Reef Octopus 152-S Review


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Tank Size Noise Level Longevity Price Rating
up to 160 Gallons Low 5+ Years Medium-high 8/10

Right away I want you to take a quick look at the dimensions.

  • Dimensions
  • 10.4″W x 8.1″L x 20.7″H

This skimmer is much bigger than the Bubble Magus curve 5. Make sure your tank can fit this skimmer before reading more about it. Otherwise you may need to expand your sump into something bigger, and with it being in the cabinet underneath the tank, this usually means an entire tank upgrade.

Size aside the Reef Octopus is amazing at what it does and extremely easy to use. The instructions included are great and adjusting the skimmer is very easy to do. This is certainly one of the easier skimmers to work with.

Set-up

The owners manual gives us a great look at all the pieces as well as distinct labels. Using this makes assembling the Reef Octopus much easier. Everything connects exactly where it shows so there shouldn’t be any errors when setting this up.

Right when you open the box you will find instructions and all the loose components in Styrofoam casing. When you take these apart you find the body and cup of the protein skimmer. Take all of these out of their wrapping and give them a rinse to remove any debris that could otherwise sneak into your tank. This includes running some water through the water pump.

Start out by taking the base of the skimmer off of the Body. there should be 5 screws hold it in place. Remove these and the base of the skimmer. Now connect the adapter, bubble skimming chamber and place to the top of the water pump. This is held in place by the provided screw. Next you will need to connect the venturi to the front of the skimmer. The venturi then connects to the skimmer’s pump. Once those are connected set the skimmer back on the base and reseal it.

Next out the pipe, gate valve and vent pipe on the side of the skimmer. These all attach with just a bit of force. Now at the neck of the skimmer we will want to put the holder, silencer and plastic cap into place, securing it with the screw provided. Attach the silencer to the venturi. The last thing to do is put the collection cup on top of the skimmer with its top cover and plug in place.

Adjustments

As with all skimmers this could take you one try or twenty tries. What we are aiming for is bubbles just below the top of the skimmate cute but not high enough to pour over into the cups reservoir. There are two main ways to adjust the Reef Octopus 152-s. The first is to use the gate valve, which will directly change how many bubbles the skimmer creates. For the first few days do not adjust the skimmer. Every protein skimmer has a break in period where it adjusts to your tanks water. During this time the bubbles will rise and fall erratically. Just give it time to break in and don’t waste time adjusting it before it is ready to use. Finally it is best to do adjustments when you will be home. This way if the bubbles get way too high and spill out of the sump, you can quickly clean the water before it has a chance to cause any damage. This is not too common, as the bubbles will usually pop before this happens, but I have seen it a few times when people just let the skimmer run full blast without looking at it.

  • How to adjust the amount of bubbles
  • Turn the gate valve counter clockwise to increase the bubbles
  • Turn the gate valve clockwise to decrease the bubbles

You can also raise or lower the skimmer/the water level to adjust how many bubbles are created. I personally try to keep my sump as full of water as possible, without risking an overflow, to keep my water column bigger. Most people will build an egg crate base to suspend the skimmer a bit higher, which is certainly one of the better materials to use. Mine is fine resting directly on the tank floor.

Warranty & Lifetime

The Reef Octopus comes with a standard 1 year warranty, which is nice but doesn’t tell the full story. High quality skimmers like this one only have one component that can fail: the water pump. Should this happen and you can no longer use your warrant it is much more cost effective to replace the water pump.

The pump used by the Reef Octopus 152-S is the 1800S skimmer pump. Because it has a specific way it attaches to the venturi, you would need to modify any other pump to get it to work in its place. For that reason I don’t recommend trying a different water pump unless you are fairly handy.

The pump should last for quite some time, over 3 years in my experience. If you have a particularly heavy bioload you can take apart the skimmer and clean out the water pump to extend its lifetime. The component you need to pay special attention to here is the impeller. Only clean it using non abrasive materials like a cotton swab.

Summed up

While this does cost more than the Bubble Magus curve 5, I still highly recommend the Reef Octopus 152-S. It is much easier to use, adjust and clean than the Bubble Magus. Additionally, the larger skimmate cup means you will not need to empty it nearly as often. When it comes to keeping an aquarium this is a really nice thing, as there is already enough small things we have to do around the tank.

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