Macro Aqua M-60 Hang-On External Protein Skimmer Review

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Are you in the market for something to keep the water of your aquarium clean beyond what a normal filter accomplishes?

Then a protein skimmer may be your perfect fit – and the Macro Aqua M-60 Hang-On External Protein Skimmer is a worthy contender.

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With its large capacity, simplistic maintenance, and ease of use, many users have nothing but good things to say about this device.

Unfortunately, however, not everyone has such a good experience. Some users found the skimmer broke on them, thought the instructions lacked clarity, and noted that its design was overly complicated, making it unsuited for beginners.

Are these downsides enough to turn us away, or are they exceptions in an otherwise great skimmer?

Before you make your final decision, let’s take a closer at the Macro Aqua M-60 Hang-On External Protein Skimmer.

Macro Aqua M-60 Hang-On External Protein Skimmer: The Details


  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.5 x 13.5 inches.
  • Capacity: 120 gallons.
  • Minimum and Maximum Water Level: 50 to 120 gallons.
  • Type of Skimmer: Protein skimmer with needle-wheel impeller, which mixes air and water to create bubbles that remove waste.


Needle-to-Wheel Impeller

The Macro Aqua M-60 Hang-On External Protein Skimmer operates using a needle-to-wheel impeller.

How does this work exactly? The impeller mixes air and water from the tank to create a large supply of bubbles, which then gathers waste from your tank and deposits it in the collection cup.

Besides getting rid of waste, the impeller also improves the quality of your water and its oxygen levels, especially in saltwater aquariums, by keeping your tank well circulated.

Air/Water Flow Rate

The air and water flow rate on the Macro Aqua is quite impressive, especially for one of the least expensive skimmers on the market.

The air flow rate is 80 gallons per hour and the water flow rate is 320 gallons per hour. So, if you have a 120-gallon tank, that means it will cycle the water almost three times in an hour, incorporating air into almost half of that.


Speaking of volume, for tanks larger than 120 gallons, the skimmer’s capacity will fulfill the job at a slower rate, but still provide high-quality results.

While it’s ideally suited for 120 gallons, you can, of course, install it on smaller aquariums at a minimum size of 50 gallons to boost your cleaning routine.

Collection Cup

Whether it’s a filter, an aquarium, or a skimmer, nobody likes cleaning up after their fish. However, with this Macro Aqua Protein Skimmer, cleaning is straightforward.

There is a collection cup inside the skimmer that you simply remove to clear out the tank waste. You can dump what’s inside and/or wipe it out before reinstalling it. After that, you’re ready to go!

external protein skimmer

Macro Aqua M-60 Hang-On External Protein Skimmer Review

The Positive

Easy to Use

Many users liked how easy this protein skimmer is to use. Once you have it set up, there’s little to no input required.

The impeller spins the water and air together to generate the bubbles, which then collect the waste and bring it to the collection cup where you will eventually dispose of it once it’s full.

All that’s needed is to keep an eye on when the cup is full, so as to avoid overflows. The rest is up to the skimmer!

Users with more experience were able to set this up with little issues, but those who needed an extra hand found examples and videos online to help.

Since this protein skimmer is basically ready to go out of the box, you’ll have little to worry about.


Easy to Clean

Speaking of the collection cup, this accessory is what makes this skimmer incredibly easy to maintain and clean.

Rather than having to dismantle your skimmer and contend with complex parts, you can simply remove the cup and wash it out in your sink. Once it’s been cleaned, you can place it back into the skimmer effortlessly.

This will take minutes, if not seconds, while other filters are often more complicated to handle.

Also, since it’s a hang-on external filter, there’s no need to rummage around within your aquarium during cleaning times; the skimmer is placed on the side of your tank for easy reach.

Large Capacity

This skimmer can operate on a wide variety of tank sizes, which our testers enjoyed.

Since you can install it on anything from a 50- to a 120-gallon tank, there’s no intricate configuration process and no need to worry should you upgrade or downgrade your aquarium’s size.

It’s “one-size-fits-all” in the majority of cases, allowing you to invest in one device that can last across multiple tanks.

Despite it being able to handle larger capacities, users found that this protein skimmer didn’t take up much space in their aquarium at all, thanks to its design.

It will stay in place, and sit firmly in your tank, leaving you with less to worry and fuss about. This way, your fish and beautiful accessories can be on display instead of your equipment.


This protein skimmer is also quite inexpensive. At under $100 on Amazon, it’s far less expensive than most of its competitors, as well as other aquarium equipment on the market.

