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Aquarium Protein Skimmers

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Protein Skimmers

Protein skimmers are an important part of an aquarium’s biological filtration. Protein skimmers come in a multitude of designs for function such as down-draft, counter-current, co-current and venturi skimming. Essentially all skimmers work in the same way, but the manner of foam fractionation could be different. While all have their pros and cons, all protein skimmers will greatly improve the filtration performance of your saltwater tank by removing organics, improving water quality and clarity as well as increasing dissolved oxygen.

FAQs About Protein Skimmers

Protein skimmers are essentially foam fractionators, protein skimmers function by bringing the water in contact with air bubbles thus creating a foam that helps remove dissolved organics. By removing these dissolved organics, you can remove these waste by-products prior to breaking down in the aquarium. Also, by removing these dissolved organics you can limit water discoloration.

This will be dependent on the protein skimmers size and the respective bio-load within the saltwater aquarium. The collection cup should be checked and/or cleaned at least three times per week. Clean the body of a protein skimmer every six months, this will be done to prevent coralline and hard body organism build up. Periodically check any flexible tubing for salt build up to prevent air flow issues in venturi protein skimming systems.

While protein skimmers are not necessary, they are an extremely beneficial part of a saltwater filtration system, removing organics and increasing dissolved oxygen.

In most cases it will not, proper protein skimming is heavily reliant on the density of the aquarium water. Saltwater density is significantly greater than freshwater. In a large volume situation, such as a large Koi pond, protein skimming could be beneficial but will require a specialized, high powered protein skimmer.