Best Aquarium Wave Maker – Top 10 (Handpicked, Tested, Guide, FAQs)

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You’ll agree with us when we say that an aquarium wave maker can truly elevate your fish’s stimulation levels to exciting new heights. 

Sadly, there’s not a lot of information on aquarium wave makers available online which is why we decided to test the popular ones out in order to bring you this comprehensive list. 

Today, we’ll look at how aquarium wave makers work, what they can accomplish and how you can choose the perfect aquarium wave maker for you. 

Top Pick

This extremely well-made product is manufactured in Italy and comes with a sturdy body that is available in different flow rates so it can accommodate your particular aquarium.

Runner Up

This product comes with a wireless controller and features eight different flow rates that you can tinker with in order to produce the most suitable waves inside your aquarium.

Also Great

Coming with a very clever design, this product has a small footprint but features very powerful performance. It has an energy-efficient motor and is very easy to mount.

After conducting several tests, we’ve concluded that these three products are the best of the best. 

Now, let’s delve deeper into the top 10 best aquarium wave makers. 

Best Aquarium Wave Maker - Best 10 Reviews

1. Overall Best Aquarium Wave Maker - Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump Review

Featuring an excellent, well-thought-out design and an extremely sturdy exterior, this product is all you ever need from an aquarium wave maker. It comes at a very reasonable price that most aquarists can afford and it provides you with performance that can easily compete with some of the most high-end aquarium wave makers out there. 

Not only does it have a reasonable price, but it also has an intricate design which helps it utilize electricity very efficiently. This means that it doesn’t just help you save money when you first buy it, it helps you save money in the long run as well. 

Features of Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump – Best Aquarium Wave Maker

  1. Available in three different sizes
  2. Maximum output of 565 gallons per hour
  3. Magnet suction-cup support
  4. Compatible with all sorts of on/off timers and controllers
  5. Cable protector included
  • Low energy consumption
  • Easy to install
  • Excellent build quality
  • Very lightweight
  • Extremely compact
  • Vibrations are fairly noticeable

If you’re looking for a sturdy wave maker with consistent performance then this product is perfect for you. It features an extremely well-built exterior that’s very easy to mount and use.

2. Best Aquarium Wave Maker for Coral Reef Tanks - Jebao OW Wave Maker Flow Pump Review

Finding appropriate equipment for coral reef tanks can be quite difficult. This product is looking to change that as it offers stellar performance that is able to produce strong waves in fairly large coral reef tanks. 

It comes with its own controller which makes it very easy for you to customize its flow rate as well as the wave direction all from the comfort of your couch. It also features a one-touch feed mode that you can activate during feeding sessions; it lowers the pump by a lot for 10 minutes so you can easily feed your fish without having to worry about the food flowing all over the place. 

Features of Jebao OW Wave Maker Flow Pump

  1. Available in four different sizes 
  2. Flow rates ranging from 132 GPH all the way up to 5283 GPH
  3. Improved, flexible motor
  4. Comes with a wireless controller
  5. One-touch convenient feeding mode
  • User-friendly
  • Easy to mount
  • Convenient, wireless control
  • Long wireless range
  • High level of customizability 
  • Some reviews say that it becomes noisy over time

If you want a powerful and dependable aquarium wave maker for your coral reef tank then this is the product you’re looking for. It creates beautiful waves and can easily be controlled wirelessly.

3. Best Compact Aquarium Wave Maker - SONGJOY Wave Maker Review

The SONGJOY wave maker really blew us away with how powerful it was. None of us were expecting the flow rate that it provided considering how small its size is It comes with a suction-cup mounting mechanism and the pump head is rotatable in 360 degrees so you’ll have no trouble adjusting the direction of the waves inside your aquarium. 

Its compact design ensures it takes up minimal space inside your aquarium so your fish have ample room to swim and the fence around its impellers ensures your fish don’t get hurt.

