Maintaining the water quality of your aquarium requires attention, the right tools, and an adequate understanding of aquatic chemistry. There are a lot of factors to assess, like pH, phosphate, nitrate, and ammonia (Source).
While it may seem overwhelming, the best HOB protein skimmer can keep your water quality healthy and ensure your aquatic pets live a long life.
HOB protein skimmers, sometimes referred to as foam fractionators, are water tank filtration devices. HOB stands for “hang on back,” as this is where the device is situated in the aquarium.
HOB protein skimmers create microbubbles that adhere to organic compounds in the tank. These micro-bubbles are then sucked into the HOB protein skimmer, at which point the organic matter is collected ultimately disposed of. Without a protein skimmer, nitrate levels can rise potentially resulting in nitrate poisoning (Source).
HOB protein skimmers are easier to install and maintain than a sump-based protein skimmer. They can assist with chemical, biological, and chemical filtration, and can also ensure your water remains clear. If you own one fish, or ten, an HOB protein skimmer can help you properly maintain your water quality.
Prior to purchasing a HOB protein skimmer, you’ll want to consider the maximum tank size it can handle. You’ll also want to consider the size and design of the unit itself to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your tank design. Pump styles and ease of installation should also be a factor.
Protect your fish friends with these top-rated HOB protein skimmers.
What Is The Best HOB Protein Skimmer?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is The Best HOB Protein Skimmer?
- 2 What Do Protein Skimmers Do?
- 3 Comparing the Best HOB Protein Skimmers
- 4 1. AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 – Best Overall
- 5 2. CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus – Powerful Hob Protein Skimmer
- 6 3. Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB – Reliable Hob Protein Skimmer
- 7 4. Eshopps PSK-75H – Best Compact Hob Protein Skimmer
- 8 5. Coralife Super Skimmer – Best on Budget
- 9 Most Common Issues People Have with HOB Protein Skimmers?
- 10 How High Should Bubbles Be In A Protein Skimmer?
- 11 Features of the Best HOB Protein Skimmers
- 12 Consider This Before Buying
- 13 How to Install a HOB Protein Skimmer
- 14 Ready To Buy The Best HOB Protein Skimmer?
The AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 is the most efficient, durable, and reliable HOB protein skimmer. With a large tank and excellent design, this unit is far more superior than other brands. The box has a design where the pump is internal and inside the water, making it quieter in operation.
What Do Protein Skimmers Do?
Maintaining a healthy aquarium means that you need to monitor the quality of the water and keep it in good shape for supporting life. Using bubbles to carry out harmful organic waste and keep your nitrate levels in check, HOB protein skimmers help keep your aquarium water clean and clear.
Comparing the Best HOB Protein Skimmers
|CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus|
|Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB|
|Coralife Super Skimmer 65|
1. AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 – Best Overall
The first thing you’ll notice about the AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 is its design. It’s made to be thin as well as light so you can easily be mounted on a smaller size aquarium without any worry of structural failures.
One of the best things about this hob protein skimmer is it’s easy to clean design. It is also precision-engineered to deliver the maximum amount of performance. The AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 also has a relatively compact design that makes it easier to handle. The cell cast acrylic construction not only looks great but also is lightweight.
The components inside the AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 also come with modifications and upgrades that boost the performance of the pump above normal levels. This results in more air being drawn in and creating an optimum sized bubble.
Overall, it is one of the best hob protein skimmers on the market right now and it will serve you well for a long period of time.
- It is very easy to use and install.
- Comes with a compact design which is light in weight.
- Provides great performance.
- It is prone to leaks, they can be rectified with ease though.
2. CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus – Powerful Hob Protein Skimmer
One of the best things about the CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus is its ability to retain and channel its heat away from the aquarium. It doesn’t allow much heat to transfer to the tank during operation.
With a maximum operational capacity of hundred gallons, the CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus is one of the most powerful protein skimmers on the market. The incredible design also makes it easy to simply take it apart and clean it without any issues.
We also like how the intake also skims the top, it’s a feature that’s missing on other hob protein skimmers. It does an amazing job of skimming a reef tank and collecting all the slime in the cup. The size of the cup is ample so you don’t have to clean it often and it also lowers the chances of accidents.
