Skimmers for saltwater aquariums

An important topic in saltwater aquariums is the skimmer or protein skimmer. You can read here why it is so important, what it is for and how it works.

What is a skimmer used for?

A protein skimmer is made for them Water treatment in saltwater aquariums responsible. But how does it work? The device contains a tube, water is pumped through the tube and air is drawn out of the room by negative pressure. Many protein skimmers have a needle wheel that breaks the air into very small bubbles. The smaller the bubbles, the larger the surface area. The bubbles rise upwards. The higher you go, the thicker the foam becomes, until it ends up in the foam cup. This brown, foul-smelling liquid contains organic waste. Clean water returns to the filter tank via the outlet pipe. The foam pot should be emptied regularly.

Have you ever noticed foam on the beach? The beach is the natural foaming pot of the sea.

What does a protein skimmer remove?

It eliminates organic waste, before they become harmful and disrupt nitrate and phosphate levels. But not just waste products, such as protein molecules, but also lipids, peptides, fats and uric acid.

It is also important to know that it not only eliminates harmful substances, but also useful, such as amino acids. But amino acids are very important for corals.

Should I have a protein skimmer?

It is not mandatory to install a skimmer. Some animals, like many soft corals, like organic matter in the water. Others live in clean, nutrient-poor water, like many fish and hard corals. Exactly this living space can easily be created with a skimmer. Besides, it’s depends on the stock quantity and your tank size. If a lot of animals are kept, a skimmer makes sense. In a small pool, a few liters are changed quickly to improve water quality. A skimmer helps a lot with a large tank. The need therefore depends on your stocking and your tank.

What size do I need?

The right skimmer should match the number of liters in the tank. Do not calculate the size of your tank, but rather actual water content And Also count your filter tank. If you have a 450 liter tank with 400 liters of water and a 100 liter filter tank, you should choose a skimmer for a 500 liter tank. A skimmer that is too large can cause the foam to collapse before it reaches the skimming pot.

Where is the skimmer placed?

Skimmer for saltwater aquariums

is recommended the last chamber before the return pump. Thus, the cleaned and oxygen-rich water is introduced directly into the aquarium. But beware: If there are too many air bubbles, these will also be directed toward the aquarium and this can damage your corals.
The water level in the filter tank should be adapted to the information provided by the skimmerotherwise it cannot work properly.
Don’t have a filter pan? No problem, there is also an external skimmer for standing or as an eye-catcher which is hung on the edge of the aquarium.

Why does the skimmer overflow?

It may happen that the skimmer overflows. This may be due to the following reasons:

  • New filter silk inserted – wash well beforehand
  • Reconstituted trace elements/vitamins – always dose slowly and in stages
  • Adding a water clarifier/mulch remover or similar – check if the skimmer needs to be off for a while
  • Wrong setting – optimize force and bubble formation for ideal skimming result

How is it cleaned?

The skimmer should be emptied regularlyhow far is depending on your tank. For some it’s every three days and for others only once a week. You will quickly know how often you need to do this in your aquarium.
Opinions vary on the foam hose, some say there is nothing to clean as long as the foam enters the foam cup without issue, while others say every three days. We clean the pipe ourselves only if necessary.

What is ozone on the skimmer?

Ozone is used to improve skimming. ozone is the strongest oxidizing agent, it divides the substances so that the skimmer can use them. These include, for example, yellow substances such as humin but also nettle toxins. So when using ozone, the water is always crystal clear. Some protein skimmers can be connected directly to an Ozonator. Please inquire if your skimmer is suitable for this and let a professional do it for you to indicate which Ozonator can and should be used.

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