What is a Protein Skimmer?
A Protein Skimmer is a filter that works by producing thousands of tiny microbubbles by mixing water and air. Popular methods of producing bubbles are needle wheel, venturi, counter current and air stone. A Protein Skimmer requires a certain amount of surface tension to function and will not work in freshwater tanks, only saltwater. Proteins and different wastes attach to the microbubbles and are forced to the top of the skimmer’s chamber. As they reach the surface, the bubbles pop, releasing the waste into the neck of the skimmer. Over time, the skimmer produces a thick foam of bubbles that rise up the neck and into the collection cup.
Hang on Back Power Filter vs. Protein Skimmer:
One advantage of Protein Skimmers over standard cartridge filters is any waste collected is immediately removed from the aquarium, and no longer has an impact on the biological and mechanical filtration. In a sponge filter, waste becomes trapped and is broken down by bacteria. This process is not immediate and while the waste is being broken down, your aquarium’s water is still running through it.
Do I Need a Protein Skimmer?
A Protein Skimmer is not necessary for a saltwater reef aquarium, but many hobbyists discover that it makes the hobby much easier! This subject is often a topic of intense debate and whether you choose to use a Protein Skimmer or another method of filtration is your choice. The purpose of filtration is to maintain a particular level of water quality. For most beginner hobbyists wanting to maintain a small aquarium with just a few fish, a Protein Skimmer is not necessary and they can use a standard Hang on the Back Filter. Yet, most beginners have a tendency to overfeed their aquariums and make other newbie mistakes, which often cause nitrates to rise and algae to grow. Purchasing a Coralife Super Skimmer can compensate for those mistakes can make the hobby more enjoyable and prevent fish loss.