Features of SONGJOY Wave Maker

  1. Dimensions: 4.5 inches by 2.6 inches by 3 inches
  2. Weight: 12.3 ounces
  3. Flow rate: 1320 gallons per hour
  4. Motor wattage: 6 watts
  5. 360-degree rotatable pump head
  • Quiet operation 
  • Easy to use
  • Easy installation
  • Quite lightweight 
  • Sturdy
  • Does not come with a controller

If you’re worried about an aquarium wave maker taking up too much space inside your fish tank then this is the product you’re looking for. It features a small size but packs an incredibly big punch when it comes to the waves it creates.

4. Best Magnet-Fixed Aquarium Wave Maker - FREESEA Aquarium Wave Maker Review

The FREESEA aquarium wave maker features an intricate design that allows you to easily place it inside any type of aquarium. It’s able to operate effectively inside both freshwater as well as saltwater tanks. It’s completely submersible and waterproof so it needs to be fully submerged underwater before it can be turned on. 

It features a pump head that is fully rotatable so you can easily control the orientation. The waves this product creates are very pleasing to the eye and they stimulate fish very well without making them stressed out or unsettled. 

Features of FREESEA Aquarium Wave Maker 

  1. Available in two sizes
  2. Appropriate for aquariums ranging from 20 gallons to 100 gallons
  3. 360-degree free rotation
  4. Magnet mounting mechanism
  5. Adjustable flow rate
  • Operates silently 
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Low power consumption
  • Durable
  • Needs to be fully submerged; can burn out if run dry

If you’re worried about your aquarium wave maker becoming dislodged inside your fish tank then this is the product for you. It’s fixed onto your aquarium securely using magnets and it’s incredibly lightweight.

5. Best Budget-Friendly Aquarium Wave Maker - Sunsun Sun JVP-110 Wave Maker Pump Review

This product features an oil-free motor which is an incredibly welcome feature that we wish all aquarium wave makers would have. Having a motor that requires oil in order to be smoothed out is quite dangerous as this oil definitely has a tendency to leak into your aquarium where it could cause harm to your fish. With this aquarium wave maker, any such threat is eliminated. 

You would think that an oil-free motor would mean that this aquarium wave maker is fairly noisy but that’s not the case at all. It produces lovely, beautiful waves inside your aquarium and it does so fairly silently. 

Features of Sunsun Sun JVP-110 Wave Maker Pump

  1. Dimensions: 3 inches by 2 inches by 3 inches
  2. Weight: 8 ounces
  3. Fully submersible
  4. Oil-free motor
  5. Flow rate: 528 gallons per hour
  • Waterproof
  • Operates very quietly
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
  • Construction is fairly flimsy

If you’re low on money but still want effective waves to be produced inside your aquarium then this product is ideal for you. It costs very little but provides top-notch performance and is also incredibly lightweight.

6. Best Heavy-Duty Aquarium Wave Maker - Upettools Aquarium Circulation Powerhead Wavemaker Pump Review

This is a product that features flow rates that very few entries on this list can even dream of achieving. It is mainly aimed at veteran aquarists and hobbyists who have extremely large aquariums for which they want to produce waves. The smaller-sized versions of this product are more suited towards medium-sized aquarium while the largest one is meant for large aquariums. 

You would think that such a heavy-duty aquarium wave maker would cost quite a lot but it actually has a very reasonable price that most aquarists can definitely afford. 

Features of Upettools Aquarium Circulation Powerhead Wavemaker Pump

  1. Available in three different sizes
  2. Flow rates of three sizes are 3,170 GPH, 6,340 GPH and 12,680 GPH
  3. Rotatable powerhead
  4. Suitable for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  5. Suitable for both coldwater as well as tropical tanks
  • Affordable
  • Low power consumption
  • Easy to use
  • Great build quality
  • Extremely powerful
  • Flow rate is not adjustable 
  • Suction cup mounts may not be strong enough in some cases

If you’re having trouble finding a high-capacity aquarium wave maker for your large fish tank then worry not as you’ve just found it. It features an incredibly high flow rate and it can work a wide variety of aquatic conditions.

