Best Protein Skimmer-Reviews and Comparison Guide 2021
The aquarium is a closed artificial reservoir where often densely aquatic inhabitants keep together. Gradually, it builds up organic residues overtime in the form of waste material such as uneaten foods, dead parts of plants, dead animals, debris, and other harmful matters. It is very very important to remove all the harmful waste materials from the aquarium to create healthy environment for aquarium inhabitants. In this case, you should look for the best protein skimmer to successfully remove all the harmful wastes.
A protein skimmer is a very important filtering device for the saltwater aquarium which is also known as foam fractionator. It helps to remove dissolved organic waste materials, protein and other harmful substances from the aquarium water for creating a perfect ecosystem in your aquarium.
Comparison Table of Best Protein Skimmer
Name of Protein Skimmer
Suitable Aquarium Size
Price on Amazon
Up to 105 gallon
Up to 100 gallon
Up to 140 gallon
Up to 180 gallon
Up to 100 gallon
65 gallons to 220 gallon
Up to 265 gallon
5.3 to 37 gallon
Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer
This skimmer is very popular among the saltwater aquarium enthusiasts. It is easy to install and operate as compared to various models available in the pet fish market today.
This model is very space-effective and it takes only a few minutes to install. During installation, on the back side of the aquarium, you simply place the skimmer.
It is made using best-quality acrylic material which makes the skimmer body strong and durable. It is powered by a new highly competent Aquatrance pinwheel pump which is mounted inside the aquarium. This pump can easily mix of air and water to remove optimal waste products.
The Classic 100-HOB is suitable for skimming fish tank up to 105 gallons. It is a very moderately priced protein skimmer which is perfect for the majority home aquariums.
Overall, in the pet fish market today, it is the best skimmers among the top quality Hob skimmer. It does work excellent to remove dissolved organic wastes from your saltwater aquarium. We prescribe you to purchase this skimmer, if you have up to 105-gallon capacity tank to makes your aquarium environment clean and healthy.
Coral Vue Technology AC20284 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer
The reef octopus skimmer from Coral Vue Technology is the well-known protein skimmer among the saltwater pet fish keepers due to its high performance in skimming.
It works well and makes your aquarium clean successfully. It is the best product from the Coral Vue Technology. It is efficient and suitable for tanks with up to 100 gallons capacity.
You can easily remove the dissolved organic compound from a saltwater aquarium using this one. It features newest pinwheel impellers which able to generate up to 100 percent of increased performance.
The model also features an incredible wheel design, which enhances the process of bubble production and helps to dissolve organic waste materials in the aquarium water.
It is easy to utilize with good performance and provides satisfying offers who have a saltwater aquarium.
Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer
It is the best skimmers among the saltwater aquarium enthusiasts due to its small size and compact nature. Now it is available in the pet business sector with sensible cost.
It is a great choice for most people due to its great design that can fit in tight spaces and saves a lot of space in your aquarium.
This model is suitable for medium size aquariums. You can also use it for up to 140-gallon aquariums.
This model features a nice 8-watts very powerful and strong pump that does a better performance. It can easily remove all the dissolved organic waste water from the aquarium.
This model also features a very space-sensitive footprint (7.28 x 7.08 x 18.5 inch) which makes it quite versatile. As a result, different people can use it. It is an impressive product and you can easily use to clean the water in your aquarium.
It has narrow neck design which helps to maximize skimming power in your aquarium. This model also comes with a rapid-release collections cup and skimmer body which make your system very easy to access and open. It helps you to easily dispose of the waste materials when the cup is full of waste. You can maintain and clean the collection cup easily.
It is made using strong and thick acrylic material which makes it durable and long-lasting.
It can produce fine bubbles at a faster rate due to its needle wheel design. The installation process is very easy and it takes about 15 minutes to assemble all the parts.
Overall, the parts are well-built which ensure durable and long-lasting. You can also disassemble all the parts easily during the period of cleaning.
SCA-302 180 Gallon Protein Skimmer (In Sump)
It is the new version protein skimmer today. To make the previous model better, a number of new features have been introduced by the manufacturer as compared to the older models. All the new features make the skimmer more popular among the many people who use aquariums for keeping saltwater fish.
It is a unique design skimmer which is suitable for up to 180-gallon aquarium. This model is powered by Atman PH2000 41-watt pump, with a flow rate of 2400 liters (634 gallons) per hour that delivers huge bubbles. These bubbles are essential to dissolve the organic matter present in the aquarium water.
It features a silencer which makes the skimmer soundless during the period of operation. The model also features a larger collection cup that makes it better than the previous models.
