Reef Octopus eSsence Protein Skimmer 101: Assembly, Setup & Operation

he eSsence is a remarkably compact in-sump protein skimmer that offers a whole new experience in refined saltwater filtration. Here we cover the essentials of how to assemble, setup and operate your new Reef Octopus eSsence Protein Skimmer.

Before we begin assembly, lets locate, inspect and identify all components supplied with your new protein skimmer. Please refer to the parts and assembly diagram located in your users guide. If you don’t have it, you can always download it by clicking on the link below…


To begin we must install the Aquatrance pump by pulling the 4 red fasteners on each of the lower corners of the skimmer body outwards and lift the body from the base. Pull the wire sleeve for the pump chord out and aside.

Glide the pump forward onto its holder located in middle of the skimmer base. Make sure the power cord is facing the notch for the wire sleeve we removed. Slip the power cable into the wire sleeve and reinstall to the skimmer base.

Before we connect the body back to the base we need to carefully push the diffusion chamber onto the output of the pump. Center the diffusion chamber and install the skimmer body matching the hole on the body with the intake of the pump. Push in the four red tabs on the fasteners and ensure the body is secured to the skimmer base.

Insert the venturi through the hole that is lined up with the intake of the skimmer pump. Connect the smaller of the two provided hoses to the air venturi and up to the silencer in the neck of the skimmer. If needed, the tubing can be cut with a sharp pair of scissors.

Grab the output adjustment pipe and insert it into the hole at the base of the skimmer while guiding the holder into the clip at the top of the skimmer body. The adjustment pipe itself can rotate to your desired direction for easy access of the dial. Make sure the valve is all the way open by turning the knob counter clockwise.

Carefully install the skimmer in your sump at the suggested water depth. For the actual water level of your particular skimmer model, please head over to

Place the collection cup with lid on top of the rim of the skimmer body and twist clockwise to lock in place. To remove the cup simply twist counter clockwise and lift away from the skimmer body.

The collection cup comes with an optional drain if you wish to run the skimmate to a collection container. To do this, remove the black rubber plug and attach the drain hose, which is the larger of the two hoses included with the skimmer.

With the output valve completely open, plug the pumps power plug into an electrical socket. A generous mix of air and water should now be filling the skimmer body.

To tune the skimmer to your aquarium, simply close the output valve by turning it counter clockwise (close position) until you retain pea size bubbles at the point where the collection cup mounts to the skimmer body. Allow the skimmer to acclimate to the new setting for 24hrs or more before making any further adjustments. The more closed the output valve becomes, the wetter the waste collection will become.


Do not attempt dialing in a protein skimmer any sooner than 2 weeks.  You must allow the skimmer to break in prior to tuning it. It is common for a skimmer not to fully break in for 4 weeks. During this time the skimmers performance can be very unpredictable. Patience is a virtue!!!

Proper maintenance is required to ensure your skimmer is working at optimal performance and we suggest that you remove the pump for maintenance every 4-6 months. It allows you to ensure the skimmer pump is clean and free of any calcium build up as well as check the inner parts of the pump and inspect the impeller for damage and regular wear.


If you would like to learn more about the Reef Octopus eSsence Protein Skimmer including detailed specs, beautiful high quality pictures and replacement parts, head on over to  

Author: PR Manager

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