I often wondered how to make the aquarium more comfortable for my fishy friends.
Basically, I wanted to ensure that they do not feel that they are far away from their natural habitat.
While surfing the web the other day, I got to know about aquarium wave makers on a fish keeping website and the prospect excited me.
Therefore, I decided to find out everything about these units.
The whole idea of placing wave makers in aquariums is to create artificial waves to imitate an environment ideal for marine life.
Let me tell you everything there is to know about aquarium wavemakers.
List of the Best Aquarium Wavemakers
I found these 5 to be the best out of the 19:
|Product||Flow rate (GPH)||Dimension|
|Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation Pump||1050-1150||6 x 3 x 3 inches|
|Jebao OW Wavemaker|
|185-2245||7.3 x 5.3 x 2.8 in|
|Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit||132-660||6.3 x 5.7 x 3.7 inches|
|Sicce Voyager 3 Power Stream Pump||1200||7.8 x 4.8 x 4 inches|
|Tunze USA 6045.000 Nano Stream Propeller Pump||400-1175||3.7 x 1.5 x 2.7 inches|
Aquarium Wavemakers Detailed Reviews
1. Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation Pump
- Brand: Hydor
- Flow rate: 1050-1150 GPH
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Dimension: 6 x 3 x 3 inches
- Suitable for freshwater and marine aquariums
- Setting up the unit is quite easy. Even beginners will be able to handle it with ease.
- The unit remains in the position that you put it owing to the magnetic suction cup and the technology of absorbing vibration that it is provided with.
- It offers a quiet operation ensuring that you can use it with ease even if the tank is in your bedroom.
- It is provided with a compact design and thus does not take up much space in the aquarium
- Cleaning it is quite easy. The ball joint can be adjusted directionally, and the head can also be removed for the purpose.
- The customer support service is efficient and helpful. Thus, you can reach out to them in case you encounter a problem.
- The unit makes a clicking sound when turned on.
- It only offers two water movement programs
2. Jebao OW Wavemaker
- Brand: Jebao
- Size: 0-25W
- Dimension: 7.3 x 5.3 x 2.8 in
- Eight different flow rates in the range of 185-2245 GPH
- Provided with a wired controller and magnet mount
- There are variable modes, thereby ensuring that you get complete control of the tank.
- A lock mode is present, which prevents the control knob from working. Thus, you can be sure that the wake maker will only perform the changes that you want.
- The shaft is constructed from ceramic, which makes it highly durable.
- The waves produced are gentle and spread across a wider area instead of focused power-heads.
- It offers quiet operation.
- The customer support service is not offered outside their country
- The sensors for night mode cannot be relied on as they are somewhat flimsy
3. Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit
- Brand: Current USA
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Flow rate: 132-660 GPH
- Maximum capacity for saltwater tank: 40 gallons
- Maximum capacity for freshwater tank: 65 gallons
- Dimension: 6.3 x 5.7 x 3.7 inches
- It is provided with a magnetic mount that makes placement easy
- The wireless controller makes it quite simple for you to set the unit up. The wave settings are pre-programmed, making things all the more easier.
- It is provided with a feed mode that ensures that your fish food does not get pulled in the water flow.
- It is capable of controlling multiple water pumps
- The unit makes use of proprietary power plugs
- You can use this controller only with current water pumps
4. Sicce Voyager 3 Power Stream Pump
- Brand: Sicce USA
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Flow rate: 1200 GPH
- Power: 10W
- Dimension: 7.8 x 4.8 x 4 inches
- Suitable for tanks with a capacity of up to 125 gallons
- The unit is highly durable. Indeed some last longer than two years
- The magnetic mounts are strong, allowing you to position the pump as per your convenience. You can place it vertically or horizontally.
- It offers you control of the tank by providing the option of narrow and wide water flow
- It does not produce any noise, ensuring that you do not have to worry about causing any disturbance.
- It is a tad bit bulky
- The variety offered by the pump in terms of settings is limited.
