[2023] Top 10 Best Aquarium Wave Maker Reviews for Reef Tanks

[2023] Top 10 Best Aquarium Wave Maker Reviews for Reef Tanks

We have reviewed, what we believe are the best wave makers on the market and have provided our top 10 best wave maker reviews to help you decide what is best for your aquarium setup.

If you’re a new to aquarium enthusiast, you will have noticed the multitude of accessories available for purchase.

This includes wave generators for aquariums. Its purpose is evident from the name—it creates ripples in the water, replicating the natural movement of water.

Comparison Table – Best Aquarium Wave Maker Reviews

CustomSiteStripe ImageTitleReviewBuy
Top PerformanceSunSun JVP-110 Wavemaker Pumps4.3/5.0Check Price
cheapest Jebao OW Wave Maker Flow Pump4.5/5.0Check Price

There’s no question about that anymore, because this guide has the solution. You can learn more about aquarium wave formers and choose the right model at the end of the guide.

When I first walked into the aquariums, I didn’t quite understand what the wave makers were.

Why spend good money on something that seems useless? There will be no surfers in my tank so thank you but no thanks.

But then some experienced patients pointed out to me that wave generators and power head units are actually useful in a number of ways, and therefore are often a regular part of any aquarium.

Technology has come a long way since I started with aquariums. There used to be standard power heads that distributed a fixed current and current in your water column.

You now have these elements, called wave makers, that provide a wider and more powerful flow of water in your tank. There are even DC wave generators that offer many control functions and less power consumption.

Many manufacturers have gone into battle by releasing their own wave makers, but which one is the best wave maker for aquariums?

There are so many wave makers. Which one suits you? Hopefully today’s post, best aquarium wave maker reviews, will clear all of this up for you to decide which wave generator will work best for your aquarium.


Top 10 Best Aquarium Wave Maker Reviews for Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums


What is an Aquarium Wave Maker?

The fish will always be in constant motion and some kind of wave will form as they move. In open water, such as the sea or lake, fish like waves because they help them move around easily.

It would be great to mimic that movement in the aquarium. Here you can use the aquarium wave generator.

The wave generator consists of a drive head that acts as a pump to create waves in the water. You can always get a model depending on the size of the aquarium so that you have created the best waves for the fish.


Benefits of Using Wave Maker in Aquarium

  1. One thing that will lead more people to choose the wave maker is that the fish is familiar with currents and waves in the water. The fish will also tend to thrive as it is something they like. Being in a habitat everyone knows does the same.
  2. The wave generator helps corals and invertebrates access nutrients in the tank. This is because corals and invertebrates cannot really move to where the nutrients are. Now you can be sure that the nutrients are getting where they are.
  3. Helps remove dead spots from water. The blind spots in this case are those areas that do not move. These areas are unlikely to be healthy for fish because they lack fresh oxygen. The wave generator helps circulate oxygen in that area.
  4. Well, you may also notice that the waves make the aquarium a beautiful sight to behold. Many people who visit your home will always be interested to see how the wave generator works. The plants will move with the fish and the fish will be more vibrant too.


Factors to Consider when Buying a Wavemaker

  1. Price: Some wave generators are extremely cheap, while others are very expensive.
  2. Warranty: A manufacturer who makes a reliable golf generator backs its golf makers with a solid warranty
  3. Durability: What are the field-proven histories of these units? Have they been working for years, or do they go out every 6 months? If they break easily, are they cheap enough to be considered disposable?
  4. Safety: This is not a major concern with AC powered wave generators, but DC powered wave generators have their own power source. You must ensure that the power supply is properly sealed at the connection point and that the unit is ETL or UL certified. The ETL or UL classification ensures that your insurance covers any accident.


Best Aquarium Wavemaker Reviews

1. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

This Hydor wave generator is a powerful pump that circulates 565 liters per hour. It is the most powerful Nan pump the company offers. The compact, vibration-free design can be used to create any flow and movement pattern you need to keep your aquarium happy and healthy.

One of the best things about this product is how easy it is to install. All you need to do is place the wave generator where you want it in the tank and then use the patented magnetic suction cup mount to hold it in place. Simply attach the magnet from the outside of the glass, angle it and you’re done.

A cable protector is included along with detailed instructions for proper installation and placement. This wave generator can also be connected to a controller and set a timer for hours, minutes or seconds. There are also less powerful options suitable for smaller tanks.

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2. SunSun JVP-110 Wavemaker Pumps

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

This is a pack of two wavemaker pumps from SunSun, perfect for large tanks where you want to place one at each end or if you just want a backup. Each pump moves 528 gallons per hour, an ideal speed for freshwater and marine aquariums.

