NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer Review

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When you own an aquarium, a certain degree of upkeep is just a necessary part of the fun. We’re not simply talking about changing the water or cleaning the decorations – a consistent hand, instead, is required to maintain a healthy tank.

Fish were originally meant to live in the wild, and your aquarium, no matter how large it is, can’t compete with the vastness of an ocean. Waste will always build up between water changes, and it can be bad for anything you keep within.

best protein skimmer

The solution to this is a protein skimmer and if you’re considering the NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer as the answer to your prayers, then look no further.

Because they clean water in between washes, protein skimmers are one of the best pieces of equipment you can buy for the job.

There are a lot of skimmer manufacturers out there marketing their product as the best protein skimmer. However, this can be misleading, as different types are required to suit certain environments, creatures, and of course – your bank account.

In this review, you’re going to learn what the NYOS Quantum 120 does best, and what it lacks, so you can decide if it’s the right choice for your needs.

NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer: The Details


  • Weight: 1 pounds shipped
  • Dimensions: Footprint of 5.9 inches by 8.3 inches; 18.3 inches tall
  • Capacity: 130 gallons
  • Minimum and Maximum Water Level: Minimum 8 inches deep, unknown maximum
  • Type of Skimmer: In-sump needle wheel skimmer with external air pump
  • Warranty: 2 years


Protein Skimmer Overview

Protein skimmers were designed to free up your time while still keeping the tank clean.

Whereas water changes use new water to maintain the aquarium, protein skimmers actively take the waste that builds up and allows it to be thrown out.

These devices are also known as “foam fractioners,” a water pump used to create bubbles that bring the waste to the top of the tank – in what is, then, dirty foam.

Following this, the foam is guided up a long tube, where it overflows into a collection cup that can be cleaned out every few days.

NYOS Quantum 120 Overview

The NYOS Quantum 120 comes as a plug-and-play model, only requiring the installation of the air pump, which the manual talks you through.

Not only is the NYOS Quantum made to be stylishly functional, it also includes an array of features in its build and construct.

Other features of the NYOS Quantum 120 include:

Sinus Design 

The skimmer itself is made leveraging their iconic design, called the Sinus, using mostly see-through materials which will allow the aquarium owner to easily pinpoint problems.

The ‘s-form’ used on the NYOS Quantum encourages water flow and lets air bubbles rise freely without the hinderance of corners.

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The Sinus design works with the NYOS Clear-View Reactor to optimize performance.

This chamber is designed to have a an optimum air-water ratio and the fact that it’s see-through makes it easy to either watch your skimmer in action, or tell if there’s an issue.

Hybrid Wheel

In order to generate an abundance of bubbles, the Quantum includes the NYOS Hybrid Wheel. This combination wheel uses the advantages of both a needle wheel and lattice wheel to get the job done.

The combination of needles that are mounted atop a lattice base is used to reduce weight, and energy consumption while still giving this skimmer a lot of power.

Time to Twist

The NYOS Twister gives the bubbles an extra bit of umph by pushing bubbles into a tornado to achieve optimum skimming.

It’s important to keep your bubbles in contact with the water and this extra addition makes sure they’re connected for a longer time.

Detailed Construction 

The construction of the NYOS Quantum 120 is very sturdy, including nine sea-water proof screws made of pure titanium, and micro-adjustment screws to allow for very delicate changes in the amount of foam produced.

Made for Your Tank

The NYOS Quantum 120 is made to be easily adapted to your aquarium. Water quantity can easily be set separately from air quality for a truly customizable performance.

Additionally, you can fine tune your settings by using the micro-adjustment screw to get specific and accurate control.

NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer Review

The Positives

Beautiful Aesthetic

There’s no two ways about it; the NYOS Quantum 120 is a very pretty protein skimmer.

The clear build of the body and the parts, along with the very smooth edges and turns, makes for a lovely addition to an aquarium, rather than the uncomfortable factory-look of many other protein skimmers.

This is because the NYOS was designed to be a decoration in its own right when placed on your tank, not just a machine you need.

It’s definitely one of the best protein skimmers judging on visuals alone; there was clearly a lot of thought placed on its appearance.

nyos quantum 120 protein skimmer

Energy Efficient                                                                                                  

Protein skimmers need to be on all the time in order to work effectively, similar to the aquarium pump, and if you’re not careful, this could make your electricity bill skyrocket.

NYOS is very aware of that, so they created their product to use 8 watts of electricity. That’s less than a fifth of an average light bulb!