5. Tunze USA 6045.000 Nano Stream Propeller Pump
- Brand: Tunze USA LLC
- Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Flow rate: 400 to 1,175 GPH
- Power consumption: 5 to 7W
- Cable length: 6.7 ft.
- Dimension: 3.7 x 1.5 x 2.7 inches
- Compatible with tanks with a capacity of up to 135 gallons
- Since a large strainer is used for the intake, you do not have to worry about your fish getting caught in the impeller.
- The water flow is aimed easily with the magnetic holder, ensuring that the pump remains securely in place. Thus, attachment is not something you will face problem with.
- It offers quiet operation.
- The motor is quite reliable and offers an impressive flow rate.
- The power cable is long, which makes using it quite convenient.
- The unit is not compatible with controllers.
6. IceCap 3K Gyre Generation Aquarium Flow Pump
- Brand: IceCap
- Five flow modes
- Power: 100-240V
- Suitable for tanks with capacity from 25 to 100 gallons
- Placement of the pump is quite convenient owing to the magnetic mounts that form part of it.
- Provided with an OLED display that allows easy programming and set up of the unit.
- Pre-programmed with five water movement modes including pulsing, constant speed, gradual pulsing, alternating Gyre and Random pulse giving you the freedom to decide the mode as per your requirement.
- A feeding timer forms part of it during which the water flow is reduced, allowing you to feed the corals with ease.
- The pump creates slight noise, which can be distracting
7. Mini Polario 10ML Low Voltage Water Pump
- Brand: Polario
- Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Flow rate: 1500 to 2600 GPH
- Power: 25W
- Dimension: 2.1 x 2 x 2 in
- Suitable for tanks of capacity within the range of 40 to 100 gallons
- The wavemaker is powerful and ensures that the fish gets a close to natural habitat environment
- It offers quiet operation, ensuring you can use it without any problems
- It is provided with a solid mounting magnet which makes placement quite easy and convenient.
- It is energy efficient, and thus you do not have to worry about your power bills
- The cycle of wake maker is not adjustable
8. Maxspect Gyre XF-230 Kit – Aquarium Pump & Controller
- Brand: Maxspect
- Weight: 1.4 lb.
- Flow Rate: 2100-2300 GPH
- Power: 8-35 W
- Dimension: 12 x 8 x 4 inches
- Suitable for tanks with a capacity of up to 25 -100 gallons
- The high flow rate ensures that it can be used with a variety of tanks with ease. The flow rate also allows movement of quite a lot of water.
- The power is adjustable. Thus, if you have a smaller tank, you can reduce the power as per your requirement.
- It consumes quite less energy compared to other options, which makes it a cost-effective pump.
- It also includes a magnetic mount, controller, and spare parts, among other things, thus ensuring that you do not have to worry about additional purchases.
- It is a tad bit expensive
- Cleaning it can be difficult
- Limited programming features are offered.
9. Flexzion Aquarium Circulation Pump Wave Maker
- Brand: Flexzion
- Flow rate: 800 GPH
- Length of power cord: 5 ft.
- Voltage: 110V
- Power: 6W
- Dimension: 7 x 5 x 5 inches
- Suitable for tanks with a capacity of up to 60 gallons
- The circulation within the tank is amplified owing to the two pumps that form part of it thereby ensuring extensive spread effects
- Installation of the unit is quite straightforward. The pump is rotated by the ball joint allowing optimal circulation control.
- The positioning of the tank can easily be adjusted via the magnetic mount on the bottom of the pump. The magnet is coated for preventing corrosion and can safely be submerged.
- The thickness of the glass of your tank might compromise on the effectiveness of the magnet.
10. Uniclife Controllable Wavemaker
- Brand: Uniclife
- Flow Rate: 3400 GPH
- Voltage: 110 -240 V
- Power consumption: 40 watts
- Dimension: 4 x 3.1 x2.76 inches
- Suitable for tanks with capacity within the range of 60 to 150 gallons
- Can be used with marine, freshwater and tropical aquariums
- It is provided with a compact design, which makes it easier to handle and also makes it discrete.
