Choosing a protein skimmer for your fish tank can look pretty simple, but it’s not so straightforward. Without knowing purchasing factors to consider like its compatibility features, you may buy a protein skimmer you won’t enjoy.
This article serves as a guide to help you choose the right protein skimmer for your aquarium.
But first, what are protein skimmers?
Protein skimmers help you remove organic waste from your saltwater aquarium before they break down into nitrogenous waste. There are several types available:
- HOB (hang on back) Protein Skimmer. These are mostly used in tanks that lack a sump. They all come with a pump and an impeller which serve as a mechanism that creates bubbles in the water.
- In-sump Protein Skimmer. Just as it sounds, they are designed to be placed in the sump compartment of your tank. They work best for tanks that contain both corals and a plethora of fish.
iii. In-tank Protein Skimmer. This type of skimmer is installed on the inside of your tank. Very compact in size, they are high performing like their counterparts. An example is our TMC Protein Skimmer.
Top 3 Tips to Choosing the Right Protein Skimmer
Selecting a protein skimmer that works best for your aquarium is one of the best decisions you can make in this hobby. Below are three important things to consider when making your decision.
#1 Aquarium Size
Generally, the size of your aquarium is a pointer to the type of protein skimmer you need. This means, the bigger the tank, the more waste it’ll produce, and the larger the skimmer would be required.
Sometimes, it’s even advisable to buy a skimmer with a larger capacity from the start. This is because no matter how big your tank is, the livestock might grow so big that you’ll need to upgrade the tank eventually.
On the other hand, if your fish tank comes with a sump, you do not need to worry so much about what protein skimmer to buy. But if there’s no sump, you can consider purchasing an in-tank skimmer.
Another factor that can influence your buying decision is the number of fish in your tank.
This factor is quite straightforward. Just like the spacing available determines your aquarium choice, you also need to prepare a space for your skimmer in your aquarium. So, this somehow determines the size you opt for.
If you’re tight on space, then you should consider “a space-saving” design, such as our TMC Skimmers.
You don’t have to break a bank to own a good protein skimmer. However, all skimmers have different features and efficiency ratings.
In addition to a brand name, if a skimmer has a load of features, it tends to cost more. Does it have a controllable DC pump? Does it come with an air adjustment valve for controlling bubble size?
Another factor that determines the cost of a skimmer is its build quality. If it’s made of inexpensive materials or doesn’t feel solid in your hands, you might want to avoid such.
Do you need a Protein Skimmer?
No, it’s not a compulsory choice. However, while this is a debatable topic, you should have one. Here are some of the benefits of keeping a Protein Skimmer for your saltwater aquarium:
- Helps keep your water free of toxins
- They also help increase oxygen levels and overall water quality
- Helps maintain low nitrate levels
- Helps to keep water clear
- Better light penetration
- Improved coral growth
- Improves overall health of your system