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Aquarium Protein Skimmers

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Aquarium Protein Skimmers By Size & Style
By Style: Hang On Only By Size: Small Tank (Up to 30G)
By Style: In Tank Only By Size: Medium Tank (30-100G)
By Style: Sump Only By Size: Large Tank (100+G)
By Style: Sump or Hang On
Aqua Medic AquaC EV
For 40 to 125 gallon tanks
We carry a variety of Aqua Medic Protein Skimmers.
For 40 to 2000 gallon tanks
Type: In Sump Protein Skimmers
The AquaC EV Series Protein Skimmers are high end sump only protein skimmers. The redesigned and improved EV Series skimmers feature a new baffling system combined with a significantly larger mixing box resulting in far less turbulence and increased contact time.
AquaC Remora AquaC Urchin
For 20 to 120 gallon tanks
Hang On Protein Skimmers
The Remora, Remora-S, Remora Pro & Nano Remora Protein Skimmers are all designed to hang on the back of your aquarium, taking up as little space as possible. Driven by a powerful spray-injector, these skimmers are sleek, reliable, and nearly maintenance-free. Pre-Filter box option.
For 20 to 120 gallon tanks
In Sump Protein Skimmers
The AquaC Urchin, Urchin-S and Urchin Pro are in sump versions of the popular Remora Hang-On Protein Skimmers. AquaC designed these skimmers to sit directly in a sump, and to be as easy to operate as possible. No tuning is necessary, and they are as close to set-and-forget as you'll find.
AquaEuro Aquatic Life Mini Skimmer
For 35 to 400 gallon tanks
In Sump Protein Skimmers
These in sump protein skimmers are made with high quality thick acrylic body. They feature needle wheel pumps and bubble plates. Easy to set up and use.
For 10 to 30 gallon tanks
In Tank Protein Skimmers
The Aquatic Life Internal Mini Skimmer is a perfect choice for nano reef aquariums. The adjustable mounting bracket fits standard aquarium frames. The quick-lock design makes it easy to open skimmer housing for cleaning.
Bashsea Twisted Protein Skimmers Coralife Cone Skimmer
For 75 to 400 gallon tanks
In Sump Protein Skimmers
The Bashsea Twisted Skimmers are the largest and highest quality protein skimmers we carry. The largest, the Twisted Skimmer 8-30, is 28-1/2 inches tall, has an 8" diameter chamber and is for tanks up to 400 gallons.
For 50 to 300 gallon tanks
In Sump Protein Skimmers
The Coralife Cone Protein Skimmers come in three sizes and are designed for in-sump use only. Cone-shaped skimmers are more efficient because the cone shape concentrates the foam as it rises, resulting in drier and more productive foam and more efficient skimming.
Coralife Super Skimmer SALE!! CPR Bak-Pak & SR Series
For 30 to 220 gallon tanks
Sump or Hang On Protein Skimmers
The Coralife Super Skimmer Protein Skimmers come in three sizes and can either be used in the sump or as a hang-on skimmer. Includes needle-wheel water pump with air Inlet Silencer, water-level adjustment dial and bubble-production diffuser.
For 30 to 100 gallon tanks
Some Sump & Some Hang On
The CPR Aquatic Protein Skimmers include the Bak-Pak hang-on skimmers, the Marine Tower Skimmer/Filter, the Aero Force hang-on skimmer and the SR2 & SR3 in sump skimmers. The SR3 was designed for use in small sump spaces including the Bio-Cube 29 tank.
Hydor Slim-Skim JBJ SK-45
For up to 65 gallon tanks
Hydor’s Slim-Skim Protein Skimmers are designed for nano and mini reef aquariums. Compact and easy to install. Feature magnetic suction cup mounts for easy positioning, special grid for surface water intake, multi-venturi impeller technology, low power consumption, and adjustable air control and foaming level.
For up to 45 gallon tanks
The SK-45, utilizing a needle wheel impeller pump, is a sleek and newly designed protein skimmer that is simple to set up and operate. Ideal for aquariums up to 45 gallon, the SK-45 out performs and delivers optimal skimming leaving your tank micro bubble free.
Red Sea C-Skim Red Sea Prizm
For 150 to 450 gallon tanks
In Sump Protein Skimmers
Red Sea C-Skim 1800 represents an integration of revolutionary features, performance characteristics of high demand commercial foam fractionators and the footprint and affordability of a modernly designed hobby protein skimmer. The C-Skim provides a new level of protein skimming in terms of efficiency, performances and user friendliness.
For 20 to 90 gallon tanks
Hang On Protein Skimmers
The Red Sea Prizm Hang-on Protein Skimmer features a s small footprint: 2.4" deep. 13.8" high, 9.75" wide. The blue tinted body is less noticeable than competing skimmer bodies.
Reef Octopus Rio Nano Protein Skimmer
For 20 to 320 gallon tanks
Hang On & In Sump Protein Skimmers
A wide variety of protein skimmers for a wide variety of tank sizes and protein skimmer needs.
For 10 to 20 gallon tanks
Hang On Protein Skimmers
The Rio Nano Skimmer Protein Skimmer is a needle wheel protein skimmer for hang-on use.
SeaClone Sera
For 50 to 150 gallon tanks
Sump or Hang On Protein Skimmers
The Aquarium Systems SeaClone 100 & 150 Protein Skimmers can function as either an external hang-on or internal sump skimmer and comes complete with a Maxi-Jet pump.
For 24 to 53 gallon tanks
In Tank or Filter Chamber Protein Skimmers
These Sera Skimmers are a great choice for nano tanks and can be used in the tank or in the back filter chamber (space permitting). The energy saving dispergator pumps are integrated into the casing of the Skimmers, making the Skimmers very compact.
Parts: Aqua Medic Turboflotor Parts: AquaC Remora, Urchin & EV

