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I'm starting a weekly column that will take advantage of the new Comparison Shopping tool at The Reef Tank... My goal with this column will be to emphasize the importance of researching before buying anything, livestock or equipment, for your tank.

This week I will focus on Protein Skimmers. I checked over 50 products in this category and was surprised to find that the price differences amongst stores was limited to about 20% for most products.

Having said that, I found a few brands of protein skimmers where the price differences between stores - for the same product - where as high as 50%. Amongst these, the Current USA Fission Series (take for example the Fission Recirculating Skimmer), skimmers by CPR Aquatics (e.g. Bak-Pak 2R+) and the skimmers by Coralife (e.g. Super Skimmer - Needle-Wheel System up to 65 G)

One other thing that surprised me is that in about 20% of the products I checked, I found offers for used equipment for half or less the price! I am aware not everybody likes to buy used stuff, but in times like these... is good to be aware of all your options.

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