Aquarium Fish

Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer

Review
Octopus 800s protein skimmer review. We are always on the lookout for new and improved protein skimmers. Having heard many positive remarks made by hobbyists about the Octopus Protein Skimmers made by CoralVue we were very interested in checking out the Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer.

First some stats on the Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer:

  • Dimensions: 20"H x 13"L x 4"W
  • Comes with a sicce pump
  • Recommended for aquaria up to a 135 gallons.
  • Comes with a surface skimmer box that attaches to the inlet pipe
  • Large collection cup
  • 2 year warranty on craftsmanship, 1 year warranty on the sicce pump
  • Price ranges anywhere from $220 - $250 for a new unit (priced December 2008)

There are not many online retailers that carry the Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer and that is unfortunate since these Octopus skimmers are getting decent reviews from saltwater hobbyists. If you can find one locally count your blessings. We bought ours from an online retailer and paid around $230 for it.

The first thing you will notice is the sheer size of this skimmer. It is big for a hang on skimmer. It's 20 inches tall, about 13 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The sicce pump that comes with this unit is a good one and very powerful. Setting it up was straight forward but getting it producing bubbles took a couple of minutes playing around with the air valve and getting the syphon working. If you notice that the water on the input side of the chamber is low, try repriming the skimmer.

If you're having trouble getting your Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer working, here is what we did:
1. Turn off the power to the skimmer
2. Plug in the blue tube attached to the input pipe to the flexible air tubing that attaches to the internal pump.
3. Turn the valve to the open position. It may take a couple of tries to determine which way is open and which is closed as it is not marked on the valve.
4. After you've filled the skimmer with aquarium water, plug in the power cord (with dry hands). You will hear the suction in the tubes and once the water in the input chamber reaches the top turn the valve to the closed position. Remove the blue tube from the air tube and attach the air silencer to the flexible air tubing. Turn the water valve to the open position.

It may take a couple of tries to get the Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer working correctly, but once you figure it out it's pretty easy. With the pump being as powerful as it is we had to have the collection cup as high as it would go the first week. Don't put it too high though or you will get micro bubbles in the main tank. During the break in period put it just high enough to prevent any micro bubbles from flowing into the output chamber. Also make sure that you tighten the plastic screw that holds the collection cup in place. Don't rely on the o-ring to hold the collection cup! This is very important, don't forget to do this! You may end up with a wet floor if you forget.

Once it was going the first thing you will notice is the amount of bubbles. Wow, holy bubbles batman. Very impressive indeed. Generally the first week or two should be the break in period so skimmers really shouldn't be judged at that point. But with the Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer the collection cup was filling up on the third day with some really nasty, gunky, smelly, brown skimmate. Then it started filling up to the point that it needed to be emptied about every 12 hours. I am skimming wet though. I could always raise the cup to lessen the frequency of emptying the skimmer cup.

Micro bubbles getting back into the tank was a minor issue at first. We used a 90 degree (flexible) drill bit attachment to drill a small 3/8 inch hole in the wall between the input chamber and the middle bubble chamber. This allowed the extra incoming water to recirculate back into the input chamber and allowed us to lower the collection cup a little more to prevent micro bubbles from getting into the output side of the chamber. If we decide down the road that this drilled hole is no longer needed we can always plug it.

Octopus BH-800s Protein Skimmer pictures:

Skimmer out of shipping box Sicce Pump Skimmer parts Skimmer up and running Back view of protein skimmer Top Down View of Octopus Skimmer Skimmer collection cup 1 Another view of Octopus 800s skimmate

Positives
  • Quiet operation
  • Large collection cup (~6 inches wide by 3 inches deep by 6 inches tall)
  • Skims the water like a champ
  • Surface skimmer attachment for the input tube
  • Comes with a good water pump
  • Sturdy design
  • Plenty of space in the output side of the skimmer to put in some activated carbon or phosphate remover.

Negatives

  • Rather poorly written instructions
  • Takes a little bit of tweaking to get it running initially
  • Due to the size of the pump, you may need to mod it to reduce the flow rate.
  • The rubber o-ring will not support the weight of the skimmer collection cup when filled. Make sure you tighten that plastic screw to hold the collection cup or you could have water on the floor. They should have had a ledge of some sort glued inside the middle chamber to prevent this from happening.
It has been about 4 weeks since the initial set up of this Octopus skimmer and output from this skimmer is very good. Actually, it's great and probably the best from any hang on skimmer we've seen or used yet. Assuming that everything goes as expected from here on out we give this skimmer 4.5 stars

If we encounter any issues with this protein skimmer in the future we will post them on this page.

Author : Mike FishLore


Rating Information
Review Title: Reef Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer
Reviewed by: Mike FishLore
Summary: Review of the Reef Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer.
Description: Having heard many positive remarks made by hobbyists about the Octopus Protein Skimmers made by CoralVue we were very interested in checking out the Octopus 800s Protein Skimmer.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Protein Skimmer Comments

From: Spencer
I had the same problem with the micro bubbles too at first. Lowering the cup did the trick, but it led to more of a wet skim. Mine has only been going for a couple of days and I haven't made a mod to mine yet. I may have to though to get more of a dry skim that I prefer.
Thanks for the comment Spencer. I actually like to skim wet. Here is my reasoning: skimming wet makes me empty the collection cup more often which increases the chances that the riser tube in the cup gets cleaned out by me which means that the skimmer stays more productive since the neck is being kept clean. Freshwater top-offs are a little more frequent though since the collection cup on this thing is quite large.

From: Liz
This is my third hang on the back of the tank skimmer and I LOVE IT! This should get 5 stars not the 4 and a half you gave it.
Thanks for the comment. This is a really good hang on skimmer. The primary reason for not getting a solid 5 stars is the minor design flaw of the missing ledge in the middle chamber to prevent the collection cup from falling in too deeply and possibly causing an overflow. It happened to me when I didn't tighten that screw on the side of the skimmer tight enough. Don't rely on that rubber o-ring to hold the cup up!

From: Charlie D.
Wow. This is a killer skimmer! Other than the already noted things, like drilling the hole on other side (and little higher than the orginal hole - use Glass and Tile bit) another thing I did was to put a 12x12 piece of PF4 (mesh) folded to fit into the reaction chamber to slow down the turbulence in the reaction chamber. This really helped create a more stable head of foam.
Thanks for the tip Charlie. I will try that mesh thing just to see. Hard to imagine the results being better than they already are but I'll give it a go. A month or so after the initial review and this skimmer is still working like a champ.


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