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Protein Skimmers

Protein skimmers are one of the most effective aquarium devices a hobbyist can use to maintain optimal water quality in a saltwater reef aquarium. Protein skimming helps remove organic compounds before they break down into nitrogenous waste (nitrates and phosphates). By physically removing the organic pollutants, protein skimming lightens the load on the biological filter. In addition to improving water quality, protein skimmers improve the water’s redox potential, which is beneficial to your livestock.

Protein skimmers are offered in a variety of styles. In-sump protein skimmers are placed directly in a sump. It is important to check the footprint requirements for these skimmers, to ensure you have adequate space in your sump. Many hobbyists will buy a sump to fit a particular protein skimmer. When an in-sump protein skimmer is not an option, many hobbyists turn to the hang on back (HOB) protein skimmer. These skimmers hand on the rim of the aquarium and have a pump that resides inside the tank. There are also protein skimmers that are placed outside of the sump, and also use a pump feed water directly into the skimmer body. Recirculating protein skimmers use one pump to feed “dirty” water into the skimmer, and another (or several other) to “re-circulate” the water several time before it is returned to the tank or sump. The belief here is that the water has this method increases the contact time the water has with the bubbles in the chamber, and therefore increases the amount of pollutants that are removed.

CS2 Black Pearl Recirculating Cone Skimmer Unveiled by Avast Marine

Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Avast Marine, makers of the Swabbie, have introduced their newest product, the CS2 Black Pearl Recirculating Code Skimmer. Not to rip off Pulp Fiction, but “it’s the one that says Bad A$$ @#$^#$ %#$@#$”. Ok, well, it doesn’t really say that, but it should. This thing is absolutely like nothing you’ve ever seen before (well, other than the CS1).

This skimmer is designed as an external, recirculating skimmer, but can be run both in and out of a sump. Naturally, since it’s recirculating, it is un-effected by the surrounding water-level. You can either feed it with a dedicated feed pump, or simply use a portion of the return using a manifold. For those of you using a bio-pellet reactor, you may choose to either feed it directly using that output, or at the very least play the BP output near the skimmer feed pump.

The Black Pearl smoked acrylic has an additional advantage (asides from the obvious cosmetic one), it will prevent algae from growing inside the body of the skimmer, and therefore reduce the number of times you have to break it down and clean it with water and vinegar.

The CS2 Black Pearl is powered by a Sicce PSK-1000, with a custom-made venturi designed to draw around 1100 lph of air, at approximately 26 watts. The body tapers from 8″ to 4″ and is offset to allow the pump to be connected from below with 2 unions.

Technical Details:
Tank Rating: Up to 250 gallons (1000L), heavily stocked.
Footprint: 16″x11″ (406x280mm)
Height: 25″ (635mm), with Swabbie 28.75″ (730mm)
Diameter at Base 8″ (200mm)
Neck diameter: 4″ (100mm)
Collection Cup Diameter: 8″ (200mm)
Collection Cup removal & clearance: press-fit o-ring, requires 3/4″ (19mm) to remove.
Sicce PSK1000 performance: 40 scfh (1100 lph) @ 26w
For in sump or external use; requires approx. 200-400 gph (750-1500 lph) feed pump.
Warranty: 1 year.

The CS2 Black Pearl recirculating cone skimmer sells for $699.99.

Reef Dynamics INS100 Protein Skimmer Install and Update Videos

Posted on Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 at 11:19 am

We wanted to share a couple of videos of the Reef Dynamics INS 100 at work. The first shows the skimmer the day after the user installed it, and the second shows it working after several months. Jeff Macare, owner of Reef Dynamics did instruct the user to lower the bubble level in the neck in order to produce less, but more concentrated, skimmate. There’s always a discussion going on between hobbyists who like to skim wet vs. dry. Personally I try to skim dry as to not impact salinity as much. Our system uses a very large skimmer, and a huge skimmer cup, and if we let it fill, we would be draining gallons of saltwater from our system, which would be replaced by our auto top off. That would drop the salinity drastically every week. But I digress.

