5 Best Hang On Back Protein Skimmers of 2021

Guide to Hang On Back Protein Skimmers

Hang on Back Protein Skimmers are just that, hang-on back. This means they are literally placed in an aquarium hanging off of the back wall. They require a little bit more space than other skimmers, but this is due to their ability to produce larger skimmate volumes with less noise and very little evaporation compared to most other protein skimmer designs.

What is Hang on back skimmers?

HOBs have been around for decades now. A true oldie but goodie HOB design by Deltec has been used successfully by aquarists worldwide for many years. Another well-known design is made by CoralVue which has similar features (although I tend to like the blue color better).

As far as size goes, you need enough room behind the tank to fit a skimmer. Most of these units measure approximately 16-20 inches long and about 8-10 inches high. For those with very large tanks, you could opt for the larger unit from CoralVue which has dimensions of 22″L x 8″H x 9″W.

Why it is needed?

The housing itself is typically acrylic plastic, but will not yellow over time like standard aquarium plastics. HOB protein skimmers are usually built better because they can afford to be – water level is held inside the unit, unlike any other protein skimmer design. AquaEuroUSA offers a very nice upgrade on this idea by placing a white acrylic collection cup in front of the unit instead of a clear plastic cup where algae growths are more visible (and unsightly).

A critical step in using any HOB unit is to determine the proper water height inside the skimmer. This will vary based on your specific tank size, desired skimmate production, and also the type of pump you are using. The most popular pumps for these units include pumps made by Sicce (Italy) and Eheim (Germany). These are very high-end aquarium pumps that come with an impeller that has a built-in magnet or “shroud” that prevents debris from reaching the impeller area. They are expensive but worth it if you can afford them.

Best Hang On Back Protein Skimmers – FAQ

How do you use a hang-on-back protein skimmer?

Just position the unit on the back of the aquarium. Fill the skimmer with water and plug it in. HOB protein skimmers have a water pump inside. The pump creates microbubbles for skimming and forces water out of the skimmer and back into the aquarium.

What is a HOB skimmer?

HOB skimmer with the pump mounted externally under the skimmer body. Unique external pump design reduces heat exchanged to the water. Easy removal of the pump for cleaning and maintenance. Powered by Aquatrance 2000s skimmer pumps with improved venturi design and pinwheel impeller.

What is the best HOB protein skimmer?

What’s The Best HOB Protein Skimmer

What is the best hang-on-back aquarium filter?

Best HOB Filter comparison table
Our rating Type For tanks
Tetra Whisper 20 Power Filter Hang-On-Back 10-20 Gal
Aqueon QuietFlow 30 power filter HOB with cleaning LED indicator 30-45 gallons
Penn-Plax Cascade 200 Hang-on Aquarium Filter Hang-On-Back 35-55 Gal
Marineland Penguin 350 Bio-wheel Hang-On-Back up to 50-75 gallons
8 more rows

How do external protein skimmers work?

The protein skimmer is a bubble blower on steroids. It sucks in air and water at the bottom and as the bubbles rise through the water inside the device, the waste sticks to the bubbles. Once the bubble bursts, it drops the hitchhiking waste product which collects in the Removable Collection Cup.

How should a protein skimmer work?

Protein Skimmers work by mixing large volumes of small air particles into a column of water. Organic wastes, primarily proteins, are attracted to the air/water interface of the injected bubbles, and collect on the surface of the bubble.

Do you need a protein skimmer?

When Do I Need To Get A Protein Skimmer

Can you run two protein skimmers?

You could run two smaller skimmers and get the same result as one large one. I believe in over skimming, but there is a point where there is nothing to skim and the skimmer will sit idle. You will get less in the collection cup and thicker gunk on the neck. To solve that, you can skim wetter.

Do I need a skimmer for a nano tank?

Since nano reef aquariums have a small volume of water and contain such sensitive organisms, you need a powerful skimmer — or alternate filtration systems — to provide pristine water.

Do you need a skimmer for a freshwater aquarium?

Yes, you can use a protein skimmer in a freshwater tank. Freshwater doesn’t foam as easily as salt water, so the protein skimmer won’t be as effective in freshwater as it is in saltwater. If you have a high biological load, the skimmer may still be useful in a freshwater aquarium.

Does the hang-on back filter provide oxygen?

For many aquariums, a simple HOB (hang on back) filter will adequately aerate your tank. Many filters have outputs that drop the water into the surface of the tank and, therefore, provide adequate surface agitation.

Is a hanging filter good for an aquarium?

Filtration can be biological, mechanical, and chemical. Product Features: The Filter Sponge Absorbs Dirt and clears the water. Suitable for both fresh and saltwater. Fully submersible and ideal for any aquarium filtration.

Brand Venus Aqua
Carbon Cartridge No
Plant Included No
14 more rows

Does a protein skimmer remove ammonia?

A protein skimmer removes the proteins and other organic wastes from the aquarium before they have a chance to break down into more harmful elements, such as ammonia and nitrite. Removing these wastes also helps prevent algae build-up, as does the reduction in phosphates.

Do I run my protein skimmer all the time?

Most folks who run a skimmer 24/7 and only feed once a week, won’t have fast growth on their corals, as long as they have the light needed and whatever little bit of food, they will live but if you want a nice colony, try turning off the skimmer for the day.

Does a protein skimmer remove nitrates?

Protein skimmers do nothing to remove nitrate within the water. It does take some of the load off the biological filter and could lead to reduced nitrate over letting organic molecules be broken down biologically, but your skimmer isn’t pulling any nitrates from the water.

How long does it take for a protein skimmer to start working?

A new protein skimmer requires a break-in period of about 1-2 weeks before it reaches optimum performance.

What are protein skimmers for?

A protein skimmer or foam fractionator is a device used to remove organic compounds such as food and waste particles from water.

How deep should my protein skimmer be?

I usually kept my skimmer submerged at about 7″ of water depth (recommended at 6-10″). At this depth, the skimmer pulls air in strong and has to “work” to get the air/water ratio through the skimming column.

Can you keep corals without a protein skimmer?

It’s not a necessity to have a skimmer to keep corals. It’s all about the right design and approach to nutrient removal. The skimmer can play a big part in that if it’s how the design is going to work. There are plenty of successful tanks with or without a skimmer.

What can replace a protein skimmer?

If you don’t have the option of using a protein skimmer, consider an algae scrubber and improve the overall health of your tank.