Top 10 Best Protein Skimmer Review, Comparison and Buying Guide

Best protein skimmer is highly efficient equipment for your aquarium. It removes the protein and any organic waste from the tank water before then break down and turn into any harmful elements. What is the biological or protein component is? Simply they are fish poops, pees and dead cell fallen from their body.Best Protein Skimmer Review, Comparison and Buying Guide

Protein skimmers are especially useful for saltwater aquarium setup along with the freshwater. It reduces the toxin level remove form corals or any invertebrates in a fish tank. That does not mean you don’t need to change the tank water ever as long as you have a protein skimmer; frequently water changing is also essential. But yes it will save you from monthly water changing and most importantly- many types of water disease.

Top 5 Best Protein Skimmer Comparison

Protein SkimmerSC Aquariums SCA-301Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5Coralife Super Skimmer with PumpCoral Vue Technology AC20284 (Editor's Choice)Simplicity 240DC Protein Skimmer
ImageSC Aquariums SCA-301 - Best protein skimmer 2018Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 protein skimmer reviewsCoralife Super Skimmer with PumpCoral Vue Technology AC20284Simplicity 240DC Protein Skimmer
Editor's Rating4.1/54.6/53.9/54.5/54.4/5
BrandSC AquariumsBubble MagusCoralifeCoral Vue TechnologySimplicity
Capacity65 Gallons140 Gallons65-220 Gallons100 Gallons240 Gallons
Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year2 Years

10 Best Protein Skimmer 2018 Reviews

If you want to have a new protein skimmer these reviews reach will help you a lot. Here are 10 best protein skimmer 2018 reviews to learn about different types of skimmers. Let’s get started.

SC Aquariums SCA-301 Protein Skimmer, 65 GalSC Aquariums SCA-301 - Best protein skimmer 2018

The SC Aquariums SCA-301 Protein Skimmer is specially made for saltwater aquariums and sumps. It works well with tanks up to 65 gallons. It comes with a 28-watt power head pump which can flow 1380 liter of water per hour.

This best protein skimmer for freshwater produces a right amount of bubbles to remove all the diluted organic waste from the water. As a result, large and thick skimmate created every single day.

This protein skimmer for saltwater tank works well in 7-8 inches depth in the swamp or water. It comes with an air silencer and other additional fittings to use.

But the skimmer is not quite. It rattles, and sometimes it’s very annoying. You can change the air flow in order to keep the sound lower.

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  • Produce a massive amount of skimmate.
  • Easy to install.
  • Powerful pump machine.
  • Effortless maintenance. 


  • Make loud noises.
  • Not for large tanks with reef/freshwater setup. 


Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein SkimmerBubble Magus BM-Curve 5 protein skimmer reviews

For the best practical and efficient performance you can consider having Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer. This is a skimmer with the little high budget. But it offers an excellent service just an aquarium hobbyist can ask for. It comes with two colored red and white body with sleek transparent containers.

The skimmer has all the right features that a protein skimmer should have. It comes with a robust and also reliable SP 1000 internal pump which offers nonstop performance. BM-Curve 5’s needle wheel pump along with the venture intake that makes the right amount and size of air bubbles. It also reduces the turmoil in the retort compartment that could cause by water flow.

The skimmer is suitable to fish tank up to 140 gallons. It’s noise-free and accessible to cleaning. The installation process of Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer is also much more comfortable than others.


  • Easy to set up and make adjustments.
  • Powerful pump included.
  • Efficient performance.
  • Easy to clean. 


  • Need to clean the airline weekly.
  • Expensive product. 


Coralife Super Skimmer with PumpCoralife Super protein skimmer for freshwater

Protein skimmers must-have maintenance tool for any saltwater and reef water aquarium. That is why Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump comes with large feature and performance to enhance your aquarium filtration. They can remove the maximum amount of melted biological compounds from the tank water created daily. It comes with patented needle-wheel impellers and Aspiration Ventury to develop microbubbles and eliminate the waste. The skimmer uses a less amount of power than other skimmers. It’s easy to use and maintain and useful for any 65-200 gallons of aquariums. This best protein skimmer for 200 gallon tank comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large.

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  • Long durable construction.
  • Suitable for reef or saltwater aquarium.
  • Effortless cleaning.
  • Suable in the sump or with hang on mounting bracket. 


