So what is the best protein skimmer for your aquarium?

A protein skimmer increases the efficiency of large aquarium filtration systems.
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The HOB-1 is a very popular hang on back protein skimmer, and it’s 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Amazon is well deserved. There are currently 24 reviews on Amazon at the time of writing this article, and the majority of them are praising the quality of the materials used. AquaMaxx have always been one of my favorite brands, because they understand the hobby inside and out. If you want to keep your salt water aquarium in tip top condition, then we highly recommend the HOB-1.
If you have ammonia in your aquarium water it cannot be removed by protein skimming.
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Not all protein skimmers are of the same quality, they don’t all work the same way, and different models are ideal for different sizes and types of aquariums. The trick is to find the best protein skimmer available, which is exactly what we are here to help you do with our reviews and information. Protein skimmers physically remove the nitrogen-rich, foamy organics from the aquarium.
Photo provided by FlickrIn sump protein skimmer brands popular among marine and reef aquarium hobbyists include , ,  and .
Photo provided by FlickrProtein skimmer with aquarium pump for saltwater aquariums up to 100 gallons.
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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.A protein skimmer, also sometimes referred to as a foam fractionator, is a piece of aquarium equipment that is primarily used in saltwater aquariums in order to remove dissolved organic compounds (DOC) and other harmful substances that if not removed can breakdown in the aquarium or filter adding to the biological load on an aquarium. Protein skimmers remove these hydrophilic substances completely from the water using air bubbles that are collected in a collection cup. As air and water are mixed in the skimmer chamber the bubbles rise and take with them the dissolved organics that are attracted to the bubble surface. When the bubbles with the proteins, amino acids and other nasty stuff bubble up the tube into the collection cup they are completely removed from the aquarium.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.One of the first questions new saltwater hobbyists seem to ask is whether they really need a protein skimmer for their first setup. Especially when they start to shop for a skimmer. The short answer is NO, you don't have to run a protein skimmer on your setup. There are many hobbyists that run successful systems without them. However, these hobbyists also realize the importance of regular partial water changes for the aquarium and how important water changes are to the health and well being of the animals in their care.