Top [2023] Best Aquarium Powerheads: Powerful, Constant Water Flow

Top [2023] Best Aquarium Powerheads: Powerful, Constant Water Flow

If you have a saltwater, freshwater, or reef tank, you probably already know the importance of the right filtration system. If you’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what filter media to use and making sure the water chemistry is correct, but you don’t know why your tank isn’t doing well, you may be missing out.

By installing one of the best aquarium powerheads, you can ensure that your aquarium is the perfect environment for your plants, fish or corals. It doesn’t matter whether you have a freshwater, saltwater, or coral reef aquarium, ensuring your aquarium is adequately aerated and circulated is critical equipment in ensuring the life of your aquarium fish and plants thrives.

Comparison Table

CustomSiteStripe ImageTitleReviewBuy
Top PerformanceSUNSUN JVP Series Submersible Circulation Powerhead Pump4.4/5.0Check Price
cheapestAquaClear 50 Powerhead4.6/5.0Check Price

While installing the correct filtration system is an important part of keeping your aquarium looking its best, and getting good quality filter media is important to keep your water crystal clear if you don’t have good water circulation and aeration , then your hard work. it will be for nothing.

By reading this list of the 11 best aquarium powerheads, you can buy the right one for your aquarium and make it the perfect environment for your fish to thrive. 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 really helpful in a number of ways, which is why they are often a regular part of any aquarium.

I don’t want to make waves, but if you are struggling with your reef tank you may need to improve water circulation. Stagnant areas reduce the health of your fish and can be deadly to corals and anemones, so dive into our guide to the best aquarium wave makers and powerheads and find out how they can help.


What is an Aquarium Powerhead Used For

Good water movement is important for a healthy aquarium. Helps plants, corals, beneficial bacteria, and even fish and animal life to thrive.

If you have proper filters in your tank but inadequate water circulation, your tank is not benefiting as much as you think.

Basically, the water spots directly in front of the filter circulate through the pump several times while the water in the corners does not receive any treatment. The same goes for heaters in a heated tank.

So what is the solution?

Make sure the water circulates efficiently throughout the tank. The best way to do this is to use an aquarium power head.

It is important to note that a power head is not a filter and does not treat the water in any way. It is a pump that needs to be placed underwater in your tank, so keep the water moving.


Top 10 [2022] Best Powerheads For Freshwater & Marine Reef Tanks


Best Aquarium Powerheads Reviews


1. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump

This Hydor power head is a great choice because it is compact and energy efficient. It is also quite versatile and can be used in marine, freshwater and tropical aquariums.

One of the best things is that it will not disturb your fish. It has a built-in anti-vibration system that keeps noise low so you don’t disturb your fish or whatever else calls your tank home.

Adjusting the flow direction is as easy as turning the simple ball joint. It rotates a full 360 degrees so you can get virtually any flow direction and create natural water movement.

Placing it on the side of the tank is simple too. Just use the simple magnetic suction cups and it will stay securely in place.

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2. SUNSUN JVP Series Submersible Circulation Powerhead Pump

SUNSUN produces a fully submersible gear head that cycles 800 GPH. It is designed to be easy to use. All you have to do to position it is twist it on the hinged ball joint to create the perfect gooseberry.

You can rotate it 360 degrees so you can really adjust the water flow. It’s fully submersible and the motor runs without oil, so you don’t have to worry about contaminants getting in.

If you’re looking for a way to eliminate dead spots and create a more ocean-like environment for your fish, coral, and plants, this is a great pump to try.

Installation is very simple, just use the durable suction cups to attach it to the aquarium wall, then plug it in to start the flow.

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3. AquaClear 50 Powerhead

The best thing about the AquaClear Powerhead is that it is very versatile. You can use it for filters under the gravel, to supply the water with oxygen and you can even add some filter accessories.
Its compact size and fully submersible design means it can be easily hidden while still providing all the benefits.
Because it is insulated with epoxy resin, it is more durable and protects the device from harsh water environments. Due to the easily adjustable flow, you have a lot of control over the flow.
Installation is also easy, just use the handy suction cups to place it anywhere on the tank. It has a flow rate of 270 GPH and is practically silent in use.
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4. Super Aquatic JVP-102A Aquarium Circulation Pump Power Head

This SUN Aquarium Power Head is a simple and easy-to-use option that delivers results. Installation is simple. Simply use the included suction cup to attach the power head to any glass or acrylic surface.

The articulated ball joint allows you to reposition the flow 360 degrees so you can get exactly the setting you want. This makes it really easy to get movement in those areas of the tank that would otherwise be difficult to reach.