We highly recommend that you check out YouTube videos on how you can set this unit up, it will help immensely in the long run.
- Provides powerful performance.
- Works quietly without any annoying noises.
- Very easy to adjust and move around.
- The setup instructions can be a bit tricky to understand.
3. Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB – Reliable Hob Protein Skimmer
There should be no problem at all while installing the Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB on your aquarium. It is designed to handle the operational capacity of 105 gallons so is an ideal choice for larger tanks. While the materials used to construct the Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB are a little bit on the cheaper side, we didn’t notice any excessive noise coming out from the unit.
The hob protein skimmer also comes with a large collection cup that is also adjustable so you get the most efficient skims. We also really loved how the cup cannot overflow and make your home dirty, once it reaches the tipping point, it just goes back into the skimmer.
There are also threaded connections that you can easily open and clean whenever you want. The Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB was able to maintain a crystal clear water quality during our testing. But also skimmed dunk out of the water with a remarkable efficiency.
- It is a well-designed unit.
- Can handle up to 150 gallons.
- Very easy to take apart and clean.
- Some of the materials used feel a little flimsy.
4. Eshopps PSK-75H – Best Compact Hob Protein Skimmer
The cylindrical body of the Eshopps PSK-75H is only 3 inches in diameter. It is made with acrylic materials and it will give you a quality service for a very long time. The total footprint of the Eshopps PSK-75H is just 7 inches by 6 inches. This makes it a lot easy to handle and place, especially when there is not much room for maneuverability.
The water pump is located under the unit, outside the aquarium. This allows the Eshopps PSK-75H to take less area inside and also helps in reducing heat transfer to the water. The collection cup is of a respectable size and can easily be removed for cleaning and maintenance.
The pump is made by Sicce, an Italian manufacturer and is of very high quality. Overall, if you’re looking for a compact hob protein skimmer, the Eshopps PSK-75H is certainly top of the pack in this category.
- Is very reliable in function.
- Installing it is very simple.
- Traits quietly without making any nice.
- Some users reported receiving a defective water pump.
5. Coralife Super Skimmer – Best on Budget
The Coralife Super Skimmer comes with a patent it needle wheel water pump system that works remarkably well in usage. We were also impressed by how quiet the operation is and how well the heat dissipation is managed. The Coralife Super Skimmer injects microbubbles in the aquarium and collects dissolved organic materials in the collection cup for easy removal.
It also has a special angled dueling direction design on the outlets that maximizes the contact time in the reaction chamber. We also really loved how the foam production and water height are easily adjustable using the water level dial. There is also an integrated bubble diffuser that stops microbubbles from floating into the aquarium.
You can easily remove the collection cup by twisting it. The high-quality acrylic materials used in the construction makes it a durable and long-lasting product.
When you are setting up a tank for fish in your home, you will need to ensure the water is the right condition for those fish to survive. This is where a saltwater test kit can come in handy. It can measure several factors to determine the condition of your water.
- It is very budget friendly.
- Comes in a very small size.
- Has almost noiseless operation.
- The instructions provided with the skimmer are not up to the mark.
Most Common Issues People Have with HOB Protein Skimmers?
Not Efficient Enough: The efficiency of a HOB protein model can be determined by noticing the size and amount of bubbles that it produces. They are also designed to work with certain tank sizes, making it common to purchase the wrong model.
- Takes up Too Much Space: HOB protein skimmers do a valuable service to your aquarium, but they also take up a chunk of space. If you already use a filter, heater, and various other tools and decorations you should make sure the model you purchase is small enough to be placed on your aquarium.
- Leaks and/or Cheap Parts: One of the worst problems you can encounter with a HOB protein skimmer is from leaks and/or cheap parts. It is common for people to purchase a HOB protein skimmer with easily broken parts like plastic.
How High Should Bubbles Be In A Protein Skimmer?
It is recommended that bubbles boiling away should be level with the actual base of the collection cup. As the protein skimmer pulls out the waste, it will build up and the vertical tube will rise and spill the water into the cup (Source).
