A good protein skimmer is essential for keeping a healthy balance in your saltwater tank.
But how do you know what the best protein skimmer is? What is the best kind for your aquarium? There are a lot of options in today’s market, including ones that hang freely on your tank, or ones that sit inside of your sump.
Today, we’re taking a look at one that is super flexible to do either—the Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump.
Before skimmers, pumps were first designed for wastewater treatment plants, when it was discovered that injecting large volumes of water bubbles made the outgoing water much clearer and purer.
A protein skimmer works the same way in your tank on a smaller scale; the natural surface tension of water causes dissolved organic compounds to stick to the rising microbubbles, which then carry it all to a collection cup at the top of your protein skimmer, instead of allowing it to cycle back into your tank.
This leads to clean and clear water, perfect for you and your fish!
The Coralife Skimmer is available in a variety of sizes based on the size of your tank and boasts a lot of efficient technology to help keep your aquarium clean and chemically balanced.
It’s easy to use and easy to clean, but does come with an adjustment period that is frustrating to many users, along with occasional issues with missing parts and customer service.
Nonetheless, is this the right pump for your tank? Let’s dive in.
Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump: The Details
- Weight: 5 lbs.
- Dimensions: 2” x 5.5” x 20.8”.
- Capacity: A variety of sizes are available for purchase, from 65 gallons to 220 gallons.
- Recommended Water Level: 3-7”, or enough to cover the pump sufficiently.
- Type of Skimmer: Skimmer with air pump.
- Warranty: One-year limited.
Fit to Your Tank
The Coralife super skimmer can be used with either regular saltwater tanks or with reef tanks and can be used inside of a sump or can be free-hanging with the included mounting brackets.
Depending on how you turn the brackets, you can mount it on aquariums with internal or external lips, so no matter the design of your tank, this skimmer should fit.
The Super Skimmer comes equipped with Coralife’s patented needle-wheel impeller. The needle wheel system creates a vortex of water to remove dissolved organic compounds and fine proteins efficiently.
It creates a tornado of water and bubbles which attracts the protein in the tank before it dumps it into the collection cup.
This key component helps to create a crystal clear tank and is powerful at doing so.
Wide Neck Collection Cup
Once the needle-wheel does its part of the job, all the stuff you don’t want in your tank gets dumped in the mentioned collection cup.
This collection cup is designed to make your cleaning job easier with an ‘easy twist’ feature so you’re not left fumbling during maintenance. It screws off easily for cleaning and disposal.
Its wide-neck design makes foam production efficient and is easy to control.
An energy-efficient motor in the pump increases the power without any increase in voltage, and the dual injection inlets increase bubble and water contact time
This helps the machine be efficient and quiet, all while keeping your tank extremely clean.
Coralife: The Company
Coralife is a subsidiary of Central Garden & Pet.
Established in 1980 with an umbrella of companies to its name, this distribution company has over 4,000 employees and a focus on innovation, quality, and service.
They distribute all across North America, though they are based out of California.
Coralife is one of the newer subsidiaries of Central Garden & Pet, whose other brands include reliable and familiar industry names like Aqueon, Kaytee Pet, Nylabone, Zilla, and more.
Coralife Super Skimmer Review
Aquariums are supposed to be a peaceful addition to your home, filled with beautiful fish that swim about all day. But that relaxing vibe can easily be ruined with a pump or skimmer that wants all the attention.
No one wants to be overthrown in conversation by the whirr of their tank, especially when placed in the bedroom or living room.
Take care when setting this skimmer up and you won’t get any annoying rattling, buzzing, or whirring from your tank.
You can expect the Super Skimmer to be super quiet so your tank stays a beautiful distraction and not a noisy one.
Efficiency and Cost
Aside from being incredibly quiet, the Coralife Super Skimmer is very efficient.
Within a few hours, it starts producing results in both the collection cup and the clarity of the tank, and some testers saw full capacity within two days. One 65 gallon tank was cleaned in a 24-hour cycle.
The quality is very good for the price point — which comes in considerably lower than some comparable brands.
Though the price point varies based on the size needs of your tank, it still comes under the price of same-size competitors, which is great for those looking for quality on a budget.
