Review: Vertex Mocean 3500 wave simulator

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Jeremy Gay checks out this wavemaker with a difference...

It’s good…

The Mocean wave simulation module enables you to alternate water flow from your return pipe or powerhead.

It does it differently to a wave-making pump with a pulse function, however, this time using a mechanical device to actually rotate the pipe or powerhead through 360 degrees on a horizontal axis.

It clamps on to the rim of your tank and has horizontal and vertical fittings for flexibility. It rotates from left to right, then right to left and on six different speed settings. This is great for eliminating dead spots and alternating water flow all over the aquarium. Not being an actual water pump itself, it’s designed to accommodate your existing flexible or rigid, hard plumbed return pipework, or with the supplied fitting you could even attach a Maxijet style, traditional powerhead to it and it will rotate the entire powerhead, directing water flow as it goes.

The 3500 model that we tested comes with both ¾" and 1" fittings and is designed to allow flow rates of up to 3,500 US gph, or 13,250 lph. That’s a lot of water, but if you had two or three return pipes and wanted even more chaotic flow patterns, you could have three Moceans in operation, for example, rotating horizontally through different angles and at different speeds.

Enterprising reefkeepers could even bodge the old Hydor Flo rotating water devices onto the outlet pipe after the Mocean, meaning that water flow could then be directed 360 degrees through a horizontal axis, then 360 degrees through a vertical axis after that!  

But…

I reviewed an almost identical product many years ago for the reef market so it isn’t new, and when I see a product with that premium Vertex badge on it, I’d like to think its research and development is purely that of Vertex, not brought in from somewhere else.

Also, the motor that clamps onto the tank rim warns that it isn’t waterproof, yet you put it right in the place that could suffer from splashing and terrible salt creep. That I think is poor. Plus the device is a whopping £315, and you’ll still need a return pump in the sump or a powerhead to get any water movement whatsoever, and my suggestion of two or three models like I’ve seen working on tanks on YouTube would mean either £630 for two or £945 for three. That’s silly money and you could get a really nice Tunze or Vortech flow pump for that.  

The verdict

It’s a useful but non-essential reef tank add-on, which I feel will only appeal to the wealthy because of its price tag. It is genuinely useful, but it’s seriously expensive and I can’t help thinking a budding engineer could DIY something similar themselves. And, £315 for a non-waterproof aquatic device is a definite turn off. I love Vertex, I really do but I think it’s about £200 more than I want to pay.

Good

  • Different flow pattern
  • Alternates return pipe water flow
  • Connects to pipework or a whole powerhead

Bad

  • Not waterproof
  • Expensive

Price: £315; www.vertexaquaristik.com

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