Stream pumps are probably the most popular way to provide efficient circulation in your reef. On the back of this trend, units are now manufactured by a plethora of different companies. Design-wise, many pumps may look similar but on closer inspection offer feature-sets that are subtly different. The WM (Wave-Maker) range from our sponsors All Pond Solutions offers yet another option for hobbyists, coming in a useful range of powers from 2500l to 12000lph. What makes these pumps stand out from the crowd though is their low cost… but is this price reflected in the quality of the product?
Well, for our test we obtained two 5000lph models (WM-5000) and installed these in our new test tank to help mix up our salt. Out of the box, everything is as it should be with all accessories present and clear instructions included. The units come with two holders, so you can chose from either a suction-based holder or a magnetic one. We’re not too sure that suction cups generally prove particularly reliable over the long term so we plumped for the magnet version. Let’s just say that these magnets are very strong, so strong in fact that it took no small effort to separate them (just a warning, be extremely careful when handling strong magnets and be aware that they have the ability interfere with electrical devices as well as causing physical harm!). The pumps certainly feel fine in terms of build quality too – chunky, assembled properly…. it took some effort to twist off the front screen to gain access to the impeller. Moving on, installing the pumps was a breeze and sliding the outer magnet into position resulted in a rock-solid placement on 10mm glass (and we’d suggest that they would be fine on thicker glass too). The ball-in-socket design of the holder allows a fair degree of adjustability which is likely to be enough for most situations. In operation the pumps are not completely silent, but both our units proved to be what we’d class as very quiet. Although we don’t have any way to quantitatively test the output, from experience of other similar pumps we’d suggest that the claimed versus actual power is accurate. The pumps had enough power to move disturb particulates in the water column 4 feet away from the outlet anyway (we suggest you take a look at the video below to view properties on the stream and draw your own conclusions). One thing to consider is that they aren’t the most compact or perhaps energy efficient of options available and take note that these pumps are not set-up to run long term on controller type devices.
Our conclusion: ranging from £25 to £35 we think these pumps offer great value for money for hobbyists who aren’t looking for the smallest pump and for whom minimising immediate outlay is more important than making long term savings on running costs. Although likely to be perceived as a ‘cheap’ option compared to some other manufacturers, we think the difference in quality with other units we’ve seen is marginal.