Saturday, October 29, 2011

Product Review: Hydor Koralia Smartwave Pump Controller

In nature, water flow from river and ocean current is vital to the life cycle and health of aquatic creatures. These currents promote gas exchange and oxygenation and assist in the transporting of food, nutrients, and waste in the water column. Hydor's Smartwave helps recreate this natural flow and vital process in our aquariums, promoting health and assisting in maintaining uniform temperature.

The new Hydor Koralia Smartwave Pump Controller (item #HD00924) is the answer to hobbyists who use non-controllable Hydor Korallia pumps and have been wanting alternating flow (we'll call this "wave making"). Until recently, Koralia users have had to rely on third party wavemakers with the hopes that their pumps would be compatible. Hobbyists and websites gave mixed reviews as to what wavemaker supported these powerheads; some worked, some didn't. Fret not, the Smartwave is here!

Details:
  • 2 outlets, both for up to 100W; Unit is UL approved and water resistant.
  • 2 selection knobs, 1 for pump program (alternate-synchronous), 1 for time interval setting (second, minutes, hours)
  • Feeding program. Compact, Smartwave is easy to conceal by hanging it inside the aquarium cabinet. Designed for Koralia’s, Smartwave works with most movement pumps available on the market compatible with quick ON-OFF (5 seconds= 6.3 million on/off per year). 


The Smartwave is designed to run up to two Koralia pumps (both up to 100 watts), but will also work with most movement pumps available on the market compatible with quick ON-OFF. The plugs on the Smartwave are standard three-prong plugs. This allows for use with non-controllable Koralias and other powerheads.

The interface on the Smartwave is simple. No buttons or programming, just the turning of two dials will have you up and running. The first dial selects between Feeding Mode, Alternate mode, and Synchronous mode.The led lights on the interface will light up, showing the user if the wave device is on and what (or which) pump (pumps) are on.

Feeding mode: both pumps are OFF
Feeding Mode:
This is a manual feeding mode you switch to whenever you want to stop the pumps for feeding. This mode is indicating by the icon of a fish eating. The center LED will glow green, indicating the unit is on, and the two blue leds with the icons of pumps, will be off indicating the pumps are off.





Pump 1 is ON, Pump 2 is OFF
Alternate Mode:
This mode will switch between two pumps, and is indicated by the roman numeral "I" on the first dial. When two pumps are connected, it will operate one pump at a time at the set interval (set time using dial 2). The sequence would be as follows: Pump 1 - On, Pump 2 - Off. Pump 1 - Off, Pump 2 - On.





Both 1 and 2 both ON
Synchronous Mode:
This mode will turn both pumps (or just one pump) on for the set time interval, then off for the same interval. For example, if your time is set to 10 seconds, both pumps would be on for 10 seconds, then turn off for 10 seconds. This cycle would repeat.





Automatic Feeding Mode:
There is also an automatic feeding program option that you can set. You can have the pumps turn off for automatic or timed feedings either once or twice a day. Please refer to the User Guide for instructions as it involves a few specific steps, and I don't want to confuse anyone here.

I tested the Smartwave on a few pumps I had at home, and all passed with flying colors (Koralia Evolution, Koralia Nano, and Maxi-Jet 1200 Pro). Setting up the different modes was easy to do, and offered some nice options with feeding modes. The construction is solid, and there is even a plastic shield on the power ship to help prevent water from entering the unit. Overall, this is a great new product for Koralia owners and other wavemaker owners who are looking for a good quality wave controller at an affordable price.


For more information, be sure to check out the the Marine Depot Video, "Product Demo: Hydor Koralia Smart Wave Pump Controller".

The Hydor Koralia Smartwave is available for purchase in our online store, and if you have any questions about this product or your aquarium, feel free to call the Reef Squad at (800) 566-FISH, or shoot us an email at customercare@marinedepot.com.