Why is My Protein Skimmer Making Bubbles? How to Get Rid of Microbubbles from a Protein Skimmer?

Why is My Protein Skimmer Making Bubbles? How to Get Rid of Microbubbles from a Protein Skimmer?

Can’t figure out why your protein skimmer is spitting out so many microbubbles? Here’s a bunch of causes that you can fix & get the bubbles out of your sight!

When you decide to build a saltwater aquarium, you’ll have to acknowledge and encounter a lot of terms that may be new to you. A saltwater aquarium requires extra & unique equipment. A clear example is the protein skimmer.

Now, what is the microbubbles issue for a protein skimmer? Microbubbles develop when a mixture of air and water is blown out of the skimmer. There’s a lot of concern about skimmers making too many bubbles as soon as they are settled in. While this is a common occurrence with new protein skimmers, there are also other reasons behind it.

We’ll go over the probable causes of your skimmer producing microbubbles and how to solve the issue. Let’s get started!

Possible Causes of Microbubbles

Microbubbles are tiny bubbles that can be seen in the display of the tank. The sump or aquarium tools are the most common sources of these bubbles. These can be annoying as it gives the tank’s water a foggy appearance. Before you try to fix it, you should first figure out what’s causing it.

Your Skimmer is New

Many of you must be uninformed that a protein skimmer requires some time to break in thoroughly. As a result, it’s normal for your skimmer to produce microbubbles if it’s fresh & new.

Once the skimmer has been settled in, you’ll notice the tiny bubbles will automatically flow up into the collection cups. This will limit the number of bubbles that escape the protein skimmer and infiltrate the tank.

Wrong Installation

The protein skimmer’s water level or depth maintenance has a lot to produce microbubbles. When a skimmer is set in too deep or too low of a water depth, bubbles frequently leave the skimmer too soon. It will generate a large number of microbubbles on its own.

Always confirm the product’s recommendations for water depth before you settle it in. If the tank size makes it challenging to place the skimmer correctly, you can add extra support.

An inverted plastic tub or other plastic vessels can be utilized as temporary support to provide the skimmer with a higher platform. This will help the skimmer function effectively by ensuring accurate water depth.

Venturi Blockage

Another possible reason is the venturi is starting to become clogged. The volume of water to the air inside the device rises as the flow rate into the venturi becomes blocked. As a result, the water flow will increase, flushing bubbles out of the skimmer. It’s always good to double-check that the tubing and any valves are clean before clearing the venturi.

Poorly Tuned Skimmer

Your protein skimmer must be appropriately calibrated. A poorly tuned skimmer might also cause bubbles to quickly escape the skimmer as microbubbles, just like a wrongly settled skimmer. An incorrectly adjusted airflow vent can affect the bubble column’s volume and form, causing microbubbles to overflow into the tank’s display.

Chemicals & Overfeeding

Surfactants can be found in aquarium chemicals, fish meals, and supplements. These additives can interact as a surface-acting reagent, causing surface tension variations. This change in surface tension can directly impact the development of bubbles inside the skimmer.

It will push the collection cup to fill quickly. As a result, there will be an overflow into the tank as microbubbles. Heavy feeding the fishes and other species, food residues can also have a similar impact on producing excessive microbubbles.

How to Stop a Protein Skimmer from Bubbling?

You can consider taking a few things to stop microbubbles from invading your display. The first step is to figure out where the microbubbles are coming from. The majority of the time, microbubbles are formed from the skimmer. Here are two steps that will be more likely to solve the issue effectively.

Break-in Process- Skimmers typically require a break-in time when the collection starts and the organic coating begins inside. During this time, you’ll notice excessive microbubbles forming from the skimmer. This problem with new skimmers often seems to go away after a while.

If you re-settle it or attempt to clean the skimmer, this procedure has to begin again. It’s best to wait a few days to observe if the microbubbles decrease on their own. 

Reposition the Protein Skimmer-Try moving the protein skimmer to a different location so that the microbubbles can evaporate before entering the reverse pumping part. If necessary, place it against a sump divider. This way, when the flow leaves the skimmer, it will travel straight up the surface by the wall and will not return to fog the display.

The End

Now that the causes have been identified and some solutions also proposed, all you have to do is make sure the skimmer is correctly set up and tuned. Also, make sure your fish aren’t overfed and that there aren’t any chemicals floating around in the water.

Waiting it out is the most useful technique to eliminate the micro bubble issue in your protein skimmer. A new skimmer just needs a little time to adapt itself to your aquarium. There will always be a disagreement about whether or not these tiny bubbles are hazardous.

But these tiny ones are very natural and typical. The bubbles are entirely safe and will not harm any tiny creatures or pollute the water inside the tank. However, if you still want to take immediate action to minimize the bubble try the suggestions above.


There are several types of protein skimmers on the market. To choose the best protein skimmer, you can read our reviews on it.


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