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Air Driven Counter Current Skimmers

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Air Driven Counter Current Skimmers
Air Driven Counter Current Skimmers

Air Driven Counter-Current Protein Skimmer

Graphic by Debbie Hauter
The Basics Components and How They Work

From our discussion about what protein skimming is and how it works we outlined the three basic styles of protein skimmers used in saltwater aquarium and reef tank systems; air driven counter-current (CC), venturi, and downdraft or E.T.S units. In this article we are going to take a closer look at the basic components of air driven CC skimmers and what makes them work.

The Basic Components

  • An air driven counter-current skimmer model.
  • An air pump, which needs to be large enough to provide an adequate force of air through a sufficient number of air stones to insure that the skimming water column is that of a milky white appearance.
  • Air stones, preferably good quality Limewood stones.
  • Depending on the model of skimmer you buy, a water pump or powerhead.
Using this photo that we took of our Lee's Aquarium Air Driven CC Skimmer, (read full review), we have labeled all of its basic components to give you a general idea of how this style of skimmer is set up, which uses an air pump that is not shown. This particular model is designed for in-tank use. Other similar models made are the Red Sea Berlin Air-Lift and Classic, Aqua Medic Midiflotor and Turboflotor 750, just to name a few (read reviews & compare prices). There are also CC skimmers designed for hang-on-tank or in-sump mounting, many of which combine counter-current with venturi style skimming. These models use a water rather than an air pump to drive them (read reviews & compare prices). Whichever type you decide on, the basic principle of how they work is pretty much the same.

How Air Driven Counter Current Skimmers Work

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