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Best Protein Skimmers In 2022 – Top 7 Rated Reviews

Saltwater tanks, particularly reef tanks, are mesmerizing, colourful, and provoking. However, if you would like a little bit piece of the ocean in your house you need to cope with the messes it creates. A unclean movie can construct up on the water’s floor and wreak precise havoc.

Protein skimmers hold this floor waste from increase within the first place. Identical to crashing ocean waves go away a few of the water waste on the seashore, skimmers take away it out of your tank.

What options do one of the best protein skimmers have in frequent? Which one do you have to get? Extra on that and different questions beneath…

Advantages Of A Protein Skimmer For Aquarium

You’ll have seen protein skimmers as a really helpful a part of saltwater tanks, however what do you actually get from utilizing one? Right here’s the short list

  • Extra steady pH ranges
  • Higher water readability
  • Brighter coral coloring
  • Contained algae development
  • Elevated dissolved oxygen
  • Higher total well being for tank inhabitants

All of this from one accent? Sure, really! All of those advantages occur due to the discount in waste on the floor of the water.

A buildup of dissolved natural compounds (DOC) and different waste floats on the floor of your aquarium water. This waste is much more evident in saltwater tanks than freshwater, although it exists in each. When there’s lots of waste, your tank will undergo.

An excessive amount of floor waste can scale back mild penetration, which impacts total tank well being and coral coloring. Waste dissolving into the water additionally adjustments the pH steadiness and creates a meals supply for nuisance algae. Lastly, floor waste reduces oxygenation within the tank.

As a result of this stuff stem from the identical downside of floor waste, protein skimmers can clear up all of them concurrently. The underside line is that protein skimmers do assist your tank by making upkeep simpler whereas enhancing the well being of the inhabitants.

So, which protein skimmer is one of the best one to your tank? You will have lots of choices! Listed here are a few of the top-rated protein skimmers which have labored nicely for different individuals to this point…

10 High-Rated Protein Skimmers In 2022 Critiques

1 Reef Octopus Traditional 202-S 

From Reef Octopus, this glass cylinder protein skimmer is accessible for tanks as much as 250 gallons. It’s translucent high-quality solid acrylic with black and pink particulars.

This protein skimmer can work for big tanks. Dealing with a lightweight bioload, it really works as much as 265 gallons most. For medium hundreds, 200 gallons. In tanks with a heavy bioload, 180 gallons.

The Reef Octopus Traditional 202-S has a small footprint at 12.4 inches by 10 inches. It stands at 23.2 inches tall when absolutely arrange. You may utterly disassemble this skimmer for cleansing.

A pinwheel pump system is in place to create air bubbles inside the skimmer. Utilizing the pump system, this skimmer can draw water via at charges of 211 GPH when it’s functioning usually. It has 35W of energy draw.


Right here’s a great small choice that packs a pleasant punch. It’s sized nicely to work for many saltwater tanks, together with reef tanks. Regardless of the ability, you possibly can match this neatly in your sump to maintain it out of the way in which.

Is there anything you need to know? A couple of factors…

Reef Octopus Classic 202-S
Our rating:4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

  • Cleans effectively
  • Settles and adjusts the tank inside just a few days
  • Nice for reef tanks
  • Upkeep is straightforward and never time-consuming
  • Highly effective pump and skimming mechanism
  • Barely unclear directions for setup
  • Some noticeable working noise  

2 Coral Vue Expertise AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer

From Coral Vue, this can be a skimmer made for medium to massive aquariums. It’s constructed from clear acrylic and has black and pink detailing.

That is an in-sump protein skimmer that’s solely meant to be positioned inside your present sump tank. It operates utilizing a robust pinwheel pump. The pinwheel impeller is designed to offer improved efficiency over earlier designs.

With the built-in pump and all issues thought of, this skimmer works for as much as 210-gallon saltwater tanks. For bigger tanks, it is going to function solely with smaller bioloads. For tanks with a heavy bioload, this sump will work nicely up till round 150 gallons.

Standing at 22 inches tall, the whole footprint is 12.6 inches by 8.7 inches. As a result of it wants to take a seat in your sump, it’s compact sufficient to swimsuit most tank setups.


It is a well-made protein skimmer with all the mandatory bits and items included. It’s nice for medium to massive tanks, even reef tanks. You received’t want to purchase something further to get it working, and it ought to work for years.

