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FAQs about Powerhead Selection for Marine Systems 

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Related FAQs: Powerheads 1, Powerheads 2, Rationale, Application, Modification, Problems/Repair, By Manufacturer, Makes/Models: Aquarium Systems (Maxi-Jets, Visi-Jets), Hagen (AquaClear), Tunze, Other Models/Manufacturers, 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

Paracanthurus hepatus (Linnaeus 1766), the (Pacific) Yellow-Tailed Blue, Palette, Regal, or Hepatus Tang.

Water flow     9/15/14
I asked a local expert to take a look at my 4 month old 75 gallon reef tank. He recommended better water flow than the 2 Hydor 1150 power heads I am currently using. He is recommending the EcoTech Vortec for about $400.
<Mmm; well; both brands, units will "get you there"... IF I owned the Hydors already I wouldn't likely upgrade... IF I were setting up a system for an "upscale" account, I might well choose the Vortecs... for their fancier control>
When I viewed the YouTube video on this product it seemed really loud. My tank is in my living room. After doing a little more research I am also considering the Hydor Wavemaker for about the same price and the Jebao MP 40 for considerably less money.
<Again, I would choose the Hydor here; for its better "service factor".>
I'm hoping someone can advise me based on previous experience with these products. Thank you!
<We/I always recommend extensive searching of actual users input for products; but here you have my personal input. After reviewing others statements, seeing these companies at international trade shows... Bob Fenner>

final opinion on powerhead debate - 4/17/12
Hello, Crew!
<Hello Kevin, Bobby here>  What an incredible database of information.  I love you guys.
<Thanks! We feel loved!>
I am finally almost complete with my 180 gal reef tank, gear acquisition stage.  My last pieces are my powerheads.  My tank is 6x2x2, and will be a mixed reef, including some SPS.  A quick summary of the rest, if needed: LifeReef Berlin-style sump with attached ~ 20 gallon dsb refugium, return via a BlueLine HDX 40, in-sump Reef Dynamics 180 protein skimmer (rated up to 600 gallons), lighting is SunPod 3 x 250W 14,000K HQI.  The tank will have live rock and live sand, and all water will be RO/DI.
Okay, I really have researched my needed circulation.  I have been on many forums, checked on here (Tunze seems well respected), checked with local reefers and the experienced staff at my LFS, as well as having read books by both Bob Fenner, Anthony Calfo, Julian Sprung, among others.  After all of this, I am down to two possible setups for circulation on my tank.  Both of these will put a significant dent in my wallet so I just wanted to check with the educated crew before (gulp) taking the plunge here.
Option 1- Two Tunze Turbelle Stream 6105 controllable pumps with the newer 7096 controller.  The pumps are rated at 740-3400 gph and can be controlled anywhere in between, with multiple "modes" like tidal, lagoon, pulse, etc.  The controller connects to my computer and everything is managed with the software.  Night mode can also be set by ramping down the pumps at night to whatever power % desired.
Pros: Tunze quality and customer service, can be directed in any direction, supposedly considerably quieter than option 2 Cons: compared to option 2, heat production w/ motor in the water, but I hear this is negligible, cord in water.
<You are correct in all regards and I agree the any heat put out is negligible as they use so few watts in general>
Option 2- Two EcoTech Marine wireless mp40's with built-in controller.
These have very similar gph ratings and can apparently be fine tuned in all the same ways as the Tunze setup, directly on the included controller.  I know many swear by these, but I have no experience with either myself, as I only had a FOWLR with maxi jets many years ago.
Pros:  supposed great quality and customer service as with Tunze.
Every known option in fine-tuning circulation, exterior motor so no/minimal heat added to the tank, no cord inside the water.
Cons:  non-directional, supposedly a good deal louder than the Tunze when ramped up toward full power, and my tank is my living room one the same wall as our big screen.
Any help here is much appreciated.  I will feel better with either purchase once I hear from you folks.  Thanks!
<OK Kevin, I will try to give you some feedback as I use and own both of the products you are referring to.  Let me start by saying as you suggest, you cant go wrong with either option.  That being said, I am going to suggest the MP40's for a few reasons I will list, but mainly as it is what I have done and I always try to provide a question like this with real world feedback. 1.  The Vortechs will provide a broader 'wall' of flow. 
The Tunzes have a more acute angle in the way the flow exits the unit.  2. Variability of flow options.  Although the Tunzes can be adjusted to what ever output you want, the pre programmed modes on the Vortech are really nice.  Especially when you consider they can be linked to work together without the need of an additional controller or the PC like the Tunzes need.  3. Aesthetics. Quite simply, you don't realize how distracting cords in the water are until you don't have them anymore.  On the negative, yes they are a bit louder than the Tunzes, but I cannot hear them over my TV which is also in the same room as my 220g which uses them.  In the dead of night when the house is quiet though, yes you can hear them.  I hope that helps with some real world experience.  Again, I would use either on a tank, but If I were to choose between the 2, the Vortechs win for me.>

Refractometers/Powerheads/Selection 12/21/11
<Hi Joe>
With so many on the market which one is most reliable and easy to use and calibrate??
<Many of these Refractometers are made by the same manufacturer for several companies.  I personally like and use this model. 
Powerheads again so many products out there...how much movement do I need in a 45 gallon tank (no sump)
<Sump or no sump you should strive for at least 10X the volume of your tank.  In your case, at least 450gph.  As for powerheads, the standard MaxiJet Powerheads, in my opinion, are the best buy for the money and work especially well with Wavemakers.    The propeller pumps are becoming a favorite as they move large amounts of water without the jet effect. There are propeller programmable pumps as well which can cost upwards of $500.00 depending on the gph desired.  Selection will definitely depend on your budget. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Refractometers/Powerheads/Selection 12/21/11

