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A Protein skimmer is a device used mostly in saltwater aquariums to remove organic compounds from the water before they break down into nitrogenous waste. A protein skimmer pump provides the only form of aquarium filtration that physically removes organic compounds before they begin to decompose, lightening the load on your biological filter and improving the water’s redox potential.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced reefer, you don’t want to give room for any form of error in your saltwater tank. One of the equipment you might find handy is the protein skimmer.
What are Protein Skimmers?
Protein skimmers is an equipment that utilizes air bubbles (foam fractionation) to clean the water in your reef tank. It’s also referred to as foam fractionator or an aquarium surface skimmer.
In a saltwater aquarium, the protein skimmer works like a filter. It helps to remove fish waste and food remnants in the form of organic compounds from the water. These substances can pollute the water and eventually cause hazard for the aquarium.
At Radical Reefs, you will find a great option of high-quality, efficient aquarium skimmers that are easy to setup. They operate with a DC pump and have an adjustable air intake controller.
Although size might not matter, protein skimmers are available in different sizes. And in most cases, their sizes play a role in how reliable and efficient they can be.
A HOB (Hand-On-Skimmers) is ideal for a medium size aquarium that do not have a sump.
Larger tanks usually have an in-sump protein skimmer. These types require a sump to function and are very reliable & more efficient. Unlike the HOB, these skimmers offer more control and control an overflow of water.
How Does an Aquarium Skimmer Work?
All types of Aquarium skimmers have one thing in common, which is an air/water interface. This interface is where the separation of organic waste from the water takes place.
Protein skimmers function through a process known as foam fractionation. This process is simply the removal of toxic waste, including biological waste products and proteins that can harm the corals and other invertebrates.
This filtration is the same as what happens at the beach. A soapy-looking foam is formed at the air/water region and the waste is taken out through the skimmer. And as diffusion takes place in the water, this process continues until the interface becomes saturated.
Is it Important for Saltwater Tanks?
Depending on the setup you have, protein skimmers can be an optional device. However, they can make your life as a reefer much easier if used efficiently. Purchasing an affordable protein skimmer can be a time-saver simply because you wouldn’t need to constantly change the water.
Also, you want to consider the type of corals you plan to keep in your saltwater aquarium. Most SPS or LPS corals have high demands in terms of water quality and filtration needs to thrive and stay healthy. So, if that’s the case, investing in a protein skimmer is a wise thing to do.
Explore our range of simple, effective, and affordable aquarium surface skimmers below.