Best Aquarium Wave Maker Reviews for Marine, Reef, and Freshwater Fish Tank

Our aquarium inhabitants need to feel as natural as possible. This is why we use a variety of products and devices.

For example, the right reef salt provides nutrients for corals and fish that help keep their tank water balanced.

To prevent fish from getting sick, the right filter will remove nutrients and debris.

Then there’s the Best wave makers, They’re great for aquariums, and especially for helping to maintain the environment’s natural water flow.

Best Aquarium Wave Maker Quick-Find table



  • There are many settings.
  • Includes the controller
  • Perfectly suited for a variety of needs in reef tanks

Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation PumpHydor Koralia

  • It works in all aquarium types – freshwater, marine, and reef.
  • Magnetic suction to ensure precise placement
  • It is powerful enough to power most aquariums, but not overwhelming for smaller tanks

Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation PumpHydor Koralia Nano

  • The best option for your mini and nano reefs and marine tanks
  • It is easy to set up and use
  • It is small and noninvasive

Hygger Submersible Aquarium Powerhead 2000GPH Fish Tank Wavemaker Circulation Pump for Freshwater SaltwaterHygger

  • Dual-head design for multi-directional flow
  • It is easy to mount and use
  • It does a fantastic job in keeping water clean and healthy, both for fish and plants.

What is an Aquarium Wave Maker?

Wavemakers are devices that can be used to create natural environments for corals, fish, or invertebrates in marine and reef aquariums.

A wave maker is basically a small machine that simulates water surges within your aquarium. These little machines create waves in the micro-ecosystem within your saltwater aquarium’s saltwater tank.

best aquarium wave maker


Wave makers create waves that stimulate water and circulate it naturally. This gives your fish and other aquatic animals a more natural feeling to the environment.

Wave makers are a great addition to your aquarium’s health, especially in marine and reef tanks. They circulate any toxic substances within the tank.

These substances can be toxic to aquatic life so movement is essential for safety and health.

Wave makers are also used to transport food to corals, and other invertebrates who cannot search for their own food.

Wave makers enable you to connect aquarium pumps and powerheads to the control unit. These control units allow you to control the speed and height wave in the aquarium.

Wave makers that are right for you – i.e. High-quality wave makers – i.e.

Wave makers can be set up to allow you to select from smooth, rolling, or turbulent waves. Some even have a feed mode that allows you specifically target the spread of food for your corals and invertebrates.

It’s cool, but why use an aquarium wave maker?

A wavemaker can be used in many ways, including for reef or marine tanks.

Wave Makers Increase Aquarium Health

Fish that are able to anticipate the natural waves and currents they expect will live a longer and healthier life. This is due to their increased exercise and mental health.

A wave maker is able to improve the mental and physical health of certain freshwater fishes and invertebrates.

Wave Makers circulate water more naturally for better water quality

Wave makers circulate aquarium water around naturally, oxygenating it and helping to improve its quality. Goldfish can tolerate stagnant water, but all species require flowing water.

A wave maker makes it possible to maintain your tank easier.

Wave Makers help your corals and invertebrates

Corals are living organisms made up small polyps. These critters are unable to move very far, so they can’t hunt for food. Similar problems are faced by other invertebrates. Wave makers can help because they make the water move, which makes them food.

Wave makers may have a special “feeding” mode that increases the power of their wavemakers.

Southeast Asia shrimp in aquarium best fish tank wave maker

Wave Makers Lower Detritus Accumulation

Detritus from cleanings can build up in your aquarium and cause problems. Detritus can build up from food particles, fish waste, coral excrement and other things and cause ammonia or other toxic substances to your fish.

These nasty particles can be prevented by wave makers. You won’t need to clean as often or use as many treatments to reduce dangerous particles.

Wave makers add a nice aesthetic to your aquarium

Wave makers, while not the most important of all, can be a nice addition to your freshwater and saltwater fish tanks.