Ok the MaxiJets ...the newer one in blk box or the older green ones.
<I've never seen a green MaxiJet.  The new models are basically the same pump but come set up as a propeller pump. All parts included to convert from a propeller type powerhead to a circulation pump.>
Also how in a tank 2 or 4?
<Two of the 1200's should be plenty in a 45 gallon tank.>
Where is best to pisition <position> them? I currently have 2 Hydor 4s older ones in the middle on sides near the top pointing at each other.
<That is something you have to experiment with.  Placement depends on your rockscaping to avoid dead spots.  You may even need three smaller models.>
Also have a Hagen 70 towards bottom on middle of side pointing across middle. Is this best?------------------------------
<Don't know, can't see it.  Ideally you want water flow in all areas of the tank to prevent dead spots.  A couple of streamers made from a plastic bag and tied to a small rock is a good tool to use.  Move the rock around and observe the streamers for movement.  Do read here and related articles/FAQs found in the header.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Refractometers/Powerheads/Selection 12/22/11

Ok regarding powerhead...am I looking at flow rate or circulation flow rate.
Wondering if 2 maxi 1200 is enough in a 45gallon.
<Your answer is in the previous email.  Need to read.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Powerheads/Selection 12/27/11

How about using the Hydor Koralia Evolution 750's? Looking to start up my 125 gallon once I move with say 2 Hydor 750's. I currently have 2 Hydor 4's in my 45 gallon. Looking to buy powerheads that will work for both
<The Evolutions have some issues which would prevent me from buying.  I do not like the method in which the pump itself mounts to the magnet.  They use three "O" rings to attach the magnet assembly to the pump.  Secondly there are many reports of this pump running in reverse if shut off and turned back on.  This usually happens after six months use.  Also have been a few reports of the internal magnet freezing up and not allowing the propeller to spin.  For my money the MaxiJets are the better buy and about 25 bucks less per unit.  If you want to use a Wavemaker with the Evolution, you have to buy their controller.  The MaxiJets work well with all controllers that operate on 115VAC.  Best to read reviews on products before buying, especially actual user reviews as all pumps work great out of the box, but how about six months to a year down the line.
James (Salty Dog)
Re Refractometers/Powerheads/Selection 12/28/11

thanks, but can't I use the maxis without a controller?
<No controller required.  James (Salty Dog)>

Indoor housing Koi 12/21/11
Before I begin, I would like to tell you that the arrangement is only temporary, and I am very well aware that Koi cannot be expected to permanently thrive in an indoor aquarium. However, for the time being, the Koi are small and immature enough that the current conditions in which they are being kept are sufficient. They receive a highly varied diet of Koi pond sticks, freeze-dried foods, the occasional live food, frozen food, and some fruits and veggies. They greet fruits and veggies I attempt to introduce with tentative caution, but if left alone for a while, eventually come to understand that they are food.
<Mmm, a good grade of pellets alone is fine>
 They are currently housed in a 40 gallon tank with a filter that was made for a 75 gallon tank, in an attempt to assure adequate filtration during their stay. There are six Koi, most between 1-3" and one at least 4".
However, they show no signs of stress or agitation, and even get along with my dog when she presses her nose against the glass.
Now then, then only reason I opted to keep the fish indoors is because I live in an area where there is a nature reserve pretty much in my backyard.
Coyotes and red-tails are a constant, and the coyotes have even learned to imitate dogs barking to lure out pets. I have yet to see a raccoon in the neighborhood, but I am sure they are here.
<Raccoons are tremendous Pondfish eaters; very hard to keep out>
 The soil quality of the area is extremely dense, with about 2-3" of topsoil, over a good 6" of clay. There are also very few pond building specialists with the capacity to help me design a pond with the depth and form necessary to keep these predators away.
<I will help you from afar if you'd like>
We may also move within a year. I perform frequent water changes on the tank, usually massive, and done slowly and with minimal invasiveness to minimize the stress to the fish.
<Do these weekly>
The water is cloudy, but it is a problem with the food I've been feeding them rapidly dissolving into the water, and by doing the more massive water changes, I am able to rapidly fix it. I plan to switch them over to Hikari Growth Saki, if I can get my hands on it, or the readily available steeple <staple> diets from Hikari.
<Both are excellent, as is the Spectrum pellet line>
 The water I fill the tank from is hard with a solid pH of about 7.4 to 8, and the water is salted appropriately.
<No salt adding necessary or suggested>
 I live is Southern California. Specifically, I live in Stevenson Ranch, CA. Is there anyone, or any place that I can turn to nearby that will help me to plan out an adequate pond or environment for my Koi?
<Here... as in WWM, and myself>
 I myself am on a but of a budget, but am willing to devote any resource necessary to maintain the health and safety of my fish. A neighbor of mine has a pond, although it is not professionally constructed and vulnerable to predators, where, if the need were absolute, they have offered to temporarily house my Koi, should they outgrow the tank before an adequate pond could be constructed, or should we move. Any help, and an approximate estimate of how long it may take the fish to outgrow their current home is welcome.
<Likely w/in a year... I would be very skimpy re feeding>
 The fish are not mature, and I am not even able to determine their genders, but they are healthy and active, and two have even become my wonderful provocateur fish.
<Ah good. Do take your time, peruse the Pond Subweb here:
From the top down. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Powerhead Too Powerful?/Water Flow 11/1/10
Hello Crew,
<Hi Dave>
Since I found your website you have basically walked me through my whole aquarium process so I thank you for that.
<You're welcome.>
I am happy to report that my cycle completed and after getting my parameters where I wanted I finally got my first fish. My girlfriend and I picked out a pair of Ocellaris Clownfish (one black and white, one orange) from Premium Aquatics.
<A reputable store/etailer. Is where I do business.>
The fish made the decision easy for us as they came to the front of the tank to greet us while the others hid in the back.
<Ah, the hungry ones.>
The worry I have is that they are both under an inch long and I think my Koralia #4 may be too much for them. They look like they are working pretty hard except for when they hide in the corners of the tank. I assume they found a bit of a calm zone there. I made the mistake of shutting off the powerhead and it almost cost the fish their lives. I found them pail
and sluggish in the corner, but revived them by turning on the head and giving them a little push. Color and activity promptly returned, but I am afraid I am going to kill them by exhaustion. I also have a 4 inch sugar fine sand bed to consider that the 4s blew all over the place. I was thinking about going down to a pair of #2s, or one #3. Which would you recommend? Or would you go another way entirely?
<Pretty tough for me to visualize/answer without knowing your tank size both in gallons and dimensions, but if you are kicking up sand, the flow is likely greater than necessary. You may want to try pointing the powerhead toward the surface and see if that calms things down a bit. If not, I would suggest using lower flow rate powerheads. A total of 10x the tank volume in flow rate is what I would shoot for. I prefer the use of wavemakers which change flow direction on a timed basis. Talk to Jeremy at Premium Aquatics, he is very knowledgeable in this regard and can recommend a suitable wavemaking system for your tank if you should decide to go this route.>
Can't thank you enough for the site and all the help you give me.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Powerhead Too Powerful?/Water Flow 11/1/10
Hello again James,
<Hi Dave>
Sorry about the omission. It's a standard 75 gallon. 48 x 18 x 21. It has a Remora Pro w/Mag 350 and a Marineland HOT Magnum (both your recommendations). I am only using one of the powerheads, but no matter what direction I point it, it's too much. The sand isn't a problem but the fish look like they are in a constant fight.
<In my opinion, two Koralia 4s are a bit much for this tank.>
I will get in touch with Jeremy. I was thinking that two #2s (750 gph each) pointed at each other would get a good random flow.
<Is much better than standard powerheads.>
Thanks for the advice, and thanks for the recommendation on PA. Oh, one last question, would you recommend the pre skimmer box for the Remora?
<Yes. Not only does the skimmer box hide the pump, it skims water off the top of the tank which is often coated with organics. This can improve skimming efficiency by as much as 20%. 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.

