Reef Octopus Octo Pulse: Maintenance and Troubleshooting

R eef Octopus Octo Pulse pumps are a great addition to any tank.  Their revolutionary mounting bracket makes it easy to install and direct the pump’s flow in any direction you want. 

As with any pump, maintenance is key.  Regular maintenance ensures that the pump remains working at peak performance and a long useful life.   

On average you should deep clean and inspect your Octo Pulse pump every 3-6 months. In between cleanings, a quick scrub with a toothbrush will remove any unwanted growth.    

A soak in a mild solution of vinegar and water will help remove any stubborn calcified buildup.

Extracting the impeller from the pump and inspecting if for any debris, damage or buildup will ensure that it runs at peak performance. Remember to rinse the pump and parts thoroughly to remove any vinegar before installing into the aquarium.

The Octo Pulse consists of 3 main components:

  1. a power supply
  2. a controller box
  3. and the pump

All three are necessary for the pump to operate. If the pump does not work we need to look into all three of these parts to narrow down the source of the problem.

Power Supply Troubleshooting

First and foremost, we need to make sure that the light on the power supply is illuminated and remains in a solid green state when plugged into a live outlet.

If not, inspect the power cord to ensure that it is fully inserted into the power brick. Also make sure that the power socket itself is active. If needed, swap the power chord with one from any number of appliances to see if the cord itself is at fault.

Controller Troubleshooting

The Octo Pulse Controller has two types of alarms that alert and direct us to the possible issue.

If the Feed Mode buttons on the controller blink, we need to check that the pump is fully submerged in water. 

If the pump is submerged and the feed mode lights continue to blink, the impeller should be removed and inspected for buildup or damage. After cleaning the impeller and the feed mode buttons continue to blink, the impeller may be slipping from wear and tear and requires replacing.

If the controller power setting lights blink we should disconnect it from power and make sure all connections are dry, corrosion free and firmly connected. If after passing inspection the lights continue to blink, we need to proceed to disassembling the pump to make sure no foreign objects are stuck within the pump.

Disassembling the Octo Pulse Pump

To disassemble the pump and service the Octo Pulse impeller, grab the front cover and rotate it counter clockwise then separate from the pump base.

In order to remove the impeller we will need a small flat head screwdriver. Locate the flat key slot along side of the base of the propeller and insert the flat edge of the screwdriver into the slot.  Gently twist to lift the propeller from the pump housing and draw out the impeller.

An old toothbrush, bottle brush or battle brush work great in safely removing surface film from the surfaces of the pump and impeller.

Before inserting the impeller back into the pump we need to make sure that the front drive bushing is fully inserted into the black shield.

Carefully insert the propeller into the pump cavity while directing the propeller shaft into the rear bushing.



Try not to let the impeller jet into the cavity of the pump and possibly damage the impeller or rear drive bearing.

Before installing the cover make sure that the impeller is fully inserted into the pump and that the shield is seated properly. You will hear a click when fully inserted. Make sure that the impeller is moving smoothly before replacing the cover.

Place the volute onto the pump and rotate clockwise to lock. Slip the pump back on the base to complete its service.

FAQ File

Now, here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

My aquariums glass is thicker than what the Octo Pulse stock magnet can hold. What are my options?

Hope is not all lost. A stylish extra-strength waterproof external magnet can be purchased to hold the Octo Pulse pump to glass up to nearly 5/8in thick.

I have a 6ft peninsula tank and want the controller mounted on the opposite side but the cable length between pump and controller is just not long enough. What can I do?

You can add up to 3 extension cables together to extend the length of the pump chord.

My pump works but it seems a bit sluggish.  What could it be?

Usually this is a sign that the pump requires maintenance. To obtain optimal performance and long life, the Octo Pulse needs to be cleaned on a regular basis.  This means taking the pump completely apart, cleaning impellers and inspecting all wearable components.  Over several years you may need to replace the impeller to regain the performance it once had.

Well, that is all for this video. 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: Carlos

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