The INS100 Protein Skimmer from Reef Dynamics can filter up to 300 gallons of total system water volume, but should be used on medium bio-load reef systems of 100 gallons, or a heavily stocked 80 gallon system. Here are some specs:

  • Sump Space Required For Skimmer/ Footprint: 8.5″ x10″
  • Total Height Required: 20″
  • Ideal Water Level: 6.5″ Constant
  • Reaction Chamber & Cup Diameter: 6″
  • Reaction Chamber Volume: XXX Gallons
  • Pump Inlet Size: ¾”
  • Water Outlet Size: 1¼”
  • Pump (included): Modified EcoPlus 633 Water Pump
  • Pump Consumption With Maximum Air Intake: 28 Watts @ 115/120 VAC 60hz
  • Air Intake: 420-480 lph
  • Water Flow Through: 200 gph+/ Depending On Air:Water Ratio

AquaMaxx Hang on Back (HOB) Protein Skimmer

Posted on Friday, March 4th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

The AquaMaxx Hang on Back (HOB) Series protein skimmers are rated for tanks ranging between 50 and 100 gallons. The particular design, made of cell-cast acrylic, makes the skimmer makes it light enough to fit on nanos, and other smaller tanks. A neat feature about these skimmers, is that the cup is actually moved up and down to dictate the foam level and consistency of skimmate. Another feature, not often found on HOB skimmers is a drain fitting which will allow the hobbyist to use a separate reservoir for skimmate.

The pump on the AquaMaxx HOB (Sicce or Sedra) is actually inside the body of the skimmer, which reduces noise, and saves space in your tank. AquaMaxx also states that this feature improves efficiency. The skimmers come with a built-in silencer which provides an almost silent operation.

There are currently two model available:

AquaMaxx HOB-1

AquaMaxx HOB-2

L 7.5″ x W 3.5″ x H 17″

L 10″ x W 5″ x H 17″
Pump (Included)

Sicce Syncra 1.5

Pump Power Consumption

11 Watts

19 Watts
Outlet Size


Volume Rating

50 – 75 Gallons

100 Gallons

AeroFuge Skimmer and Refugium from CPR Aquatic

Posted on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 10:00 am

Check out this neat combo protein skimmer and refugium unit from CPR Aquatic. We constantly get questions from hobbyists who set up a reef tank with no sump, yet still wish to add a protein skimmer and/or refugium. Well, featuring an AeroForce protein skimmer and an AquaFuge2 refugium, this CPR Aquatic unit offers a simple, hang on design that can be easily implemented in many sumpless systems.

The CPR Aquatic AeroFuge offers a recirculating skimmer as a primary nutrient removal device, as well as a refugium which can offer additional denitrification, and a source of live food.

Some features offered by the AeroFuge are:

  • An overflow grate, which helps keep macro algae from flowing into the display tank
  • A black back, to minimize light transfer to your display
  • Dual-body recirculating skimmer
  • De-gassing water return
  • Light – maximize macro algae growth (DX Models)

There are 3 models available at this time:

AEFG1SM – Rated up to 75 gallons (18″L x 3.5″W x 17″H)
AEFG1MD – Rated up to 90 gallons (22″L x 3.5″W x 17″H)
AEFG1LG – Rated up to 110 gallons (28″L x 3.5″W x 17″H)

[via CPR Aquatic]

Euro-Reef Unveils the RC350 Protein Skimmer

Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

The RC350 Protein Skimmer was just unveiled by Euro-Reef. Euro-Reef’s popular RC Series Protein Skimmers utilize a mixture of cast acrylic tube, cast acrylic sheet along with custom made acrylic and pvc parts. Each of the RC Series Skimmers are hand made in the US, and are made per the client’s specifications.

The Euro-Reef RC350 is ideal for a 350 gallon aquarium with a medium bio-load. This recirculating protein skimmer boasts an impressive 10″ reaction chambers and 2 Euro-Reef Skimmer Pumps. You can see in the attached photos that almost 3/4 of the reaction chamber is full of milky white bubbles, which will ensures maximum contact surface. This model employs Euro-Reef’s trademarked Euro-Lock system for easy removal and cleaning of the collection cup, without added clearance.

