The Best Aquarium Powerheads to Take Better Care of Your Fish

If you have consumed a considerable amount of time determining the most gilt edge filter media to utilize for your aquarium and if you want to ensure that the water chemistry is balanced, but it seems it is hard to point out why your aquarium is not flourishing, then probably something is lacking.

It is worth noting that finding the best aquarium powerhead for your fish tank could provide a number of benefits for your corals, finned friends, and plants. Obviously, this is the reason why it is critical to invest in a top-quality powerhead that could practically match your specific requirements and preference.

For a fact, people who are new to aquarium keeping aren't searching for devices that would only put their hard-earned money to waste, and those who are keeping tanks that come in larger sizes incessantly look for devices that they could rely on for many years. That said, purchasing one must not be taken lightly.

Buyers often make a mistake by assuming all aquarium powerheads are the same. Sadly, these products can differ significantly depending on various factors. Here’s a quick overview of a few to give you a starting point for your search:

  • Size: Buyers must choose a powerhead for aquariums that meshes with their setup. You’ll want a powerhead capable of ensuring the current can reach all four sides of your aquarium.
  • Flow Rate: A powerhead’s flow rate will be rated in GPH (gallons per hour). The general rule is your powerhead’s GPH must be at least four times your tank’s capacity. If it’s not, the powerhead won’t be able to do its job efficiently.
  • Brand and Warranty: Only select a powerhead after researching the brand's reputation and warranty policies. Otherwise, you may choose a cheap, ineffective powerhead for fish tank aquariums that don’t come close to meeting your expectations.

As you can see, taking all these vital factors into consideration, it makes it even more valuable to check out the comprehensive powerhead reviews below to see which one possesses the most reliable and functional features and which one can top-tier deliver satisfying performance.

Best Overall


Hydor Koralia Aquarium Pump

✔ Setup was painless
✔ Allow effortless positioning
✔ Reliable and compact design


Premium Choice


Marineland Pump for Aquariums

✔ More energy efficient
✔ Come with 3 pumps in 1
✔ Can be practically utilized as a filter or pump


Editor’s Choice


Aquaneat Powerhead Submersible

✔ Does efficient job at pumping, replacing
✔ Applicable for both saltwater and freshwater
✔ Very portable and easy to utilize


Most Trusted Aquarium Powerhead Reviews 2023

1. Hydor Koralia Aquarium Pump


Do you find shopping for the smallest aquarium powerhead a pain in the butt? This will be solved if you're going to do some research about the right product for you. This pump can promise a generous amount of water movement even though it is built with a tiny impeller. As compared to other versions, this is smooth sailing to position and utilize.

Without question, this device is a nice addition to the tank not only because of its aesthetic contribution but more because of the many favors that it could bring to aquarium occupants. You'll love its way of creating wonderful and gentle waves from one edge of the aquarium to the other.

You need to beware of the fact that this unit can be too powerful, so extra caution when using it is highly advised. Plus, you may need to master the skill of controlling this device's speed.

  • Most preferred for its reliable and compact design
  • Risk-free to utilize even with wave timers
  • Can guarantee low power usage and higher rates of flow unlike former versions
  • Setup was painless
  • Equipped with magnetic suction cup support that allows effortless positioning
  • Regulating the speed may be a little challenging
  • Can be too powerful
Without reserve, this aquarium pump isn't a waste of money at all; you can fully bank on its solid circulation abilities, compactness, silent operation and capability to supply impressive flow and excellent flow patterns that would amuse you and your aquarium inhabitants. It can be installed in minutes and position it anywhere in the tank without any struggle.

2. Marineland Pump for Aquariums


This powerhead for a saltwater aquarium is a kind of investment that you won't lament about. You can utilize it as a pump or a filter; it does not consume more energy, it can ensure versatile functions and this is the type of device that could offer a 3-in-1 type of service that would surely meet your needs and expectations. Furthermore, this unit is no trouble to clean, maintain and store.

There are a few minor shortcomings to expect though if you decide to go for this brand. First its lack of magnetic attachment and the other one is the irking noise you can hear when it starts to operate. If you're okay with these, then there is nothing to be upset about.

