Coralife Marine Filter with Protein SkimmerIf you've been in the reef hobby as long as we have, you've seen a lot of filter and protein skimmer ideas come and go.

It takes time and testing to see if an idea is ready for prime time. The concept of a power filter combined with a protein skimmer has been a frequent garage DIY project with handy reefers. There was even a commercially produced filter-skimmer combo that kind of worked but never really hit the mark.

Well, all that's changed with Coralife's Marine Filter with a built-in protein skimmer ($38.48).

We were really excited when we first saw this hybrid filter and it seems you were, too! Right now, it's one of the hottest reef items at Marine Depot! Here’s why.

Coralife Marine Filter with Protein Skimmer

Filtration and Skimming: A Perfect Match

Aquarists with smaller reef tanks don't always have the room to hook up individual filters, skimmers and other life-support systems. Aquarium equipment doesn't always fit into the available space or it can take over the aesthetic appeal of the tank.

The dream has always been to combine filtration and skimming into one compact device. It would save space and provide the proper filtration for marine and reef aquariums. All-in-one aquariums do a great job at this, but not everyone has an AIO system. There are still plenty of standard aquariums being used for reef-building, fragging and quarantine.

Fortunately, Coralife stepped up and created a combination filter and protein skimmer that really works. Here’s how they did it.

Coralife Marine Filter with Protein Skimmer

Skimming Synergy

The key to the filter's success is related to the design process. Coralife took two mature technologies and combined them to make something better.

The filter unit is based on a proven hang-on-back Aqueon design. It includes mechanical and chemical filtration in cartridge form plus a mini wet-dry zone for biological filtration. The motor and impeller are submersible and sit below the water line for easy self-priming. If you temporarily lose power, the filter will start right back up.

The pump uses a modified impeller that looks similar to a needle wheel. The pump moves water through the filter and creates micro-bubbles for the protein skimmer. Bubble production is controllable with an air intake adjustment valve. The protein skimmer is a square design modeled after popular nano style skimmers. Foam rises in the reaction chamber and collects in the large skimmate cup. The cup has a built-in overflow protection feature that prevents accidents by routing excess skimmate back into the tank. Even with a large skimmate cup you’ll have peace of mind knowing it can never overflow onto the floor.

There's even room inside for a pre-set 50 or 100-watt Aqueon heater.

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A Great Value with Built-In Quality

API Phos-Zorb API Phos-Zorb

Unlike early filter-skimmer combos, the Coralife filter has all the bugs worked out. There's even extra room in the filter for specialized media like phosphate remover , such as API Phos-Zorb.

The Coralife Marine Filter is a plug and play unit that is perfectly matched for reef aquariums up to 30 gallons. We think it pairs nicely with the handsome minimalist design of the NUVO Black Series from Innovative Marine.

If want an easy way to provide filtration and protein skimming for your small reef tank while eliminating bulky gear and messy power cords, the Coralife Marine Filter is exactly what you’re looking for!