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What Does a Skimmer Do?

Date Published - 2nd June 2014 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

Keeping your aquarium’s water in tip-top condition is perhaps the single most important part of keeping fish, corals and plants. A healthy and attractive aquarium needs clean, clear water to make the most of the contents…this means keeping toxic substances out of the water. Ammonia and nitrates are just some of the more common nasties and in an aquarium which has been established for some time they are converted into a less harmful substance through the “nitrogen cycle”.

Corals are particularly sensitive to nitrates and ammonia and need the very best water quality in order to really thrive. This is the reason why many hobbyists use a protein skimmer…they’re vital for aquariums with larger stock too.

By actively removing the waste substances from the water in an aquarium, protein skimmers play a large part in helping to keep your water at an optimum level for your stock to enjoy healthy lives. The proteins which skimmers remove come from old food, faeces and waste from plants as well as dead organisms; this waste is pulled out of the water before they it can rot down and damage the water quality with its toxic emissions.

Keeping theses waste products out of the water also keeps algae growth down and improves the clarity of the water…meaning that you can see through it and enjoy looking at the plants, fish and corals! Protein skimmers also bear some of the workload for your filtration system…meaning that it can work more effectively.

By creating micro-bubbles in the reaction chamber, a protein skimmer is able to provide a surface (the bubbles) for waste to stick to…this process is generally known as “adsorption”. The bubbles take the waste to the chamber and then these waste particles are kept back and out of the water supply in a receptacle meant for the job. This can then be emptied as and when required.

Protein skimmers perform their job in such an efficient manner that they are well worth the investment. Not only because of the improved water quality but also because of the improved clarity and by association, the increased light penetration to the inhabitants of your stock. Corals and fish need light as do marine plants in order to thrive; even at the bottom of the ocean, their natural habitat, they will be exposed to light and this is something which you will need to emulate as far as possible. Keeping your water as clear as possible can only improve your aquarium inside and out.

If you are uncertain as to the size of protein skimmer which will best suit your set-up, a good tip to remember is to simply choose the largest possible. Large protein skimmers are not only far easier to clean and empty but they’re also more efficient due to their increased capacity. Your aquarium will improve within a week of installation but remember…as with all changes to your set-up, carefully monitor the inhabitants and the water quality once you have installed anything new…it’s important to watch out for adverse as well as positive reactions.

You have just read another great aquarium blog post by iQuatics. If you would like us to blog about a specific subject or if you have your own aquarium blog content which you would like published on our website, please get in touch. Together we can help grow the iQuatics aquarium blog into a vast resource full of combined industry knowledge.

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