Overall it is the best protein skimmer which is available in the pet fish market with a sensible price. We prescribe you to purchase this popular protein skimmer; if you have aquariums that range up to 180 gallons and make the aquarium water crystal clear. If you purchase this product, you will get a 90-day warranty for the pump and a 1-year warranty for the skimmer body.
CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus
It is the best known and attractive skimmer among the saltwater fish keepers due to its brilliant structure and compact design. It is HOB skimmer which does not require very much space because you can hang it off the back of your aquarium.
Besides this, the pump is placed under the skimmer body and behind the aquarium which does not exchange the heat into the water. This protein skimmer is suitable for up to 100-gallon tanks.
This skimmer also features an easy removal system for the pump which makes much easier to clean the pump.
Skimmer body is made using high-grade acrylic materials which makes the CoralVue Octopus very strong and durable and all the parts work faultlessly.
The pump is strong and reliable which can easily process a huge volume of water. It is easy to install and handle. It can easily clean the gunk and dirt out of your aquariums.
This skimmer does excellent work to remove dissolved organic waste products from the aquarium and maintain good water parameters such as water pH, water hardness etc. It also removes toxic substances like nitrates and ammonia from the aquarium water and makes your aquarium environment healthy.
This system does not produce any noise during the period of operation. It is great for many people who place the aquarium in the bedroom and you can watch the TV without feeling any disturb due to its silent operation.
Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump
This protein skimmer is a very popular among the saltwater aquarium enthusiasts due to its attractive and brilliant design. This model is made using the best parts and it is easy to set up.
The manufacturer company provides manual for instruction with clear illustrations which makes the setup process very easy.
It is highly effective skimmer which is suitable for eliminating dissolved organic products from the aquarium water. It is designed with high-performance foam fractionator and a patented wheel aspiration system. It also features an improved energy-saving pump that increases the performance of the skimmer and saves a lot of energy and money.
You can easily put this skimmer in the sump or you can hang this model on the back side of your aquarium using brackets. It is the best models and available in the market with a variety of sizes.
The spiraling current of water and micro-bubbles are created inside the reaction chamber by the presence of a needle-wheel system with this model. Micro-bubbles collect fine protein and organic compounds and place them in the collection cup and finally make the aquarium environment clean and healthy.
In the pet fish market, Coralife Super Skimmer comes in various sizes that is suitable for 65 - 220 gallons tank . The following table shows the different models with some key characteristics.
Dimension (L x W x H)
SUPER SKIMMER 65 G
4.25 x 5.5 x 20.75 inch
SUPER SKIMMER 125 G
5 x 7.25 x 24.5 inch
SUPER SKIMMER 220 G
6 x 8 x 25.5 inch
Tunze USA 9410.000 DOC Skimmers
Tunze is a reliable and effective protein skimmer. It is designed for use inside a sump. It can skims, filters and aerates the aquarium water at the same time.
It is very nice to look at and easy to set up. It does not produce any noise and it is easy to operate.
It features a matched Tunze Hydrofoamer Silence water pump which is suitable for protein skimming. This special type pump can produce millions of tiny air bubbles (0.1-0.3 mm diameter) which ensure quiet operation and very efficient skimming in your aquarium.
It comes with large capacity skimmer cup (6.2 inches in diameter) and the foam reactor. It also features a booster ring which is used for fine adjustment of water level inside the skimmer during the production of foam.
You can use this system only for saltwater aquarium up to 265 gallons with 237 gallons per hour water flow rate.
The skimmer body and collection cup are made using strong materials which make the skimmer durable, long-lasting, and very quiet.
It shows high performance using electric power only 15 watts and produces millions of tiny bubbles at an air output of 158 gallons per hour (600 liters per hour) which makes this pump at the top class.
It is also used to supply the aquarium water to the skimmer at a water flow of 237.7 gallons per hour (900 liters per hour). It has an anti over-foaming system which is used to prevent over-foaming of the skimmer and skimming action.
Comline DOC Protein Skimmer 9001
It is a true `Plug & Play` protein skimmer. It is suitable for nano reef aquarium which ranges from 5.3 to 37 gallon (20-140 liters). You can also use it for sensitive reef biotopes with stone corals up to 15 gallons (57 liters).
It is easy to install and you can install it into the corner of the aquarium using its magnet holder and it works autonomously. Comline DOC Skimmer 9001 runs quietly which can produce a huge quantity of tiny bubbles for competent skimmer operation.
This model of the skimmer is designed for use inside the aquarium or the back part of the aquarium. It is a compact skimmer measuring only 4.3 x 2.5 x 8.5 inch.
