Best Protein Skimmer: Which And Why It’s Needed

Best protein skimmer is one of the equipment playing a big role in keeping the living quality for your lovely fish. Here is all you need to find out the best protein skimmers that works with your aquarium.

When you have fish as your pet, you must acknowledge a lot of equipment to maintain a good environment that will help your fish to stay healthy and grow up better. It might hard since water is a totally different environment which what we are in, but you can get all the needed information to find one of those equipment – the best protein skimmer easily with our guide and protein skimmers reviews below.


Best Protein Skimmer Reviews In 2021

1. Reef Octopus Classic Protein Skimmer

Reef Octopus Classic Protein Skimmer Happy Pet Pets
Product details:

Brand: Reef Octopus

Footprint: 12.4" x 10"

Body Diameter: 8"/ Height: 23.2"

Air Draw: 871-880lph / 27-30 SCFH*

Power Consumption: 35watts

Light - Medium - Heavy Bioload:  265 GAL - 200 GAL - 180 GAL

Let’s take a look at the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer. This model might be one of the best aquarium protein skimmers for in-sump that support the capacity up to 250 gallons. You can choose this Reef Octopus protein skimmer for various aquariums that are smaller than a 250 gallons fish tank.

What special about Reef Octopus protein skimmer is its unique pump. Be one of those popular brands about best in sump protein skimmer in the market, Reef Octopus is not only known for high quality, but it is also known for the attached pump. This brand has their own designs for this equipment, meaning when you purchase a fish tank protein skimmer from Reef Octopus, it will include a pump that can work best with your aquarium skimmer.

Besides, these protein skimmers are made of cast acrylic, a durable material that is strong, easy to clean and able to go in the long term. This model has the shape of a bottle, which help to create better portion of bubble and water, work more effective while using less energy to clean your tank water.


- It has durable material

- Offer 2 years warranty

- Latest model with new look

- Using special design pump

- High quality and popular brand


Quite expensive compare to the old model

2. Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer Happy Pet Pets
Product details:

Brand: Bubble Magus

Footprint: 7.28" x 7.08"

Body Diameter: 26 x 9 x 10"/ Height: 18.5"

Air Draw: ~300 LPH

Power Consumption: 8 Watts @120VAC, 60Hz

Light - Medium - Heavy Bioload: 120 GAL - 90 GAL - 55 GAL

If you want a quiet protein skimmer, Bubble Magus Curve 5 can be a choice for you. It is evaluated as the best protein skimmer that has a capacity up to 140 gallons.

This model is made with acrylic material to enhance its durability and help you to clean it simply. Mentioning about cleaning tasks, the container cup of this model can be easily to remove and put back in, which is more convenient for you to get rid of all the organic waste that the skimmer dissolve in your fish tank water. It especially helps if your tank’s biological load is high, means you have a tight schedule to clean the skimmer than usual, this model can reduce the time and effort you need to put in.

Bubble Magus Curve 5 is a saltwater aquarium protein skimmer with compact design, and small footprint. This type of design can save more space in your tank. This protein skimmer also has a powerful 8 watt pump, which bringing a stronger performance. Not to mention, this best skimmer can work hard to maintain the cleanliness of your tank but barely making any loud noise, and is considered as a quiet protein skimmer saltwater that lots of fish raisers love.


- Thick material makes a durable product

- Powerful 8 watt pump for tank up to 140 gallons

- This protein skimmer is quite and in compact design

- Can handle more water and easily to fit in


- You might need adjusting protein skimmer several times in the break in stage

- The customer supporting is not that support

3. Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer

Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus  Happy Pet Pets
Product details:

Brand: Coral Vue

Footprint: 12.4" x 8.7"

Body Diameter: 6" / Height: 22"

Air Draw: -

Power Consumption: 18watts

Light - Medium - Heavy Bioload: 210 GAL - 150 GAL - 110 GAL

We will recommend you an adjusting protein skimmer that is highly rated as one of the best protein skimmers. The AC20287 aquarium protein skimmer of the Reef Octopus Classic Series, produced by Coral Vue. A powerful filter for aquariums up to 210 gallons.

This is a new model with all the functions updated to make it more powerful and useful when cleaning your fish tank. The powerful pump combines with the new pinwheel design for the impeller play an important role to let this best skimmer work smoothly and effectively.

Besides, the 4-inch cone neck helps the bubble transfer easily to the container. This model also has a gate valve which makes it an adjusting protein skimmer that can change the water volume to work better with your fish tank. All of the setting and cleaning tasks are simple as well if you follow the instruction.


