Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer Review

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If you’re like most fish keepers, you want only the best for your pets. No one likes to see their aquatic buddies swimming around in dirty water. It’s an eyesore at best and a threat to the lives of your fish at worst.

Luckily, there’s a number of excellent protein skimmers on the market to help take care of that problem.

One of them is the Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer.

This little machine has built up a reputation for being one of the best of its kind – and for good reason. It does its job well and is very lightweight for being a full-sized protein skimmer, making it useable for a number of tanks.

This isn’t to say it’s without its drawbacks. Users tend to be vexed during the initial “break-in period” by overflowing and convoluted instructions.

Nevertheless, it’s an efficient protein skimmer that bears looking into if you are searching for a new one.

Here’s what you need to know before you buy…

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer: the Details

Specs

  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 26 x 9 x 10 inches
  • Capacity: Up to 140 gallons
  • Minimum and Maximum Water Level: 9.5-11 inches
  • Type of Skimmer: Aspirating/needle wheel
  • Warranty: 1 year

bm curve 5 protein skimmer review

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Features

Needle Wheel

This is a popular feature that is cropping up more and more in newer protein skimmers.

If you’re not familiar with this design, it consists of a set of “needles” (don’t worry, they’re not actually sharp!) sticking out perpendicularly from a wheel inside the protein skimmer that spins rapidly, causing the needles to whisk the water into fine bubbles that carry organic matter from the tank into the collection cup.

The great thing about these is that they work effectively without making a lot of noise… a win-win for you and your fish.

Drain Tube

Once some skimmate is gathered in the collection cup, it can be easily removed through the drain tube attached. This allows you to get rid of the excess organic matter from the tank without any extra hassle or having to get too hands-on with the waste.

You’ll still have to clean the cup every couple of days to ensure not too much gunk builds up, but the drain tube allows you to avoid the worst of it.

SP1000 Internal Pump

The pump in this machine is built into the reaction chamber, keeping it neatly out of the way while still working effectively. Described as ‘high performance’, this pump is what makes the BM-Curve 5 just so damn efficient.

It does its job very quickly and quietly, but it is specific to Bubble Magus, and therefore can be difficult to find alternatives for when the time comes to replace it. Thankfully it’s impressively durable too.

Bubble Plate

Another feature contributing to the efficiency of this protein skimmer is the included bubble plate.

This reduces any turbulence in the reaction chamber, allowing the cup to collect even more waste, even more quickly, than it would normally.

Curved Body

One of the more unique aspects of the BM-Curve 5 is the curved body of the skimmer — it’s got a quasi-hourglass shape!

This graduated shape allows for the dirty foam to rise quickly and easily to the surface for collection.

Air Silencer

One of our favorite features of the Bubble Magus protein skimmer is how quiet it is.

This is thanks to the innovative air silencer attached to the SP1000 internal pump. In proportion to the power generated by the pump, it’s incredible that it runs so quietly.

best protein skimmer

 

Bubble Magus BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer Review

The Positives

Runs Quietly

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we love the BM-Curve 5 protein skimmer for how incredibly quiet it is.

This machine is virtually noiseless, which, if you ask us, is one of the best qualities a protein skimmer can have. Louder products tend to make care and maintenance or even just being in the same room as your tank headache-inducing. Not so with this one!

Effective and Efficient

Once the skimmate begins to gather, you’ll see how efficiently this machine removes excess organic matter from the tank water.

The Bubble Magus Curve 5 quickly sweeps any and all grossness into the collection cup, leaving the tank water clear and healthy.

Sure, that might mean cleaning out the cup a little more often, but it’s worth it when you remember that now your fish don’t have to swim around in that stuff.

Plus, the fact that it’s so efficient means that a fair amount of pressure is taken off your canister filter, leading to an all round cleaner aquarium with higher water quality.

Great Value for Money

This isn’t the cheapest protein skimmer you will find, but also it’s far from the most expensive.

It can be found for a full $100 or even $200 less than some of its competitors, without sacrificing quality.

Keep in mind, this is an investment that will your fish happy and healthy for several years after you make the purchase. For a machine regarded by many a fish keeper as the best protein skimmer out there, we’d say the price is definitely reasonable.

Light Weight and Small Footprint

The BM-Curve 5 is pretty petite for a full-sized protein skimmer. We consider this a really good thing because its compact size keeps the footprint slim and allows almost any buyer to feel confident that it will fit in their tank’s sump.

It also cuts down on hassle during shipping and set-up.

We’ll throw in a word of caution here: although it can be used in tanks up to 140 gallons, it will work best in volumes slightly below that. It’s possible for even the best machine to be overworked sometimes.

Easy Disassembly

You’ll need to take out the Bubble Magus protein skimmer and disassemble it for cleaning every so often. Luckily, this is made pretty simple by the set of screws at its base.

These can easily be undone, allowing you to lift it out and disassemble it in a more convenient place. Easy peasy.

protein skimmer for reef aquarium

By Tappinen (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

The Negatives

Confusing Dial

The dial on this machine is a little strange: you have to turn it to the “minimum” setting for the maximum water flow and vice versa.

It didn’t take us too long to figure this out and it doesn’t ultimately affect the quality of the skimming, but it did lead to some unnecessary confusion and is likely to frustrate some users.

Complex Set-Up

While this product is relatively easy to take apart and put back together, it does involve a fair amount of parts and can be difficult to figure out at first. Unfortunately, the instruction manual included can be hard to follow, which can be overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with this sort of machine.

Luckily, users have taken to the internet to make the first assembly easier on us and you. There are several helpful tutorials to make the process run more smoothly.

Here’s a good install video to check out:

This is quite a lifesaver: Bubble Magus’ customer service is notorious for being difficult to get ahold of, which can be irritating when it comes to important machinery. Luckily, the quality of their machines generally makes calling them up unnecessary, but it would still be nice if any necessary check-ins that come up could be faster and less stressful.

Difficult Break-In Period

As with a lot of protein skimmers, this product involves a bit of a “break-in period” in which it will frequently overflow before it gets the hang of things. This shouldn’t last longer than a few days, but that doesn’t make it less frustrating while it’s happening.

It also isn’t helped by the fact that a lot of the time, it takes some tinkering before you can find just the right height to set it up at in order for it not to overflow. We had to try propping it up on a small platform before we found just the right spot.

We suggest you try this out as well if you find it still overflowing after a week or so of use.

bm curve 5 protein skimmer review

By Robert Nunnally (CC BY 2.0 licence)

Overall Verdict

If you’re willing to get past a bit of head-scratching in the beginning, the Bubble Magus Curve 5 is a fantastic option for just about anyone looking for a good, full-sized protein skimmer.

It skims quietly and thoroughly, and its ease of use and quality make it a very sound investment.

It is a top-of-the-line machine for a middle-of-the-line price, and it will be an especially good find for buyers with a 90-125 gallon tank.

In our humble opinion, this might be the best protein skimmer out there, within those parameters.

Where to Buy the BM-Curve 5 Protein Skimmer

As you might expect from a high quality, mid cost product, this is a very popular protein skimmer that can be find widely through the US.

Check out these online marketplaces for starters:

And, of course, you can find it on Amazon.

bubble magus curve 5 protein skimmer


Will you be buying the Bubble Magus Curve 5 protein skimmer?

Staff Writer
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