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FAQs about Other Manufacturer's Powerheads & Marine Systems (TAAM/Rio, AquaTech, Eheim/AquaBalls, Marineland/Penguins, ZooMed/PowerSweep, SeaSwirls, Koralias

Related Articles: Powerhead Impressions by Steven Pro, Inexpensive Wavemaker Impressions, by Steven Pro Circulation, Aeration, Water Flow, How Much is Enough, Marine System ComponentsRefugiums, Central FiltrationFlow-through Live-holding Systems, Refugiums, Business Set-Up

Related FAQs: Powerheads 1, Powerheads 2, Rationale, Selection, Application, Modification, Problems/Repair, By Manufacturer, Makes/Models: Aquarium Systems (Maxi-Jets, Visi-Jets), Hagen (AquaClear), Tunze, Wavemakers, Marine Circulation 1, Marine Circulation 2, Marine Circulation 3, Marine Circulation 4, Marine Circulation 5, AerationPumps, PlumbingMake Up Water Systems, Sumps RefugiumsGear Selection for Circulation, Pump ProblemsSurge Devices

You don't want so much water movement that all has to hunker down!

Powerhead Perception      10/19/15
Just a quick question regarding the function of the Aqueon powerhead in my 65 gallon mixed reef tank. Does it function the same as the maxi jet powerhead?
The maxi jet seemed to have a strong suction
<Depending on which model/size you choose, either one or the other have more suction, volume discharge>
which would be counter intuitive to use with a roaming anemone.
<Yes; best to assure that the intake area/s of all are screened, enlarged, best done with careful rock placement>
Or is the design with the Aqueon different?
<Not different, both centrifugal; submersed>
Or is there an internal powerhead that doesn't inherently create such a suction effect?
<Mmm; there are other pump designs, but all have suction, pose a danger to Anemones>
I did try putting pantyhose over the maxi jet 1200 and it clogged on a daily basis. Also when using the maxi jet 1200 for water movement is it recommended to use with the propeller cover or the standard method with the attached airline tubing? Or does it matter?
<The air entrainment does matter in some cases... for some aid in aeration (not much); and looks>
I'm trying to place a powerhead at opposite ends of the tank to best mimic non-laminar flow. Do the Koralia(sp) powerheads operate the same way, with a strong suction?
Doing some experimenting and wanted to get an opinion before any more purchases.
<You may want to look into an aquarium or modification involving an "overflow tower" to deliver water to a sump/refugium outside the tank, using the returned water from the pump there, in place of powerheads and/or internal pumps. Bob Fenner>

Sicce Voyager Powerheads?/Pump Selection 3/29/12
Hello, crew!
<Hello Kevin>
 I tried not to have to ask you guys, but I just can not seem to find reliable reviews on these Italian-made Sicce Voyager powerheads.  Do any of you have experience with these?
<Not with the Voyager, but another line of Sicce pumps.>
They were mentioned favorably in my local reef forum but from someone who hadn't had them long.  I searched here at WWM and only found them mentioned as side notes in a couple of posts. There seem to be only a handful of reviews online, but none from reefers that have had them for any length of time.
Yes, I have to admit I am trying to save a little money.  I have finished gathering all the gear I need for my 180g setup (6x2x2), except for my powerheads, and am feeling it in the wallet.  When I can afford it, I would like to upgrade to Vortech or Tunze, but that won't be for awhile.
I am considering 3-4 or the Sicce Voyagers (rated at 1600 gph max), or some combo of Sicce powerheads to achieve the circulation I need.
 Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
<I do have two Sicce powerheads I have been using for eight months with no problems and Red Sea uses Sicce pumps in their turn-key aquariums.  Sicce also offers a three to five year guarantee (depending on model) on their pumps. 
Not too many pump manufacturers offer a guarantee like this including Vortech.  I would  post this question on a few forums and see how actual users feel about these pumps.>
Last question.  I have heard these run well with the Reef Keeper Lite Wavemaker.  With experimentation, I would like to achieve appropriate flow without the use of a Wavemaker.  Do you consider a Wavemaker fairly important gear for a reef tank, or can you have just as healthy a tank with creative, non-controlled powerhead placement?
<I favor the use of Wavemakers in reef systems.  The Voyager series do have rotating
heads that will help create the Wavemaker effect but not quite as good as a Wavemaker timer would.>
Thank you guys so much.
<You're welcome.>
With your site and online reef forums I am at least not completely dumbfounded anymore.  In a few years, I may actually have a decent idea to what I am doing!  Regards,
<Ditto.  James (Salty Dog)>

Used Marine Aquarium Parts 10/2/10 FYI
ZooMed PS-20 power head
-- 10/4/10
Quite frankly Bob, in my opinion, these units suck. They are gear operated and it doesn't take long for debris to get into the small nylon gears and stop the rotation device. Bought three of these a couple of years back and returned them after three days of use.
<Thank you for this James... have heard and read similar dismal reports re.

