An Introduction to Protein Skimming

Saltwater SmartsBy Saltwater Smarts 8 months ago
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protein skimmer A protein skimmer is a device designed to clean the water in a reef aquarium by removing dissolved organic compounds. Put even more simply, it is a controlled overflow of dirty water. Imagine a chamber that vigorously mixes air and water to create a dense foam. The cleaning action is because of the tiny bubbles in that foam. The surface tension of the tiny bubbles attracts dissolved organic compounds. As the bubbles slowly rise, a thick foam collects at the top of the skimmer and bubbles over the edge into a collection cup. By removing this foam, the water is cleaned because the dissolved organics are being eliminated before they have an opportunity to pollute the tank. Thick foam, also called skimmate, is the desired product of a well-functioning skimmer Are protein skimmers absolutely necessary? MORE

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Saltwater Smarts is a unique online resource created by long-time aquarists Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz to inspire and entertain a new generation of marine aquarium hobbyists while helping them acquire the reliable, authoritative knowledge base they need to succeed with a saltwater system. By clarifying key concepts, techniques, and terminology, as well as sharing expert insights from fellow enthusiasts and industry professionals, Chris and Jeff hope to promote a more accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable marine aquarium hobby. Read more about our mission and the contributors who are part of our team.

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