If you are shopping around for a skimmer then Reef Octopus is probably going to be one of the options that pops up a lot but which one is the best option and most suitable for your tank?
To help make life easier for you we have researched and put together a list of our top 5 that we felt was worth a mention. We have picked out options that cater for various different tank sizes and needs to hopefully this article helps you decide on the best reef octopus skimmer for you (the BH-1000 is our top pick).
5 Best Reef Octopus Skimmers
Let’s start with our top pick.
1. BH-1000 Octopus
This first Octopus skimmer is a big boy no doubt. This particular model is rated for aquariums up to 100 gallons in size. Now, if you have a really heavily stocked tank, you might not want to use it for anything over 80 gallons, as you will end up having to clean this skimmer a whole lot.
At any rate, it can definitely handle a large amount of water per hour. One thing that can be said about this thing is that it is indeed very durable. It is made out of shatterproof acrylic, which is pretty nice if we do say so ourselves.
Now, this item is pretty large. There is no doubt about that. However, it has been specially designed with an external pump located beneath the main housing. This makes the BH-1000 very slim, so at least it does not require too much clearance behind the fish tank. On that same note, it has been built so that the pump is easily removable, thus making cleaning and maintenance fairly easy and straightforward.
A downside here is that you really need to get the collection cup at the right level to stop it from filling up too fast and overflowing. Pushing it down more than 2.5 inches is not recommended. With that being said, the collection cup is easy to remove and to empty, it is just a little hard to get the hang of at first.
What we do like however is that the BH-1000 comes with sponge media included to catch all kinds of solid debris. What is even better is that you can actually add in all kinds of media, this pretty much creating a secondary 3 stage filtration device out of this one skimmer.
- Very durable.
- Lots of processing power.
- Comes with mechanical sponge media.
- Capability to add more media of your choosing.
- Easy to clean and maintain pump.
- Collection cup is easy to empty.
- Slim space saving design.
- A little noisy.
- Hard to situate the collection cup ideally.
- Still requires a fair amount of clearance behind the tank.
2. Coral Vue Octopus 6-inch Skimmer
This particular Octopus skimmer is rated for aquariums up to 210 gallons in size. It might not look big enough to handle that much water, but the fact of the matter is that it certainly can. Although this particular option might be best suited for tanks up to 180 gallons which are heavily stocked.
The point here is that unlike the previous option we just looked at, this thing is simply about creating bubbles and collecting them. It does not come with any sponge media for mechanical filtration, nor does it allow for the addition of extra media. Therefore, over all it does have significantly less processing power than the previous model we just looked at.
With that being said, in terms of creating bubbles and catching solid debris to send it to the collection cup, this thing does work very well. It features a strong pump combined with a needle wheel impeller. The result here is the creation of lots of small bubbles that help catch a whole lot of solid debris.
The collection cup here is designed to be super easy to empty. Simply remove it from the top and rinse it out for cleaning. The neck on this thing is also specially design to aid the bubbles in getting to the collection cup.
The Coral Vue Octopus 6-inch Skimmer is a nice option to go with in terms of durability and maintenance. It is made out of solid plastic which is nearly impossible to break. Its simplistic design is also beneficial because it is super easy to take apart for cleaning and maintenance of all parts.
One downside here is that this thing is a bit tall and top heavy, so you need to find a stable place for it as it is known to tip over if you nudge it a little bit. Finding a good place for it can be a little difficult.
- Very durable.
- Needle wheel impeller for efficient bubble creation.
- Bottle neck design for efficient bubble catching.
- Super easy to clean collection cup.
- Designed for easy maintenance.
- Can handle a whole lot of water per hour.
- Not very stable.
- Hard to find a good place for it.
- No room for any kind of extra media.
3. Reef Octopus Classic 100-HOB
If you are on the hunt for a hang on back model, the 100-HOB is a great way to go. The obvious benefit about having a HOB skimmer is that they are very easy to install. Simply hang it over the back of the aquarium, adjust the skimmer intake to the proper height, and turn it on.
It really could not be any easier to install. However, with that being said, you do need to get the surface skimmer at the right level in order for this thing to work right. Thankfully, the surface skimmer attachment is very easy to adjust, so with a little know how, getting it in the right position should not be too difficult.
Another benefit of being a hang on back skimmer is that it of course does not take up any room inside of the aquarium itself. To be clear, this particular reef Octopus skimmer is intended for aquariums up to 105 gallons in size. Once again, if you have a really heavily stocked tank, you might not want to use this item for any aquarium over 90 gallons because you will just end up cleaning it a whole lot.
Just like the first Octopus skimmer we looked at today, this one has been built with the pump under the main chamber. This helps to keep it slim and minimize the clearance it needs behind the tank, although it does still require a fair amount of behind tank clearance.
One benefit you get from the pump being located under the main chamber is that it is easy to remove for cleaning and maintenance. The 100-HOB comes with sponge media included, which helps remove debris from the water before it even comes into contact with the bubbles.
