Nano protein skimmers.....? Help!


Small Fish
Jun 16, 2016
hey guys, I know I've been posting a lot but I like this section of the forum and the advice is great so thanks for all your help!

So.... Protein skimmers? Good or bad for nano tanks? What are some good brand and quality protein skimmers?

From what I've read there's really only a benefit to it. It seems like a great idea and I don't mind adding the extra filtration for the smaller tank.

Current set up: fluval spec v, current orbit Marine led pro, 2 star polyps, cleaner shrimp, live rock and sand.


Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
Cape Cod
In a small tank like that, usually regular water changes are fine for removing organics. Honestly, if you do a 2g water change weekly, that's 40% and well more than enough (even 1g weekly would be plenty). So there shouldn't be any buildup for which a protein skimmer would be required. I'd lean towards spending the extra maintenance time on a regular water change, rather than fiddling with a protein skimmer (adjusting and cleaning, pump maintenance, etc).

A protein skimmer wouldn't hurt anything, if you decide to get one. A few thoughts:
-Your aquarium is not technically designed for SW use, so there may not be any skimmers designed to fit in/on it easily. Have you researched which skimmers might fit on your tank?
-If you don't have an auto top off, water level fluctuation can make many protein skimmers "touchy" and need regular (or constant) adjustments.
-An HOB skimmer that overflows puts gunky water on your floor.
-On the benefit side, skimmers are great oxygenation. Though in a 5g, you aren't going to have super active fish with high oxygen requirements so it shouldn't matter anyways.
-Microbubbles are created by many skimmers. They bug some people.