The stock intake strainer for the Vortech is closely spaced to protect smaller fish but in larger tanks, even these smaller fish have plenty of room to avoid the pump’s powerful intake. In over 4 yrs of using the Vortech pump, the only casualty we’ve ever experienced was with a very large sea hare (Sounds messy but it didnt go through). With this in mind we decided to get risky with our Vortechs and within minutes we had cut out every other pin of the intake strainer. The dramatic increase in the Vortech’s output is easily visible as increased flow throughout the reef and surgeonfish which immediately dive bomb the Vortech’s flow head-on. Although this simple mod noticeably increases the pump’s output, it does come with some restrictions. The stock intake strainer helps to restrict the motor’s RPM. With this mod, the pump runs faster, hotter and it also consumes more power. If you run the Vortech full bore with this mod, it will overheat the motor and eventually burn out the power supply. If the pump is run on long pulse or any of the random modes, the pump and power supply will get some down time and they should last much longer. This mod should not be performed on tanks smaller than 4 feet long because the output is really like that of a trawling motor. And of course this will void your warranty.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.