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The 9 Best Hang On Back Protein Skimmers

A nitrogen separator is a great investment in a large or small aquarium.

Since fish and other marine animals are known for their wasteful ways, a reliable protein separator is often crucial to maintaining a clean aquarium.

Waste and other protein-based particles can be easily filtered out of the water using a protein skimmer.

The problem, of course, is that there are so many to choose from, making it difficult to choose the ideal one.

To that end, BestForPtes (bestforpets.org) has compiled a list of the best hang on back protein skimmers (where this one stands out) along with in-depth reviews of each option.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)


The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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The BH-1000 Octopus Skimmer from CoralVue Technology

CoralVue Technology BH-1000 Octopus with External 1000 Pump for Aquarium Filter

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The compact size is one of the many selling points for this hang-on-back protein skimmer. Great feature: it may be mounted on your aquarium’s rear wall; better feature: the pump is concealed behind the skimmer.

For this reason, the skimmer doesn’t need a lot of room behind the aquarium in the horizontal plane.

The pump of the CoralValue BH-1000 may be removed for simple cleaning and maintenance. Unlike many other systems, turning it off won’t cause it to overflow, which is a major plus.

A cool feature of this skimmer is that media can be inserted into it. Now, it has the potential for media, which may slow down the flow rate but is not exactly what it was intended for.

The BH-1000 has a very sturdy and dependable pump. It can handle a lot of water, is simple to keep up, and lasts for a long time.

This hang-on-back protein skimmer efficiently removes debris and filth from aquariums. Another cool thing about the pump is that it can be submerged in water, making it ideal for use in a sump.


  • Affordable and Low-Maintenance Pump
  • The pump does not become clogged easily.
  • Can handle large volumes of water processing
  • Wonderful for both saltwater and freshwater tanks.
  • Saves space on the outside
  • Submersible pump.
  • Does support including media files if desired.


  • It’s a bit of a pain to set up.
  • There are hardly no instructions for assembly.

For Sale: Eshopps Hang On Back Protein Skimmer

Eshopps Hang On Protein Skimmer PSK

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This specific protein skimmer may be hung on the rear of aquariums ranging in size from 10 to 75 gallons. Not recommended for aquariums larger than 75 gallons. The water pressure may be changed, which is a nice feature.

The Eshopps HOB skimmer's engine and pump are among its greatest qualities since they produce almost little noise.

Despite its name, this skimming device is quite small. Because of its narrow width and relatively lofty height, it may be placed behind an aquarium with minimal horizontal clearance. Additionally, the collecting cup may be removed entirely for hassle-free emptying.

The pump is very simple to maintain and clean. More proteins are collected in the collecting cup thanks to the model’s bubble plate, which spreads out the water flow.

This skimmer is created from materials that are both long-lasting and simple to maintain, so you may find that it suits your needs.


  • Easily wipes clean
  • Durable
  • Awesome bubble dish
  • Extremely hush-hush
  • Trustworthy pump and motor
  • Not bulky, so you may put it under the fish tank without worry.
  • Excellent for use in aquariums of all sizes.


  • Often results in overflow
  • On rare occasions, certain joints may spring a leak.

The Reef Octopus 100-HOB Classic Skimmer

OCTO Classic 2000-HOB Protein Skimmer

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It comes included with a robust and dependable Aquatrance 1000 pump. A pinwheel-style pump efficiently mixes water flow and bubbles to aid in diffusion and protein transport to the collecting bin.

We think the high efficiency of this protein skimmer is a major plus. In addition, setting up and setting up is simple, saving you time and effort.

Reef Octopus 100-HOB skimmer is suitable for all 105 gallon aquariums. Therefore, it is suitable for use with just about any aquarium set up in the house. Another cool feature of this type is that the pump is installed within the tank rather than on the outside.

It takes up some area in the tank, but you don’t need a lot of extra space for it elsewhere. There’s a protein-skimming attachment that can be adjusted for use on any surface, and it works quite well.

This skimmer’s high-quality acrylic construction ensures that it will survive for years to come.


  • A long-lasting acrylic
  • Takes up little room in the outside
  • Pump with a pinwheel for high volumes of dispersion
  • Proportionately simple in terms of set-up and installation
  • Includes a surface-skimming attachment
  • Excellent for larger fish tanks.


  • Preventative upkeep can be a pain.

