On-Glass Wire Holders keep cords as clean and unnoticeable as possible along tank glass rim
External (Out of Tank) Motor
No cords in the tank for a much cleaner and safer environment
Maintenance is as easy as taking off the dirty Wet (In-Tank) Side and replacing with a fresh clean spare Wet Side
Reduces heat transfer into tank with motor components on the outside of the glass
Battery Backup Ready means flow doesn’t stop when the lights go out
Provides an extra 24-48 hours of pump life (per individual pump) and keeps corals and other livestock alive while waiting for the power to come back on or while figuring out an alternative power source
Most Controllable and Flow-Pattern-Rich Powerhead Pumps available
The purpose of this “Advisory” tab is for an honest, real-world view of each product looking at both the pros and the cons. The EcoTech Vortech Powerheads are a perfect example of this in our opinion, best in show in some areas, and very lackluster in others.
The biggest pro for everyone we feel is Cleanliness. These powerheads are by far the cleanest looking pumps in any tank, period. No cords in the tank means that all we have to deal with when viewing is a black circle on our glass instead of an ugly encrusted power cord that juts out as a distraction. The pumps come with handy Wire Holders to route our cords along the rim of our glass for the least obtrusive look. Avoiding the direct contact of electrical cords and water is good practice as well.
This next one is simple, but it’s definitely worth mentioning...Maintenance. We feel confident in saying this is in the top 2 of the easiest powerheads to maintain in the hobby (alongside Sicce with their self-cleaning impeller and 10 second disassembly). The Vortech maintenance cycle is around 20-30 seconds. Just swap out the dirty Wet Side pump for a clean spare Wet Side, and you’re done. Now you have a week to a month of available cleaning time to drop the dirty Wet Side into Citric Acid (or Muriatic Acid if you’re brave) with a still fully functioning pump inside the tank. Anything that significantly cuts down on maintenance in this hobby definitely deserves a gold star in our book.
One of the most important capabilities of this powerhead for us personally is access to a 24-48 hour (per individual pump) Battery Backup Option. We live in Florida, where storm season creates Power Outages as an almost biweekly or even weekly occurrence. The added peace of mind that we can sleep soundly even if the power goes out for a few hours in the middle of the night is unmatched, and definitely more than pays for itself in the long run by keeping corals and other multiple year old livestock from perishing and crushing not only our wallets for replacements, but our hearts as reef keepers at the thought of trying to replace them.
A quick note, for those who like controllable patterns and toys to tinker with, the Vortechs will be your best friend. These are the most flow-pattern-packed flow pumps we are aware of, and definitely give the user every option imaginable when it comes to being the master of their tanks.
Although the pros are much greater than the cons, there are definitely areas of the Vortech series that are lacking. The most glaring flaw inherent with the product’s design...the pump can only point in one direction, straight ahead. There is absolutely no pivot or angular adjustment function, so if we want to fine tune our tank flow any more than just a straight shooter, it is impossible with this pump. No hitting specific corals a bit more than others, or even creating flow through specific gaps in rock work. However, for some this won’t be drastically important and therefore won’t be an issue.
The Warranty is definitely an area of this product that is in need of improvement. Don’t get us wrong, EcoTech has excellent support, top class in the industry. But in our opinion, if we invest nearly twice as much as the next highest priced powerhead out there, we should expect more than 1 Year of Warrantied Use. We do understand that it is electrical equipment around water, but if these pumps are as high quality as the price point, at least match the other top electronic warranties in the industry at 2 Years.
However, even due to the cons, these pumps continue to be one of the most widely used and successful in-tank flow pumps in the entire hobby, and earn their spot in many reefers’ tanks with their ease of use, 20-30 second maintenance, high level of controllability, and peace of mind given from extra use time after the lights go off.
Have any further questions that aren't answered here? We'd love to hear from you, and learn how we can help you be as successful as possible in this wonderful hobby.
You can call in to 727-214-7750 to speak with Tyler from our team to determine how to create your Ideal Aquarium Build.
Also feel free to reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org we will aim to respond back within the nextfew hours.