The 8 Best Wave Making Devices for Saltwater Aquariums of 2019

Good Wavemaker, Oscillator or Water Surge Device Choices


Courtesy of Getty

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Wavemakers and oscillators are water surge devices used in aquariums to simulate the natural wave motion of the ocean. Simulating this movement promotes oxygenation, enhances the tank's environmental conditions through water circulation, and provides other benefits such as bringing food "to" corals and other sessile invertebrates. From simple directional water pumping powerheads, to programmable electronic units that can be timed at set intervals, here are our top picks in wavemaking devices.

  • 01 of 08

    Hydor Koralia Wavemaker

    Hydor Koralia Wavemaker

    The Koralia Wavemaker* is a dedicated system that accepts up to 2 or 4, low-voltage Koralia Controllable Pumps of any model. Expands custom options for outstanding water movement in aquariums of all sizes. Timer-controllable alternating or synchronous flow modes recreate natural wave or tidal effects. Adjustable flow rate fine-tunes water movement to satisfy the needs of your aquarium and its inhabitants. Use optional Night Mode Photo Sensor to automate wavemaker Night Mode. Koralia Controllable Pumps require Koralia Wavemaker Pump Controller for operation.

  • 02 of 08

    Jebao Wave Maker with Controller

    Jebao Wave maker

     The Jebao Wave Maker attaches to the tank wall with a magnetic mount and sound absorbing suction cup. This wave maker allows remote control and adjustment of the amount of water being moved and the timing of the pulses (waves) which can be adjusted for the length of the aquarium. The WP-40 model has a light sensor which allows the wave maker to reduce power by 50% when the tank lights go off at night. The pump also features a 10-minute feeding mod which turns the pump off at feeding time.

  • 03 of 08

    Maxi-Jet Natural Wavemaker

    Maxi-Jet Natural Wavemaker
    Maxi-Jet Natural Wavemaker. Photo by PriceGrabber

    Plug powerheads into the Natural Wave adjustable multi-cycle pump timer to set cycle duration from 20 seconds to 3 minutes. Timer features 3 additional standard outlets for other peripheral equipment. Additional Natural Wave Timer and powerheads sold separately.

  • 04 of 08

    Ocean Pulse Wavemaker

    Ocean pulse wavemaker

    These wavemakers instantly create turbulent flow patterns with adjustable alternating cycle times from 10 seconds to 6 minutes. Recreating water movement is essential to the health and long-term success of your corals, invertebrates, filter feeders, and fish. Each has adjustable dial(s) for quick and easy set-up. Also oxygenates water, stabilizes temperatures, moves nourishment around the aquarium, and flushes dead spots of detritus and accumulated waste. Duo controls 2 pumps; Quadra controls 4 pumps.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Powersweep Powerhead/Wavemaker

    Zoo Med PowerSweep
    Zoo Med PowerSweep. Courtesy of

    The Powersweep Powerheads are the only automatic rotating powerheads on the market. Requiring no extra electronics, these units are the most inexpensive powerhead/wavemakers available. The automatic rotating feature creates greater surface agitation allowing a greater oxygen exchange rate.

  • 06 of 08

    Sea Swirl Wave Maker

    Sea Swirl Wave Maker
    Sea Swirl Wave Maker. Courtesy of

    The Sea Swirl is an electrically powered, tank rim mounted, non-submersible wavemaker which agitates the tank water surface. Since the motor powers the rotator and not water pressure, more water power is sent through the unit and out the nozzle.

  • 07 of 08

    Switching Current Water Director (SCWD)

    Switching Current Water Director

    SCWD uses your existing pump to create bidirectional water movement in your reef aquarium. Plumbed inline, SCWD directs incoming water to two alternating outputs, switching automatically at a rate depending on incoming pressure. Install the 3/4" SCWD with 3/4" tubing and system pumps with flow rates from 50 to 1,400 gph. Install the NEW 1" SCWD with 1" tubing and pumps with flow rates from 500 to 3,500 gph.

  • 08 of 08

    Wavemaster Pro Wavemaker

    Wavemaster Pro

    The Wavemaster Pro, manufactured by Red Sea Pharm is a highly programmable wavemaker, offering a variety of preset options. These units will drive up to 4 powerheads with a maximum power load of 720 watts.