Macro Aqua M-50 Mini Protein Skimmer Review

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Fish-keeping is a delightful hobby, but as you’ve likely discovered, there’s more involved than simply feeding your tank inhabitants. Cleaning and maintaining their aquarium is a full-time job, unless you have the right equipment.

How can you determine the right product to buy? Rather than testing each yourself, we’ve saved you the hassle. Today, we’re evaluating the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer.

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Is it exactly what your tank needs? According to our observations, it operates superbly on 40 to 60 gallons, has an easy-to-remove and effortless-to-clean collection cup, and is very compact.

Unfortunately, not everyone is after the same thing when it comes to aquarium accessories. Some users might find the skimmer to be loud, while others may have an issue with the breaking in progress.

Is this the right protein skimmer for your aquarium? Let’s take a closer look at the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer and find out. It could still be your perfect fit!

Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer: The Details


  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 13.5 inches.
  • Capacity: 60 gallons.
  • Minimum and Maximum Water Level: 40 – 60 gallons.
  • Type of Skimmer: Needle impeller protein skimmer.



The Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer works on aquariums from 40 to 60 gallons in capacity. However, this range only applies if the skimmer can be submerged into the water.

If your tank’s shape allows for this, it can thoroughly clean your aquarium within (or below) this capacity.

However, if you can only hang it on the side, this protein skimmer won’t function properly. You will need either a different tank or a larger skimmer.


This protein skimmer includes a needle-to-wheel impeller. In practice, this increases the amount of air in the water, so a greater number of micro-bubbles are created.

These then move the waste and proteins within your tank to the skimmer. After this, they’re delivered to the collection cup, where they’re separated from your fish and can be easily disposed of by you.

Without this feature, some of the water would fail to be cleaned, as it couldn’t reach the skimmer.

Collector Cup

The collection cup on the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer does exactly what the name suggests: it collects. Once the water moves through the skimmer, the waste is filtered out and left in the collection cup.

From there, you can easily remove the cup, rinse out the waste and proteins, and then reinstall it on the skimmer. This ensures maintenance is very easy.

Water Flow

The water flow on the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer is 238 gallons per hour. As such, if you own a 60-gallon tank, the skimmer will filter through all that water four times every hour.

Your fish’s waste production will have a difficult time keeping up, leaving them with a clean, toxin-free environment.

Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer Review

The Positives

Super Easy to Install

The Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer could not be easier to install. First, connect to the tubing to the proper connectors on the skimmer. Then, attach the collection cup to the top and place the skimmer onto the side of your tank, where it can be submerged.

Adjust the water level dial to the capacity of your tank. Next, fill the tank with water, plug the skimmer into the nearest outlet, and turn it on. It should begin forming bubbles, transporting protein and waste into the collection cup.

The best part of all? No priming is required. This skimmer will use its impeller to move the water through its filters automatically, so there’s no need to prime the tubing. It’s all but entirely ready, right out of the box.

You won’t be left fumbling and fussing with a complicated protein skimmer thanks to how easy Macro Aqua has made this to install. Whether you’re new to aquarium keeping or switching your accessories, you’ll have an easy time with the M-50.

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Very Easy Maintenance

We were pleased with the easy maintenance of this Macro Aqua protein skimmer. When it comes time to clean the device, you need only address the collection cup.

Simply detach the cup, rinse it out, dry it, and place it back on the skimmer. The filter sponge can be rinsed out as well, but should be replaced every couple of months to ensure the skimmer works as efficiently as possible.

No scrubbing, no scraping, and no long soaks; upkeep requires only minutes. This is great news for new or busy aquarists. While cleaning and maintenance can be a daunting task, Macro Aqua makes it all the easier to keep your tank crystal clear.

Since this protein skimmer is easy to maintain, your pets will be happier for longer without any interference from you!

Extremely Effective

According to our observations, this protein skimmer works quickly and efficiently to remove all organic waste and protein from a tank.

At this size and price point, it’s easy to be skeptical about its quality. However, we’re happy to report that it exceeds expectations.

If you have discoloration, odors, or a build-up of waste, this Macro Aqua skimmer will have your tank looking crystal clear in just a few days. This means you won’t have to second guess if your new accessory is getting the job done, it’ll definitely show you that it is.

You won’t have to wait forever for this protein skimmer to give great results, resulting in happier pets and an overall happier owner.

