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Marine aquarium protein skimmers, also known as foam fractionators, are devices used to remove organic waste from the water in a marine aquarium. They work by creating a column of water through which aquarium water is passed, causing organic molecules and other waste to stick to the surface of rising air bubbles. The bubbles then rise to the top of the column and are collected in a collection cup, where the waste is removed from the aquarium.

Protein skimmers are especially useful in saltwater aquariums, where the waste produced by fish and invertebrates can quickly accumulate and cause a variety of problems, including poor water quality, algae growth, and decreased oxygen levels. They are often considered essential equipment for maintaining a healthy and stable marine aquarium.

There are many different types of protein skimmers available, ranging from simple hang-on-back models to more complex, in-sump or external models. The effectiveness of a protein skimmer depends on a number of factors, including the size of the aquarium, the number of fish and other inhabitants, and the types of food being fed to the animals in the tank.

In addition to their effectiveness at removing organic waste, protein skimmers can also help to increase the dissolved oxygen levels in an aquarium, which can be especially beneficial for sensitive or delicate marine animals.

Overall, a high-quality protein skimmer is an important investment for anyone who wants to maintain a thriving and healthy saltwater aquarium.