10 Best Aquarium Wave Makers

BEST OVERALL

FREESEA Aquarium Wave Maker

PREMIUM CHOICE

Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump

GREAT VALUE

SUNSUN JVP Series Submersible Circulation Powerhead Pump

As an aquarium owner, you want the best possible care for your fish, and there are plenty of things you can do to improve their living conditions. Creating a natural-like environment for your aquatic pets goes a long way in making them feel safe and happy, which is your ultimate goal. In addition to adding plants and aquarium gravel to your fish tank to make it look and feel more like their natural habitat, you can also invest in a quality aquarium wave maker. This device mimics the natural movement of water and creates artificial waves so that your fish tank resembles a marine environment. There is a wide selection of wave makers available and you can find the one that best suits your needs, depending on the size of your tank and the amount of power you want. If you’re unsure what to get for your aquarium, the product reviews below will help you decide which model or brand of wave makers is best for you.

Table of Contents

BEST OVERALL

FREESEA Aquarium Wave Maker

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This wave maker is fully submersible and it comes with a super strong magnet that keeps the pump securely in place and it allows you to move it wherever you want. The magnet is extremely sturdy, and unless it is turned off, critters won’t be able to get inside it. The pump is resistant to corrosion and its internal motor is made of copper alloy, which increases the heat dissipation effect. The use of copper in production also means that the shaft won’t get worn off easily. The wave maker can be used in saltwater aquariums and it does a great job in keeping the fish tank floor clean. It works best for 60-100 gallon tanks that require medium to low flow rate. There is a switch on the outlet that adjusts the water flow.

What We Like Most

Comes with a sturdy magnet that enables easy and safe positioning

Adjustable water flow

Corrosion-resistant

Designed for saltwater aquariums that require medium to low-flow rate

Lifetime warranty

Our Synopsis:

Generally speaking, this wave maker is a great investment that will keep your aquarium dwellers happy. It’s a super stable pump with an adjustable flow that can be moved around easily, it’s efficient in keeping debris off the tank floor, and it operates quietly.

Analyst Rating

PREMIUM CHOICE

Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump

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This nano circulation pump is probably the most pocket-friendly version of this product available on the market. It can be used in fish tanks of all shapes and sizes and its patented magnet-suction cup makes it possible to position the pump safely and easily in freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It can be placed on plastic, acrylic, or glass surfaces. You can choose from a diverse range of power abilities, including 240gph, 425gph, and 565gph, all of which come at affordable prices. In addition to providing the best performance, this circulation pump is designed for low-energy consumption. Perhaps the best perk of this pump is that it can be connected to a smart wave controller and set to intervals of seconds, minutes, or hours, depending on your preference. You can also swivel the pump to direct the flow where it is needed.

What We Like Most

Compact design

Low energy consumption

Can be combined with wave timers

Includes a magnet-suction cup for easy positioning

Includes a cable protector

Our Synopsis:

This is a worthy investment with numerous benefits. Its size makes it ideal for any fish tank, it can be easily positioned where you want it to be, and it doesn’t consume power.

Analyst Rating

GREAT VALUE

SUNSUN JVP Series Submersible Circulation Powerhead Pump

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This aquarium circulation pump works great for large saltwater aquariums because of its impressive 800 GPH flux and wide-spread range. It also features a completely submersible and oil-free motor so that it doesn’t pollute the water environment and doesn’t create loud noises. This device has an articulating ball joint that enables a 360 degrees rotation that generates water movement. This angle allows a free flow of water in all directions. Additionally, this type of water movement supplies oxygen to fish and plants and helps create a natural-looking environment for aquarium dwellers, making it particularly suitable for coral and reef tanks. It’s also efficient in cleaning fish tanks so you won’t have problems with debris building up on the bottom or in the corners.

What We Like Most

Completely submersible oil-free motor

Impressive 360 degree water movement

Supplies oxygen and doesn’t allow debris buildup

Works in silent mode

Ideal for saltwater aquariums, particularly coral and reef tanks

Our Synopsis:

Essentially, this circulation pump is an excellent choice for aquarium keepers, particularly if you have large saltwater aquariums. The wave maker does a great job in oxygenating water and preventing the buildup of fish residue.

Analyst Rating

4

Jebao OW Wave Maker Flow Pump with Controller

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This wave maker may have been originally manufactured for reef aquariums with corals, but it also works great for freshwater planted aquariums. The new model comes with 4-pole magnet impellers (the old version had 2-pole units), which helps enhance the water flow and it maintains a less noisy operation. Other upgrades include an improved motor that’s designed to withstand damages and the wear-proof ceramic shaft to prolong the service life. The pump features 8 different flow rates, a silent design, and a master/slave wireless mode. It also has a single-touch feed mode, which enables the pump to slow down for a period of 10 minutes. This wave maker provides power that ranges from 132gph to 1056gph, while maintaining low-energy consumption. It includes a wired controller and magnet mount.