  • Overflows sometimes.
  • Pricy skimmer. 


Coral Vue Technology AC20284 Octopus Needle Wheel SkimmerCoral Vue Technology AC20284 - nano protein skimmer

If you want to want to invest in quality skimmer than, there is nothing better than Coral Vue Technology AC20284 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer. The skimmer is made for the long run. It’s a simple looking protein skimmer but very adequate for any aquarium filtration. It comes with the Hailea OTP pumps, pinwheel impellers, storage container, air valve, etc. the advance pinwheel impellers make sure to create right amount and size of the bubble and remove all the organic components from the water.

We had another Coral Vue reef octopus skimmer earlier which offers great features and performance too. The brand actually makes some durable, effective yet simple to maintain skimmers that are actually good.


  • Effortless maintenances.
  • Powerful motor.
  • Simple air valve to control water flow.
  • Durable for many years. 


  • Some user complaint the pump makes noises sometimes.
  • Price product. 


Simplicity 240DC Protein SkimmerSimplicity 240DC - best protein skimmer for 200 gallon tank

Those who want a good skimmer for the internal sump they would like the Simplicity 240DC Protein Skimmer. Like the name it’s straightforward, to look, use and maintain. It’s suitable to use huge loaded aquarium 60-120 gallons. For standard aquariums with light setups, the capacity will be 240 gallons.

It comes with DC pump speed, cone shape design and collection cup with cap.  The transparent body with black border lined minimal design good to go with any concept of aquarium decoration.

The Simplicity 240DC Protein Skimmer remove lots of nasty skimmate that other could reach only 60% on a daily basis. It creates lots of micro-bubbles and skimmate and never gets tired of working. However, the skimmer is easy to assemble and disassemble, so you get full freedom to clean it.


  • Includes a drain plug.
  • Powerful operation.
  • Easy to adjust the air and water flow.
  • Bayonet style locking neck.
  • Noise-free. 


  • Very high priced product.
  • Only usable for the internal swamp. 


Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein SkimmerReef Octopus Classic 100 - HOB Protein Skimmer

So those want a well-constructed hang-on protein skimmer should definitely try the Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB Protein Skimmer. It is one of the best hang-on classic protein skimmers capable of filtering up to 105 gallons of the aquarium. It’s made with high-quality acrylic and equipped with the advance Aquatrance pinwheel pump. It can produce sufficient air flow and bubbles to create maximum skimmate and make the water clean.

The skimmer is very easy to install. The manufacturer even provides drawing in the box to teach how you should set it up correctly. Place the skimmer on the back of the aquarium and mount the pump in location. Now adjust the intake skimmer and start the pump. Your skimmer is ready to go.


  • Produce nice and thick skimmate.
  • Easy installation process.
  • The water looks visibly crystal clear and healthy.
  • Proper water flow management.
  • Last long. 


  • It makes sounds while working.
  • A little pricey. 


Coralife BioCube Protein Skimmer for Aquarium FilterCoralife BioCube protein skimmer for saltwater tank

So here is another convenient size of protein skimmer that doesn’t require the loss of space and power to work. The Coralife BioCube Protein Skimmer for Aquarium Filter an efficient and cheap option as a protein filter. The skimmer works well with 30 gallons or below of tank. The skimmer is suitable to fit with the integrated filtration system in the rear of the fish tank.

To get the best result turn on the bubbles level below where the skim come out. Also, check the air pump time to time and reduce air to maintain a good skim. Beside from this extra lookout, this skimmer is less complicated and durable for a long time.

The nano protein skimmer for aquarium Filter comes with an air pump, air valve, skimmer and necessary tubing. All of them are well-constructed and hard wearing.


  • Fist to match with built-i filtration system back of the aquarium.
  • Less complicated settings procedure.
  • Very affordable.
  • Easy cleanable.
  • Heavy-duty fittings. 


  • The slightest water level changes require the readjustment of the air flow. 


Tunze USA 9410.000 Doc Skimmers, Up to 265-GallonTunze USA 9410.000 Doc Skimmers, Up to 265-Gallon

If you want a considerable capacity durable protein skimmer then Tunze USA 9410.000 Doc Skimmers is fit the bill. First of all the skimmer is very quiet. It never breaks your peace by making sounds and informing that it’s working! It’s suitable for using aquarium up to 265 gallons. Especially if you have both sump and tank, this is an ideal protein skimmer to clean ten tremendous amount of water thoroughly. But for heavily stocked aquariums capacity will be 80 gallons max. It comes with a 120 volt of the pump and necessary fittings like air valve, tube, etc.