  • Most preferred due to its fully versatile pump available
  • Can be practically utilized as a filter or pump
  • More energy efficient as compared to previous models
  • Economical choice because it comes with 3 pumps in 1
  • Capable of forming stunning and balanced water flow in an aquarium
  • Lack of magnetic attachment
  • Produces annoying sounds when working
Reading more about this device, you can uncover that it is the top-quality pick for anyone looking for a powerful powerhead. It will definitely execute a thumbs-up job at mixing saltwater for your tank. If it has been your dream to supply an appealing and well-balanced flow of water inside the tank, then search no further because this is the most trusted partner you can lean on. And, there is no need to spend lots of dollars for a high-quality aquarium pump.

3. Aquaneat Powerhead Submersible


This fish tank powerhead is a good piece of equipment. It is equipped with sturdy suction cups that are detachable and easy to utilize. As compared to other fish tank pump models, this can promise sound-free operation and it could faultlessly fit below the gravel lift tube. You can take pleasure in watching low and gentle current that pushes the water over the tank heaters.

Apart from all these, many fish tank keepers prefer this version because of its portability which makes it easy to utilize in distinct tanks. It has the capability to stay in place, stick to the side and does a fantastic job at maneuvering generous amounts of water. This is furnished with an aerator tube that creates plenty of impressive bubbles.

Likewise, if you have a 40-gallon tank, then this is a superb choice for you to mull over. However, take in mind that it is necessary to clean the basket filter. This is to keep the unit clean and not prone to clogging. Hence, in so doing, you can prolong its satisfying service.

Howbeit, this aquarium powerhead comes with low power and limited lift. In line with this, there is a need for you to purchase the blue hose separately as this won't be included in the package once bought.

  • Helpful device guarantees a healthy and harmless habitat for your fish and plants
  • Already includes suction cups, aeration tubing, pump and strainer once purchased
  • Can be applicable for both saltwater and freshwater use
  • Does efficient job at pumping, replacing, aerating and circulating water in the tank
  • Very portable and easy to utilize
  • Blue hose should be bought separately
  • Low power and limited lift
This aquarium powerhead is worth a try. It already comes complete when you purchase it. You only need to buy the blue hose separately, but other vital accessories are already included in the package. This is unbeatable when it comes to replacing, circulating, aerating and pumping tank water. You'll like its ease of use and operation and the fact that it is portable which implies it can be used in many different types of tanks.

4. SUNSUN JVP Series Powerhead Pump


If you are a very devoted aquarium keeper, for sure, it is your main purpose to provide a healthy and safe hub for your aquatic pets. This powerhead is designed with articulating ball joint located in the pump and is the one in charge of controlling the movement of water at a 360-degree angle. Basically, this allows the water to flow gently in all ends of the aquarium.

It is interesting to note that this 360 movement can supply the recommended oxygen for fish and plants to thrive in the tank. This can create a kind of environment for them that is similar to that of the ocean. Additionally, it aids to keep the tank water clear of any impurities and your aquatic pets can enjoy a healthy and dirt-free habitat.

Take into account that this powerhead is slightly bulky and since it comes with frail propellers, it has the possibility not to combat long periods of consumption.

  • 360 movement supplies the needed oxygen for aquarium dwellers
  • One of the less costly options on the market today
  • Supports free flow of water in all the edges of the aquarium
  • Keeps residues and filth from getting stuck on the tank's surface
  • Highly recommended for saltwater tanks that come with larger sizes
  • May not withstand long period of usage
  • Slightly bulky
Delving into the unique features and functions of this pump, you will recognize the fact that it is a nice choice that would benefit you and your aquarium occupants. It does not spoil your budget and the favors you can get if you purchase it are definitely practical and worthwhile.

5. Aqueon Aquarium Circulation Pump


This powerhead can provide satisfying service or performance for both saltwater and freshwater tanks. It can perform superbly without the need to consume more energy. Thus, this is a very cost-effective option that you can check out if you are on a budget.

It is elating to note that this is one great means to provide your aquatic pets with a kind of dwelling spot where they could enjoy swimming and play around. And, it does not have to be very expensive.

Not the less, this aquarium pump's mounting ball seems cheaply built so it has the possibility to get damaged instantly. Also, the product description appears to be a little inaccurate. These are minor glitches for you to inspect before getting one.