Question About Powerhead, sel.  1/28/10
<Hello PD>
I have a 3 gallon Eclipse tank that doesn't seem to have enough current. I am thinking of buying a mini powerhead for it but don't know what to look for. Can you recommend a mini powerhead and how much gph is proper for a
tank of this size. I'd like to have a nice current on top but not too much that it will stir up everything in the tank. Any advice would be gladly appreciated.
<Something around 30-40gph would work fine here. The Mini Maxi-Jet would be a good choice here as it does have an adjustable flow rate and will allow you to adjust the flow to your needs.
See here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Question About Powerhead, sel.  1/28/10
Hey thanks for getting back to me so fast on the powerhead.
<You're welcome.>
I was surfing the net and found another small powerhead called a Hydor Pico Evolution 200. Do you know anything about this powerhead? It says it pumps 70gph but has an adjustable flow rate, so does that mean it can be
<Yes, adjustable means the ability to change.>
I put a link to it below if you have time to look at it. Any suggestion on which I should get for my 3 gallon tank would be great (MiniJet404 or Pico 200)? thank you very much.
<I had already referred you. My choice would be the Mini-Jet. James
(Salty Dog)>
see here

Powerheads/Selection 9/27/09
<Hi Joe>
Wondering about the new Hydor Magnums. Considering buying one for my 120 gal tank possibly the 5. They are fairly new and not many reviews on them, how are they?
<I have no experience with the Hydor Magnums, but I have sent out an email to a contact of mine at Premium Aquatics regarding this. As soon as I receive his input on the Hydor Magnums, I will forward his response to you. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Powerheads/Selection Query posted on 9/28/09
Received a reply from Jeremy at Premium Aquatics re above query. Please post for the gent as I mistakenly deleted the query.
Hey James,
<Will do James. Thanks, BobF>
They are very nice pumps, and have had a great track record. The downside to them however is that they are fairly large, and take up some space.
They still need to be ran on either Hydor's controller, or the GHL Profilux controller.
Premium Aquatics, Inc.
317-895-9395 fax

Re Powerheads 10/4/09
Thanks, what about the Koralia 4's instead? Say 2 in a 4ftx2x2 tank. Where to position Top 2 corners?
<The Koralia 4 may be a little over kill in a four foot 120, producing near 1700gph. Position was already addressed, please read previous thread. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Powerheads, sel...  10/6/09
Guess 2 #3's are better than?
<Better than what, or did you mean better then. The Koralia 3 would be my choice for a tank with your dimensions. James (Salty Dog)>

Sure Grip Magnets By Algae Free    9/20/09
Hi Tarzan,
Just something to pass on for the dailies. About a year ago, I purchased three pair of Sure Grip Magnets (powerhead mounts) manufactured by Algae Free. One of them recently split/warped open. I did send an email to Mark at Algae Free re the problem, and replacement magnets were immediately sent out to me.
Just wanted to share with other aquarists...a fine company to deal with that does back up their product.
<Donkey shines. BobF, aka Minkey Buoy>