- The power is adequate for moving a significant amount of water.
- You can create a sea wave via the pump with the adjustable flow speed and frequency control, ensuring that your fish gets a natural environment.
- It is provided with a strong magnet suction pump with 360-degree rotation, ensuring that placement is not a problem for you.
- In order to turn off the unit, you will need to unplug it.
- It needs to be unplugged if you want to turn it off.
11. Icecap 1K Gyre Aquarium Flow Pump
- Brand: IceCap
- Weight: 3.51 pounds
- Flow rate: 1,000 GPH
- Power; 4 to 18W
- 8 inches long
- Features five flow modes
- Suitable for tanks with a capacity of 20 to 50 gallons
- Provided with a magnetic mount that makes it easier for you to install the pump
- The magnet has a sticking coating to prevent movement
- A single side cap is included to make it easier for you to use it with nano tanks
- With 24-hour program cycle, you can mimic the natural environment of the fish effectively
- Does not make a lot of noise
- The control box might be a bit tricky to set up.
12. Tunze Turbelle Nanostream Wavemaker Pump
- Brand: Tunze USA LLC
- Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Flow rate: 250 to 1,450 GPH
- Power consumption: 4 to 18W
- Cable length: 3m
- Dimension: 3.7 x 1.5 x 2.7 inches
- Suitable for tanks with a capacity of 10 to 135 gallons
- Offers a quiet performance ensuring that no distractions are caused
- Is quite easy to set up
- Provides a powerful and strong performance
- The compact size makes sure that you can use it for small tanks with ease.
- The Strong Magnet Mount with Silence Clamp makes it easier for you to install the unit.
- It is not compatible with controllers
13. SONGJOY Wave Maker Aquarium Circulation Pump
- Brand: Songjoy
- Weight: 1.76 lb.
- Flow rate: 3170 GPH
- Power: 24 watts
- Voltage: 110 – 120 V
- Length of Power Cord: 4.9 ft.
- Dimension: 6.2 x 3.2 x 3.9 inches
- Suitable for the length of 4 to 8ft fish tank
- Provided with a highly efficient motor that offers the fish an environment close to its natural habitat
- The motor runs quietly, and you do not have to worry about vibration, thereby ensuring that your fish are optimally comfortable at all times.
- The ceramic shaft is corrosion resistant which makes it quite durable
- The fence design makes sure that you do not have to worry about the safety of your fish being compromised
- The unit is not provided with a controller
14. Jebao – Aquarium Wavemaker Pump with Controller
- This item is very diverse because it can be used in saltwater and freshwater.
- With 8 different settings to choose from, this wave maker puts you in control.
- The gallons per hour fluctuates from 1,000 to 5,300 depending on the setting.
- At night the pump slows down so the fishes can sleep without being disturbed.
- It can be little loud at times because the magnet lacks the rubber to absorb any vibrations.
15. SunSun – Wavemaker
- Improves environment and health quicker because each wave maker generates 1,300 gallons per hour.
- This item can cover more ground because it comes with two seperate wave makers.
- Both of the wave makers can articulate in a 360-degree motion to keep a gentle and consistent wave flow.
- Only using 12 watts, this will save a lot of energy usage overtime.
- The materials used to make this item is very cheaply made.
- Sometimes this wave maker can make really loud and distracting vibrations.
16. Tetra – Whisper Aquarium Air Pump
- It is known to have a very quiet and strong motor.
- The dome-shaped appearance allows maximum airflow and reduces loud vibrations by leveling out all frequencies.
- The rubber feet helps keep the reflection of the water off of many surfaces.
- This wave maker is only good for tanks that can hold up to 60 gallons of water.
17. Mascarello – Circulation Pump Wave Maker
- A magnetic mound that is sturdy, strong, and can be placed anywhere.
- It is not too overwhelming powerful but it does not underperform either. It is just right.
- Saves a lot of energy by only using 12 watts of power.