Signal me up! However wait, there’s extra you need to know first…

Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

  • Simple to arrange and get began
  • Environment friendly cleansing from day one
  • Matches properly into many sump tanks
  • Retains up with skimmate from reef tanks and different saltwater tanks
  • Runs very quietly
  • Stream price should be readjusted each time the gathering cup is emptied
  • Directions are unclear in regards to the mandatory water degree (6 to eight inches)

3 SC Aquariums SCA-302 

For medium to massive saltwater tanks, the SC Aquariums SCA-302 protein skimmer is an choice. It’s an acrylic skimmer with blue, white, and pink particulars and a capability for tanks as much as 180 gallons in dimension.

There’s a big assortment cup on this skimmer to carry extra waste between emptying. The skimmer makes use of an Atman PH2000 pump and needle impeller mechanism to create air bubbles for skimmate separation.

It’s an in-sump skimmer with a most water degree round 6 to eight inches. Sizewise, it’s 18 inches tall and has a footprint of 9 inches by 9.5 inches. That makes it a very small protein skimmer to suit into your sump.

SCA-302 protein skimmers are rated for as much as 180 gallons. Even heavy fish hundreds and reef tanks at this capability shouldn’t overpower the skimmer.


For those who’re searching for a skimmer that doesn’t have to be emptied as regularly, this can be a good choice for you. It’s received a bigger assortment cup that comes commonplace, so that you don’t have to take care of it as usually.

What else do that you must know? Right here’s a little bit perception…

SC Aquariums SCA-302
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

  • Included silencer makes it run very quietly
  • Runs nicely for tanks as much as the utmost score
  • Quick break-in time
  • Conveniently small footprint
  • Good customer support if there’s a downside
  • Assortment cup is a bit tough to take away, silencer should be eliminated first  
  • Included directions aren’t clear sufficient
  • Tough to wash

4 Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 

For those who don’t want as massive of a protein skimmer, the Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 could also be a good selection for you. Aesthetically, it’s a mixture of clear and white acrylic with pink accent particulars.

Rated for as much as 140 gallons, this sump-only protein skimmer can deal with the waste from heavy fish hundreds or reef tanks. It’s small however highly effective.

Water pumps into the skimmer from an SP1000 inner pump. As soon as inside, it instantly encounters a pinwheel fashion impeller that creates air bubbles within the water, forming a foam. The froth rises via the distinctive curved throat and into the gathering cup.

One other small protein skimmer, this one from Bubble Magus has a footprint of seven.5 inches by 7.5 inches. It stands at a complete of 18 inches tall.


While you don’t want the most important protein skimmer available on the market, this can be a nice smaller choice. It really works completely for small or medium tanks and in addition goes nicely with some bigger tanks. Due to the small footprint, you don’t want lots of further room in your sump to maintain it going.

Listed here are just a few extra stuff you’ll in all probability wish to know…

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

  • Simple to disassemble for cleansing
  • Nice for small to medium saltwater tanks
  • Light-weight with a small footprint
  • Runs very quietly
  • Pump situated contained in the skimmer, lowering the general footprint
  • US customer support is just not very responsive or useful
  • Quite a lot of fidgeting and adjustment wanted to get it working excellent
  • Supplies used aren’t as robust as on another skimmers

5 NYOS Quantum 160

For some bigger saltwater tanks, the NYOS Quantum 160 protein skimmer is accessible. It has a modern aesthetic with a transparent acrylic physique and lightweight gray particulars.

This protein skimmer is rated for as much as 265-gallon saltwater tanks. In case your tank has a heavy bioload, it will probably work nicely for tanks over 100 gallons. These with a standard or mild bioload could be bigger, as much as 265 gallons as said.

NYOS Quantum has an honest footprint dimension for 7.29 inches by 9.85 inches. It tanks at 20.87 inches tall, making it a great medium dimension choice. You want a little bit further width in your sump to suit this skimmer comfortably.

When working, this pinwheel fashion skimmer creates a great quantity of froth. You may regulate the water to foam ratio to fit your tank’s wants. Every part disassembles simply when it’s time to take care of the skimmer.


For heavy bioload tanks and bigger saltwater aquariums, this protein skimmer affords so much. It’s a robust choice with a great design to deal with the skimmate in your tank.

