Does Protein Skimmer Oxygenate Water?

When you have a saltwater aquarium, it’s important to keep the water clean for your fish and corals. After all, this is their home and they won’t be happy if they are swimming around in their own waste and discarded food. Many aquarium owners rely on their protein skimmer to help them keep the tank water clean. Protein skimmers are great because they can clean up all those unwanted particles.

Does protein skimmer oxygenate water? Protein skimmers have more than one function. While it acts like a filter to keep the water clean from unwanted particles, it can also oxygenate the water. This is very important because saltwater doesn’t contain as much oxygen as freshwater. If the water is on the warmer side, it will hold even less which is why a protein skimmer can be beneficial for saltwater aquariums. 

Do Protein Skimmers Have Oxygen?

While the protein skimmer is able to help oxygenate the water in your saltwater aquarium, they don’t actually have oxygen. Instead, they help oxygenate the water through a gas exchange. In order for aquariums to get the proper gas exchange, the water flow needs to be leveraged towards the top of the tank where it can reach the air.

The protein skimmer is able to help make this happen by creating thousands of tiny bubbles to make the gas exchange happen. This is one of the best methods for oxygenating the water because it can allow 10 to 100 times more surface area. Fish breathe by filtering oxygen in the water through their gills. As this happens, the oxygen will need replenishing. 

Fish can also naturally release carbon dioxide into the water, and the gas exchange from the protein skimmer helps push that into the air so it can be replaced with oxygen sooner. 

Does Protein Skimmer Maker Water Clearer?

The protein skimmer can also help to make your aquarium water clearer. It is one of the best ways to keep your water clean and prevent algae breakouts. They do this by removing any waste in the water before it gets the chance to break down and turn into phosphates. Algae can be a messy situation for any aquarium owner if you don’t use a protein skimmer.

Coral can benefit big time if you use a protein skimmer in your saltwater aquarium. This is because the protein skimmer cleans up all of the contaminants floating around in the water, which allows more light to shine through. When coral gets a wider spectrum of light, it can grow a lot healthier. 

How Do You Know If The Protein Skimmer Is Working?

Every protein skimmer comes with a cup that collects all the gunk. You will know that the skimmer is working properly when the cup starts to collect a dry skim substance. The substance in the cup should be more of foam or gunk. If it is liquidy you will need to adjust its settings because the cup will fill up way too fast.

The gunk that fills up the cup will be dark and have a bad smell to it. If your protein skimmer is working correctly it will take roughly 3 days to fill the cup up. 

Can I Turn My Protein Skimmer Off At Night?

It is not recommended to turn your protein skimmer off at night. This is because protein skimmers aren’t designed to be turned on and off every day. Typically you should only turn your skimmer off when you are cleaning the aquarium and feeding your coral. Many people have noticed that their protein skimmer does a better job at nighttime because that’s when oxygen levels drop.

On the other side of the situation, you don’t need to turn the protein skimmer off during the day. As long as it is running, your fish will be comfortable in their tank and the water will stay clear for longer.

Do You Run Protein Skimmer All The Time?

If you have multiple fish in your aquarium, you should run the protein skimmer 24/7. This will ensure that the water stays oxygenated for the fish so they can stay healthy. It will also keep their environment clean, which is helpful because you probably don’t have time to clean their tank every day. 

However, if you have coral it’s recommended to turn the protein skimmer off for 24 hours after a feeding. While it won’t hurt to leave it on if you forget or don’t want to keep up a schedule, it will create an issue because it can pull out some of the coral’s food. Turning it off will make sure you don’t waste any of the coral food. 

When Should I Start The Protein Skimmer?

The thing that many people aren’t prepared for when it comes to protein skimmers is that they need to be broken in before they’re running at full function. Many people who are experienced with taking care of a saltwater aquarium recommend starting the protein skimmer approximately 2 weeks before they add the fish.

When you first start the protein skimmer, it will need time to warm up and get itself running on a regular schedule. This will ensure the fish have a healthy oxygenated environment when you bring them home. 

Final Thoughts: Does Protein Skimmer Oxygenate Water? 

Most aquarium owners won’t add fish to the tank until the protein skimmer is in place. While this product is well known for cleaning all of the unwanted contaminants out of your water, it’s also necessary for oxygenating your water. Since fish produce carbon dioxide in the water, the protein skimmer can push that to the surface so it can be replaced with oxygen. 

While protein skimmers don’t contain oxygen, they are able to help produce it in the water through a gas exchange. That gas exchange will then help the water flow reach the surface to allow more oxygen in the water. A protein skimmer is necessary to make sure your fish have a healthy and clean environment.