7. Best Adjustable Aquarium Wave Maker - Uniclife W-40 Controllable Wavemaker Review

This is a product that is aimed at giving the user an enhanced level of control when it comes to the waves it produces. With the help of the controller that comes with it, you can control all sorts of aspects of the waves produced such as flow rate, orientation, shape, frequency, etc. 

It left us tinkering and experimenting with it for days when we first installed it. We still kept discovering new features in it days after installation. It really allows you to customize the waves it produces to an incredible amount. 

Features of Uniclife W-40 Controllable Wavemaker

  1. Dimensions: 4 inches by 3.1 inches by 2.76 inches
  2. Maximum flow rate: 3400 gallons per hour
  3. Power used: 40 watts
  4. Appropriate for aquariums between 60 to 150 gallons
  5. Comes with a controller
  • Fairly small in size
  • Doesn’t use a lot of electricity
  • High level of customizability
  • Easy to install
  • Quite lightweight
  • Controls may take time to get the hang of

If you’re not sure what flow rate would be most appropriate for your aquarium then this product is perfect for you. It can easily be adjusted and customized so it produces waves that are most appropriate for your particular aquarium setup.

8. Best Aquarium Wave Maker with Multiple Flow Rates - Jebao RW Series Wavemaker Review

We were thoroughly impressed by this series of aquarium wave makers mainly due to the fact that they encompass a wide range of flow rates that can accommodate many sizes of aquariums. These are relatively heavy-duty aquarium wave makers so you can’t hope to have one of these if you have an aquarium smaller than 20 gallons as the waves would be too strong.

They are very well-built and feature incredibly sturdy bodies that are able to stand up to the wear-and-tear that comes with pushing water constantly every day. We’ve been using these aquarium wave makers for months and they’ve shown no signs of being damaged or worn out.

Features of Jebao RW Series Wavemaker

  1. Available in four different sizes
  2. Wireless controller included
  3. Magnetic base mount
  4. DC electronic pump
  5. Flow rates ranging from 132 GPH to 5283 GPH
  • Highly durable
  • Lightweight
  • Small footprint
  • Quiet operation
  • Can accommodate a wide range of aquarium sizes
  • Even the smallest version can be too powerful for smaller aquariums
  • Relatively expensive

If you want a reliable aquarium wave maker that will withstand the test of time then this product is ideal for you. It comes in a variety of flow rates and it doesn’t take up too much space inside the tank.

9. Best Low-Noise Aquarium Wave Maker - Best Choice Products Sunsun Jvp-102 Wavemaker Review

This product comes with a number of welcome features that come together to form a unique package that makes it stand out. Firstly, it comes with a unique design that is able to dampen sound very well so that it produces barely any noise during operation. 

Furthermore, it comes with a fenced design that not only protects fish from the impellers but it also makes sure that the waves produced inside your aquarium don’t result in any type of foam buildup. 

Features of Best Choice Products Sunsun Jvp-102 Wavemaker

  1. Dimensions: 4 inches by 3 inches by 3 inches
  2. Weight: 12.8 ounces
  3. Grease-free motor
  4. Maximum flow rate: 1300 gallons per hour
  5. Suction-cups with a magnetic base
  • Requires little to no maintenance
  • Easy to use
  • Easy installation
  • Quiet operation
  • Inexpensive
  • Comes with an extremely short power cord

If you’re worried about your aquarium wave maker making too much noise during operation then this product is definitely for you. It produces minimal vibration and little to no noise so as not to disturb you or your fish.

10. Best Wirelessly Controlled Aquarium Wave Maker - Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit Review

This product is definitely the one to get if wireless controls are what you’re after. Now, we know there are other entries on this list that feature a wireless controller too but this product really sets itself apart by providing wireless controls that are not only highly responsive but are also very easy to understand. 

Most other aquarium wave makers that feature wireless customization of this calibre are usually quite confusing and take a while to get the hang of. This product, however, is designed to be understood through intuition and is extremely easy to use even for aquarists who are not very tech-savvy. 

