Aquarium Fish

Tunze Nano Protein Skimmer Review

Finding a good small sized protein skimmer for a nano tank setup can be difficult. The Tunze Nano 9002 DOC Protein Skimmer is made for smaller tanks. Often times hobbyists try to cut corners and buy the cheapest equipment available. When it comes to protein skimmers this could be a foolish move. You may end up spending more on several inexpensive protein skimmers only to realize later that you need to shell out the dough for a better unit. This Tunze skimmer is on the upper end of the price scale for its size. Is it worth it? Read on.

Some quick highlights on this Tunze Nano Protein Skimmer:
  • Recommended for aquariums up to 52 gallons (196 liters) for FOWLR or Soft Coral aquariums but only up to 26 gallons (98 liters) for stony coral aquariums
  • Claims to remove up to 80% of proteins and cellulose
  • Dimensions: 4.9" L x 2.1" W x 13.3" H
  • Can be mounted on glass thickness up to 19 mm (.74 inches)
  • Claims to be gentle on plankton the way the water diffuses through a small opening in the bottom of the skimmer and may be more suitable for breeder tanks that utilize live plankton. Hmm.
  • Immersion depth: approx. 180 to 220 mm (7 to 8.6 inches)
  • Power Consumption: 10 Watts
  • Skimmer cup volume: .3 liters (.079 US gallons)
  • Air capacity: 150 l/h (39.6 US gal/h)
  • Internal Nano Pump 800.040
  • Comes with cleaning and maintenance brushes
  • Retail Price: $150+
I recently set up a nano cube with an Aquac Remora Protein Skimmer and I've always been very pleased with the output of the remora. But the thought was always in the back of my mind - "I wonder if there is something even better out there..." Tunze is well known for making quality aquarium products so I thought that I'd give this one a shot.

Setting up the Tunze Nano Protein Skimmer was a little more trouble than it should have been. I should have first tried to fit it into the JBJ 28 Gallon Nano cube that this was going in, but I read the directions first. After about 10 confusing minutes of reading how to install the holding brackets I tried to put it in without the brackets and guess what... It fits perfectly without the mounting brackets. However, the collection cup is pretty big and in order for the collection cup to fit properly a small 3 inch piece on the back of the canopy on the JBJ 28 gallon nano cube had to be cut out. No biggie. The manual is decent but you have to page through German directions to find the English directions. If you need to use the mounting brackets, good luck understanding it. It may take you a few tries getting it set up properly with the mounting brackets.

You regulate the skimming power of the Tunze Nano Protein Skimmer via a blue twist screw that regulates the amount of air that enters the skimmer. It's somewhat sensitive to adjust at first. With the skimmer collection cup off the unit you can actually see the bubble amount while twisting the screw. Finding that perfect amount of skimmate you're looking for should be easily accomplished with this unit. Wet, light tea colored skimmate or dry and dark colored skimmate, it's up to you.

Here are some pictures of the Tunze Nano Protein Skimmer:

Box view of the Tunze skimmer Parts that come with the Tunze Protein Skimmer

After about 24 - 36 hours of skimming I was impressed with the production of the Tunze Nano. This is all without yet fine tuning the skimmer to my desired skimming preference which is usually dry and darker colored. But still, it's pulling out some nasty smelling stuff! The other plus with this unit is that there are no micro-bubbles entering the tank. Folks that run the Aquac Remora's have complained about micro bubbles entering the tank.

Here are some photos of the first 24 - 36 hours:

Top down view of the Tunze Protein Skimmer collection cup
Cup after about 24 hours of skimming Top view of bubbles in collection cup

At the time of this review being written, this Tunze skimmer has been setup for about 2 weeks now and it's working great. I have to clean the collection cup every 2 days. I don't think it's pulling out more or better skimmate than the Aquac Remora but it's also not putting in any micro-bubbles either. I'd say that it's definitely at least on par with the Remora but it is much smaller and should work in more nano cube type setups with enclosed canopies and space issues.

I'm giving the Tunze Nano Protein Skimmer 5 stars. There are so many under performing skimmers in this size class and this one as well as the Aquac Remora stands out among them all.

Author : Mike FishLore

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