Well - after several days of researching protein skimmers I have concluded two things ...
• there doesn't seem to be a HOB
protein skimmer on the market that is proportionally sized for smaller thanks (ie. 40-gallon or less). These things are big and I suppose that is for a reason.
• Overall visual aesthetics of how the skimmer will look as a component of the aquarium is not part of the equation when these companies design skimmers - with the exception of maybe the AquaC skimmers.
So right now I am leaning towards the AquaC Remora with MJ1200PH and the pre-skimmer box to conceal the powerhead. The box is huge at 8.5" x 7.25" but in review it sounds like the pre-skimmer cleans up the in-tank look.
Does anyone have an alternate suggestions for a skimmer that works well and is compact in size (sump is not really an option at this time)? My price range is $100 to $300.
Anyone have experience with these units that are called 'skilters' that attach like a traditional power filter but supposedly offer skimming capabilities - are these things just a gimmick?