Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer Review

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Maintaining a clean aquarium seems like an easy feat – until you begin shopping for a skimmer or filter, and then the range of options have you floored.

Each promises the best, but which is right? To help your decision, today we’re checking out the Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer.

best protein skimmer

We love that it works on tanks up to 66 gallons in capacity, is effortless to set up and install, and is very simple to cleanout.

With that said, not everyone is after the same experience when it comes to aquatic accessories. Vague instructions can be deterring and the easy-to-use compact design may not be enough to win everyone over.

So is this protein skimmer the right fit for you and your aquarium? Let’s take a closer look at the Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer and find out.

Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer: The Details


  • Weight: 4.41 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 3.9 x 17.7 inches.
  • Capacity: Up to 66 gallons.
  • Minimum and Maximum Water Level: 5-10 inches.
  • Type of Skimmer: Internal needle wheel protein skimmer.
  • Warranty: One-year warranty.



The Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer can work on a rather expansive range of tanks. Aquariums anywhere from 15 to 66 gallons (or 56 to 250 liters) will suit it perfectly.

From a small, tabletop aquarium to a tank the size of a mid-size flat screen television, this protein skimmer works on both or anywhere in between.

Acrylic Casing

This aquarium skimmer is constructed using high-quality acrylic.

This means that it won’t be easy to break, and the durability of this material will elongate the lifespan of your protein skimmer overall.


The Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer comes equipped with a Red Devil SP1 pump, which runs on a 7.8 W motor with a maximum intake of 180 liters (47 gallons) per hour.

This pump ensures the water from the tank flows into the protein skimmer, so it can remove waste efficiently.

At 47 gallons per hour, if you have a 66-gallon tank, the skimmer will work through its entire capacity in a little over an hour.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s limited to larger quantities. Should you pair it with a smaller tank, it can clean the water even faster, ensuring your fish have the cleanest environment possible.


This Marine Color protein skimmer is only compatible with saltwater. It’s designed to resist the corrosive properties that are natural in saltwater, without losing strength or longevity.

With that said, it cannot handle freshwater. While your aquarium may handle both, this skimmer cannot and will provide sub-par results if forced to accommodate freshwater.


Filters and skimmers alike have a reputation for being noisy devices. The motors and pumps typically trade quietness for efficiency.

However, since the RDC 250 comes with a dual-hole muffler, it’s far quieter than other models on the market. If not for the bubbles it produces and the waste it collects, you’d barely know it was operating at all.

marine color rdc 250 review

Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer Review

The Positives

Set-Up is Extremely Easy

Whether you’re a seasoned aquarium veteran or entirely new to the process, this protein skimmer is easy to set-up. With a few quick steps, you’ll have it up and running.

To begin, be sure to snap the collection cup into place on top of the skimmer and secure the cap. Then, slide the motor into its designated area below the skimmer.

Connect one side of the tubing to the motor and the other to the valve. After this, attach the valve to the red tubing on the side of the skimmer.

Now, it’s time to install it inside the tank. Carefully slide it into the tank wherever you want it positioned. Then, plug it in.

Bubbles will begin to form inside the body of the skimmer, which are responsible for collecting the waste from your tank. After that, you’re finished! It’s that easy.

Conveniently Compact

With a footprint of only 6.3 x 3.9 inches, this Marine Color protein skimmer is rather compact. While it may be tall at 17.7 inches, the space it takes up on the floor of your aquarium is relatively small.

Your fish will have plenty of room to move around and you’ll still have space for any other equipment you need in the tank.

Its cone-like design minimizes the room it needs to take up in your tank, so much so that it will be hardly noticeable as it works away.

Super Easy to Maintain

While some protein skimmers must be entirely dismantled to properly clean and maintain, that is not the case here.

For regular maintenance, you need only remove the collection cup from the top of the skimmer, take off the cap, rinse it out, wipe it down thoroughly, and then reinstall it.

As a plus, this skimmer has a large capacity, so you can clean it infrequently without sacrificing the hygiene of your tank. It only needs maintenance once every couple of days or even once a week.

This is great for busy hobbyists or those just getting used to a cleaning schedule for their aquarium. You won’t be forced to constantly keep on eye on it – once you clean it, it will be a bit before you need to clean it again.

 Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer review

Very Quiet

According to nearly every tester, the Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer is as quiet as a mouse. If it wasn’t for the bubbles forming and the waste ending up in the collection cup, you’d barely know it was on.

The added muffler is responsible for this feature, ensuring it’s whisper-quiet. This opens up a variety of places you can keep your aquarium since it won’t be a distracting feature. No one wants to be kept awake to the sound of their tank’s gurgles.

If your aquarium is in your bedroom or perhaps in a child’s room, this is the perfect protein skimmer to get the job done without commotion.

Really Inexpensive

Depending on the size of your aquarium, protein skimmers can cost anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars. Luckily, the Marine Color RDC 250 is much closer to the low end of the spectrum.

At under the $100 mark on Amazon, you can enjoy a clean tank without emptying your bank account. Based on our observations, for this price, you’re definitely not skimping on the quality of the skimmer.

As such, you’re getting a superior product for a great deal. Doesn’t get much better than that! This is perfect for new hobbyists just starting out, or those on a budget. A quality skimmer doesn’t mean a sky-high bill.

Each protein skimmer also comes with a 1-year limited warranty. This takes your dollars even further since you won’t have to worry about any issues caused in the manufacturing process.

Should you notice something to be an issue, Marine Color promises to replace or repair your skimmer.

Extremely Efficient

The main duty of this protein skimmer is to keep your tank clean. You’ll be happy to know the Marine Color RDC does just that, and it does it efficiently too!

We loved how quickly this protein skimmer performed once set-up and installed. You won’t have to worry about waiting a few days to get this device going, it’ll start doing its job straight away.

You’ll notice that it starts taking gunk out of your aquarium sooner than later, this way, you’ll have a clean tank in no time!

marine color rdc 250 protein skimmer review

The Negatives

Vague Instructions

The biggest complaint we had with this Marine Color protein skimmer was the instructions.

For those who are new to this hobby, vague instructions might make the process of installing your new skimmer all the more difficult.

If you have a problem setting up this skimmer, make sure to check YouTube for instructional videos. There are many people who have already gone through the process of assembling the product and filmed it for others who need help.

The internet is your friend in these circumstances since the manual is of little help. While this can be annoying for some, it’s far from a deal-breaker.

Not for Freshwater Aquariums

While this protein skimmer works superbly for saltwater aquariums, those looking to switch from saltwater to freshwater will have to buy a new skimmer altogether.

Whether you’re new or an experienced aquarist, this can be daunting if you haven’t decided on which tank you prefer to keep.

Some protein skimmers have the ability to accommodate both; that said, it can often pay off by choosing a product that has a specialty.

In-Sump Only

Speaking of doing double-duty, this protein skimmer also only operates as an in-sump skimmer. While some brands make their skimmers interchangeable, you won’t be able to easily hang this off your aquarium.

Fortunately, that doesn’t take away from the RDC 250’s design. It’s compact enough that it will still sit seamlessly and easily inside your tank.

HOB products do save space, but you likely won’t have to worry about that with this protein skimmer.

Here’s a video showing what the Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer looks like out of the box.

Overall Verdict

After going through all the positives and negatives, we do recommend the Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer.

With the easy set-up and installation, the quiet operation, the quick maintenance, and the compact footprint, this is almost the perfect protein skimmer.

The vague instructions are definitely unfortunate, but with a little help from the internet, you should have it up and running in no time.

If you’re in the market for a protein skimmer, this Marine Color model is not one to pass by. At this price, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Where to Buy the Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer

Marine Color may not be a brand you’re accustomed to seeing on the shelves of pet stores, but they have a large line of fishkeeping equipment from aquarium pumps to lighting.

Their products remain affordable all across the board but items like the Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer might prove hard to find both in-store and online.

While it’s usually best to check pet and fish stores, Marine Color seems to only sell their items through third-party retailers at this time.

As such, you can kick-start your search by checking out this protein skimmer on Amazon.

marine color rdc 250 review

That’s the end of our Marine Color RDC 250 review. Ready to give this protein skimmer a go?

Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer Rated
  • Efficiency
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Noise Levels
  • Value for Money

FCG Verdict

The Marine Color RDC 250 Protein Skimmer is super convenient to maintain thanks to its compact size. Even better, it’s light on the wallet!

While the instructions may be vague, this protein skimmer is super easy to use leaving you with little to worry about.

>>> Check current price on Amazon.

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