Reef Octopus Octo Pulse 101: Assembly, Installation and Operation

This fully controllable wave pump produces a broad flow water movement that will encourage coral growth and a healthy system.

With it’s 360° magnetic mount, the Octo Pulse can easily get the flow precisely where you need it. The rear of the Octo Pulse has a convex rounded shape, which fits neatly into a concave mounting magnet allowing the pump assembly to gyrate in any direction.

The Octo Pulse Multi-Function Controller allows you to create pulsing or surge effects with 4 preset pulsing patterns as well as a 15 or 60 minute feed mode. These come handy when you are feeding the tank or conducting regular maintenance such as a water change.

For all those that desire more controllability, the Octo Pulse can link up to most 3rd party controllers by using an available 0-10 volt port. This makes the pump very versatile and almost universally compatible with most system controllers including the APEX by Neptune Systems or the Reef Angel among others.

The box should include:

  • Octo Pulse Pump
  • Power Adapter
  • Controller with Mountable Cradle
  • Magnet Mount Base
  • Cable Management accessories
  • Instruction Manual


Assembling and installing the pump is fairly straightforward. Once we have selected an optimal spot that is not too close to the water surface and not directed to the substrate where it may create a sand storm, it is time to install the pump. First, ensure that the glass thickness is no more than 5/8in with the Pulse 4 and 1/2 inch max for the Pulse 2.

Then we must clean the selected area to remove any film from the surface. This can be easily accomplished with a simple razor.

Install the mount in your desired location within the aquarium.


These magnets are very strong so PLEASE be careful not to pinch your fingers or have the magnet slip out of your hands as it may damage the glass or acrylic.   The exterior magnet mount can be submerged underwater so it is safe to use inside your tank and overflows.

Once the base is secured, we may install the pump head to the base by simply placing the head next to the base. The magnetism will pull the pump head into place. Now, you can rotate the pumps output to your desired flow direction.

Once the pump has been installed, it is time to mount the controller cradle. Choose a location that is away from heat, excessive humidity and NEVER mount the controller over open water.

Connecting the Pump

Please, be sure that the cable reaches the pump and the cable connections have proper drip loops to prevent any components from getting wet. If distance is an issue, extension cables are available for purchase.

The Controller

Connect the Octo Pulse to the controller and then, connect the power supply to the controller. Finally, making sure no livestock is near the pump, connect the pump to the power outlet and run it for the first time.

The controller faceplate has a few buttons and lights but once you learn what they all mean, it is actually very intuitive and simple to use.

The controllers’ power button serves as a way to turn the pump on and off without having to disconnect the power plug. The power button also serves as a way to disengage the pause/feed mode.

At the top of the control pad is the switch mode button that cycles between the four available flow modes:

Constant Flow Mode

Constant Flow, which creates a steady flow of water

Stream Flow Mode

Stream Flow creates a quick preset pulse

Tide Flow Mode

Tide Flow creates a quick preset pulse

Random Flow

Random Flow, which will randomly select between all available modes

A colored led next to the mode will indicate what mode your pump is running in.

Next to the Pause/Feed button you will see two LED lights signaling the pause interval. To engage, just press the pause button once and the controller will pause the pump for 15 minutes.   Press the pause button once more and the controller will switch to a longer 60-minute pause.

pause and feed button

To cancel or disengage either of the pause/feed modes, just press the “power” button once. The pump will then return to normal operation at its previously set speed.

The plus and minus buttons control the max speed setting of the pump. Right next to the buttons you will see a set of 8 LED lights and speeds. As you press the plus or minus buttons, the flow of the pump will increase or diminish accordingly. One LED runs the pump at the lowest speed and 8 means the pump is running at maximum flow.

At the bottom of the controller you will find a single 3.5mm jack which will allow you to connect the controller to a 3rd party system controller using a connection cable not included with the pump. We will go over this feature more in a future video.

If you would like to learn more about Octo Pulse Pump and other great Reef Octopus products, head on over to  

If you have any questions or issues with the product, don’t hesitate to visit our support portal at  Our friendly support reps are eager to help you with any questions or issues you may have. 

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Author: PR Manager

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