- There is a possibility of it being a little bigger and chunkier than expected.
18. SunSun-Powerhead Wave Maker
- Amplifies the oxygen levels, enabling marine life to embrace a healthier environment.
- Wave maker pivots in a 360-degree motion disturbing any debris.
- The suction cup sitting at the base holds very well on glass surfaces.
- Few have reported unexpected jams after a couple of uses.
19. Neptune Systems – WAV Pump
- It can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet through wireless connectivity.
- The wave maker has automatic sensors that can detect anything that is nearby.
- Slows down automatically at night to let fish sleep soundly.
- It does not need to be powered down before taken out of the water.
- There is no ball joint so it cannot rotate in a 360-degrees motion.
20. Ecotech Marine – Vortech Wireless QuietDrive Pump
- QuietDrive Pump focuses on taking the noise out of the motor to ensure quietness.
- Has over 6+ different operation modes that can be controlled and adjusted to ideal environment.
- The wireless connectivity guarantees tank safety and prevents wires from being in the tank.
- It does not have a magnetic or suction cup mount that can keep it in one place.
- It is not able to rotate in a 360-degree motion.
What is an Aquarium Wave Maker?
You cannot expect the fish to remain stagnant in the aquarium.
It will move continuously, and this movement would create some type of waves in the water.
The natural habitat of fish like lakes or seas is ideal because the fish can enjoy the waves as it eases their movement.
If you want your fish to feel at home in the aquarium, this movement needs to be replicated.
You are the one who decided to take responsibility of the fish.
And thus, you need to ensure that they are taken care of in the best possible manner.
Providing them with a near-natural environment is a vital step in that direction.
This is where you will find an aquarium wavemaker to be highly useful.
A wavemaker constitutes a power head that functions as a pump for creating waves in the tank water.
Here’s the thing; you will find plenty of models on the market. Make sure that you opt for something that is suitable for your fish.
What are the types of aquarium pumps available on the market?
Aquarium care is crucial if you want to make sure that your precious fish thrives.
Certain accessories play a vital role in this, and you will find water pumps to be of immense help.
Keep one thing in mind:
All pumps are not meant for creating waves and water movement.
Different types of pumps are available, and you need to make sure that you choose the one that is capable of providing the results you are looking for.
#1 Filtration pumps
The purpose of the filtration pump is providing water pumping of high pressure.
The high pressure is required for overcoming the back pressure and resistance that the filter media and filter cartridges cause.
Furthermore, the high pressure also enables the water to be pumped back into the tank.
A filtration pump cannot be used circulate the water owing to the high pressure.
There is more;
It consumes a high amount of energy for operation.
#2 Circulation Pumps
On the surface, you might think that circulation pumps are more or less the same as filter pumps.
However, there are distinguishing differences between the two.
Circulation pumps are capable of moving the same amount of water that filter pumps handle.
But they do not need to produce high pressure.
Thus, they have a smaller motor, and the impeller also features a low-pressure design.
Contrary to filtration pumps, the purpose of circulation pumps is merely pumping the water to circulate it.
Most of these pumps are compact and can be mounted inside the aquarium.
These units also produce water flow of high pressure like filter pumps but are provided with a compact design.
A narrow stream of high-pressure water is produced by the Powerheads.
Some of the Powerheads are provided with diverters to lessen the high-pressure effect.
Powerheads are the ideal choice if you want to blow water behind a stack of live rock or at the front of tank glass.
There is a catch;
Powerheads cannot be turned off and on like wavemakers.
They are provided with magnetic impellers which might pose some problems at times and can interfere with the magnetic field of the motor.
These are specially designed water pumps that combine the high-volume and low-pressure water pumps with the feature of digital controls, regulating the behavior of the pump.
These pumps are provided with large impellers for pushing the water under low pressure.
Here’s the thing; it is up to you to decide whether you want the wavemakers to run all the time or you would prefer creating timed surges of water.
How Does an Aquarium Wave Maker Work?
