Skimmer for your aquarium

Marine aquarium with skimmer

There are different elements necessary for the proper functioning of an aquarium. Each element has its functions and stabilizes the environmental conditions so that the fish live well. In this case we are going to talk about skimmer. It is about filters for saltwater aquariums. It is also known by its Spanish name "urea separator" or "protein separator".

Do you want to know when to install a skimmer and how to use it? In this post we will tell you everything 🙂

Best aquarium skimmer models

Ocean Free SM042 Surfclear Surface Skimmer

This model of aquarium skimmer is capable of pumping 200 liters of water per hour. In this way, you can recreate the natural conditions that saltwater fish need in your aquarium. In addition, this pumping capacity is able to eliminate this thin film of grease and dust that forms on the surface of the aquariums. Thus, we also get to have the aquarium with a good cleaning.

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Boyu Skimmer for Aquarium

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This Skimmer It is designed for water tanks up to 600 liters. It has a valve to be able to adjust the flow rate that we need to pump at all times. This will vary depending on the quantity de peces that we have. It is capable of pumping up to 1400 liters per hour thanks to its needle wheel. It has a removable cup for easy cleaning and maintenance.

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Hydor Nano Slim Skim Compact Interior

With this Skimmer you will have a beautiful modern design that is quite compact and embellishing. It can be used to decorate the aquarium in addition to its main functions. It has a surface water intake system to serve as a skimmer. They fit the bottom of the aquarium and have some more modern features. It has an energy efficiency system to reduce electricity consumption. It hardly makes any noise during operation.

It has several supports for easy installation and requires little maintenance. You can click here to buy this model at a good price.

Fluval Surface Skimmer

Unlike the others this Skimmer this surface. It serves and adapts to all types of external filters that help to extract the water from the surface of the aquarium, eliminating this layer of undesirable residues. It has an easy installation and hardly makes noise in its operation.

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What is a skimmer for?

Aquarium skimmer

After having a first contact with the world of aquariums, it is concluded that natural conditions need to be recreated. It is important that our fish feel at home to reduce their stress and maintain good health. One of the most effective tools for separate the filtration of a saltwater aquarium are the skimmers.

This appliance tries recreate the effect of nature in the aquarium. When we walk along the beach or the port, we can see areas where the waves break and form a yellowish foam. That same feat is what the skimmer aims to generate. In this way, the saltwater fish will feel as if it were the waves.

There are skimmers of various models and glasses.


Foam in aquariums

When we start the device, Air bubbles are introduced through a flow of water. Protein particles, trace elements and other organic debris that remain attached are stuck in these bubbles. This composition usually rises to the surface and remains stored in the foam.

Inside the skimmer the bubbles remain concentrated and allow all the waste foam to collect in a glass. In this way, the aquarium is constantly kept clean.

Skimmer types

There are different types of Skimmer depending on their composition and operation. Let's see what they are:

  • Joint current skimmer: It is the model in which the air is introduced through the lower part of the chamber and comes into contact with the water as it rises towards the collection vessel. They usually use an open cylinder tube with the bubble source at its base.
  • Air stone: they are those that work by passing pressurized air through a diffuser and thus produce a large quantity of small bubbles. It is a fairly inexpensive and effective option. It requires little maintenance.
  • Venturi: It is a type of skimmer that uses a venturi injector to be able to produce more air bubbles. It is true that they use a more powerful pump to be able to operate the push valve. Thanks to the large number of bubbles it generates, it can effectively clean the aquarium water.
  • Countercurrent flow skimmer: To lengthen the reaction chamber, more water can be processed and more dirt removed. This is how countercurrent flow works. Here the water is injected at the top of the reaction tube and the bubble source and outlet are at the bottom. It is the opposite of normal models. They use wooden air diffusers with powerful air pumps to produce large amounts of bubbles. They are designed to generate a large amount of foam.
  • Downdraft: They are those models that can process a large amount of water and are suitable for large aquariums. These skimmers work by injecting high pressure water into tubes in order to generate foam and bubbles.
  • Beckett: It has some similarities with the Downdraft Skimmer but it has differences in what we see by foam injector to produce the flow of air bubbles.
  • Spray induction: They are those that use a pump to operate a spray nozzle and are usually cited a few inches above the water level. The spray has the function of trapping and crushing the air at the base of the aquarium and going up to the collection chamber.
  • Recirculation: These skimmers allow the water inside the skimmer to be recirculated several times before the drain is returned to the aquarium.