What We Like Most

8 different flow rates

Silent mode and a single-touch feed mode that slows the pump for 10 min

Master/slave wireless mode

Improved motor to withstand damages

Wired controller and magnetic mount included

Our Synopsis:

Overall, this wave maker provides many perks, including different wave patterns, silent mode, wired controller, magnet mount, and the ability to slow the pump while feeding the fish. It’s also designed to last longer and it provides a powerful performance without wasting energy.

Analyst Rating

5

Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation Pump

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This circulation pump provides power ranging from 1050 to 1150 gph and it comes in various sizes. This model has an improved mount with a vibration-absorbing technology so you won’t have to worry about loud noises disturbing your fish. Also, the pump features an enhanced cover to prevent small fish from getting inside the pump. The pump comes with a magnetic suction cup that enables you to place it wherever you want. It also has a spherical joint to help you easily direct the flow where you need it. Koralia pump is compatible with wave timers to give customers the best experience. It has a compact design and it keeps the energy consumption levels low.

What We Like Most

Compact design

Vibration-absorbing technology

Magnetic suction cup for easy positioning

Compatible with wave timers

Low energy consumption

Our Synopsis:

Overall, this pump is an excellent choice for fish tanks regardless of their size. It offers plenty of power, it can be easily placed wherever you want it, and it’s equipped with silicone that prevents vibration.

Analyst Rating

6

Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit

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This wave pump belongs to LOOP, which is the first and only system designed for connecting and syncing lights, pumps and other accessories into a single, controllable network. Therefore, eFlux wave pump kits are compatible with Orbit IC LED lights and other eFlux pumps as part of a LOOP network. Using this pump comes with plenty of perks, the biggest one probably being its remote control feature. This regulates the speed of the water flow and circulation patterns that simulate water movement found in nature. The pump’s adjustable magnetic swivel bracket allows you to install it easily and direct the water flow wherever you need it. It also has a silicone pump that absorbs vibration and provides a silent operation. The wireless remote allows you to program up to three eFlux pumps. Two of them can be programmed into multiple flow modes and synced together, while the third one provides a steady stream of water.

What We Like Most

Ability to connect and sync with other pumps, lights, and various accessories belonging to LOOP network

Wireless remote feature

Adjustable magnetic bracket for easy positioning

LED display that supplies present mode of velocity and flow

Silent operation

Our Synopsis:

The biggest advantage of purchasing this item is that you get a complete kit that is ready to be used. This pump is silent, easy to install and move around, and it can be synced with lights and other pumps for the ultimate aquatic experience. It also has a remote controller that regulates water flow and circulation patterns.

Analyst Rating

7

Jebao PP Series Wave Maker with Controller

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Aquarium wave maker by Jebao will bring an ocean-like feeling to your fish tank. The latest model has an updated controller that adjusts the flow rate of the pump and allows you to use several pumps on the master/slave mode. This aquarium maker is easy to install and it provides the perfect mixture of high performance and low energy consumption. It’s ideal for tanks containing 30 by up to 60 gallons of water. The Jebao PP series wave maker comes with a very strong magnet and a full 360-degree rotation so that they can direct the water flow wherever you want it. Some other perks include a night sensor that automatically detects when tank lights go out and slows the pump down and a one-touch feed mode that slows the pump for 10 minutes.

What We Like Most

Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums

Wireless controller allows synchronized operations among wave makers

Magnetic bracket

Night sensor

One-touch feed mode

Our Synopsis:

Jebao PP series wavemaker comes with great power, low energy consumption, and it’s easy to instal, which makes it an excellent choice for aquarium keepers. Also, its wireless controller enables you to synchronize multiple wavemakers.

Analyst Rating

8

Sunsun JVP-110 528-GPH Wavemaker Pumps

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This convenient set of two pumps will revitalize any aquarium, freshwater or saltwater type. The pump’s motor is oil-free, fully submersible, and is quite effective when it comes to cleaning dirt and preventing fish residue buildup on the aquarium floor. The suction cup has an articulating ball joint that allows plenty of flexibility in water directions, so you can direct the water flow where needed and you can use it to increase the oxygen supplies in water. The installation is pretty easy as you get a long power cable, so you can place the pump wherever you want.

What We Like Most

Two pack of pumps

Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums

Fully submersible, oil-free motor

Articulation ball joint provides flexible directions

360 degree rotation enables full flow directions

Our Synopsis:

Overall, this pump is a great choice for fish tanks. It’s a powerful, affordable, and convenient device that oxygenates the water and cleans the aquarium floor.

