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Whether you own a reef tank or a fish only aquarium, a protein skimmer will greatly benefit your saltwater aquarium. Most saltwater aquarists consider a protein skimmer a necessity and the heart of the filtration system. A hang-on-back skimmer is a great choice for a nano tank, an all-in-one aquarium or any other saltwater fish tank without a sump or refugium. Hang-on-back (HOB) skimmers literally hang on the back of your fish tank.
Hang on protein skimmers work by drawing water into the hang on skimmer from the aquarium. As the water passes through the filter, thousands of tiny bubbles are created. Aquarium waste, like dissolved organic matter, is attracted to the surface of the bubbles (just like the protein slick you might notice at the water’s surface). The bubbles rise to the surface of the water, creating protein-rich foam. As the foam rises out of the hang on the back protein skimmer it is collected in a cup, which is periodically cleaned and emptied of waste (called skimmate). This is similar to how the oceans are filtered, where waves create foam and carry waste onto the shore.
Hang-on protein skimmers are economical and extremely popular for their ease of use. A sump is not required for their operation; you simply hang the skimmer on the back of your aquarium. HOB protein skimmers are as easy to use as hang-on power filters.
So what is the best protein skimmer for your aquarium?
Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as one might imagine. There are many different factors to take into consideration before finding the best protein skimmer for your tank, such as which type works best for your aquarium, the budget you have allotted for you aquarium protein skimmer, along with the aquarium size and brand of skimmer. We recommend reading the protein skimmer reviews left by our customers and/or contacting us if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you!