  • Designed with power-saving motor and its impellor aids in bolstering movement of water
  • Mimics reef currents and a natural river by supplying consistent water circulation
  • Equipped with easy lock suction cup that tightly holds the pump
  • Comes in a total of 6 distinct sizes for you to select from
  • Highly practical to use for aquariums containing 75 by up to 125 gallons of water
  • Product description is slightly imprecise
  • Mounting ball easily gets damaged
It cannot be denied that this aquarium pump is an economical yet very practical choice if you wish to create a river-like habitat for your finned buddies. It does not fail when it comes to supplying oxygen and circulating water in the aquarium. Setting it up is not a problem; you can also instantly take it apart and clean it to avoid any clog or dirt from impairing its maximum performance.

6. Aqua Clear 50 Powerhead


It is given that purchasing the best aquarium powerhead is not a fun-filled task to handle. Luckily, this pump from Aqua Clear won't add more to your suffering. It is highly useful for smaller tanks and it's also ideal for fish that do not especially require much filtration.

What is more, this exquisite pump for filters can work efficiently below the gravel; it can assist in aerating and maneuvering the tank water and can also top-tier different support filters. And, the most important thing about it is that it can be utilized to boost the level of oxygen in the water in the event you decide to add more fish.

Fundamentally, this unit significantly aids in medicating ailment if your fish gets ill and this has been highly evaluated in all fields such as innovation, design as well as safety. You'll certainly like its energy-efficient and compact feature too. As you can see, it does not only circulate the water at healthy levels, but it could also execute some wonders that are beneficial to your aquarium pets.

However, while this aquarium powerhead comes with a number of top-notch features, two of the drawbacks that you need to keep an eye on it are its unpleasant reverse flow capacity and its offered warranty is not fully supported by the manufacturer.

  • Can supply more powerful currents and steady output over time
  • Does an excellent job at enhancing water flow and bolsters its filtering effectiveness
  • Can promise noise-free operation
  • Comes with a maximum flow rate of 270 gallons per hour
  • Guarantees the much-needed safety in mechanical filtration
  • Unreliable warranty
  • Reverse flow is unsatisfactorily
In a nutshell, this aquarium powerhead is worth buying. In reality, it is recognized for being one of the first-rate submersible powerheads on the market at present. It is efficient at oxygenating the water which results in healthier and livelier fish inside the aquarium. This is equipped with a reliable suction cup that enables users to set it up wherever they want it in the tank. And, this device won't waste of your money as it could help keep the water clear and safe for your aquatic pets to reproduce.

7. SUNSUN JP Aquarium Power Head


If you dream of benefitting from very precise flow and a pump that won't blow all over the place and would only blow in specific spots you point it to, then this is the option that you should not miss out. Aside from the many perks, it can provide to your fish and plants; this will also add more aesthetics and appeal to the entire appearance of your aquarium.

By the same token, this pump works as advertised. It is a certified premium quality powerhead that is priced affordably so it could fit any budget. This can actually function more exceptionally as compared to a sponge filter in planted tanks since it can auspiciously circulate water and eliminate residues and other filth.

Basically, there are lots of practical features to love about this brand. It is equipped with an exhaust port that also rotates so users can possibly disperse at varied angles in order to maximize water circulation. Since it guarantees healthy water circulation in the tank, your finned buddies and aquatic plants remain safe and healthy as well.

If you're going to think deeply, you'll realize that this is a very helpful device that you can offer your most treasured aquarium pets and plants. It is also a very wise investment that you can ever imagine.

Still and all, a few of the minus points for this aquarium pump are its poor quality plastic material and the extension hose being slightly challenging to attach. Thus, if these are serious issues for you, then this won't be your perfect match.

  • Can produce generous amount of power
  • Good at shredding bubbles up and can ensure fabulous flow all through the aquarium
  • Safe for use for both freshwater and saltwater tanks made possible by its durable build
  • Well-made and priced right
  • Comes with reliable and durable suction cup
  • Low quality plastic material
  • Attaching the extension hose can be tricky
Overall, this is the top-rated bang for the money. It is capable of performing outstandingly just like more expensive brands. This powerhead is powerful, so extra caution is advised when using it specifically if you are keeping a smaller tank. It comes with sturdy construction except for the plastic material; anyhow, it can last for a longer period of usage.

