Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer Review

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When shopping for new methods in cleaning your fish tank, the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer should definitely be on your shortlist.

The poppy color scheme and fun build make it appear as a futuristic gadget designed to liven up your fish tank.

reef octopus review

It can also handle aquariums containing more than 250 gallons, can go for long periods without cleaning, and you can control how much or little foam it produces. That’s not bad, considering the overall price range of this skimmer.

Of course, every great product has some aspect that’s less appealing. The installation process tends to be clunky and unintuitive if you’re unused to working with other protein skimmers. But does this outweigh its other advantages?

We’ve gathered all there is to know about this protein skimmer, so you can decide if it’s the best (or the worst) option for you.

Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer: The Details


  • Weight: 20 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 20 x 24 x 14 inches.
  • Capacity: Up to 265 gallons, making it best suited for medium- to large-sized aquariums.
  • Minimum and Maximum Water Level: Ideal levels between 7 and 9 inches.
  • Type of Skimmer: Comes with a pinwheel pump.


Great Capacity

Large-capacity aquariums are pleasing to the eye and can hold dozens of fish species, allowing you to custom-tune a beautiful and eccentric ecosystem.

However, the larger the tank, the more waste it produces, and the more cleaning required.

Some protein skimmers can only handle a small load and will fall flat if overworked, but the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S is designed to take on the hefty task.

With a fantastic capacity of to 265 gallons, you’ll be hard pressed to find an aquarium it can’t easily maintain.

High-Quality Acrylic Material

Acrylic materials are a fish owner’s best friend. The material is sturdy, often clearer than glass, and weighs nowhere near as much.

The Reef Octopus Classic 202-S protein skimmer has been handmade for aesthetic appeal as well as durability.

The acrylic will ensure it lasts for years to come, even if it takes a bump or two, and the glass-like appearance will stay crystal-clear for longer.

As a bonus, the see-through material allows you to peek in on your skimmer’s progress throughout the week, so as to confirm it’s accomplishing the task.

Unique Shape

Every protein skimmer handles their task in a slightly different way, and the Reef Octopus Classic is no exception.

Reef Octopus 202-S review

The unique wine-glass shape makes it easier for the protein to gather and be carried to the top without escaping out the bottom.

The narrowest part of this skimmer appears to be the spot where most people find the skimmer does its best work.

While results may vary, we recommend that beginners get the water level slightly above the slimmest area, so they can see how it works from there on out.

Automatic Drainage

While you’ll still need to perform periodic maintenance on this skimmer, there is an automatic drainage feature that allows you to be more relaxed about this aspect of maintaining your aquarium’s cleanliness.

This is also an ideal feature for those who’ve never used a skimmer before since it takes one small task out of their hands.

Pinwheel Pump

Sometimes you need more foam, other times it’s about the last thing your aquarium needs. With the pinwheel pump, you can take full control of how your skimmer operates and set the bubbles to their optimum point.

Do you need the cleaning process to be more rigorous? Then add more bubbles. Is it causing more fuss than necessary? Simply reduce the amount.

Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer Review

The Positives


Some protein skimmers are made of plastic or glass, both of which are vulnerable to cracking if bumped or dropped. Plastic also tends to erode over time, especially when in water.

While your protein skimmer is unlikely to see much action, since it’s located on your tank, it’s nice to know that assembling it or cleaning it won’t be a stressful process.

Reef Octopus Classic 202-S protein skimmer

The acrylic build ensures it won’t fade, degrade, or risk cracking should it slip through your fingers. It’s an investment that lasts.

Low Cleaning Demands

Because of the automatic drainage and outstanding capacity, you’ll find you can get by with just basic of maintenance once the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S has been installed in your aquarium.

While you may have to clean more frequently in the first month after setting it up (the initial cleaning is always the most lengthy), you’ll find that later months require far less effort.

This does depend on the type of fish you keep and how often they need to be fed, but the overall maintenance time is still relatively low.


A fish tank is a beautiful decoration – but who enjoys the buzzing of equipment during all hours of the night?

This goes double if you’ve managed to find all other necessary gear at the lowest possible sound-level, only to ruin it with a loud skimmer.

Luckily, the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S protein skimmer runs quietly and smoothly, which makes it a great addition to any tank.

This opens up a lot of spaces where you can keep your fish tank since you won’t have to worry about the noises of your aquarium distracting you from your TV shows, or keeping you awake at night.