- Setup, clean, and maintain the protein skimmer easily

- High-performance venturi air injection system up to max 720L/H, 25.2SCFH

- Adjustable water level for a protein skimmer

- High quality with strong material

- Quiet and energy-saving operation


- Need time for the first break in

- Only use for in sump but have a big size that may not fit in all the sumps

4. AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer Happy Pet Pets
Product details:

Brand: AquaMaxx

Footprint: 7.5" x 3.5"

Body Diameter: L 7.5 x W 3.5 Inch/ Height: 17"

Minimum tank Height:  10-7/8"

Power Consumption: 11 Watts

Light - Medium - Heavy Bioload:  GAL - n/ GAL - 60 GAL

AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 is a hang on back protein skimmer with the capacity of up to 75 gallons fish tank. This model will be one of the best protein skimmer when you don’t have space inside the aquarium. The manufacturer uses strong acrylic material to create a protein skimmer with small, and neat design. It helps the product has durability but still thin and light to be able to hang on the back of your aquarium.

AquaMaxx aquarium skimmer has the AquaMaxx Shark 1.0 pump, the updated Italian Sicce pump. This pump is so forceful that can easily remove more dirt waste out of your tank. The protein skimmer mix air bubbles with water circulation to boost its work performance better.

The container is removable, meaning you can adjust it and take it out to clear all the organic compound and dirt waste that be dissolved from the aquarium water. Not only easier cleaning, this protein skimmer also provides a drain fitting, which helps to make a separate cistern for your tank to work better.


- Quiet operation

- Easy to remove dirt waste

- Strong and light material + mounting bracket

- Save more space for your tank


- Hard to follow the instruction

- Can make the tank look cloudy

Learn Why You Should Have The Best Protein Skimmer

What is a protein skimmer? Protein skimmer is a device which helps cleaning the water in public aquarium or home fish tank.

What does a protein skimmer do?

Best protein skimmers help removing all the organic compounds and dirt waste to keep water clean

Best protein skimmers help removing all the organic compounds and dirt waste to keep water clean

You might wonder exactly what do protein skimmers do to help cleaning the water. Then this question “What does a protein skimmer remove out of your aquarium” can answer that.

Fish raisers use the best skimmer for removing all the organic compounds, such as leftover, fish waste, protein, etc. to help clean the fish tank water, as well as nutrient export, gas exchange and lowering nitrate level to maintain the water quality.

This makes the protein skimmer vs filter different, both do the filtering work but best protein skimmers can remove the waste before breaking into phosphate and nitrate, while a filter cannot.

How does a protein skimmer work?

How a protein skimmer works based on some physical actions. The best protein skimmer can suck in or push out the molecules that are hydrophobic (like oil and fat), hydrophilic (like ammonia, salt, amino acids, sugar, etc.) thanks to the intrinsic charge of protein’s polarity. It can remove some organic compounds with the help of air/water interface following this theory.


Best protein skimmer can use air bubble to move all the waste out of water to the collection cup

Do I need a protein skimmer?

When mentioning about this equipment, “do you need a protein skimmer” might be the most popular question that beginners choose to ask us. The answer is no, but do not rush to make a decision.

Having a best skimmer is not a must but according to lots of fish lovers, you should have one. Think of all the protein skimmer purpose that you can use it for your tank, it’s a great investment.

Protein skimmer purpose including big effort to keep your aquarium clean, especially when you have big fish tank, you don’t have time to change the water or have to go away for a long time, the best protein skimmer can support your fish tank to go over all these situations.

Types Of Protein Skimmer

1. Protein skimmer for saltwater tank or freshwater protein skimmer

Protein skimmer for saltwater tank will be more useful

Protein skimmer for saltwater tank will be more useful

With freshwater fish tank, water changing is a good way to keep the water clean, so you don’t have to buy a freshwater protein skimmer. Otherwise, choose a saltwater protein skimmer is more important since it’s hard to do the water change for saltwater aquarium.

Besides, you need to face with lots of trouble if your saltwater tank has algae. Using the best skimmer for saltwater tank will give a hand to prevent algae, remove dirty things in the water, and boost your coral to grow faster as well. You can check our best protein skimmer reviews in the next part below to choose saltwater skimmer for fish tank in your house.

2. External protein skimmer vs. Internal protein skimmer

Both internal and external skimmer has the same function to help with the water quality of your tank.

For internal protein skimmer: You don’t need to worry much about skimmer overflowing or find more space to store it. An internal protein skimmer will need to work with a sump, filter systems or place inside your tank.
In addition, sometimes with old models, internal skimmer can heat up the fish tank water, which is not good for your fish and aquatic plants, so you should choose a best protein skimmer that runs well and not affecting the water temperature.

For external protein skimmer: You will never have to worry about temperature changing of the fish tank water or having sump while using the external skimmer. It also works well with big aquariums and easier to enhance the effect.

On the other hand, an external protein skimmer needs more space outside the tank as well as a protein skimmer stand so that we could place it. The external skimmer sometime can leak out water or you need to deal with a protein skimmer overflowing which will decrease the water level of your tank. Latest models are updated to prevent these problems, so protein skimmer overflowing or water leaking will not be a disadvantage anymore.

3. Hang on back protein skimmer

Hang on protein skimmer is a good choice if your tank doesn’t have a sump to put internal protein skimmer in or you cannot save enough room for set up an external protein skimmer.

Hang on back protein skimmer is like its name, the skimmer is hanging on the back of your tank, and need a pump to fill the fish skimmer with aquarium water.