8. Odyssea EX Powerhead Pump


This piece of equipment is actually the topmost option among aquarium hobbyists who prefer a device that can perform at its best yet does not hurt your pocket. Needless to say, it is absolutely important that water moves on all edges of the tank and this is precisely what this unit does.

Also, air and water circulation is the top drawer and this is made successfully by its reliable air pump and filter. This only conveys that not only you but your aquarium inhabitants will fall in love with this powerhead. It is really nice to invest in a piece of equipment that is not limited to only one function.

Take in mind that this unit ensures 350 gallons per hour flow rate which makes it highly ideal for fish tanks that contain 60 gallons of water. And, the most suitable feature that you will be amazed at is its capability to be utilized as a separate internal filter or pump since it operates in both ways.

But, please be guided that since this pump seems to be made with frail construction materials, it is necessary to handle and use it with extra caution. Otherwise, you won't be able to prolong its sterling performance.

  • Pump could be paired with alternative filter cone to immediately convert it into a filter
  • Can guarantee noise-free, dependable and powerful performance
  • Highly recommended for aquariums that contain 60 gallons of water
  • Won't cause any water circulation disturbance
  • Famous for being one of the most power-saving filters you can find
  • May not last for a long period of time
  • Requires extra care when setting it up
Right to it, if you wish for an undisrupted water circulation function, then this powerhead won't leave you dismayed. Should you prefer to convert it briskly into a filter, you can possibly execute this by pairing it with an alternative filter cone. However, you need to purchase the filter cone separately. This is a wise option in that it is not limited to only one function. Remind yourself to handle this device with extra care if you wish to utilize it for a longer period of time.

Outdated Products

Aquaneat Powerhead Submersible Aquarium Water Pump Hydroponics (Outdated)


It is high time to end your agony in looking for A1 powerheads for reef tanks. This model will finally provide you with the solution you have long been aiming for when it comes to replacing, circulating, pumping or aerating your tank water. It matters to strictly follow the installation directions to ensure a successful fish tank pump setup.

You can save more money if you invest in this form of equipment because it already includes nearly all the needed accessories to ensure the top-rated possible environment for your aquarium dwellers. The package comes complete with durable suction cups, a reliable filter basket and an air tube that are quite indispensable in installing the pump into the tank.

All the same, this aquarium pump makes it a little difficult to adjust the flow. And, it seems that this unit does not perfectly match the inlet tube for the under-gravel filter. These are the minor gripes that you need to deal with if you invest in this powerhead.

  • Highly advantageous for both freshwater and saltwater tanks
  • Great deal for the price
  • Does a valuable role in keeping a safe, healthy and natural-like environment for aquarium occupants
  • Comes with the necessary accessories once bought
  • Can supply amazingly strong water flow
  • No way to adjust flow
  • Does not match the inlet tube for under gravel filter

On the button, it is just right to keep your aquarium pets healthy, safe and blissful. And, you can only do this if you're able to purchase a device that will help you aerate, replace, pump and circulate the tank water properly. As you know, these are a must-do because these are effective approaches to keeping a clean and safe ocean-like habitat for various fish and plants dwelling in the tank. Luckily, this unit is multifunctional, yet it is reasonably priced. See to it that it is fully submerged in water when operating it to prevent it from getting damaged and to maximize its potential.

This unit has the tendency to be a little intricate to adjust and you need to check out the inlet tube for under gravel filter because this appears to be not a good fit for the device. Besides these cons, all is well with this powerhead brand.

KEDSUM 1850GPH Aquarium Circulation Pump (Outdated)


This aquarium powerhead is impressive in that it can excellently form natural water flow and can promise noiseless operation. It is delightful to watch how capable it is in maneuvering some water and it is equipped with decent-sized cord unlike other models out there.

Withal, the suction cup is no sweat to utilize and is capable of providing a stronghold. Aside from ensuring proper water circulation, it helps eliminate unconsumed fish food, residue and other dirt inside the tank. This paves the way for a cleaner, safer and fresher hub for your aquarium pets and plants.

Regardless, keep in mind that this unit comes with an unsatisfactory mount mechanism. In addition to this, the suction base may truly need some enhancement for it not to fail. These downsides must be seriously looked into before the final decision. But, you'll unveil that the pros surpass the cons; as a result, there is nothing to worry about.

