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View Full Version : Are the Vortech MP40 Worth the $$$


globaldesigns
10-23-2009, 05:44 AM
I am looking at getting a MP40W for my 5ftX27inchX27inch DT tank, currently using 4x Koralia #2's with to positioned returns... Want to add a wave feature. My questions to all that own them are:

1.) Have you seen any coral improvements once running these units?
2.) Are the improvements that much to warrant spending $500?

Thanks to all that participate.

Ron99
10-23-2009, 05:54 AM
Don't know about improvements as I set up the tank with the MP40. But it is the only powerhead in my 4 foot 75 gallon and it provides tons of flow. I only have it turned up about 2/3 full. I really like how the random modes continuously change the flow. Seems much more natural to me.

However, in a 5 x 3 x 3 tank you might need at least two of them running in opposite mode to set up a wave action. Your best bet is to contact Ecotech and ask them about your application and/or check out their forum at reef central.

xtreme
10-23-2009, 05:56 AM
I think you would need at least 2 of them to get a wave going on your tank. The dims you give make your tank 335+ g but your sig says 180g. Either way I had 2 of them on my 6' 125g and could get a wave going. Don't see it happening with only one. I currently have 2 MP40W's and 2 6105's on my 280g and am considering more flow. If you have 4x K2's on your tank now I think a vortech would definitely benefit your corals. 500 bucks is a lot of money, I'm glad I picked up mine when they were only $400.

marie
10-23-2009, 05:58 AM
I really like my vortechs but I'm still not sure they are worth the money :lol:

globaldesigns
10-23-2009, 06:01 AM
I think you would need at least 2 of them to get a wave going on your tank. The dims you give make your tank 335+ g but your sig says 180g. Either way I had 2 of them on my 6' 125g and could get a wave going. Don't see it happening with only one. I currently have 2 MP40W's and 2 6105's on my 280g and am considering more flow. If you have 4x K2's on your tank now I think a vortech would definitely benefit your corals. 500 bucks is a lot of money, I'm glad I picked up mine when they were only $400.

My display is 180G, basically 5ft X 27inch X 27inch ... Sorry for the false info I was just lazy and rounded up to feet, I will adjust above info... Wow!!!! All I can say is you guys are on the ball!

do you think 1 unit, at the end, would be worth it? or should I just not bother?

Chaloupa
10-23-2009, 06:17 AM
I have one on my 150g that is 5 foot....and I really like it. I have a wavebox on the other end so I haven't got the vortech turned right up but the random wave crest one mode is cool.

mike31154
10-23-2009, 06:34 AM
Probably some of the best $$$ I've spent for my system. I have two in my 77 gal 4 ft tank and I reckon you'll more than likely want/need two for your 5 footer. I did start with a single pump as well though, sticker shock was definitely a factor when I took the plunge. Purchased the first one new over a year and a half ago and got the second about six months ago from a reefer on another forum site who was unloading a bunch of new MP40Ws due to a change of plans. So I ended up getting both for less than $500 since the first one I purchased was still a Gen 1 (just before they came out with the Gen 2) and they were a little cheaper than they are now. The second was a deal since the hobbyist obviously couldn't sell them on a forum for full retail price.

1.) I currently only have softies and an LPS Hammer coral, no SPS. They're all doing famously and I can't really say whether the VorTechs have made that much of a difference, since it's difficult to see changes like that over an extended period of time and there may be other factors at work. What I can say is that even after installing the first MP40W, so much crap and crud started coming out of the LR and off the substrate with the flow and undertow created by this single pump, I could hardly believe where it was all coming from. Before the VorTech all I had were a bunch of standard AquaClear powerheads with very narrow flow patterns.

