Eight Perfectly Quiet Wave Makers for Great Water Flow

When I first got into aquariums, I didn’t quite get the point of wave makers.

Why should I spend good money on something that seems pointless? There won’t be any surfers in my tank, so thanks but no thanks.

But then it was pointed out to me by some patient veterans that wave makers and powerhead units are actually beneficial in several ways, and that’s why they’re often a regular part of any aquarium.

My personal pick is the Sicce, keep on reading for more details and other options.

Benefits of a Wave Maker

Positioning your Wave Maker

Factors to Consider when Buying Wave Makers

What is the difference between powerhead, wavemaker, filtration pump, and circulation pump?

Now that we know what to look for, let’s turn our attention to some likely prospects:

1

Jebao Wave Maker with Controller Aquarium Pump

We begin with an entry-level wave maker, it’s affordable and you don’t need to buy anything else.

This offers 4 different models to choose from, ranging from the 1,000 gph WP-10 to the 5,300 gph WP-60.

There’s a WP-40, but for 75-gallon tanks and smaller the WP-25 is more suitable with its 3,400 gph.

More functions

Pros

  • As you can see, you do have lots of modes to choose from.
  • It can last for a long while, and the shaft is made of ceramic for greater durability.
  • It’s very powerful, so the WP-25 is sufficient for even bigger tanks. For smaller tanks. The WP-10 should work, although it doesn’t have Night mode.
  • The cost is ideal. In fact, many owners say that it offers the best value for money among all wave makers.
  • The waves are certainly gentler and spread over a wider area, in contrast to the more focused powerheads.
  • It’s not all that big.
  • It can be quiet.

Cons

  • Hopefully you get some warranty assurances from the seller such as Amazon. Jebao is located in China, and they don’t really offer any sort of customer support outside their country.
  • The night mode isn’t always reliable, and the sensors can be quite flimsy.
2

Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump

On sites like Amazon, you’ll have to buy the Circulation Controller separately. But they’re a match, since they’re both Hydor (duh!).

The Hydor Koralia ranges from 550-600 gph to the 1400-1500 gph model. Each channel of the controller can handle up to 100 watts.

Pros

  • It’s another budget model, yet many also love the value it offers.
  • It’s very easy to set up.
  • It stays where you put it. That’s thanks to its excellent magnetic suction cup and its vibration-absorbing tech. It doesn’t “walk” from its original spot.
  • It’s very quiet, so when in use in your bedroom it won’t disturb your sleep. You’ll only hear something if you’re about 4 inches near the aquarium wall.
  • The compact design means it doesn’t take much space in your tank.
  • The ball joint allows for easy directional adjustment, and you can even remove the head for some quick cleaning.
  • It’s also quite sturdy.
  • The controller can control many pumps, it’s splash-resistant, and it’s easy to use. It also comes with a hanger so you can mount it on a wall.
  • The Hydor customer support does its job.

Cons

  • It makes some sort of clicking sound when you turn it on.
  • You only get 2 different water movement programs, plus a feeding program.
3

Sicce Voyager 3 Power Stream Pump

For tanks of up to 125 gallons, the 1200 gph Sicce Voyager 3 is a nice option.

You can pair it up with the Wave Surfer controller, which can also work with Syncra and other pumps.

The controller offers 2 outlets with 100 watts maximum.

Pros

  • These are quite durable, as some units are still working perfectly even after more than 2 years.
  • The magnets are very strong, and you can place it on the sides or at the back.
  • You can adjust it 180 degrees vertically, and 360 degrees horizontally.
  • You can get a wide or narrow water flow.
  • Many say that it’s the quietest wave maker they’ve used.
  • The controller comes with CE and UL-listed.
  • It’s made in Italy, and the normal warranty is for 3 years (but you should check to be sure).

Cons

  • It is a bit bulky.
  • The settings don’t offer variety, although of course you can still set the intervals. It does have feed mode and night mode.
4

Maxspect XF-230 Gyre

This uses a revolutionary design that doesn’t use propeller nozzle flow technology.

Instead, the Gyre design uses cross-flow technology.

The XF-230 comes with 2,300 gph, so it can be used for tanks of up to 100 gallons.

Pros

  • With that gph capability, it sure moves loads of water.
  • You can adjust the power, so that you can only get 10-20% for a smaller tank.
  • It uses very little electricity, since you just need a single model. It uses up less energy compared to multiple wave maker systems, and does a better job.

Cons

  • The blades may be too near the grate.
  • It’s a bit pricey.
  • It can be difficult to clean.
  • It offers limited programmed features.
5

EcoTech MP40 Wireless & EcoTech VorTech MP10

These Ecotech models are probably the best pumps in the market right now—if you can afford them.

That’s because the price can reach the 4-digits, if you can believe it.

The MP40 wireless works for 50 and 500+ gallon tanks while the MP10 is for 2.5 to 50 gallon tanks.