The skimmer works 5.5-8.5 inches to get the best dry skimming. But if you think the foam is too wet and the container not storing enough dark liquids you can raise the little skimmer bit more.


  • Low height so easily places able in low places.
  • Noise-free skimmer.
  • Large and full collection cup.
  • Easy adjustment. 


  • Splash salt sprays a lot.
  • Very expensive. 


Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel SkimmerCoral Vue Technology AC20287 - nano protein skimmer

What do you want from a protein skimmer? Of course, it has to be high working, make your aquarium visible cleaner, etc. well Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer offers more.

It has the high-performance capacity and easy to use features compare than other regular protein skimmers. The skimmer is suable up to 210 gallons of the aquarium with sump. It has the pinwheel impellers that work keenly. The skimmer also has the four-inch cone neck eases the transition from bubbles into the storage container.

To make the cleaning more manageable, they added a quick release neck. For the water level adjustment, it has the gate valve. The water flow needs to adjust frequently, but overall it’s easy to use in other ways.

Putting the skimmer in 7-9 inches of water is best to let it work perfectly. Also, make sure to clean the collecting container once in a month.


  • Make the water optimally clear.
  • Skim perfectly.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Silently work. 


  • Need to adjust the water flow every time you dump the skim.
  • Pricy skimmer. 


Aquatic Life 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer/FilterAquatic Life 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer/Filter

Last but defiantly not least. The Aquatic Life 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer/Filter is a compact size of skimmer with a dominant performance. It’s fit for aquariums up to 300 gallons with the saltwater setup. It’s powered by the 8-watt needle wheel impeller pump, easy to open housing and optional mounting.

The skimmer is very energy efficient and delivers fast organic waste removal. The water flow is good enough to work, but you can adjust it also. It has the adjustable knob that controls the water flow according to the requirements of yours. The collection cup is easily removable and holds up to 100 ml of waste.

However, the skimmer includes a mounting bracket with suction cup allowing convenient placement inside the sump or the aquarium. The Aquatic Life 115 Mini goes with any aquarium frames for its adjustable mounting bracket.


  • Easy to clean the collection cup.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Very affordable.
  • Works perfectly. 


  • Make noises.
  • The adjustment knob is hard to turn. 


How to Choose the Best Protein Skimmer

Removing the dissolved organic matters form the aquarium is essential. That is why you need a well-effective protein skimmer that lasts long. Here is some vital factor to consider before buying the best protein skimmer. Have a look below.

  • Choose the Correct Type

There are many types of protein skimmers is available in the market. Knowing the class will help you to determine which one you should go for. Commonly found protein skimmers are sump skimmer, tank skimmers, hang-on skimmers, and external skimmers. Choose the type what you think best go with your needs. We talked about the size of protein skimmer here later on in the section.

  • The Setup Process

Both simple and complex model of skimmers is available which take less or more time to set. You can learn about the setup procedure and actual time form the description and also form user reviews. But installing times also depend on your skill and knowledge of this particular sector. However, look for a model that takes less time to maintenance as well.

  • The Pump

A powerful skimmer pump can send and return the water flow in a proper manner. It has to be robust to maintain the water flow according to the aquarium’s water volume. So check the water flow rate of the particular model and how much water it can handle in per hour.

But remember, it the pump has high water flow rate it might not be suitable for small aquariums. Too much water flow will not give the time to work the water bubbles and remove organic dirt from the water.

  • Skimmer Size

Choose the size that you have a proper place to set up. Compact dimensions are high for all size of aquariums. If you have enough places to set up the skimmer a significant volume of skimmer will do great too. And for the capacity- go for 1.5X higher than your tank size. For example, if you have a 100-gallon aquarium having a 150-gallon capacity skimmer will best to have.

  • Amount and Size of Air Bubbles

The size of air bubbles is mostly vital before size. Small size air bubbles get the job done even quickly form the larger ones. So check your model’s description what volume of air bubble it can produce and also the amount. But don’t get the tiniest bubbled skimmer; it will not help much to clean the mess.

