New Filtration System


Reefing newb
Hi Everyone, thank you in advance for your help. I currently have a two year old 90 gallon Saltwater aquarium. The tank is inhabited by: Snowflake Eel, Porcupine Puffer, Box Fish, Butterfly Fish, Wrasse, Clown, Mandarin,a few angle fishes, starfish, and two sea urchins. All fish have been healthy for months but today I noticed that three of my four bio wheels (I have two bio wheel 400 units) were not spinning and I am not sure how long this was happening. There were some particles stuck in the plumbing and they are working now but my concern is that they are failing and may have already lost some of their biological buildup. The bio wheel units look fairly beaten up and sound horrible. I am wondering what I should replace them with and what the process should be. In addition to the bio wheels I have a large Red Sea Berlin protein skimmer, about 100 pounds of live rock, and great water movement through several power heads (those three items are clearly not changing). I am heading to the LFS tomorrow but want to be educated on best options to replace the bio wheels. So far the Ammonia level is just slightly higher than normal and my Nitrite levels look like they always do (just below 0.20). I would ideally like something that better handles the Nitrite and will be reliable for years. I do a 20% water change every 3 to 4 weeks as well. Thank you in advance for any suggestions, I want to have the least impact on my fish and give them a more reliable filtration system.
I have to say the reef octopus. I have one, external, and I love it. Having worked at several fish stores now I can tell you thats what they use, best skimmer for the money. If you can afford more, then go with it. I would get rid of the bio wheels asap myself. Skimmers cost nothing in maintanence. I also would run a sock on the sump intake, and change it every couple of days. I wash my socks in a bucket with a little bleach and rinse them in clean water.
I've had two Octos and highly recommend them.
Right now on my 65g I run the Extreme 160. So far no issues, works great and comes with the Sicce pump. Reef Octopus Extreme 160 Protein Skimmer by CoralVue* - AquaCave

As Biff said, upgrade the skimmer and dump the power filters.

:shock: I just started a thread about the reef octopus extreme xs-160 because I can't find any information about it. What's the difference between the two? And this model actually comes with manual, yay!!!!
Not sure why there are (2) different / similar models.
I looked at the XS and this is what I see different :

1.) The XS uses a gate valve on the skimmer output. The regular 160 does not use this type of valve. To adjust the skimmer internal water level, the output pipe can be turned either counter clockwise or clockwise....this increases / decreases the levels.

2.) The XS air intake is mounted on the neck of the skimmer. The standard 160 does not mount there...may just be cosmetic, but I do find on my 160 the air hose to the sicce pump is "in the way". I guess that's why it's moved on the XS.

3.) The color is red versus black on the XS model....I have seen different importers carry different colors of the OCTO line in the past....this could be the case?

4.) As far as instructions, none of the OCTO skimmers ever really come with good instructions...just one of those things.