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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Are wave maker dangerous for smaller fish in the aquarium getting sucked in?





I have one of these and have only been running it for hour but it seem like it has a flowrate of around 500+ GPH and it seem that a small fish might be able to get sucked in.

Does anyone know if this is an issue?

Thanks
 

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Hmm I have killed a snail and a couple of fishies with oversized powerheads. I now use multiple powerheads with lower GPH rating. This stopped the unwanted deaths
 

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I've asked a similar question before about circulation pumps ("wave makers") and it was said that fish, shrimp, snails, etc can get sucked up, running through the propeller. So yea, it can be dangerous.

I decided to just stick with powerheads that I just mount prefilters on so no fish get sucked into the impeller. They don't circulate water as effectively, but they can still get the job done, while being easier to make them safe for small livestock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmm I have killed a snail and a couple of fishies with oversized powerheads. I now use multiple powerheads with lower GPH rating. This stopped the unwanted deaths
How did they die? Just stress from too much water flow or did they get sucked into the propeller/impeller??
 

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In addition to the potential for fish getting pulled into a powerhead is the stress of constantly swimming in the current. Many well meaning hobbyists create currents because the fish they have live in streams in the wild...not realizing that their tank raised fish never faced such extreme conditions. Imagine if you suddenly had to run day and night to keep from being swept away!
Clearly we need good circulation, but caution is required and if you do add powerheeads, be sure to provide still areas behind hardscape so the poor fish get to rest. Another option is to put such devices on a timer so they're off at night.
 

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One caution to be taken with Wave Makers are once turned off, the curious poor fish or snail will sneak inside the impeller to chill and the rest you can figure out.
This is the most common case scenario I have read about wave makers and which made me stay from those. Its a Blender inside your tank.
 

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I have used 2 wavemakers for 10 months, and have never had a fish sucked in, I always check inside after I turn them off, but never have I had anything get sucked in. the only fish that got sucked in was a dying neon tetra
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
One caution to be taken with Wave Makers are once turned off, the curious poor fish or snail will sneak inside the impeller to chill and the rest you can figure out.
This is the most common case scenario I have read about wave makers and which made me stay from those. Its a Blender inside your tank.
Maybe they are better with larger fish in a salt water tank or something. I think I have too many smaller fish which would be easily sucked in. I am going to stay away from these and maybe look at just running the canister filter and air stone.

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In my case they got sucked in on the powerhead side; I couldve probably saved the snail, didnt see him stuck to the side in time :(
 

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I have a Hydor Koralia 240 in a 29g tank. The smallest fish are Cardinal Tetras. Also have Amano shrimp and plenty of snails. I've never had any issues. The openings are too small for a cardinal to get into. The fish do have plenty of plants to get into if the current is too much for them, although they don't seem to mind it.
 

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One caution to be taken with Wave Makers are once turned off, the curious poor fish or snail will sneak inside the impeller to chill and the rest you can figure out.
This is the most common case scenario I have read about wave makers and which made me stay from those. Its a Blender inside your tank.
This is the real danger. If I shut the pump off for any reason I always make sure to shake it out before restarting. But for normal operation a foam prefilter sleeve pretty much eliminates the concern of small livestock being sucked in.
 

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Better safe than be sorry.

I lost one of my breeding pair gold fish in a power head mishap. Long story.

I am sure its never gonna happen to me again.
 

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Unless you have a large number of small fish or a very powerful power head it is incredibly rare for fish to get sucked into the propeller but it does occur especially with baby fish. If you have an issue with fish getting sucked into the propeller you can try using one of those wave makes that have an intake tube to take in water. You can then cover this intake tube with a piece of sponge to protect the fish. However, this sponge will also greatly reduce the flow rate.
 
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