2018’s Best Aquarium Wave Maker: Top Powerhead Pump Reviews

wavemakerIf you are new to the world of being a fish owner, you probably didn’t know that there are many more marine accessories that you can get for your fish besides the standard, colorful pebbles, and fake weeds.

There are different bubble machines and even aquarium wave makers.  Yes, it sounds bizarre to be able to have a wave machine in your home aquarium but they can actually be quite beneficial for your new pet.

Fish are used to constant movement and some type of aquarium current maker or wave machine imitates this feeling for your fish even though there is no current taking your tank water in and out, repeatedly.  If you are not able to clean your tank as often as you should, the wave machine can actually help with this.

The constant movement doesn’t allow for bacteria and dirt to build up in certain spots due to literally, stagnant water. Not only does the wave motion do wonders for your fish, it is also very aesthetically pleasing for you, the owner, as well.  The serenity you achieve from having a peaceful, moving tank, will do wonders for your stress and anxiety.

Keep reading while we go over what products will make a great addition to your fish tank and which products are poor quality…

Best Aquarium Wavemakers for Reef Tanks

Now that we have gone through a quick overview of the great benefits of having an aquarium wave maker in your fish tank, we can give you a more in-depth view of the best types of wave makers for your wallet, and your fish. Here is a detailed list of the top 5 best wave makers in the industry.

Sicce Voyager 3 Power Stream Pump

This pump will work best with tanks that hold 125 gallons of water, or more. It comes with 2 different outlets and can withstand a maximum of 100 watts. This wave maker has been known to be one of the quietest ones in the industry.  It is great for enjoying in a den or work space because it can be relaxing and allow you to focus more. Not only has it been known to be one of the quietest, it is also known for its durability and strength. Some users have bragged that they have been using this brand of wavemaker for multiple years with no issues or concerns.

There are a couple different settings you can apply and modes you can put the wave maker in and certain times.  There is a feed mode which allows for the waves to cease for a bit in order for your fish to eat and not be distracted when their food is put in the tank.  There is also a night or sleep mode which allows for your fish to feel like they are sleeping in the ocean or in their natural habitat.

The magnets that come with this Sicce Voyager pump are very strong which allows you to mount the wave maker on the sides or the back of the tank – whichever you prefer. It can be adjusted vertically by 180 degrees and 360 degrees, horizontally. You can also adjust the size of the water flow.  If you prefer a narrower stream, or maybe a wider one, this is definitely the pump for you. The only slight downfall that this pump has is the fact that it can be a bit bulky on the tank so it doesn’t look as sleek and modern as some may hope.

Jebao WaveMaker with Controller Aquarium Pump

This is a good aquarium wave maker for beginners – it is easy on the bank account and also comes with everything you need so there is no need to purchase additional accessories. It was created with a ceramic shaft so it has the ability to be very durable and sturdy. There are 4 different makes and models to choose from and can be used with different gallon tanks.  The different models can be used for different size gallon tanks so it is important to know which type of tank you have before you purchase a specific model.

This is not a very big or bulky wave maker and it is also pretty quiet and cannot be heard too easily when you are in the same room. The waves that are produced by this specific aquarium wave maker are more spread out and a little gentler than other, more high-powered wave makers.

A few downfalls to the Jebao Wave Maker are the fact that they are located in Japan, so there could be some reliability issues when it comes to warranties and re-issue of things.  Also, there is a ‘night mode’ with the wave maker, however, it has been known to not work all the time or as efficiently as it’s supposed to; the sensors tend to not work as well as they should either.

Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump

This model is ideal for the beginner fish owner because it is incredibly easy to set up and doesn’t have an extreme effect on your money situation.  On some websites, you may have to buy the circulation controller separately, but there are places you can go to purchase both, together.

These types of pumps buzz and vibrate a bit when in use but the beauty about the Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium circulator pump is that it comes with magnetic suction cups so when the controller is in use, the vibration will not cause it to move or jump around.

The noise level of this aquarium wave maker is so quiet that you literally have to be 4 inches away or less in order to hear it. It is perfect if you want to have your aquarium in your bedroom to add a touch of serenity, but also be able to sleep soundly, without noisy interruptions.

It is compactly designed so it doesn’t take up too much space in the tank itself and it is also easily adjustable and can be removed easily for cleaning and sanitation purposes. If you choose not to put it inside of your tank, it comes with a mount and hook so you can hang it on a wall behind your tank to hide it a bit and make the inside a little bit more aesthetically pleasing.