On the other side, the hang on back protein skimmer is more expensive than internal skimmer, and it might not have the same power, so you need to choose the best protein skimmer to hang on and ready to spend more money for it.


Hang on back protein skimmer will help if you don’t have space in your tank

4. Large protein skimmer or small protein skimmer

There are many opinions on how to size a protein skimmer, should you go with a large or small skimmer is better?

From old days, many fish raisers usually give the advice about you should choose a protein skimmer that has the capacity as twice as what the tank needs logically. Therefore, large protein skimmer is often the one everybody looking for. This point of view is based on the different between product information and its real effect. Some manufacturers overblow their products, so go with bigger one can meet your tank need if that product is not as effective as it should be.

Nowadays, rated air intake and biological load level of your tank are some trustable factors to help you size the best protein skimmer for your aquarium. If your reef tank has large bio load amount, or high rated air intake, large protein skimmer should be the option. Otherwise, small protein skimmer will be useful with controlling the nutrient level for your fish and plant growth if these factors are in low percentage.

Choose the size for your aquarium skimmer only bases on the tank size is like a gamble because it can make or break your fish tank balance. Hence, starting with a small low cost protein skimmer, and switching to larger one when your tank is ready might be the best solution for every beginner.


Commercial protein skimmer is extra large size

An extra large protein skimmer, known as commercial protein skimmer works well with big aquarium or public fish tank that needs more actions to maintain its water quality.

5. DIY protein skimmer

DIY protein skimmer can help you make the best skimmer that suit your tank and might reduce the cost as well. Usually, materials for making a protein skimmer are common items that you can buy them easily.

The basic of a DIY protein skimmer is an equipment that can create thousands of bubbles in your water column to remove the organic waste. There are various ideas for how to make a protein skimmer available on the internet.

Not all the DIY protein skimmers are cheaper or easier to make, which needs your slick hand to assure it work correctly or prevent any problem happens. If you are not confident with your creating ability, our best protein skimmer reviews below can help you find the one.

Via YouTube: How to make a protein skimmer

Tutorial To Use Protein Skimmer

1. How to set up a protein skimmer

Each type of protein skimmer will have a more detailed guide to make it work. Normally, you can follow the instruction with these basic steps on how to set up a protein skimmer:

  • Get the best protein skimmer with the type that fit your aquarium, you can go with our suggestion or choose from the pros and cons we have mentioned above
  • Test if the skimmer can run well, has all the elements needed before actually setting up to your fish tank
  • Place the sump box in your tank (based on the type to make it separately or stick with filtration systems), connect the in and out hoses to the pump inside it
  • Check the depth level or water to help the protein skimmer works. You can follow what the producer said to make sure your skimmer can do its best
  • Put the protein skimmer in the sump box then connect with an output. You should take a look to see if there’s foam appears in the skimmer to know it really work
  • Spend 3-4 days with a new protein skimmer to figure out its effect, you also should check the foam amount, maybe twice a day to adjust the protein skimmer when needed

2. How to clean protein skimmer


You can take off the container and wash with water to get rid of all the waste

The container, sump box of your skimmer will fulfill with all the organic waste and things it filter out of the water, so you should take off this container part and clean it more frequently to help clean the water better. It is easy to remove the skimmate with water then you can dry it and put the container back to your tank. Do this 3 times a week or with any schedule that fit the dirtying speed of the biological load.

Generally, you need to clean protein skimmer every six months to maintain its quality and function. The air tube is hard to clean, as well as it will lose the quality after time, so you should better replace a new one instead of try to clean and reuse it after six months.

Next thing to care about is the body of your skimmer. It will have microorganisms and algae sticking outside, which is quite hard to clean them up. You should take the body, remove all the water and suck it in a bucket with 5% vinegar water until the algae is easier to remove. After that, wipe down the dirt coat, wash it again with clean water and set up the skimmer body to your aquarium.


Above are some of the best protein skimmer reviews that we hope it can help you to bring home the most suitable protein skimmers for your aquarium. A protein skimmer might not be obliged to have one, but its benefits for the tank will make you take a second thought. It brings more advantages and simplify your fish tank maintaining tasks. So why don’t you get the best protein skimmer for your fish tank?

If you find this useful or some of your acquaintances might need it, please share to help them on their fish raising journey. We always want to spread the love with our beloved pets and pet lovers. Feel free to ask us if you have any question about fish raising.

Similar articles


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure page.

Related keywords: best hob protein skimmer, best cheap protein skimmer, best hang on back protein skimmer, top protein skimmers, protein skimmer brands, external protein skimmer setup, types of protein skimmers, best external protein skimmer, hang on back protein skimmer reviews, best hang on protein skimmer, top rated protein skimmers, protein skimmer for 55 gallon tank, best protein skimmer for the money, best internal protein skimmer, hang on protein skimmer reviews, best protein skimmer for 200 gallon tank, best small protein skimmer, best protein skimmer on the market, top protein skimmer brands, best protein skimmer for reef tank

0/5 (0 Reviews)

Leave a Comment