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I take into consideration

glass thickness (smaller ones may not have magnet strength on thicker tanks)

budget (vortechs are awesome, but not if you only have $100 to play with)

hardscape (sometimes best to use 3 to move water around rockwork, rather than one to blast the surface)

reliability ( can you get parts ~ for example a grey imported MP40 is basically a paper weight if something breaks, even though they are usually super reliable. Many cheaper brands have no spares available, and usually start to rattle with use. If you cant buy a spare impellor at time of purchase........ that can be a worrying sign)

heat generation (some run hot)

power use (an aquael 2600, only uses 4 watts. You could run 10 for the same power cost as one of some cheaper brands)

looks (how important is it that its as small as possible)

silence (eg hydors use lots of rubber and special impellor tech to make them silent)

function (are you using it for oxygenation, or particulate gyre style collection)

biotype (are you recreating a reef crest ecosystem, or a chilled out lagoon)

species (are you keeping betta or trout)


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They are good solid and reliable, so long term they represent great value, just short term they cost, but you get what you pay for.

I have ordered the new wavemakers and electronic pumps and due to show up tomorrow.

I have used their Nanostreams in the fishroom and can not fault them. Treat em nasty and they just go and go and go. They are rock solid gear. Have not had one issue but when you see how they are made you understand why they are not cheap but you get the quality and reliability and from having them that is why we are happy to stock them.

You can call me bias - maybe I am, but I was happy with them before we were stocking them and now.

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