Re: Power Filters ATTN Minh, plus now fluorescent tubes, circ. for cnidarians    1/14/09 Minh, <Hello John.> So now you are fairly familiar with my system and you had asked about my fluorescent tubes. Well lets just suffice it to say that once before I had a reef tank and decided to upgrade the lighting already. I purchased a 260 watt PC fixture. It comes with the usual arrangement of 2 10K Kelvin lamps and 2 Actinic lamps. Thinking of replacing the actinics with 10K Kelvin lamps. <Congratulations on the purchase.> I know this is not enough light for SPS or clams or many anemones but I would like to keep some soft coral like the toadstool. Perhaps an LPS like a frogspawn. <Although some Acroporids may actually need higher intensity illumination, Power Compacts may be sufficient for Montiporas and LPS if creative aquascaping and coral placement is utilized.> I realize that keeping a shrimp with a frogspawn is dangerous so I would not do it. <Shrimps in the Lysmata family such as Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (L. amboinensis), Peppermint Shrimp (L. wurdemanni) and Blood Red Fire Shrimp (L. debelius) are opportunistic scavengers and may damage coral flesh when going after uneaten food in the coral's oral disc. Likewise, hermit crabs in the Calcinus <sic> family or crabs in the Mithrax <sic> family can also do similar damage. Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus) and "Yellow" or "Dwarf" version (Stenopus scutellatus) have less of a tendency to do so. Although all of these species have been housed in many tanks with Euphyllia without issues, keep in mind of the possibility of damage.> Also to let you know I purchased an Eheim 2026 and that should be here next week. So much for FOWLR. Once you cross over into a reef tanks there is no going back I guess! <It is an excellent filter, I suspect you will be happy with it.> My only concern now is will 2 Koralia 1's provide enough circulation for corals that may require I higher flow. I am sure they are fine for most leathers, the mushroom, polyps, etc. I just have no experience with Koralias. < The Hydor Koralia is from the new generation of low-cost propeller driven pumps that is quite different to the powerheads and pumps you've used in the past. Instead of generating a forceful jet of water flow, its large prop and shroud design allows for a gentle wave pattern that is much more efficient at moving water than a traditional impeller driven pump. The two Koralia 1's and the flow from the Eheim 2026 should be sufficient for most of the corals you intend to keep. Gorgonians are the exception as these requite more flow but with creative aquascaping and placing the specimen closer to the powerheads, you can work around the issue. For an excellent read on efficient flow design in a reef tank, take a look at this article: "Water Flow is More Important for Corals Than Light" (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/6/aafeature2).> Thanks again Minh. I have really enjoyed communicating with you. John <You're welcome. Cheers, Minh Huynh.>

Hydor Koralia Question 4/24/08 Hi Bob, <Scott V. here with you.> I have looked through your site many times and it has been quite helpful. <Great!> I have a FOWLR 72 gallon bowfront tank with an Eheim 2026 filter and was looking to replace my powerheads with Koralias. I currently have a couple of smaller clown fish in the tank and would like to get as much water flow as possible. Would 2 Koralia 4's at 1200 gph each be too much for the clowns? <The clowns can handle the flow, this will put your tank turnover past 30 times and hour, fairly high for a FOWLR. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but dual Koralia 3's will be a better fit for this in my opinion.> The only other additions to livestock I may make would be smaller reef safe wrasses. I know these types of questions are beaten to death on your site, but would really appreciate a response. <No problem, we respond to all.> Thanks so much, Dustin <Welcome, enjoy the tank, Scott V.> Koralia Power Heads'¦Are Mine Working Correctly? Do I Need More? -- 02/29/08 Hi all. <<Howdy Matthew>> You have been a huge help to me as a beginner already, <<Great!>> but I have one more question. <<Okay>> I have a 55 gallon tank with some mushrooms, polyps, and a leather coral along with about 50lbs of live rock and two tank raised clownfish. I have an AquaC Remora protein skimmer and two Hydor Koralia 1 (400ghp each) power heads. <<All good gear>> Even though the Koralia's state that they are 400 gph each, it does not seem to be moving that much water. <<Mmm, the 'stream' generated is more diffuse/is wider than a comparable 'traditional' powerhead so it doesn't 'feel' as strong even though it is 'moving' just as much water. You can be confident these units are doing what you have employed them to do'¦and with better results/less chance of damaging livestock than with a traditional powerhead>> I have a power filter that I can run as well if I have to without any media in it. <<Up to you'¦but if used, I would suggest at least adding some chemical media to the filter for its added benefit to the system>> Also I have two Aquaclear 30 power heads that I can hook up, but then I will have a lot of equipment that I do not want in the tank. <<I see>> Is my circulation enough with only the two Koralia #1's and the protein skimmer, or do you think I should hook up the other powerheads and power filter. <<Were this me, I would likely add another Koralia pump'¦but'¦what are your tank inhabitants telling you? The condition/health/reactions of your livestock is your best measurement of the system and its needs>> Thanks in advance. Matthew Diethorn <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>

