Protein Skimmer - Its size or the pump?


New member
Hello protein skimmer gurus,

I have a couple of used skimmers that I plan to use on my large tanks. But I am not sure what size tank they would support. What is the factor that determine how much tank volume it would support? is it the size of the skimmer or is it the pump? I saw many skimmers come with tiny little pumps.

My old skimmer is about a foot tall ( not counting the 5" cup that holds the overflow bubbles above it). The diameter is about 5 inches. Would this skimmer support a 200g tank?



New member
I would go with either the G3 or the Evolution 500, you want size in both the skimmer and the pumps together.
But thats just my opinion :)


New member
Yes Zenia that is very true, I personally think that a skimmer is one thing you should not skimp on (I know from experience:) but your right it is how you use it. I actually have 2 skimmers running on my 180, 1 (evolution 500) right after the water comes down from the overflows and 1 (Pro Clear150) sitting in with my return pumps. and my tank is pretty clear.


New member
Well It is the pump, the deltecs and hs and bk all use expensive pumps that can take in more air and use it correctly.


New member
The riser of the skimmer can make a major difference as it allows more reaction time with the bulbs as they rise to the top. The pump can also limit or enhance how the skimmer works. I'd suggest picking a couple skimmers and ask the question again as what is the recommended pump. I for instance have an older MRC-2 skimmer (33" tall) that uses a Iwaki 55 japanese pump. The pump was highly suggested over say a mag or even a Gen-X.

Rod Buehler

New member
Its all about bubble size and contact time, and every model/brand will be different.. The beckets will require a huge pressuer pump with a tall reaction chamber, abnd the needle wheels (with a good impellar) seem to do very well with a shorter fatter reaction chamber.


New member
The thing a skimmer does is mix air with water creating foam. The longer the air and water stay mixed the better the skimmer

After reading that I think all can agree that the better skimmer would allow for a longer time in the skimmer ie "Contact Time". To do this a skimmer must be able to hold alot of water. Lets skip the theory and say you should have 1-2 minutes of Contact Time.

How many gallons in your system?
Divide that number by 60 and you have the volume of water a skimmer that have a 1 minute contact time.

You list a 135 gallon Oceanic aquarium with plumbing and sump water probly comes to 150 gallons
150/60= 2.5 gallons for a 1 minute contact time, double that for 2 minutes.

If you want the ultiment skimmer......Prepare for my opinion now...
I would get a ASM G5 and set it up to recirculate the water to give you a 2 minute contact time. See their web site for information on the modification.

Good luck