Visually Pleasing

Looks aren’t everything, but they sure help when you’re making a tough decision. The black and red accents help this protein skimmer to stand out without clashing with other decorations in your aquarium.

The clear acrylic finish also makes it easy to see how much cleaning gets done while the skimmer is running.

If you’re a bit of control freak or just plain curious about the degree of effect your protein skimmer is having, this is a neat little bonus.


With all the positives mentioned above, a protein skimmer isn’t worth its price unless it actually does its job. Considering the customers raving about this skimmer’s performance, it definitely gets the task done.

Users have noted that the Reef Octopus Classic does a great job at pulling up gunk and unwanted waste from the aquarium, leaving tanks much cleaner than before installing this skimmer.

best protein skimmer

You won’t have to worry about this product letting you down, it will ensure your aquarium is crystal clear, so your fish and accessories shine with little effort from you. And with just a little maintenance to handle, there won’t be much slowing down this filter.

Great Size

Given the shape and size of this protein skimmer, most aquarium owners won’t have much of a hassle fitting this into their tank.

Set-up may be hard, but knowing that your skimmer won’t take over your aquarium is definitely worth noting.

In addition to its attractive wine-glass shaped design, its compact footprint makes it easy for your tank to be clean without having to put away too many of your pretty accessories.

If you’re looking for a compact protein skimmer, the Reef Octopus 202 may be right up your alley.

The Negatives

Finicky Set-up

While the system works great once it’s set up, reaching this point can prove challenging, especially for those inexperienced with protein skimmers.

Assembling the different components and properly mounting it to your tank is complicated and absolutely not intuitive, forcing you to spend more time in this stage than necessary.

If you’re willing to put aside a great amount of time, it can be managed. However, this is more hassle than should be expected.

Manual Needs Work

On that note, a good manual can save us a lot of work, and Reef Octopus has not managed to deliver this convenience to us.

While you will find many online instructional videos and detailed explanations made by fans of the Reef Octopus brand, it is disappointing to find the brand could not produce a decent manual itself.

The instructions are often confusing and misleading, forcing you to seek outside help.


Those on a budget may not be too keen on the price-tag displayed on this protein skimmer. It will cost over a few hundred dollars to add this piece to your aquarium.

With this skimmer though, you do get what you pay for. The price reflects its quality and durability so if you’re willing to pay the price, this could be an addition that sticks with you for the long haul.

That being said, those just starting out may not want to spend this much right off the bat.

Here’s a video showing what the Reef Octopus 202-S looks like out of the box and installed.

Overall Verdict

If you have a large tank with fish that love to get sloppy, then the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer is the best protein skimmer for you.

It’s aesthetically pleasing, works hard, and is built to last throughout the years. Though nearly $400 is a lot to swallow for a protein skimmer, it does provide a level of quality that makes this price acceptable, especially for serious aquarists.

As for its downsides, the only real issue is the assembly. While there is plenty of online help available, it is a shame that so many first-time users will feel compelled to look these up.

Still, a harder set-up should not discourage you from a great product. We highly recommend the Reef Octopus 202-S to anyone with a large aquarium and little desire to clean up almost daily.

Where to Buy the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer

Reef Octopus products aren’t hard to find given its a brand with years of experience manufacturing aquarium products, and a vast product line to show for it.

Their products are accessible, made with quality, and vary when it comes to levels and designs – so it’s likely this company will have a product for you.

Their success has kept them as a popular brand, with retailers offering their products around the world, and they’re able to stay on top of the market by keeping their prices current yet affordable.

It’s usually best to check pet, fish, and specialty stores, but you can kick-start your search with the following online retailers.

And of course, this aquarium skimmer is also available on Amazon.

 Reef Octopus Classic 202-S protein skimmer

That’s all for the Reef Octopus Classic 202-S review. Tempted to give it a go?

Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer Rated
  • Efficiency
  • Build Quality
  • Ease of Use
  • Noise Levels
  • Value for Money

FCG Verdict

The Reef Octopus Classic 202-S Protein Skimmer is a quality-made skimmer that’s efficient, yet easy to clean.

While its set-up may cause some confusion, once it’s up and running you’ll have a skimmer that’ll keep your tank crystal-clear without much hassle from you.

>>> Check current price on Amazon.

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