Right here’s a extra all-encompassing take a look at it…

NYOS Quantum 160
Our rating:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

  • Little room is required to take away the gathering cup from the highest
  • Runs very quietly
  • Engaging and modern aesthetic
  • Nice energy for bigger tanks
  • Good buyer help
  • Longer break-in interval
  • Wants common cleansing to maintain working
  • Excessive electrical energy draw

6 Tunze USA 9410.000 Doc Skimmer

Tunze’s protein skimmer affords a distinct dimension and aesthetic option to aquarium keepers. It’s meant for medium to massive saltwater tanks.

The Tunze USA 9410 Doc skimmer is rated for tanks as much as 265 gallons in dimension. For heavy fish hundreds and reef tanks, the skimmer is efficient up till about 80 gallons. It’s an vitality environment friendly 15W skimmer that makes use of a pump bubbler mechanism.

You received’t want an enormous sump tank to put in this protein skimmer. The footprint is 9.8 inches by 7 inches. It’s solely 16.3 inches tall, so you possibly can put it beneath a cupboard extra simply.

A post-filter is connected to the water output tube. This filter could be crammed along with your selection of media. Utilizing this filter reduces your upkeep total.  


It is a good protein skimmer for learners. It’s simpler to regulate than a few of the pinwheel skimmers and its small dimension is handy for sump setups.

What’s the catch? Extra on that beneath…

Tunze USA 9410.000 Doc Skimmer
Our rating:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

  • Small footprint is handy for installations
  • Giant, broad assortment cup
  • Submit-filter makes tank upkeep simpler
  • Simple adjustment mechanism doesn’t want as a lot fine-tuning
  • Very quick peak matches in most areas
  • Plastic is just not thick, might break over time
  • Longer break-in time than another skimmers
  • Poorly written instruction handbook
  • Might not produce darkish, dry skimmate

7 Simplicity 240DC 

One other smaller choice, this Simplicity 240DC protein skimmer is nice for medium to massive saltwater tanks. You should use it for fish-only tanks or reef tanks.

It’s rated for a most of 240 gallons. Nonetheless, that is for fish-only or mild bioload tanks. For medium bioloads, you should utilize this for as much as 180 gallons and for heavy hundreds, 120 gallons.

A bubble plate needle wheel mechanism sits within the inside chamber to create air bubbles within the water. Heading up the cone-shaped glass, skimmate overflows into the medium assortment cup for disposal. The cup has a fitted cap on prime for simple upkeep and mess-free elimination.

That is one other skimmer that has a surprisingly small footprint. It’s 5.5 inches lengthy and eight.3 inches broad. Sitting at 19.5 inches tall, it’s simple sufficient to suit this in most sump tanks.


For learners, this can be a easy in-sump protein skimmer choice. The small dimension makes it simple to put in. It ought to be pretty easy to get it to the suitable degree of skimmate.

There are just a few different issues you need to observe about this skimmer…

Simplicity 240DC
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

  • Changes are made with a handy built-in controller
  • Easy controls, setup, and upkeep
  • Runs quietly
  • Set up and use directions are helpful and straightforward to observe
  • Nice customer support
  • Good construct high quality
  • Lengthy break-in time
  • Little to no actual suggestions from different hobbyists, as a result of it’s a more moderen product
  • Sturdiness and long-term success is unknown

8 Comline DOC 9001

For a easy aesthetic that doesn’t get in the way in which of your tank’s look, this Tunze skimmer is an choice. The Comline DOC 9001 is usually black with some translucent darkish grey plastic.

It is a rectangular, nano in-sump skimmer. It’s applicable for smaller saltwater tanks as much as 37 gallons. For heavy bioloads and devoted small polyp stony (SPS) tanks, it’s really helpful for as much as 15 gallons.

You’ll fasten this skimmer to your sump tank with the magnetic holder. It attaches to tanks with glass or acrylic as much as 3/8 of an inch. Air bubbles are created inside utilizing a needle wheel mechanism.

As a result of it’s meant for nano tanks, it’s very small. It sits at round 8.5 inches tall and is 4.3 inches by 2.5 inches in dimension. You may simply match it into any sump, together with medium-large sumps on the again of nano tanks.