Some known downfalls of the Hydor Koralia Nano tank circulation pump wave maker are that it does tend to make a slight clicking noise when you turn it on. The clicking noise does not last long; just for the pump to warm up and get situated. There are also only 2 different pump settings that you can program into the wave maker and there is also a feeding program.

Maxspect XF-230 Gyre

If you have a tank that is 100 gallons or less, this is the best wave maker machine you can own. Instead of using propeller nozzle flow technology, it uses cross-flow technology in order to create the waves. The most advanced part of this specific wave maker is that you can adjust the size of the waves and the momentum of the water depending on the tank size.

If you have a smaller gallon tank, you can make the waves 20% gentler than full power. The Maxspect XF-230 Gyre wave maker is excellent in power saving as well.  It uses way less energy than other pumps and wave makers and also only comes in a small, compact box.

A pump like this also has a few negative aspects to it as well.  They are not deal-breakers by any means but they are something to be aware of before purchasing. When it comes to buying, this pump isn’t exactly cheap, but that’s because it is more advanced, technology wise and is very energy efficient. It can be a bit dangerous for small children to be around because the blades of the fan are very near to the grate covering.

When the blades are spinning, it is very important to keep all fingers and small objects away from the fan and grate covering. It also can be difficult to clean because it is so compact and there are very little spaces to get between in order to clean things properly. This is also another wave maker that doesn’t offer many different settings and programs that you can adjust to.

EcoTech MP40 Wireless & EcoTech VorTech MP10

These 2 models are probably the best models you can buy; however, they have a tendency to make a major dent in your wallet.  IF you can actually afford them, they are a great addition to have in your fish tank – they can actually reach the $1,000+ price tag in some stores. If you purchase the MP40 version, it is created for tanks that are over 500 gallons – these are obviously very large aquariums.  The MP10 pump is made for tanks that hold 50 gallons of water.

These models have incredible performance power.  They are known for the incredible undertow and wave movement as well. The price is well worth the structure and dependability of these machines.  They are built very well and are built to last and withstand years of use. The different finishing touches that it comes equipped with will definitely wow and impress your friends and family. It has wireless capabilities and some pretty cool LED light features too.

There are multiple modes you can set each pump to as well – they include: nutrient transport mode (made for feeding time), tidal wave mode (specifically for during the day when the fish tend to be more active and awake), and a few different settings that are designed to create a lagoon reef crest setting for your fish.

The number one negative about these pumps is, without a doubt, the price. Most of these pumps are not found in your typical neighborhood home.  They are more for the big corporations that have cool tanks in their front offices.  A manual is recommended to have on hand at all times because it includes many different how-to points and also there are troubleshooting ideas in case anything malfunctions or goes wrong.

Types of Wavemaker Pumps

powerheadSomething that you should consider before buying, is the different types of pumps there are that each wave maker may use.

Power heads are a filtration pump that produces an intense flow of water, but also are small in size. By aiming the pump at the glass of your tank, it will blow the water away from the sides and create a water flowing motion. Powerheads produce a stream of water that is fairly concentrated. Some have the option to soften the stream with a device called a diverter.

Circulation pumps are designed for literally, circling the water in the tank and not actually filtering it or cleaning it in any way. This is good for an aquarium that has coral and live plants in it because the flow of water will keep the corals and plants growing, and clean.

A filtration pump is for creating high-pressure streams of water in a tank. The downfall of a filtration system is the amount of energy it requires in order to power through the water.

The final type of pump is the wave maker pump. These are designed to run constantly but are timed out so the water flow only happens at certain times. They can regulate water cleanliness and keep your fish on a solid, day and night type of schedule so they truly feel like they are swimming and living in their natural habitats.


That wraps up our top 5 aquarium wavemaker reviews. Although they vary in price (sometimes by more than a few hundred dollars), they are all well worth the price for the quality they provide and the features they are equipped with. Reading up and researching on each type is the best way to go. Some are made just for the bigger, more industrial sized saltwater tanks whereas others like power heads are meant to blow water behind a stack of rock.

It is also important to know that there are some fish you may own that would thrive from a wave maker and live a longer, more full and happy life if you were to provide one for them inside their tank (bestautomaticfishfeeders.com/top-rated-tanks).