For a reef tank with a sump, an in-sump protein skimmer is always the best option to maintain the water quality of the tank. However, if you are planning for a nano reef tank (10/20/30 gallons) without a sump, an internal or nano protein skimmer is a great replacement. Although small in sizes, nano protein skimmers play an important role in the success of small reef systems and are must-have equipment you can’t neglect.

Bubble Magus QQ1 nano protein skimmer for 20 gallon reef tanks

Bubble Magus QQ15 star rating (5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com

This protein skimmer is ideal to use in fish tanks that hold up to 25 gallons. It uses a Rock SP600 pump with a needle-wheel impeller to help ensure that it works well to collect unwanted particles from your fish tank. Unlike other skimmers featuring a water outlet control, the design of this product allows you to adjust the height of its skimmer body for ensuring that it works properly in your fish tank.

The small and compact design makes it easier for you to set up this skimmer. Only assembling all of its components and then hang it on one side of the aquarium. This model also features a foam bubble reducer on the outlet to help make sure that it doesn’t overproduce bubbles on the aquarium surface.

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Comline DOC 9001 skimmer for up to 37 gallons

Comline DOC 90014.5 star rating (4.5/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com

If you’re looking for a protein skimmer for a smaller tank, this is one model you’ll want to check out. The Comline DOC 9001 features a sleek black and compact design making it ideal for internal operation in a fish tank. It’s designed to work with nano reef tanks that have a capacity up to 37 gallons (15 gallons for tanks with heavy bioload). Although lightweight and compact in the design, this small internal skimmer owns most important features of a good protein skimmer including needle wheel pump, air flow regulation, and silencer.

This model uses a needle wheel pump to help it quickly work to remove unwanted and harmful particles from the aquarium water. The pump is also energy-efficient (only 2.5 W) so it saves you a lot of money for electric fees. It is also very easy to assemble and install, you can use its magnet holder to secure it into a corner of the aquarium.

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Aquatic Life 115 Mini internal skimmer for up to 30 gallon reef tanks

Aquatic Life 115 Mini4 star rating (4/5 by editor)Check on Amazon.com

The Aquatic Life 115 Mini is rated for nano reef aquariums up to 30 gallons. It uses an 8W needle-wheel impeller which helps to increase the air and water mixing together. This model also has a special knob built into it that will help with adjusting the water flow in the skimming reactor. You can turn it to increase or decrease the water flow depending on your preferences.

It has a 3.4 ounce collection cup which can be easily removed thanks to its quick-lock design. You can just simply remove the container from the model and clean it out without having to remove the entire system from the fish tank.

This mini skimmer runs quietly and is a good option to use if you don’t have much space to store large equipment. It comes with a mounting bracket/lock for you to hang in on a corner of your tank. One thing to keep in mind when installing this protein skimmer is that you should be sure to keep it about 3-3/4 inches above the water line for proper operation.

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