Recreating the same conditions in the aquarium that are found in the sea is the number one rule for successfully breeding fish and invertebrates.

Finally, we can affirm that currently there are the conditions to be successful and that the reef aquarium is no longer a hobby for a few, but a hobby in which everyone can successfully succeed easily (perhaps even more just than the aquarium of ‘freshwater).

Thanks to the HQI lights at 10,000 and 20,000 ° K and the blue actinic lights, we are able to have a light similar to that of the sun and to simulate a sunrise/sunset effect.

With electronic variable speed pumps, we imitate currents and tides. With live rocks, we recreate an almost free environment and ecosystem. Here we will be listing the top 11 best aquarium surface skimmers.

RANK NO. 1
Aquatop 65 GPH Internal Surface Skimmer – for Tanks Up to 100 Gallons, Salt &...
  • SUBMERSIBLE SURFACE SKIMMER: The SSK-65 Surface Skimmer removes debris and oils from the surface of your aquarium water line which...
  • GREAT FOR FRESH & SALTWATER TANKS: This 65 GPH aquarium skimmer is ideal for both fresh and saltwater aquariums up to 100 gallons.
  • CREATES A HEALTHIER AQUARIUM: This fish tank skimmer helps remove surface film and oils from the water surface to create a better...
  • SUPERIOR FILTRATION: Along with the SSK-65's surface skimming ability, the aquarium accessory includes a small sponge block for...
  • EASY INSTALLATION: The compact design of this aquarium surface skimmer is easy to install and provides flexible placement thanks...
RANK NO. 2
Marine Color Sunsun Aquarium Surface Protein Skimmer 5W JY03 Aquarium Oil Film...
  • Effective surface skimming.
  • Adjustable flow rate.
  • Easy cleaning.
  • Adjust the water level within 4cm automatically.
  • Small and compact in size.
SaleRANK NO. 3
Odyssea Clean 100 Surface Skimmer Aquarium Filter 450L Plant Internal
  • Flow rate: 110 GPH
  • Energy efficient 5W pump
  • Skims surface build-up to improve water quality
  • Great for freshwater planted aquariums
  • Works with both freshwater and marine
SaleRANK NO. 4
AQUANEAT Aquarium Surface Skimmer, Protein Skimmer, Internal Filter for...
  • Surface skimmer built-up to improve water quality, remove dust, oils and food fats from the water surface. Please note, if the...
  • Includes a small sponge block for mechanical filtration and an efficient submersible pump with adjustable flow
  • Suction cups mounting allow you to fix the surface skimmer to the specific place as you wish
  • Suitable for both fresh water and salt water. Please note, Please clean it regularly in case of debris blockage, the pump would...
  • Flow rate: 80GPH;Dimension: 1.75”x1.25”x5.25” (L x W x H)
RANK NO. 5
NUOBESTY Aquarium Filter Surface Skimmer Aquarium Surface Protein Skimmer Filter...
  • Great help to restore the natural water quality, and provide the most suitable living environment for your fishes.
  • Made of high- quality, can be reused for a long time.
  • suitable for all marine and fresh water aquariums.
  • housewarming gift for friends, its practical and useful.
  • Purify water quality, remove harmful oil film.
RANK NO. 6
DONGKER 3 in 1 Fish Tanks Surface Skimmer Oil Remover Water-Pump Filter for...
  • Made of High Quality Plastic Material, Sturdy and Durable.
  • Improve Oxygen Exchange and Keep Aquarium Water Clean and Clear.
  • 3-in-1special Oil Removal Film For Water Pump, Realizes Four Functions of Water Pumping, Oxygenation, Circulation, and Oil Removal...
  • Small Model Is Compatible With JP-500G/JP-700G/JP-900G/JP-1100G/JP-1500G/JP-500GS/JP-700GS/JP-900GS/JP-1100GS/JP-1500GS/CQJ-1100GS...
  • SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE: To Provide You With the Highest Quality Service, If You Have Any Question, Please Feel Free to Contact Us.We...
RANK NO. 7
inTank All-in-One Aquarium Surface Skimmer - 4.75W x 2.5T x 0.75D
  • Black in color to mask from view. Universal design works on popular All-In-One aquariums with a flat false wall
  • Allows you to raise the water level on most All-In-One aquariums while still skimming the surface
  • Includes an improved holding clip that installs over the front of the surface skimmer and the false wall of the aquarium
  • Adjustable in height, simply move the surface skimmer up or down to adjust for your desired water level. Holds onto false wall...
  • Fits most All-In-One aquariums and other aquariums with in take grates. CNC laser cut from high quality ABS, manufactured and...
RANK NO. 8
OASE CrystalSkim 600 Skimmer
  • The OASE CrystalSkim 600 quickly and effectively frees the aquarium surface of biofilm, floating plant debris and substances. It...
  • Suitable for fresh and marine aquariums from 120 to 180 gallons
  • The CrystalSkim is a supplemental filter. It should be used in conjunction with either a power filter or a canister filter.
  • Dimensions: 1.93" X 1.93" X 6.69"
  • Adjusts to the Water Level - The floating ring is designed to allow the CrystalSkim to skim the water's surface even if the...
RANK NO. 9
Fluval Surface Aquarium Skimmer for Series 05 06 and 07 Canister Filters
  • Works to eliminate undesired surface films
  • Helps improve oxygen exchange
  • Removes organic waste from the surface
  • Helps keep your aquarium water clean and clear
  • Simple to use
RANK NO. 10
hygger Hang On Aquarium Filter, 127GPH Rotatable Surface Oil Skimmer, Quiet...
  • hygger Silent Fish Tank Filter Principle of Filtration: ①Dirty water enters from the bottom of the filter. ②Part of the water...
  • Rotatable Oil Film: This aquarium filter can automatically telescopically float or rotate with the water level to remove oil...
  • Multifunction Hang On Filter: The power filter adopts a suspension design, which hang on the outer wall of the fish tank to save...
  • Replaceable Thickened Filter Box: The fish aquarium filter chip is assembled by laminating a variety of materials.Microporous...
  • 5W Important Parameters: Super sound-off,<30dB. Water flow adjustable rotary knob, Q.Max is 127GPH. Application for...
RANK NO. 11
JARDLI Metal Lily Pipe Surface Skimmer Steel Stainless Inflow Outflow for...
  • The metal pipes give superb appearance to your aquarium. Make an elegant curve line in your aquarium
  • Surface skimmer removes surface scum effectively
  • Made of 304 stainless steel, harmless, sturdy, against rust, corrosion resistance. Easy to clean, remove convenient assembly
  • 17mm outer diameter fit for the canister filter tubing of 5/8" (16/22mm). Compatible with Eheim, Tetra and other filters
  • Package included: 1x stainless steel surface skimmer inflow, 1x stainless steel lily pipe outflow, 2x acrylic fixture