Wavemakers stimulate fish to swim faster, make decor and plants more swayy, and generally create a natural-looking aquarium environment.

Powerhead vs Wavemaker: What’s the Difference?

You’ll come across a lot of jargon when you shop online for the best saltwater tank nano wave maker or fish-tank wave maker.

If you are an experienced aquarist, you will not be bothered by the terms. However, if you are new to the hobby, it is likely that you will see the terms “pump”, “wavemaker” and “powerhead” used interchangeably as if they were all one thing.

You might wonder if they are the same thing.

Although they look similar, they aren’t the same thing.

This will help you get a better understanding of the situation.

Wave makers : You can combine other devices to create a water pump setup that creates a low-pressure/high volume water flow action. This is how the waves are created. This is the most similar thing to oceans and bays and reefs where you can find saltwater fishes and corals.

Powerheads? On the other hand, ensure that the aquarium water has a steady stream of water movement. This is consistent with freshwater fish and invertebrates’ natural environment.

How to Choose the Best Aquarium Wavemaker for Your Freshwater or Marine Aquarium

When looking for the best fish tank maker for you, there are many things to consider. Every element will have an impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the product that you select, so make sure to compare the options carefully to ensure that you are getting the best one for you.

Tank Size

When shopping for the right wavemaker, one of the most important things you should consider is how many gallons it holds.

Wave makers have a limit on the amount of gallons they can move. This is known as GPH, or gallons per hours. This figure should be considered in your decision-making process.

You’ll waste your money if the wrong wave maker isn’t large enough to move much. A wrong wave maker could be too large and cause too much movement for your small gallon tank.

To help you decide which wavemaker is best for your setup, be sure to look at the recommended gallons and GPH of each wave maker before you buy.

The fish, live plants, and invertebrates you stock

Your decision about what to stock in your aquarium is second and equally important. Because aquatic life has different needs, it is crucial to make the right decision.

LPS corals and soft corals require a tank turnover rate of between 10-20 times an hour. SPS corals require a total tank turnover of 20-40 times an hour.

This means that a 30-gallon reef tank containing mainly LPS needs to have an internal flow rate between 300 and 600 GPH. SPS for the same size tanks requires 600 to 1200 GPH.


firefish needing the best aquarium wave maker

Tank placement

As you begin your product search, another thing to think about is where you will place the wavemaker in your aquarium.

You want water movement in the aquarium, and there should be no dead spots (i.e. You want water movement throughout the aquarium and no “dead spots” (i.e., stagnant areas where water doesn’t move) so make sure your aquarium shape and aquascape are compatible with the aquarium wavemaker.

It is often better to buy two or more smaller wavemakers to place around the tank in different spots than one larger. However, this depends on what might “get in the way of” the movement of the wavemaker.

For a single fish tank, it would be best to have one. However, tanks that contain many corals, plants, decorations, and the like, will likely need several wave makers.

I will also note that multiple wavemakers can be used to allow for precise water movement. Multiple “zones” can be created in your aquarium that have slightly different movement patterns. This will allow for more natural conditions and a better result. This is especially important when your corals age.

Control and Adjustability

A wave maker must be able to control and adjust the flow of water in the tank. This is an important quality. It can take many attempts to achieve the perfect flow, but if your wavemaker doesn’t adjust well, it might not work in your environment.

To create the perfect environment for your aquatic pets, you will need to be able adjust the flow rate, wave height and placement.

The Number of Pumps

You can also check how many pumps you can link to the wavemaker, as you might have multiple devices that require it to function.

Sound Levels

Although aquariums can be beautiful, the wrong equipment can ruin that beauty with its loud, clunky running sounds. Even if your equipment is all quiet, adding another device can add a little more to the murmuring hum.

You want to make sure that the wave maker is quiet enough not to raise that volume too much. To verify that the latest batches aren’t louder than others, it’s best to read reviews written by real users.

What Fishes Need Wave Makers

You can see that not all aquariums require or use wave makers. Some aquariums are better with pumps and powerheads, while others are better with ocean simulating wave makers.