  • Can support higher flow rate for both freshwater and saltwater tanks
  • Recognized for powerful suction
  • Reliable to utilize and highly acclaimed for quiet operation mode
  • Enable full flow of water directions to each edge of the tank
  • Helps make water waves and flow more efficiently
  • Suction base requires some improvement
  • Terrible mount mechanism
Whether you're looking for a freshwater or saltwater powerhead, this model will meet your requirements and satisfy your expectations. The reasons why this can give you back the real worth of your bucks are its efficient oxygen dissolution capability, quiet operation, and ease of setup, energy-saving and reliable performance.

Cobalt Aquatics Multi-Purpose Powerhead (Outdated)

Cobalt Aquatics Multi Purpose Powerhead

It is not surprising why this brand is touted as one of the top-tier aquarium circulation pumps these days. This is proudly built with a very sturdy impeller system that is adept at warding off pebbles, dust, sand and other particulates from impairing the pump and fins of the device.

Also, unlike other powerheads out there, this does not generate loud sounds while operating that may disturb you and scare your finned friends away. As a matter of fact, this is renowned for being one of the most dependable and noise-free aquarium pumps sold on the market today. It is also supported by a three-year warranty.

Many aquarists prefer this pump precisely because it is created with completely sealed absorption capability and secure mounting. Basically, it is furnished with a triple suction cup mount that allows the MJ to remain secured and at the same time, it can provide high lift and vigorous power. This can be utilized internally or externally and it is all thanks to its completely sealed absorption feature.

For all that, this pump does not come with straightforward instructions, so setting it up makes you guess at first. And, the water flow appears to be not adjustable.

  • Comes with completely sealed absorption feature to enable superb external as well as internal usage
  • Can be customized for multiple functions and is designed to be completely rotational
  • Equipped with triple suction cup mount
  • Reliable to utilize and does not produce any irking noise while working
  • Built with distinctively sturdy impeller system
  • Water flow seems not adjustable
  • Doesn't come with clear and detailed assembly instructions

All in all, if you are searching for a powerhead that is dependable to use and does not produce much noise while functioning, this is the ideal choice for you. It is amazing in enhancing tank water circulation and you'll love seeing your aquarium pets enjoy the strong current that this device generates. It can stunningly mimic a natural habitat for various fish species and aquatic plants.

Additionally, circulation aids in getting rid of residues in the filter intake. It makes it easier to adjust the flow of air so you can form plenty of bubbles or if you prefer no bubbles, it is also easily done. The bubbles it forms are quite fine which adds beauty to the entire tank.

Marineland Penguin Submersible Power Head Pump (Outdated)


It is good news to know that this Marineland powerhead is one of the most reasonably priced aquarium pumps available to date. And, it is actually a brainer to see the reasons behind this recognition. Many smart aquarium owners choose this brand because it is loaded with prominent features that are really satisfying.

Furthermore, this device does a great job of alleviating filth and it encourages better health conditions for your aquatic pets. This version comes with more secure mounting design alternatives that make it a favorite to both newbies and pros in the aquarium-keeping world.

This unit is safe and reliable to utilize and it won't in any manner disturb you or your aquarium pets while it's working because it can ensure silent operation mode. It does not only circulate the tank water properly, but it is also adept at reducing the cases of dirt, particulates and droppings from getting stranded. This will be a great choice if you would like to regulate the airflow in the tank.

Nonetheless, this aquarium pump does not come with the capability to ensure much power. Besides, it is not constructed with a sponge-type filter. These negative sides do not affect the fact that this model is a practical option though.

  • Dependable, risk-free and noise-free to utilize
  • Capable of standardizing the flow of air
  • Known for being one of the highly trusted and powerful pumps
  • Great value of the price
  • Can help minimize dust and other residues from getting stuck
  • Incapable of ensuring much power
  • Not built with a sponge-type filter
To conclude, there is no reason for you to search further if you are shopping for an aquarium pump that guarantees proper water circulation in the aquarium. This is also good at getting rid of any dirt or algae accumulation in the tank so your aquarium pets and plants can remain safe, healthy and happy. Indeed, it is definitely a smart purchase for the price especially if you opt for a fish tank pump that won't let you down. While there are newer and more efficient pump systems out there, this is one of the unparalleled versions to spend in.

What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Powerhead


Before you make the final powerhead shopping, it is highly suggested to take the following buying guides into account first:

The size of your aquarium tank. Tanks that come in larger sizes especially require a strong powerhead. Truth is, this is an efficient means to get residues and droppings out of the edges and to the filter.

