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Best Protein Skimmer

The Best Protein Skimmer For Aquariums 2020

A protein skimmer is an effective filter that removes protein and other unwanted organic matter, also they maintain low nitrate levels by holding back nitrate build-up.

The best protein skimmer for aquariums is the Tunze DOC Skimmer, as it provides a high flow rate output, exceptional performance and the best silencing feature.

Below is a article on the best protein skimmers, which are suitable for a wide range of aquarium types. Be sure that you check out features of them such as their energy use and water level operation.

Protein Skimmer Comparison

Protein SkimmerSkimmer TypeAquarium (Gallons)
Tunze In-SumpUp to 265
Bubble MagusIn-SumpUp to 140
Reef OctopusIn-SumpUp to 100
Simplicity 240DCIn-SumpUp to 120
NYOS QuantumIn-SumpUp to 120
AquaMaxx 1.5Hang-On-BackUp to 90
SC AquariumsIn-Tank Up to 75

When searching for the most suitable protein skimmer filter, there are some aspects of them you should look into. These aspects include its water level operation and its flow rate per hour in order to match suitability for your tank.

Moreover, you should check out its dimensions as you want to ensure it doesn’t take up too much room.

Down below is an article on the best protein skimmers online currently.

The Best Protein Skimmer Filters

1. Tunze Protein Skimmer

The best protein skimmer for aquariums is the Tunze, as it has the best quality construction and design. This is due to its innovative different approach to dampening the noise of the air intake, as they are able to placer a silencing feature in between the cup and body, allowing for a quieter air intake.

Furthermore the Tunze Hydrofoamer has a unique ability having a collaboration of exceptional performance, whilst maintaining a low power consumption.

Other features of the Tunze DOC Protein Skimmer include:

  • Height: 16.5 Inches
  • Flow Rate: 237 Gallons Per Hour
  • Recommended Tank Size For Use: 265 Gallons
  • Energy Use: 15 Watts
  • Water Level Operation:  5.5 – 9.5 Inches
  • Creates air bubbles with a diameter between the sizes of 0.1 MM & 0.3 MM.

Overall the Tunze Protein Skimmer is the ultimate in-tank protein skimmer as the new DOC Skimmer has equivalent performance to much larger skimmers consuming more than twice as much power. Also it has a self-leveling feature, that allows you to adjust the water level with ease and through the use of an external controller.

Moreover cleaning the Tunze Protein Skimmer is simple as you can easily press the ‘feed’ button which pauses the pump for around ten minutes. This should be more than enough time to allow you to remove the skimmer cup to clean.

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2. Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer

A world renowned protein skimmer builder brand is Bubble Magus, with their flagship high-performance BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer. This is due to its small size in dimensions, which features a narrow neck build that maximizes skimming power. This is important as it helps ensure that there is less tensions as the bubbles rise through the neck.

Moreover due to this wine-glass body design, it has the ability to reduce the turbulence’s which assists with delivering effective performance whilst only using 8 Watts of energy!

In terms features of the Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer, they include:

  • Height: 18.5 Inches
  • Flow Rate: 85 Gallons Per Hour
  • Recommended Tank Size For Use: 140 Gallons
  • Energy Use: 8 Watts
  • Water Level Operation: 9.5 – 11.0 Inches
  • The pinwheel impeller design produces fine bubbles.

Ultimately if you’re searching for a small in size, yet effective filter from a world renowned brand then the Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer may be the perfect product for you. Attribute such as its simple to release collections cup and skimmer body makes it efficient to break down and clean.

Moreover the draining feature that it has, helps to extend the time between the maintenance and cleaning, so there is less concern around that area.

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3. Reef Octopus Classic 150 Protein Skimmer

The best silent aquarium protein skimmer is the Reef Octopus Classic 150, as vented wedge valve output and Aquatrance 1800 pinwheel, its a very quiet system to draw water from your sump.

Moreover it has one of the toughest and durable designs on the market as its produced with great quality Acrylic that is shatter proof and can flex, which makes disassembly for cleaning simple and stress-free.

Other features of the Reef Octopus Classic 150 include:

  • Height: 20.8 Inches
  • Flow Rate: 140 Gallons Per Hour
  • Recommended Tank Size For Use: 100 Gallons
  • Energy Use: 11 Watts
  • Water Level Operation: 7.5 – 8.0 Inches
  • Aquatrance 1800 pin wheel is a silent system.

Ultimately the Reef Octopus Classic 150 is one of the best silent protein skimmers for your aquarium on the market. It also has other attributes which make it a must buy such as the pinwheels efficiency at removing waste from the mix of water and air, plus how easy the wedge valve is for control of funneling water below the water line.

