In this review we’ll take a look at Hydor’s Magnum range of stream pumps, and specifically put the Magnum 7 to the test. Boasting an electronic start up system and new technology rotors this range certainly looks impressive at first glance. As fans of the Evolution range from this manufacturer we were keen to find out how their ‘big brothers’ stacked-up.
Well, on paper the performance of the Magnum range appears remarkable with the 4 models (Magnum 5, 6, 7 and 8) providing claimed flow rates of 6500, 8500, 10500 and 12500 l/hr respectively while consuming just 8 – 18watts (these pumps are driven by low voltage AC current). This makes them some of the most flow efficient pumps available. Their initial price point is extremely attractive too ranging from just £100 to £180 (approx RRP per pump). If you are interested in reseaching these claims further, it’s worth noting that a detailed study has already been performed on this range over at Advanced Aquarist. To summarise, this study confirms most of the manufacturers claims but it is interesting to note that the 5 and 6 appeared to draw more current than advertised, and the 5 produced almost as much flow as the 7.
Anyway, out of the box our own Mag 7s are everything we hoped for. Construction quality is decent and the pump components all fit together nicely. Our Mag 7 isn’t the smallest pump we’ve ever seen but we certainly wouldn’t call it overly intrusive in our tank. Incidentally, Hydor tell me they are working on the physical size of the pumps as part of their evaluation and improvement programme. So, during 2013 a smaller version of the pumps will be available in both 240v and 12v guises. With a low profile outside the glass, the magnet-suction cup support mechanism is powerful but take note that the ‘stem’ that fits into the back of the pump needs to be pressed firmly to stop the head from rotating. Fitted with a low profile UK plug we found the pump simple to install.
Wet now, and switching the unit on reveals some serious power (as the video shows, this pump pretty much defines the limit our simple sink test can handle!). In the tank this pump is easily capable of pushing water and generating swell up to 6 feet away. The stream is quite narrowly focussed though and take note that this flow dynamic can’t be adjusted. The ability to direct flow to a certain degree with the ball-joint on the bracket is certainly good though. Talking of the mounting system, the bracket holds the pump in place perfectly well on 10mm glass (and can be used on glass up to 22mm). In operation, the unit is very quiet… just a faint hum with our ear to the glass. We didn’t notice the unit affecting the temperature of our system at all either. On the subject of controllability, due to the pumps’ AC power feed, take note that these are essentially ‘on/off’ controllable only as far as we know. Although not as flexible as certain other competing pumps, attaching a pair to a Smartwave controller still opens up quite a few possibilities for different flow effects. We can’t comment on pump longevity for this kind of use.
In conclusion, we think Hydor deserve a lot more recognition for this range. Take the low initial cost, superb efficiency and frightening power and we think they are offering a great value product. We will say though that, due to the flow dynamics, these streams are perhaps best suited to ‘long tanks’ indeed, rather than finding you have too little flow, the opposite may be true. Although these pumps can be used with basic controllers the options aren’t perhaps as extensive as some of the other manufacturers but in our eyes the good points far out-way the negative. If you can find any in-stock, and it suits your application, we highly recommend this range.