AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 Protein Skimmer Review

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Aquarium-keeping is a delightful way to broaden your hobbies, spice up the aesthetic of your home, and enjoy adorable fishy pets. But no one talks about the bad part: hunting for tank-cleaning equipment.

You need the right canisters, filters, and skimmers for the job – but with so many options, each claiming to offer the best, how can you make the right choice? That’s why we’re here. Under the microscope today is the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer.

hang-on-back protein skimmer

We’re evaluating all the good and the bad available on the market, so you have the information necessary to make a great buying decision. And according to our observations, the skimmer is easy to assemble, simple to clean and maintain, and as a bonus, it is also very quiet.

However, not everyone is after the same thing when it comes to fish keeping equipment. Budgets will differ and not everyone is after the same build quality. So how will you know if this skimmer is the ideal one for you?

To decide if it’s the right fit for your aquarium, take a look at our findings on the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer below. It might surprise you!

AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer: The Details


  • Weight: 7.8 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.5 x 17 inches.
  • Capacity: Up to 90 gallons
  • Minimum and Maximum Water Level: 40 to 90 gallons.
  • Type of Skimmer: Needle wheel impeller.
  • Self-Priming/Standard: Standard.
  • Warranty: One-year warranty.


Bubble Diffuser

The AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer uses a bubble diffuser. This mechanism helps to generate a great deal of foam within the water, which then collects any waste, left-over food, or other impurities in the froth.

The impeller and pump then cycle this foam into the collection cup, where it’s kept separate from your tank inhabitants. Altogether, this feature boosts the skimmer’s cleaning power.

Collection Cup

The AquaMaxx protein skimmer also includes a large, easy-to-remove collection cup. As mentioned, this contains your tank’s waste, so you can then remove it, rinse it out, and place it back on the skimmer.

However, despite its name, this cup doesn’t only collect – it also controls the foam. Just move it up or down on the skimmer to adjust the foam level between wet or dry.


The HOB 1.5 protein skimmer accommodates a wide range of tank sizes. So long as your aquarium varies between 40 and 100 gallons of water, this skimmer will serve it well.

It only requires enough water to partly submerge the unit, giving the pump/impeller quality access to push water (and its waste) through the diffuser and to the collection cup.

aquamaxx hob 1.5 review


There is a needle wheel impeller inside this AquaMaxx protein skimmer, which helps move the water and combine it with air.

With the help of the Sicce Syncra 1.0 pump, the impeller then separates the waste from clean water and provides your fish with a healthier environment.

This is typically a separate machine that can be added to your skimmer, but the AquaMaxx saves you the secondary purchase.

AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer Review

The Positives

Super Easy to Set Up

Setting up the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer is rather straightforward – requiring only 30 minutes to an hour. Once unboxed, you can attach the inlet pipe to the down tube and then insert the down tube onto the skimmer’s pump elbow. Next, slide the bubble plate onto the pump and tighten the screw to attach it.

Then, attach the yellow airline tubing to the venturi inlet on the pump. Slide the pump into the skimmer body. Place the silencer onto the air skimmer lid and attach the yellow tubing to this silencer. Secure the outlet pipe onto the drain stem and then place the O-ring onto the collection cup.

Attach the cup to the skimmer and tighten the screws to ensure it’s firmly in place. Hand-tighten the mounting screws after you place the skimmer inside the tank. Once the skimmer is in place, fill it with water – until it flows out the outlet pipe.

Remove the air hose from the silencer and place it inside the skimmer’s water level. This allows you to prime the pump. Plug in the pump and wait for it to prime (no more than a couple of minutes). Once it’s primed, connect the air hose back to the silencer.

Then you’re done! It may sound lengthy, but this is a fraction of the effort typically required by these skimmers. You’ll likely have no trouble at all with minimal fumbling whether you’re a beginner or experienced.

Incredibly Easy to Maintain

Once the set-up is handled, maintenance is a breeze. While some aquarium parts require a ton of time and attention for optimal performance, AquaMaxx makes it easy instead.

You need only remove the collection cup from the skimmer, rinse it out with warm water, and wipe it out with a damp sponge. This can be done as-needed – though biweekly is recommended. Since consistent maintenance is not required, this is a great option for busy or new hobbyists.

You should also rinse out and clean all parts of the skimmer every three months to ensure it continues working properly. There’s not much required to keep this protein skimmer in tip-top shape, so you can give your attention and energy to other things – like your pets!

