5 Best In Sump Protein Skimmer Reviews for Saltwater Tanks

Product TypeProduct NameCheck Price
aquarium_skimmerBubble Magus BM-Curve 5 In Sump Protein SkimmerCheck Price on Amazon
skimmer_for_aquariumSC Aquariums SCA-302 Protein Skimmer Check Price on Amazon
Reef_Octopus_SkimmerCoral Vue Technology AC20287 Reef Octopus In Sump Protein SkimmerCheck Price on Amazon
aquarium_protein_skimmerReef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein SkimmerCheck Price on Amazon
fish_tank_skimmerHydor Performer Universal Recirculating In Sump Protein Skimmers Check Price on Amazon

A sump protein skimmer is an instrument used to remove debris from water, especially organic waste and food. The most common application is commercial purposes like municipal water treatment facilities, large aquariums & zoos, which also can be used for domestic purposes.


In Sump Protein skimmers are smaller in size are used in saltwater aquariums for domestic purposes. The main importance of aquarium skimmers is that they keep the water clean, clear and the environment suitable for the fishes and other aquatic species. For household purposes, the tanks around 20 to 30 gallons, nano protein skimmers can be used.

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Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 In Sump Protein Skimmer


The first impression, this is one amazing skimmer for aquarium, and this In sump protein skimmer just fits in. If you set the pump intake to be in line with the water return, then the width of the base is only 5 and 7/8 inches, making the length of the base including intake and return is about 7.25″.

Just after 3 full days, it seems to produce the noticeable skim mate. The Bubble Magus Curve 5 protein skimmer is top brands among saltwater sump-in-skimmer. You can use it for a variety of propagation tanks. This In sump aquarium protein skimmer keeps the water much clearer than any brand without any doubt


Customer support is horrible. It took nearly a week of going back and forth with support before they would agree to swap out the pump of the protein skimmer which had been suddenly stopped being able to produce enough power to get bubbles into the collection cup and also microbubbles were leaking into the sump.

Pretty enraging, a full set of troubleshooting/cleaning and could see where the bubbles were leaking out of the pump case. I’m still using the aquarium protein skimmer – it’s a good value and works well. The fish tank skimmer is very sensitive to depth changes, one of the worst support you will encounter

SC Aquariums SCA-302 Protein Skimmer


SC Aquariums has been making aquarium skimmers for quite a while & is manufactured to work for saltwater tanks up to 180 Gallon. The SCA-302 in sump protein skimmer is definitely thinner. You’ll notice the thin profile it has, which is beneficial if you have no space. This skimmer for aquarium is built with a space-saving design made to fit into narrow or tight spaces. Overall, it has a nice design that’s compact.

The design of the SCA-302 protein skimmer is quite impressive. It fits a lot of the features that more expensive in sump aquarium skimmer have into a nice little compact design. This sump protein skimmer for aquarium uses a counter-flow reaction chamber along with a needle-wheel design & uses a cone mechanism to produce the bubbles, the bubble generation is insane.

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The output from this little beast seems to overpower its more expensive counterparts. You can use this aquarium skimmer for smaller enclosures, it can also power a full-size reef with a medium bioload. The box comes with everything you need and a setup guide to get you going quickly. The setup is extremely easy. Read the manual for setting up the protein skimmer is enough.


The SCA-302 protein skimmer needs a break-in period, as with most in sump skimmers. This skimmer for aquarium usually takes about 1-2 weeks on average to start producing any noticeable skim mate. You’ll notice the collection cup fill up with dark, green, seaweed-scented crap very quickly- which is good because it means it’s working. This aquarium protein skimmer requires regular maintenance to work at maximum efficiency.

One problem we’ve had with this in sump protein skimmer is that it gets dirty really fast. You’ll notice that the bubbles start to slow down in volume, which means the venturi nozzle that’s connected to the snorkel hose is probably capped with calcium, hard water, and other salt grime.

You’ll need to clean the aquarium skimmer when this happens, but at least you’ll know exactly where to look. Other than that, after the initial break-in period, this protein skimmer performs like a pro. The performance of this protein skimmer for aquarium is on-par and is notably quieter. The little beast is super quiet.

This fish tank skimmer comes with an air silencer and runs on a 370GPH pump. The lid over the reaction chamber keeps the bubbles muted, and the build quality is excellent

I’d recommend this protein skimmer if you’re new to the hobby, or if it’s your first skimmer. This skimmer for aquarium is probably one of the easiest skimmers to set up, and its compact size makes it easy to store, found it easier to use than the.

Also, I’d recommend this in sump protein skimmer if you have a lack of space. this aquarium skimmer is a little shorter, but it does require about an inch more of water level in order to start skimming. So there’s a tradeoff. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either.

Coral Vue Technology AC20287 Reef Octopus In Sump Protein Skimmer


This protein skimmer is a member of the Reef octopus aquarium skimmers & provides filtration up to 210 gallons. The Coral Vue skimmer for aquarium is constructed of high-quality acrylic & features like adjustable gate valve, quick movable joints for easy cup removable, cup drain & a tightly sealed pump mount with air silencer & air shredding technology.

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Reef octopus pinwheel/needle wheel protein skimmers provide you with high-performance features in an easy to use package. Better foam production is provided by Wailea otp pumps in this fish tank skimmer. New pinwheel impellers provide up to 100% improved performance.

Reviews of Protein Skimmer

This protein skimmer is a beast at skimming. It worked awesome, running on a 210 gallon with large capacity which is pretty good. The only complaint was that, had to readjust the flow of this aquarium skimmer every time you took the container off after dumping out the skim.

