Friday, May 06, 2011

VorTech MP10w ES

The quest to build my 60-gallon reef tank continues!

As time progresses, I have made a mental wish list of upgrades and add-ons. An area that needed an urgent upgrade was water flow. Detritus was accumulating on top of and behind the rock work, and using only one power head was not providing sufficient flow.

There are many great options for water flow for every need and budget, but I wanted something controllable and powerful. I narrowed down my choices, and after weighing my options, I decided on the Ecotech Marine VorTech MP10w ES Propeller Pump. Well, not just one, I chose two.

The VorTech MP10w ES is sophisticated and sleek, yet easy to operate. It is designed for aquariums from 2.5 – 50 gallons and has a flow rate of 200 to 1575 gallons per hour. A MP10 can accommodate aquarium glass up to 3/8 inch. (Is your tank larger, or glass thicker? No problem! Ecotech offers the MP40 (for aquariums 50-500 gallons) and MP60 (120-1000+ gallons). There’s a VorTech pump for everyone.)

  • MP-10 Specifications:
  • Flow: 200 to 1575 gph (750 -5962 lph)
  • Power Consumption: 8 to 18 watts
  • Maximum Tank Thickness: 3/8″ (9.5mm)
  • Appropriate Tank Size Range: 2.5 to 50 gal (9.5 -190L)
  • Dimensions: Wet Side- 2.5″ diameter by 1.5″ long (63.5mm x 38.1mm),
  • Dry Side – 2.5″ diameter by 2″ long (63.5mm x 50.8mm)
  • Clearance Needed Behind Aquarium: 2.25″ (57mm)
The pump build reflects
quality, and Ecotech Marine backs their product with a 1 year warranty. The pump includes everything you need to completely install your Vortech. The kit includes cable mounts (and zip ties) and even Velcro to attach the driver to your stand.

The Vortech pump was easy to install. The directions included are easy to follow for setup, however I recommend downloading a copy of the full user guide when it comes to programming. The full user guide is also simple to follow, but goes into step-by-step instructions. I found that these instructions are helpful for first time set-up.

Step one: Open The box. Inspect the contents. Drool… Okay, don’t drool… You don’t want to damage the driver or the dry side.

Step two: Clean any algae from the mounting surface. You may also want to clean the outside of the glass (tip: use RO/DI water and some paper towels).

Clean the algae? You do that anyways, right?

Step three: Apply the rubber gasket (not needed for 1/4” or 3/8” glass) and cord mounting tabs.

Step 4

Step four: Place the VorTech motor upon the black gasket (if used) and secure the cord using the mounting tab. Per the Quick Start Guide, “The cord must be positioned upwards so that if the VorTech were to fall off the aquarium, it does not swing and damage your aquarium or pump.”

Step five: Attach the wet side. I used the included foam pre filers.

Wet side - Check!

Step six: Mount the driver unit wherever desired. I attached mine to the side(s) of the stand.

Mounted to the side of stand

Step seven: Plug everything in. Turn on to constant mode and turn speed control know to maximum. You can check alignment at this time. Move the wet side slightly (up, down, left, right) to minimize vibration.

Plugged in

Step eight: Choose desired operational modes. Set desired programming. For this step, I would recommend using the user manual: it goes into more detail. If you are using more than one pump, you will need to sync your wireless drivers, and designate master and slave pumps before selecting modes.

Two (power) heads are better than one.

Step nine: Grab a tasty beverage, and enjoy the work of art that is your aquarium. You may now safely drool.

They look great!

View the EcoTech Marine VorTech Line at

Questions? Contact the Reef Squad:!