When fish waste and other organic materials accumulate in a reef aquarium, the ammonia and nitrite they produce can be deadly to fish. The nitrogen cycle in an established aquarium – a cycle with relevant plants, algae and bacteria converts these toxins into less toxic nitrate, which is sufficient for many species.
However, some marine species are much more sensitive than others. The removal of organic waste by the protein skimmer ultimately keeps nitrate levels much lower than they would otherwise be and maintains a much healthier environment.
A little about protein skimmers
Protein centrifuges interrupt the nitrogen cycle by actively removing organic waste, dead organisms, leftover food and tank residues before they break down. This reduces excessive algae growth, improves water quality and transparency, and the aquarium’s filtration system is able to work more efficiently.
The process behind protein centrifuges
Protein skimmers use a process called adsorption to bind organic waste materials in a reaction chamber located in a tank. As the bubbles rise, they push this waste up and out of the water column into a collection crucible for disposal. The bubbles produced also increase the circulation of oxygen in the tank, a process that regulates pH.
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Selection of the best protein skimmer
The best skimmer is the largest protein skimmer that your tank will allow. The aquarist will help you determine the appropriate skimmer based on the specifications of your tank and the organisms that inhabit it, such as hard or soft corals and different types of plants. Some protein skimmers also come with biological filtration systems. They are recommended for new aquarium owners.
Worth it Protein Skimmer For Reef Aquarium
The protein skimmer is a major investment in large and complex reef aquariums. The advantage is the main tank and filtration system. While the initial investment is greater, the return in terms of water quality, clarity and healthier organisms adds value for tanks with a large population or with different organisms.