Protein Skimmers | Coralife Marine & Freshwater Aquarium Supplies

Popular HOB skimmer brands among marine and reef aquarium hobbyists include , ,  and .
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Therefore, a total ~ 95% of the dry water-insoluble skimmate is accounted for! What are the sources of these chemical compounds in the skimmate? The biogenic opal is likely from the shells of diatoms, small members of the phytoplankton family of marine microbes. The CaCO3 (and MgCO3) might have both biogenic and abiological sources. A calcium reactor was operating throughout the experimental skimmate collection period, and so some of the CaCO3 might just be microparticulates emitted from this device. Alternatively, the CaCO3 might arise from the shells of planktonic microbes from the coccolithophore (Mitchell-Innes, 1987; Stanley, 2005) and foraminifera families. These plankton components are prevalent under certain conditions in seawater, but there presence in aquarium water has not been established. It is not possible to distinguish between these biological and abiological sources of CaCO3 at present. Future experiments inwhich skimmate is collected without a running calcium reactor might shed some light on this point. The phosphate present in the skimmate could not come from inorganic phosphate in the water column; that ion would have been removed by the thorough washing with water. It is possible that some of this phosphate is in the form of insoluble calcium phosphate, but that occurrence would be unlikely as Ca3(PO4)2 is formed at rather high pH, which is not characteristic of the skimmate liquid (pH = 7.67, see below). By default, then, it is most likely derived from organic phosphate; that is, many biochemicals within diatoms and all other living organisms (coccolithophores, foraminifera, bacteria, humans, etc) have attached phosphate groups. Aquarium organisms recruit these phosphate molecules from the inorganic phosphate in the water column and then attach them to the organic biochemicals. Thus, they effectively concentrate phosphate from the water, and thatphosphate is then removed (within the intact organism) upon skimming. From this perspective, skimming does contribute to the removal of inorganic phosphate from aquarium water.
In sump protein skimmer brands popular among marine and reef aquarium hobbyists include , ,  and .
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Essentially, the protein skimmer really helps in and . This is absolutely necessary equipment when you have a reef aquarium or large fish in the tank, as these types of marine life can be . For more serious aquarium keepers with have the advanced venturi marine skimmers made by the highly regarded European company; Tropic Marine Center.
Photo provided by FlickrProtein skimmers are supplemental filtration devices essential for successful marine aquariums
Photo provided by FlickrProtein skimmers from Coralife are a key componenet for marine aquariums.
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The protein skimmer originated in the wastewater treatment industry many years ago. It was used primarily to reduce the organic load before the water reached the activated sludge reactors. This technique exploits the affinity of organic waste to adsorb to air bubbles. In basic terms, organic-waste-laden aquarium water is reacted in a column of air bubbles, the waste sticks in the foam, and the foam collected. Foam is what is produced when one passes a gas through a liquid that contains high levels of surfactants.The theory behind running a protein skimmer on a marine aquarium sounds good, but in reality its impact on well established marine aquarium appears to be minimal. Real independent research needs to be done to validate the value of running a protein skimmer on a marine system. With all the examples of marine aquariums that are doing exceptionally well without protein skimmers, I am finding it harder and harder to justify the expense for all marine aquariums.I have run many marine fish only and reef aquariums with and without protein skimmers for many years. To this day I can not say that there is a noticeable benefit running a protein skimmer. I ran a protein skimmer for many years on a fish only system and then I took it off the system. The system was ran for years without a protein skimmer and there was no noticeable affect on fish health. I have also set up many reef systems without protein skimmers, and had excellent results with small polypstony (SPS) corals growing very well, and several species of marine fish spawning. Some reef system setups had undetectable nitrate levels after being set up for years.As technology continues to improve, it becomes a little bit easier for us to maintain ideal conditions for our reef tanks. But as our improves, our options seem to be multiplying too. Having choices, as a consumer, is usually a good thing. But when it comes to the , there are so many brands and so many options that choices can sometimes be overwhelming for the newcomer to the hobby. Whether you are in the market for your first protein skimmer or are looking to upgrade your existing protein skimmer, this article should help you sort through all the options and help you find the best protein skimmer brands for your reef aquarium.