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4. Simplicity 240DC Protein Skimmer

The best protein skimmer in terms of value for money is the Simplicity 240DC Skimmer which is an afford product that rivals big name brands properties and benefits.

Its needle wheel impellers are an effective method of providing a efficient stream of Microbubbles for Skimmate formation process to happen. More its its design has the water pump within the skimmer body to reduce the footprint as it is an in-sump skimmer.

Features of the Simplicity 240DC Skimmer, they include:

  • Height: 19.5 Inches
  • Flow Rate: 120 Gallons Per Hour
  • Recommended Tank Size For Use: 120 Gallons
  • Energy Use: 9 Watts
  • Water Level Operation: 6.0 – 7.0 Inches
  • Warranty with pump and  skimmer body.

Ultimately if you’re searching for value for money with a protein skimmer, then the Simplicity 240DC Skimmer is an awesome candidate for you. Furthermore attributes such as its touc-pad controls actually allow it to stand out amongst the market and it even has a cup just in case you want to run an external collection cup.

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5. NYOS Quantum 160 Protein Skimmer

The best premium protein skimmer for aquariums, is the German-engineered NYOS Quantum 160. This is down to the fact that it innovative hybrid wheel has narrow needles and lattice-shaped base, that produce the finest micro-air bubbles that any protein skimmer on the market will rival.

Moreover due to its four rubber feet design, it is able to reduce vibrations making the system silent. Also it is constructed from very high-quality Acrylic, ensuring its longevity.

In terms of features of the NYOS Quantum 160 Skimmer, they include:

  • Height: 24.0 Inches
  • Flow Rate: 120 Gallons Per Hour
  • Recommended Tank Size For Use: 250 Gallons
  • Energy Use: 18 Watts
  • Water Level Operation: 8.0 – 10.0 Inches
  • Fast break-in period, easy to use.

Ultimately if you’re searching for the best build quality and effective performance, then the NYOS Quantum is the best skimmer on the market for you. You can see aspects of this through its screws which are even constructed from Titanium. Also, you can also control the water and air separately through independent adjustments.

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6. AquaMaxx 1.5 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

The best HOB or also known as Hang-On-Back protein skimmer is the AquaMaxx, as it is designed with the aquatic hobbyists best interests at heart. This is because it uses an Italian Sicce Syncra 1.5 pump and also a AquaMaxx needle wheel impeller, which delivers incredible performance.

Other features of the AquaMaxx include:

  • Height: 17.0 Inches
  • Flow Rate: 40 Gallons Per Hour
  • Recommended Tank Size For Use: 90 Gallons
  • Energy Use: 11 Watts
  • Water Level Operation: 7.5 – 8.0 Inches
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty from AquaMaxx.

Overall the AquaMaxx is an excellent choice as a hang-on-back protein skimmer, as its attributes such as its convenient skimmer drain line makes cleaning efficient and easily. Moreover the high dwell time ensures that there is increased time for waste removal.

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7. SC Aquariums SCA-301 Protein Skimmer

The best nano protein skimmer is the SC Aquariums SCA-301 Skimmer, as it’s a compact skimmer that has similar performance that rivals larger protein skimmers for bigger gallons. Moreover, it has cup has a user-friendly drain-tube that can be removed for easy maintenance.

In terms of features of the SC Aquariums SCA-301 Skimmer, they include:

  • Height: 17.0 Inches
  • Flow Rate: 365 Gallons Per Hour
  • Recommended Tank Size For Use: 30 – 75 Gallons
  • Energy Use: 28 Watts
  • Water Level Operation: 6.0 – 7.0 Inches
  • 1-year limited warranty.
Ultimately this protein skimmer is a rarity in the market place, as it build-quality and performance is unrivalled among its competitors, especially those at a bigger size.


Finding the best protein skimmer filter for your aquarium can be hard to do there are so many attributes of them that can influence your decision making, so it can be challenging to discover a unique characteristic between skimmers.

Although if you read through this article, it should raise some significant factors that might be more favourable for your type of aquarium such as flow rate per hour, water level operation, energy use and tank size suitability.

All of the suggestions above, that we have included cover a wide range of prices, tank sizes and fish species suitability.

About The Author

the aqua guru author

Jon is an aquarium keeper of over 15 years and the owner of Guppy's, Betta's and other marine life. He always likes to make changes to his aquarium for the benefit of his marine life's well-being and health using the best aquatic products on the market. You can read more about us here.