If you’ve been following the blog you may have noticed our recent unboxing review of Sicce’s new X Stream wave pump. In that piece, we examined the theoretical performance of the unit, it’s key features, and even went as far as to make some initial assessments. Having now had the unit running in a test system for several weeks we’ve been closely monitoring it, getting to know the units unique operational characteristics. In this piece we bring you the results of that study in the form of our operational assessment.
Running straight on from the unboxing review, once the pump is unpackaged, it is really simple to install in the aquarium. Firstly we fit the rubber cover onto the magnet holder, as we imagine this will dampen any vibration-induced noise, and then literally it’s just a case of carefully lowering the pump into the tank in the chosen location. Next, carefully bring the outer magnet up to the glass and hey presto, the pump fixes into position. If you wish, at this stage, the angle of the pump head can be adjusted and this was easy to achieve with the adjustment ball socket which was not too tight or too loose, but just right. This arrangement gives the pump a high degree of directionability, and the magnet holds the pump securely on at least 15-20mm glass even on full power.
Plugging-in the controller and main power adapter and the unit is up and running. The controller offers a couple of different modes and we can easily adjust the constant running speed or change the mode (with a double press) to pulse mode operation. Blue LEDs clearly indicate the chosen running speed or mode of operation. When the pump is in use the sound is barely audible in an everyday situation (a few feet away from the tank with typical ambient background noise). The flow pattern appears to be nicely diffused and the power consumption closely matches the manufacturers claims. On paper the unit claims to output from 3000 to 8500lph and, having evaluated numerous different pumps over the years, we’d broadly concur with this claim. When it comes time to clean the pump, it is very easy to disassemble and works first time when we put it back in the tank. All in all, the unit doesn’t present any significant shortcomings and has so far proven reliable, efficient and effective.
So, all-in-all, the X Stream E gets a solid ‘thumbs up’ from us… some hobbyists may prefer more minimal solutions that remove the cable from the tank but there’s no denying that the directional abilities and controllability of this little pump can be very useful. The quality is very good from this Italian-made product and with a competitive RRP of £149.99 the unit is available at selected retailers in the UK. We certainly wouldn’t hesitate in recommended it!