Ease of Use
Whether you’re a beginning aquarist or expert, adjusting to this skimmer won’t be a hard feat. The attachment and settings are easy to use and are pretty straightforward.
The included mounting brackets ensure mounting on your tank is easy, whether your tank has external or internal lips.
The adjustment valves allow you to tweak the flow of the skimmer to the specific needs of your tank. On top of that, this protein skimmer is simple to clean and easy to maintain.
No longer will you need to be dreading cleaning day as it will be easy breezy, taking you no time with this skimmer. The collection cup is easy to unscrew and empty.
The usual calcium buildup (which comes from the air intake valves of all protein skimmers) should only take minutes to clean up and have your skimmer back to full capacity in no time.
Yes, using it is easy, but so is setting it up! Even without the use of instructions, most customers are able to have no trouble with the setup process.
And since the tank is quick at doing its job, once this arrives in your home, you’ll be sure to have a cleaner tank in no time.
With a 12-month limited warranty, customer service is available to offer replacement parts should something break or go wrong.
This 1-year warranty is in place to protect customers against errors in manufacturing and craftsmanship.
Should you find any faults, you’ll need to contact the company so they can decide whether they need to repair or replace the product.
Customer service is also available to answer any questions that you may have with set-up or use. You won’t be left hanging.
Many users found that customer service responded quickly to requests, and they were polite and professional to work with.
Customer service is often reported as flexible and prompt with both phone and e-mail inquiries.
It can take some time and dedication to adjust the skimmer properly to the needs of your individual tank. The adjustment valves are very touchy, and if not done correctly, can cause the collection cup to overflow.
An overflow bucket may be useful to keep on hand until you get the skimmer properly adjusted, in order to avoid a big mess.
The instruction manual is not clear as to how to prevent this, so it comes down to a lot of trial and error.
Some users did not have the patience to play with it and preferred a tank with adjustment valves that were easier to maneuver, with less chance of water spilling onto the floor.
The instructions that came with the protein skimmer were unclear at best and often did not match the model that came within the box.
It seemed as if the instruction manual was made for all models under the same umbrella, but did not cover all aspects of the product efficiently.
And although some users had good experiences with customer service, others found them to be a bit lacking.
Some packages were sent with parts that were an incorrect fit, and a few users found that customer service was slow to respond about replacements.
Keep in mind that these instances are rare, and most customers receive great customer support, which is why we’re surprised that it’s not always 100%.
Although not common, some users had the units die within three to six months.
Even with repairs and proper cleaning, the machines did not come back to life, and even though they worked well up until that point, our testers decided it was not worth getting a replacement in case it happened again.
That being said, the warranty and customer service are there to help you along should the uncommon occur.
There are so many protein skimmers on the market from a variety of companies, and this one is a solid little piece.
A variety of sizes available give you the flexibility you need for your aquarium, from 65 gallons to 220 gallons, and all of the sizes have the same great benefits and technology.
Its adjustment valves give home aquarists the option to fine-tune the system for their individual tank, but can be frustrating and messy to learn.
For users who had their package arrive with all of the proper parts (which lasted beyond the six months), they were happy with its ease of use and efficiency.
But if you’re worried about the awkward adjustment period, or the occasional lemon, this may not be the best protein skimmer for you.
In the end, at a solid price point and a 12-month limited warranty, the Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump is certainly worth a shot.
Where to Buy the Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump
Coralife is known for producing quality products that are affordable, and it’s not a rare sight to see their products featured in pet stores and specialty shops.
The Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump is no different, available both in-store and online.
To start your search, check out the following online retailers.
- Drs Foster Smith (from $89)
- Chewy (from $89)
- Big Als Pets (from $109)
And of course, this skimmer is also available on Amazon.
So that’s it for our Coralife Super Skimmer review. Tempted to give it a try?
Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump Rated
The Coralife Super Skimmer with Pump is an affordable, versatile product, perfect for a variety of underwater homes.
While there may have been some issues with customer service, Coralife is usually there to help, and with a warranty, you won’t have to worry to take the risk.