It features the needle wheel pump and the adjustable air intake for fluctuating water levels. It is a great skimmer which helps for dissolving the organic wastes in the aquarium water.
It also designs with the patented anti over-foaming system. This system prevents over-foaming in the skimmer and enhances the skimmer performance. The skimmer performance mainly depends on the water level and organic load.
Overall, it is the small non-expensive alternative protein skimmer with innovative design which makes the crystal clear water important for keeping the fish healthy and alive. It is powered by a smaller bubble producing the motor that is also extremely quiet. For better performance of your skimmer, you should clean the skimmer carefully on regular basis.
NYOS Quantum 160 Protein Skimmer
The NYOS Quantum 160 is a unique shaped skimmer which is powered by a Quantum 3.0 pump using only 18 watts power. It can produce 1500 liters of air per hour and creates excellent foam.
It is a high-quality German-engineered protein skimmer suitable for saltwater aquariums that ranges from 70-265 gallon.
This skimmer is made using best-quality durable parts which make the skimmer strong, durable and long-lasting. The parts include non-breakable zirconium dioxide made high-performance waves, pure titanium grade 2 nine sea-waterproof screws, micro-adjustment screws and silicone feet. In this case, micro-adjustment screws are used to maintain the water level.
It is easy to maintain and provides extreme performance over a long period of time using low power consumption. It features the NYOS Hybrid Wheel.
It has a lattice-shaped base and narrow needles which produce very fine micro air bubbles. This model has four rubber feet which soak up vibrations and makes the skimmer very quiet.
The Quantum also features a saw-blade shaped twister which hands over the bubbles in the reaction chamber.
It is the top line skimmer due to its quiet and efficient performance. It is easy to use and you can adjust the air and water volume independently.
Overall, it has high skimming performance using a minimum of power, remove protein waste products from the aquarium water and save money over the life of its operation.
Technical Details of Quantum 160
Protein Skimmer Facts
A protein skimmer is the primary filtration system which boosts up great water quality and makes your aquarium water clean. It generally works by forming foam from many air bubbles in a collection cup of the protein skimmer device and completely removes waste materials from the aquarium water. Protein skimmer also helps to make oxygen levels high into your aquarium water.
The protein skimmer is a very effective device that most people use them in place of a mechanical filter. Generally, it works by using the polarity of the proteins to remove any organic pollutants. This system has reaction chamber where lots of tiny bubbles are created. The bubbles then carry the pollutants to the surface level of the chamber, where you can manually remove the pollutants from the water column through the collection cup.
This device is cylindrical in shape with a large body. It also has an outlet and an inlet unit. On the top of the skimmer, a collection cup is present for collecting waste products or skimmate. It is one of the most important filtering devices which also help to reduce the growth of algae by removing proteins and phosphates from the aquarium water.
Advantages of Protein Skimmer
Some Protein Skimmer Drawbacks
Protein Skimmer Types
At present, there are many types of protein skimmers with various forms and sizes available in the pet business sector which provides different water flow. You can choose the best protein skimmer that is suitable for your tank.
Air-driven skimmers come with two styles in the market such as co-current style and counter-current styles with external or internal in nature. In this case, counter-current styles are the best design than the co-current styles for aquariums.
(a) Co-current skimmer: It is the simplest form of the skimmer and it works at the bottom of the reaction chamber by using an air stone and provides the air bubbles. In this system, the water and the bubbles run in the similar direction, hence it is referred to as co-current skimmer. The air bubbles rise vertically and are collected into a cup. At present, the wooden air stones are used to make finer bubbles. For better performance, wooden air stones should be replaced regularly.
(b) Counter Current Skimmers: It is the most popular skimmer which removes significant amounts of skimmate. In this system, the water and air make forced together through a counter-current of aquarium water in the body of the skimmer. This system attracts the organic materials for a long time using the air bubbles.
Among some aquarium hobbyists, these types of skimmers have lost their popularity. Because, wooden air stones rot over time, as a result, it increases backpressure and decreases the production of the bubble and finally extracts less skimmate. In this case, for better performance, you should change the wooden air stones monthly basis. This type of skimmer requires air pump which produces some sound during long-term operation.
These types of skimmers are the most efficient and popular among the saltwater aquarium enthusiasts. In this system, one or more pumps are used to re-circulate water inside the protein skimmer body and help in mixing the re-circulated water with air and pushes water throughout the protein skimmer body. This type of protein skimmer is better to remove waste.
This type of skimmer uses a venturi valve for injecting air into water flow to increase oxygenation. It has high accuracy instruments which make a tiny sized air bubble with great consistency. The valve is placed on the intake tube that comes into the skimmer and produces a huge amount of air bubbles which effectively clean the aquarium water.