2.) Yes, and another $500 if you can afford it for a second one (or look for deals on used ones in buy/sell forums). With two of them I'm able to dial them down to 75-80% which helps the noise factor (an occasional complaint about this from some folks, although I don't find it too bad). It also eliminates the dead area at the far end of the tank. I kept a conventional powerhead going to help this until I got the 2nd VorTech. With a single VorTech in your 5 foot tank, you'll need to keep one of your Koralias in service as well, although, I don't have a return so you may be able to adjust that and make it work without a Koralia. Another benefit of having two is the almost unlimited flexibilty for flow patterns you have using the wireless feature.

Other benefits I can think of:

Small footprint in tank;
No wiring in tank;
Battery backup available if you have even more cash (or build your own);
Customer service second to none;
Modular nature of the pump allows relatively easy replacement of parts, power supply, driver, dry side motor, wet side. So even though the up front cost is very high, if one of the components goes bad outside of warranty, the fix can be quite reasonable in cost;
Highly customizable flow adjustment right out of the box with multiple modes of operation available at your fingertips;
Easily repositioned if need be.

Cons that come to mind:

Not as silent as most powerheads you may be accustomed to. Dry side motor sound is most apparent in short pulse mode ramping from low rpm to 100%. Short pulse is commonly used for making waves. Personally I don't use this mode and with two of them dialed down it's not an issue. Ensuring the two sides are properly aligned will keep the sound reasonable;
Dry side is dry side, don't get any water on it or the driver. You also need to secure the power cord on the dry side in the event the wet side falls off, you don't want the dry side dropping to the floor or banging into your tank. The dry side and cord on the outside of the tank, while being a safety pro, can be a con as far as visual appearance on the outside. You also need 3 inches of clearance from any wall or other obstruction;
The dry and wet side need to be properly aligned to prevent overheating, excess noise and premature wear. This is not necessarily a true con, but something one needs to monitor and be aware of. If you have curious children that like to poke at stuff or are careless when cleaning around the pump, you could easily dislodge it and cause misalignment;
If someone is looking after your system while you're away, make sure they're very familiar with the operation of this thing. It does take a little more effort to set up properly than the average powerhead.

Whew, I think that about covers it. Probably missed a thing or two, but believe I covered the significant pros, cons etc... EcoTech should give me a discount on the 3rd pump I need in the future for this little bit of work...

Leah
10-23-2009, 12:53 PM
I love mine :biggrin: Thinking of getting another one for my other tank. I love my waves. :mrgreen:

shrimpchips
10-23-2009, 02:41 PM
Definitely worth it. I have the MP-20 on my 20g, and I've bought the MP-40w upgrade from Aquatic Addictions for when I upgrade tanks.

The versatility of the small pump is second to none, and the amount of control you have over it is amazing - I run mine at 100% reef crest for an SPS dominated tank.

The second con (after initial cost) is that the flow can't be directed like conventional powerheads - I'd love it if somehow I could mount it in the corner to flow diagonally, but meh - the flow itself is so broad, I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make anyways.

If you're looking to pick up two and a battery back-up, Marine Depot (and I'm sure other online places) has a package of 2 MP-40w and a batery back up for just over $1000USD - after conversion it works out to just under $400 CAD for each MP-40w (not including taexs and shipping though) - Maybe a local retailer or sponsor can match that for you :)

wayner
10-23-2009, 02:53 PM
What size Vortech for a 70 gallon cube?, it's 30L by 30W X 18H., thanks, and sorry for the hijack!

Snappy
10-23-2009, 03:47 PM
I have 4 of them in my tank and plan on at least one more

Lance
10-23-2009, 05:48 PM
Are they a lot of money? YES
Do I like mine? YES
Would I buy them again? YES

mike31154
10-23-2009, 07:10 PM
Ok, let's hear from some of the folks that voted No, and why...

globaldesigns
10-23-2009, 10:05 PM
Ok, let's hear from some of the folks that voted No, and why...

+1, I would like to know reasons, why people voted no... I am leaning towards trying one, let me know why you voted "NO"

Dennis at Gold's doesn't carry them anymore, because he said he had way too many problems... But he can bring them in for me, but again he won't support them if there are problems. People, tell me your problems.