Fish and critters that live in turbulent environments will thrive best when a wavemaker is used. These are invertebrates and fish that don’t move like sponges and corals, as well as high-energy saltwater fish like angelfish and clownfish.

Do some research to find out if your species is compatible with a wavemaker. You can look up their natural environment and determine if they are in fast-moving or slow-moving water environments.

coral best wavemaker


Review of the Best Aquarium Wave Maker

We used our research, personal experience and reviews to decide which wavemakers to recommend.

  • Quiet
  • Highly customizable and easy to adjust
  • We have a variety of sizes that can cover all our needs.
  • High-quality materials
  • Trusted manufacturers (EcoTech and Tetra, Hygger, Hydor to name a few).
  • Overall, high customer satisfaction


#1 Jebao OW Wave Maker


Jebao OW Wave Maker Flow Pump with Controller for Marine Reef Aquarium

The Jebao wave-makers are the most advanced I have ever seen.

They have a solid reputation among customers and reviewers and offer more options and settings than any other model.

The motor was also designed to withstand natural damage in a tank environment.

The new 4-pole impeller design is improved for maximum energy efficiency and water flow.

  • The best place to : Saltwater and reef tanks
  • GPH : Depending on the model, 132 to 5283
  • Mounting type : Magnetic
  • Compatibility : You have a variety of timers and controller options
  • Volume : Very quiet, almost silent

What We Loved

We love the wavemaker and pump for their many flow rates and modes. This allows you to create the ideal environment for fish, corals and other living creatures.

There are eight modes. This includes a one touch feeding mode. This is great for corals or invertebrates that can’t move for more than a 10 minute period.

For ease of use, the device includes a magnetic mount and a wired and wireless remote controller. It is easy to set up the device and press a button anywhere you are within range. You can be sure that it will work as intended.

You can also choose from a range of sizes to ensure that you get the best model for your tank. We didn’t find a model that could be used for nano reef tanks.

It’s almost silent. It’s not only the best device for creating reef waves, but also one of the most silent. It can be used in an aquarium at home, in the office, or anywhere else you require a low volume aquarium.

What We Didn’t Love

We can only see one potential downside to this model. It hasn’t been around for as long as some other models so we don’t know how long it will last. We have high expectations for this model, given that the previous versions were quite durable.

Our Verdict on Jebao Wave Pump with Controller

The Jebao OW is the best option for a reef tank larger than 25 gallons.

It is powerful, versatile, affordable for the number of options and modes you have, and can help you create the best waves in your reef tank.


#2 Hydor Koralia Evolution

Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Circulation Pump


The Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Pump is the ideal combination of powerhead and wavemaker.

This is a trusted maker that offers a great crossflow product and has received great reviews. It’s recommended for everything except nano Reefs. This means it can be used with any type of fish tank.

  • Ideal for : Nothing but nano- and micro-tanks
  • GPH : 500-1500 depending on the model
  • Mountain type : Magnetic suction cups
  • Compatibility : Compatible with many controllers
  • Volume : Quiet

What We Loved

The Hydor circulation pumps – also known as. The Hydor circulation pump – i.e. It is suitable for almost any size tank, except nano reefs or micro fish tanks less than 25 gallons.

You can also choose from four sizes so that you can find the one that best suits your aquarium.

It’s affordable, so anyone can afford it. It’s also of high quality, so it’s well worth the cost.

It’s compatible to wave timers and other controllers, which allows you to create the perfect wave effect for your aquarium. These accessories will make it easier to maintain a natural aquarium environment every day.

Because the pump is small, it can be easily placed anywhere in the tank to produce the water flow effects described above. This makes it a great addition to your aquarium’s aesthetics.

Hydor Koralia Evolution’s energy efficiency also makes it very cost-effective, saving you money. It’s a win-win situation.

This version has been improved over older models so make sure you only order the most recent version.

