Aquarium protein skimmers are one of the most important devices you can use to maintain water quality in a saltwater aquarium. Protein skimming removes organic pollutants before they break down into nitrates and phosphates. The improved water quality is beneficial to fish and corals and may reduce the frequency in which water changes are necessary.
Protein skimmers create tons of tiny air bubbles that attract dissolved organics inside a reaction chamber. Due to protein’s hydrophobic properties—the need to "get away" from water—a combination of bubbles and dissolved organics are repelled up a tube and then foam over into a collection cup. The end result is a very smelly, tea-to-coffee-colored liquid called skimmate.
In sump skimmers are preferred by intermediate and advanced hobbyists due to their performance. Hang-on skimmers are easy to use but are often limited by their physical size. As many consider the protein skimmer the heart of the filtration system, hobbyists will often choose oversized in sump skimmers to help maintain pristine water quality.
To learn more about protein skimmers and to help you in the buying process, please take a moment to read Protein Skimmers & Protein Skimming, How to Select, Setup and Maintain a Protein Skimmer, The Science of Protein Skimmers and Reef Ramblings—All About Skimmers.
If you are still on the fence or have questions, such as "how to hook up a protein skimmer to your sump," please do not hesitate to contacting us!