Why should I get a wavemaker?
Is a wavemaker really necessary? Why should I buy one? Are the results worth the money?
These are some of the questions that often cross minds.
The point to remember is that if you want your fish to get the best possible care, a wavemaker will prove to be valuable.
#1 Familiar environment
Think about it; don’t you feel homesick when you leave your country for a long time?
Why would the fish be any different?
You have taken them away from their natural habitat.
If you want them to thrive, you need to ensure that they feel at home, and this is where wave makers help a great deal.
#2 Beneficial for coral and invertebrates
The wavemakers are useful even for those who have a reef tank with invertebrates.
It is not possible for the invertebrates and coral to move towards the nutrients.
Thus, you need to find a way to make the nutrients reach them.
For this, the water movement is mandatory.
#3 Elimination of dead spots
Dead spots refer to those areas in water where water movement does not occur.
The problem is, such areas can be harmful to the fish as fresh oxygen might not be present.
Wavemakers ensure that every nook and corner of your aquarium contains fresh oxygen.
#4 Prevention of accumulation of debris
These pumps also play a role in keeping the tank clean.
During the intervals in maintenance, debris starts accumulating in water in the form of uneaten food and waste.
Currents in the water ensure that this debris is spread out.
On the other hand, in case of absence of water current, the debris accumulates in dead spots, spoiling the look of your tank.
#5 The beauty quotient
Wavemakers also add beauty to your tank.
Many people keep aquariums because they are a beautiful sight.
Waves in the tanks increase the visual appeal of aquariums.
Fish appear livelier, and the plants and other décor also get a realistic touch.
How should I install my Aquarium Wavemaker?
It is not really a complicated process.
More often than not, it is quite a breeze.
The first step comprises of the mounting technique.
The good thing is, most wavemakers available on the market have more or less the same mechanism of mounting.
They all use a suction cup for the purpose.
You need to ensure that the suction cup is attached to the pump or wavemaker head properly.
The wavemaker then needs to be attached to the inner wall of your aquarium.
If you have purchased a fully submersible pump, you can submerge it.
An important point to remember; the intake needs to be in the water.
Furthermore, the pump should be directed to the area where the water has to be delivered.
You can then proceed to turn on the unit after plugging in the power cord.
Your work is done.
In case you have some trouble understanding your unit, you can take a look at the installation process manual provided by the manufacturers.
Where should I place the wavemaker?
Placement of wavemaker is crucial for getting desired results.
The ideal position of your unit depends on the type of tank you have.
#1 Freshwater aquariums
Freshwater tanks with plastic plants and ornaments need water movement to prevent the debris from accumulating in certain areas.
Dirty tanks are harmful to the fish and cause diseases.
Even if you use a filter that hangs on the back, it limits water flow to a specific side of the aquarium.
A powerhead will do wonders for the water circulation.
The unit should be placed such that the water is pumped from the back of the aquarium, hitting the front glass.
The best thing is; all the corners of your tank will be flushed with water, and you can rest easy as far as cleaning it is concerned.
#2 Freshwater tank with planted setup
The requirement of water flow in a freshwater planted tank is different.
The aquatic plants remain optimally healthy in the presence of a gentle flow of water.
Inadequate movement of water leads to the formation of a stagnant layer.
This leads to stunted growth of plants and promotes the growth of algae.
The thing is; strong waves are not needed for aquatic plants.
Thus, you can position a basic unit such that the plants get washed in the current.
Remember; the water movement should not be so extreme that the plants bend over.
No turbulence should be caused at the water surface.
Thus, placing the pump a bit lower in the tank is recommended.
#3 Marine tanks with only fish
Improved water flow is quite beneficial for saltwater aquariums that contain only fish.
It is common to decorate such tanks with synthetic resin corals and similar other decorative items.
These items can blow the flow of water and pave the way for piling up of debris.
The circulation pump ensures that the debris remains suspended, allowing the filter to capture it.
The circulation pump should be placed on the other side of the canister filter.
