Protein Skimmers are an aquarium’s primary and one of its main filters that work by creating microbubbles. You may be surprised how creating hundreds of thousands of microbubbles has anything to do with filtering?
We’ll go through the procedure later, but in a nutshell, a protein skimmer’s main duty is to remove organic compounds from your tank, such as fish feces, additives, and chemicals, as well as organic waste. A protein skimmer is required to keep the saltwater aquarium’s livestock healthy and the ecosystem clean.
It may be optional for different types of tanks, but it’s the first equipment to bring along if you’re going to build a saltwater tank. So, if just getting started with the saltwater tank, come along to learn how to use a protein skimmer.
Why & When Do You Need a Protein Skimmer?
When you’re just getting started with a saltwater aquarium, it can be challenging to figure out how a protein skimmer works and how to set it up. Whether it’s from the little fishes or food residues, there’s a lot of rubbish and junk piled up in your tank every day. The majority of them are organic and protein components that must be eliminated from water daily.
What happens to these chemical compounds? The majority of stuff turns into tiny bubbles on the water’s surface. You would see a thin oil film on the surface if there isn’t a sufficient overflow and filtration system in your tank. The light oil layer is made from organic garbage. The organic waste pollutes the water as well as increases the nitrate level doing so.
The skimmer uses surface tension to extract the trash. You may need to change the tank water daily to keep and maintain cleanliness. But this device does it for you without any extra labor. Moreover, it’ll provide the extra oxygen your tank requires, too.
So as you see, a protein skimmer is unquestionably one of the most important parts of saltwater aquarium maintenance. A skimmer is constantly working to extract wastes and can do the job effectively, and for this reason, you must need this equipment in your saltwater tank.
If you have a pretty good number of fish and species in your aquarium, their wastes and waste products will quickly foul the water. Bacteria and germs will grow, and other disorders may result from this. And besides, this is their nest, and swimming in their own trash and wasted food wouldn’t make them feel good.
Using A Protein Skimmer
Using a protein skimmer isn’t a tough job at all. The setup and installation process might take quite an effort, but once it’s all set, there’s just one job to do; that’s turning it off and on. The rest of the work will be done on its own. You’ll get a free manual on how to set it up. Let’s see how to use a protein skimmer.
How to use a protein skimmer in simple terms:
- Set it up in the tank water while carefully maintaining the water level as advised if you have an in-sump tank, which is the most likely option.
- Before turning it on, check that everything is appropriately and adjusted perfectly to the fit.
- It’s alright if forming a skimmate (the organic wastage) in the collection cup takes a few more days than instructed. The water level is probably too high, and you may have to readjust it if it overflows the cup and overflows within just one day.
- When the collection cup within the skimmer is full of dirt, you must clean it. If the dirt is too much, the dirt may surround the skimmer’s neck area. Cleaning the collection cup is a simple process. It’s basic: remove it, empty the cup, rinse it clean, and reuse it.
Most of the big tanks have an in-sump system protein skimmer. This means the skimmer has to be put inside the tank, maintaining a water level. It’s the easy and simplest one as there is no requirement for external plumbing and stuff. These types of skimmers have a filter within them.
Regardless of the sort of protein skimmer you pick, keeping it clean is necessary, and doing so entails having it running at all times.
How Long to Run a Protein Skimmer?
Running your protein skimmer nearly always and actively is the key to ensuring that you get enough advantage of it, such as nutrient exporting, gas exchange and oxygen supply, and maintaining hygiene as well. Most saltwater aquariums keep this system running without any pause.
There’s no schedule to turn it on or off from time to time. You can let it go on its own for 24h, as many days as you want before the actual cleaning day arrives. Moreover, if necessary, there are also ways to put a timer on the device if you wish to have it as a temporary filter.
You should only briefly pause the skimmer when you’re attempting to do a water change, removing any additives, or doing a chemical medication. If something is causing your skimmer to overflow or there’s too much garbage stuck on the body, it’s better to turn it off and get rid of the impurities before restarting the skimmer.
Can a Protein Skimmer Be Used in Freshwater Tanks?
Protein skimming is the most crucial feature of any healthy saltwater aquarium aside from basic organic filtration. For other types of tanks, it may not be necessary, but for a saltwater aquarium that creates enough foam to operate a skimmer, you must first get the best protein skimmer out there.
These types of skimmers are the best companion for having a constant partner to clean your tank’s waste. To ensure total cleanliness and filtration of the tank’s trash, you only need to learn how to use and how long to run protein skimmers. And for that, I hope this article comes in pretty handy for you!