Re: Plumbing and RDP [Scott V] 4/20/09
Hey Scott good morning!
<Good morning.>
Sorry to bug you but I have two quick questions I would like to throw at you... First let me say thanks for all your help thus far!
I have read what seems like a 1000 horror stories about Glasscages, with only a handful being good...hope my tank is one in that handful!
<I have never heard of any functional issues, I do think you will be fine.>
I probably should have do a little bit more research on that area first...fingers crossed! I am in need of your experience on these next two questions sir!!!
Ok, I know you like those algae frees and those MJ mod.s but for my first time around I have narrowed my choices down, as you know the Tunze nano 6045 and the second choice being the Koralia 4's. I have read several discussions on Tunze vs. Koralia, which most opinions seem to be about personal choice rather than any info/facts.
<Tis the case here too.>
I know that the Tunzes are smaller in size, been around longer, and I know that the Koralias are cheaper [half the price of the Tunzes] and have a wider dispersed flow. Have you ever used either or both?
I know the saying you get what you pay for but I am not sure if that applies here? Do you have any differences, pro or cons, other than what I said of the two?
<I just personally like the flow from the Tunzes better myself, both are fine powerheads.>
What would you go for, the Tunze 6045 or the Koralia 4?
<Personally the Tunze, maybe one of each.>
I'll be getting two of whichever even though a couple people have said I'd only need 1 for a 75 gallon. I'll keep my next question simple! I told you about the plan for the Cl hole, leaving a hard pvc piece with a "valve" and a end cap. For the overflows one will be tee'd with one end having a "valve" going to the fuge and the other end like you said draining back to the sump so the line will still have its full flow. I have heard/read that ball valves are no good and they fail. Not so much with check and gates. I was thinking I would need gates or true unions but I have no clue!?!
<There are no failing issues with ball valves, the main reason people use gate valves is that they make fine adjustments easier.>
Can you tell me what is the best valve for me to utilize for both applications I will need them for?
<You can use either here without worry. Skip the check valves all together. They will eventually fail you. Better to make sure you have enough extra volume in the sump to handle what drains or siphons back down when the power is out.>
Again your experience is greatly appreciated and valued highly!!! Thanks in advance kind sir! Have a good morning! Be chatting soon.
<Very welcome, talk soon.>

Jebo R375 Pump too Loud 4/11/09
I just purchased a Jebo r375 aquarium. The pump is extremely loud and causes the entire room to vibrate. Could you recommend and internal underwater filter with which I could replace it?
<As far as I can find this pump is basically just a powerhead....you should be able to get something like a MaxiJet 1200, Hagen 70 or even an Eheim 1250 to work here.>
Thank you,
<Welcome, Scott V.>

Aquapod Pump/Water flow 4/11/08 Hi there, <Hi Alex.> I have one simple (hopefully simple) question. <OK> I currently have a Hydor Koralia 1 providing the majority of water flow in my 12 gallon AquaPod as well as the output from the filter that came with the tank. What I am looking for is something that will change direction and not constantly flow water in the same pattern. Is there something out there that perhaps toggles it's direction continuously so as to minimize the "dead spots" for grunge and build up? <Hmm, yes. SeaSwirls, Ocean Motions, SCWD, and WavySea are a few that work well. They are also large and expensive for a 12 gal (except maybe the SCWD). For your output on the pump look at the Hydor Flo Deflector. It is not the best, but it is cheap and works. You just need to clean it as part of your regular maintenance. You can achieve about the same results by directing the powerhead and pump flow at each other. This will give you a varied flow.> Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Alex <Welcome, Scott V.>

Koralia Pumps 1/19/08 Hello all, <Hello Whit!> Thanks again in advance for your time. I have a 46g bowfront and a rock wall covering the entire posterior part of my tank. I would like to add some flow behind it (the remainder of the tank is very well circulated) to prevent detritus accumulation. <OK> My question is- would you recommend the Koralia nano (265gph), or Koralia 1, which pumps 400. <Hard to say without knowing what your rock wall is constituted of and the other flow dynamics of your tank.> On one hand, 400 gph would certainly do a decent job, but how much better than 265? <Depends on how other flow acts within this space.> Is the sacrifice in space (2 inches larger) worth the extra 140 gph? <The only dimensional difference I see between the two is that the Nano is ½' shorter. Considering how diffuse the flow is with these units, I would opt for the Koralia 1.> Thanks! Whit <Welcome, I hope this helps you decide, Scott V.>

