VarioS-6 Controllable DC Pump (1720 GPH) - Reef Octopus

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VarioS-6 Controllable DC Pump (1720 GPH) - Reef Octopus

83% Recommend this to a friend (10 of 12)

SKU: 210231

reg. $294.99

Special Price: $206.49

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Quick Overview

Reef Octopus VarioS DC pumps give you enhanced performance and precise control of flow through your aquarium's reactors, sump, or closed loop system.

With complete control through the VarioS Controller, you can control the flow of the pump, enter feed modes (15 or 60 minutes), add a safety float switch (included), or simply connect it to a third party controller like an Apex.

Max Flow: 1720 GPH

Max Head: 16 FT

Dimensions: 3.75" W x 5.7" L x 5.5" H


Full Details

Efficient - Safe - Reliable

5 Flow Settings - Precise control of the pump for any application.

True Slow Startup - Easy on equipment and saves energy.

Detachable Controller - Waterproof union.

Float Switch - Creates a new standard for pump safety.

Rotatable Volute - Rotates in 90-degree intervals.

Integrated Memory - Keeps programming even during power outages.

Feed Mode - Shuts down for 15 or 60 minutes.

Submersible or External - Perfect as a return, closed loop, or reactor/filter pump.

Super Quiet Operation - Perfect for places where any noise is not tolerable.



The safe and energy efficient VarioS DC pump now include the new VarioS controller giving you more control. With 5 different energy saving speeds and two feed modes, the controller lets you know what your pump is doing at a glance.


Third Party Control

There is a dedicated port on the VarioS controller letting you directly connect your VarioS pump to any third party controller through a 0-10V reference port. Controlling your pump through a controller like an Apex lets you create your own flow profiles which are particularly handy for closed loop systems creating a random flow throughout the aquarium.



Having a pump that lets you directly attach a float switch has several advantages. The float can let you set high or low points in your sump, skimmer cup, or display tank that will shut the pump off when the float is activated.

The VarioS controller includes a waterproof 3-conductor union that connects to the pump creating a safe and detachable connection.



  • Input: 1.25" Male Union Thread
  • Output: 32mm/1.25" (barb/pvc coupling)
  • Max Flow: 1720 GPH
  • Max Head: 16 FT
  • Wattage: 70W
  • Voltage: 36V DC
  • Dimensions: 3.75" W x 5.7" L x 5.5" H
  • Cable Length: 6 FT
  • Pump Warranty: 2 Years
  • Rotor Warranty: 1 year


What's in the Box

  • Varios-6 Controllable Pump
  • Varios Controller
  • Power Supply
  • Float Switch
  • Input Union
  • Output Union
  • 1 1/4" Barb
  • Protective Intake Screen


Note: VarioS pumps are not pressure rated, and therefore not recommend for high head pressure applications or equipment like Becket and downdraft skimmers.


12 Items

  • Superb return pump so far By Randall on 8/10/2017

    I've only had this pump installed in my Red Sea Reefer 450 for about a month now, but so far, it has met and surpassed expectations. I bought it to replace a barely 3 month old Jebao pump with stainless steel screws that were already rusting out.

    This pump is has got the flow I expect, and it's dead silent. It's white color makes it much easier to see and evaluate while sitting in the sump as compared to black or grey pumps.

    The VarioS controller works great. The float switch is a nice extra that you can use in various ways. I use it as a low level shutoff switch in my sump, so that the pump shuts off before sucking air. This can be helpful during water changes and other situations that would otherwise blow air in the display tank.

    Also fantastic is the variable speed input on the VarioS controller which makes the pump Apex ready. When operating under Apex control, only the speed function on the controller is overridden, meaning you can still turn the float switch on and off, do 15 and 60 min feed modes, and so on manually if you choose. Personally, I prefer using the Apex feed mode function, where I've tuned the pump profile to push just enough to hold the water stationary in the return pipe, neither circulating forward nor draining back. This is also useful for doing water changes without ever turning off your return pump.