Types of Protein Skimmer

Here is a short explanation of four types of protein skimmers for aquariums. Such as,

  • Sump Protein Skimmers

The sump protein skimmers are made for assimilated into the fish tank sump. It comes in different size so you can have something according to your aquarium size.

  • Tank Protein Skimmers

The tank skimmers are versatile and small in size. They are very powerful and efficiently clean all the organic mess within a short time.

  • Hang-on Protein Skimmers

Just like the name, hang-on skimmers are constructed to hang on the back of your fish tank. They are suitable for an aquarium with simple settings. They can be placed without the mounting process.

  • External Protein Skimmers

Regarding the name, foreign skimmers are stayed outside of the aquarium. The unclear water fed into the skimmer gets cleaned and later return to the tank.

How to Set up a Protein Skimmer

If you don’t have experience of installing protein skimmers, it’s going to be terrible for you. Although, protein skimmers are challenging to install just by the following guideline for the first time. You ask you to get the help of an expert or at least study the directions given below accompany with the skimmer instruction manual came from the model.

Benefits of Using Protein Skimmer

There are many benefits of having a protein skimmer for your aquarium. Here are some essential benefits mention below to understand what best it could offer to aquarium hobbits.

  • Extract all the organic materials from the water column. It removes all these waste products on a daily basis and never let them return to the water.
  • Helps to maintain low nitrate level in the water. Your water creatures especially corals will stay healthier in lest diluted nitrate water.
  • Increase oxygen level in the water. Especially nano protein skimmer helps to promote the best gas exchange and increase the oxygen for healthy marine creatures.
  • Reduce all type of biological toxin released by algae, corals or inverters.
  • Maintain the PH balance of the aquarium by preventing acidic reaction caused but carbon dioxide buildup.
  • Hob protein skimmer and some other skimmers also work for oily surface water and increase the light penetration.
  • Skimmer with ozonize prevents water- disease-causing organizing and REDOX.

How to Take Care Protein Skimmer

Like any piece of aquarium protein skimmer will also get very dirty. How often you should clean your protein cleaner depends on the size and capacity of the skimmer. But the simple way is, check the skimmer if it’s covered 90% of algae and coral build up. It is the high time to clean the skimmer along with its additional fittings.

A Simple Way to Clean the Skimmer

People use a long brush and other additional cleaning chemicals to clean up the skimmer. We suggest using a home ready for this. At first, detach all the parts of the skimmer and soak them in full large bucket of vinegar+ water mixture.

The proportion will be 30% of vinegar and 70% of water. Soak them for at least two days. In this time the all biological build-up, especially the coral will melt and detach from the surface. After that, clean all the parts by scrubbing through a long brush.

First Step

Start with sump box come with skimmer by placing it the bottom of the aquarium. Join both hoses (intake & output) from the aquarium water to the pump inside this box. Now connect the pump to it. Make sure the box is dispensed by the water from the tank to the sump box correctly.

Second Step

Figure out the ideal depth where the protein skimmer can work properly. Frequently manufacturers mention the bottom in the box. The sump box whether it’s set as an individual or separate unit for the water filtration should hold the best possible water depth for accurate performance.

Third Step

Load the water inside the sump box after setting the protein skimmer. Now connect the plug and turn on the motor. The skimmer should evolve foam in the inner point of the skimmer.

Final step

Let work your skimmer for 3 to 4 days with some break off course. During this time examine that the foam doesn’t surpass the highest level of it. Close the protein skimmer if the foam starts to outstrip the water level and flows into the collection container until retreats. Keep on adjusting the skimmer till it comes into the ideal working.

Final Thoughts

A simple filtration system cannot complete the water purifying process with its simple equipment. For daily made organic components it has to be the equipped with something advance.  The best protein skimmer not only ensure the cleaner water to look your aquarium visibly high, but it makes sure all the plant, coral fish and another marine could live there healthy and happy. Especially if you have saltwater aquariums having a protein skimmer is a must. Our top editor’s pick is Coral Vue Technology AC20284 Octopus Needle Wheel Skimmer. Coral Vue always makes some quality product at reasonable price. They are not cheap by works as like they claim for. This one is also great for long-term use and worth your every penny.

Do a lot of research and comparison to know what ideal model your aquarium deserve. Or if you want to save your very and time for later, you can pick one of our best protein skimmer reviews to inverts your time and money one wisely.

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