Because this product uses a grease and oil free magnetic motor, it requires minimal maintenance and the ceramic impeller shaft is much stronger than plastic ones and is made to last a long time. Cycles at 1300 GPH and does not support timers or controllers.

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5. AQUANEAT Powerhead Submersible Aquarium Water Pump

If you are looking for an aquarium power head that is multi-functional, this one from Aquaneat may be the perfect choice for you. It is suitable for fresh or salt water and has a strainer to prevent dirt from entering the pump.

You don’t have to worry about seals or oil and you can mount it both horizontally and vertically. You can use it to circulate, aerate and pump water to create movement and help you maintain a healthy environment for your fish.

This powerhead is available in a variety of sizes with options for bikes 60, 160, 450 and 650 GPH. The bomb. Aeration tubes, suction cups and strainer are included. All you need is the hose and you are good to go.

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6. Marineland Maxi-Jet Pro Pump for Aquariums

A great option for a multipurpose powerhead is Marineland’s Maxi-Jet. There are three pumps in one and it is fully customizable for different uses in your aquarium. Use as a powerhead, service pump or circulator to get the setup you need for your tank environment.

This is a good option for running under gravel filters, setting up a wave generator, or powering a skimmer or small fountain. A conversion kit is supplied to convert to a circulation pump if required.

There are several sizes to choose from so you can find one with just the right power for your tank. Choose from pumps with power head modes running 110, 160, 230 and 295 GPH.

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7. RIO Plus 1700 Aqua Pump

Rio Aqua Power Heads / Pumps from Taam, Inc. are solidly built and provide high pressure water for most tank functions. While often used with protein skimmers, they should not be used for constant on / off functions such as operating wave generators or oscillating devices.

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8. Tunze Turbelle Stream 2 Controllable Pump

Tunze has an amazing range of drive heads, circulators, electronic controllers and other devices to meet the needs of a hobbyist. Primarily designed with high efficiency and aquarium maintenance in mind, Tunze’s Turbelle brand pumps have different characteristics, but they are all quiet and easy to maintain, equipped with motors with low heat output and energy consumption, and one of the most attractive features are that they can be mounted in an aquarium with Tunze’s patented magnetic holder. With many other great features to list here, visit their website to learn more about this and the many other aquarium products this company makes.

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9. Cobalt Aquatics Nano-Flow Aquarium Powerhead

Cobalt Aquatics Nano-Flow Aquarium Powerhead has a flow rate of 686 GPH which has a power consumption of only 4 watts. Installation is a breeze with the strong magnetic holder that fits tanks up to 3/4 ″ thick. It has a very strong, wide angle ball joint, so you have full control over where the power is going.

It is perfect for smaller reefs and planted aquariums and can be used in any fresh or salt water tank. Creates the power needed to eliminate dead spots and circulate much-needed oxygen and nutrients.

There is a three year warranty on this powerhead that tells the story of how well built and robust the unit is. It is also very quiet in use.

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10. Odyssea EX Submersible Aquarium Powerhead

The Odyssea EX Aquarium Power Head comes in two different sizes, a 250 GPH for a 40 gallon or larger tank, and a 350 GPH for a 60 gallon or larger tank. Reviews say it is a very powerful pump so be careful if you have a smaller tank!

Suitable for fresh and salt water aquariums, this power head is very easy to set up and install, with suction cups to attach it to the side of your tank.

Outflow is easily controlled by adjusting the direction of the spout. The spout snaps into place easily and is very strong so it won’t come off with high water flow and pressure.

It comes with an air line and strainer that helps keep dirt out of the pump for 24/7 functionality. You also have the option to turn this model into a filter if you buy a filter cone.

How to choose an aquarium control head?

There are a few things to consider when choosing an aquarium motor.

Aquarium tank size

Larger tanks with a lot of fish need a powerhead. It is an efficient way of removing fish waste from the corners and in the filter.

If your tank is 100 gallons or more, you might even consider buying more than one to make sure the flow reaches all four corners.

Water flow rate

Powerheads are rated based on the number of times the water circulates in the aquarium every hour. It is measured in gallons per hour or GPH.

How fast you need the rotation depends on what you have in your tank and how many gallons you have. Also remember to re-evaluate tank flow as your tank grows and expands.

Types of aquariums

The type of tank you have will also influence your choice. Why?

Because if you have a freshwater aquarium or a planted aquarium, you are not using the same powerhead that is suitable for the reef tank.

Sound levels

A common problem with aquariums is the noise level. If you have a tank with heater and filter, you may also be concerned about adding a power head.

Since they are designed to be installed underwater, the sound is usually muffled, but you still want to make sure the model you’re thinking about gets good reviews when it comes to sound.

