by Richard Back
Gyre, revolutionary wave maker that was developed by maxspect has unveiled their second generation of their wildly popular wave maker couple of months ago during San Diego MACNA 2016.
With that said, I’m no expert. Far from it to be honest. So before I go and babble on and on with my experience with the unit, I did some research to find some expert insights and I ran into something very interesting article written by Jake Adams which was titled “Water Flow is More Important for Corals Than Light.” Article from Advanced Aquarist.
Yes, I’m aware of the date that was released but found this so interesting. Jake is someone that I respect when it comes to things like this so it was fascinating to see what his thought on water flow.
After reading this, I decided to get together with Coralvue team (Jeremy, Carlos technical minds of Coralvue TV and Chris Conti, VP of Sales for Coralvue) who were responsible for bringing these wave makers to the stateside and had some in-depth conversations with them regarding this new product and learned about them in great deal.
Here is what we discussed!
First of all, what are waves and how is water movement so important in your tank?
Jeremy: Proper water movement is not only key when it comes to food import and waste export of corals and other inverts but also effects the longevity of a reef tank. Improper flow induces dead spots which are like cancers on a system and more work to maintain ideal parameters. Also improper flow patters produce unnatural coral formations.
Carlos : It is the blood of the tank. Without it, oxygen does not get to every corner of the tank and it dies. Also, flow helps keep things clean by allowing water to move detritus into our skimmer and other filtering equipment.
Photo credit by Kendrick Lark, Nick Leuschen, Surge Vasquez
There are MANY different types of powerheads out there and many of them are amazing in their own right. How does gyre differ from other traditional power heads in the market?
Chris :The Maxspect Gyre provides laminar flow that creates water movement throughout the whole aquarium. Standard propeller pumps can only generate flow in the immediate location of the pump. A single Gyre can replace multiple propeller pumps, while saving energy and equipment costs.
Tell me about laminar flow.
Jeremy: Laminar flow basically is a sheet or water that generates a Gyre pattern of flow. So if mounted horizontally near the water surface of the water would push across the surface till it hits an aquarium wall, surface or opposing current and returns the flow along the floor of the aquarium. So a full cycle of water movement can be created with one pump. Another highlight is that corals aren’t blasted by flow or the need of working coral placements around a pump.
Carlos: It creates laminar flow which is a sheet water moving along from one side to the other. Think about it!!! Rivers are a wide channel of moving water. Water naturally spreads out and flows. Moving a wide mass of water is more efficient and less turbulent than trying to move a large volume of water with a single point propeller like the one behind a boat!
Chris: Laminar flow is when the whole water column is moved. The Gyre creates total water movement throughout the aquarium, where as a propeller pumps creates a hot spot of flow in front of the pump.
Photo credit by Kat Dhawan, Matthew Heath, Todd Lachmann
I noticed that this is the second generation of gyre models. Tell me what is different from the previous model and this model and what improvements were made. There were some complaints in the first generation on the durability of these units. How did you guys address it?
Jeremy: The 200 series has all the latest changes made over the past few years like the silent suspension mount, ruggedized propellers and more durable bushings along with a slightly longer pump cable. The silent suspension solved the initial reported issue of operational noise. The Ruggedized propellers are much more robust than the originals and now the pumps come with a screen to prevent critters from entering the propellers to cause damage. But the biggest difference is the advanced controller.
Carlos: There are plenty of differences between the 100 and the 200 gyres. The 200 gyres come with a longer motor cable so there is no need for an extension cable anymore. They also come standard with the rugged propellers and cages which are tougher and can withstand more beating. But the main difference between the two series is the Advanced Controller. The new controller allows you to easily program your pumps to do different things at different times of the day. You can manually set the pump to run one type of flow 25/7 or you can create a custom schedule with 24 different time set points to give your tank different flow patters throughout the day. It also comes with 2 24-hr preset flow schedules that you can select should you choose not to program it yourself. In addition to that, the controller allows you to run 2 pumps at the same time from the same controller. This means you can have the pumps sync, anti-sync and time delayed. The possibilities are endless. One other feature that the controller allows you to do is run the pump in “random” mode. You can let the controller randomly choose the flow pattern… all you do is set the maximum flow intensity and walk away!
Yes, Maxspect listened carefully to all suggestions and made changes to the pump. The power cable is stronger and wont crack in salt water. The propellers and the bushings are much stronger so they can withstand more beating… of course everything to a certain extent. If a snail gets in the cage, it will break the propeller but that is true with most other pumps out on the market. The new Advanced Controller is better tuned to run the pumps as well.
Tell me about the controller, how is it different from the previous controller?
Jeremy: There really is no comparison between the advanced controller and the original. There is now an easy to read display and can control 2 pump. You have the ability of complex flow patterns, several preset modes as well as a 24hour Automatic mode. So now you can really create the ultimate in random flow within an aquarium without the need for tedious coding.
We cover the controller and what is new in this blog and video:
Carlos: The new controller allows you to easily program your pumps to do different things at different times of the day. You can manually set the pump to run one type of flow 24/7 or you can create a custom schedule with 24 different time set points to give your tank different flow patters throughout the day. It also comes with 2 24-hr preset flow schedules that you can select should you choose not to program it yourself. In addition to that, the controller allows you to run 2 pumps at the same time from the same controller. This means you can have the pumps sync, anti sync and time delayed. The possibilities are endless. One other feature that the controller allows you to do is run the pump in “random” mode. You can let the controller randomly choose the flow pattern… all you do is set the maximum flow intensity and walk away!
Chris : The Gyre 100 series was a simple controller that would only control a single Gyre, had a few flow modes built in and a manual mode. The advanced controller can control two pumps, has 5 water movement modes, 6 adjustable flow variables, customizable flow cycles and an intricate feed mode. Also included in the advanced controller is two 24 hour preset flow cycles for ease of use.
Can the magnets on these powerheads be submerged underwater?
Jeremy: Yes, the mounting magnets are submersible. So they can be placed in overflows, false walls, etc.
Carlos: Absolutely! If you want to place the pump mounted to your overflow, you can submerge the outside magnet without any worries. It is very cool!
Well, there you go guys! I hope you guys learned a bit about this pump, controller and it's capabilities and perhaps consider one on your existing or a new build!
Thank you very much to all the hobbyists for sharing pictures of their beautiful tanks using gyres to control their water movements.
We will get a group of dedicated writers that will share ideas, product reviews and thoughts.