Guide to Buying the Best Wavemaker for Marine Tank – Our Best Picks!

It may sound weird and unnecessary at first: a device that could “create” waves in an aquarium. However, every individual well-versed with the mechanisms of reef tanks would recommend installing a wave maker. This is so helpful that its benefits actually outweigh the expenses you would be spending on purchasing one.

To further knowledge about the importance of a wavemaker, this article will present some of the benefits of buying a unit – from its aesthetic benefits to its benefits for your fish species. Also, after a careful elaboration on how a wave maker works, you would discover several tips and things to consider in choosing the best wavemaker for marine tank. You would also need to know some of the bet wavemakers to choose from, so we give these options to you to expand your choices.

Benefits of a Wavemaker

Here are some of the helpful uses of wavemakers that you should consider:

  • Fish are used to waves. Inherently, fish are very used to living in an environment with currents and waves. Even if you are in a body of water that appears to be tranquil, there are still constant movements observed, so this holds true for fish both in saltwater and freshwater. By using wave makers, you would be able to mimic the natural habitat of the fish – that which they are actually familiar, too. By making them feel at home, you are actually allowing them to grow more naturally through a healthy method.
  • Helpful for corals and invertebrates. Considering that corals and other invertebrates are immovable, they could not literally go to their nutrients, so it has to be the other way around: their nutrients going to them. But how can this be made possible? With the motion provided by wave makers, nutrients can come to your corals and reefs, helping them thrive.
  • Facilitates elimination of dead spots. There may be some dead spots in the water that are not moving. These could be harmful to your fish, as the oxygen they contain may not be fresh. This can be avoided using a wave maker.
  • Prevents harmful wastes from accumulating. Fish wastes and some uneaten food may be left in the water or stuck in the corals. While you can always do your cleaning, in between intervals, waves could help sweep them away. It prevents these wastes from gathering around. Not only are gathered wastes an unpleasant sight, but it can also be harmful to your fish.
  • Makes aquarium look more pleasing. Watching the aquarium is pleasing in the eye. Its visual appeal, though, may be increased using a wave maker. Waves are relaxing to watch and it gives your aquarium more dynamism and action.

Factors to Consider in Buying Wave Makers

Now that you know the benefits of purchasing wave makers, you now need to know what to consider in buying one. Following these tips would help you save expenses and make sure that you’re buying the most efficient unit.

These are the things to consider in choosing the best wavemaker for reef tank:

  • Price. Of course, one of the important things that need consideration is the affordability of the unit. Some units with extra features may be a little more expensive than others. The trick is examining each of the features and identify if they would justify the unit’s cost.
  • Installation and usage. You would want to buy a wave maker that is easy to install and easy to use. Make sure that the unit comes with guidelines for installation and usage.
  • Durability. You would want a long-term unit – that which you could rely on. This is why you need to examine what material the unit is made of. You have to make sure that it would not easily wear off so that you would not need to buy over and over.
  • Safety. Wavemakers use electricity, so they needed to be plugged in. Now, since it involves parts that are very near the water, you need to make sure that it would be safe to use the device. Please check for safety certifications to identify how safe the unit is.
  • Customer Support. When the unit features a warranty, you can feel assured that you can always come back to the seller in case something happens. Accommodating customer service also means that you can always ask for help should you have questions and problems.

These are all general considerations in choosing a wave maker. However, you also need to take a look at particular features that can further help you identify which would work best for you:

  • Components. There are two main parts for every wave maker. These are the pump and the controller. You may buy them separately but you have to make sure that they are compatible with each other. There are some controllers that can be able to control more than one single pump unit.
  • Turnover. You need to examine the amount of water that the unit pumps. This amount is oftentimes expressed in GPH (gallons per hour) or LPH (liters per hour). An efficient pump is that which can pump at least twenty times of your reef tanks volume. This means that if your tank has the capacity of 30-gallon, then you would need a unit pump with an output of at least 600 gph.
  • Efficiency. Every unit has different efficiencies. This is defined as the number of turnovers that the unit can perform per wattage. You would want that which has a high flow rate but could consume less energy.
  • Adjustability. You should be able to change the direction of the flow and the flow rate ultimately.
  • Mounting. There are several mounting options you can choose from magnetic mounts, suction cups, and clips.
  • Noise. You don’t want a wave maker that is too noisy, for it might be too disturbing for you and your fish.

The Top-rated Wavemakers Reviews and Comparisons

Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation Pump

This circulation pump features vibration absorbing technology along with magnetic suction cup for mounting, allowing the unit to be held put. This is also flexible as it is capable of free positioning. Compared to its previous models, this unit has higher flow rates yet it does not consume too much energy.

This circulation pump is really powerful and is capable to keep your aquarium water moving, ensuring that there are no stagnant spots. It also does not produce too much noise, so it won’t be disturbing for the fish. It is compact and does not immediately fall apart, ensuring long-term durability.

