Best Protein Skimmer For 200 Gallon Tank

Best Protein Skimmer For 200 Gallon Tank

If you are looking for the best protein skimmer for a 200 gallon tank, this article will help you to know more.
If you have a large tank – 200 gallons or more – you definitely want to be able to pick the best protein skimmer for a number of reasons.
A protein skimmer for large tanks comes normally at a price point higher than other pieces of equipment so the more you know before you buy a protein skimmer the better.

Best Protein Skimmer For 200 Gallon Tank


CoralVue Technology BH-2000 Octopus with External 2000 Pump for Aquarium Filter, 125-Gallon
Hydor Performer 705 Universal Recirculating Protein Skimmer, 200-300 GAL
AquaC EV-180 Protein Skimmer With Mag-Drive 7 Pump
IceCap K2-160 Protein Skimmer
CoralVue Technology BH-2000 Octopus with External 2000 Pump for Aquarium Filter, 125-Gallon
Hydor Performer 705 Universal Recirculating Protein Skimmer, 200-300 GAL
AquaC EV-180 Protein Skimmer With Mag-Drive 7 Pump
IceCap K2-160 Protein Skimmer
CoralVue Technology BH-2000 Octopus with External 2000 Pump for Aquarium Filter, 125-Gallon
CoralVue Technology BH-2000 Octopus with External 2000 Pump for Aquarium Filter, 125-Gallon
Hydor Performer 705 Universal Recirculating Protein Skimmer, 200-300 GAL
Hydor Performer 705 Universal Recirculating Protein Skimmer, 200-300 GAL
AquaC EV-180 Protein Skimmer With Mag-Drive 7 Pump
AquaC EV-180 Protein Skimmer With Mag-Drive 7 Pump
IceCap K2-160 Protein Skimmer
IceCap K2-160 Protein Skimmer

Last update on 2019-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A protein skimmer is usually fitted to the inside of an aquarium and serves to neutralize and remove DOCs (dissolved organic compounds).

These DOCs are generally uneaten pieces of food and fish waste, which may seem harmless enough, but if they are not eliminated in a timely manner they can result in the development and spread of algae.

Although all protein skimmers are pretty similar when it comes to their design and mechanics, there are a few different tiers, with each increasing level offering a greater set of features than its predecessor.
Read on to find the most popular types of protein skimmers available today along with a brief description of each.

Hang On Back Protein Skimmer

As you may have guessed from the name, a hang-on (HOB) protein skimmer is designed to be attached to the back of your aquarium as opposed to being installed inside the tank itself.
A hang-on protein skimmer relies on an air stone to collect potentially harmful substances and dispose of them in an attached cup.

Hang-on protein skimmers are pretty popular with beginners owing to their low price, but they are generally most suited to tanks with a capacity of less than 100 gallons.
If you own a 200 gallon tank – and it’s safe to say you do – you’re going to have a hard time finding a hang-on protein skimmer with the power necessary to ensure the survival and development of your fish.

In Sump Protein Skimmer

In-sump protein skimmers are arguably the most popular protein skimmers on the market and can actually be broken down into a variety of categories, though we’re not going to get into that today.
In-sump protein skimmers can differ wildly in price and size, so the chances are you’ll be able to find one that meets your budget and space requirements.

Obviously, an in-sump protein skimmer can only be installed if your tank has a sump, which may make the actual installation process a little tricky if you are a novice aquarist.
Thankfully, with the help of a veteran fishkeeper or just a detailed online article, you’ll be able to get your in-sump protein skimmer up and running in no time.

Nano Protein Skimmers

Although nano protein skimmers are totally unsuited to installation in a large aquarium, I am including this entry to provide you with the most comprehensive (albeit brief) overview of protein skimmers possible.

If you haven’t already figured it out, nano protein skimmers are designed for small tanks exclusively.
They are basically your average protein skimmer on a smaller scale, though they will generally be lacking in power and will usually offer less features than their larger counterparts.

Even the largest nano protein skimmer will be far too weak for your 200 gallon tank, so don’t let yourself be swayed by the low price nano protein skimmers often go for.
If you are interesting in knowing more on nano protein skimmers, we have them covered in details in this article.

External Protein Skimmer

The external protein skimmer is quite similar to the in-sump protein skimmer and has long been a favorite of the most dedicated hobbyists.
The average external protein skimmer rests just outside the aquarium, where it receives contaminated water via the sump and rids it of all dissolved organic compounds before returning it to the tank in a purified state.
It is important to note that an external protein skimmer will require a sturdy base outside the aquarium, so you should make sure you have adequate room for installation before purchasing one.