Ron99
10-23-2009, 10:28 PM
My unit had issues (a bit noisy and one button stopped working) but the controller was replaced under warranty and all has been great since.

mike31154
10-23-2009, 10:29 PM
I mentioned in my earlier post that I initially purchased a Generation 1 MP40W. These did have an issue with the plastic coating on the magnet breaking down resulting in the wet side magnet rusting over time. This would vary from one pump to another, mine took about 6 months to start having this problem but the pump still ran without a hitch during this time. This was solved with new completely enclosed magnets and is no longer a problem. The replacement magnet and shaft cost under $10 and the parts are easily installed by the user. They've also done a slight redesign to the wet side shaft and bearing configuration. There was a bad batch of bearing parts recently which caused a rash of problems with wet sides seizing up, falling off or the entire wet side spinning. This has also been addressed and fixed. EcoTech quickly takes care of any of these issues once the problem is identified. I'd say there are many more satisfied users than not. You tend to see more of the complainants on their forum and folks tend to not consider the number of satisfied users out there, silently happy with their purchase.

Still would be good to hear some of the reasons why people would not buy the current product.

globaldesigns
10-26-2009, 02:01 AM
Well I did it!!! I decided to spend the money and give it a try... I was by Snappy's (Coral Master) and picked up some frags... Oh yeah, wow... Nice setup Greg, very impressive.

Anyways after seeing your posts, talking with Fishytime And Snappy, I decided to do it, so left Snappy's and went to see Danny (Wais) as he has them in stock... I can't tell you what I got it for, don't want to get anybody in trouble, but I can say Danny took care of me.

And WOW!!!! Holy CRA&**#*.... I removed a couple powerheads and this thing does wonders, I see movement I have never seen before and my water went slightly dirty as it created some great undertows and started pulling crap from behind rockwork. I am very impressed... Currently I have it setup with long pulse at full strength with 9-10 second intervals.

To all that don't have it, I can say you should... Yeah they are too expensive, but Wow do they work.

Have fun all

BlueTang<3
10-26-2009, 02:58 AM
i got one on my 180 reef single overflow but want two now lol never enough toys love it

globaldesigns
10-27-2009, 05:08 PM
JUST AN UPDATE:

I must say I am even more impressed now that I have had this for a couple days... I am using Reef Crest mode and it does a great job of moving around the crap and now my water is even brighter/cleaner, as all the crap it dislodges has been filtered out.

In my opinion, this is a must item.

Chaloupa
10-27-2009, 05:18 PM
JUST AN UPDATE:

I must say I am even more impressed now that I have had this for a couple days now... I am using Reef Crest mode now and it does a great job of moving around the crap and now my water is even brighter/cleaner, as all the crap it dislodges has been filtered out.

In my opinion, this is a must item.

I'm with ya global..they are fantastic! I put a second one on my tank to try out...(it belongs to a friend) and the water movement and "crap" removal is fantastic! Expensive but very worth it~

shrimpchips
10-27-2009, 05:38 PM
I'm just wondering for the people who voted "no" - why? Are these people former Vortech users or people who haven't had one?

kien
10-27-2009, 06:01 PM
For me it just came straight down to price. I knew I needed two powerful powerheads so I needed to spend some major dollars. It was much cheaper for me to buy two 6105s than two MP40s. That savings was put into other expensive gadgets (controller, dosing station, etc..). Sure they are not as pretty as the mp40s but at 3434 gph (each), they get the job done and everyone is happy, including the bank account. I'm still very curious about the mp40s and I'm sure the are awesome, but I got what my budget could afford me at the time without too many compromises. 1 brand new tunze 6105 and one used one. Oh, and they both had the benefit of plugging into my profilux controller giving me programmable settings for each powerhead.

blacknife
10-28-2009, 04:10 AM
how bout the 10's and 20's?

I have a 33 and was thinking at some point it would be nice to upgrade to something variable.

mike31154
10-28-2009, 06:06 AM
JUST AN UPDATE:

I must say I am even more impressed now that I have had this for a couple days... I am using Reef Crest mode and it does a great job of moving around the crap and now my water is even brighter/cleaner, as all the crap it dislodges has been filtered out.