Parts: Coralife Super & Cone Skimmers Parts: CPR Aquatic

Parts: Current USA Fission Parts: EShopps PSK & Cone

Parts: Red Sea Berlin Parts: Red Sea C-Skim

Parts: Red Sea Prizm & Prizm Pro Parts: Reef Octopus

Parts: Rio Protein Skimmer Parts: SeaClone

What Is An Aquarium Protein Skimmer?
Of the many possible methods for reducing levels of organic matter in marine aquarium water, one of the simpler and more convenient is foam fractionation, or protein skimming with an aquarium protein skimmer. Protein skimming is a filtration method used to remove dissolved organic compounds before they break down into toxic ammonia and nitrite compounds. In a process analogous to the production of sea foam in surf, the injection of air bubbles into the aquarium water creates a meringuelike foam when organic molecules collect at the air-water interfaces of the bubbles. This foam is captured in the collection cup and disposed of.

Foam fractionation is an important part of the successful maintenance of a marine aquarium. It is the only method available that physically removes organic pollutants from the water. All other techniques simply sequester pollution within filter media, which are then removed and replenished with fresh media. Meanwhile, pollutant molecules may be constantly exchanged between the media and the aquarium water, reducing the overall effectiveness of the filtration system. For marine aquariums, foam fractionation is a practical and simple way to control this organic pollution.

Protein skimming only works with saltwater tanks. It's primarily used by reef aquarists, but it's also the best method of mechanical filtration for saltwater fish only tanks. Visit the Filter section for an overview of how protein skimming fits into an overall filtration strategy.

In simple terms, protein skimming is the mixing of air and water to create foam that organic substances adhere to. The foam is collected in a cup that can be easily cleaned.

Which Aquarium Protein Skimmer Should I Buy?
When purchasing a protein skimmer the main considerations are the size of your tank and where you're going to put the protein skimmer. Choosing a protein skimmer that is slightly larger than necessary is better than choosing one that is slightly smaller than necessary; most reef-keeping experts agree that it is difficult to overskim an aquarium.

There are hang on protein skimmers that sit on the back of the tank and in sump protein skimmers that sit in the sump. While there are numerous hang on and in sump protein skimmers, in tank protein skimmers are relatively new.

Usually, aquarists with a sump will place their protein skimmer in their sump, and those without a sump will hang their protein skimmer on the back of the tank. If you're not certain of where you want to hook up the protein skimmer, you might consider a protein skimmer that can both be hooked up in the sump or hung on the back of the tank such as the Coralife Super Skimmer protein skimmer or the SeaClone protein skimmer.

We've grouped the aquarium protein skimmers by size:
We've also group aquarium protein skimmers by how they are hooked up.
When buying a protein skimmer keep in mind that the tank size ratings stated by the various manufacturers are very subjective. It's very difficult to determine exactly how much protein skimming is necessary for any given tank--and there really is no correct answer. For the most part manufacturers are consistent--but the AquaC Remora protein skimmer, AquaC EV protein skimmer and AquaC Urchin protein skimmer are rated very conservatively. For example, the AquaC Remora is rated for tanks up to 75 gallons, but it's just as powerful as all the other skimmers on the market rated for tanks up to 150 gallons.

Different Types of Protein Skimmers
Protein skimmers are commonly listed as venturi, downdraft, needle wheel, spray induction or air-driven. We can't really say what is the best protein skimmer method. These distinctions are not terribly important--all protein skimmers basically mix air and water to create foam--but here's an explanation of the differences.
  • Needle Wheel protein skimmers, such as the Marineland In SumpAqua Medic Turboflotor, Coralife Super Skimmer, and the Eshopps replace the impeller in your protein skimmer pump with a needle wheel impeller. Air is drawn directly into the pump and the needle wheel chops the water and air into a fine mixture. The end result is that it works similarly to a Venturi design, it's just a different method of injecting the air into the water. These protein skimmers generally are supplied with a specialized pump for the application.
  • Venturi protein skimmers use a venturi valve to produce a mix of water and fine bubbles. Therefore, there is nothing to replace, and adjustments may not have to be made as frequently to keep the protein skimmer working correctly. Venturi protein skimmers are also often designed to create a spinning vortex of water and air inside the protein skimmer to maximize contact time between the air and water without the necessity of a tall column. Thus a venturi protein skimmer for a given size tank will always be smaller than other protein skimmers of comparable performance. The small size means that the venturi protein skimmer can easily be hidden underneath the tank and will leave more room in the cabinet for other equipment.
  • Down-Draft protein skimmers operate by using a high pressure stream of water injected downward into a column of plastic media, like bio balls, to suck air into the water stream and break the air up into tiny bubbles. We do not carry any down-draft protein skimmers.
  • AquaC protein skimmers use a Spray Induction method. We're not sure what this is, but it does work extremely well.
  • The CPR Bak-Pak Protein Skimmer is driven by a rejuvenation venturi powerhead. Bubble dwell time is increased by the counter-current flow in the skimmer column. The quality of the foam collected can be controlled by raising and lowering the collection cup.