Best Protein Skimmer Brands

The larger your fish tank, the more powerful your protein skimmer is going to have to be.
Aquarists with minor setups and small tanks can usually get away with using a smaller model, but those who own something such as a 200 gallon aquarium owe it to themselves and their fish to purchase theirs from a reputable manufacturer.
A protein skimmer produced by an unfamiliar brand will likely crumble under the pressure of managing the waste of the many fish a 200 gallon tank can hold.
When searching for the best protein skimmer for your 200 gallon tank, you should try to buy from one of the following manufacturers:

  • Reef Octopus
  • AquaC
  • Hydor
  • Coralife
  • Vertex
  • IceCap
  • Bubble Magus

But Do I Really Need A Protein Skimmer?

Protein skimmers can cost a surprising amount of money, especially if you decide to go with the best of the best.
Because of this, there are a lot of novice aquarium owners who question the necessity of owning a protein skimmer and wonder if they can successfully maintain a family of fish and saltwater creatures without purchasing one.

The truth is, it is possible to have a successful aquarium without the installation of a protein skimmer, but you’ll have to work more to have the same results.

To keep your aquarium in peak condition – especially if it’s a 200 gallon or above model – you’ll have to stay on top of cleaning and keep a strict inspection schedule with frequent water changes.

A protein skimmer will definitely help to keep your tank and its contents fit and healthy.
You may have to drop a couple of hundred dollars up front, but it may be worth consider doing it.
Of course, finding the right protein skimmer for your tank is easier said than done, which is why we are writing this article.

Below, you will find in-depth reviews of some of our favorite protein skimmers for 200 gallon tanks.
Watch this video that will get you through how to install a Protein Skimmer.


Reef Octopus BH-2000

Reef Octopus is one of the most beloved manufacturers in the protein skimmer game.
Having first opened for business back in 2005, the brand has been in operation for bit more than a decade.
Despite being relatively young, it has established itself as one of the top producers of protein skimmers in the world and seems to improve upon its previous offerings with every new release.
The Reef Octopus BH-2000 is an example of the brand’s incredible ability to adapt and innovate without losing its heart or forgetting its original mission to simulate natural living conditions for marine organisms without detracting from the thrill of keeping fish.

What we like

  • The Reef Octopus BH-2000 is one of the few hang-on protein skimmers capable of maintaining a 200 gallon tank. Because of its simplistic – though by no means unimpressive – design, it can be handily attached to your aquarium, eliminating the need for professional intervention during the installation process.
  • This protein skimmer features acrylic composition, which means it is almost impervious to the wear and tear observed when less impressive protein skimmers are held in saltwater for an extended period of time.
  • The Reef Octopus BH-2000 is one of the most affordable effective protein skimmers on the market and is the least expensive model to appear on this list. If you are skeptical about protein skimmers and want to test one out before committing to a more expensive model, this is the way to go.

What we don’t like

  • A common complaint from those who have purchased the Reef Octopus BH-2000 is that it can be bit noisy.
  • The collection cup of the BH-2000 fits tightly to the device, which is a plus most of the time, but can be a drawback when it comes to emptying it.

The Reef Octopus BH-2000 may not be the ideal protein skimmer for veteran aquarists and those who are used to dealing with more high-tech devices, but it should be high on the list of novice or aquarium owners who are hoping to keep costs to a minimum.
It may be lacking certain features one would find on a more expensive model, but it does everything a protein skimmer is supposed to do and it does it for well below the average cost of rival products.
If you are only beginning your journey as an aquarist, there are few better brands to hitch your wagon to than Reef Octopus.

Hydor Performer

The Hydor Performer takes us from one protein skimmer giant to another.
In the eyes of many dedicated aquarists, Hydor is the single greatest manufacturer of protein skimmers and similar aquarium equipment in the world.
While that may come down to a matter of personal preference, it is impossible to deny that the brand has been producing consistently impressive protein skimmers since its inception.
The Hydor Performer is a testament to the expertise of the Hydor design team and comes equipped with a foaming pump and unique drainage system to make maintaining your aquarium easier than ever before.

What we like

  • Noise pollution is not an issue with the Hydor Performer, which comes fitted with a Venturi silencer. This Venturi silencer minimizes the noise of water as it passes through the various pipes and pumps of the protein skimmer and allows your fish to go about their underwater business uninterrupted.
  • The Hydor Performer requires a minimal amount of power to be effective, meaning you won’t have to worry about it driving up your energy bill if you choose to leave it turned on 24/7.
  • According to Hydor, this protein skimmer boasts the unique ability to “regulate the level in the chamber without changing the quantity of water that is being treated”.

What we don’t like

  • The most common complaint about the Hydor Performer is that it doesn’t come with a water pump, which you will have to buy separately if you have never owned a protein skimmer before and don’t already have the necessary equipment to connect one to your tank.

