Aquarium Protein Skimmers
In general terms, a protein skimmer is a piece of equipment that uses a mixture of air and water to create a column of tiny rising bubbles that "grab" skum, film, and dissolved organic waste materials (DOC's) by binding those pollutants to their surface.
The bubbles take the DOC's to the top of the skimmer, where the bubbles pop in the collection cup. Left without lift, the pollutants are marooned in the collection cup where they accumulate until you empty them.
The efficiency of your protein skimmer depends on how hard the bubbles are forced into the chamber (harder makes them smaller) and how long they stay in the chamber (longer contact time means more contaminants are picked up).
Anyone who has ever seen the sludge left behind in the collection cup wouldn't wonder why that detritis shouldn't be in the tank. (UGH!)
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