How is it used

Types of skimmer

The Skimmer must have a good location for its correct operation. Although this location is not decisive. That is, it can be placed wherever we want. They usually make a lot of noise and their design does not help at all when it comes to improving the decoration of the aquarium. If we have space and a cabinet under the aquarium, this is the best location for the corner. In this way, we will limit a noise and it will go unnoticed.

The skimmer bowl should be cleaned every week for proper operation. Once we have emptied it, we put it back in the same place. It is advisable deep clean the skimmer over a period of approximately 4 to 6 months. This is how we can eliminate all types of calcareous organisms and algae that may be growing inside. They do not make a distinction between the substances they collect, so we can end up eliminating the trace elements necessary for the proper development of aquatic organisms. This means that we have to add them on a regular basis.


Skimmer placed in an aquarium

The collecting cups are responsible for the foam to accumulate and become liquid. This results in a thick, yellowish liquid. The smell is reminiscent of urine and is therefore somewhat unpleasant. And it is that it is fish waste.

Therefore, the part of the skimmer that must be cleaned the most for its proper functioning is the collection glass. Depending on the type of aquarium we have and its model, it is necessary that cleaning is done between 1 and 4 times a week. Its cleaning is simple. It just has to be emptied and replaced.

A small problem that the skimmer can generate is the removal of the trace elements it causes. These trace elements are necessary for the development of corals, if we want to have them. It has an easy solution: we just have to add the trace elements regularly and separately.

What parts does a skimmer have?

Aquarium in perfect condition

There are skimmers that use air compressors with wooden diffusers for the air intake. The normal thing is that they use a water pump. Those that use a water pump are the most efficient and powerful.

The materials it is made of are:

  1. The water bomb
  2. Air inlet pipe
  3. The body
  4. Collecting vessel

The water pump is the one that is responsible for introducing a stream of water through the entire body. Due to the venturi effect, the air gradually enters, mixing with the water. The air passes through a thin, flexible tube.

One end of the tube is out of the water so that when the water enters and leaves the aquarium through the skimmer, it comes out continuously. The bubbles are forming and rising to the collecting glass where it is withdrawn. To clean it properly, we will constantly monitor the dirt that accumulates.

The skimmer models are manufactured according to different designs and volumes of aquarium water. It is not the same to use it in an aquarium with 100 liters of water than in one with 300 liters. The smallest models are a foot high. On the other hand, the most industrial and public use ones can use a skimmer up to several meters high.

Where to place the skimmer

Due to its function, the place where it is placed is not very determining for its correct operation. Regarding its design, this device is not pretty in appearance, so it is better to find a place to hide it.

An inexpensive way to hide it is to place an interior shelter to place the skimmer. This way it will be less showy. It depends on the budget we want to invest and the noise level, we will put the urea separator in one place or another.

They mainly complain about the noise generated by the skimmers. You have to think that your job is that of a water pump. This is not something that can be done without noise. The recommendation in these cases is to place the aquarium in the places of the house that disturb the least possible.

Surface protein separator

Shallow skimmer

People who are fond of aquarium hobbies often confuse surface skimmers. This does not exist. It is a series of cleaners that have nothing to do with a conventional skimmer. These surface devices are used to prevent a thin film from forming on the surface of the aquarium.

The layer that forms causes the oxygenation of the entire aquarium to be reduced and the fish cannot live well. In addition, the amount of light that enters is reduced. This layer is quite easy to spot. We just have to put a finger in the water and see if what appears to be an oil stain forms around it.

Surface skimmers do not collect dirt in any glass. You have to keep one thing in mind. These devices they disappear the film on the surface of the aquarium but do not remove it. That is, what they do is mix it with the total volume of water by the currents they generate.

Unlike conventional skimmers, these are also suitable for freshwater aquariums.

With this information you will be able to know how to properly maintain your aquarium without any problem.

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