Pros

  • The flow is tremendous, and the undertow is awesome.
  • The construction is superb, and it’s definitely built to last.
  • It comes with a ton of features including wireless tech and LED interface.
  • The modes are extremely varied. They even include a “tidal wave” mode, a “nutrient transport” mode, and modes that are similar to lagoon reef crest settings.
  • It’s actually firmware-updateable.

Cons

  • That price is off-putting, to say the least.
  • At this price, you’d expect it to be absolutely perfect, but there are still some minor issues and complaints.
  • One complaint is that it’s not really intuitive to use. You definitely need that manual nearby.
6

Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit

The eFlux Wave pump comes complete with a remote control feature.

The eFlux Wave Pump Kits uses a quiet, propeller style wave pump that is regulated by the LOOP Pump Controller.

The wireless feature controls water flow speed and circulation patterns that mimic natural reef currents.

The Wave Pulse Mode simulates pulsing wave action. The pattern consists of alternating speeds from 0.2 to 7 seconds. The flow adjustable from 20% to 100%. The Surge Mode simulates surging water currents.

The Gyre Mode synchronizes two wave pumps for gyre flow. Stream/Steady Mode creates a steady flow of water current. The Feed Mode turns pumps off for 10 minutes for coral and fish feeding. This prevents the food from being pulled into the water overflow, skimmer, and filter system.

The eFlux water pump uses the LOOP feature. LOOP is Current’s connectivity hub device, which allows you to connect and control other Current equipment remotely.

Pros

  • Magnetic mount for easy aiming.
  • Easy to set up the wireless controller.
  • Simple to use pre-programmed wave settings.
  • Will control several water pumps.

Cons

  • Uses proprietary power plugs.
  • Controller only compatible Current water pumps.
7

Tunze USA NanoStream 6045

The Tunze NanoStream circulation pump has several features that set it apart from other circulation pumps.

This miniature water pump has a diameter of only 2.75 inches.

But don’t be fooled! The NanoStream pumps out a flowrate of 1189 gph.

The Tunze water pump is energy-efficient and uses only seven watts.

The NanoStream design uses a very large strainer for the intake. This prevents snails, fish, and debris from getting caught in the impeller. The large strainer reduces the concentrated suction around the intake so marine life won’t get pulled into the pump. The spherical shape coupled with a flow adjustment creates a three-dimensional water flow.

The NanoStream 6045 won’t blast your corals off of the live rock. The water flow is easily aimed and the magnetic holder keeps the pump securely mounted to the glass. The circulation pump comes with a magnetic holder (works on up to 1/2" glass thickness), which enables uncomplicated attachment at any position on the aquarium pane.

The Tunze NanoStream 6045 is rated for aquariums between 10 and 135 gallons.

Pros

  • Simple design.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Strong magnetic mounts.
  • Reliable Tunze motor.
  • Small size with good flowrate.
  • Long power cable (6.7 feet)

Cons

  • The 6045 NanoStream is not compatible with controllers.
8

TAAM Mini Polario 10ML Low Voltage Water Pump

TAAM, famous for their Rio water pumps, has introduced this unique wave-making circulation pump. 

The Polario series of circulation pumps use low voltage for safety.

An automatic controller periodically reverses the flow rate of the pump. This means the Polario is bi-directional.

The pump creates the back and forth water surges found on a natural ocean reef. Instead of using two water pumps, the Polario system just reverses the pump impeller rotation to create opposing water surges.

The program works like this: Flow settings: 50% power 5 seconds, 75% power five seconds, 100% power 5 seconds and then a 5 second delay.

The identical cycle then begins from the opposite side. The flow rate varies from 1,500 to 2,600 gph. The magnetic mount makes it easy to install anywhere in the aquarium.

The screen around the pump could be a little tighter to prevent snails and small fish from getting too close.

Pros

  • Bi-directional outputs simulate the natural waves and currents of the ocean.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Tiny size - 2.1" x 2.4".
  • No programming needed.
  • Only one water pump is needed to create wave action.
  • Fits behind live rock.

Cons

  • The wave cycle and flow rate are not adjustable.
  • Not compatible with other controllers.

My Pick

Among these excellent options, the EcoTech are great, but I’m pretty sure very few of us can actually afford these. So I’m more partial to the Sicce system.

You get nice modes, it’s quiet without the annoying clicks, the movement is fine, and best of all it is very affordable.

Of course, if you have a different opinion, feel free to chime in with your comments!

Leave a Comment:

2 comments
Andrew says Jul 6, 2017

If you haven’t tried them yet, I would try the Coral box Quiet Pump by Jebao. They resemble the Ecotech pumps, and have a ton of features, but not the price. I have 2 QP16 on my 265 mixed reef and I am getting 2 more. For the price they cant be beat, and I have now had them for almost a year and still quiet and no other issues to report.

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