Sumps are the cornerstone of saltwater and reef aquarium filtration and the hobby has enjoyed many new designs and improvements in recent years. The Reef Octopus Sump is a new line of ‘filter boxes’ with a suite of features and refinements to make them as functional and versatile as possible.
With a handful of sizes now available, Reef Octopus reached out to us to find out if we’d be interested in trying out, testing and reviewing their largest, 36 inch model to which we quickly agreed. Naturally, we all prefer to have the biggest sump possible but since our Pro Clear 128 Rimless tank is a six foot tank that came with a four foot sump, in this case we were looking forward to shaving off a little bit of size.
What appeals to us about the Reef Octopus 36 inch sump is that it concentrates a lot of important functions into a smaller dimension, leaving us more room outside the sump to add some automation accessories. But before we dive into that, we want to tell you about the new gear Reef Octopus also sent along to further improve the filtration requirements of this saltwater fish tank filter.
Complimenting this fine saltwater fish sump upgrade Reef Octopus also sent along their powerful Regal 250 Super Space Saver protein skimmer, a beast of a fractionator that we’ve used for years on a 200 gallon reef system. We’ve long appreciated the smart features built into the Regal 250 SSS and it’s so efficient that we normally only run it at 60% power. Rounding out the build we also used a VarioS 8 controllabl DC return pump which is far too powerful for this tank since it is rated for at up to 2,700 gallons per hour!
The Reef Octopus 36″ is the company’s largest sump which includes two filter socks for mechanical pre-filtration, a protein skimmer chamber with an adjustable constant-water level area, and finally a reasonable size chamber for the return pump, we really don’t like it when these final stages are cavernous leaving lots of empty space around the pump since not much else should be in there with them anyway. Instead Reef Octopus repurposed much of that extra space into a reservoir which is intended to be used for automatic top off, but we’re going to use it as an automatic waste collector.
This is among one of a few small functions and additions we plan to add to the Reef Octopus sump but for now, we are really loving how much improved the sump on this fish tank has become. The prefilters do wonders for keeping the water clear and removing large wastes before they go into the protein skimmer, while the Regal 250 has plenty of heavy proteins to remove from the water.
Aesthetically, we are very much in love and approve of the new direction of modern sumps using white acrylic panels for the bottom and the walls, really brightening up what is normally a cave of darkness under our fish and reef tanks. The Reef Octopus 36 inch sump is probably appropriately sized for the 120 gallon tank, and we’d feel pretty comfortable recommending it for upwards of 200 to 250 gallons depending on your stocking and bioload. Big thanks to Reef Octopus for the major upgrade to our saltwater fish aquarium filtration and for more information and to learn about their other sump sizes, be sure and peruse the official Reef Octopus aquarium sump webpage.