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In these videos we answer the quick question what is it? Now... what is a protein skimmer? Well unfortunately it’s not a rocket. So it doesn’t project way off into space or blow up to smithereens! But let me tell you! It’s far more interesting! A protein skimmer is a SUPER toilet for your saltwater aquarium.

Now what makes it Super? Well it not only collects animal waste, but left over food..., excess bacteria, toxins, and unwanted organisms. It does this all efficiently, and deserves it’s badge within the filtration club. Way to go protein skimmer! Now let’s check out how it works. Well for starters, protein skimmers don’t underestimate the power of bubbles. For some odd reason, organics are just as obsessed with bubbles as we are. Isn’t that right Fin? Fin? Oh whatever... he organic waste in the form of tiny molecules are attracted to the surface of these bubbles.

Once they are caught, they are sent through a chamber and up to a collection cup. This cup is then periodically emptied, keeping the tank water clean. All the bubbles are created by a submersible pump and bubble plate. The pump draws in saltwater through the intake. Inside the pump it has a needle wheel impeller that chops up bubbles into smaller ones. The bubble plate reduces turbulence and directs the bubbles upward through the chamber. The pump has a silencer attached to it’s intake. Which is super important unless you want to listen to gurgling noises while watching your favorite show! Anyways... these bubbles start creating a foam full of waste called skimmate. This skimmate overflows into the cup. The skimmers water level can be dialed in with the flow control knob. Many skimmers also have a drain fitting for those who want a larger container to collect the waste.

Protein skimmers range in various proportions and shapes. The smaller ones are called nano skimmers while the larger ones are usually in sump skimmers. There are hang on back skimmers, in tank skimmers, in sump skimmers, and external skimmers. All or which work very similarly and are important for saltwater aquariums. Choosing a skimmer depends on your tank size, equipment, and preference.

This brings us to the end of the video, if you found it helpful be sure to thank fin, and subscribe and like. Stay tuned for more videos as we answer the quick question what is it. If you are looking to buy a skimmer check out our website at As always thank you for tuning in and lets build a better aquarium together.