    One potentially serious issue Apex owners need to consider: If you plug a variable output from the Apex into the controller, the controller now depends entirely on that 0-10V signal to set the pump speed. If your Apex reboots for any reason, the return pump will be OFF during that minute or two. If your Apex were to be seriously buggered and could not reboot, the pump would stay off. Even if you plug the return pump into an Energy Bar outlet and set Fallback ON in programming, it won't work because the absence of the variable out signal keeps the pump off. To avoid this unlikely but potentially catastrophic event, I plan on unplugging the Apex cable from the VarioS controller whenever I'm away from home overnight or longer; I want the pump to fallback to full speed operation if the Apex fails and I'm not home. I also recommend turning the float switch off when not home, for the same reason.
  • Very nice pump By Richard on 8/1/2017

    Could not be happier. Quality build. Very quiet. Tons of flow.
  • QUIT AFTER 10 MONTHS By TIM on 5/24/2017

    Well it worked fine until one day it froze up less than 10 months after purchase.If you do decide to purchase this pump, but 4 or 5 so that you are covered for the next three years or so.
  • Park it deep & leave it running!! By Plank Spanker on 5/15/2017

    This is the fist DC pump i have owned and i have to say its impressive! I slapped this dude in the sump and it about blew my hat off from its power on my 90G RR tank, im sure i will be running the pump at the lower setting! Thanks BRS, more reviews to come!
  • Excellent By Scott on 4/11/2017

    Everything I expected and more. Very well made, internal balance is also very good. (I've worked on pumps of all sizes for most of my life, It's amazing how many "high qulity" pomps are not balanced well). Only years of use will tell how long the pump will last but I have very high hopes. Controller is all you could ask for, simple, easy to use with the possibility of adding float switches if desired.
  • perfection By RT on 4/1/2017

    I cannot detect a sound with this pump. It is the quietest Ive ever had an experience with. I have utilized Sicce up until this point and took a leap for a new build. Sicce makes excellent pumps without a doubt and they are affordable but if you have the opportunity this pump is pure perfection.
  • Excellent Choice By William on 2/13/2017

    I run this return pump on setting "3" on my stock dual Durso 125 gallon aquarium in a Trigger Emerald 39 sump. Does not overpower the drains, and can be run at the max setting if desired. It is whisper quiet and has plenty of turnover.

    Rough testing (time to fill a 2 cup container and then extrapolating) on my aquarium setup showed about 514 gallons per hour at the "3" setting, which is about 4 times turnover per hour. On setting "5" is was about 720 gallons per hour.

    I am 100% satisfied with this pump so far.

    I use a short 1" flexible hose going from the pump to a 'Y" connector/adapter to two 3/4" flexible hose returns. Sump is in the 6' aquarium stand.
  • THE LITTLE MONSTER !!!!! By johann garcia on 10/27/2016

    #### EXELENT DEAL####
  • Awesome Pump! By Jason on 10/11/2016

    I am running this pump on my Red Sea Reefer 250, this pump is overkill but by the time you add plumbing for a manifold it is awesome! I wanted to go with the vetra M1, I decided on the VarioS-6 because it is apex ready out of the box and cheaper than the M1. Highly recommend!
  • Nice Pump By Rob on 9/30/2016

    Very quiet pump, its been running for about a month now.
  • Quiet! By Aaron on 9/13/2016

    Never thought I would find a pump that was silent until I found this one. Control features are great but the biggest advantages: First it's fully APEX Ready! Don't need to buy anything but a simple cable for the 0-10v port. Second, maybe the best thing, it's less than 300$ and don't need to buy other stuff to connect it to my APEX.
    Construction is quality, impeller and bearing are very stout.
    This is the best return pump you can get without spending twice or 3x as much.
  • So far so good By N.y. 78 on 8/28/2016

    I love the float switch feature wired into my main display so in case anything happens and the overflow does not work it will not continue pumping water into the main display the float switch will shut it off and the choice between 15 minutes and 60 minutes time is awesome