You can maintain your tank’s crystal clear water without breaking the bank!

This is great for hobbyists on a budget. You won’t be required to shell out a ton of cash to get this aquarium up and running.

For the price, you’ll be getting a filter that does its job, is easy to install, and less of a pain to operate than others on the market.

hang-on protein skimmer


If you intend on placing your tank in a bedroom, where silence is golden in the dead of night, there’s no worry of the skimmer keeping you up. Users loved the extremely quiet motor on this Macro Aqua skimmer.

Unlike some filters that require a notable amount of horsepower to do the job, a skimmer’s reliance on bubbles cuts the noise levels in half.

Furthermore, the Macro Aqua is designed to be quieter than others of its kind, so you can have the clean tank you want, without the disturbance.


While this protein skimmer is designed to be easily hidden and kept out of the line of sight, it’s actually not that bad to look at.

This boxy filter is encased in darker materials and in black, giving it a more streamlined, classic look. If for any reason you’ll need to show off your skimmer, you won’t have to worry about it being an eyesore.

Gets the Job Done

The most important thing to note in a protein skimmer (filter, or other cleaning devices) is if it actually is able to clean your aquarium effectively.

Even with a price-tag that’s easy to digest, you can bet that this protein skimmer will help in keeping your fish tank clean, clear, and under control.

What’s most important is that your pets are happy in their environment, and this protein skimmer will make sure of that.

best protein skimmer

The Negative

Difficult to Prime

Sadly, this skimmer is difficult to prime. Users mentioned that it’s very temperamental and requires time to get exactly right.

While some testers were fine with this and tolerated the additional effort needed, others did not like that at all.

Priming an aquarium filter can be frustrating at the best of times, but this skimmer may turn that annoying process into a several-hour-long venture.

Not for the Novice

Speaking of complicated, multiple users noted that this skimmer is poorly suited for those who are brand new to aquariums.

It takes existing knowledge and skill to get it up and running properly, as well as to fix anything that goes wrong.

A beginner may become too frustrated with the set-up. While it’s easy to use once installed, only a more experienced aquarium hobbyist should attempt set-up.


Some users found the Macro Aqua broke after only a few months.

This wasn’t an experience the majority of users encountered, but should you buy this skimmer, be sure to keep an eye out for any defects during the installation.

While this is a relatively inexpensive skimmer, you shouldn’t have to replace it so soon.

Iffy Instructions

The installation process may be difficult already, but the instructions offer little to no help.

A manual that is more detailed and well-written could resolve the issues new users have with the set-up process, but sadly, as it exists now, the instructions are of little help to you.

Customer Service

Macro Aqua doesn’t seem to have much information about their customer service or how to contact them should something be not as described, or if you need a hand in setting up your skimmer.

While there are helpful videos and information online to assist, it’s always great to know a company is there to support their product should you have any concerns.

Macro Aqua is still a growing brand, and we hope to see more customer attention from them in the future.

Here’s a video showing what the Macro Aqua M-60 Protein Skimmer looks like out of the box.

Overall Verdict

After combing through all the positives and negatives, we are cautiously recommending the Macro Aqua M-60 Hang-On External Protein Skimmer.

While it’s easy to use (once it’s set up) and effortless to clean, the installation seems almost impossible unless you know what you’re doing. If you are a novice, it’s wise to keep shopping.

However, if you have been dealing with aquariums and their associated products for a while, this device may suit your needs brilliantly. It’s powerful, quiet, and maintains your aquarium with very little effort needed from you.

Where to Buy the Macro Aqua M-60 Hang On External Protein Skimmer

While Macro Aqua may still be an up and coming company, they certainly have a way with aquarium products and accessories.

The M-60 External Protein Skimmer isn’t the first of its kind in its lineup. With their mini protein skimmer being another popular choice, it’s clear this brand is growing.

Since this is a lesser known brand, finding the Macro Aqua M-60 Hang On External Protein Skimmer may be harder to find both in-store and online.

Thankfully, you’ll be able to find this protein skimmer on Amazon.

external protein skimmer

That’s all for our review our Macro Aqua M-60 review. Curious to give it a try?

Macro Aqua M-60 Hang On External Protein Skimmer Rated
  • Efficiency
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Noise Levels
  • Value for Money

FCG Verdict

The Macro Aqua M-60 Hang On External Protein Skimmer is an excellent value. You’ll have a powerful, easy-to-use skimmer at a fraction of the cost.

With some cons to keep in mind, more advanced users will get the most out of this powerful, quiet skimmer, all while stretching their dollar.

>>> Check current price on Amazon.

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