Features of Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit

  1. Available in three different sizes
  2. Flow rates of the different sizes are 660 GPH, 1050 GPH and 2100 GPH
  3. LED display
  4. Wireless controller
  5. Silicone-padded for absorbing vibrations
  • Excellent build quality
  • Attractive appearance
  • Highly customizable
  • Responsive wireless controls
  • Extremely quiet
  • Quite expensive
  • Replacement power plugs are hard to find

If you’re looking for an aquarium wave maker that can be customized wirelessly then this product was definitely made for you. It features a high level of customization and the wireless controller it comes with is very easy to use.

best aquarium wave maker

 

Buyers’ Guide

 

What is an aquarium wave maker and how does it work?

Fish are very active creatures and often need some form of stimuli to keep them alert, active and stimulated. In a natural environment like the sea or a lake, waves are naturally present which fish take advantage of as they help them move around easily and also stimulate them to be alert and less lethargic. In an artificial environment, waves such as these are not present and you’ll often find your fish to be moving quite slowly and being lethargic due to the fact that the water is quite stagnant. This is where aquarium waves makers come in. They are specially designed pumps that manipulate your aquarium water in order to create exciting waves inside it. They’re available in many different sizes so you’re able to get one that’s appropriate for your particular aquarium’s size. 

What are some advantages of having a wave maker in my aquarium?

Aquarium wave makers have a number of advantages for your aquarium. Some of these advantages are: 

  • We’ve talked in the past about how you should strive to create an environment inside your aquarium that mimics your fish’s natural environment as much as it can. In that respect, investing in an aquarium wave maker will bring you one step closer to simulating your fish’s natural environment as the waves it produces will make your fish feel much more at home. The waves will be something they’re familiar with and it will help them thrive and be relaxed and comfortable in your aquarium. 
  • If you have corals or invertebrates inside your aquarium, the waves will help to provide them with the nutrients they need. Since corals and invertebrates cannot move on their own, nutrients have to be brought to them so they can utilize them. An aquarium wave maker can come in very handy in this regard. 
  • An aquarium wave maker will make sure there are no “dead spots” inside your aquarium. Dead spots refer to areas inside your aquarium where the water has not moved in a long time. These spots can be dangerous as they can develop into pockets that start lacking oxygen. This can lead to the production of hydrogen sulfide which is extremely toxic to fish. 

What are some factors to consider when buying a wave maker for an aquarium?

Here are some factors to consider when buying an aquarium wave maker: 

  • Price

We’re not all made of money here and aquarium wave makers can actually get quite expensive if you start looking at high-end models. These high-end models often contain unnecessary features that don’t really justify their ridiculous price tags. This is why you should be wary of overly expensive aquarium wave makers and only opt for reasonably priced ones that do the job they are supposed to and are not overloaded with gimmicky features. 

  • Safety 

Aquarium wave makers are often powered through electricity and they are always in direct contact with water. Keeping these two facts in mind, it’s definitely essential that you invest in one that is built to be safe for use. Getting an aquarium wave maker that’s both waterproof and shockproof is a good idea. Getting an aquarium wave maker that has passed certain safety regulations and tests is an even better idea. 

How do I install a wave maker in my aquarium?

Wave makers are generally quite easy to install. 

Most aquarium wave makers have a simple mounting mechanism in the shape of either a suction cup or a clamp mount. Start by first attaching your aquarium wave maker securely using whatever mechanism you have to your aquarium’s inner wall. Once it’s securely mounted, ensure that the water intake is submerged into the aquarium water and that the pump is pointing in the direction where you want the waves to be produced. Make one last check to see everything is securely connected and then plug it in and turn it on. 

Where should I place my wave maker in my aquarium?

This depends entirely on whether your wave maker is fully submersible or not. If it’s fully submersible, you can place it near your aquarium’s floor in a corner or off to one side. If it’s not fully submersible then it can be hung on one side of your aquarium’s inner wall.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What is the difference between AC and DC wave makers?

AC wave makers are generally considered “old” technology. They are plug-and-play and are often cheaper than DC wave makers. They can be quite powerful and are suited for high-volume tanks but they tend to use a lot of electricity. 

