Tip of the Day 9/9/2015 – How Not to Clean Your Protein Skimmer


Last week we featured a “How To” article for different methods of cleaning a protein skimmer.  Today’s tip is the antithesis and focuses on practices which you should avoid when maintaining your protein skimmer. So, without further ado, here’s an example of “How Not To” take care of a protein skimmer.  Specifically, DON’T NEGLECT REGULAR CLEANINGS!

Last week at MACNA, Kevin Adams, President/CEO of Sunset Promotional Service stopped by to mention that he saw our Tip of the Day article article entitled, “Cleaning the Protein Skimmer and Doing Automatic Water Changes”.  Kevin related a story about a friend of his who purchased a Bubble King Supermarin 250 protein skimmer.  Hopefully his friend will become a regular reader of our blog and apply what he learns here at AquaNerd.  As you can see from the picture below, the friend was not aware of the need for regular maintenance…apparently he thought that his skimmer was just “plug and play.”

Below content sourced from socalireefs.com

I agreed to recondition a protein skimmer for a hobbyist friend of mine (to remain anonymous)
He failed to mention its condition (then again, I didn’t think I needed to ask either).  He evidently didn’t know you are supposed to clean the collection cup once a week or so….

He ran it for about a year and a half without so much as even wiping the neck down, YIKES!

True story (I couldn’t make this stuff up) am reconditioning the skimmer in my possession as I write this.
I had to “peel” about an inch and a half layer of MUCK off the collection cup with a putty knife, LOL!

I have to admit, the Red Dragon pump performed without a hitch as it is in great condition……Took it apart for its first bleach then vinegar bath and it is perfectly fine.

Here are the results of of neglecting your skimmer for 18 months.


Royal Exclusiv Bubble King 250 Supermarin Skimmer



About Author

Scott Groseclose is the owner of AquaNerd, Aquarium Specialty, Aqua Specialty Wholesale, BioTek Marine, & The Carolina Reef Experience. He has a degree in Biology from St. Andrews University and he has been a passionate reef keeper since 1988.