Incredibly Compact

While this skimmer mainly handles large aquariums, it is very compact. It won’t take up a great deal of room or be an eyesore to your setup.

At 5.5 x 5.5 x 13.5 inches, you can eliminate the protein and organic waste from your water, all without having a massive unit hanging off your aquarium. This is especially great if you lack space or prefer a minimalist aesthetic.

Its sleek design also makes it easy to blend in seamlessly with a variety of aquarium setups and decor. It has a modern aesthetic so you won’t have to worry about it taking away from your carefully designed set-up. Its design is also credited for it being so easy to use and install!

Considering that the majority of protein skimmers (and other accessories) on the market can be bulky and clunky, this gives the M-50 greater value over others in its category.

Highly Affordable

Speaking of value, protein skimmers are often costly – especially those with larger capacities. They can be hundreds of dollars, if not thousands. For those on a budget, that can be very deterring.

Luckily, the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer is currently priced at under $100 on Amazon. That’s rather exceptional, and allows you to own a quality skimmer at an affordable price.

For those just entering the world of fishkeeping, this allows them to get quality equipment without the high cost. You won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a clean tank and happy fish!

This way, you can spend your hard-earned cash on other things your pets or aquarium may need.

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The Negatives

Quite Loud

Testers did mention this skimmer producing a great deal of noise when operating. The impeller pump may handle large amounts of water in a short time, but the trade-off is a powerful motor that generates a loud whirring sound.

If you place the aquarium in your bedroom or somewhere that needs to remain quiet, this may disrupt your plans and comfort. A tank with this protein skimmer might be better left for high-traffic areas or spaces that don’t require much quiet.

If you’re sensitive to noise, the operational sound of this protein skimmer might become annoying. While this is to be expected from a number of fishkeeping accessories, it’s better to know beforehand.

Takes Time to Break In

All protein skimmers require an adjustment period, where they’re ‘broken in’ and allowed to balance out the water flow.

With this skimmer, testers complained that this period was rather lengthy. Instead of demanding hours, it took a few days before the collection cup stopped filling with water.

While that was perfectly acceptable to some users, others felt annoyed by this waiting time. They wanted it to be ready immediately after installation.

With a little patience, this skimmer can find its stride and begin working effectively – but prepare your expectations in advance.

Economically Made

The M-50 protein skimmer is constructed almost entirely of plastic. Some testers were expecting a more durable material which caused some concern. Unfortunately, at this price tag, that would be difficult to accomplish.

Even still, the vast majority of users didn’t have any issues with the skimmer breaking down or falling apart which shows that the materials used don’t affect its performance.

If specific materials are important to you, this could be an issue, however, if you’re after an affordable, durable protein skimmer, you’ll find that in the Macro Aqua M-50.

Here’s a video showing what the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer looks like out of the box.

Overall Verdict

After looking through all the positives and negatives, we do recommend the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer.

With its easy set-up, simple maintenance and cleaning routine, and its compact design, you really can’t do better at this price point. As a plus, you don’t have to prime it!

With that said, if noise is an issue for you, then you should place your tank in a room that can accommodate the sound, or perhaps seek out quieter options.

Altogether, most testers had little negative feedback to report. If you’re in the market for a solution to your aquarium-cleaning needs, this Macro Aqua model is definitely worth checking out.

Where to Buy the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer

Macro Aqua has a number of fishkeeping accessories under their belt, all with rave reviews from customers and enthusiasts. Thanks to its solid feedback, this company has begun to rise in popularity.

Even with their growing success, finding the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer may prove hard to find both in-store and online. While it’s best to check pet and specialty stores, Macro Aqua seems to only sell their accessories through third-party retailers like Amazon.

So, for now, Amazon is the best place to kick-start your search!

Macro Aqua M-50 Mini Hang-On External Protein Skimmer

That’s the end of our Macro Aqua M-50 review. Are you willing to give this protein skimmer a try?

Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer Rated
  • Efficiency
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Noise Levels
  • Value for Money

FCG Verdict

If you’re looking for a minimalistic, affordable, and efficient protein skimmer, you’ll want to give the Macro Aqua M-50 Protein Skimmer some attention.

With so much power packed into one convenient accessory, this protein skimmer is hard to ignore.

>>> Check current price on Amazon.

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