Despite being the heart of any saltwater aquarium’s filtration system, protein skimmers can be quite finicky. They react to even the slightest particles that get lodged in the needlewheel and sometimes they don’t behave as desired for completely unknown reasons. The best way to keep them operating smoothly is to perform regular maintenance, such as removing the entire skimmer from the aquarium and giving it a vinegar bath. But don’t just let the skimmer soak in the vinegar solution, actually turn the pumps on and let it send the water throughout the entire device. This will make sure every piece of organic material built up inside the skimmer, pump, and plumbing is removed allowing your protein skimmer to perform like new (hopefully). Just make sure to reassemble everything properly, otherwise the skimmer may not behave exactly as you want.