5 BEST AquaMaxx Protein Skimmers Reviewed: Keep Your Tank Running Smoothly

Is an AquaMaxx Skimmer best for your aquarium?

If you are in the market for a reliable protein skimmer to step up your aquarium filtration game, then you came to the right place!

In this article, we’re taking a general look at AquaMaxx protein skimmers, with a special focus on 5 of their top models.

AquaMaxx Aquariums is the go-to brand for many aquarists when it comes to aquarium gear.

Let’s see if their protein skimmers live up to the name.

AquaMaxx Protein Skimmers

AquaMaxx Hang-On-Back Protein Skimmer

  • Dimensions: L 7.5 x W 3.5 x H 17 Inch
  • HOB-1.5 easy to setup and maintain
  • Pump: AquaMaxx SHARK 1.0
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Aquamaxx Ws-1 In-sump Skimmer

  • L 5.9" x W 3.2", Height: 14"
  • Italian Sicce Syncra pump and AquaMaxx needlewheel impelle
  • Recommended Water Level: 8"-10"
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AquaMaxx NF-1 Nano Protein Skimmer

  • Footprint: 2-7/16" Deep x 4" Wide x 13-5/8" Tall
  • Filtration Rating: up to 30 Gallons
  • Small and powerful Nano Protein Skimmer
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AquaMaxx Aquariums manufactures a wide range of both simple products (such as rimless low iron glass aquariums) and advanced gear (such as calcium reactors).

They’ve been a hit in the industry since their launch in 2008, which means this company knows what it’s doing.

One of their most popular product lines is the protein skimmers, with more than 15 models designed specifically to improve and maintain high water quality in marine aquariums.

Generally speaking, AquaMaxx protein skimmers are available in 2 types:

  1. The Hang On Back (HOB)
  2. In Sump

Both are placed inside the aquarium rather than outside.

But the real difference between protein skimmers is their mechanism of producing air bubbles.

Earlier versions used compressed air and airstones for air delivery, whereas high-pressure venturi-driven injection became popular in newer models.

aquamaxx protein skimmers

Nowadays, most AquaMaxx protein skimmers use a combination of a venturi to draw in air and a specialized pump impeller to fractionate the air. They’re highly efficient and capable of mixing large volumes of air and water with much less energy consumption.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the top models of AquaMaxx protein skimmers.

1. AquaMaxx HF-M Multi Filter with Protein Skimmer

aquamaxx protein skimmer

An excellent choice for reef tanks or fish-only tanks, the AquaMaxx HF-M filtration system is developed to provide complete filtration for your saltwater aquarium.

The HF-M is a customizable system, allowing you to add extra chemical, mechanical, or biological filtration to suit the needs of your tank.

It also features a simple hang-on-back design so you can hang the unit on any aquarium ranging from 20 gallons to 60 gallons.

The HF-M comes with a highly efficient protein skimmer that utilizes the Shark 1.0 needle wheel pump (as the previous HOB-1 model) to effectively remove waste and then break it down into ammonia, nitrate, and phosphates.

After the protein skimmer stage, water will pass through a second filtration stage which is a filtration cartridge that you can fill with whatever media you see fit.

Finally, water will pass through a third chamber where you can add extra filters or culture live foods for your reef aquarium.

The HF-M supports a clutter-free design thanks to the built-in probe holder, the dosing tube holder, and the lid cut-outs that let you run your cords and tubes through.

2. AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 Protein Skimmer

aquamaxx protein skimmers

This skimmer is the upgraded and more powerful version of the popular AquaMaxx HOB-1 model (discussed at the end).

The AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 features an enlarged bubble diffuser and reaction chamber to fully harness the power of the Shark 1.0 pump for maximum foam production and protein extraction.

The custom conical bubble diffuser helps reduce the turbulence inside the reaction chamber and directs water up towards the collection cup.

This means that more waste is pulled out of your aquarium and into the removable collection cup.