Equipment/Power Heads  - 03/22/06 I am planning on setting up a 30 gallon reef tank with live sand (40 lbs) and live rock (40 lbs). I want to house a few clowns, <Nothing larger than the percula, and no more than two with your other choices.> a royal Gramma, some snails and small crabs. I plan on adding some LPS corals. I will be using an Aqua C Remora for skimming.  <A big plus.> My question is about circulation. When calculating tank volume, do I subtract the volume taken up by the sand and rock?   I plan on using 2 Maxi-Jet power heads.  The small ones come in 106 gph and 160 gph. Which ones would you recommend?  Two 106's would give me 212 gph, two 160's would give me 320 gph? Would 320 gph blow stuff around too much?  <I like the Maxi-Jet by Aquarium Systems, one of the very few that works well with wavemakers if you ever so decide.  Two model 600's (160gph) would work well if this is your only means of circulation.  If current seems a bit strong, they are adjustable.> Thanks in advance for your time and insight.  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Eric B. Selecting a Powerhead... SW circ.    4/10/06 Hi, <Hello there> I am trying to select powerheads for my 55 gal FOWLR tank. I am planning on adding some corals, and will be adding powerheads to provide the appropriate water flow. How do I decide what flow rate to get? <Mmm, reading, experimenting... talking with others?> I would expect this to depend on the type of coral. <Yes...> When I read about coral flow requirements on various websites, most say low, moderate or high. What would these correspond to in gph? <Per the size of systems... Mmm, ummm... five, ten, twenty times volume per hour... or such> I am considering either the maxi-jet or AquaClear powerheads and am just not sure how to select the right size. Thanks, Rob <Are good product lines... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Equipment/Pumps...Tunze Stream 6060 Circulation Question - 08/26/2006 Hello, <Hi> First, I would like to thank you for your great effort in helping those in need. <You're welcome> Well, this time I'm one of them. I have a new 100 gallon FOWLR tank that I'm converting to a reef tank soon, and my question lies in circulation. Initially I was planning to upgrade my circulation by adding two Maxi-Jet 1200's to total about 600 gph. But I came to understand that I want more circulation. I'm not a big fan of filling my tank with powerheads, and that is when I started to consider the Tunze Stream 6060. What I liked about it is the power it packed (around 1600 gph). Will this powerhead be enough as the sole provider of circulation for my 100 gallon tank? And what about dead spots? <An excellent pump, but you will likely have dead spots. My suggestion would be to go with the Dr. Foster & Smith package that includes three Maxi-Jet 1200's and an Aquarium Systems Wavemaker Timer.  This will give you a random flow rate totaling close to 900 gph, and can be had for about 90 bucks complete.  Along with your return pump, this should give you plenty of circulation and little or no dead spots.  Tunze makes an excellent wavemaker box that closely simulates nature, but this would be out of your budget range by another 400 bucks.> Also do you know if there is any another brand of powerhead that packs a punch like the Tunze and can be used alone (keep in mind that the 6060 is the maximum of what my budget allows)? <Not in the power head format.> I also have another question. I'm adding a sump in the near future. My plan is to use a CPR CS100 overflow box (flow rate 800 gph) and an AquaC Urchin Pro (due to limited space), and I am having trouble in choosing a good return pump. What do you recommend? <I'd probably go with an Ocean Runner 3500.  Will give you 900gph at the head, and is one of the more efficient pumps with a 65 watt current draw.  Do compare others also.> Sorry for taking your time. <That is what we are here for.> Thank you and keep up the great work. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Mohammad

Some Follow-Up Questions -- 10/16/06 Thanks for the quick reply, but I have some follow-up questions for your expertise. <<Alrighty>> ** I have two Maxi-jet 1200's and two ZooMed 228 power sweeps. Should I put in more power heads in for more circulation and which ones and how many do you recommend? <<I would add more flow, yes...will be much appreciated by the fish. Perhaps you can replace all these power-heads with a couple Tunze 6060 Stream pumps? Else just add enough Maxi-Jet pumps to prevent any stagnant/low flow areas in the tank>>** Well, those guys are really expensive (sigh), BUT as I have found out nothing in the hobby is cheap. <<Ha! Indeed!  You can get by with standard power heads, but if you ever try the Tunzes you won't go back>> I have also discovered that the more expensive then the more likely they will be around for a long time.  I was thinking of adding one on each side of the tank and pulling all of the other power heads.  Does this sound like a good idea? (These are cheaper than having to buy the Eheim 2229) <<Sounds great to me!>> As with the move, after your input and all of the information I can read, this is my plan. Start REALLY early in the day.. (Yeah, no sleeping in) <<Ah yes...best to plan to get it all done in one go>> Have all items for the new tank on hand and put on the tank if they need to be mounted.  Transfer enough of the water out of the 55 to move the tank and put the 150 behind it.  Use live sand for the tank and use the water and the LR from the old FOWLR.  Have more water pre-made and cured for three days with some LR in each of the Rubbermaid Trash Cans.  Each can will have power heads in them to keep the water circulating and will have a heater to achieve proper tank temperature.  Have the fish in another 30 gallon tub and introduce them after the tank has been up for at least four hours.  This tank will have an AquaC Remora Pro with a MAG3 for skimming and aeration. (Yes, I have four trash cans that are available to me and yes I am also going to thoroughly clean each of them. <<Yep...looks like you've got a good plan and things are under control>> Again, thank you for your insight on my query for enlightenment. Scot <<You're quite welcome, Eric Russell>>

Tunze Streams Vs. EcoTech Vortec Pumps  - 10/24/06 Hi WWM <Hey there! Scott F. here today!> Another water flow question, do you have an opinion as to which pumps are better- the Tunze 6100 or the Eco Tech Vortech. I have a 157 reef tank 72in long and want to place 2 of which ever would be best. The Tunze's are more adjustable at this time due to the controller but the Vortech doesn't have the motor and cord inside the tank so no heat exchange and the controller is being developed. They both put out a lot of movement. Thanks Robert <Well, Robert- my personal experience is exclusively with the Tunze Streams, which I have used extensively (600,6100 and 6200 models). I have seen the Vortechs a few times, and know a few people who use them. I favor Streams for several reasons. The first, as you mentioned, is that most of them (6000,6100,and 6200) are controllable. The 7095 controller is a very sophisticated and versatile controller. Also, the Streams can be directed on the magnet mounts, Stream "rock", or other methods. Vortechs do not have swivel capability, and can only flow perpendicular to their mounting, reducing their utility, IMO. Also, the controller is not available for the Vortechs, which is really limiting. On the other hand, if you can tolerate these factors, the Eco Tech is aesthetically better than the Tunze. However, the reliability of Tunze products is legendary...They can literally run forever if you maintain them, and Tunze USA customer service is outstanding. Vortec needs to be on the market a little longer to see how the reliability is. In the end, I'd give the edge to Tunze! HTH. Regards, Scott F.>