Giant in-sump protein skimmers are sometimes overpowered for nano reef tanks. It is a good choice for nano reef tanks and different small and nano saltwater tanks.

Right here’s a better take a look at the nice and the unhealthy…

Comline DOC 9001
Our rating:3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5)

  • Will slot in most nano tank again compartments with solely minor modifications
  • Applicable filtration ranges for small tanks
  • Simple to regulate
  • Runs very quietly, almost silent
  • Efficient for nano tanks
  • Magnetic attachment system is just not very efficient
  • Setup directions are tough to learn and perceive
  • Requires very exact water ranges

9 AquaMaxx HOB 1.5

From Aquamaxx, the HOB 1.5 protein skimmer is a shiny translucent blue system that attaches over the tank glass. It has darkish grey and black particulars.

Constructed from cell-cast acrylic, this can be a sturdy protein skimmer. Your tank ought to be lower than 3/4 of an inch thick for this to hold over it correctly. It wants at the very least 4 inches of prime clearance to take away the empty the gathering cup.

For heavy bioload tanks, that is rated to be efficient in as much as 60 gallons. The utmost tank dimension you need to use this for is 90 gallons for fish-only and lightweight bioload tanks.

This skimmer ought to match on most small and medium tanks. It’s 17 inches tall, 7.5 inches lengthy, and a pair of.3 inches broad. All the mandatory equipment are included to get it up and operating proper out of the field.


For those who want an choice that doesn’t require a sump tank, this HOB skimmer could possibly be a good selection. It’s highly effective sufficient to deal with a great bioload in most small to medium tanks.

Right here’s a roundup of the skimmer that will help you determine…

AquaMaxx HOB 1.5
Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

  • Includes a drain enter within the assortment cup for exterior assortment
  • Doesn’t require a sump tank
  • Matches nicely on smaller tanks
  • Simple to function and keep
  • Alternative components could also be exhausting to search out for repairs
  • Pump could also be tough to prime when mandatory
  • Might pump microbubbles into your tank

10 CoralVue Expertise BH-1000 Reef Octopus 

For a bigger HOB protein skimmer, this mannequin from Reef Octopus can do that trick. It’s a translucent mild grey skimmer with darkish grey accenting particulars.

Supposed for medium sized tanks, this works in tanks with a most dimension of 100 gallons. The utmost capability is for tanks with a lighter load. That is the suitable dimension for small and medium saltwater tanks and reef tanks.

At 21 inches tall, this skimmer is on the tall facet for a HOB system. It’s 10 inches lengthy and 4 inches broad. You want round 4 inches of clearance to simply take away the gathering cup for cleansing.

As a HOB skimmer, you’ll connect this to the sting of your tank. The mounts match on most tanks with out massive trim across the edges. It wants just a few inches of clearance for the water consumption pipe.


It is a nice selection if you would like a little bit extra energy with out having to make use of an in-sump skimmer. It really works nicely for a lot of small to medium saltwater fish and reef tanks.

Get the news from all angles beneath…

CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Reef Octopus
Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

  • Good construct high quality, sturdy
  • Simple to take away and empty the gathering cup
  • Quick break-in time on most tanks
  • Easy to arrange and get it going
  • Skimmer pump sits out of the water, received’t add warmth to the tank
  • Runs effectively for a HOB skimmer
  • Takes a little bit of time to disassemble for cleansing
  • Water consumption sits too low within the water, may have modification to your tank
  • Runs with a little bit extra noise than related skimmers
  • Giant dimension could also be an eyesore on some tanks

Protein Skimmer Purchaser’s Information

Protein skimmers work to cut back dissolved natural compounds (DOC) out of your tank water. They do that by eradicating a small layer of water from the highest of the tank and mixing it with air. The waste attaches to the air bubbles and will get skimmed off right into a disposal cup.

Collected waste is known as skimmate. As soon as the skimmate collects within the cup, all you need to do is pour it out. You’re eradicating the waste from the tank utterly with out eliminating a lot water.

Sounds nice, however is there a catch?

Do You Want A Protein Skimmer?

Taking out further waste is good, however do you actually must have a protein skimmer? There’s no solution to give a definitive sure or no. Nonetheless, most aquarium specialists suggest them for saltwater fish tanks.