These pumps are installed with a suction cup to attach to the inside of the tank and then attached with a 360-degree swivel ball so you can create movement anywhere in the tank that you need. The design is fully submersible and since the motor is oil-free, you don’t have to worry about water contamination.

Another great thing about this pump is the price. It’s extremely affordable, especially when you consider that you actually get two pumps. If you only need one, you can keep the other until you need it as a replacement or use it in another tank.

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3. Jebao OW Wave Maker Flow Pump with Controller

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

If you’re looking for a wave generator that gives you a lot of control over the current, check out this one from Jebao. One of the things we like the most about it is that it has eight different flow rates to choose from, so you can find the right setting for your tank.

There’s also a one-touch feed mode that slows down the pump for 10 minutes, so you can feed your fish without worrying about the food spilling or sinking too quickly. You can also rotate the flow direction to get movement in the tank exactly where you need it.

Operated with a wired remote control, this pump connects to the aquarium with a strong magnet, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off and sinking to the bottom. It is very quiet and uses a wear-resistant ceramic shaft that is designed to last.

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4. Marineland Maxi-Jet Pro Pump for Aquariums

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

This Marineland product is actually three pumps in one, acting as a drive head, service pump and wave generator. Just use the conversion kit included in the box to convert it from a drive head to a circulation pump to move the water through your tank.

The pump is connected to the aquarium by means of a series of suction cups, making it easy to position it correctly. You can run this pump on a timer if you prefer, another way it adapts to your aquarium setup.

It circulates 500 liters per hour and is ideal for smaller tanks of about 10 or 20 liters. Note that larger versions are available that circulate up to 1300 liters per hour and are designed for tanks up to 50 liters. Multiple packages are also available so you can install more than one in tanks larger than 50 gallons.

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5. Uniclife Controllable Wavemaker with W-40 Controller

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

Unicliffe’s controllable wave generator moves up to 3400 liters per hour and is recommended for 50-inch tanks between 60 and 150 liters. Just use the wired control panel to adjust the speed and start the feeding mode so your fish can eat without worrying about the strong current.

This design uses a magnetic suction cup base as a support, making positioning simple and reliable. Simply place the device in the tank where you want it and position the magnet from the outside of the tank. It is compatible with aquarium glass up to a thickness of 15 mm.

After you find the right location, use 360-degree positioning to create the ideal stream for your setup. Despite being quite powerful, this pump works quietly so it won’t disturb you or your fish. You can set between 30% and 100% of the total power and lock the controller once everything is OK.

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6. Hygger Submersible Aquarium Wavemaker Circulation Pump

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

This Hygger wave generator is the best choice if you really want to be able to control the flow direction. Why? Because it has a double head. Each has a 360-degree ball joint so you can position them independently.

You can use this wave generator in 75–130-gallon freshwater, tropical, or marine tanks. It is powerful enough to move up to 2000 liters per hour. It’s also oil-free and fully submersible, so it won’t affect the chemical balance of the water.

Use the built-in locking suction cup to mount the pump in the tank and position the heads to create the movement you need to keep your tank healthy and balanced. The power cord is just over three feet long, making it easy to route.

In addition to being powerful, this pump is also super quiet and has rubber ends to reduce noise. In addition, it is built with anti-corrosion titanium impellers that are durable and durable.

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7. Reef Octopus Octo Pulse Wave Pump

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

Reef Octopus, best known for its protein skimmers and return pumps, has entered the field of wave pumps.

The Octo Pulse line is designed around a cage-enclosed propeller pump.

The pump motor is located in the aquarium. It is attached to the glass with a magnetic holder.

The Octo Pulse has an adjustability of 25 degrees to aim at the aquarium. The pump body can be rotated 360 degrees.

These pumps are intended for reef aquarists and can also be used in freshwater aquariums.

The OctoPulse is connected to a controller with four preprogrammed flow modes. These include Constant, Current, Tide and Random.

The controller can be used to increase the flow. The energy mode can be set to 15 or 60 minutes. There are eight flow rate presets to choose from.

Two Octo Pulses are available as OP2 and OP4 models. The OP2 is too powerful for smaller nano reef aquariums. The Octo Pulse series circulators have basic functions without wireless control or advanced programming options.

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8. IceCap Gyre Flow Pump

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

Reef aquariums need a steady stream of water to maintain healthy coral growth.

Wave generators and traditional powerheads direct the flow of water in a narrow pattern that affects only small areas of the reef.