How many powerheads and change to live sand? Hi. I have 2 questions in which hopefully u can steer me into the right direction. 1st, in my FOWLR tank w/125 of l/r I currently use 2 powerheads for circulation at the opposite top ends.  Would adding 2 more rated at 250gph be beneficial or would this be overkill? <Could only help> It currently houses a clown wrasse, a tomato clown and the guy who seems to enjoy the movement the most, a palette tang. Second, in about 4 months I'm going to move the tank (60 ft) which currently has c/coral.  This would be the time to switch to live sand if better.  I always find myself after a w/change saving 1 or 2 creatures from the tub (usually brittle stars and worms) and tossing them back into the tank. If I see them I save them.  If I switch over to sand these little guys are destined for the big "flush".   <You got to flush 'em? Why? No...just add them to the new tank> Is this unusual behavior? <Flushing useful, living, beneficial critters down the toilet? I hope it's unusual. I wouldn't do it and I hope that you'll reconsider this practice! David Dowless>

Powerhead and DSB Question  4/6/03 Hi there!<Hey, Phil with ya this morning!> Is two Maxi Jet 1200's in the back corners of a 29 gallon too much circulation for a tank that "will have" roughly 35-40 lbs of live rock, one Flame Angel, and miscellaneous crabs, shrimps, etc.?<I don't think so.  I'm really big into have a lot of flow in a tank.  If you read on WWM, you'll see that a high flow rate can help stop Cyano.  Which is a very good thing.>  or would two 900's be better.<The bigger the better, IMO>  Also, with this kind of circulation would I be better off with a DSB or stay with the 1" of CARIBSEA "Puka shells" I have now so as not to blow the sand around.<I like DSB's but I have CC in my 29g "reef" tank.  It does well, get's a little patch of Cyano every once and a while.  So I guess if you like the CC stick with it.  If not switch to sand.  As long as you don't have your powerheads pointing down you shouldn't have a big problem with sand blowing.>  I like the sugar-sized sand look but people I've talked to say that it's hard to place the powerheads "out of sight" and keep from blowing the sand all over the place!<The rule is to place the heater AND powerheads in the tank before the live rock.  This way the powerheads are hidden from sight.> Thx in advance, you guys are great!<Thanks for the kind words.  Let us know how the tank turns out!  Phil>

- Powerheads - Hey guys...a couple really quick questions.  First off, what brand of powerheads do you find to be the best? <I'm real fond of the Marineland MaxiJets, but there are others that are just as good, Hagen, etc. - if you have the really big bucks, Tunze is worth looking into.>  I have an AquaClear and the darn thing is blowing millions of micro bubbles around my tank, and it's about to drive me batty.  AHH!  Are there any brands that are a higher quality, IYO? <Is the bubble problem actually an issue of quality or just placement? Perhaps you should try moving it around before you pronounce it junk.> Also, do any of you know anything about Aquacon? <I know of them, but have no direct experience with them.> They seem to have a lot of livestock, and I was wondering if they are a reputable source. <Should ask this question on the bulletin boards where you'd run into more folks who may have used their services.> Thanks! <Cheers, J -- >

Too noisy? <hello Pam> What's your take on the noise level of powerheads? <Powerheads are fine to use.> Some say they're stressful to the inhabs to be subjected to the noise. <I don't know this to be a fact.> If this is the case, what is another method for good water movement that doesn't break the bank? <there are some do it yourself projects that you can do like: Borneman or Carlson surge device. This would be less noisier for the fish, but will be a lot noisier for you. I would stick with powerheads. MikeH> Thanks, Pam

Choosing Powerheads... Powerheads.....what kind do you recommend?  The Rio's I have are pretty loud and annoying.  What make/model would you recommend?  I want to dump these ASAP. <Well, it all depends on the application you're using 'em for. If you're shooting for maximum flow and currents in a sophisticated scheme, then the Tunze Stream pumps are awesome. If you want an external powerhead, you could use Gemini pumps (which I love) or Tunze Turbelle pumps (the "BMW" of external powerheads). Both are wonderful, IMO> Thanks again. <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.> Choosing Powerheads... Hello Crew, <Steve Allen here today> Thanks as always for taking the time to answer my queries... you're welcome> I know a lot of people on this site recommend MaxiJet powerheads, so I bought 3 1200s for my 75 G. I am having trouble with one of them staying on the tank. <Grrr...frustrating, isn't it. Most suction cups are wimpy and they don't seem to last all that long before stiffening up.> I constantly have to push the suction cups down as one or 2 will pop off everyday. <I hear ya.> The plastic clamp that comes with them to hang over the top of the tank is not very wide, and it would be stressed if I stretched it over the lip.  <Another pet peeve of mine. I have the same problem with Hagens. Have the people who design these clamps never seen plastic-frame glass aquarium?> Besides this would hang the powerheads at the top 4" of the tank.  I know some people silicone the holder to the tank.  However, I want to be able to move them around as I add livestock and change my aquascape.  Is there any other remedy to this problem? <A couple of options here. First, make sure the glass you are hooking the suction cups too is perfectly clean. This may help. You could silicone the cups to the glass, but this will really only work if you drain the tank down far enough to hook it to the glass. It wouldn't be hard to cut it loose with a razor blade later. Perhaps you can find stronger/better suction cups somewhere. Another option I used was to support the bottom of the powerhead with lengths of PVC pipe--ugly, but functional. Lastly, you might be able to use cable ties to hang the mount to some sort of clamp on the rim. The problem there would be keeping the powerhead lined up the way you want it to point. Good luck> Thanks in advance, Jeff

