    What are Air-Driven Protein Skimmers and How Do They Work? Air driven protein skimmers were among the first to be used on saltwater aquariums. Still in use with many skimmers today, they are an...MORE efficient method to produce a huge amount of crud collecting bubbles.

  • 03 of 09
    In-Sump Protein Skimmer. Graphic by Don Carner

    Graphics notes from Don Carner's "What Is Protein Skimming, and How Does It Work?" article. These graphics put a finishing touch on the written explanation of how it all works.

  • 04 of 09

    Not All Skimmers Are Right For All Systems

    Prizm Protein Skimmer.

    Important Tips and Tricks on various Styles of Skimmers, and Choosing the Right One for your System. These tips will save you a lot of money and the tricks will help you use the little bubbles these skimmers produce to you full advantage.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    FAQ - Skimmer Purpose and cost?

    The frequently asked question of what a protein skimmer is, and how much they cost is answered. Still in the dark about some parts of protein skimming? This is the place to go.

  • 06 of 09
    Stand-Alone Skimmer. Graphic by Don Carner
    Protein skimmer installation tips from Don Carner for various types of skimmer set ups, including in sump.

    Sump-Mounting Your New Skimmer, or Old One for That Matter. Subjects covered include: What is a Sump?, Overflow Boxes, Pre-Skimming, Advantages of a Sump-Mounted Installation and Collecting The Gunk.

    Odds & Ends, or How To Plumb That Puppy From Don Carner, in this final chapter Don discusses Odds & Ends, or How To Plumb That Puppy: Soft and Hard-Plumb Installations, and his comments...MORE about the 24/7 skimming controversy.

  • 07 of 09

    Participate in These Protein Skimmer Polls

    Do you use a protein skimmer in your saltwater aquarium? Vote in this poll and and see how many other people use protein skimmers.

    If you use a protein skimmer, which brand is it? Vote in this poll and see which brands are the most popular.

  • 08 of 09
    TurboFlotor Multi 1000 Skimmer
    TurboFlotor Multi 1000 Skimmer. PriceGrabber

    Read reviews, compare the features and prices for Hang-In/On-Tank protein skimmers your Guides have chosen as their top-pick choices.

    In/On Tank counter current protein skimmers were the first type of skimmers to appear in the saltwater aquarium hobby. They were simple devices which used an air pump driven airstone, the bubbles from which collected proteins and deposited them in a collection cup. These skimmers are the least expensive and easy to install and operate. With in-tank skimmers, there...MORE are no worries about wet floors.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Hydor Performer Protein Skimmers
    Hydor Performer Protein Skimmers. PriceGrabber
    Read reviews, compare the features and prices on In/On-Sump protein skimmers your Guides have chosen as their top-pick choices.

    In-sump protein skimmers offer the widest variety of skimming methods for aquarist, today. Air, venturi, spray bar, needle wheel and downdraft driven models are available from a number of manufacturers. Sump mounted skimmers are much easier to configure with use of mechanical and biological filtration hardware, which makes them quite versatile.