Super Skimmer Coral

Coralife Super Protein Super Skimmer with Energy Saving Post-Flow Pump

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Indeed, this protein skimmer lives up to its billing, as it skims really well. Aspirating venturi and unique needle wheel impeller create a powerful solution. The longevity and dependability of this technology are unparalleled.

This skimmer spins water into a vortex, making it easy to ingest large quantities of proteins. Proteins and other particles can be attracted to the vortex with high efficiency due to the tiny bubbles it generates.

An incorporated diffuser reduces the number of bubbles that can escape and enter the tank.

Everything gets dumped into the collecting cup, which can be quickly and simply removed for washing. The large opening of the collecting cup facilitates the smooth flow of trash from the pump to the container.

A significant advantage is that the protein skimmer, as a whole, is simple to keep clean and maintain.

In addition, the skimmer’s pump is a high-efficiency model, so it can process a lot of water and protein without using a ton of power. Consequently, it shouldn’t have too much of an impact on your monthly power bill.

Any saltwater or reef aquarium will benefit greatly from the addition of this skimmer. You may choose from three sizes of this model, the smallest of which is suitable for tanks holding 65 gallons and the largest of which can manage 220 gallons.

This model has a convenient mounting bracket that allows you to either hang it on the back of your tank or position it in the sump, depending on your preference.


  • SUB or HOB
  • Extremely efficient in terms of energy use
  • Invention of the vortex needle wheel pump
  • Bin for trash that’s simple to clean
  • Each injector has two separate inlets.
  • Bubble-control diffuser for aquariums
  • Simple to set up
  • In general, it’s not too difficult to care for


  • Can potentially reach high decibel levels
  • Disadvantageous in terms of space-friendliness

We recommend the Aquamaxx HOB Protein Skimmer

Aquamaxx Ws-1 In-sump Protein Skimmer

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The Aquamaxx HOB protein skimmer is a one-of-a-kind piece of equipment that gets the job done. This unit is ideal for use in sump applications. It’s rather tall for its thin and stylish profile.

Because of this, it may be installed in sumps of varying sizes with relative ease, especially those with limited depth. The skimmer incorporates the pump internally to save on floor area, and the specialized design of the skimmer ensures it operates with minimal noise.

This protein skimmer from Aquamaxx is ideal for aquariums of any size. If your bio-load is low, you may safely keep up to 60 gallons in it.

However, if there is a large amount of biological matter already present in the tank, the maximum volume of water it can hold drops to about 30 gallons.

The Aquamaxx HOB protein skimmer’s relatively low power consumption is one of its many redeeming features.

This type features an exceptionally strong submersible pump. It generates a uniform whirlpool of bubbles and water turbulence, which helps to funnel trash and proteins into the collecting cup.

The diffusers do aid in reducing the amount of turbulence within the chamber, which increases the quantity of trash that is ultimately compelled to enter the trash can.

The amount of liquid in the foam may be changed by raising or lowering the collection cup. As an added bonus, this protein skimmer is extremely long-lasting thanks to its computer-cut acrylic construction.


  • Great for aquariums of any size
  • Very economical with both room size and power usage
  • Atmospheric turbulence attenuation diffuser
  • Top-notch pump
  • Receipt receptacle on wheels
  • A long-lasting acrylic


  • The water level in the collection cup rises too quickly.

Skimmer, Reef Octopus BH90

Reef Octopus BH90 Hang on Protein Skimmer

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This skimmer is a wonderful choice if you need an alternative for a really large aquarium. The Reef Octopus BH90 skimmer is capable of effectively cleaning aquariums as large as 130 gallons.

However, it should be noted that the size of this skimmer means it is not ideal for use in smaller aquariums.

It needs a considerable quantity of free area in which to be installed and function correctly. By rerouting water through a syphon, this design reduces the pump’s operating stress and extends its service life.

This protein skimmer has a powerful needle wheel pump and impeller that can draw in a lot of water at once. It produces a well-balanced bubble mixture, which aids protein adhesion and transport to the collecting chamber.

The collecting chamber is sizable, reducing the frequency with which you must empty it; when the time comes, the simple release mechanism makes it quick and painless to do so.

It’s also convenient that you may adjust the height of the cup to switch between wet and dry skimming. This pump may also be used for surface skimming, where it would be used to remove oils and debris from the water’s surface.