What We Didn’t Love

This is the only negative that we could find. You will need to choose the right size for your aquarium, as it is available in four sizes.

Many complaints stemmed from people choosing the wrong products. The chart can be used to assist you in making your decision. We recommend it.

Our verdict on the Hydor Koralia Evolution Aquarium Pump Circulation Pump

The Hydor Koralia Evolution circulation pumps is the best choice for aquariums larger than 25 gallons.

You can choose from a variety of water flow rates and sizes, which are available in different model sizes to suit your needs. It also works in freshwater, reef, and marine aquariums , at an affordable cost. It’s also compact and quiet, making it less intrusive.


#3 Hydor Koralia Nano

Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump


For a powerful, but not over-powering, option to make waves in your mini or nano reefs and marine tanks, the Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Pump is your best choice.

It is a trusted brand and made from high-quality materials. It is also super easy to set-up and use for many years.

This is basically the smaller version of the one that we have just discussed, and it offers the same quality.

  • The best place to : Marine and nano reef tanks
  • GPH : Depending on the model, 240 to 565
  • Mounting type : Magnetic suction cups
  • Compatibility : Controllers and most timers
  • Volume : Moderate

What We Loved

We love the Hydor Koralia Nano wavemaker, which is much more powerful than previous models. This powerful power is ideal for certain corals and fish to improve their health and happiness by providing natural water currents in the aquarium and a higher water flow rate.

It’s also compatible with most timers, skimmers and controllers (like Smart Wave) to create perfect flow patterns.

The wavemaker is small and doesn’t interfere with the tank’s aesthetic. You can have multiple wavemakers in a tank by using the same size, so you don’t need to disrupt things.

You will also save money over the life of your wavemaker. This is a great deal!

What We Didn’t Love

There are potential problems with the pump’s vibrations. Although it’s not a major problem, it can be problematic for those living in extremely sensitive environments.

Our verdict on the Hydor Koralia nano Circulation Pump

Hydor’s Koralia Nano Circulation pump is a great product.

This is a great choice for nano tanks and mini reefs. It has enough power to create a natural flow and ebb in your tank for all of its inhabitants.

It is small and easy to use. The magnetic suction cups make it easy to mount. This is a great option for your nano-tank.


#4 Hygger

Hygger Submersible Aquarium Powerhead 2000GPH Fish Tank Wavemaker Circulation Pump for Freshwater Saltwater


Hygger is a trusted brand in fishkeeping. Their submersible aquarium powerhead is a great example of their high quality materials.

This is a high-quality option that offers great features and functions, including a dual-head for super-powered flow and directionality within the aquarium.

  • The best place to : Large aquariums, reef tanks, and marine tanks
  • GPH : Maximum 2000
  • Mounting type : Suction cups
  • Compatibility : Controllers and most timers
  • Volume : Quiet

What We Loved

The Hygger Wavemaker/powerhead is a great two-in-one solution for your saltwater or freshwater aquarium. We recommend it especially for freshwater tanks.

It is ideal for tanks that simulate a natural river environment, such as many South American freshwater tropical fish call their home naturally.

Dual heads allow for greater control over flow and directionality. This is great for creating a natural river flow and mimicking the natural environment.

We love the 360-degree rotation of the dual heads to ensure that you can get the perfect angle and direction for the current.

It is easy to set up and maintain. This is always a win for us.

What We Didn’t Love

The suction cup is the only problem I have seen. Hygger, unlike other brands, uses magnetic suction cups. Some people have experienced issues with their wavemaker sliding a little.

To avoid readingjustment semi-consistently, I suggest finding a better way of attaching the wavemaker to your tank.

Our verdict on the Hygger Submersible Aquarium Powerhead & Wavemaker

The Hygger powerhead and wavemaker are a great combination for freshwater aquariums.

It is extremely powerful and gives you a natural, fast-flowing river feeling. Although it’s simple to use and attach, I recommend a better method than the suction cup that comes with it. It leaves a lot to be desired.