Have you ever seen a bunch of foam on the bank of the sea? The answer is probably yes. This foam is generated by the natural filtration process to clean up seawater. A protein skimmer is used for saltwater filtration from waste particles. It’s like a cylinder that consists of a large body, an outlet, and an inlet.
Many people have fishes inside the aquarium in our house and we won’t love it to see organic things like foods and waste things in the aquarium. In this type of situation, protein skimmer comes out quite handy. Since using protein skimmer we can easily filter the aquarium water.
Many of us don’t have a clear view ofhow does a protein skimmer work. So today I will share with you every ins and outs about the protein skimmer work process. So let’s dig in without any further talk.
How Does A Protein Skimmer Work?
The bubbles produced by a protein skimmer have polarity through which they remove organic components from the aquarium water along with amino acids and protein since molecules of water has polarity and water bubbles attract the water molecules toward it. Protein skimmers also aim to eliminate any toxins in the aquarium that are released by corals or invertebrates. When you place a protein skimmer in the aquarium then the water and the air mix together. They generate vortex which results in small bubbles.
You might have seen how metals draw to the magnet. Just like the metals the waste particles also move on the surface of bubbles because of their intrinsic charge. Then these bubbles reach the top of the water. Protein skimmer then pumps up the bubbles into a collection cup.
Once you pumped up the bubbles in the collection cup, the bubbles will start to tear up. Then what will remain are only waste particles. Now simply just wash away the dirt from the collection cup.
There are several other organic and inorganic molecules that are typically removed, in addition to the proteins removed by skimming. Those involve a variety of carbohydrates, bacteria, detritus, fatty acids, sugar, metals like copper, and trace elements like iodine.
We know fishes take oxygen and leave carbon dioxide in the aquarium. Through protein skimming the carbon dioxide gets out of the aquarium while pumping and instead oxygen gets in. And this is very beneficial for maintaining the good health of the fishes.
Types of Protein Skimmer
There are different kinds of protein skimmer available for the users. Counter Current, Venturi, and Turbo are the most commonly used protein skimmers. For your convenience, I will discuss all three types of protein skimmer below.
Counter Current Protein Skimming
Countercurrent skimmer consists of an air pump. It can be formatted with both the air pump and water pump too. This type of skimmer possesses separate water and air input. The air stone normally blows air towards the bottom of the water tank, while the vapor falls in at the top.
This produces a spinning motion, or vortex, that mixes air and water. The column height defines the time the bubbles interact with the surface. The height of the column is often the major factor in limiting the use of counter current skimmers to tinier aquariums.
Venturi Protein Skimming
The water pump is used in a Venturi skimmer to move water under high pressure through a part which has a narrowing in the center. A pressure decrease happens when the water leaves the limit, which draws in the air and then combined with the water.
The amount of bubble generates depends on the pressure. If the pressure is high then a high amount of bubbles are produced but if low then a low amount of bubbles are produced.
To run this type of skimmer the water pump would need to suit the skimmer’s size. A Venturi skimmer makes use of the Bernoulli air injection concept and depends on a high performing water pump.
Turbo Protein Skimming
Turbo skimmer is also known as ‘Needle Skimmer’’ has mini blades inside it. It inlays air inside the skimmer water pump. The blades in the turbo skimmer cut of air into small bubbles when it is mixed with waste particles. As a result, forth is generated which is forced to the chamber of the turbo skimmer.
Why Should You Use Protein Skimmer
Someone who doesn’t know much about protein skimmer may ask why one should use it. Take a look at the following points and you won’t have any question left about the benefit of a protein skimmer.
- Enables more efficient operation of the primary filtration system
- Increases water’s pH stability
- Provides better water clarity and reduces staining and aging by extracting the organics dissolved
- Diminishes the presence of algae by a phosphate reduction
- Assist in maintaining good health of the fishes.
- Develop oxygen quantity
- Help in maintaining the moderate exchange of gas
Maintenance Of A Protein Skimmer
Like many other tools protein skimmer also need to be taken care of to get the best out of it. You should clean the collection cup where foam accumulates frequently. If the collection cup is large then you have to put much time in it. On the other hand, you don’t need to clean the cup frequently if your aquarium is small in size.
You can set up a gallon jar if it has a built-in drain, and clean it even less frequently. The excessive foam will contaminate the water. It may create bad odor too which you won’t love to see.
The protein skimmer is a very important tool for hobbyist people who grow fishes in the aquarium. When you are growing fishes in an aquarium far away from their natural habitats, you must take extra care of them. You should make an environment in the aquarium which matches their real habitats like ponds, rivers, canals, and seas.
You should keep the inner part of the aquarium dirt free. It’s difficult to get rid of all the dirt by hand or shovel from the aquarium. In these types of situations, a protein skimmer is the best option you can go for. You can get rid of all the waste particles from the aquarium very conveniently.
In this comprehensive article, I tried to cover all the major expects on how a protein skimmer works. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. I would love it to help you out.