Bubble Magus Curve 5 Skimmer Review

AI Hydra

Stolireef

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I set up a new 40 gallon breeder QT / Frag tank a few weeks ago and decided it needed a skimmer. I rarely buy Chinese knockoffs (at least for my tanks) but for a smaller tank, I figured I'd give it a shot. On my main display tank, I'm running a fairly high end Vertex skimmer. It's one of the best built pieces of kit I've owned (beautiful acrylic work, great skimmate, excellent pump, very quiet) so this review is kind of a comparison.

The price of the BM Curve 5 is really great. Around $200 at Marine Depot. But, as we all know, price can sometimes be an indicator of quality so here we go.

1. Packaging: Excellent. Every part was easily located, well protected, and the unit itself was spotless.
2. Instructions: Stick to the pictures. Save the written instructions for their entertainment value. (eg. "Every product tested before leaving factory, so some water blob maybe leave on it. It's not used vestige...") That said, the pictures are pretty good and assembly was quite easy.
3. Build Quality: This is a mixed bag. Compared to the Vertex, the acrylic is quite thin and just doesn't feel as solid. On the other hand, all of the parts fit together well and the pump appears to be either a modified Sicce (just like on the Vertex) or an excellent knockoff. Disassembly for cleaning is pretty simple with four flanges that hold the skimmer body to the base plate. The bubble plate is held to the pump using the output nut on the pump itself. The rest of the bubble plate assembly is held together by a single nylon screw that was correctly aligned and threaded. The water level adjustment tube is very well marked (much better than the Vertex) and is very easy to adjust.
4. Function: So far so good. The unit started right up and, unusually, runs in pretty deep water (about 10" to the instructions). This means that for most sumps, you won't have to build something to keep it at the right water level. After running for about two hours, it's producing a nice thick skimmate.

Overall, and this is a little early, I'd give this a solid 4 out of 5 star rating. And, if you adjust for the price, it'd probably get a 5. Buy with confidence.
 
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Mal11224

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I have this skimmer and love it. Once I was able to break it in, it worked great. Hooked the waste tube up to a 2 gallon jug and connected a float valve to my apex and have never had skimmer overflow. Good choice.
 
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Stolireef

Stolireef

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Bubble Magus is a chinese knockoff company? I always thought they were in the same league as like Reef Octopus lol
I was probably a little too strong with that statement although, since the pump does not indicate the Sicce brand name and is clearly identical to a Sicce Syncra 2...
 
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tdileo

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Matthew and Stoli, what depth is yours at? I have a 10 gallon sump and would like to get one for my 46G tank since you guys seem to like it and maybe a good skimmer would let me fit a 6th small fish in. I read online the reccomended depth is like 8", which is a lot higher than my baffles lol
 

Matthew Dambra

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Matthew and Stoli, what depth is yours at? I have a 10 gallon sump and would like to get one for my 46G tank since you guys seem to like it and maybe a good skimmer would let me fit a 6th small fish in. I read online the reccomended depth is like 8", which is a lot higher than my baffles lol
I have found that once broken in mine runs best at around 10" water height
 

tdileo

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Bigger sump is always a good thing as long as it will fit!
Best of luck

Thank you! The door is pretty small on my stand so I could just barely fit my 10 gallon
6718fbecb4638d5fb03e1ac17b822d0a.jpg

A 20H is just a tiny bit wider and longer so hopefully it would work fine. Gonna suck to have to turn off my pumps and then drain the water into a bucket just to find out it doesnt fit lol
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

redfishbluefish

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I was probably a little too strong with that statement although, since the pump does not indicate the Sicce brand name and is clearly identical to a Sicce Syncra 2...

The pump on the BM Curve 5 is a no-name brand (most likely Chinese). However the Seaside Aquatics Curve 5 (ES5) is the BM Curve 5 with the Sicce PK200 pump.

SeaSide Aquatics

41%2BP0SWEFhL.jpg



Bubble Magus

41KN52dVTJL.jpg



Same skimmer body, different pumps!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

nick0206

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A question about this skimmer.
I am not happy with the efficiency of my skimmer and decided to buy a new, more efficient one.
I have a 300 liter (75 US gal) system with sps dominated tank. There are a lot of corals, about 50 SPS and about 30 LPS.
6 fish, 3 surgeon fish (yellow tang, veliferum and blue powder) and 3 chromis.
3 shrimps, one 15-year-old ophiura, 20 turbo snails.
Having made comparisons of available models, my choice settled on "Bubble Magus Curve A5"
And here I was puzzled by one parameter.
The Bubble Magus Curve A5 is designed for aquariums from 300 to 500 liters (75-125 gallons).
Their next model is the Bubble Magus Curve A5 from 700-900 liters (175-225 gallons).
Where does this accuracy come from?

For example, Tunze DOC Skimmer 9410 DC offers up to 1,200 liters (317 US gal.)
or here's another:
NYOS Quantum 120 Tank Size 100-500 Liter

NYOS Quantum 160 Tank Size 250-1.000 Liter

Usually manufacturers, when giving characteristics, note that the lower range is SPS (heavy load) tanks, higher displacement is suitable for tanks with soft corals.
Here it is more clear, for example NYOS® Quantum® 160, for heavy-load tanks (SPS) like mine, a maximum of 400 liters is suitable, and higher, depending on the load.

But Bubble Magus Curve A5 75 gallons SPS, 100 gallons LPS and 125 gallons soft. A bit strange, don't you think?
I know people like Bubble Magus skimmers, but...
What do you think of it? What do you advise?
 

nick0206

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To the above, here are Tunze description and recommendations.

Low sensitivity, no reductions
In...​

leather coral aquariums with long-polyp corals and anemones, for example, the load of dissolved organic matter may be higher, sometimes it may even be vital.
The DOC Skimmer can be used for the recommended aquarium volume without reductions.

Average sensitivity, 40% reduction
A medium organic sensitivity is usually found in mixed aquariums inhabited with leather and stoney corals (LPS). Filters, sponges, etc. can also be found there. A DOC skimmer that is designed for 1,000 liters (264 USgal.) is likely to only skim 40% of organic substances with this light pollution.
Thus, a DOC skimmer for 1,000 liters (264 USgal.) should be used for a tank with a maximum content of approx. 600 liters (158 USgal.).

Increased sensitivity, 60% reduction
Aquariums with primarily small-polyp stoney corals (SPS) require an especially high degree of purity. They should have no load of phosphates or nitrates worth mentioning. Good oxygen saturation and very clear water are the pre-requisites. In this type of aquarium, the DOC skimmer is frequently used as a "stand-alone solution".
Thus, a DOC skimmer for 1,000 liters (264 USgal.) should be used for a tank with a maximum content of approx. 400 liters (106 USgal.).

High sensitivity and high load,
70% reduction
Hard coral aquariums (SPS) with a high population of fish require an extremely high skimming capacity. The skimmer has to ensure the proper degree of purity for hard corals in case of an excessive fish burdening, whereas an especially high performance is required if it's used as a "stand-alone solution".
Thus, a DOC skimmer for 1,000 liters (264 USgal.) should be used for a tank with a maximum content of approx. 300 liters (79 USgal.).

Especially for Comline® DOC skimmers used as contact skimmers for breeding tanks with plankton, 70% reduction
Stone coral aquariums or other breeding tanks with plankton food require an especially high degree of purity. Good oxygen saturation and very clear water are the pre-requisites.
Thus, a Comline® DOC skimmer for 1,200 liters (317 USgal.) should be used for a tank with a maximum content of approx. 360 liters (95 USgal.)
 
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