Now, many people may not use a protein skimmer in their reef tanks, and technically speaking, with some extra work it is possible to get by without one, but it is not ideal. A protein skimmer is a great tool to have in your reef tank because it helps to remove proteins, waste, and other harmful things from the water.
These tools are genius and can go a long way in preventing algae outbreaks as well as several diseases that fish are prone to getting so we decided to dedicate a post specifically on the best protein skimmer for reef tanks. This is our top pick.
What Kind Of A Protein Skimmer Is Needed For A Reef Tank?
The bottom line is that most different types of protein skimmers will work just fine for a reef tank, but that being said, there are some models which will work a little bit better than others. There are 2 main types of protein skimmers, these being co-current and counter-current flow models.
Generally speaking, the co-current models, those that send air and water in the same direction, will work, but not as well as counter-current models. On a side note, the co-current models are named as they are because the water and air flow in the same direction.
Your number one choice of protein skimmers for a reef tank will be a counter-current skimmer, or in other words, those that send the air and water against each other instead of with each other. Counter-current skimmers produce more aeration and bubbles, which in the end results in more proteins and waste being removed from the water.
Furthermore there are several different types of counter-current protein skimmers, these being pin wheel, needle wheel, and mesh wheel models. In the case of a reef tank, the best choice has to be the needle wheel counter current protein skimmer model.
They tend to be the most effective at removing proteins from the water, they usually don’t take up too much space, they tend to not be very expensive, and generally speaking they run quietly too.
We recently covered a post on aquarium sump and refugiums which you can find here.
What We Think Is The Best Protein Skimmer For Reef Tanks
The following option of protein skimmer is a counter-current protein skimmer that uses a pin wheel in order to produce bubbles, bubbles which then remove proteins from the water. Here is our number one choice of protein skimmers for a reef aquarium.
Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer
When it comes to protein skimmers for your reef tank, the Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer is definitely a good choice to consider. It doesn’t take up too much space, it is powerful, easy to clean and maintain, and it functions really well too.
One of the best features about this particular protein skimmer is that it is rated for fish tanks up to 140 gallons in size. What this means is that the Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer can handle some pretty big fish tanks.
There is also another convenient part about this protein skimmer, that being that although it can handle very large fish tanks, its size and shape also make it ideal for tanks that are fairly small. This protein skimmer is fairly narrow and tall, making it ideal for tighter spaces as well as larger spaces too.
If you need to have a good protein skimmer that saves space, this is definitely a good choice to go with. Something else that we really like about this model of skimmer is that it has an 8 watt pump. 8 watts may not seem like very much power, but that is not so. This is an extremely efficient skimmer with a pump that is more than powerful enough to get the job done.
Yet another thing that makes the Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer an ideal choice is that it is very quiet and doesn’t make much noise so as to not disturb you while you try and watch television. The next thing that makes this particular skimmer an ideal choice is that it is built with very thick acrylic, making it a very strong and durable choice.
Finally, the pinwheel design of this protein skimmer is fantastic for creating the necessary aeration in order to remove protein and other waste from the water. This thing can be simply attached to the inside of the sump in your reef tank for quick installation.
Even better is that the top of the neck can be easily removed for cleaning, which is where all of the waste ends up after the water has been filtered. All in all this is a great protein skimmer no doubt.
- Small footprint – space saving.
- Powerful pump. Pinwheel design delivers efficiency.
- Made of strong acrylic.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Simply place on the inside of your tank.
- Very quiet and non-disruptive.
- Needs to be in at least 6.5 inches of water to function properly.
- Somewhat sensitive to depth changes.
The Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer is without a doubt one of the best options to go with in terms of protein skimmers for your reef tank. This is a very durable and well built protein skimmer that will last you a very long time.
It’s powerful pump combined with the counter-current pinwheel aeration function provide for the perfect amount of protein filtering and waste skimming, not to mention that it has a relatively small size and can work for tanks as large as 140 gallons. When it comes to protein skimmers, this is definitely one of the very best options that you could go with.