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Keeping Aquariums Healthy with Protein Skimmers

Protein skimmers remove waste products to keep saltwater aquariums cleaner and clearer. The added oxygen benefits fish and coral and helps maintain a normal pH.

Protein skimmers are an essential part of the saltwater aquarium health. This instrument helps remove waste products that could damage delicate corals and fish while keeping water crystal clear and healthy.

Why Should I Add a Protein Skimmer to My Aquarium?

A protein skimmer simulates the normal action of the ocean on a scale appropriate for your fish tank. This keeps your saltwater aquarium cleaner and healthier. Since the skimmer removes waste products and dead organisms from the water before they reach the filter, it keeps the filter from having to work as hard. As a result, the filter lasts longer.

The action of a protein skimmer creates bubbles in the water system. The bubbles add more oxygen to the water, contributing to the overall health of fish, corals, and plants. The bubbling action helps the water release carbon dioxide, preventing the pH from becoming too low.

How Protein Skimmers Work

Many aquarium owners wonder just how protein skimmers work. The skimmer produces tiny bubbles. The surface of each bubble develops a tiny electrical charge, similar to how static electricity forms when you walk across a carpet. Many proteins, nitrates, and carbohydrates also have a tiny electrical charge, as well. These molecules stick to the bubbles as a result. As the bubbles move through the water, they pick up more and more of these waste molecules and begin to foam. In the ocean, waves create the bubbles, and the foam that forms ends up deposited on the beach. In the aquarium, the foam gathers in the collection cup of the skimmer. With the waste material and toxins cleaned out, the water is more clear and healthier.

The bubbles inject oxygen into the water, as well. This improves the well-being of corals and fish. The added oxygen helps to balance out the carbon dioxide in the water. This keeps the pH better regulated.

Selecting and Caring For the Right Skimmer

Protein skimmers are rated by the number of gallons they can filter. For example, a skimmer rated 160 gallons can filter an aquarium of up to 160 gallons. There are skimmers designed even for small nano tanks. If your tank is between sizes, choose the larger skimmer.

If the sound is a concern, choose a protein skimmer with a silencer. There are also skimmers that require very little maintenance for people who have busy schedules or who want to enjoy their fish and coral without a lot of hassles.

Skimmers can be placed on the back of a saltwater tank or in the sump. Check the dimensions of the protein skimmer you are considering to make sure it will fit correctly.

Most protein skimmers are extremely easy to install and maintain. Inspect them regularly to make sure they are working properly and that the valves are opening correctly. Clean the collection cup out regularly.

If you have trouble deciding which protein skimmer is right for you, contact the friendly staff at OCReef.com today. You can call them at 949.429.8034 or use the OCReef contact form to ask a question. They will be happy to provide you with more information about your freshwater or saltwater aquariums.

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