Note that if your aquarium contains 100 gallons of water or beyond, then more than one powerhead is necessary to ensure that the current will be able to reach all four edges of your aquarium.

The kind of fish tank you are currently keeping. It is worth mentioning that a planted tank or a freshwater aquarium won't utilize the same powerhead that is suitable for the reef tank.

This is the reason why the type of tank you keep will have a significant impact on your decision.

The flow rate of water. Generally speaking, powerheads are measured by the number of times the water in the fish tank is circulated per hour. This is rated in GPH (gallons per hour).

How rapid you need the turnover to considerably rely on what you have in your fish tank and the number of gallons it contains. Apart from this, be reminded that it is necessary to reassess the tank flow since your fish tank grows and expands.

Levels of sound. It cannot be denied that one of the common problems with fish tanks is the noise level. If you have a filter or a heater, then you may be having second thoughts about adding a powerhead.

In reality, these are created to be submerged in the tank; the noise is typically suppressed; however, it matters to ensure that the device you get comes with positive reviews in terms of the noise level. For sure, you don't wish to scare your fish away or get disturbed by irking noise coming from the tank.

Warranty. Various powerhead brands offer different warranties. It is nice to get a device that is backed up by a good warranty just in case there will be some issues in the future.

Ease of installation and convenience of operation. Needless to say, we prefer devices that won't give us a headache as we set them up. Thus, check out if the model of your choice is a piece of cake to assemble and does not come with the intricate operation.

Other Important Factors To Consider


What is an aquarium powerhead? How does it work?

Powerheads used for aquariums refer to water pumps that work fully submerged in the tank and their main objective is to ensure proper water circulation in the aquarium.

These are generally utilized to form proper or healthy water flow all throughout the aquarium.

So, if you have suitable filters in your aquarium but insufficient water circulation, then your tank won't be able to get all the full benefits. And, in order to solve this, the most practical approach is to utilize a fish tank powerhead.

Powerheads work by ensuring the water circulation is efficiently kept all through the entire aquarium.

Please be guided that this device is not a filter and won't in any manner medicate the water. It is a pump that is especially intended to be positioned underwater in order to ensure that the water is moving properly inside the tank.

What are the different types of aquarium powerheads?

Powerheads also known as submersible pumps are purposely created for tropical aquariums or reef tanks. In addition to this, these are not merely sources of water movement but also help in sustaining the overall health of the aquarium.

Moreover, they are deemed as very important devices that an aquarium owner must get for his tank because they work efficiently in directing the flow of water and greatly aid in keeping residues and other forms of dirt off the underneath section of the tank.

And, by using this unit, a directed internal flow of water becomes a breeze to obtain.

Here are the distinct types of aquarium powerheads:

Jet Stream Powerhead. This is known for being the standard choice in fish tank building. It forms a specific course of water that delivers a very potent current. Indeed, it is actually popular for its versatility and it is commonly less pricey.

Propeller Powerhead. This device utilizes a propeller that is responsible for producing its power and circulating the water around it. It is regarded as the most typical type of powerhead and it consumes less energy. It can maneuver huge volumes of water with low velocity in the background of the movement.

This is a very well-known option mainly because it has the capability to produce natural water flow. It is identical to a marine movement through reefs and this is made possible by its low velocity.

Cross-Flow Powerhead. This type of powerhead is capable of delivering a number of flow patterns that are quite distinctive to each powerhead. And, it is engrossing to know that it can offer a new set of perks that other types can't provide.

In essence, the several flow patterns immensely aid residues floating through the aquarium in a more natural mode with different variations instead of just a single course.

Why do you need a powerhead for aquarium? (Benefits)

Aquarium powerheads are very important devices for you to invest in if you are keeping a fish tank because the functions it can deliver are quite advantageous for you and your aquarium pets. Some of the benefits that come with them consist of the following:

  • The more your aquarium water is filtered and circulated; the more excellent the quality of water is in the tank.
  • The current and movement of water provided by this unit is a great source of exercise for your finned friends.
  • Such a device provides the much-needed oxygenation and water circulation in the tank – this actually does a more efficient and valuable job as compared to bubbles from air stones.
  • This does a superb job at keeping droppings and residues and other tank waste from getting stranded on the tanks underneath the section. Such particulates are suspended and circulated and this enables them to be filtered out by means of a mechanical filter.
  • It has the capability to impede the accumulation of algae and other bacteria-causing agents.
  • Powerheads remarkably help improve the overall wellness of your aquarium pets and plants. Water circulating over your finned friend’s aids in encouraging their activities, carrying oxygen to them, bringing food to static tank creatures and the like.