Like the HOB-1 model, the HOB-1.5 is super easy to set up and maintain.

You just move the collection cup up or down to adjust the foam level, detach the collection cup for hassle-free cleaning, or use the included drain fitting if you want to establish a separate reservoir for skimmate.

Made of polished cell-cast acrylic, the AquaMaxx HOB-1.5 has the pump placed inside the skimmer itself to save space, minimize noise, and improve efficiency.

3. AquaMaxx WS-1 Protein Skimmer

aquamaxx hob 1.5

The AquaMaxx WS-1 protein skimmer is basically the popular HOB-1 skimmer but in an in-sump version.

It’s rated up to 65 gallons and carries a sleek, lightweight design that you can place in a nano aquarium, an all-in-one style aquarium, or any other small saltwater aquarium.

To efficiently remove organic waste from aquarium water, the WS-1 creates a strong mix of small air bubbles and turbulent water movement to force protein, waste, and other materials into the collection cup for easy cleaning.

The newly added conical diffusers help minimize the turbulence in the reaction chamber for a more stable flow.

Like the HOB-1 and HOB-1.5, the WS-1 is computer designed and made of polished cell-cast acrylic.

It’s also super easy to set up and maintain.

Moreover, the WS-1 utilizes Shark 1.0 pump and AquaMaxx needle wheel impeller for vigorous waste removal and significant energy-saving.

4. AquaMaxx Fluidized GFO and Carbon Filter Media Reactor

aquamaxx em 300 skimmer

The AquaMaxx Fluidized Media Reactor is a multi-purpose water filter designed specifically for use in marine and reef aquariums.

You get to insert your preferred media of choice to eliminate organic waste, discoloration, and algae fuels according to your tank requirements.

Also referred to as phosphate or media reactors, fluidized reactors are one of the most effective and convenient ways to filter media in a saltwater aquarium system.

They’re pretty versatile, capable of running many types of filter media from activated carbon to nitrate-reducing media.

The AquaMaxx Fluidized Media Reactor features an up-flow design that ensures maximum contact time between your aquarium water and the media inside the reactor.

Water enters into the bottom of the filter then gets pushed up through the media and back out of the tank upon the effect of gravity.

The reactor is rated up to 250 gallons using GFO (granular ferric oxide), and up to 150 gallons using activated carbon. It’s also precision-cut and made out of polished A-class acrylic.

Keep in mind that the AquaMaxx reactor requires a small pump and tubing to push water through the unit. These are sold separately, or can be purchased with the unit here.

5. AquaMaxx HOB-1 Protein Skimmer

aquamaxx hob 1

This is one of the best-selling protein skimmer models manufactured by AquaMaxx.

The company actually discontinued its production, but you may be able to find it on some online shopping platforms. We included it here because are still many people searching for it!

The HOB-1 (Hang On Back) protein skimmer features a powerful submersible pump and a very responsive collection cup.

It’s rated for use up to 75 gallons, with a compact design that’s suitable for a nano aquarium or other small saltwater aquariums.

The HOB-1 protein skimmer utilizes Italian-crafted Syncra 1.0 pump and AquaMaxx needle wheel impeller to vigorously remove organic waste from your fish tank.

The combination of such dynamic pumps saves a considerable amount of energy.

This protein skimmer is also easy to set up and maintain. To adjust the foam level to wet or dry, you just need to move the collection cup up or down. This cup is removable for simple cleaning.

Additionally, the HOB-1 comes with a drain fitting in case you want a separate reservoir for skimmate.

AquaMaxx Skimmers

The AquaMaxx protein skimmer models we mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg for this renowned company.

If you’re looking for more, be sure to check out the FC Series protein skimmers focused on precision control, the DCQ series protein skimmers featuring a hybrid-cone body, and the AquaMaxx NF-1 nano-skimmer with its modified Syncra Nano needle-wheel pump.

Alternatively, Bubble-Magus skimmers are very good.

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