Why do I need a protein skimmer?


Sailfin Tang

A User's Sailfin Tang

Maintenance – All protein skimmers require some maintenance.  You will need to empty the collection cup and clean any accumulated salt and grime out of the inner workings.  A protein skimmer’s effectiveness is greatly effected by how clean the moving parts are.  Some protein skimmers make it easy to clean the inner tubes and parts.  Some protein skimmers even offer a self cleaning option where when a valve is turned water is forced back down the inner tube to remove any grime.  An old toothbrush is a good option for cleaning the inner workings of your protein skimmer.  Make sure there is not algae or residue growing inside any moving parts.

Break In Time- It can be frustrating when you first get your protein skimmer because you want it to start working right away.  Most times this is not the case.  Protein skimmers need to be allowed to run several hours and in some cases weeks in order to wash off any oils or residues from manufacturing.  Breaking in the skimmer also allows the parts to adjust to your water and setup.  Lots of first time users will think the protein skimmer is not working properly initially.   Most problems at the beginning can be attributed to the break-in process.  Be patient and your skimmer should improve over time.

Noise- All protein skimmers have different levels of sound they produce.  Pump noise and water noises can be expected.  Some skimmers are worse than others.  To some users noise is not a big deal because the skimmer is below the aquarium in the cabinet.  Noise can be more of a problem if the skimmer is of the “Hang On” type and mounts to the rear of the aquarium.

Listen to what other users are saying– The advice at the local fish store is not always the greatest since they are typically trying to sell you something.  The internet does provide unbiased reviews and can help you in your decision making.  Check out the reviews here to find the best protein skimmer for your setup.

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