18 Jan Tips for cleaning your Wave Pumps
Marine aquariums are one of the harshest environments for submersible pumps. Not only are they submerged in salt water 24/7, their constantly exposed to fish food, algae, and other debris in the tank.
In coral reef aquariums with live corals, aquarists often dose with calcium and other chemicals to increase alkalinity levels, which can precipitate and cover the pump and/or its components. As calcium precipitates build up and cover the components, especially the magnetic impeller, the restriction causes the pump to work harder, decrease in overall flow rate, and can eventually lock up. Algae, especially calcareous/coralline algae, can also cover the outside of the pump and tremendously lower the flow rate.
For routine maintenance cleaning:
1. Unplug the 24VDC power supply to your wave pump, unplug the pump from the wave pump HUB and remove it from your aquarium.
2. Fill a container (large enough to fit your wave pump into) with a 1:1 ratio of white distilled vinegar and freshwater.
3. Submerse the pumps in the vinegar/water solution and let them soak for a few hours. For additional cleaning, let the pumps run in the solution overnight in stream mode. This approach will dissolve any excess buildup that is often hard to clean with a brush.
4. Scrub any remaining dirt or algae deposits left on the outside of the pump using a small brush.
5. Rinse pumps in freshwater and re-install back into your aquarium.
For a more thorough cleaning (and when your pumps are stuck/not running), carefully disassemble the wave pump and allow the components to soak overnight in a 1:1 ratio of white distilled vinegar and freshwater or full strength vinegar. This will allow you to scrub the impeller magnet and clean any deposits inside the DC motor which may cause the impeller to lock up. **TIP** If you disassemble the wave pump, be very careful not to break the ceramic shaft. This is the cylindrical white shaft that holds the impeller in place during operation.
The video below provides instructions for dis-assembling the eFlux wave pump for cleaning and re-assembly for installation. You can also download this How-To Guide here.
Keeping your eFlux DC wave pump clean off and precipitates should be a task on every aquarists maintenance list. We recommend cleaning them once every 4-6 months. A clean and maintained wave pump should provide strong water flow and keep your fish and corals healthy and happy for many years.