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Product Questions

Would the ecotech battery backup system work for this pump? If not, which system would?
Question by: Scott on Nov 14, 2016 9:58:00 PM
Great question! The EcoTech Battery Backup is proprietary to EcoTech Marine and will not work with this pump. Currently, Reef Octopus does not manufacture a battery backup for their pumps specifically. You would need to use a computer styled UPS battery backup for this pump. :-)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Nov 15, 2016 2:13:00 PM
How do these pumps do in terms of noise produced? And are these "Apex Ready", or "compatible with an Apex"?
Question by: David Hutchings on Jul 28, 2016 3:23:00 PM
Hi David,
The VarioS pumps are “Apex Ready” pumps and are very quiet just like all other DC pumps. On full blast you may hear the slightest bit of noise but if you turn the power down just one step they will become virtually silent.
Answer by: Charlie (Admin) on Jul 29, 2016 7:37:00 AM
What cord would be needed to connect this pump to an apex controller?
Question by: Brett Mondy on Jan 26, 2017 8:43:00 PM
Great question! The controller needs a 3.5mm stereo cable to connect to the Apex variable speed ports. In which case, the Kessil to Apex cable works perfectly! :-)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Jan 29, 2017 7:49:00 PM
I'm setting up a 120 with 40 gallon sump. What would be a good reliable pump for this system?
Question by: Roy conley on Nov 11, 2016 3:05:00 PM
Hey there, thanks for reaching out to us! This pump will be a perfect fit for that setup and will provide ample flow! :-)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Nov 14, 2016 2:37:00 PM
I have a Red Sea Reefer 250. Would this return pump be over kill for a reefer 250 with a few media reactors and UV sterilizer added to the return line?
Question by: Brendan on Sep 22, 2017 9:59:00 AM
Hey there,
Thanks for getting in touch with us in regards to this pump. This would work perfect for what you are trying to do there. This would also allow you to not have to run the pump on its highest setting which would put less stress on the pump throughout its life. Please let me know if there is anything else that we can assist with. Thanks!
Answer by: Tyler Schafer (Admin) on Oct 1, 2017 11:47:00 AM
Can this be controlled with the reefkeeper and the APC mod, or even with the feed mode on the reefkeeper? Or will i need to use the pumps controller?
Question by: John Freitas on Jan 2, 2017 12:57:00 AM
Great question! You can control the pump with the ReefKeeper. In order to do so, you will need the Kessil to ReefKeeper cable. Both the Kessil lights and the VarioS pump utilize a 3.5mm stereo cable to adapt to the 0-10v ports on the ReefKeeper. That cord is in the link below! :-)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Jan 10, 2017 3:55:00 PM

Does this pump come with a 1" barb output fitting? Some sites say it has a 1.25" barb and another says a step down barb adapter similar to a hosetail. Your site doesn't even mention the barb fitting. I'm referring to the Varios-6 return pump specifically. Thanks...
Question by: Jesse on Dec 12, 2016 3:16:00 AM
Great question! The Varios 6 comes with a 1.25" output and a barbed fitting for that size as well. The product description listed below is from our site. :-)

Output: 32mm/1.25" (barb/pvc coupling)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Dec 13, 2016 2:21:00 PM
How are these DC pumps on heat transfer? I have used Mag pumps for years but the heat generation requires an external install. Do these run cool enough to sit in the sump without over heating the tank?
Question by: Brustad on Jun 4, 2017 11:35:00 AM
In general these pumps are significantly more energy efficient and produce less heat waste than traditional AC pumps. It does depend upon your ambient temps around the tank and other sources of heat, as well as the insulation qualities of your tank, but I would not expect the pump to be a principle source of heat for the tank. We have a number of tanks here at the office running DC return pumps submerged and we still require a heater to keep the tank temps up even after lights, powerheads, and return pump.

Happy reefing!
Answer by: Zack (Admin) on Jun 9, 2017 3:29:00 PM