It contains high-performance pump for producing fine bubbles to dissolve the organic compounds easily. It also comes with a spray head design which increases the air bubbles for mixing with water.
It is easy to install and each package contains image illustrations for making the installation easier. It is a more reliable skimmer and easy to maintain. It needs to clean periodically to remove dirt and debris.
It is the larger type of protein skimmer which creates the glorious bubbles for mixing with water. It is the most powerful and popular protein skimmer among the saltwater aquarists.
It is available in the pet business sector and suitable for the larger home aquarium. This system needs a big water pump for injecting water using the slim tube at high speed. This slim tube usually bears bio-balls.
To create ultra fine bubbles, this tube helps to fluff-up water through the bio-balls at a high rate and create foam from air bubbles and build up skimmate through a larger reaction chamber.
This type of skimmer is comparatively easy to setup and do exceptionally well with large aquarium systems where heavy bio-loads available. This type of skimmer is comparatively expensive due to their large size with raw materials and large pump.
Beckett skimmer is one of the best skimmers among the professional aquarists worldwide. It is a downdraft like a skimmer which uses foam nozzle to create the flow of air bubbles.
This type of skimmer is made and sold by the American Company “Beckett Corporation”. It is made using high-quality grade acrylic materials. It is reliable and completely ozone safe skimmer which can quickly and thoroughly skimming the unwanted pollutants by creating a large quantity and quality of bubbles from aquarium water.
It can process a large amount of water very quickly using powerful pressure rated water pumps.
In the pet market sector, it is available with single Beckett, dual Beckett, or quad Beckett designs with reasonable cost.
If you use larger Beckett skimmer designs, additional space is required in your aquarium for installation. This larger system also produces some noise and consumes more electricity than less powerful pumps.
Spray Injection Skimmer
Spray injection skimmer is the new style skimmer. In the pet business marketplace, it is available with sensible cost. In this type, the skimmer body functions as a water reservoir.
These skimmers are smaller in size which uses a smaller pump. Spray injector is used to push the water where spray injector bears special nozzle for fanning the water out into a pressurized spray. For creating millions of tiny air bubbles, this spray shoots into the skimmer body. After producing the bubbles, more air is sucked into the skimmer.
They are easy to use and reasonable than other styles. You can easily set up and maintain it.
Aspirating impeller skimmer
This type of skimmer needs low power pump to run easily for creating a lot of bubbles. The skimmer is cheap and does work relatively well for a long time.
This style skimmer is very effective with moderate size. It is easy to adjust and easy to clean. It uses impeller of the pump that bears specific needle wheel or mesh which needs for splitting the air bubbles to create smaller and more consistent finer bubbles. It creates more surface area for the dissolved organic pollutants to bond to the bubbles during skimming. These finer bubbles easily dissolve the organic compounds in the water.
This design provides outstanding results due to its capability for drawing more air and creating finer bubbles within a short time period.
This style skimmer is now very popular among the aquarists who keep residential reef aquariums. It is suitable for particularly smaller aquariums due to its compact size with quiet operation and easy to set up.
Selection Criteria for Best Protein Skimmer
Aquarium enthusiasts should take right decisions which protein skimmer is best for their aquarium. To make a healthy environment for aquarium inhabitants, you should choose the right size and best protein skimmer for your system.
In this case, your budget and size of the aquarium make the right decision for you. If you use the limited budget for large space aquarium, an air stone makes a fine skimmer.
If you purchase high priced skimmer for the small spaced aquarium, a venturi skimmer will be the perfect choice for your system.
Generally, a selection criterion for best protein skimmer also depends on various other factors. Among them, key elements for choosing the right size and best protein skimmer for your aquarium are:
Setting up a protein skimmer
There are different models of protein skimmer available in the market and their setup system also varies from model to model. Most manufacturers provide manual with each model. Everybody should follow the manual for perfect set up included with your skimmer.
To set up skimmer, following points should be kept in mind:
Protein Skimmer Maintenance Procedure
For better performance of your system, following steps should be followed carefully:
A protein skimmer is an essential device for any saltwater aquarium which is used to remove dissolved organic waste products from the water of the aquarium. It is the primary filtration system which boosts up great water quality and makes your aquarium water clean. In the pet business market today, there are many different types of protein skimmers available at various prices. It is not easy to choose the best protein skimmer for your aquarium. For this reason, we have done deep research to make a list of the best protein skimmer for your saltwater aquarium. You touch the above-reviewed articles and take a quick decision easily to pick the best one for your aquarium without harasses.