The best nano skimmer for aquariumHaving the best nano skimmer in your tank can make a massive difference in the overall ecosystem and cleanliness. That is because skimmers are very useful at removing dissolved bio-waste, which is often hard to clean. That being said, finding the right one for your tank between the many options on the market can be quite a hassle.

Well, not anymore! We have curated a detailed list after thorough testing of some of the best nano protein skimmers on the market. So, let’s get straight into it!

Comparison Chart

Name Recommended Aquarium Capacity (in gallons) Weight (in pounds) Dimensions (in inches)
ESHOPPS Nano Skimmer

35 1 5 x 2 x 4
AZOO Nano Surface Aquarium Skimmer

66 0.5 5 x 1.7 x 2.2
AquaMaxx NF-1 Nano Protein Skimmer

30 2.8 13.6 x 2.4 x 4
Bubble Magus QQ1 Hang-On Nano Protein Skimmer

25 3.7 6 x 13 x 10
Tunze DOC Nano Skimmer 66 2.4 4.3 x 3.5 x 12
AQUATICLIFE 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer

30 1.5 3.2 x 3.5 x 10.6

Handpicked Reviews of the Best Nano Skimmers

Let’s look at our list of the best nano skimmer for your aquarium:

1. ESHOPPS Nano Skimmer


  • Quiet performance
  • Removable bubble trap
  • Silent functioning
  • Magnetic mount system


  • Slightly expensive

If your tank setup is cramped and full of decor and you struggle to make space for a nano skimmer, the ESHOPPS Nano Skimmer is godsent for you. With dimensions of  5 x 2 x 4 inches, this device can easily fit in between decor and plants without disturbing your aquarium’s decor. To make this even easier, this device comes with a magnetic mount that makes fitting it onto any tank very simple.

Also, the magnetic mounting system is height adjustable, and all you have to do is shift both magnets up or down according to your preference. While some magnetic systems sometimes feel a bit unsafe and loose, this one has a powerful hold and will not cause any accidents.

A common problem when using protein skimmers is that the bubbles produced can often be sucked in by the surrounding devices in your tank. You won’t have to worry about this with the  ESHOPPS Nano Skimmer. All thanks to its removable bubble trap that allows you to reduce the air output and subsequently the number of bubbles produced.

Moreover, as it is removable, you can always take the bubble trap off and have this skimmer running at full capacity. This device comes with an added benefit as it is designed for quiet functioning, so even if you have it set to its full potential, it won’t be too loud.

If any one of these features stops working for any reason, the device also has a three-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. That being said, this skimmer is slightly expensive and might not be suitable for buyers on a budget.

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The ESHOPPS Nano Skimmer is a compact protein skimmer that can keep your tank clean without taking up too much space. Along with its tiny footprint, this device also comes with a magnetic mount making it easy to fit on all types of tanks. This skimmer also comes with a removable bubble trap that helps you efficiently control the amount of bubbles produced by placing or removing this bubble trap.

2. AZOO Nano Surface Aquarium Skimmer


  • Clear body
  • Automatically adapts to water level
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Security inlet flap to keep fish safe


  • Decent build quality

The Azoo AZ13123 Nano Surface Aquarium Skimmer is an excellent option for people on a budget. It is very reasonably priced and offers a range of features while being affordable for even the most minimalist tank setup. Along with this, it offers an impressive flow rate which is more than enough to keep most tanks up to 66 gallons in capacity clean with a steady flow of bubbles.

This device comes with a built-in inlet float with an enclosed design, which is an impressive feature to have at such a price point. This unique addition allows this skimmer to adapt to the water level in your tank automatically. So, the volume of the outlet will adjust itself according to your tank size and water volume, making it a straightforward device to set up.

Moreover, Azoo has added an extra safety inlet flap, making this device perfect for use in tanks with smaller fish. The flap physically prevents any smaller pets such as fish or shrimp from getting caught in the flow and being sucked in. However, if anything unwanted does get sucked in, you can easily spot it through the device’s transparent body.

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If you are looking for an efficient filter on a tight budget, The Azoo AZ13123 Nano Surface Aquarium Skimmer is a great option to consider. It offers a robust flow rate that can keep tanks up to 66 gallons clean while also being one of the least expensive options on this list. Moreover, this device also has an inlet float that can automatically adjust to tank volume, making it easy to set up.

3. AquaMaxx NF-1 Nano Protein Skimmer


  • Sturdy build quality
  • Advanced AquaMaxx needle wheel impeller
  • Quiet functioning
  • Magnetic mounting system


  • Occasional cleaning may be required.

The AquaMaxx NF-1 Nano Protein Skimmer is a well-built device that is perfect for all types of tanks. It is built with premium cell-cast acrylic throughout the whole body, making it very durable and water-resistant. Also, the parts are well molded, and you won’t have to worry about any leaks or cracks while using this device.

Apart from its strong build, this device is also powerful enough for most small tanks. According to AquaMaxx, this device works best in 30-gallon tanks with a light bioload and 20-gallon tanks with a high bioload.

