What is Protein Skimmer and Why Your Aquarium Need It?

What is Protein Skimmer and Why Your Aquarium Need It?

All creatures on earth need healthy and clean air. The same goes for animals leaving in the ocean. They also need clean water to survive. If you have an aquarium, you should filter the water regularly to keep the water clean and free from any toxic chemicals that may pollute the ecosystem. The best filtration system can keep the healthiness of your reef aquarium. A protein skimmer is what you need to suck up waste, food scraps, nitrates, and other unnecessary particles. 

What is Protein Skimmer

This is one of the frequently asked questions asked by aquarium hobbyists. It is actually a foam fractionator placed in the aquarium which functions to remove food, waste particles, and other organic compounds from water. It is must-have equipment for those having a saltwater aquarium. 

How It Works

Working system of Protein Skimmer is simple yet a little bit complicated to illustrate. First, the best protein skimmer creates a high level of air bubbles attracting waste and proteins to the water interface. Then, they flow upwards to the surface of the water and form a foam that can be collected. That’s the general mechanism of how the device works. Different models may have a different mechanism. 

Why Protein Skimmer is Important? 

Many hobbyists think that protein skimmers are not necessary. In fact, a protein skimmer is a crucial component needed by all marine inhabitants. Using only an air pump, a canister filter, and wavemaker is not enough to mimic the real ecosystem of a reef aquarium.

It is believed that even the cleanest aquarium on the planet can’t be as clean as the ocean. Therefore, skimming should not be neglected. Without this equipment, ammonia-neutralizing bacteria will build up in your tank and endanger the inhabitants. A protein skimmer is able to fight against the dangerous effect of nitrite and ammonia in the saltwater aquarium. Using a protein skimmer. You can help sustain the long life of the inhabitants you keep if your aquarium.  

You may be questioning why protein should be removed from the aquarium water. For your information, water which is rich in protein is the best place for parasites and disease-causing bacteria to grow. By adding a protein skimmer to your aquarium, the amount of disease that treats your fish and corals can be reduced. In addition, protein skimmers are also effective to reduce algae. Algae breakouts can be a nightmare for a saltwater aquarium. 

Types of Protein Skimmer

There are at least three basic types of protein skimmer available in the market. They are Counter Current, Venturi, and Turbo. They can work effectively if used properly. The effectiveness of protein skimmer can be determined from the number of bubbles produced, size of bubbles, and contact time between the water and the bubbles.

Counter Current skimmer needs an air pump to work. The water and air inputs are placed separately. When the water floats at the surface, the airstone bubbles go into the bottom of the water column, creating a vortex movement that mixes the water and the air. Counter Current skimmers are good for the big aquarium but they are not recommended for smaller. 

The second type of protein skimmer is Venturi skimmer. This skimmer works based on the Bernoulli principles of air injection. There should be a good quality water pump for this skimmer to work effectively. In the skimming process, water is pushed using the water pump under high pressure through a component with a narrowing in the center.

The pressure drops as the water flows out of the restriction. More air bubbles are produced when the water pressure gets higher. A Turbo skimmer is the third type. It utilizes impeller blades to create small bubbles and mix them with water. This forms a froth. Then. The forth is forced into the skimmer chamber. 

How to Choose the Best Protein Skimmer 

The types of skimmer described above in just a few basic protein skimmers. Actually, there are many other types available. You may get confused to choose the most suitable one for your particular aquarium. You have to consider many things before buying one. First, consider the setup process of the skimmer.

Some models are easy to set up while the others can require complicated and difficult setup process. No one wants to spend hours just to deal with the setup. You learn from other users. Reading user reviews is an effective way to get to know the product better. From the reviews, you will find out the amount of time the spent to set up the skimmer. 

Second, choose a skimmer with a strong pump. The pump is an important part of protein skimmer. If the pump is not strong, the skimmer will work slowly especially of your have a big aquarium with a lot of water to pump at a time. The next thing to be put in consideration is the size of the skimmer itself. Too small or too large skimmers won’t be effective to clean the water. Other important things to take into account are the amount and size of air bubbles. Usually, before you bring home something from pet supply stores, the product will be checked first to make sure it works. 

For many people, the price can be one of the deciding factors, too. As explained previously, there are various skimmer models available in the market with a wide range of price. Protein skimmers with more features are of course more expensive than those with less feature.

It is better to set a flexible budget so you won’t end up buying a wring skimmer type. It might be a good idea to browse for a protein skimmer buying guide. It usually contains not only information about the features of general skimmers but also some reviews of recommended product with their price, too. The guide will help you to find the right skimmer that works effectively with your particular tank and suits your budget. 

After knowing all about protein skimmer including its functions, and its types, it is hoped that you will be more aware about the importance of this device.

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