Top 5 Best Powerheads for Aquariums


In case you want to keep your aquarium well-maintained, then you must look for suitable powerheads. These devices are designed for providing proper water circulation within the aquarium. They can be described as a unique type of submersible water pump. Aquarium enthusiasts are showing increased interest in these powerheads because they are becoming more aware of the benefits they bring.

Top 5 Best Fish Tank Powerheads

1. Sicce Voyager 3 Power Stream

Sicce Voyager 3 Power Stream Pump is one of the most popular powerheads used today. People like it for its great range of motion and the ability to adjust and modify flow patterns for unmatched water movement. With its help, you can rest assured that there won’t be any areas in your aquarium where the water will stay calm. Since you have the ability to adjust the water flow, you can set it to a level that suits the plants and animals found in your aquarium. This product comes with a useful magnet mount system and highly adjustable faceplate. It’s ideal for freshwater aquariums between 79 and 124 gallons and saltwater aquariums between 40 and 79 gallons.


  • Excellent flow rate (1200 gph)
  • It works great in saltwater and freshwater aquariums
  • Relatively inexpensive


  • Spare parts can be expensive

2. Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation Pump

It seems that the professionals from Hydor have included all the latest technological achievements in this powerhead. This is an upgraded version of the successful Koralia series introduced a few years ago. This is an energy-efficient powerhead that comes with a myriad of helpful features. It has a shaftless impeller with a unique design that guarantees quick, yet gentle water flow. This powerhead has a timer that allows better control. This also means that you can easily adjust the water movement and make it more suitable for your aquarium inhabitants. Overall, this is an excellent product at a reasonable price.


  • Good for saltwater and freshwater aquariums
  • Good flow rate
  • Unique features
  • Efficient patented magnetic base


  • Self-restart is missing

3. Maxspect Gyre XF250 Wavemaker Pump with Advanced Controller

If you are interested in getting a highly efficient powerhead that follows the latest trends, then you can’t go wrong with this model by Maxspect. Of course, the main difference between this model and other powerhead models is that this one has a very useful controller that provides different water movement modes. With a maximum flow rate of 5.300 gallons per hour, this is one of the most efficient powerheads found today. Maxspect Gyre XF250 creates a strong flow of water movement that goes in every direction of your aquarium no matter how big or small it is. Another great thing about is that you can install it vertically or horizontally if you want.


  • Low power consumption (related to the mode you use)
  • Interesting design
  • It can be used vertically or horizontally
  • Works great in aquariums between 50 and 800 gallons


  • Mediocre customer support

4. Maxspect Gyre XF-230 Kit – Aquarium Pump & Controller

When Maxspect introduced the first model from this series of powerheads it became the first gyre-producing water moving machine designed for aquariums in the world. When we compare this model with standard powerheads we will notice that Maxspect Gyre XF-230 Kit, which includes an aquarium pump and controller, provides much better water movement. It is primarily focused on generating wide horizontal water movement that doesn’t leave any dead spots behind. This powerhead has two directional water flow cages, original flow system, advanced controller and great design.


  • Relies on new technology that is extremely efficient
  • Neat design
  • Easy to maintain


  • Expense

5. Tunze USA Nano Stream Powerhead

This is another great example of an energy-efficient powerhead. Tunze is a well known American company in the world of aquarium equipment and accessories. With the help of its unique form, great features, and excellent built, you can expect premium-quality flow patterns. This model relies on sophisticated stream propeller technology with an ability to create healthy water flow. As we already said, this is an energy-efficient model of a powerhead.


  • 3D adjustability
  • Great performance
  • Energy efficient
  • Unique stream propeller technology


  • Expense

What are Benefits of Having a Powerhead?

As previously mentioned, the main reason why people use powerheads in their aquariums is to get proper water circulation. So, this is the most important benefits of powerheads. They also deliver proper oxygenation during this process. When compared to bubbles created from air stones, you will notice that powerheads are much more powerful and efficient.

Another benefit of using powerheads is that they can significantly improve the quality of water in the tanks. This is quite natural because if the aquarium water is circulated and filtered more frequently, you can expect better quality.

With the help of a good powerhead, you can also prevent the accumulation of detritus and other potentially harmful compounds on the bottom of the aquarium. A powerhead will not only help you circulate the water, but it will also circulate the particles which mean better filtration.

Next, we should also mention that a powerhead can improve the health of the plants and fish found in the aquarium. If the water is circling around animals more frequently, then you can rest assured that they are getting an adequate amount of oxygen. This situation will also support animal activity and better food distribution. Good powerheads can also prevent the formation and growth of algae because many of them tend to live in quiet, undisturbed water.

Finally, we should also mention that the proper water movement created by powerheads create a suitable environment for exercise. Fish need exercise to stay healthy and now thanks to powerheads you can allow them to be physically active and have fun at the same time.

Factors to consider

The fact is that there are few things that aquarium enthusiasts must take into consideration before they buy powerheads.

To start with, it is highly recommended to check the flow rate of the powerhead you are interested in. If you want to be sure that the filtration is performed in the best possible way, it is crucial to select a powerhead that has optimal flow rate. Of course, we should remember that the durability of the powerhead plays a significant role too. There are specific types of powerheads that are better for saltwater aquariums because they come with materials that are unaffected by the corrosive power of saltwater. Another important thing to consider is the heat generation capacity of the powerhead and the level of noise it creates. Finally, it is highly recommended to pay attention to the power consumption. These devices might not require much power, but they can still affect the power bills.

The aforementioned criteria are crucial, but there are few other things that might help aquarium owners make the right choice. For example, it is a smart move to opt for a powerhead that can be mounted and removed easily. After all, these devices need maintenance and cleaning too and you definitely don’t want to waste your time mounting and removing these devices for hours. If they are left dirty for a long time they can stop working.

It’s also a good idea to select a powerhead that is made by a well-established brand because this guarantees quality. In addition, it’s much easier to find spare parts for a popular powerhead. Some powerheads found in the market come with screens or strainers that go on top of the water intake hole. In this way, you can protect the plants and animals in your aquarium. If you have a chance to get a powerhead like this, don’t hesitate to do this. Finally, choose a powerhead that provides switches for modifying water rate.

Best Powerhead Positioning for Saltwater Tanks

Modern powerheads are designed in a way which makes their positioning easy. In other words, you can place them almost anywhere in your aquarium. But, is there a position that guarantees optimal results and effects?

Well, it all depends on the type and shape of the aquarium you are using and the areas in it which for some reason don’t have a good water flow. Aquarium owners should feel free to make experiments and place the powerhead in different parts of the aquarium and analyze the results. Those who have plants in their aquariums should know that the density of plants can significantly affect the work of the powerhead. Some people use powerheads low while others place them high. The general rule is to make sure that the tank is getting enough flow and the leaves are moving gently not aggressively.

Final Thoughts

Powerheads are very useful water pumps used in different kinds of aquariums. Their primary objective is to provide proper water flow which will improve the environment inside the aquarium for all the living beings found there. In this way, aquarium owners can also support the process of filtration.


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