5 Best Hob Protein Skimmers of 2021

Guide to Hob Protein Skimmers.

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 micro bubbles for skimming and forces water out of the skimmer and back into the aquarium.

1.     Why Do We Need Protein Skimmers?

Protein skimming is a process that takes advantage of the fact that proteinaceous dissolved organic matter (DOM) in saltwater aquariums causes all sorts of problems, including, but not limited to:

–    Cloudy water

–    Ammonia toxicity

–    Nitrite toxicity

–    Nitrate toxicity

–    pH swings

–    Detrimental effects on inhabitants’ health

–    Carbonate precipitation

To summarize, protein skimmers remove free/dissolved organic compounds from seawater before they have a chance to harm any marine life. This makes these units incredibly useful for saltwater aquariums.

2.   What is a Protein Skimmer and How Does It Work?

A protein skimmer is an integral piece of equipment for any marine aquarium system, removing organic waste before it breaks down into less harmful compounds that would otherwise pollute the water and stress out your fish. Protein skimmers remove organic waste from water by injecting it into a column of fast-moving air that causes the dissolved molecules to be broken down into smaller pieces which are then exhausted out of the protein skimmer as a foam.

3.   Types of Skimmers

Protein skimmers come in two main types: internal and external. Within those 2 main types, there are several label variations for each type, but they all serve the same purpose overall.

a)    Internal Skimmers  are small units that place an air pump inside a tall container filled with bubble diffusers to create bubbles that rise through a body of water. The bubbles bring with them dissolved organic matter that rises into foam on top of the water.

b)    External Skimmers  are tall units that include a chamber filled with bubble diffusers to create bubbles that rise into a tall column of water filled with a foam fractionator at the top. The bubbles carry organic matter into the foam fractionator, which causes it to be broken down into smaller particles that then exit the unit as foam (fractionated, de-dissolved organic molecules).

4. Protein Skimmer Benefits:

a)       Removes all sorts of dissolved organic molecules from saltwater.

b)     Helps maintain proper water chemistry, preventing pH swings and other indicators that are stressors on marine life.

c)     Prevents the accumulation of detritus on rocks  and mechanical equipment, helping to keep your reef looking clean and pretty.

d)    Allows for more stable carbonate saturation levels in water,  allowing corals to grow faster with increased growth rates of the skeletons they’re made out of (important for SPS corals).

Best Hob Protein Skimmers – FAQ

How does a hob protein skimmer work?

Protein skimmers work by creating a rising column of air bubbles inside the skimmer body. As the air bubbles rise, the dissolved organics attach to the bubble surface and are carried to the top of the protein skimmer. When the bubble bursts the DOC is released as foam.

What is the best HOB protein skimmer?

What’s The Best HOB Protein Skimmer

Should protein skimmer run 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 livebut if you want a nice colony, try turning off the skimmer for the day.

Can a protein skimmer be too big?

You can definitely have too large a skimmer. To put this shortly, a skimmer with too large a neck will not be able to keep a good stack of bubbles because there is not enough waste and surface tension in a smaller tank.

Can a protein skimmer be too small?

Not necessarily. Using a high capacity protein skimmer on a smaller tank can be problematic. To perform optimally a skimmer should be working all the time. An oversized skimmer will tend to skim well for a few days then slow down once all of the organics have been skimmed out.

Do I need protein skimmer in fish only tank?

When Do I Need To Get A Protein Skimmer

Do protein skimmers remove phosphates?

Protein skimmers are also helpful in removing any toxins released from corals or invertebrates in the aquarium. In addition to removing phosphates, skimmers unfortunately, also remove trace elements which are necessary for corals and invertebrates. Natural food sources, such as plankton, are also be removed.

Do you need protein skimmer for freshwater tank?

Protein Skimmers work efficiently in salt water, unfortunately they do not work well in freshwater aquariums. Freshwater lacks the ability to form the fine air bubbles that makes these devices efficient in salt water.

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.

How do you know if protein skimmer is working?

you will know its working when you get a dry-ish skim in the cup, it will be very dark and smell bad.
that skimmer cup should take about 3 days to fill up with gunk.
if its too wet your cup will fill up fast, thats not what you want, you want a foam of gunk going into that cup.

Do you run a protein skimmer while cycling?

NO! The whole point of cycling a tank is to build a bacterial population that will support the tanks future inhabitants. By running the skimmer you are removing many of the nutrients which support the growth of the bacterial population.

How long does it take for a protein skimmer to break in?

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

Is a bigger protein skimmer better?

#5: Bigger is Not Always Better

What size protein skimmer do I need?

For example, if your main display tank is 90 gallons and your sump holds 30 gallons, then you will need a protein skimmer that is rated for at least 120 gallons. Some manufacturers say that their ratings are based on the main tanks display water volume since this is where most of the bioload is concentrated.

Can you over skim a reef tank?

Other than stripping the water of too many nutrients, you can’t “over skim”. Like you said, you can only take out what is in the water.

Can you keep corals without a protein skimmer?

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

What can I use instead of 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.

Can you run a reef tank without a skimmer?

There are many successful tanks run without skimmers.
And fish urine and feces does not develop pop eye or bacterial issues – running a skimmer will not address the root cause of either of these diseases.

How do I lower phosphate levels?

Treatments for Controlling Phosphorus
Reduce the amount of phosphorus you eat.
Take phosphorus binders.
Take vitamin D.
Take a calcimimetic medicine.
Stay on dialysis the entire time.
Start an exercise program approved by a doctor.
Get an operation to remove some of the parathyroid glands.