Analyst Rating

9

Uniclife Controllable Wave Maker

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This device has an impressive flow rate that ranges from 1300 gph to 3400 gph, so it’s best suited for larger fish tanks. It has a magnetic suction cup that allows you to install the pump easily, and it has a 360 degree rotation range to enable water movements in all directions. It comes with a controller with 8 programs to choose from. You can customize the length, speed, and type of the waves. It also has a one-touch feed mode that slows the pump for 10 minutes. Despite being quite powerful, this wave maker works on low voltage and conserves energy.

What We Like Most

Flow rate range from 1300 gph to 3400 gph

Magnetic suction cup

360 degree rotation

Controller with 8 programs

Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums

Our Synopsis:

This wave maker is a powerful and reasonably-priced device that works great in freshwater and marine environments. It’s intended to be used in larger, 100-150 gallon tanks.

Analyst Rating

10

Marineland Maxi-Jet Pro Pump for Aquariums

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This aquarium pump is one of the most convenient and adaptable devices on the market. You get three pumps in one: a powerhead, a utility pump, and a circulation pump to ensure the best environment for your fish. There is also an in-box conversion kit, which can turn the power head into a prop style circulation pump to ensure ultimate water movement inside the tank. In addition to powering undergravel filters, this pump also works great as a wave maker and it can be combined with timers to provide ultimate water movement in your fish tank. This multi-functional pump is suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums and it doesn’t consume large amounts of energy.

What We Like Most

Three-in-one pump

Turns powerhead in to a prop style circulation pump

Works great in powering undergravel filters and as a circulation pump

Suitable for freshwater and saltwater aquariums

Low energy consumption

Our Synopsis:

This device is a great purchase because it features multiple functions at a very affordable price. You get a powerhead, a utility pump, and a circulation pump to help you maintain a healthy and safe environment for your fish.

Analyst Rating

Buyer's Guide

Finding the right aquarium wave maker for you can be a tedious task because there is a wide selection of products available. However, you shouldn’t focus on the product’s ratings alone, but also make sure to buy something that fits your style and needs. After deciding what features are most important to you, you’ll be able to single out products that meet your requirements.

Safety

One of the most important things to bear in mind when purchasing a wave maker is to make sure that the device is safe to use and that it won’t harm your fish. It’s a good idea to check whether a product produces loud noises while working, as this might disturb the fish, and it can be unpleasant for aquarium keepers as well. Also, make sure that a wave maker is built of safe materials that won’t contaminate the water once you place it in a fish tank.

Durability

You’ll want a wave maker that is made of high-quality materials and that is able to provide a long-standing service. A product that breaks down easily and has to be replaced often isn’t a worthy investment. It’s a good idea to look for wave makers that have a wear-resistant shaft, such as the one made of ceramics, as these devices are less likely to break down and will last longer.

The Right Amount of Power

While you should look for a wave maker that has enough power to generate real-life waves, you need to make sure that the device you choose is suitable for the size of your fish tank. Wave makers that have very powerful flow rates will only cause a stir in smaller aquariums and they may frighten the fish. If you have a smaller size fish tank, it’s best to look for something with a lower amount of power or an adjustable flow rate, so that your fish can enjoy water movements and still feel safe.

Easy Installation

Wave makers need to be installed in aquariums, so it’s important that the installation process is hassle-free and that the instructions are easy to follow. Most aquarium wave makers have magnetic mounts which make the setup quite easy. These magnets are usually quite strong and sturdy, so you’ll be able to position the wave maker anyway you want it and to direct the water movement where it needs to be.

Additional Features

Majority of modern wave makers include useful gadgets such as smart controllers and timers. These devices enable you to adjust the flow rate, speed, and length of the waves, as well as the frequency at which they occur. They also allow you to sync up several pumps so you can set the same conditions everywhere if you have more than one fish tank. It’s always a good idea to choose a product that offers a wider range of options and provides better user experience.

Price and Warranty Offers

There’s a wide selection of brands available on the market, which means that the price range of aquarium wave makers will vary according to the brand and the features it offers. Think about your price limit and whether you’re willing to give extra money for extra features. However, it’s not a good idea to settle on less expensive products if the quality is questionable. You may end up paying more than you initially planned if you need to replace the product. Also, it’s always best to be prudent and buy products that are covered by a warranty. Trustworthy brands always offer some kind of warranty for purchased products.

Natural Habitat

A wave maker doesn’t only add aesthetic value, but it also helps in creating the optimal environment for your fish. Fish are familiar with water movements and currents, so creating artificial waves in a tank will mimic the conditions of their natural habitat and make them feel more at ease. Wave makers can make them feel safer and happier and they can improve the fish’s living conditions, encouraging a healthy life.