Just unplugged the protein skimmer because the fish tank skimmer stopped working, the motor was not running even not making any noise. The outlet works fine so you have to take the pump apart and see if you can find the problem. Basically, for the price point, this is the best aquarium skimmer you can get until you start throwing dollars on an out-of-sump model.

Finally, you can pick this in sump protein skimmer based on the conditions. Spending less than $100 and your fish tank skimmer will be trash, you won’t get a good skimmer for aquarium until about $300 and more. They use a very high-density plastic so you don’t have to worry about accidentally bumping it and causing a crack.

In terms of noise, I give this one an A+. This particular aquarium skimmer comes with a baffle that controls the airflow to the impeller and also blocks off any noise that you might be used to hearing from your old protein skimmer for aquarium. It is virtually undetectable when running, so that is a huge plus.

The gate valve on the protein skimmer also makes it very easy to control the water level within this aquarium skimmer for aquarium, and if you don’t like to hear splashing from the return section of the fish tank skimmer, simply turn the return pipe until the water is falling against something that muffles the sound.

The motor of this in sump protein skimmer is also very efficient and silent, so you don’t have to worry about hearing any “hums” from it. All-in-all, this is a great skimmer for aquarium that will keep your aquarium healthy and free of excessive protein build-up or planning on having a lot of fish in your tank.

Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer


Reef Octopus is a well-known and reputable brand in the protein skimmer world. They’re more known for their standard aquarium skimmers the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S fish tank skimmer consisting of higher tank capacity and are slightly larger.

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The design is your basic protein skimmer in a compact form. There’s a dull gray, black, and clear plastic design, which can be good if you don’t want to give too much attention. The collection cup is decently sized, and the construction of the in sump protein skimmer itself seems to be sturdy. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the setup took about an hour.

The box has everything you need and no extra tools or parts are needed. Read the instructions carefully first before you start setting it up. The design of this protein skimmer is pretty basic and doesn’t offer anything special, other than the bare necessities for it to do its job.

This protein skimmer uses a counter-current flow and a needle-wheel rotor. Since the plastic is clear, you can see all the inner workings of it, including the reaction chamber and bubbles, which is pretty cool. You can also see it actually working and all the bubbles it produces. The Reef Octopus Classic 2 02-S proteinskimmer for aquarium will need regular maintenance.

The collection cup isn’t that big, so you should clean it regularly. The in sump protein skimmer will get dirty quickly and you need to do disassemble it to clean it. The Reef Octopus protein skimmer breaks apart easily so you can easily clean the protein skimmer. You need to clean it if you want to keep the acrylic clear.


The motor of this protein skimmer is audible but not by much. Mostly you will hear the sound of rushing water. If you properly set this in sump protein skimmer up and have it properly mounted, the noise level will be reduced. One thing noticeable right away is that it takes much longer for it to start producing skim mate, it took about 3 days, results may vary.

The protein skimmer also had to be adjusted on multiple occasions to get it running properly. But, when it was correctly set up, it pulled a lot of gunk and left the water crystal clear. If you don’t mind fiddling with it to get it working perfectly and efficiently, then this may be your protein skimmer for aquarium.

It depends on your budget. Reef Octopus is a reputable brand for protein skimmers, If you’re on a budget, this in sump protein skimmer is a decent buy due to its low price and feature set. However, if you really need an aquarium protein skimmer that performs well and budget isn’t an issue than this aquarium skimmer is not recommended.  It’s all up to you, depends on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend.

Hydor Performer Universal Recirculating In Sump Protein Skimmers


Hydor Performer protein skimmers are stylish in design & easy to use, they are manufactured with high-quality CNC machine parts which provide high performance for robust applications like marine & reef aquariums.

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This aquarium skimmer is equipped with Seltz foaming pump with the latest lubrication system with advanced brush impeller. Hydor Performer protein skimmer aquarium also warrants efficient water circulation with high foaming feature & also consumes less electricity with minimal noise.

The in sump protein skimmer has a special drainage system that adjusts the water level in the chamber without changing the water capacity which is being already treated. The air regulating system of this aquarium skimmer controls the input-output of air flow& also user can adjust it according to their demanding needs.


The best protein skimmer, this unit is so much better.
This aquarium skimmer can be fitted on any externally made sump stand which is pretty good. You have to raise this aquarium protein skimmer about an inch up from the floor of the cabinet so the output pipe would angle down into the sump This fish tank skimmer is very easy to use and setup.

Also, this aquarium skimmer is very quiet. Where the noise comes from is the water output.

The only issue was that you have to use plumbers tape to keep the recirculation pump from leaking on the output end, & had to do this twice as did not use enough on the first attempt. Also, you have to buy the supply pump separately.

The Hydor Performer protein skimmer is definitely a good skimmer for aquarium.
The fish tank skimmer body is very thick for an aquarium skimmer this size and feels thicker than the acrylic of the sump. The body of this aquarium In sump protein skimmer is big enough that you can stick your hand down the neck into the body for cleaning. It feels like you would have to stomp on it to cause damage.

The footprint is also pretty small for a recirculating protein skimmer for aquarium which was a plus over other brands. The collection cup of this aquarium skimmer is huge compared to other brands. The sliding lock ring of this protein skimmer is great, that holds it in place. Union valves are present to help with tearing it down and the O-rings and seals are of high quality.

The feed pump of this protein skimmer has an adjustable flow, and the air mixture and water height are also easily adjusted. It is great not having to worry about water levels in the sump affecting the aquarium skimmer performance. Of course, one of the best features is the price of this protein skimmer that has a lot of the features of much more expensive ones and is just as good of quality.

The only criticism is that the body of this in sump protein skimmer is not removable from the base for easier cleaning but this is a minor gripe as I can put my hand in from the top.


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