It is critical to learn more about the fish and other creatures that you are picking for your fish tank. There are some anemones or corals that do not thrive in high current locations; on the other hand; there are others that could survive well in strong currents. Make sure that you place them properly in your aquarium.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is the water flow rate important?

The water flow rate is essential to keeping fish healthy and happy in aquariums. After all, this measurement allows us to keep track of the tank’s current. You can then use it to create a more similar environment to your fish’s natural habitat.

For instance, Bettas struggle to swim in heavy currents. So owners would adjust the powerhead's flow rate to fine-tune the tank's current to a more Betta-friendly pace. They can then adapt and enjoy the tank like it’s no different from their natural environment.

Can a powerhead be used instead of a filter?

Powerheads for saltwater tanks or freshwater aquariums shouldn’t be considered filter substitutes. Instead, these devices help improve water circulation throughout a tank to encourage a better living situation. So buyers should look at them as accessories to filters rather than being interchangeable.

I also must note that powerheads don’t utilize filter media by themselves. A powerhead’s performance only has one purpose: ensuring water circulates better. Therefore, it would be precarious if left inside a tank without a traditional filtration system.

How long do aquarium powerheads last?

The longevity of an aquarium powerhead will depend on its construction. For instance, a budget powerhead will become useless much quicker than an expensive one. Most cheap or mini options only provide about two years of performance in the best-case scenario.

However, an expensive one can reach a decade before needing a replacement. It’s why I feel good about shelling out a bit more money to use one in my nano reef tank. An excellent example would be the Hydor Korilla Powerhead Circulation Pump mentioned earlier in this article.

What size powerhead do I need for my aquarium?

Choosing a powerhead’s size is about the relationship between its GPH flow rate and your tank’s capacity. In simplest terms, the powerhead’s GPH must be at least four times more than the capacity. Here’s a table to provide some better context:

Tank Capacity (gallons)Powerhead GPH Flow Rate
10-gallon tankAt least 40 GPH
20-gallon tankAt least 80 GPH
75-gallon tankAt least 300 GPH
125-gallon tankAt least 500 GPH

So if you stick with the above guideline, there shouldn’t be an issue. I’d still look at the manufacturer’s recommendations and reviews for each powerhead. But generally, this rule will be more than enough to help you choose a suitable option.

What are the most trusted aquarium powerhead brands?

There are limitless powerhead brands available in local fish or pet stores and online shopping sites; however, not all of them are reliable and functional enough to meet your requirements and satisfy your expectations.

So, to give you an idea of today's most credible and preferred powerhead brands, here are a few of them:

  • Hydor
  • Aqueon
  • Marineland
  • Cobalt Aquatics
  • Aquaneat

Aquarium Circulation Pump vs. Powerhead: What is the difference?

Circulation pumps work to circulate water in fish tanks. As you might already know, without proper water circulation in the aquariums, there is a greater likelihood of hazardous effects like an inadequate supply of oxygen for your aquatic pets and plants.

When you set up a circulation pump in the aquarium, this aids in minimizing the need for cleaning it more often through circulating the water around and this also supplies the needed catalyst for most filters to operate accordingly.

On the other hand, an aquarium powerhead is a type of water pump that is fully submersed into a fish tank so it could keep the water in the aquarium moving.

Moreover, this is the one responsible for forming a wonderful underwater current that circulates the water around the aquariums and induces the heaters to heat all the water. This is advantageous in that the current will provide your finned friends something that they can swim against.

What powerhead size do I need for aquarium?

For aquariums that contain less than 20 gallons of water, one large enough powerhead will be fine to execute the job. The aquarium is tiny enough that you could utilize all the edges and walls to regulate the flow since the current will have sufficient force behind it from the powerhead to keep on circulating.

Be that as it may, tanks that come in larger sizes may call for several pumps since the force from a single one would merely be capable of maneuvering the water in a tiny portion of the aquarium.