Unlike most other devices that use standard Sicce needle wheel pumps, this pump uses a modified and proprietary AquaMaxx needle wheel impeller. Our tests found that this pump was much more efficient at drawing in the air, significantly improving overall functioning. Also, this pump was able to produce optimum-sized bubbles for protein extraction at a consistent pace making it perfect for even highly populated tanks.

One surprising thing we really liked about this skimmer is that even with this modified pump, it still manages to function silently. With the help of silicon noise-dampeners that reduce vibration and a built-in air silencer, this device is quiet enough to be left running even while you are asleep.

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The AquaMaxx NF-1 Nano Protein Skimmer is a great all-rounder device, with a well-built and sturdy design suitable for most tanks. Along with the exemplary build quality, this nano tank protein skimmer is also quite powerful and can easily keep tanks up to 30 gallons in capacity clean. Moreover, this power won’t bother you as it uses an efficient and quiet pump that silently gets the job done.

4. Bubble Magus QQ1 Hang-On Nano Protein Skimmer


  • Easy to use
  • Clear design
  • Clip-on mount
  • Pump included


  • Slightly noisy

If you are a beginner aquarist looking for your first protein skimmer, The Bubble Magus QQ1 Hang-On Nano Protein Skimmer is an easy-to-use device that you can consider. It has various convenient features, such as a hang-on design and an adjustable body, making it very easy to set up.

This device’s hang-on design is similar to that of most HOB filters and easily clips onto the edges of most tanks. It makes installation super simple as all you have to do is clip it on, plug it in, and it will start producing bubbles shortly. This nano skimmer’s body is also easily adjustable, so you can set the output to match your tank’s environment better.

Once this skimmer is set up and running, you can easily adjust its output with the built-in foam bubble reducer. This bubble reducer is fitted into the outlet and is highly effective at reducing bubble output from this device. It is especially useful if you have pumps near the skimmer’s output, as too many bubbles can clog up pump tubes and lead to mechanical problems.

This internal protein skimmer also comes with an efficient Rock SP600 pump right out of the box. The pump is powerful enough to be used in tanks up to 25 gallons in capacity and perfectly with this protein skimmer. However, it does occasionally get noisy and might not be the best for bedside tank setups.

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The Bubble Magus QQ1 Hang-On Nano Protein Skimmer is a convenient device that is great for beginners. It has a simple hang-on back design, so you can easily clip it onto the edge of your tank and get it started. Another great feature of this device is that it comes with a built-in bubble reducer so you can control the bubble output according to your tank’s environment.

5. Tunze DOC Nano Skimmer


  • A surface water cleaning system
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Compact
  • Silent functioning


  • Will not attach to thick tanks easily.

The Tunze DOC Nano Skimmer is an eye-catching protein skimmer that will add to the aesthetics of any tank setup. Its sleek design can easily fit into cramped spaces and works just as fine in larger tanks up to 65 gallons in capacity. All thanks to its impressive four watts power output. Additionally, the skimmer is covered with an all-black finish, making it a great addition to your tank decor.

One of our favorite things about this device is that it uses a unique system that draws in water from your tank’s surface. Because of this, it can bring in the water while also keeping the surface clean of any slick or residue buildup. It makes it great if your tank has a higher bioload as surface residue can be quite a big problem.

Additionally, Tunze has also built a silencer into this skimmer that works wonderfully at reducing pump noise. Even at full power, you can leave this device on throughout the night, and it won’t bother you during your sleep.

That being said, you don’t have to run it at full capacity as this device comes packaged with an airflow valve that allows you to control the output according to your requirements.

Installation of this skimmer is also quite simple, thanks to its magnetic holder mounting system. This holder uses two magnets to fix the skimmer in place and can attach to any part of your tank under 12mm in thickness. Once this is done, you can plug it in, and this device will begin clearing out waste from your tank instantly!

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If you are looking for a stylish device to add to your aesthetic tank setup, the Tunze DOC Nano Skimmer is a great option. It has a compact design with an all-black finish that helps it stand out in most aquariums. Along with its good looks, this device is also great at cleaning waste from your tank and uses a unique system that draws in water from your tank’s surface to clean any surface build-up.

6. AQUATICLIFE 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer


  • Compact design
  • Powerful pump
  • Suction cups
  • Adjustable mounting brackets


  • Requires 3 to 4 inches water clearance

The  AQUATICLIFE 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer is a heavy-duty,  feature-packed device that works well in even the dirtiest tanks. It is designed for saltwater tanks up to 30 gallons in capacity and has various features such as a powerful impeller pump, suction cups, adjustable mounting brackets, and much more than separate it from other options on the market.

In terms of cleaning efficiency, this device uses an 8-watt needle-wheel impeller pump that highly improves air-to-water contact. It helps in overall cleaning power as it allows the device to maximize protein collection as well as organic waste removal. So, if you have a crowded tank with many fish, this skimmer will have no trouble keeping it clean.