It Helps Eliminate Dead Spots

Another perk of having a wave maker in your tank is that it helps eliminate dead spots in the water. Dead spots are areas of the tank that don’t receive enough water circulation so they can’t supply enough oxygen. For this reason, they are unhealthy and unsafe for the fish, so a wave maker can help bring life even to the areas of your fish tank that are hard to reach.

It Keeps Debris at Bay

In addition to increasing water circulation and oxygen supplies, wave makers also prevent the buildup of bacteria, dirt, debris, and algae. This keeps the water clean and ensures a healthy environment for fish and plants. Wave makers act as efficient cleaners of all types of aquariums, regardless whether you have sand, gravel or no substrate at all.

It Helps Corals Get Food Easily

If you have a coral reef, a wave maker will prove to be a worthy investment. Wave makers are particularly beneficial for corals as they find it difficult to reach the spot where the nutrients are found. Wave makers do a great job in helping corals get access to the necessary nutrients, hence enabling a healthy environment for your fish and plants.

How does a wave maker work?

A wave maker contains a powerhead that acts as a pump in order to create water movement. This pump combines high water volumes with low pressure to produce a wave effect in an aquarium. The wave maker has a propeller that serves as a siphon that pushes out high volume of water that’s under low pressure. Consequently, there is a water movement that mimics ocean waves.

What are the different types of wave makers?

There are two types of wave makers - AC wave makers and DC wave makers. AC wave makers are operated by a plug and they rely on energy to be able to work. They consume more power, and can be louder, but they are reliable to use and they are less likely to be damaged. Also, they are often less expensive than newer models. DC wave makers are built using modern technology and they consume less power than AC wave makers. They have controllers with an array of customizable features. They produce less noise compared to AC wave makers, but they also tend to be more expensive.

What are the most trusted wave maker brands?

There is a wide selection of wave makers available both in pet stores and online. The following brands are some of the most reputable ones: Jebao Hydor FREESEA SUNSUN Super Aquatic

Wave maker vs. Powerhead: What is the difference?

Wave makers are specialized water pumps that use the high water volume and low pressure to create a wave effect. They have digital controllers, which help modulate the water flow. Wave makers act as electrical timers that regulate several powerheads and switch them on and off at fixed periods to mimic natural currents. They control the length of time each powerhead runs to be able to replicate specific types of waves in an aquarium. On the other hand, powerheads are only responsible for the course of water movement. They provide constant narrow flow of water that works great for freshwater aquariums. However, since they make the water flow in a single direction, this enables debris to build up in certain places.

What wave maker size do I need for an aquarium?

It depends on the size of your aquarium. For example, a wave maker that has 800 gph flow rate is suitable for aquariums that contain 30 by up to 60 gallons of water. The larger the fish tank, the more power it is likely to need. If you have a smaller size tank, you won’t need extra powerful devices to achieve the wave effect. Most wave maker manufacturers will specify the size of the fish tank the product is suitable for.

Do I need a smart wave controller?

Controllers are extremely useful because they offer a number of options to adjust the flow rate, speed, and frequency of the waves according to your preferences. They can also be synchronized with feeders and timers. Majority of wave makers on the market today include controllers.

How to install and use a wave maker?

Most wave makers are easy to install because they use a suction cup as a mounting mechanism. The suction cup needs to be appropriately connected to the head of the wave maker or to the pump. After that, you should fasten the wave maker to the tank’s inner wall. If you have a submersible wave maker, you can place it in water. Then you can direct the pump to where the water is needed. After that you can plug in the power cord and switch it on. All wave makers come with a set of instructions on how to use it, so you should read them carefully.

Where to mount a wave maker?

A wave maker should be positioned toward the place where debris tends to build up, so that it can keep your fish tank clean and increase water circulation in all areas. Adjust the position of the wave maker so that it directs water into the problematic area. It’s a good idea to make the device pump water from the back of the tank toward the front wall. This enables water circulation in every corner of the tank.

How to care of and store a wave maker?

To give a wave maker a thorough cleaning, place the pump in water or vinegar solution and leave it there for a few hours. If you want to store it for future use, make sure to keep it in a dry and cool place.

Expert tip

It’s best to place the wave maker a little lower in a fish tank to avoid too much turbulence at the water surface, as this can cause the loss of carbon dioxide and prevent the plant growth.

Did you know

Some wave makers are able to recreate daylight and nighttime currents.

Conclusion

After reviewing options presented above, you should be able to have a clearer picture on what kind of wave maker you need. Remember to take into account the quality of materials and the size of your fish tank when purchasing a wave maker. Ultimately, make sure to choose a device that suits your needs and preference.