What to Look for in a Powerhead


Wave pumps, also known as powerheads, are individually installed fan systems that are designed to create water flow patterns within an aquarium habitat. With the proper settings and power, these devices can most accurately replicate the turbulent ocean currents and create a suitable environment for saltwater corals and fish. These are some features to look for in a powerhead to ensure it’s the best fit for your reef tank’s needs.

Adequate Flow Rate

First and foremost, you want to purchase powerheads that provide the right amount of flow power for the size of your tank and the species that you keep. As a general rule, you want something that can cycle the aquarium’s full volume about six to ten times each hour. This is the most effective method to keeping everything moving at all times. However, you may need models that circulate faster if you plan on housing organisms like red montipora corals that need a higher current.

Positioning Options

It’s also important that your chosen powerhead can be mounted to the tank in a multitude of ways. Depending on the display you set up within your aquarium, you may need to create water flow from a few different angles for it to reach every corner. Because of this, you should consider models with a pivoting head to easily adjust flow direction or products that allow you to install your powerhead lower in the tank itself.

Easy Disassembly and Reassembly

The ability to get taken apart for maintenance is something else you should be looking for in a powerhead. Since these components, like others in your pumping system, can erode over time from the abrasive saltwater, you’ll need to clean them often to sustain optimal performance. For this reason, having a device that can be quickly disassembled makes the cleaning process much easier and extends the lifespan of the product.

For any additional questions about the water flow needs of certain types of corals, or to purchase them, reach out to World Wide Corals. We’re well-versed in the art of building saltwater aquariums and know which species function the best under certain water conditions. So, whether you’re looking for SPS varieties like red montipora or would prefer softer LPS chalice corals, we’re just the resource for you.