A protein skimmer or foam fractionator is a device used to remove organic compounds such as food and waste particles from water. It is most commonly used in commercial applications like municipal water treatment facilities and public aquariums. Smaller protein skimmers are also used for filtration of home saltwater aquariums.


Brief History:

I ordered my Aquatic Life 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer on September 16, 2018 from Amazon and have been running it everyday since on my 20 Gallon reef tank that I wrote about here.

20 Gallon Reef Tank
20 Gallon Reef Tank

I think a protein skimmer is a vital piece to the aquarium to maintain water quality and I will not run a reef tank without one. Since this tank does not have a sump I searched for and chose this skimmer thinking that for the price I could upgrade it if it does not work out.

Overall the Aquatic Life 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer has performed really well but I wish I could get a darker skim as seen in the picture below but to be fair when this picture was taken the tank just had a 50% water change.

Protien Skimmer Cup
Protien Skimmer Cup

One thing to keep in mind with this skimmer is that the collection cup is small and will need to be emptied often.

Aquatic Life 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer Specifications:

From the manufacturer.

  • Compact size makes this skimmer ideal for mini-reef aquariums.
  • Placement inside aquarium provides quiet operation.
  • Proven needle-wheel impeller design increases air-to-water contact.
  • Quick-lock design makes it easy to open housing for cleaning.
  • Built-in channel conceals grounded power cord.
  • Suction cups provide optional mounting inside aquariums – Adjustable bracket fits standard aquarium frames.
  • Skimmer requires a minimum clearance above the water line of 3-3/4″ for proper operation.
  • Clear plastic 3.4oz collection cup.
  • Product dimensions with collection cup: 10-5/8”H x 3.25”W x 3.5”D.