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Top Tips for Protein Skimmer Maintenance

Protein skimmers are an essential part of keeping your saltwater reef aquarium healthy and happy, but like any part, it can wear out and get dirty with age. Follow our tips to keep any skimmer functioning at peak efficiency for longer.

A clean skimmer will always outperform a dirty one, so we highly recommend setting and sticking to a set schedule.

Daily

  1. Empty Collection Cup: Dump out the gunk and give the collection cup a quick rinse in the sink under warm water and remove any waste that has accumulated both inside the cup as well as on the inner cylinder of the cup.
  2. Check Sump Water Level: Maintaining a constant water level will help your skimmer keep peak performance, since pressure changes can cause your skimmer efficiency to fluctuate. If your sump water fluctuates consider adding a top-off device / float switch to automatically add water to the sump.
  3. Observe Bubble Column and Make Any Needed Adjustments: Although it will vary slightly from one aquarium to another and from one skimmer to the next, the foam / bubble column should end slightly above the junction of the neck and collection cup and the bubbles should be just barely breaking over the top of the collection cup. (Insert photo of end of bubble column.)

Weekly

  1. Clean Collection Cup & Neck of Skimmer: Carefully clean the collection cup in the sink under warm water using your hand or a soft cloth paying careful attention to remove any waste that has accumulated both inside the cup as well as on the inner cylinder. Gently remove any waste that has accumulated on the neck of the protein skimmer with a soft, wet rag.
  2. Inspect Airline Tube: Ensure that all connections are tight and leak-free and that there are no flow-impeding kinks.

Every 3 Months

  1. Disassemble & Clean Entire Skimmer Pump: Remove the pump base-plate, pump cover and impeller assembly with shaft and soak all parts in a mixture of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar for 24 hours or longer and then clean and rinse in warm water. Repeat vinegar bath if needed.
  2. Clean Skimmer Body: Clean the inside of the skimmer body with hot water, a soft, wet rag and/or a bottle brush or toothbrush. To remove any stubborn debris and/or coralline algae, soak the entire body in a mixture of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar for 24 hours or longer and then clean and rinse in warm water. Repeat vinegar bath if needed.
  3. Clean Venturi: Remove the venturi (this is the part where the airline tube connects to the pump) and clean both the inside of the venturi and the airline port on the side of the venturi with warm water and/or a bottle brush or toothbrush. If needed soak in a mixture of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar for 24 hours or longer and then clean and rinse in warm water. Repeat vinegar bath if needed.
  4. Clean Airline Tube: Rinse with warm water to remove any debris and salt for the inside and outside of the tubing.
  5. Clean Wedge Pipe: Remove from skimmer body and clean with warm water and/or a bottle brush or toothbrush.
  6. Check All Electrical Components: Inspect and remove salt build up from the power-cord, power-supply, controller (if applicable) and all other electrical components to make sure there are no broken or worn cables. If you notice something wearing out, contact your manufacturer for a replacement.

For more information on our entire line of Simplicity protein skimmers, please visit: https://www.simplicityaquatics.com/skimmers/

To purchase a Simplicity protein skimmer or any of our products, please visit your favorite local aquarium shop and ask them to carry Simplicity or to find an authorized dealer, please visit: https://www.simplicityaquatics.com/buy/.

For support with your Simplicity protein skimmer or any of our products, please email customercare@simplicityaquatics.com

So what will it take for you to trust in Simplicity for your aquarium needs?


With Simplicity Protein Skimmers we promise you will get a well-built, feature-rich, high-performance skimmer that comes at a price-point that is lower than most others on the market. If you're interested in buying our products, please click here for our Store Locator. Are you a dealer? Contact us to learn more about selling our products!

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