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.>

How can I increase water flow? Hello, << Hi there. >>   I called Tunze and the only powerhead that goes on top is their classic and this is an older pump that they don't recommend any longer.  I currently have two sea swirls connected to the two pumps coming from my sump.  Do you have any other recommendations for additional flow? << Sure I like adding BioWheel filters for one option, or even just more powerheads. >> I've heard good things about the Tunze stream but they are too large for my 55 gallon aquarium.  My main concern is increasing the current in the tank without having a large volume of water circulating between the sump and the aquarium and having the powerheads in the tank increasing the temperature. << Well without powerheads in the tank, you are somewhat limited.  But as for the water in the sump concern, you could always add a surge tank above your tank. That would be way cool.  Or add a hang on the back type of refugia, but that still adds another powerhead.  Although extra powerheads give off more heat, I almost always think adding more of them is a good idea. >> Thanks in advance, -Brent <<  Blundell  >>

Which Tunze Turbelle Stream pump? 7/29/04 WWM Crew, I am planning to purchase 2 Tunze Turbelle Stream pumps.  I plan to place one pump the floor of the tank inside the 'rock cover' that Tunze sells, and the other I plan to place near the top of the tank in the diametrically opposite corner, held in place with the new Tunze 'magnetic holder'.  I also plan to add the new Tunze multi-controller model 7095 to control the pumps.  I am setting up a new tank that is 125 gallons.  I was planning to get the Turbelle Stream model 6000 (variable flow rate 660 to 1849 GPH), but the business that I am paying to do the installation has told me (although they are unfamiliar with the new 'STREAM' version of the Tunze Turbelle pumps) that they recommend that I get the 6100 model (variable flow rate 1056 to 3170 GPH) since I'll have the multi-controller and will be able to limit the max. flow rate (but will have a higher minimum flow rate).  I plan to have a mixture of SPS and soft corals.  What model do you recommend (I'm pretending that money is no object).  Thanks Rod  <Hmmm.... I used to pretend that money is no object.  Then I got married!  Ha!  Anyway, I would go with the larger pumps.  You will probably be quite surprised at how close to "wide open" you end up running them, especially if you cycle them on and off with the controller which cuts deeply into the total flow. Also, with such a large investment, you want the system to be able to grow with you if you get a larger tank.  Do also consider the wattage of each and the relative amounts of heat that they will produce.  Best Regards!  Adam>

Which Tunze Turbelle Stream pump? Part2 8/1/04 Thanks for your prompt reply Adam.  Unfortunately, I'm still confused since I also (somewhat unexpectedly!) received a reply from Tunze with the opposite recommendation.  Please do me a favor and review their recommendation and let me know if you still feel that I should go with the larger pump in this case: From: Tunze USA [mailto:tunze@sbcglobal.net] No way, the 6100 would turn your tank into a whirlpool. The lowest end of the 6100 is equal to the high flow capacity of the 6000, they don't overlap at all. For the older versions it would be fine but not for the Streams. You can adjust the flow with a potentiometer on the side of the computer to one constant speed until your controller arrives. You must however return it to full power when you connect a controller. Roger <I have seen a lot of Roger's advice to other aquarists, and would trust his judgment.  He has a lot of experience with the products and it is hard to question the manufacturer when they recommend the less expensive option!  Best Regards.  AdamC>

Moving Water With Tunze Streams Scott F: <Hi there! Happy holidays to you and your family> Happy holidays and thanks so much for the advice. <Glad to be of service> I am seriously considering a Turbelle Stream Kit TS24 (with two powerheads directed at each other from each end of the top of the 6' tank and a multicontroller), but I have fear that I may be setting up a whirlpool with all that water flow! <Well, I won't mislead you- these pumps can really move water. If they are directed right on to coral, they can literally strip the tissue right off! However, if you set them up according to Tunze's recommendations, you'll be very pleased with the results.> The LFS's don't carry this high end item so I can't go check it out....money isn't the object but I'd hate to plunk down $800 for something I can't use or won't be happy with....on the other hand I don't mind spending the money to significantly improve my tank inhabitant's quality of life.  Advice? Thanks, Margo Rose <Well, Margo- I certainly understand your thinking here! The one good thing about the 6100's and 6200's is the ability to use the Tunze Multicontroller to vary their output. This can create a very realistic flow/current pattern in your tank. Also, do go onto some of the larger message boards, such as Reef Central or Reef Frontiers, to get some feedback from fellow hobbyists. If you can afford them, and are willing to experiment with them a bit to get the flow patterns the way you like them, you'll fin that these pumps are really amazing. Good luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Powerheads 1/30/05 Thank you guys for your help! now for my question: How many powerheads and what brand of powerhead do you recommend to at least have a 600 gph turnover in my 29g tank? Currently have 2 clowns, 1 yellow watchman goby, 1 coral beauty, 1 cleaner shrimp, 3 snails, 5 hermit crabs, and 25lbs of live rock... plan on adding 2 more fish. can you give me various choices? <do take some time reading the wetwebmedia.com chat forum and others such as reefcentral.com for such consumer feedback. Don't be afraid to help yourself my friend. It will give you a better consensus from a wide range of people/users. Also, for your water flow, do consider a single water pump like a Supreme brand Mag Drive to power a closed loop manifold instead of using yucky powerheads <G>. Go to our index page (wetwebmedia.com) and type in "goodbye powerheads" and you will get hits that include a link to an article by that title describing this option. In fact... please do learn to use that Google search tool as a first means of information gathering. The Internet is a tremendous learning tool when you learn how to navigate it :) Anthony>