DC wave makers are relatively new and are generally more expensive than AC wave makers. That being said, they offer decreased energy consumption which is a huge deal if you want to produce waves in large-volume tanks which involves moving very large quantities of water around. 

How can I tell if my aquarium wave maker is too strong for my fish tank? 

There are several ways to tell but you can simply see when an aquarium wave maker is too strong just by observing the movements of your fish. If you notice that your fish tend to spend all of their time at the opposite end of the aquarium from where your wave maker is placed, this is a clear indication that they are unable to swim on their own and the waves are forcing them to stay in a certain position. If you see this inside your aquarium, change your aquarium wave maker to a lower-powered one immediately. 

How much electricity do aquarium wave makers normally consume? 

Depending on the size of your aquarium and the rate of your aquarium wave maker, the electricity consumed can be anywhere between 3 watts and 20 watts. 

Are aquarium wave makers safe for the aquatic life inside my tank? 

Yes. As long as you get an aquarium wave maker from a reliable, reputable brand, you don’t have anything to worry about. Please be wary of poorly-made subpar aquarium wave makers that come from generic brands as they can definitely be dangerous for your aquatic life. Some of them have faulty wiring and can end up electrocuting and killing your fish. If you’re not careful, they could electrocute you too. 

Are aquarium wave makers noisy?

Most aquarium wave makers that are manufactured by high-end, reputable brands are quite silent. Silent operation is a very desirable trait among all aquarium equipment and so, manufacturers do their best to develop wave makers that are as quiet as they can be. You may notice that your aquarium wave maker starts to get noisy with time. In that case, you should apply some lube on its impeller so it’s able to run smoothly again. This should fix your noise issue and enable it to run silently again. 

Are magnets strong enough to hold aquarium wave makers securely in place? 

Yes. Some manufacturers tend to underestimate how strong of a magnet their aquarium wave maker needs to be held in place. This could result in your aquarium wave maker not being as strongly held into place but this can easily be fixed by getting a stronger magnet for mounting purposes. 

We tested several aquarium wave makers that were mounted on our aquariums using magnets and we had little to no problems in terms of their positioning. 

If I upgrade my aquarium: should I upgrade my wave maker as well? 

This depends on how much larger your new aquarium is. There could be a chance that your old wave maker is adequate enough to accommodate your new aquarium but if you feel that the waves it’s creating are not strong enough, then it might be time to upgrade your aquarium wave maker as well. 

How long does an aquarium wave maker normally take to start improving the environment inside a fish tank?

You will start noticing improvements within a couple of days. Your fish might be a bit startled and may take some time to get used to the new movements inside your aquarium but soon, you’ll start noticing how they’re much more alert and active. 

Why are some aquarium wave makers so expensive while others so affordable? What features do the expensive ones have that the cheaper ones don’t?

As we’ve discussed earlier, DC wave makers are often a lot more expensive than AC wave makers. This is because they contain superior technology which helps them utilize electricity a lot more efficiently. So, even though DC wave makers initially cost a lot to buy, they can actually save you a lot of money in the long run when it comes to electricity bills. 

Other than this, many aquarium wave makers have other features such as wireless control and adjustable flow rates which tend to drive their price point up. 

Should I buy a suction-cup mounted aquarium wave maker or a magnet-fixed aquarium wave maker?

Generally, magnet-fixed aquarium wave makers are preferred over suction-cup mounted ones. This is due to the fact that aquarium wave makers often come into direct contact with water and water can definitely contribute to lowering the strength of the suction-cup mounts. Magnet mounts, however, stay unaffected when coming into contact with water. 

Final Verdict

Aquarium wave makers are an overlooked piece of equipment that can do wonders for your aquarium if you do the right research and buy an appropriate one for your specific tank. 

After months of debate, we’ve concluded that the Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump is definitely the best of the best. It produces powerful waves that don’t stress out your fish and it’s wonderfully designed to utilize electricity as efficiently as possible. 

This brings us to the end of our post for the best aquarium wave makers. 

Let us know in the comments which wave maker you’re using for your aquarium.

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