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Jan 2006

Tue, 01/31/2006 - 21:42

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

I've been running the new VorTech pump in my tank for the past three weeks. I'd like to thank VorTech for letting beta-testers speak publicly about our impressions finally.

When I opened my box, I swear I heard angels in the heavens singing. 

It has been very interesting testing the pump to see what it would and what it wouldn't. Everyone mentions directing the flow. I've seen no need. The flow is wide.

The intake grate is large enough to suck in food without clogging, and chop it up even finer for my smaller fish. ;) It doesn't clog. Snails climb all over it, and seem unaffected at all. I've had my longnose hawkfish perch on it and swim away easily.

The pump doesn't eat up a lot of real-estate, nor block my viewing panel. This is very important to me and why I've never had a pump on this end of the tank.

The sound - we all care about sound. It is very very low, like the sound of a computer tower's power supply on the floor under your desk. You know it is on, but it doesn't stop you from doing what you need to do. When it is running 100%, you are still aware of it. If you had these on your tank inside the fish room, you'd never hear a thing as your skimmer would likely be far more noisy. My entire setup is pretty quiet, as is my home. It hasn't bothered me at all, including when I watch TV & movies. No complaints at all.

The glass of my tank is 1/2" thick, so I have a pad on the inside and outside of my tank. Moving the pump takes both hands, working from the inside and outside of the tank at the same time. It is very easy to move it and keep it aligned.

When you first set it up, you may hear some mild noise coming from it as things need to slime over like all other plumbing parts. I never really heard anything, but it actually got more silent the next day. If that makes sense.

The propellar cover has a flat area to face upward to avoid vortexing air into the pump. And when I had it within 1" of the surface, it still didn't vortex. That was really surprising, and cool.

The one negative I can think of is that every person that sees it puts their hands on it and says "what's this for?" I want a label on it that says "If you didn't pay for this, don't touch it!" LOL If the person tries to pull it or move it, they can cause the inner half to drop to the bottom of the tank. It hasn't happened yet, but I could imagine someone doing it if I wasn't there staring them down. 

I have SPS corals about 16" from the VorTech (when it was positioned in the picture above), and two corals ended up with a small bald spot due to running it on high. I moved the pump more toward the front of the tank to avoid that direct contact and both are doing just fine. Of course, turning down the flow at the driver box is easily done as well.

Because I have two Tunze 6100 Streams at the opposite end of my tank, they pump against each other. The sandbed has definitely shifted, due to the undertow all three pumps create. My tank is 72" x 30" x 30".

As I expected at MACNA, I knew this would be a hit. I'm very happy with what I've seen thus far, and am excited about the controller and battery backup as well. Had VorTech decided to not release the pump for another six months just so they could have a controller to go with it, I still would have waited. And face it, many people will probably try to buy the pump only, to save money. So there really isn't a reason to demand a controller from Day 1. These are the same guys running Maxijets and Seio pumps with no controlling ability.

You can demonstrate flow by dropping food in the tank, or pouring in Purple Up or some type of alkalinity booster, but the tank will get cloudy.

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