Powerhead question 8/25/05 Hey Gang, was wondering if you can recommend a powerhead size for me.  I have a 75 gallon reef tank that has a Mag 9.5 for return connected to a SCWD with a return on each end of my tank.  I'm running 3 maxi jet 600, but it still does not seem like there is enough water flow in the tank. I tend to get most of my equipment from the DrsFoster website, and was looking at the Azoo powerheads.  My maxi jets are rated for 160gph, but that seems low to me.  Upon looking at the Azoo's I was looking at there  model 1800 (475 gph) or 2500 (660).  Do you think that's too much? <Depending on the livestock, placement, no> I have my power heads setup to cross my returns, but it still seem like a little from where they flow, junk is accumulating on the ground. I would be replacing all 3 of the maxi jets, and from what I have been reading in Bob's book water flow as well as quality is very important. <Yes> It seems like my one rock of mushrooms is not doing very good, <Or well> been wilted for the past 3 days and after 15 gallon water change 3 days ago and another yesterday, they still don't look good. <Mmm, you might want to read on WWM re periodically removing, replacing, augmenting live rock...>   My other single mushroom is just growing like crazy, as is my Finger leather and Green star polyp.  My smaller polyps are slightly wilted as well. <They may well be (mal)influencing one another> The ones wilted tend to be towards the bottom where there is not as much water flow which is what leads me to believe that is contributing to the problem. <Might> So again, thoughts on powerheads, am I going overboard with the 2500's?  Thanks again! <Not overboard> By the way Bob, your book saved me from purchasing a fish I thought would do well in my aquarium, and after looking at him a bit longer in the LFS I noticed his appetite for corals, great book! <Ahh...> Cheers! John Rohrbaugh <Bob Fenner>

Noise in aquariums... from powerheads... harmful?  9/2/05 Hi, <Hello there> I can't find any research on the internet to answer my question.  Does a loud powerhead in a tank, stress fish through excessive or extreme vibrations (i.e.. like tapping loudly on the glass).  My 1000 litre reef tank has optimal water quality, temperature etc. but old really loud powerheads which do appear to be stressing my fish and they seem to relax more if I turn them off, <Bingo> but not decisively enough to take the plunge and spend $1000+ replacing them all.  They dart around, white spot has now broken out.  I've had these fish (namely blue/yellow/purple tangs) for almost 5 years now, so it's nothing to do with acclimatization or my ability to reef keep etc. Thank you! Regards, Andrew. <I would look into some Tunze, Hagen, Aquarium System powerhead products... You've answered your own question... Underwater it is rarely quiet... but your tank/system is way too noisy to be healthy. Bob Fenner>

Powerhead Choices and Power Compact Lighting -- all of it legal  12/5/05 Hello WWM! <Hello.> My head is swimming in powerhead confusion. I have a 46G bowfront I'm converting into a reef. <Ooh sounds like fun.> I've been reading all about powerheads here on WWM and comparing my setup to other 46G owners who've written WWM. Basically, I have the 2X96 Current USA Orbit PCs and I'm slowly changing out the large CC substrate and adding a 1" bed of CaribSea Fiji Pink sand. <Sounds good.> I'm not exactly sure how many pounds of live rock I have in the tank because I ended up moving rock to my other system. I would guess at about 50 pounds, though. I'm leaning toward corals that need either a low or medium water flow. I don't think there are any on my list that require a high flow but don't want to limit myself either. <I understand. Though in my opinion, short of slamming your animals against the wall, I prefer to have LOTS of flow. Not only do the animals enjoy it but this also keeps detritus from accumulating. Remember as much water flow as you think you may have, it's nothing compared to the tides of the ocean.> I'm looking at the Maxi-Jets <Great pumps, reliable.> but, of course, the range is between 106 gph and 295. Thoughts on which ones would work best for my system and how many I should purchase are --greatly-- appreciated. <A trio of Maxijet 1200s (the ones with 295) gph, would be nice, positioned at different levels and aimed at each other to create some turbulent water movement is ideal. You could also put this trio on a wavemaker, I find them to be aesthetically pleasing in smaller tanks, though not necessary by any means.> Do you also think corals that require moderate lighting will be safe with these lights? <You won't be able to keep those that demand a shallow water biotope (high light situations) such as Acroporas, Montiporas and clams. However this does not mean you can't create a beautiful display. Though this lighting is sufficient for many other photosynthetic animals, such as zoanthids, mushrooms, and leathers (such as Sarcophyton and Sinularia). You can even keep some stonies such as those in the Euphyllia family with this lighting. In fact I prefer Leathers and softies in general to the popular SPS, though they (the softies) may lack somewhat in color in comparison to the SPS, I think the softies more than make up for it with their shapes and the way the move in the current. > The lights are new and they already look like we're growing something illegal <That's funny, when I got my Metal Halides delivered the UPS man asked what I was growing with a suspicious insinuation to his sentence.> because they're so bright so I would prefer not to return them to upgrade to the 4x96 system if possible. <As mentioned above these lights can work for many animals, replace them every 6 to 9 months for best results.> Thank you all so much! <You are welcome, Adam J.>

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