Re: Juwel Compact Filter Powerhead Pump   11/26/07 A brilliant response Tim and it was the one I was looking for but just didn't have the courage to commit to without some advice. <I am very happy to hear.> The filter compartment has actually come away from its silicone anchorage therefore a complete withdrawal will be easily achieved. <Oh good - that will be very helpful.> My next step, if I am correct in saying, is to create suitable water movement. I have a couple of Fluval filters Fluval 2 & Fluval 3 which I am thinking of using to create my water movement, would either of them be acceptable ? <If you use these, I would suggest using them just for the actual pump i.e. remove any filter media and let them run empty purely for the circulation. However, having said that, I think in a Juwel 180 you are already somewhat pressed for space and the introduction of large filters will unnecessarily further reduce that space. I would suggest you instead acquire some actual powerheads such as MaxiJets or, though more expensive, the brilliant new Tunze Nano Stream pumps. These produce much more flow than the filters, take up less space, and are much simpler to position in the tank, allowing you to create ideal water flow with a large filter blocking your view.> Thanks Dorian

Streams Vs. Vortec...?   5/4/06 Good Afternoon...... <Hi there! Scott F. here today!>     Your thoughts on the ECHO-TECH MARINE Vortec Propeller Pump , that is now available . .....Better than TUNZE ???? <Well, not better...or worse...just different. I have not used them personally, but I do use Tunze Streams. I like the fact that the majority of the pump is external, but currently, there is no way to swivel them like you can Tunze. Although the Vortec doesn't currently have a controller available, it will soon. I was very impressed by the prototypes that I saw at MACNA last year, and I think that they will prove popular. Tunzes, although larger, uglier and bulkier (and somewhat "maintenance intensive") have been around for a while, and Tunze equipment is legendary for its durability and reliability. The Vortec remains to be seen, although I expect great things from this product.> Would I need one or two of these , rather than the 6060 Tunze for a 150 gallon tank ? I thought I would run this by you people .  Thanks for your time .... Regards, Ted <It really depends on what types of animals you keep, and what kind of flow you desire. I would bet that you still would want to use two of either one of these pumps for a typical "SPS"-type tank of this size, although that's a generalization of sorts. Do a little more research on the web and the various discussion boards, and I'm sure that you'll hear good feedback form hobbyists using the new pumps. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

EcoTech Marine Vortec - 10/13/06 Hi Bob, <<EricR today>> I would like to know your thoughts of the EcoTech Marine Vortec.  I read a lot of reviews about the product and want to know your opinion. <<I first saw these at MACNA just over a year ago.  They look well made, and though I haven't used them myself (I've seen nothing to cause me to switch from the Tunze Streams I have now), everyone I know who has say good things about them>> Thank you Ramy Toronto, Canada <<Regards, EricR...Columbia, SC>>

Rio Aqua Pumps... in need of customer service I am hoping you can help me. I set up my first marine tank in April this year. On professional advice I purchased 2 Rio 400 power heads and one system 2000 controller with the thought of buying 2 more power heads at a later date, but after just 3weeks both power heads started to make a terrible noise while still working. I have tried to contact the suppliers which were Aquatics Unlimited but have received no reply. I feel they have taken my money and now don't want to know. Could you please give me any advice on this matter. I still have my original receipt .I have offered to return them in replacement for new ones as I feel they must be faulty but I get no replies to my emails Thank you Mick Blake. <Cheers, Mick... my advice would be to e-mail the manufacturer and cc the vendor in your message. One last request for service, so to speak. The Rio folks would/should be interested to hear and help. Best regards, Anthony>