Moreover, you won’t have any trouble fitting this skimmer into crowded tanks as it is very compact. With measurements of only 3.25 x 3.5 x 10.63 inches, it can easily be placed in between your tank decor without taking up too much space. Along with this, this skimmer also comes with adjustable mounting brackets so you can easily set it up to any part of your tank setup.

Once it is set up, maintenance is also effortless with this device. Thanks to its quick-lock design, which allows full access to the internal components for cleaning and maintenance. However, keep in mind that it needs a minimum water clearance of three to four inches for proper functioning.

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If you are looking for a powerful and feature-filled device, The  AQUATICLIFE 115 Mini Internal Protein Skimmer is an option you should consider. It uses an impressive  8-watt needle-wheel impeller pump that improves cleaning power making this skimmer perfect for tanks up to 30 gallons in capacity. Also, it has many useful features like adjustable mounting brackets, suction cups, and more.

Things to Consider While Choosing a Nano Skimmer

Let’s go over some factors you should consider when buying a nano skimmer:

Build Quality

When buying a nano skimmer, the overall build quality is an essential factor you should consider. Buying a flimsy or weak skimmer can lead to cracks or leaks during regular usage, which can harm your pets and plants.

To avoid this, try looking for skimmers built out of sturdy and corrosion-resistant minerals and well-sealed together. For example, a high-quality ABS plastic with solid joints will work fine for many years without any issues.


Many people forget to check the compatibility of your tank with the skimmer you have decided to purchase. Protein skimmers are available in hundreds of different shapes and come with varying mounting methods. For example, some skimmers have magnetic mounts that use small magnets to attach to your tank, while others have clamps that directly clip onto your tank’s edges.

When buying a new skimmer for your tank, consider the size and mounting method and make sure it will work in your tank setup. So, if you have a cramped setup, a magnetic mount will take up less space and would be better. Or, in case you have lots of plants that take up space underwater, a clip-on design would suit your tank as it primarily covers space above your tank.

Functioning Sound

One of the most disturbing things that can happen when buying a new protein skimmer is that it turns out to be very loud. It can ruin the appeal of your tank set up and, for bedroom aquariums, also hinder your sleep.

To ensure you aren’t faced with such problems, try to look for skimmers with noise-reducing features. For example, some skimmers come with air silencers that reduce pump sounds, while some come with anti-vibration pads that reduce sound produced by vibration. So, when buying a new skimmer, be sure to look for these things, especially in case you have a bedroom tank.


Let’s discuss a few frequently asked questions related to protein nano skimmers:

1. Should I run a skimmer on a nano tank?

Yes, as nano tanks tend to have a much smaller volume of water, along with more sensitive plants and animals, a protein skimmer can significantly benefit the overall ecosystem. In particular, having a powerful protein skimmer will help keep the water clean from biological waste and visibly clearer.

2. How does a nano protein skimmer work?

A nano protein skimmer works by creating tiny waves that mix air and water in your tank. This process ends up mixing in with the dissolved organic waste in your tank water and producing foam, which then floats up to the top of your tank. Following this, you can easily remove this foam and keep your tank clean.

3. Do reef tanks need protein skimmers?

Yes, reef tanks do need protein skimmers. Skimmers remove dissolved organic waste before it begins breaking down and producing nitrogen compounds. It is important because excessive nitrate levels can cause harm to your aquatic ecosystem. Also, low nitrate levels are crucial for coral growth making skimmers a must-have for reef tanks.

4. Should I run my skimmer 24/7?

Yes, in most cases, you should keep your simmer running 24/7 to keep your tank clean. That being said, some foods and additives may hinder the functioning of your skimmer. And during this time, it is okay to turn it off for 15 to 30 minutes until the added substance settles down or is eaten by your fish.

5. Will a protein skimmer remove phosphates?

Yes, a protein skimmer will remove dissolved particles such as phosphate from your tank. This is highly beneficial for most aquatic environments and can improve overall water quality.

6. Does protein skimmer remove calcium?

No, unlike various other substances, calcium is not removed by protein skimmers. This is because protein skimmers work by using bubbles that attach to waste materials and remove them from your tank water. Calcium on the other hand does not latch on to air bubbles so you won’t have to worry about the calcium levels in your tank reducing.


After thorough testing of the various products on this list, The ESHOPPS Nano Skimmer is our choice for the best nano skimmer. This small protein skimmer offers efficient cleaning while also small enough to fit it into a cramped tank setup. Also, this device has a magnetic mounting system, so you can attach it to any part of your tank with just the click of a magnet.

However, even with its small size, this protein skimmer comes with a removable bubble trap. This bubble trap allows you to control the overall air output of this device with ease. All you have to do is place the bubble trap in the device to reduce bubbles and remove it again when you want the skimmer at full capacity.

The best nano skimmer for fish ankWe hope this list of the best protein skimmers for nano tanks helps you find the right one for your aquarium setup!

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