The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies to everything in life and in the aquarium hobby, this is especially true of aquarium water pumps. Whether they are internal or external pumps, many shoppers of pumps will simply look at the flow rate and the price, often buying a low performance Mag Drive or Little Giant pumps. Thankfully, reef aquarists today are a little more savvy we tend to go with better brands that last under the harsh high mineral environment of a reef aquarium. For these kinds of environments Panworld, Iwaki and Reeflo pumps are good performers but since the Iwaki comes in two versions and the Panworld looks very similar, it may be hard for users to tease out the subtle differences between all of these.
In this simple video from Bulk Reef Supply (an RB sponsor), Ryan Batcheller gives a great explanation of what separates an American motor Iwaki from a Japanese one, and how both compare to the Panworld pumps which was designed by a former Iwaki engineer. There are some differences in size and flow curves but the two most notable differences to potential users will be the cost, power draw and noise level. Great job to the film crew at Bulk Reef Supply for producing and editing this very informative video and we agree with Ryan; budget permitting we choose the Japanese Iwaki pump for most applications.