Brands aquarium head

Some of the best electric head brands include: Hydor, SUNSUN, Cobalt, Penguin, and Aquaclear.


What’s the best powerhead for a reef tank?

The Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump is the best powerhead if you are looking for something for your reef tank. It is actually designed specifically for small reef tanks. It is easy to install with the help of simple magnetic suction cups.

Moreover, you can place it anywhere thanks to its compact size. It operates quietly and will not disturb your reef or any other marine life you have on it.

One of the best things about this motorized head is how easy it is to adjust the power. It has a simple ball joint so you can rotate it 360 degrees.

That means the water can flow in any direction to generate a natural ocean-like current. This is also very helpful as time goes on and your reef continues to grow as it is so easy to make adjustments.


How does an aquarium motor work?

The heads have sealed motors meaning they can be safely submerged underwater. They can be used for a few different purposes, but the main reason for using one is to keep the water circulating in your tank.

The way they work is quite simple. They suck water on one side and squeeze it through a spout on the other. Depending on where you place the motorized head in the tank and how you position the motorized head, you get pretty good control over how the current moves in the tank.

The current created by a powerhead causes the water to move in all the small areas of your aquarium that are not within reach of the filter. Basically, the water moves more, which means that debris and other debris that usually lurks in corners and releases gravel. It can then continue to circulate through the water so that it can go to the filter for removal.

Because the water is constantly in motion, there is also less chance that algae will grow. The more the water circulates, the cleaner it will be. A drive head is an efficient and inexpensive way to make this possible.

Another function of the current created by a powerhead is to keep your fish, corals and plants healthy. Moving water provides them with oxygen, food and stimulates them to move. It is important to investigate how many current living things are actually needed in your aquarium. Corals and some anemones don’t like a lot of exercise, while other organisms thrive in them.


How to install an aquarium control head?

The installation differs slightly by model, but the basic installation is something like this.

Before we start, a few security checks. Examine the Best Aquarium Powerheads to make sure there are no cracks or damage. Keep the power cord away from water.

Make sure that water cannot splash around the plug or that water does not run down the cord to the plug. Never use a power head with an extension cord. This is how the installation is completed.

First place the power head in the tank. It is designed to be submerged, so make sure it is completely submerged. Once you’re happy with the location, you can plug it in.

Again, keep the plug dry and plug it directly into the wall. Make sure the power cord is out of the way so that no one can trip over it.

That’s all! The installation is quite simple. However, positioning is slightly different.


Where do you put Powerhead in the aquarium?

The location of a control head depends on a number of factors. The first thing to consider is the type of organisms in your tank. As we said, some will thrive on a strong current, some will not.

For tanks with growing live aquatic plants, try to mimic the current in their natural environment. So try to simulate the bottom of a lake or ocean.

Depending on how your tank is designed, you may need to aerate more by placing the drive head so that it shakes the surface to bring oxygen into the water and then uses the power to circulate to the plants.

For saltwater drift tanks, it is extremely important to mimic their natural environment. Coral is less forgiving than a planted tray, so getting it right is very important. You will need to do some research to find out how much oxygen the type of coral you are growing is naturally getting, and adjust accordingly.

Tank size is also an important consideration. For tanks less than 20 gallons, a large power head can usually get the job done. The tank is so small that you can use all the walls and corners to control the flow, as the flow has enough power behind it from the power head to keep circulating. For larger tanks, multiple pumps may be required as the power of just one can move the water in a small area of ​​the tank.

If you want to create some surface movement and oxygen, move the pump closer to the surface. If you’re more concerned about a deeper current, stay closer to the bottom.



Having a good filter and the correct filter media is important if you want to have a healthy aquarium, but often it is not enough. The filters can only clean the water that is directly in them and what can happen is that the same water circulates through the system while the standing water settles at the bottom or in the corners and never reaches the filter inlet.

An easy and inexpensive way to combat this is to use an aquarium control head. While some Best Aquarium Powerheads can be modified to act as a second filter, their main purpose is to create a flow that helps circulate the water more efficiently. Note that you may need more than one to get effective flow in a large tank.

Getting the right flow has many benefits for your aquarium and the organisms in it. It can effectively provide food, vitamins and minerals and stimulate fish to be active. With that said, it is also very important to research the living things in your tank. Some plants don’t like strong currents, while other fish and animals thrive on it. This is especially important when it comes to corals, which can be very sensitive.

The Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump is a great pump that is versatile enough for almost any tank, but is especially good for corals. It’s easy to adjust so you can give your grow tank exactly what it needs. And once your coral starts to grow, changing the current is also a breeze.