A skimmer that’s easy to maintain also means that your fish will stay happier longer, requiring no fuss from you.

best protein skimmer

Amazingly Effective

When it comes to accessories like these, the most important thing is if it actually performs and does its job – no matter how many cool features are included.

Fortunately, inspectors were almost unanimous: this AquaMaxx protein skimmer is highly effective at removing impurities and gunk from their tanks’ water.

People who had algae and fungus issues found these problems clearing up entirely after only a few weeks. Others dealing with water discoloration found it transformed into crystal clear quality. You won’t need to worry about this AquaMaxx actually getting the job done; both you and your fish will be happy campers.

It won’t be long before you get clean and pristine tank conditions, thanks to how powerful and efficient this skimmer is. It works fast, clearing up less than ideal aquarium circumstances sooner than later.

Conveniently Compact Design

At only seventeen inches high and weighing less than eight pounds, you won’t be forced to deal with a big, clunky protein skimmer. Since the majority of skimmers on the market are bulky, taking up a large section of your aquarium, this can certainly be a relief.

Additionally, once it’s fully assembled, the skimmer is lightweight enough to be easily moved in and out of your tank. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this is a welcomed addition.

Since it won’t be taking up all the space in your tank, it won’t be an eyesore or distraction to your display. It’s designed sleek and discreet which is surprising considering the power this skimmer packs.

aquamaxx hob 1.5 review

Amazingly Quiet

We also loved that this protein skimmer is very quiet. If your tank is located in your bedroom or an area that generally requires peace and quiet, this won’t add noise to your setup.

Since the skimmer is encased in a blue, plastic body – so the pump and impeller are fully contained – it will remain virtually silent. There’s also a silencer included in the construction of this skimmer, reducing the noise factor even more.

It’s not uncommon for aquariums to be a distraction thanks to the whirring and gurgling of the included accessories. With the AquaMaxx, you’ll be spoiled for choice on locations you can put your tank since it won’t be the thing to keep you up at night, or drown out your television.

The Negatives

Economical Construction

Some testers found the construction of this skimmer rather cheap. At this price (around $200), they were expecting greater durability.

The connectors weren’t as strong as testers preferred, and most of the skimmer is composed of plastic (even the tubing).

While this doesn’t take away from the skimmer’s performance, it can be a disappointment for those expecting high-quality materials.

On the Pricey Side

Speaking of the price, those who are new to the hobby, or those who are just starting out may find this skimmer too expensive.

At over $200 on Amazon, this is above the average range for a skimmer of this capacity – which usually costs around  $100.

If you’re not worried about the pricing, this appears to be an effective skimmer. However, if it’s not within your budget, feel free to shop around for more affordable options.

Shipping Woes

As with anything online, shipping can be a hassle. And while we’re grateful to have this shipped directly to our door from Amazon, there are cases where items arrive cracked or chipped before customers get a chance to use it.

While retailers like Amazon try to minimize this, it usually depends on the local delivery service bringing this to your mailbox or door. And of course, manufacturing defects happen to even the best of products.

You do receive a one-year warranty should you need it, so be sure to check all the parts before you begin assembling it – just to be sure.

aquamaxx hob 1.5 hang on back protein skimmer

Overall Verdict

After going over all the positives and negatives, we do recommend the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer.

With the simple assembly, the easy maintenance, the silence of the pump and impeller, and its general effectiveness, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better protein skimmer.

So long as you can afford the price tag, this is definitely an item worth considering for your aquarium.

Where to Buy the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer

AquaMaxx is no newbie when it comes to the world of aquariums and tank accessories. This brand has a wide variety of quality tools and devices varying in price range for hobbyists of all levels.

Thanks to this company’s success, it won’t be too hard to find AquaMaxx products in stores around the globe. As such, the AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer is available both in-store and online.

While it’s usually best to check pet, home department and specialty stores, you can kick-start your search with the following online retailers.

And of course, you can also find this hang-on-back protein skimmer on Amazon.

AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

That’s the end of our AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 review. Ready to give it a go?

AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer Rated
  • Efficiency
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Noise Levels
  • Value for Money

FCG Verdict

The AquaMaxx HOB 1.5 Protein Skimmer is a great option for aquarists of all levels thanks to its easy to use design and outstanding features.

It’s efficient and convenient but those on a budget may want to double-check the price-tag.

>>> Check current price on Amazon.

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