In my opinion, this is a must item.

Are you still running any of your Koralias with the VorTech? If so how many?

mike31154
10-28-2009, 06:17 AM
how bout the 10's and 20's?

I have a 33 and was thinking at some point it would be nice to upgrade to something variable.

I only have experience with the 40s, but for your size tank either the 10 or 20 will work fine. Depends on your livestock/coral requirements, although to me, more flow is good even in a FOWLR to keep the 'crud' from settling too much.

The 20 has the advantage of being upgradeable to 40W for a couple hundred $$ if you need more flow in the future. I've also read that because the MP10 is much smaller, it runs at a higher rpm, meaning the possibility of more noise when running full blast. If you go with a 20, you may be able to run it at a lower speed which should also keep the noise level lower. Some folks do complain about the sound of these pumps but I don't have a problem with the whirring sound. It's more apparent when using short pulse wavemaking mode, which I don't use. You're going to hear them more readily with the motor running outside the tank. Submerged pumps have the advantage of the water dampening the sound of their motors.

plutoniumJoe
10-28-2009, 02:52 PM
1 brand new tunze 6105 and one used one. Oh, and they both had the benefit of plugging into my profilux controller giving me programmable settings for each powerhead.

I was thinking of going this way also. I like the idea of being able to aim the powerhead and hook into my controller eventually. I haven't used either yet but I was wondering if any tunze users switched to vortechs.

globaldesigns
10-28-2009, 05:20 PM
Are you still running any of your Koralias with the VorTech? If so how many?

I am still running 4 of them with the vortech, they are only #2's so only 600GPH each but I can define different currents along with the vortech... It is very nice how I have things now.

globaldesigns
10-28-2009, 05:22 PM
I was thinking of going this way also. I like the idea of being able to aim the powerhead and hook into my controller eventually. I haven't used either yet but I was wondering if any tunze users switched to vortechs.

I can say that you don't need to worry about aiming the Vortech, the amount of debris it pull out of crevaces, cracks and crannies was awesome... And the width of current it creates gets everything moving and the undercurrents it creates also does a great job.

Now I have only had it for 3 days now, but Wow!

shrimpchips
10-29-2009, 12:50 AM
I was thinking of going this way also. I like the idea of being able to aim the powerhead and hook into my controller eventually. I haven't used either yet but I was wondering if any tunze users switched to vortechs.

The only real 'disadvantage' I can think of for the VorTech is that they aren't releasing the controller side to any third-party controller makers.

If I already had the Profilux before I bought the VorTech, I might have gone Tunze for the controllability from the Profilux, but at this point, I don't regret getting the Vortech, and intend to get a second one sometime soon.

globaldesigns
11-01-2009, 04:34 AM
K, just an update... I have now changed my settings and now am running Short Pulse... It took a bit to dial it in, but got a nice wave action going, short pulse alternating on/off at about 3/4 second intervals.

It has been a couple days at this setting and I can see even better polyp extension.

mike31154
11-01-2009, 06:29 PM
I'm asssuming you need it to ramp up to 100% quickly to get a wave in your size system? How are you finding the noise factor on short pulse ramping from idle to 100%?

globaldesigns
11-01-2009, 08:32 PM
I'm asssuming you need it to ramp up to 100% quickly to get a wave in your size system? How are you finding the noise factor on short pulse ramping from idle to 100%?

You are correct, I am running at 100%, the noise is barely noticable... If you are near the end of the tank with the dry side showing, you can slightly hear the starting and stopping of the pump itself, but again I will say "Barely noticable"... So I guess I got things aligned really good.

So far so good, I am impressed. Now it isn't a huge wave, but it does crest up/down about 1 inch, which is great for me, otherwise I might end up splashing out the top. It does look cool, got the ends cresting up, while in the middle it crests down, really cool to look at.