Freshwater tanks don’t want protein skimmers. For those who’re managing a saltwater tank, it’s in all probability higher to have one than to not. For those who select to forgo the skimmer, you’ll be doing very frequent water adjustments.

Best Protein Skimmers – Top 7 Rated Reviews 1

Too many water adjustments will have an effect on the water high quality over time in case you’re not extraordinarily cautious about balancing it. Plus, you’ll get bored with altering the water a lot.

For reef tanks, you need to always have a protein skimmer. When you have a smaller fish-only saltwater tank, you could possibly do with out it. Newbies ought to positively use one to offer higher possibilities of success, whereas skilled fish keepers could be okay with out it.

It’s lots of work to take care of a saltwater tank already. With out a protein skimmer, you’re making your work so much more durable for no good purpose.

Not all protein skimmers are the identical. To get the complete advantages and make it value your whereas, right here’s what you need to take a look at…

Varieties Of Protein Skimmers

There are just a few different types of protein skimmers:

  • Co-current Stream

One of many traditional designs, these skimmers use air stones to ship bubbles to the highest of the water. The air bubbles are then collected into the cup within the response chamber.

  • Counter Present Stream

Relatively than having water and air shifting in the identical route, the blending is occurring in the other way. Air is compelled down into the aquarium water inside the skimmer earlier than ending up within the assortment cup.

  • Recirculating Skimmers

Requiring an exterior pump, the sort of protein skimmer makes the method sooner. Water is pumped across the skimmer rapidly, leading to sooner mixing of air and water in addition to re-circulation of the identical water a number of occasions.

Best Protein Skimmers – Top 7 Rated Reviews 2

  • Venturi Skimmers

Much like a co-current skimmer, these use a venturi valve within the air consumption tube. This forces the air and water to combine otherwise.

  • Needle Wheel Skimmers

Utilizing mesh or spoked needle wheeled, these skimmers quickly reduce via the water. As they try this, tiny air bubbles are created that bond to the skimmate.

  • Spray Induction

Aquarium water comes via the consumption and enters the skimmer via a twig nozzle. The pressure of spraying water out creates air bubbles.

Degree Of Upkeep

Some protein skimmers are so much simpler to wash than others. You need the gathering cup to be in easy accessibility and the components to be detachable the place mandatory. Sustaining the skimmer ought to be easy and simple.

Best Protein Skimmers – Top 7 Rated Reviews 3

Bigger assortment cups is not going to must be emptied as regularly. Smaller cups want extra frequent cleansing, however received’t have as a lot time to begin stinking between cleanings.

You don’t want to wash the complete skimmer fairly often. When it’s time to take care of it, you do want to have the ability to attain each half for cleansing. This consists of the water and air intakes, bubble creation mechanism, and the inside partitions.

Skimmer Dimension

Assortment cups and skimmers ought to be appropriately sized to match your aquarium. It’s higher to oversize than to undersize. When you have a big tank, get a bigger skimmer.

When a protein skimmer is simply too small to your tank, you’ll do lots of work to maintain it maintained and functioning correctly. It’s higher to get one thing that’s correctly sized to avoid wasting your self the difficulty. You’ll even have cleaner water with none gunk flowing again into the tank if the cup fills up.

Protein Skimmers Versus Floor Skimmers

There are just a few sorts of skimmers for fish tanks. Protein skimmers and floor skimmers are the most typical. Although they’ve related names, they’ve completely different functions.

Best Protein Skimmers – Top 7 Rated Reviews 4

Protein skimmers take away DOCs from the water and acquire waste to take away it from the tank. Floor skimmers are a part of your common filter and work to take away strong waste that floats on the floor. This consists of leftover meals, particles, and bits that might in any other case keep away from the common filter consumption.

You should use each sorts of skimmers on the identical time. Nonetheless, you possibly can’t use a floor skimmer as a direct alternative for a protein skimmer.


For those who’re able to eliminate the soiled movie floating in your saltwater tank, get a skimmer now. The Reef Octopus Traditional 202-S will get the job finished nicely for medium to massive tanks with a sump. For these with out a sump tank, the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 cleans issues up with out taking over house.

Enhance the well being and great thing about your saltwater tank with a protein skimmer. These items make tank upkeep a complete lot simpler! Primarily based in your tank, select a skimmer that greatest meets the wants in your guidelines.

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