Octo Elite 200-S skimmer review: the beast for 1000 liters

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Equipment | 0 comments

We extensively tested this protein skimmer, the Octo Elite 200-S, and measured everything measurable: simply a beast. It’s hard to do better.

Octo, previously known as Reef Octopus, is a particularly well-known and appreciated Singapore-based company . The skimmer we have here, the Octo Elite 200-S, is one of the largest in their catalog, in the Elite configuration, which is space-saving because it mounts the pump internally in an inverted setup. One unique aspect of this company is that it is practically the only one that designs and manufactures both the pump and the skimmer itself, especially when we talk about these beasts for marine aquariums over 1,000 liters.

The skimmer is monstrously solid, built without any flaws, using excellent materials, mainly acrylic with some red and white PVC details, reflecting the brand’s colors. The skimmer uses the classic single-pump conical body configuration.

Technical Specifications for Octo Elite 200-S Skimmer

  • Recommended marine aquarium size: up to 1,500 liters;
  • Skimmer pump: Octo VarioS 4-S;
  • Air intake: 1,500 l/h (we will measure this);
  • Water flow: 1,600 l/h;
  • Power consumption: 40 watts;
  • Dimensions: Footprint 32.5×25.5 cm;
  • Cylinder diameter: 20 cm;
  • Height: 60 cm;
  • Recommended water level: not stated (we recommend 20 cm);
  • Cost: approximately 980 euros ($1052 USD).

Our video on the Octo Elite 200-S skimmer

We thoroughly tested and measured this skimmer. Along with Simone, we discussed it in our video and showed the various measurements. The video is in Italian language, but you can add subtitles and then choose English.


The skimmer is constructed almost perfectly. We found no flaws. We could say that this is the perfect skimmer from a construction standpoint. Heavy, solid, and damn well built. There are no metal parts, only plastic screws.

The single-pump setup makes the Octo Elite 200-S skimmer more dependent on the water level in the sump, which we recommend to be 20 cm. All the measurements you will see later were made with this water height. The single pump draws water externally, mixes it with air, and then pushes it down into the skimmer cone with a rotational movement. Watch the video to get an idea. The bubbles then rise through the skimmer body and exit at the top into the collection cup. The skimming action is as it should be. Absolutely fantastic.

The skimmer body has a diameter of about 20 cm, tapering as it goes up toward the collection cup. The height is 60 cm including the cup.

Assembling the Octo Elite 200-S skimmer is very simple. The cup slides in and locks in place with a twist. Two hands are required to do this.

At the bottom of the cup base, there is a hole that allows for the removal of skimmate without removing the cup. The included tube is quite long and has a containment cap. I would have preferred a tap, and I anticipate this as a nearly zero-cost modification we will surely make on our test unit.

Octo VarioS 4S Pump and Adjustment

As mentioned, the skimmer pump is an Octo VarioS 4S, rated for a maximum flow of 1,600 l/h, adjustable via its controller, with a brush impeller.

The pump is adjustable via a small control panel and also comes with a float for overflow prevention. This way, the skimmer doesn’t suffer from sudden floods and won’t dump its contents into the sump. A great feature.

The output pipe is… a bit low. I would have preferred it to be high, but even so, I prefer it to completely submerged outlets. To adjust the skimmer, rotate the red output pipe. This adjusts the output, raising or lowering the water level in the skimmer body.


The skimmer is tireless. It skims immediately, with very fine, extremely soapy white foam. The photos are nice, but the video gives you a better understanding of the actual skimming action. The foam fills the body from the base to the cup. Visually, the skimming and coloration look absolutely perfect.

We remind you that skimming performance is heavily dependent on salinity; higher salinity, better skimmer performance. We consistently stayed at 35 parts per thousand.

After several weeks of use, we can say we fell in love with this skimmer. Consistent and high-quality skimming. Performance above suspicion. And the aquarium was almost 800 liters with lots of fish and corals, especially SPS.

Octo Elite 200-S Skimmer Performance and Measurements

Water Flow

Due to the specific design of the skimmer, we couldn’t measure the treated water, which Octo claims is 1,600 l/h.

Air Intake

To measure the air intake, we used the professional ItalControl PSM-21 flow meter, which measures from 250 to 3,000 l/h of air, as the first attempt using the smaller Sander meter quickly maxed out at 1,000 l/h of air intake.

We measured an air intake of 1,300 l/h. A stable value and among the highest ever recorded in our lab.

The air-to-water ratio is therefore 1300/1600~0.82


The skimmer is extremely quiet. Simone’s aquarium is a bit less so. We conducted our usual three measurements, all one meter away from the aquarium and sump, obtaining the following results:

  • Acoustic pressure at 1 meter with all aquarium equipment on and doors closed: 44.7 dB
  • Acoustic pressure at 1 meter with only the skimmer off and doors open: 48.4 dB
  • Acoustic pressure at 1 meter after turning the skimmer back on: 49.7 dB

The difference in acoustic pressure measured with the skimmer on and off is 1.3 dB, a very low value that almost disappears with the doors closed.

The sound level meter used for the measurement is the usual VOLTCRAFT 320, IEC 651 Type II digital sound level meter, which is sufficiently reliable for the measurement in question. Given the nature of the noise to be measured, all measurements were taken using the dBA attenuation curve.

Maintenance Costs

The Octo Elite 200-S skimmer has a declared maximum power consumption of about 40 watts. As usual, we measured the pump’s consumption:

We found the consumption practically identical to the declared value. The consumption is therefore 39.74 watts, really low for a machine of this class and performance. This translates into an annual maintenance cost of about 94 euros ($101 USD), with an estimated cost of 0.27 euros ($0.29 USD) per kWh. Alternatively, you can do the calculation yourself, considering that the skimmer consumes about 348 kWh annually, a value that must be multiplied by your kWh cost.

The Cost

The Octo Elite 200-S skimmer costs 980 euros ($1052 USD). A price that might seem high but isn’t when considering the performance and the aquarium it is intended for. We don’t believe, in our hearts, that a 1,000-liter aquarium deserves a cheap skimmer. But this beast can handle it effortlessly.


It’s difficult to draw conclusions when you have such a high-performing tool in your hands. Practically perfect skimming. Managing an 800-liter aquarium with fish and corals without batting an eye. Bonus for the float in the cup. Skimmer pump above suspicion, adjustable. Low consumption relative to performance.

Spectacular skimmer to look at, solid and quiet. Very high air intake value, accompanied by an equally high treated water value, with a ratio close to 1. For us, a skimmer that can handle well-stocked 1,000-liter aquariums without major issues.

During use, it proved to be very consistent and efficient.


Excellent air intake value of 1,300 l/h
Spectacular construction
Very quiet
Easy maintenance
Float to prevent overflow in the cup
Low consumption
Adjustable pump


None to discuss


Disclaimer: We thank Octo for providing us with the skimmer for the writing of this review.

  • danireef

    Danilo Ronchi, aka DaniReef lives in Italy where he is hydraulic engineer, but starting from his love for reef aquarium and photography, he began to write about marine aquariums from 2006 and now he's published his first book "Marine Aquarium". From 2007 Danilo writes on his blog danireef.com where publishes articles, pictures, product reviews, aquariums coverage, reportage and history of his tank. Now he's happy to be part of Reefs.com

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