Also, you can add in all kinds of your own media, thus creating a whole new filtration unit out of this skimmer. Another beneficial aspect here is that this skimmer has a great needle wheel impeller which helps to create an ideal mix of air and bubble for debris collection. On that same note, the collection cup here is made to be easy to clean. The overall durability of this item is also quite high as it is made with shatterproof acrylic.
- Designed to minimize required clearance.
- Does not take up interior tank space.
- Surface skimmer attachment is easily adjustable.
- High level of durability.
- Easy to clean and maintain collection cup and pump.
- Comes with sponge media.
- Allows for the addition of extra media.
- High quality needle wheel impeller.
- Easy to set up.
- It is pretty big and bulky.
- Fairly loud.
- A little difficult to get the collection cup situated right.
- Has a tendency to overflow if not set up 100% right.
4. Reef Octopus BH90
This particular protein skimmer is rated to work for tanks up to 130 gallons in size. Although, if you have a heavily stocked tank, you might not want to use it for anything over 110 or 120 gallons due to cleaning and maintenance requirements.
Now, one thing we do need to say here is that while this item can handle a whole lot of water per hour, it is very big. Its cylindrical shape is just not very space efficient, and even though it is a hang on back skimmer, it requires a heck of a lot of clearance behind or beside any tank.
With that being said, we do appreciate the fact that this is a hang on back skimmer. This does make it fairly easy to install this skimmer. All you really need to do is hang it on the rim of your tank, adjust the collection cup and the surface skimmer, and turn it on.
On the other hand, adjusting the collection cup and the skimming head for proper skimming and to stop it from overflowing can be a little hard. Although not overly difficult, setting the cup at the right level can take some practice. Yet, at least the cup is made to be easy to empty and clean, which is a bonus.
What we do like here is that the pump is located under the main body, which helps to make the pump easy to remove and clean, a big bonus when it comes to skimmers. Also, the bottleneck design of this item facilitates easy bubble to collection cup action. The sponge media included right by the skimming head helps to collect debris before it even enters this thing, yet another bonus.
However, as many people have noted, this item does create a fair amount of micro-bubbles, which is less than ideal to say the least. Featuring a high level of durability thanks to high quality acrylic is a bonus however.
- Lots of processing power.
- Comes with some sponge media.
- Bottleneck design for easy bubble transfer.
- Easy to empty and clean collection cup.
- Pump is easy to clean and maintain.
- Easy to hang on your aquarium.
- Fairly easy installation.
- Adjusting the cup to the right level is a bit hard.
- If cup is not set right, this thing tends to overflow.
- A little loud.
- Not space friendly.
5. Reef Octopus Classic 110
The first thing that you need to be aware of here is that this is strictly an in-sump filter. Yes, it is beneficial that it draws water directly from your sump filtration unit, as you do not need to worry about skimming heads and attachments, but it does of course mean that you need to have a sump to begin with.
On the other hand, this item is designed to be very sleek and slim, although quite tall, but the point is that the slim design here is meant so that it can easily fit inside of sumps that do not have much space to spare. If you have a smaller sump, this might be a good skimmer for your reef tank.
Moreover, this particular skimmer is designed with the pump, the intake, and the output all below the actual chamber. For one, this helps keep things fairly quiet. Nobody likes loud skimmers, something which this model seems to have gotten right.
To be clear, this item is rated for tanks up to 100 gallons if have light filtration demands, but should only be used for 60 gallon tanks if you have really heavy filtration demands. Like with all other skimmers we have looked at here today, the acrylic build of this item does make it fairly durable.
We do like the brand new pump design here, as the pump is very durable. Also, the pinwheel used here helps to provide a great mix of air and bubbles for protein skimming, all without creating too many micro bubbles. What is also neat here is the vented wedge valve output which allows you to control this thing with precision.
Now, the top features a fairly large and easy to clean collection cup, but unlike other models, it does not have a bottleneck, so bubbles and debris sometimes have a hard time getting into the cup, plus it does need to be set at the right level to stop from overflowing.
- Does not take up much space inside of a sump.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Quiet operation.
- Large collection cup – easy to clean.
- Vented valve for precise control.
- Ideal for 60 gallon tanks with heavy bio-loads.
- Does not create many micro-bubbles.
- Quite durable.
- Requires a sump.
- Is known to overflow.
- Lack of bottleneck for easy bubble movement into the cup.
As you can see, there are many different Octopus protein skimmers that you can go with. This brand name even has a few more in their arsenal which you might be interested in. However, as far as we are concerned, the 5 models we have reviewed above are some of the best ones (if you need more options, we have covered our top 10 here).
Sure, they all have some drawbacks, but compared to other skimmers out there, these things are pretty top notch no doubt. If you need to keep your reef clean and clear, a skimmer is definitely a necessary tool to have in your fish keeping arsenal.