9 Questions to Ask – Before buying a pump
1. Why is broad flow important to my tank?
A: Broad flow is important for any reef aquarist to create a life-like simulation of the coral reef. Flow brings nutrients and oxygen to the sessile invertebrates that we maintain in our reef aquariums; without flow, corals will starve and suffocate. Broad flow which more closely mimics the natural wave movements of an ocean’s reef produces massive water movement in your aquarium that is even and well dispersed throughout the entire tank rather than concentrated in any one area. Also, a pump which creates an undertow will further benefit the corals by delivery a current of water along the sand bed where detritus will typically settle. Providing high flow while minimizing the pressure of this flow is the ideal means of delivery within the home aquarium. To explain: the 3200 gph water flow produced by the VorTech is dispersed over an outlet with a diameter of over 2″ which removes the “jet effect” produced by other in-tank water pumps, however, the VorTech’s output pressure is sufficient enough to penetrate 4′ into the aquarium while gentle enough to place corals closely to the outlet with minimal risk of damage.
2. Is having the motor of my pump outside my tank better?
A: The average reef tank is bombarded by heat input coming from multiple sources. Lighting, filters, and pumps all add tremendous amounts of heat which can be difficult to adequately remove from an aquarium. The result is that especially during the summer months, your aquarium may become too hot for the health of your corals, resulting in death. Traditional powerhead designs place the pump motor inside your aquarium. This adds three things to the inside of your aquarium you don’t want – extra heat, electricity and the visual eyesore of unnecessary equipment. The VorTech’s patented design places the motor outside the aquarium yielding the smallest in-tank footprint of any comparable pump. A smaller footprint means less space in your tank is occupied by equipment, creating a much more aesthetically pleasing experience while removing the flow of electricity from inside the tank. And because the motor is outside the tank, it isn’t throwing off unnecessary heat into the water.
3. Why is undertow important?
A: Undertow is simply the manifestation of the return flow back to the pump’s output. In nature you will see this manifested as the return of water back to the ocean after a wave passes by. The undertow is important because it simulates what is present in a natural reef, produces the natural formations of a sand bed, and helps keep the tank cleaner by preventing the accumulation of detritus. When you take most reef aquarium pumps for a test drive, you’ll notice there is little to no undertow and that a valuable part of your reef ecosystem is missing. Due to its unmatched broad yet gentle flow, the VorTech creates a current along the sand bed that mirrors this naturally occurring phenomenon. The distributed water input into the VorTech creates a current of water which flows back towards the pump. This is equal to that flow output by the pump, and effectively doubles the effect of water flow in the aquarium.
4. Do I need to angle the flow of my pump?
A: It depends. Most pumps produce a narrow stream of flow necessitating that you angle the pump to direct this beam of flow at the aquarium wall and away from your coral. This, however, often leaves spots of the tank that receive limited or no flow. The VorTech’s flow is so wide that you do not need to angle the flow. The flow permeates the entire aquarium so angling the flow becomes unnecessary, while being safe for the animals that we keep in our reef tanks.
5. What is meant by a “brushless motor” and how is it so efficient?
A: A brushless DC (BLDC) motor uses rare earth magnets upon its rotor and is turned using electronic commutation. AC motors are large and inefficient, producing much more heat than a BLDC motor. AC motors are also not controllable very easily, and when they are controller the controllability is scaresely as precise as that which is capable for BLDC motors. As a result of using BLDC motors in all of our VorTech products, our pumps are controllable to fractions of a seconded, ultra small, and extremely efficient. It’s a technically-superior technology that enables your aquarium to operate at high efficiency and allows you to know that you are using the best equipment for the job on your valuable aquarium.
6. Q: Is it important to be able to customize waves in my tank?
A: The ability to customize waves in your tank is important for several reason. First, no two tank set-ups are the same and different tanks have different needs. The more flexibility you have to create different conditions in your tank, the more realistic environment you can create which in turn leads to a thriving ecosystem. Second, its fun to play around and experiment with different wave types in your tank so being able to customize the waves provides an added level of enjoyment to your reef keeping experience. The VorTech is extremely versatile because it is designed to be so from the ground-up. You have the ability to set the time, duration, intensity of the waves in a number of VorTech modes such as short pulse, long pulse and reef crest modes. In a multi-pump environment with the Wireless Wave Driver, you can easily set the Master pump and anti-sync the slave pumps to do the mirror opposite of the Master pump, resulting in truly life like ebb and flow of your ecosystem
7. Do I need to drill my tank to install my pump?
A: You shouldn’t have to – and you shouldn’t want to. Old technology requires you drill a hole in your tank. The VorTech uses magnetic coupling to attach itself to your tank, so no drilling is ever necessary when installing a VorTech propeller pump. And, with its bracketless design, it’s a snap to install the VorTech, test its location in various locations on your tank, or even move it to another tank.
8. What if the power goes out?
A: If your aquarium goes even four hours without flow, fish and corals can begin to die. The investment in your tank – in time, money and emotional energy – is substantial. Having a back-up electricity supply protects your aquarium and your investment from power interruptions. All VorTech’s are compatible with our battery back up which provides up to 20 hours of protection from interruptions with the MP60w, up to 36 hours with the MP40w and up to 72 hours with the MP20, and MP10.
9. How do I know if a pump will work with my tank?
A: The three most critical factors to look at are the tank’s thickness, whether it was professionally built and the type of material used to build the tank. Acrylic aquariums which are made from under-sized acrylic, and experience a large amount of bowing may be subject to crazing as a result of the excessive strain on the aquarium’s walls. The VorTech will work on both glass and acrylic tanks that are less than 3/4″. The VorTech is safe for use on all professional built aquariums, however, it is important to keep in mind that not all aquariums are professionally built.