For the job it does, the NYOS Quantum 120 uses a very tiny amount of electricity; just a drop in the bucket compared to the electricity most people use over the course of a day.

The best thing is, it works on a constant cycle with little maintenance necessary.

When you leave home, the protein skinner will be running, and when you come back, it will still be running.

Very Quiet

Some protein skimmers can be obnoxiously loud – again, similar to aquarium pumps.

Because the foam has to travel all the way up the tube to the collection cup, and because an air pump is involved, it’s hard for them to stay quiet.

However, most people report that the NYOS Quantum 120 is a nearly silent machine behind their aquarium.

Several of our testers even confirmed that this skimmer is the quietest one they’ve ever used!

Easy Set-Up

With so many small details included in the Quantum 120, it can be understanding if you are a little wary about attempting to set this up.

Fortunately, the installation of this protein skimmer is pretty straightforward. Once you remove it from it’s packaging, just pop it in the sump, et voila.

No need to hire an expert for this one.


NYOS skips using cheap, flimsy supplies and instead opts for durable materials to help your skimmer last a long time.

Included in this design is zirconia shafts that are super resistant to breakage, sea-water resistant screws, and consistency.

Not only are high quality materials included in the build of the NYOS Quantum, but it is made to performe at a high level – always. This means less maintenance from you, and a longer life from the protein skimmer.

The Negatives

Not Very Powerful

For all of its beauty and silence, the NYOS Quantum 120 unfortunately isn’t as powerful as some other protein skimmers.

This device may be better for those with a smaller tank as people who have bought this device for larger aquariums, have reported that it didn’t perform as expected.

It seems to have a hard time pushing the foam up and over into the collection cup in larger volumes. The motor runs and it creates the foam, it just doesn’t create enough, and the waste stays trapped inside the tube, where it can be tricky to be removed.

Thos who want to host this skimmer in a large tank should take some extra time to consider, however, these testers still recommend it for a smaller tank.

Difficult to Remove and Clean the Collection Cup

As previously mentioned, the NYOS Quantum 120 protein skimmer is made to be aesthetically pleasing, mostly by the use of see-through materials.

However, it seems like that may have been a decision made at the expense of easy handling.

The collection cup requires two hands to remove and twist back on; this can get frustrating for some who find cleaning and maintenance super daunting, but it is far from a deal-breaker.

It’s easy to assemble the skimmer at the beginning, and it’s a quick setup, but cleaning it post-assembly might take a little more effort.

With that said, here’s a video showing a quick maintenance routine.

Requires a Sump Aquarium                                                       

There are three different kinds of protein skimmers: hang-on, in-sump, and external.

Hang-on skimmers tend to be very popular with people who are concerned about their budget, because it’s significantly easier and cheaper to add a hang-on protein skimmer than to buy a larger, more elaborate one.

With an in-sump option, you need to have a whole separate area, called a sump aquarium, to house your skimmer, and you need to make sure it’ll fit before buying anything.

Some people may already have a sump aquarium, as they’re often used sort of like a drawer for your tank, where less than visually pleasing items get tossed in.

If you don’t have one,  you’ll have to buy a whole new one, which means you’ll have to pay more on top of a protein skimmer that’s a little more on the pricier side.

Overall Verdict

The NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer is absolutely beautiful, and it’s very quiet for most people.

It’s lovely enough to share space with colourful fish, but isn’t so eye-catching as to divert attention to the sump aquarium.

Be aware that depending on your requirements, it might not live up to your expectations. That being said, If you have a pretty small aquarium, and you’re very interested in the aesthetics of your aquarium, this is definitely the best protein skimmer for you.

Where to Buy the NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer

The classy and attractive style of the NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer has made it an increasingly popular product on the market.

While this protein skimmer can be found in-store and online, it’s easiest to check local specialty aquatic stores to find it.

To start, check out the following online retailers.

And of course, this skimmer is also available on Amazon.

nyos quantum 120 review

That just about sums up our review on the NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer. Curious to give it a try?

NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer Rated
  • Efficiency
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Noise Levels
  • Value for Money

FCG Verdict

The NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer is beautiful and powerful enough to suit smaller tanks.

While NYOS claims this protein skimmer is suitable for larger tanks, after testing, we would only recommend this device for smaller aquariums.

The NYOS Quantum 120 is built to be durable and long-lasting so you won’t have to worry about hurried replacements.

>>> Check current price on Amazon.

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