In this post, we will discuss the top five Reef Octopus choices.


  • A Pump with Serious Power
  • Saves energy
  • Simple to use and clean, the collection cup is a good size.
  • Stackable, height-adjustable, and water/air resistant
  • Mixes in just the right amount of turbulence and bubbles
  • Just barely scratch the surface
  • Simple to set up


  • Very noisy
  • Uses up a lot of room

Skimmer PP75, Blue Ocean

Blue Ocean PP75 Protein Skimmer Aquarium Filter Pump HOB

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This high-output biological (HOB) protein skimmer is designed for aquariums of a considerable size. It works well with both large volumes of water and pure water. The bad news is that its big capacity also means it takes up a lot of space.

This protein skimmer calls for a horizontal space of five inches or more. The good thing is that you can just toss it in your basement’s sump.

This HOB protein skimmer is equipped with a high-quality needle wheel pump and impeller that generate a great deal of turbulence and bubbles, allowing proteins to clump together and be collected in a separate compartment.

To degrade trash and eliminate proteins, this design incorporates a biological filtering chamber. In the end, everything else goes into a convenient garbage can.

You may modify the foam’s wet and dry performance by adjusting the collecting bin’s height.


  • Massive storage potential
  • Pump that can be relied on
  • The water spreads out well.
  • Saves energy
  • Easily wipes clean
  • Adjustable bin height
  • The use of living organisms to filter wastewater


  • Uses up a lot of room
  • Very noisy

A Bubble Magus QQ1 Skimmer

Bubble Magus QQ1 Hang-On Nano Protein Skimmer

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If you have a smaller aquarium, this protein skimmer is an excellent choice. It can handle bio-loads up to 25 gallons in size, making it suitable for aquariums of up to that capacity.

If the bio-load is not too great, a larger tank could be within its capabilities. Forcing a large quantity of protein together and into the collecting bin, this model employs a fantastic needle wheel impeller and pump.

As a matter of fact, the pump is quite efficient, therefore it won’t drive up your electricity costs. The body of this model may be adjusted with little effort, and the height of the collection bin can be modified to accommodate a range of foam densities.

It should be noted, however, that this particular model can only hold 25 gallons of water. It’s a great choice for smaller aquariums due to its efficiency, dependability, and ease of cleaning, but it struggles in bigger tanks.


  • Saves energy
  • Excellent for use in marine environments
  • Easily modifiable
  • Storage compartments with a shimmy-able height
  • Excellent bubbling and turbulence.
  • Includes Diffuser
  • Flow rate is variable and may be adjusted


  • Needs a fair amount of room to operate
  • A bad choice for large tanks.
  • It’s fairly loud

Putting Together HOB Protein Skimmers

Putting together your HOB protein skimmer is the first step in skimming protein, so let’s talk about how to do that today.

Let’s take it slow and easy and work through each phase. It’s important to remember that various protein skimmers have unique installation processes.

These instructions are written with a wide range of HOB protein skimmers in mind. Reading the owner’s instructions for the protein skimmer you purchase is your best option for getting it set up and running well.

  • Clip or hang the protein skimmer to the rear of the tank.
  • Put it in the sump if it is a protein skimmer designed for sumps.
  • Put the pump into the water or the sump, and connect the strainer to the input.
  • Restriction of protein skimmers’ outputs
  • The protein skimmer should be tilted slightly so that it faces the tank or sump.
  • Link the air hoses together.
  • Verify that the inputs, outputs, and tubes are all in their correct places.
  • Verify that there will be no spills by ensuring that all connections are tight.
  • The collecting cup should now be added and securely fastened.
  • Join the tabs that regulate the flow.
  • It’s time to double-check everything
  • Just plug it in and activate it (you may need to prime it first)


Use a HOB protein skimmer to help maintain pristine water quality in your aquarium.

Most aquariums, and especially saltwater aquariums, need regular water changes to remove waste and excess protein.

You shouldn’t pass up the best hang on back protein skimmers, but rather choose the one that lasts and gets the job done, as listed above by BestForPtes (bestforpets.org).

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Dr. Ramona Terrell

Dr. Terrell has served on the boards of several organizations, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, in addition to her professional affiliations. She is the Veterinarian Director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Exotic Animal Health Program.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Ramona Terrell


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