The Hydor Performer is extremely unlikely to give you any trouble once it has been installed in your tank and could conceivably give you a decade or two of unwavering performance before finally giving way.
It is a great choice for dedicated aquarists and those who are looking to upgrade from a less impressive protein skimmer.
Beginners may benefit from purchasing it as well, but they should first make sure they have the necessary space, budget, and time to dedicate to setting it up.

AquaC EV-180

AquaC began life as a specialist shop in San Diego, California towards the end of the last millennium.
Back then, it was operated solely by the company’s founder, which makes its rise to protein skimmer domination all the more impressive.
Today, AquaC manufactures and sells close to a million protein skimmers every year, drawing on the design team’s many decades of experience to produce consistently impressive models.
The AquaC EV-180 is one of the brand’s most remarkable protein skimmers and is immensely popular among long-time aquarists and novices who buy the best for no other reason than they have the money to do so.
This protein skimmer requires a sump for proper installation, so you must make sure your tank has one before you can enjoy its many features and benefits.

What we like

  • The AquaC comes equipped with a simple yet innovative twist-lock collection cup. The cup’s design allows it to be sealed without screws, bolts, or any other locking methods typical of protein skimmer collection cups. This means the cup can be easily opened when the time comes to empty it, so you won’t waste precious minutes trying to pry it open with your fingernails.
  • The AquaC EV-180 produces so little noise that it is almost unnoticeable when turned on.
  • The AquaC EV-180 begins effectively removing waste just a few hours after installation.

What we don’t like

  • Because of AquaC’s reputation as one of the premier manufacturers of protein skimmers in the world, its products tend to sell for quite a bit more than those of its rivals.
  • This protein skimmer is effective from 60-200 gallons, which means it is just powerful enough to maintain a 200 gallon tank. It is advisable to purchase a protein skimmer with a maximum capacity exceeding that of their aquarium so as to ensure an effective performance.

AquaC’s EV-180 protein skimmer is the culmination of almost 20 years in business, during which the brand has familiarized itself with what aquarists need and what aquarists want.
It could be described as the Platonic ideal of a protein skimmer and will undoubtedly give all those who purchase it a near-perfect performance.
While it may lose some points for just meeting the 200 gallon tank capacity rather than exceeding it, it promises clean water for your fish all year round, with minimal noise or maintenance.

IceCap K2-160

The protein skimmers of IceCap are in our opinion underrated. The brand is often overlooked by aquarists looking to stock their tanks with quality products, but most who try a product stamped with the IceCap name quickly turn into become IceCap devotees.
The IceCap K2-160 is one of the most impressive protein skimmers ever produced by IceCap – or any manufacturer of protein skimmers, for that matter – and has given the brand a well-deserved boost in popularity.
It is just as suited to the keeping of a reef as it is to the keeping of fish.

What we like

  • The IceCap design team put a great deal of effort into making the K2-160 one of the most pleasing protein skimmers in the brand’s history. It is among the most silent of all of IceCap’s protein skimmers and produces virtually zero noise, even when it has been turned on for an extended period of time.
  • Much like the Reef Octopus BH-2000 that started this list, the IceCap K2-160 boasts acrylic composition, making it almost impervious to the passing of time and the incessant flowing of water. Backed up by a number of PVC components, this protein skimmer is almost guaranteed to last for several years before its performance begins to diminish.
  • The IceCap K2-160 is fitted with a turbulence reducing body, so you won’t have to worry about it disturbing your fish by causing the tank to rattle or shake.

What we don’t like

  • If you are a novice aquarist, you may have a little bit of trouble installing this protein skimmer. A common complaint from IceCap customers is that the instruction manual that comes included with the IceCap K2-160 assumes a certain degree of familiarity with protein skimmers.

It really is no wonder the K2-160 has proven such a success for IceCap.
It has almost everything you could want in a protein skimmer and promises several years of high -quality performance.


Keeping an aquarium, while extremely rewarding, can be a bit of a challenge, particularly if you have never done it before.
A 200 gallon fish tank will present an almost constant stream of issues from the moment it is installed in your home to the moment you replace it with a newer model several decades later.

Combine those reoccurring problems with the necessary daily routine of inspection and cleaning and you can expect to dedicate a significant portion of your life to your aquarium and its contents.
A really great protein skimmer will essentially serve as your second-in-command and will ensure the continued smooth running of your aquarium when business, family, and other hobbies take you away from your tank.

I conceded earlier that a protein skimmer is not absolutely essential in the keeping of fish, but it makes it far less stressful.
Any of the protein skimmers featured on this list will halve the time and effort required to keep your aquarium thriving.

Protein skimmer for large tanks. Different types of protein skimmers for your Aquarium to help keep the water cleaner for your fishes.