Where to mount?

For fish tanks that come in smaller sizes such as those below 80 liters, a larger powerhead can be utilized. You can utilize two smaller powerheads and position them at the opposite ends of your fish tank.

Meanwhile, if you have fish tanks that come in medium to large sizes, you can utilize multiple powerheads at different and adverse positions surrounding the fish tank.

If you keep an extra-large tank, it is advised to utilize as many as you think is needed to obtain the water circulation you especially require. These devices are not laborious to install since you only need to hang or mount them on the side or back walls of a fish tank.

How to install and use?

Setting up the powerhead slightly differs hinging on the version that you have chosen; however, the basic installation includes the following:

  • Check if the powerhead does not come with damage or any form of crack.
  • The power cord should be away from the water. It should be safe from splashing or water won't run down the cord to the plug. Take into consideration that it is unsafe to utilize a powerhead with an extension cord.
  • Put the powerhead in the aquarium. Since this is purposely constructed to be submerged in the tank, see to it that it is totally positioned underwater. When the placement is already settled, you may now begin to plug the device into the outlet.

Bear in mind that it is essential to keep the plug dry and make certain that it is plugged directly into the wall. Carefully inspect that the power cord is safely placed so nobody can trip over it. Then, you're done!

How to care & clean?

To ensure superb powerhead performance, it is imperative to keep it clean and properly maintained and safely stored if not in use.

Here are the guides on how to clean, maintain and store an aquarium powerhead:

  • Unplug the pump and lift it off from the tank. Remove the front casing so you can access the device's impeller. Pull out the impeller from the shaft. You can disassemble it to check all other components thoroughly.
  • Soak all the components in a cleaning solution. Do this with extra caution. Soak the powerhead for a few hours or if you're using vinegar solution, it is best to soak it overnight. This is to eliminate all the calcium buildup.

If there are serious calcareous deposits, then an acidic cleaning solution is really needed to get rid of the tough buildup surely. Please be reminded that if you use standard white distilled vinegar, make sure to wash off the pump quite well when finished.

Whatever cleaning solution you decide to utilize for your powerhead, thorough rinsing is a must.

  • Finally, re-install the device. Make it a point that the impeller shaft is appropriately fixed prior to supplying power.
  • If not in use, put it back in a box and store it in a safe place for future use.

Where to buy?

Aquarium powerheads are fortunately not a pain in the neck to look for. In point of fact, these can be purchased in local pet or fish stores in your current place.

But, if you prefer to use the internet to shop for various powerhead brands, then you may browse PetSmart, eBay, Lowes, Amazon, PetCo, Walmart, and other reputable shopping sites on the web that many smart aquarium keepers patronize.

What is the warranty?

Different powerhead brands generally offer distinct warranties. You can check with the manufacturer about the kind of warranty they provide. In general, some firms offer replacement parts, a 30-day money-back guarantee program, or 2-year warranties. Surprisingly, some even offer a lifetime warranty. But, take note that these usually come with a few conditions to consider.

How to repair an aquarium powerhead?

Aquarium powerheads get damaged or stop working at times because the impeller is filled with debris or other particles or something is stuck on it. To fix it, gently get it apart, then thoroughly clean and remove any dirt and wash the impeller off and the casing.

Afterward, re-install it, submerge it in tank water again and it will begin to restart. If it still does not work, have it checked by an expert as it might need replacement.


To sum things up, now that you have learned how functional the best aquarium powerhead is, the next thing you need to consider is picking the right model that could cater to your specific needs. Observing and evaluating all the product reviews aforesaid, you have uncovered that they commonly come in different features, functions and prices. In general, this is where you base your final purchase decision.

As also discussed in this article, powerheads are very practical for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. They are precisely designed to create water movement that does not emerge naturally in fish tanks. Hence, these are not insignificant investments, as a matter of fact, these would be favorable for you and for your aquarium pets.

Now that you are well aware of how indispensable an appropriate filtration system is for an aquarium, by installing the right powerhead, you can rest assured that your fish tank will be the safest, happiest and healthiest habitat for your finned buddies, coral and aquatic plants.

Lastly, with lots of options that you can choose from, see to it to consider the product reviews and buy guides exhaustively tackled in this article first so you can ensure that you can certainly get what you pay for!