In-Sump Protein Skimmers

Our collection here focuses on in sump protein skimmers. All these skimmers will fit in a sump while some of our more compact models will fit in all-in-one aquarium chambers like the Innovative Marine Ghost Skimmer.

In Sump Protein skimmers are a key component to successful marine aquarium filtration system. Having a high quality in sump protein skimmer can really increase your odds of success. Not all protein skimmers are created equally though. You may have been to a pet chain pet store and seen various protein skimmers available there. They are typically powered by a wooden air diffuser and either hang on the back or inside the tank. You may have also seen some power filters that have protein skimmers attached to them. These protein skimmers are not ideal for a marine aquarium. They may work for a smaller aquarium, but it is simply not the type of protein skimmer we would recommend.

So what means a good protein skimmer then? Well to summarize it would be the following:

  • Quality pump
  • Large reaction chamber
  • Protein skimmer shape
  • Skimmer Adjustability

Quality in sump protein skimmers will have a skimmer pump that produces air bubbles where proteins and waste will collect. These air bubbles carrying proteins and waste will raise to the top of the chamber to a collection cup area where the bubbles will spill over. The collection cup is then taken where the waste is removed.



Because the pump does the majority of the work for a protein skimmer. the pump is the one of the biggest determining factors of quality.  Many high quality protein skimmers will use a needle wheel impeller which will cut up the air bubbles into micro bubbles. The result of these micro bubbles is more surface space for the skimmer to filter out more waste out of the aquarium. A high quality pump will also last longer, transfer less heat into your aquarium, and use less electricity.

The next determining factor for in sump protein skimmers are the reaction chambers. The reactor chamber is where all the bubbles flow into. The bigger the reaction chamber, the more bubbles for filtration. This also allows for more contact time for these bubbles to attach to the proteins.

The protein skimmer shape is also another factor. The smoother the shape, the easier it will be for the bubbles to transition to the collection cup without interruption. Cone, Hybrid Cone, and Wineglass shaped skimmer bodies are the most ideal shapes to look for.

You will also want to look for an easy to use adjustment feature on your in protein skimmer. Adjustments are necessary because everyone’s tank setup and sump are different. The adjustments will allow to you set your skimmer to the optimal settings.

Other features to look at would be bubble plates, which cut bubbles further and allow for more contact time and air silencers. A drain fitting is also another nice touch for those who do not want to empty out their collection cups as often.

You can see now the major differences between the air stone power protein skimmer and the pump powered skimmers we sell at Aquarium Store Depot. We carry the highest quality protein skimmers on the market and are major fans of the Reef Octopus and Ice Cap models.