Reef Octopus

VarioS-6 Controllable DC Pump (1720 GPH)

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

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: 5.7" L x 3.75" W 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.


Not sure which VarioS pump is right for you? Find out more

More Information
UPC 6950291252203
Variable Speed Yes
Gallons Per Hour 1000 - 2000 GPH
Max Head Height 15 - 20 Feet
Control Type Digital DC Control (Controller Included)
Compatible with Controllers Apex, GHL, 0-10V
Output Size 1.25" (1-1/4 in.)
Power Type DC
Power Consumption 70W
Power Cord Length 6 Feet
Input Size 1.25" (1-1/4 in.)
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Product Questions

What are the dimensions with the strainer on if it is just going to be used as a return pump?
Question by: Matthew OConnor on Feb 19, 2022, 3:46 PM
Great question. I happened to have one at my desk and measured it personally. This ended up being just shy of 7.5" in length with the strainer installed. Happy reefing :)
Answer by: Ashley Hoglund (BRS Staff) on Mar 3, 2022, 4:14 PM
What is the flow rate on the #1 ECO setting? Trying to get an idea of this pumps range to know what setting is needed to feed an external skimmer.
Question by: Dave Burt on Sep 9, 2020, 9:03 AM
Hey there,
Thank you for reaching out to us! It would be approximately 350-GPH.

Please let me know if you need anything further and take care!
Answer by: Matt Lucero on Sep 9, 2020, 2:09 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 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 on Oct 1, 2017, 11:47 AM
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: jay.brustad@gmail.com Brustad on Jun 4, 2017, 11:35 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 on Jun 9, 2017, 3:29 PM
What cord would be needed to connect this pump to an apex controller?
Question by: Brett Mondy on Jan 26, 2017, 8:43 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 on Jan 29, 2017, 7:49 PM
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 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 on Jan 10, 2017, 3:55 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 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 on Dec 13, 2016, 2:21 PM
Would the ecotech battery backup system work for this pump? If not, which system would?
Question by: Scott on Nov 14, 2016, 9:58 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 on Nov 15, 2016, 2:13 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 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 on Nov 14, 2016, 2:37 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 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 on Jul 29, 2016, 7:37 AM