Features of the Best HOB Protein Skimmers
If you want to get one of the best HOB protein skimmers, you need to understand what to look for. Unless you have purchased a protein skimmer before, you might not know what to expect. For this reason, we have compiled the features which stand out in any of the best HOB protein skimmers.
High Maximum Tank Size
The maximum tank size is how big of an aquarium that a HOB protein skimmer can work with. This is also the most important specifications to check for first if you want your HOB protein skimmer to work as expected.
Getting a HOB protein skimmer which is designed to work with your tank size will help you avoid problems down the line. For best results, get a model with a maximum tank size which is considerably larger than your tank.
Efficient & Effective Cleaning Process
The harmful organic materials in your aquarium are visibly removed when your HOB protein skimmer generates bubbles. A great HOB protein skimmer will create lots of small bubbles. Larger bubbles don’t necessarily imply that it is doing a better job cleaning.
Small Enough to Fit Onto Your Tank
One of the most important specifications to look at before you purchase a HOB protein skimmer is the size of the product. The last thing you need to do is purchase a HOB protein skimmer only to realize that it is too big for your tank.
Measure the space you have reserved in your aquarium for your new protein skimmer, and make sure that any option you consider will be able to fit.
Durable Parts Which are Proven to Last
Although a relatively weak material such as plastic is commonly used for HOB protein skimmers, there is a point where you need to draw the line.
If a model consistently uses weak materials, it will also be at a higher risk for cracks and breaks. Or, even worse, leaks occur much more easily on models with weak parts.
Simple Installation & Maintenance Process
Once you purchase your HOB protein skimmer, you will then need to set it up and keep it clean. Make sure that any HOB protein skimmer you consider has a simple installation process, including a user manual and instructions.
Then, it’s also important to think about the maintenance process you will go through. After all, you need to keep your HOB protein skimmer clean if you want it to last long and stay in tip-top shape. Check to see if your favorite model has features for helping you clean it like what we see in the AquaMaxx HOB Protein Skimmer.
Consider This Before Buying
There are a few things that you need to consider before buying a hob protein skimmer. They’re not complicated to understand and will help you make a better purchase for yourself.
Hob protein skimmers need to generate small air bubbles that can carry out the contaminations and impurities out of the aquarium. The smaller the bubbles, the better it will perform in its task. However, if the bubbles are too microscopic, they may become ineffective in cleaning out organic impurities.
The size of the air bubbles depends on the method of operation of a certain hob protein skimmer. While it’s not a big issue with all of the products listed on the 5 best how protein skimmer list, it is still something to consider.
Type of Pump
There are several types of pumps used in hob protein skimmers. The light-duty bombs don’t push out a lot of water but they’re certainly capable of specialized tasks. The standard pumps are versatile and are used in a number of different skimmers. And lastly, the heavy-duty pumps are used to purify large pools and aquariums.
Most of the hob protein skimmers you’ll find will be fitted with a light-duty or standard pump. They’ll be perfectly capable of keeping your reef aquariums clean.
How to Install a HOB Protein Skimmer
Almost all the time the manufacturer will send you essential accessories for setting up inside the package. There will also be a set of instructions that you need to follow. Many of the products on the list also provide you with detailed diagrams explaining how you can set that particular model up.
However, sometimes when you’re not familiar with the confidence that is provided with the HOB protein skimmer, the whole process can feel a little complicated.
We highly recommend that you check out a couple of YouTube videos about your particular model. Most of the time the manufacturer themselves have set up instructional videos for you to follow.
After you have assembled everything and mounted the tank with the help of the mounting bracket, just need to make sure everything is secured. Also, look out for any leaking water, it will hinder the performance of the hob protein skimmer.
Ready To Buy The Best HOB Protein Skimmer?
If you have a reef aquarium, then using a protein skimmer is highly recommended. If that’s too much of a chore, you can easily opt for a hob protein skimmer and make everything easier.
We tried selecting different hob protein skimmers for different aquariums and needs. Our team also made sure to include large, as well as compact hob protein skimmers, so a vast range can be covered.
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