Review: Tunze Turbelle 6105 stream pump

Coming from an operation as highly-regarded as Tunze, one would expect the 6105 to be ‘fit for purpose’. After all at a RRP of around £240 this certainly isn’t the cheapest stream pump by any means. The incorporation of a number of innovative technical solutions such as plastic bearings, micro-processor controlled motor, silicone absorbers and titanium alloy axle all look great on paper – but how does it perform in the real world? 

Well, first impressions as we open the box are excellent and, as with the 3155 ATO we reviewed last year, we were immediately impressed with the quality of the packaging and instructions provided (although perhaps the English translation could be improved slightly). Coming with 2 interchangeable front grilles, this pump can be configured to provide either standard or wide-flow, and it is the latter that we are particularly interested in for our test tank. In the hand, the pump feels well-constructed and the materials used are clearly high quality. Giving it a sink test reveals the pumps considerable power, even with the wide flow attachment fitted.

In tank now and the magnet holder keeps the pump in position with ease. It’s also worth noting that very little clearance is required on the outside of the aquarium for the pump to be fitted. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the ball-shaped design of the pump means that it is securely held within the brackets, yet it is also highly adjustable – by far the most adjustable pump we’ve used to date actually. It’s easy to extract for cleaning too. The pump is also the quietest we’ve used so far with no sound being detectable from outside the tank. If it wasn’t for the odd particle being propelled across the tank it would be hard to know the pump was running actually!

In terms of flow, the pump easily pushes water to 4 feet, even with the wide flow fitted. Technically, the pump is rated to produce a flow of 3 – 13000lph (consuming 35Watts on the 24V Jumper) and based on our experience, we’d suggest this is an accurate estimate. The flow characteristics may well be slightly different to other pumps (they all differ) but this isn’t negative at all in our view. Actually, we really like the wide flow that this unit produces with the new grille attached. With the standard grille water is pushed to 5 feet, yet of course is more focussed. One thing worth noting is that this pump does really need to be placed a good 4-6 inches under the water surface to avoid air being drawn down.

So overall this pump impressed us immensely. Although we can’t really comment on reliability having only owned the pump for a few weeks, internet research reveals that the pump is noted for being one of the most ‘bulletproof’ available and we can well believe this. Although the pump is controllable one does need to purchase a control unit separately (we bought a 7092 controller for around £50). As well as being simply to connect, the 7092 allows pulsing flow from the pump (down to 0.3 seconds interval) and even with only one 6105 we are able to generate a 1″ standing wave in our 50×24″tank. Noise-wise, it is just possible to hear the pump switching, but only from very near the tank (no clicking, more of a low, modulating hum). The magnet holder seems entirely capable of holding the pump stationary long-term in this mode too… on 10mm glass at least.

Our conclusion? high quality components and a raft of innovative design features make this arguably the top pump in the category. It’s super quiet, powerful, reliable, has a range of flow options, highly adjustable flow and a low profile outside the tank. Negative points are few, but it is moderately bulky inside the tank (although Decco rocks can be used for disguise) and if you want controllability you’ll need to buy additional kit.

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