Powerheads are often too strong for direct contact with corals and must be aimed away from the reef, stagnating areas with little current.

The Ice Sheet Spin Generating Flow Pump uses “cross flow technology” to circulate a large volume of water through the reef without creating high pressure “hot spots” that damage corals and other invertebrates.

The Gyre system moves the aquarium water in a horizontal pattern across the reef. The water flow contacts the other side of the aquarium and circulates to the pump. This is called the spin flow pattern. The wave generator is controlled by the advanced Gyre controller.

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9. EcoTech VorTech Marine Wireless Wavemaker

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

EcoTech Marine developed the first controllable water circulation pump that placed the motor outside the aquarium.

They offer four magnetically coupled propeller pump models suitable for a wide variety of aquarium sizes.

There are no electrical cables in the aquarium. Vortech pumps use QuietDrive motors, which are magnetically coupled to the pump housing in the tank.

This technical achievement eliminates the problem of voltage leakage from traditional “cast-in” drive heads and submersible pumps. It also prevents the heat generated by the drive motor from being transferred to the aquarium water.

This is a great feature for nano aquariums with small amount of water and large tanks with bright lighting.

Vortech pumps come with a wireless controller that includes preprogrammed flow modes. You don’t have to do anything but plug in the pump to get it going.

EcoTech was the first to create reef-specific water flow modes.

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10. Sicce Voyager Power Stream Pump

Best Aquarium Wave Maker

Sicce has a long history of making high quality water pumps for the aquarium hobby.

Voyager Stream Pumps is Sicce’s version of aquarium circulators. You will immediately notice that the design looks very different from typical “caged impeller” circulators.

The end of the business, where the water comes out, looks more like a Gatling gun than a water pump.

The water outlet is a series of ports arranged in a circle. The gates don’t turn, but they serve a purpose. The water flow can be reduced by turning the pump outlet, which closes the ports.

So, what’s the problem? The Voyager Flow Pump delivers a large (adjustable) volume of water in a wide flow pattern.

Unlike powerheads and some circulators, Voyagers won’t dump water in a small spot in your planted reef or aquarium.

Voyager flow pumps start with the correct rotation, eliminating loud chatter. The pumps are attached to the aquarium with the usual magnetic holder through the glass.

Sicce uses strong magnets and high-quality rubber to survive in salt water without hardening or becoming brittle. The pumps have an orientation radius of 180 degrees.

An important note. The pump is cradled in a yoke. The wing nut securing the pump to the bracket can be over-tightened causing deformation of the pump housing. This can cause a clicking noise. Do not overtighten the wing nut! These are simple water pumps to set and forget.

They have no programmed modes or wireless controls. But you can control them with the Sicce Wave Surfer controller. Adjustment of the water movement is possible by setting change intervals, 4 minutes feeding mode and 8 hours slow flow night mode.

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Best Aquarium Wavemakers (Our Recommendation)


How To Install an Aquarium Wavemaker

Wavemakers are extremely easy to install. Depending on whether you have a suction cup model or a magnetically coupled model, the installation differs slightly. With suction cups, just stick them on the aquarium glass / acrylic. They may have a button or tab that allows you to add extra suction, but that’s basically all.

For magnets, it is even easier if you place the dry side magnet on the outside of the tank and the wet side magnet on the inside of the tank. Once the wet and dry ends have done their thing, all you have to do is adjust the height of the wave generator on the dry and wet side while moving the wave generator to the desired position.

Choosing the best location for your aquarium wavemakers is a bit of a complicated matter. I am going to focus on saltwater aquariums as current is very important to corals.


What Size Wavemaker for Aquarium?

You do not have to worry much about this as the manufacturer always indicates this on the wave generator.

For example, a wave generator with a flow rate of 800 gallons per hour would be perfect for 30-60 gallon aquariums. Powerful wave generators are often reserved for larger aquariums.


Where do you place Wavemaker in the aquarium?

When it comes to placing the wave generator in the aquarium, there is a lot to do to find the right spot.

It may not be easy at first as not all places will generate the correct waves you may want. Some positions would mean creating high waves hitting the glass, causing a lot of noise. So, it’s a bit of trial and error until you find the area that works well.


Final Thoughts – Best Aquarium Wave Maker Reviews

Our “Best Aquarium Wave Maker Reviews” article should have helped you make a decision on what you require for your setup.

While they do tend to vary in size and price, there are few differences from any of the models reviewed. You just need to choose the one that you think will effectively meet your needs.

You still need to consider the size of the aquarium to determine which model would be perfect. Go ahead and choose a wave generator that will make your tank perform even better.