Things to Consider Before Buying Best Aquarium Surface Skimmers

The Skimmer

The skimmer originated from the wastewater treatment industry and was later used in aquaculture systems.
The operation of the skimmer reproduces an effect that also occurs in nature, that of the waves that break on the beach and that carry with them through the foam the organic substances dissolved in the water.

The skimmer reproduces this simple principle, the production of micro-bubbles introduced mixed with water in a contact column. The organic molecules derived from fish excrements adhere to the bubbles (DOC: Dissolved Organic Compound) which are deposited in a special container.

In this way, the organic molecules are physically extracted from the water, and they are not allowed to transform into nitrates and phosphates.

Organic molecules have a polarized end (hydrophilic) which is attracted to water molecules, and a non-polarized end (hydrophobia) which repels water molecules and which is attracted to air molecules.

Skimmer Efficiency

Many factors affect the efficiency of the skimmer, some such as pH, temperature, density, the amount of dissolved organic substances, are related to the chemical and physical characteristics of the aquarium water, others are consequential to the derived variables by the attributes of the skimmer itself.

Bubble diameter: the air bubbles to make the largest number of organic molecules adhere and to make skimming efficient must have a diameter neither too small nor too large.

Too small bubbles rise to the surface with difficulty and tend to dissolve, too large bubbles rise too fast, offer a smaller adhesion surface (proportionally).

Watch to gather in bigger and bigger bubbles and formless foam on the surface of the water. For the record, the bubbles of ideal size must have a diameter between 0.5 and 0.8 mm.

Contact Time

The greater the time with which the air bubbles are in contact with the water, the greater the number of organic molecules that adhere to the bubbles. It is obtained by introducing bubbles of the right diameter which rise with the correct speed, and increasing the height and diameter of the column.

Bubble Quantity

The greater the plenty of bubbles, the greater the number of organic molecules attracted. There are three methods of introducing air into the column.

The diffusion method using porous wood, the injection method or Venturi and the suction method or Needle weel. Each has different characteristics that make it very inefficiency.

It is a very inexpensive method, but conceptually outdated than by modest results. It is often used in very small skimmers in combination with biological filters (they are not able, unlike Venturi and needle wheel skimmers, to manage an aquarium by themselves).

It can be used to the limit in small aquariums and to make the most of it it is better to use powerful aerators and use more porous wood. Some diffusion skimmers are equipped with a pump for the introduction of water and drain pipes for “overflow”, others do not have the pump, and the introduction of new water is allowed by a smaller diameter tube inserted in the contact.

It is the flow itself created by the air emitted by the porous material that deflects the purified water towards the bottom outlet.

Injection or Venturi: Unlike the diffusion system, the Venturi method is extremely efficient and allows perfect foaming and optimal yield.

The water and air are taken from a powerful motorcycle pump and pushed forcefully into a cone with a small hole at the end (photo below) positioned inside the pump delivery pipe. In this way, the water and air are emulsified, forming a large number of fine bubbles. The treated water comes out of an overflow from one or two drain pipes.

Venturi skimmers are commercially available for indoor, outdoor and sump installation.

However, the Venturi method has some small defects that make it an excellent but not perfect system.

Aspiration or Needle weel: they are the skimmers of the latest generation, a pump sucks water and air with the brush-modified impeller (photo below), which “splits” the air into a large number of perfect microbubbles.

The treated water comes out of an overflow from one or two drain pipes, in some cases equipped with an adjustment tap. There are commercially available models of needle weel skimmers for indoor, outdoor and sump installation.

How to Install the Skimmer?

A skimmer can be installed inside the tank, externally on the side or hung on the glass, or in the storage tank (Sump) under or alongside the aquarium. A useful trick is to position the pump as close as possible to the surface of the water, as organic substances tend to stay high.

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