Do you need a protein skimmer in your reef tank ?

The short answer is no, but we ill cover in this article some of the benefits and reasons why you may add one.

Now that your beautiful Reef Casa aquarium is cycled and you have begun stocking it with corals and fish  it’s time to start considering some optional equipment to set yourself up for reefing success.  Reef Casa aquariums are designed to grow with you as you gain more experience in the hobby and one of the first pieces of optional equipment many reefers choose to add is a protein skimmer.  In this guide we will cover why you should consider adding a protein skimmer, how they work and how to install one in your Reef Casa aquarium.

A quality protein skimmer is a simple and effective way to increase the filtration capability of your reef tank.  Protein skimmers use microbubbles to remove organic waste such as uneaten food and fish waste before it has a chance to break down and negatively impact water quality.  This, combined with mechanical filtration, live rock and chemical filtration, such as the included activated carbon, can dramatically improve water quality and lead to better coral health as well as reducing nuisance algae.  Protein skimmers also have the added advantage of oxygenating the water, which has numerous benefits for both fish and corals.


So how does a protein skimmer help to keep a reef tank clean?  A skimmer is essentially just a pump to create fine air bubbles, a container to contain those bubbles and a collection cup for the “skim”.  This simplicity means that they are easy to install and require very little maintenance.  Organic waste in the tank is attracted to the microbubbles produced by the skimmer’s pump, which are then forced upwards as a foam into a collection cup that can then be emptied, thus removing the contaminants from the tank.  It is the same process that creates the foam that is seen on ocean beaches, recreated in a home aquarium.


Reef Casa tanks are designed with a large skimmer chambers that can accommodate almost every nano skimmers currently available on the market without modifications.  Having said that, we recommend either the Tunze 9001 skimmer or the Bubble Magus Mini Q.  Both of these skimmers are produced by high quality manufacturers who stand behind their products.  The Tunze 9001 skimmer is held in place by a powerful magnet, rather than a bracket, so it may look cleaner when mounted.  Regardless of what skimmer you choose, it will include instructions for mounting height, tuning, and the “break in” period.  Depending on your choice of protein skimmer and the bioload of your tank, the break in period may be a few days to a couple of weeks.  During this time you may notice that the skimmer pump seems louder than expected and that the skimmer collection cup is regularly overflowing.  Once the break in period is over, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to “tune” the skimmer so that you are collecting brown skimmate in the collection cup. Tuning is essentially varying the amount of air that passes through the skimmer in order to create the right amount of foam.  As all tanks are different, tuning a protein skimmer takes a little bit of trial and error but in the end you will find the right balance.


Here are Reef Casa we want every reefer to love their tank and experience success and this is why we recommend that you seriously consider adding a protein skimmer to your tank.  It is a simple way to help your corals thrive as well as reduce unsightly algae.  If you have any questions about protein skimmers please contact us and we will be happy to help. Happy reefing!