He's Finished Having An (Aqua) Ball- Time For A Stream! Guys, <Scott F, your guy tonight!> I have a 72G with two Eheim Aquaballs (172gph), one Magnum H.O.T (250gph), One Eheim 2227 wet/dry (127gph) and a Remora skimmer (295gph). Assuming that they are all running at 75% capacity, that's 750 gph. I just purchased a Seio pump rated at 620 gph to replace one of the Aquaballs. I'm considering replacing the other with a Tunze 6020 Stream pump rated at 1600gph. Is that too much flow? <Well, it really depends upon the kinds of animals that you intend to keep. Chaotic-water flow-loving SPS corals need at the very least, 10 times tank capacity. Frankly, 20 times is a better goal, IMO. If this is what you're shooting for, bring on the Streams!> Should I stick with two Seio pumps? The Aquaballs don't have enough flow!! <Well, the Seios are interesting powerheads, IMO. I had a chance to test one when they first came out and they seem to work as advertised. However, in my humble opinion, the Tunze Stream is the best internal powerhead out there, in terms of raw power, low electrical consumption, and controllability. They are rather pricey, of course!> Sorry for asking a question when I kinda know the answer already. Narayan <Not a problem, Narayan. That's what your fellow hobbyists at WWM are here for. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: filtration on saltwater and plant tanks Thanks for the quick reply!<You're welcome> In regards to the Zoo Med Powersweeps- if they stop rotating won't they still serve their purpose or will I be better off replacing them with a couple more Maxi-Jets or something different? <They will still pump water but in short time they won't rotate.> Also wondering if it is possible to replace the media in the Eheim wet dry filter as it is filled in the Eheim pro with the addition of the pads and have it work like the pro ( according to the manual you can only use Ehfisubstrat for the wet/dry to function). Probably a stupid question- sorry <No stupid questions, just stupid answers. I don't know that I quite follow you.  You want to replace the Ehfisubstrat with something else?  The Eheim wet/dry will not function as a power filter as such although any media (carbon, etc) will still be useful in that regard, its just that you won't get constant water flow through it as I understand the Eheim wet/dries pulsate up and back.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again, Karen

Creating Chaos! (Oriented Sea Swirls For Optimum Water Motion) Dear Crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member tonight> Thanks for your help in advance, I find your website incredibly helpful. <Thanks for the kind words! We're proud to deliver WWM to you every day!> I did check the FAQ's but could not find my answer. I have 3-3/4" sea swirls on a 150 gallon tank. The outlet fittings have the ability to point up or down apprx. 30 degrees. Should they be placed up for the oxygen exchange or am I getting enough of that when the water travels through the trapezoid and into the sump, or downward for better circulation through out the reef. I would really appreciate your opinion....Thanks Steve  <Good question, Steve. I am a big fan of Sea Swirls myself, and really like them. My thinking is that the oxygen exchange will take place in the water's journey into the sump, as you surmise. I'd prefer to orient the outlets of the 'Swirls down into the water column, to create random currents. Observe the swirls for a while, to make sure that they don't kick up too much sand in the process. As long as you are getting good air/water interchange at the surface, the Sea Swirls will do the rest. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Powerheads... Aqua Tech... ? 9/10/05 I have an AquaTech 3ph power head. How much water does this pump in what amount of time? <Leslie, I believe Aquatech produces commercial products.  I'd try their website, I have no info about this powerhead whatsoever.  James (Salty Dog)> <<I would test the flow rate yourself... with a "pickle bucket", container of known size, a watch with a second hand... RMF>>

Re: Powerheads... Aqua Tech... ?  9/11/05 I purchased it at Wal-mart and done test myself and it pumps about 145gph. thank you. <Ah, thank you for sharing this input. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

9-10 Foot Power Cord for Small Pump  11/17/05 I have a saltwater aquarium (cylinder shape) that is in the center of our spiral staircase and measures 8 feet tall and 4 feet in diameter.  <Wowzah!> I would like to purchase a small pump (maybe Rio?) to submerge in the tank, mounted near the bottom to circulate water slightly around the bottom of the tank. <Mmm, I would investigate a bit more, look for a better-regarded manufacturer/line> I have good circulation at the top of the tank, but I feel there is stagnant water at the bottom and am concerned about high nitrates at the bottom of the tank. <Need to circulate all... including top to bottom... you might "tilt" your pump/discharges accordingly> Unfortunately, I have not been able to obtain a small pump with a power cord longer than 6 feet. Ideally, I would prefer a pump with a 9-10 feet power cord, but I would settle for one that has a 8 ft cord. Any suggestions or direction to a source of supply would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!  Brett <Mmm, I would contact the manufacturers (by name) directly re... it isn't hard/impractical to splice an extension and make this water proof... but the companies actually making these units can/will make special orders (I'd get double the number you want and save the other set for back-up). Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

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