Bubble Magus Curve A5 Review – Best DC Protein Skimmer?

Updated Oct 31/2020

If you are looking for a new protein skimmer for your saltwater tank, I know finding the right one can be difficult.

With so much information and options available, how do you choose? Well if you are on somewhat of a limited budget, you should consider the Bubble Magus Curve A5 skimmer.

This protein skimmer is known as one of the best in its class and Bubble Magus has been a top-rated seller of aquarium products for many years.

The new Curve A5 protein skimmer is an upgrade to previous models and now includes a DC motor. This allows for a smoother and quiet operation which is more energy-efficient.

I am currently using this skimmer on my 120-gallon reef tank and I am very impressed with it.

If you are in a rush, you can check out today’s price for the Curve A5 DC skimmer on Marine Depot.




The Bubble Magus Curve series skimmers are highly sought after skimmer in the saltwater hobby.

They are designed for in-sump use only and the Curve 5 is rated for tanks up to 132 gallons.

Well known for being one of the most reliable skimmers on the market, you don’t need to worry about breaking the bank as the Curve skimmers are very affordable.


Bubble Magus Curve A5 DC skimmer features and specs:


  • DC needle wheel pump 24 volts (not controllable)
  • Quiet operation with air silencer and energy-efficient
  • Solid design – made with high-end materials
  • Bubble plate to reduce turbulence inside the chamber
  • The skimmer body is designed for the foam to efficiently rise to the cup
  • Easy to clean and remove skimmer cup
  • Easy to fine-tune for precise performance
  • Collection cup drain included
  • Dimensions: 7.28″L x 7.08″W x 18.5″H
  • Maximum Tank Capability: 132 Gallons
  • Pump: ROCK – DSP1000 – 13W, DC24V
  • Recommended Water Level: 8″



  • High quality and reliable
  • Quiet DC motor
  • Easy to maintain
  • Great price


  • Long break-in period
  • Sensitive to water height


Marine Depot Aquarium Supplies

Curve A5 DC Skimmer pump – Rock DSP1000


One of the many great features of the Curve A5 protein skimmer is the Rock DSP 1000 DC pump. This pump is highly efficient and runs silent. There is really no comparison between this DC pump and the previous AC models. The DC pump is far superior.

This 24 V DC pump only uses 13 watts therefore saving you money on the power bill.

I also like the blue color, it’s a great change from the standard black or grey colored pumps.

The 2 biggest things most people look for when choosing a skimmer pump is its efficiency and noise level. Nobody likes a noisy skimmer pump in your room.

You won’t have to worry about that with this skimmer. It is very quiet and I would argue that it is pretty much silent.

My Curve A5 skimmer is located in my sump tank which is directly behind my couch in the living room. I cant hear it running at all. Perfectly silent.

If there is one thing I don’t like about the pump is its not controllable. Many DC skimmer pumps come with a controller so you can set the speed. This skimmer does not have that option but it didn’t stop me from buying it.

They are also easy to replace if you ever have an issue with it. You can buy the pumps separately instead of buying a whole new skimmer.


Unpacking and setting up

The Bubble Magus Curve A5 comes packaged and fully protected inside the box. When you first set up the skimmer, use the following steps:
  1. Unpack all the parts and place them in a safe area where you have room to put it together.
  2. Remove the skimmer body from the bottom plate by loosening the black screws.
  3. Turn the red wing locks one at a time x 4. Remove the body.
  4. Remove the rubber cord guide to allow the power cord to fit.
  5. Slide the pump along the grooves into place. The pump will click when in place.
  6. Now the cord can be put into position behind the pump and the rubber guide can go back in place.
  7. Next take the bubble plate assembly apart by removing the black screw on top.
  8. Take the top off and remove the screw fitting and plate.
  9. Place the plate and align it with the hole on top of the pump. Use the screw fitting to attach it.
  10. Place the bubble chamber back into place and reattach the screw.
  11. Now place the skimmer body over top of your assembly and into position.
  12. The hole in the skimmer body will line up with the pump intake tube.
  13. Once the skimmer body is in place, return the red wing locks into position and tighten with the black screws.
  14. The wing locks are curved to align properly with the skimmer body.
  15. Place the skimmer intake pipe into position through the skimmer body into the front of the pump.
  16. Now install the silencer by removing the black screw and removing the rubber hose.
  17. The silencer will install on the white arm on top of the skimmer body.
  18. Place the silencer into the first hole on the arm and the black screw into the second hole to hold it in place.
  19. Reattach the rubber tubing onto the silencer underneath the unit.
  20. The other end of the tubing now connects onto the intake pipe in front of the pump.
  21. Now install the collection cup drain hose and place the cup onto the skimmer body.
  22. Connect your power cords and you are all set to go!


Operating and adjusting the Curve A5 skimmer

When you turn on the skimmer for the first time, the body will fill with water. It will take some time for the skimmer to break in and adjust to your tank.

This is known as the break-in period. Some skimmers are better than others with the break-in time, and ill admit the Curve A5 does take its time.

The recommended water height for the skimmer is 8″. This is to ensure proper performance.

This number is not set in stone and you can adjust it as you see necessary to get the best performance out of the skimmer.

For example, in my tank, I found that 8.5-9″ worked best for me.

If you have the advantage of a water height adjuster in your sump, this becomes easy. But if not, you may need to DIY a skimmer stand or purchase one online.

Adjusting the water output tube by rotating the red dial from minimum to maximum with settings 1-5 in between. Between 2 and 3 works well for my tank.


Pro tip:

The biggest complaint I hear with regards to operating this skimmer is that it takes a long time to break-in. While that may be true, keep in mind it will not be the same length of time for all tanks.

Some people get upset when the skimmer isn’t operating perfectly within a few days. For me, I found the Curve A5 to be working perfectly within a week.

I don’t mind waiting some time to have a really good operating skimmer on my tank. So give it the time it needs and you will be happy with the results.

It can be frustrating at first and you will need to try different water output levels and water heights, but once you find the sweet spot, it will perform great.

bubble magus a5 skimmer review
Here is my Curve A5 after 1 week running. Check out that skimmate and the DIY skimmer stand!



After 2 weeks running!

Maintenance and cleaning


In order for a protein skimmer to operate as efficiently as possible, it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. The Bubble Magus Curve A5 skimmer is easy to clean and maintain.

It is lightweight and not a huge and clunky skimmer to install.

Removing it from your sump is easy to perform maintenance for regular cleanings. Removing the skimmer cup to empty any skimmate and clean is also a breeze.

There are no special clips or pieces to remove. Simply lift the cup off the top and bring it to your sink or cleaning station. Here is a great article on how to clean a protein skimmer cup.

You will need to clean your skimmer cup every few days.



Overall I highly recommend the Bubble Magus Curve A5 DC skimmer. This is one of the best skimmers on the market for the price. If you decide to purchase this skimmer, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Keep in mind that it may take some time to adjust and break in but once you have it set and running properly, it will be a huge benefit for your tank!