Check out the new Euro-Reef Forum for more info.

Euro-Reef Easter Egg Hunt 2009

Posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Euro-Reef is having fun this summer with their version of an “Easter Egg Hunt”. Somewhere within their website is a hidden link also known as an “Easter Egg”. This “Easter Egg” link, when clicked on, will take you to a page with a code that you will e-mail to them to claim the prize, a limited edition Euro-Reef BBE180 protein skimmer valued at $300!!

The first person to send them an e-mail with the code WINS!! Good Luck!!

Click here to visit the Euro-Reef website and play!

Tunze DOC Skimmer 9410

Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 10:24 am

Skimming, filtering and aerating a saltwater aquarium without power consumption is impossible. But, no unit uses less current than TUNZE® DOC Skimmer 9410. At a power consumption of only 12 W (16 W), the new DOC Skimmer has equivalent performance to much larger skimmers consuming more than twice as much power. In addition, no settings are required; it is extremely silent; it is easy to operate and it is nice to look at.

DOC Skimmer 9410 easily placed in aquarium cabinet filters with a variable level and requires no settings for operation. It operates in conjunction with TUNZE® Hydrofoamer 9410.04, which ensures foam production and water circulation at the same time. The open water circuit ensures a water flow rate of 900 l/h (237 USgal./h). Skimmer cup and foam reactor are one unit like in all TUNZE® DOC skimmers: Every cleaning of the skimmer cup leads to the reactor being cleaned at the same time, and thus a very constant and efficient foam production is ensured.

During the cleaning process, the Hydrofoamer remains operational and automatically flushes the air passages.

In order to use the water energy at the outlet of the skimmer, the DOC skimmer is fitted with a removable post-filter which carries out a perfect mechanical filtration through 50µm acrylic wadding fibres with minimal biological action.  This ensures that no unwanted nutrients and nitrate sources develop in case of longer cleaning intervals. The post-filter can also be filled with other filter media, such as activated carbon or phosphate absorbers; its spare filter can be replaced easily.

Euro Reef VS Series Photos Released

Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Euro Reef has released photos of their newest line, the VS series. The VS Series, features in an earlier article, is Euro Reef’s newest line of protein skimmers designed to provide the reef hobbyists with outstanding performance at an affordable price. Pictured here is the VS 135, which can handle up to 300 gallons, but is ideal for 135 gallon tank. The VS135 is shipped with a pump rated for 600-720 lph, with a power consumption of 40w. Footprint for the VS135 is 10″x11.5″, and the height requirement is 24″ due to Euro Reef’s trademark, the Euro Lock. We received a demo model and are very impressed with it’s performance so far. We are currently running it on one of our tanks and will release photos of it running as well as a few videos shortly.

Euro-Reef Accounces the VS Series Protein Skimmers

Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 11:59 am
Euro-Reef VS Series Protein Skimmers

We’ve been working hard to produce a protein skimmer that will not only work in the aquarium, but in the pocketbook as well!

Enter the VS Series

Handcrafted protein skimmers assembled with top quality extruded acrylic tube that is mechanically bonded to Heavy Duty PVC Type 1 sheet material. The same construction used on our top-of-the-line CS & RC series protein skimmers. Using proven EcoPlus pumps from Sunlight Supply, these skimmers are incredibly powerful and compact as well as efficient and AFFORDABLE!

Available in eight models handling aquarium systems of up to 1000 gallons, there is a VS skimmer that will provide you with the kind of performance and value you demand from a Protein Skimmer for YOUR aquarium system.

The VS Series skimmer utilize all the trademark Euro-Reef components including the PIN-WHEEL impeller, hand machined Venturis, Euro-Loc quick disconnect, Euro-Reef engineered turbulence reducing Transition, and easy to use outlet assemblies.


The price is right, the performance is awesome and the name is…EURO-REEF!

The VS Series will be available in stores and online starting Sept 1st, 2009.  Pre-order your TODAY!!

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