Adjust the position according to the area where debris accumulates frequently.
You would want the water to be pumped with force to that area.
Remember; large aquariums might need two smaller pumps. A single large pump might not provide the same effects.
#4 Reef aquariums
The thing is, specialized water movement is required for invertebrates, corals and live rock.
Keep in mind; countless bacteria are present on the porous surface of live rock that causes break down of ammonia, nitrate and nitrite.
It is essential that the water containing these impurities comes in contact with the bacteria, allowing their breakdown.
Movement of water allows the pollutants to access the rock from where the bacteria take over.
The invertebrates are not capable of moving around the aquarium to get their food.
This is another function performed by the water movement.
Reef circulation pumps ensure that the tides and waves keep the structures clean and healthy.
Pay attention; the circulation pumps are directed towards a particular area to provide it with a high volume of water.
Therefore, it is not about the force exerted.
Buy your water pump keeping this in mind.
In case you use a single wavemaker, position it according to the area where you want the water to be pushed.
On the other hand, if you have multiple wavemakers, ensure that the surges they produce complement each other.
What should I think about while buying a wavemaker?
It is vital to get the right wavemaker if you want to get the results you are looking for.
Therefore, some factors need to be given exquisite attention.
#2 Easy installation
You would not want to use a wavemaker that you cannot set up.
It is not easy to get professionals to handle the task, and this can be costly as well.
Therefore, endeavor to get a unit which is easy to install.
Wavemakers are not the kind of things you would buy frequently.
This is important; opt for a wavemaker that is durable and long-lasting.
A lot of wavemakers have to be plugged in.
The thing is, they work near the water.
Thus, you will have to make sure that safety is not compromised.
Taking a look at safety certifications might help.
#5 Customer support
It is not uncommon to encounter a problem with your equipment.
In the case of such a problem, you will find reliable and helpful customer support to be a valuable ally.
Therefore, opt for a brand that is known for its customer support service.
- The technical aspect
Apart from the aforementioned basic features, you will need to pay attention to the specifications of the unit as well.
The wavemakers are commonly composed of two parts, the controller and the pump.
If you purchase these components separately, make sure that they are compatible.
The amount of water pumped by the unit is of importance as well.
In case of a reef tank, you will want the wavemaker to pump the amount of water 20 times the capacity of the tank.
The electrical efficiency refers to the turnover a unit can perform per wattage.
The best scenario; a high flow rate is provided with low consumption of energy.
It is a good idea to ensure that the unit has adjustable settings.
This will make it easier for you to control the environment of the tank.
What are AC and DC wavemakers?
Two types of wavemakers are primarily found in the market.
AC wavemakers use conventional technology and thus are quite simple and straightforward.
These units are highly reliable and seldom fail.
They are also cheaper compared to DC wavemakers.
There is a problem; they might produce a lot of noise in larger tanks with higher consumption of energy.
On the other hand, DC wavemakers are the result of advanced technology.
They consume less energy and thus can be used for large aquariums with ease.
They have a higher flow rate compared to AC wavemakers.
They are designed to produce minimal noise. Indeed at times, you might not even notice that they are running.
However, you might have to face reliability issues with these units.
They often have quality control problems, mainly with the ones that are available at a low price.
There are three areas where a DC wavemaker can go wrong, the motor, power supply and the controller.
On the other hand, AC wavemakers merely focus on the motor.
How do I decide if the wavemaker is too powerful for the aquarium?
The wavemaker suitable for your tank depends on its size and capacity.
Some wavemakers are designed especially for smaller tanks and thus lose their effectiveness in large aquariums.
Therefore, make sure that you evaluate your aquarium correctly before deciding on the wavemaker you want to buy.
How much power is consumed by wavemakers?
This is variable and depends on the model you use.
Most wavemakers are low in wattage, but there is no fixed answer.
Some might require as little as 8 watts while others might find even 30 watts to be insufficient.
Remember; a low wattage wavemaker is a more cost-effective option.