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Top Five Beginner Wavemakers

Updated 2023

When it comes to wavemakers, there is a wide array of options available, and the term itself can be misleading. Beginners might envision a massive wave action in a public aquarium when thinking of wavemakers. However, in this hobby, a wavemaker simply refers to a controllable DC pump – essentially a glorified powerhead with controllable features. Among the five options listed below, four of them are genuine controllable wavemakers, while the fifth one is an affordable powerhead designed to increase flow in your tank.

The FREESEA Aquarium Circulation Pump Wave Maker Power Head is an efficient and reliable aquarium wavemaker that enhances water circulation and oxygenation. It is particularly suitable for larger tanks and offers adjustable features for customization. The sturdy magnetic mount ensures secure placement, and its quiet operation provides a pleasant user experience. While it lacks clips to hold the wave pump in place, overall, the performance and value of this product make it a worthwhile investment for any aquarium enthusiast.
  • Simulates gentle water flow and creates waves in the aquarium, making it feel more like the ocean.
  • Powerful and quiet operation with higher flow rate and lower energy consumption.
  • Easy installation with a magnetic stand and adjustable rings to prevent interference from fish and corals.
  • May be too strong for smaller tanks, recommended for tanks that are 50 gallons or more.
  • Not suitable for use in display tanks with coral, better suited as a utility pump in certain situations.
  • The mounting bracket inside the tank is flimsy and may not provide long-term durability.
The SICCE XStream SDC Wave Pump is a versatile and customizable aquarium wavemaker suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. Despite a packaging issue, this pump delivers impressive performance and functionality. Its long-lasting durability and the reputation of the SICCE brand add to its appeal. Whether you have a small or large aquarium, this wave pump is definitely worth considering for its reliable and efficient water flow.
  • The SICCE XStream SDC wave pump is WiFi enabled, allowing for easy control and monitoring of your tank through the ContrALL app.
  • The pump comes with a controller that allows you to adjust the flow, making it customizable to your tank’s needs.
  • The XStream SDC pump is designed for long-term use, with a long-lasting life of successful performance when properly maintained.
  • Some customers have reported issues with the packaging, with the powerhead not being securely protected during transit.
  • One customer experienced a faulty controller on the pump, which stopped working after only two days of use.
  • There have been complaints about the shipping process, with one customer receiving a package with torn cardboard and a potentially used pump.
The AquaIllumination AI Nero 3 Submersible Wavemaker Pump is a reliable wavemaker that delivers strong and customizable water flow in aquariums. Customers have shared positive experiences, highlighting its ease of use and reliability. However, some users have reported issues with durability and the need for regular cleaning. If you’re looking for a versatile and convenient wavemaker, the AquaIllumination AI Nero 3 is worth considering for its performance and customization options.
  • Max Flow – 2000 GPH
  • BlueTooth LE connectivity
  • Sleek design and low profile
  • Price increase on Amazon
  • Power supply connections may be loose
  • Some users experienced issues with pump reliability
The Maxspect XF330 Gyre Pump and Controller Package Wavemaker is an excellent investment for aquarium enthusiasts. It offers a powerful flow rate, compatibility with various tank sizes, and operates silently. This wavemaker ensures a healthy aquatic environment and is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. While some minor maintenance is required, the overall performance and value make it a worthwhile purchase. If you’re in search of a reliable and efficient wavemaker, the Maxspect XF330 is highly recommended.
  • Great water movement – According to one reviewer, the Maxspect XF330 Gyre Pump has done wonders for water movement in their 75-gallon reef tank. It is highly recommended for its effectiveness in creating water flow.
  • Silent operation – Another user mentioned that the XF330 is dead silent even when running at 70% power. This is especially beneficial for tanks located in quiet spaces or for those who prefer minimal noise levels.
  • Versatile settings – The XF330 offers various settings options, making it suitable for different tank setups. It can effectively move a large volume of water, reaching the opposite end of the tank and providing a rippling surface for gas exchange.
  • Algae buildup – One downside mentioned by a reviewer is that the XF330 tends to attract algae buildup, requiring regular maintenance. However, this is a common issue with many pumps and can be managed with proper cleaning and maintenance routines.
  • Limited water movement – One user expressed disappointment with the water movement of the XF330. They found that even when running at 100% power, there was very little water moving to the other side of their 6-foot tank. They had to purchase an additional pump to achieve sufficient water flow.
  • Pricey compared to competitors – One reviewer mentioned that the Maxspect Gyre units, including the XF330, are quite expensive. They felt that other gyre-producing companies offer similar features at a lower price point, making the Maxspect pump less attractive in terms of value for money.
The hygger Mini Wave Maker Magnetic DC Powerhead is a great addition to small saltwater tanks ranging from 5 to 30 gallons. Its compact size, quiet operation, and customizable flow modes make it an excellent choice for creating a natural current for corals to thrive in. While there are a couple of minor drawbacks, such as the need to manually reset the time after a power outage, the overall performance and value of this aquarium wavemaker make it a worthwhile purchase for any aquarium enthusiast.
  • Customizable current – The hygger Mini Wave Maker allows you to mimic ocean waves by setting various flow modes, power, and frequency, creating an ideal natural current for your coral to thrive.
  • Smart LED controller – With the LED display controller, you can easily set the wave pump to pulse and adjust the strength of the wave. You can also choose from different flow modes and even set it to auto-off for 10 minutes during feeding time.
  • Quiet operation – This wave maker operates quietly and efficiently with its 12V DC powered controllable wave maker. It uses an energy-efficient magnetic propeller and motor, improving water quality and eliminating dead spots in your aquarium.
  • Power outage resets – One drawback is that if there is a power outage, you’ll need to reset the time again on the controller. This can be a bit inconvenient if you frequently experience power interruptions.
  • Limited preset time ranges – Some users may not like the preset time ranges on the controller. However, you have the option to customize each time range to have the same settings, so you won’t need to reset the time after a power outage.
  • Difficult to clean – Several users have mentioned that the wave maker is challenging to clean, especially for the larger models like the 2600. Taking it apart and reassembling it can be tricky, and there is a risk of breaking the base.