What makes a great skimmer


New member
There are so many out there, with similar design. Can anyone point out what makes a skimmer great???? What is used to determine the tank size that the skimmer can handle? And please don't just say the bigger ones are better without a reason why.


New member
You do want to get double the capacity for you tank. For instance I bought the eshopps psk-100 (100 gallon rated) for my 40Gal breeder. The best skimmer is one that will poduce dry thick dark film in the collector cup and not wet tannish residue in the collection cup. The size and pump rating determines the rating I believe. How though I am not sure because I've seen people put a 75 gall rated skimmer on a 125 gallon tank with a heavy bioload and the tank is breathtaking and matured!

Look into eshopps skimmers. They are also a sponsor here too.


Active member
I would look at the different threads and see what people are saying. For a skimmer to work there has to be a body that is paired with the correct pump. What you really need to do is look at members that have tried different skimmers. Not the member that is moving up to a better skimmer from something like a seaclone. I have also seen members that say their skimmer is great but in reality is undersized for their tank.

I have seen different ratios thrown out but in reality it is easier to look to someone that offers proven advice.


New member
I don't know that doubling the size of the skimmer for the system is the way to go. Some of the higher end skimmers on the market actually skimm too much from a system I have found. Maybe if you had a fish only system you could go w/ a oversized skimmer. So basically alot of the higher end European skimmers don't need to be oversized and you are wasting money in the end. A appropiately sized skimme will give much more consistent skimming.

What makes a godd skimmer???? R&D and a company that is willing to stand behind its' product and does'nt use the customers as their R&D dept. When we pay as much as we do for these things we should not have pumps that won't start,micro bubbles from the drain,overflowing, etc. I would say buy from a company that has been in the game for awhile and has a reputation for helping customers w/ problems. Customer service is huge IMO.

As far as design goes. I would look for a good pump, Aquabee,Tunze and Eheim are good solid choices. Companies that have been doing it for awhile and companies that are using these pumps are generally very easy to deal w/ when there may be a issue. Where the skimmer manufacturer comes into play is getting a appropiately sized body, riser tube/neck diameter and height. I like wedge pipes becouse they are simple and no fuss. Tunze has a nice drain pipe design as well. Air flow adjustment is key on some skimmers and a nice silencer to cut the air suction noise.

A good skimmer should be able to run wet as well as dry. This all comes down to the neck dia./ height, air input and having the flexiblity to control water level in the skimmer (drain) and air input. On a good skimmer you should bee able to run air wide open and control skimmate (wet/dry) w/ the drain valve.

Again, if you spend a bunch of money on a nice skimmer you better be getting fantastic customer service.......not the run around!! What good is the best skimmer going to do for your system if you can't get replacement parts or unanswered EMs' and so forth??

Just my .02



New member
What makes a skimmer good is the size of the bubble chamber and the size of the bubbles. In most cases a recirculating skimmer is better because it gives you a longer contact time. The ideal contact time is 2 minutes.

If you use the 2 minute contact time as a guide you can do the math to figure the size needed for your tank system.

For example lets say the system holds 60 gallons of water. To theoretically process all the water once an hour and get a 2 minute contact time your skimmer should proccess 120 gallons per hour. To do this the bubble chamber would need to be sized at 2 gallons. What this example shows you is that you want the biggest skimmer to hold the most foam. When all other things are equal the bigger skimmer wins.

Don't believe the ratings of skimmers by the manufacturers. You cant compare one rating to another. What you can do is compare the size of the reaction chamber.

As far as bubbles go, the smaller the better. I would keep in mind the wattage since some types use more that others.