Specifications:

Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation Pump has a flow rate of 1050 to 1150 gallons per hour, meaning it could work for tanks that have a capacity of up to 60 gallons. Weighing around 1.2 lbs, it has a dimension of 6 x 3 x 3 in.

  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Quiet operation
  • The controller is splash-resistant
  • Does not take too much space
  • Makes a clicking sound when turned on
  • Only two different water movement programs

IceCap 3K Gyre Generation Aquarium Flow Pump

This unit uses what is called a crossflow technology that allows it to circulate a really large volume of water through the whole reef without having to create high-pressure hot spots that could possibly damage corals and invertebrates.

This unit allows a horizontal movement of water in the reef tank. This happens by making the water flow contact the opposite side of the reef tank and then circulating back to the pump. This mechanism is commonly called the gyre flow pattern, which is controlled by the Gyre Advanced Controller.

This unit features an OLED display that would allow for an easier setup and more convenient programming. There are five water movement modes pre-programmed in the device: gradual pulsing, pulsing, random pulse, constant speed, and alternating gyre.

In case you want to feed your corals, you can set this unit’s 10-minute feeding timer. To mimic patterns of tidal flow, this water pump can also be programmed to ramp up and down over the course of 24 hours.

Specifications:

This unit is compatible for reef tanks with a capacity of 25 to 100 gallons, with a water flow of up to 2,000 gallons per hour. This requires the power of 100-240V/ 50-60Hz.

  • Easy to mount
  • Could move a lot of water
  • Excellent timer
  • Helpful pre-programmed features
  • Might be noisy sometimes

Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit

What makes this pump kit unique from other wave makers is that this features a remote control system, making it more efficient and advanced. Its operation is also really quiet. There are more than three wave modes you can choose from and which you can easily and effortlessly program using your remote control.

There’s Wave Pulse Mode which mimics a pulsing wave motion, with alternating speeds of 0.2 to 7 seconds. You can also adjust this flow from 20% up to 100%. To simulate surging water action, you can use the Surge Mode. Mimicking gyre flow is the gyre mode which can synchronize two of the wave pumps. If you desire to have a steady flow of water, you can try the Stream/Steady mode. This only shows how flexible the unit could be.

This unit also features a Feed mode that could turn the pump off for 10 minutes in case it is time for fish and coral feeding, preventing the food from being pushed to skimmers and filter systems.

Specifications:

This unit allows water flow of up to 660 gallons per hour. It comes with a foam cover, swivel bracket, LED pump display, remote controls, magnetic mounting bracket, DC transformers, and complete instructions for installation. Weighing around 1.3 pounds, it is compact with 6.3 x 5.7 x 3.7 in dimension. This could work for a tank with a capacity of around 35 gallons.

  • Magnetic mount
  • Very easy to set up
  • Wireless control
  • Could program several water flow modes
  • Propriety power plugs are used
  • The controller is compatible only to Current water pumps

EcoTech MP40 Wireless

This device has a minimalist design which could contribute to the aesthetic of your aquarium. More importantly, it uses a magnetic mount and could keep the cord out of the tank, making it look clutter-free. It features a controller that could help you program several wave modes you can choose from. Among these modes is constant speed mode, expanding pulse mode (which you can control), short pulse, gyre mode, and much more.

This device also has a built-in battery backup port that could run your tank a lower speed in case you’re running out of battery. This comes with instruction in installing and controlling the device. Its operation is also quiet to mimic a tranquil environment.

Specifications:

This features a sponge guard. Could work for tanks of up to 50-100 gallon capacity, with 1,000 GPH water flow. Comes with instructional guide and control. The motor is magnetic and out of the water.

  • Easy installation
  • Quiet operation
  • Keeps cords out of the tank
  • Magnetic attachment
  • Flexible with six different wave modes
  • A bit expensive

Jebao OW Wavemaker

This is an entry-level wave maker that you can surely afford. Its price also justifies the feature that this wavemaker has. Magnetic and easy to install, it features around eight different flow rates you can conveniently control, with feed modes you can utilize in case it is time for fish or coral feeding.

Aside from a magnet mount, this also features a wired controller. Although it does not look much advanced than other wave-makers, this could work for common reef tanks.

Specifications:

Weighing a little over one pound, this device could work for tanks up to 75-gallons, with models that have flow rates that could reach up to 5,200 gallons per hour.

  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable
  • Eight modes you can easily control
  • Night mode is not reliable always.

Conclusion

Among these five top-rated aquarium wavemakers, surely, EcoTech MP40 promises the most efficient work. Aside from its advanced features, it is easy to control and could really live up to its claim of creating helpful waves for your tank. Very easy to install and maintain, it is worth trying. Although the price may be unflattering at first, it would surely pay off.


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