Protect Your Marine Livestock from the Perils of Powerheads

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  1. Paul Baldassano says:

    I have had numerous creatures fall prey to powerheads as you mentioned, especially the older type where all the suction comes from one tube. Mandarins and puffers love to get stuck in powerheads, I am not sure why but what I wanted to mention about powerheads in general is that the newer type that you pictured requires quite a bit of maintenance as those grills become clogged with marine growth as does the propeller. They seem to push more water than the older types but some of those older powerheads have been in my tank, in use for almost 20 years with absolutely no maintenance or cleaning. I am afraid to stop them to inspect the interior as I know once I do that, they will most likely never run again.

  2. Al Ulrich says:

    Thanks for another good article. Fairly recently I had an engineer goby swim straight into the powerhead (head-on) then (because it was too long, I imagine) it tried to get out through the side vent (made a right-turn instead of a u-turn) and got stuck. Sadly I came home to a stuck and dying fish. I removed him but he was very seriously injured and died. I wrote about it here:

  3. Jeff Kurtz says:

    So true, Paul. There is something about shutting down powerheads that seems to tempt fate when it comes to failures (and they always happen at the most inopportune times).

  4. Jeff Kurtz says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Al! Truly a heartbreaking story. What blows my mind is that the poor goby managed to swim upstream against such a powerful current. Seems there’s no limit to the trouble fish can get themselves into in our tanks!

  5. Nic says:

    Very good range of informative and enjoyable articles. Keep up the good work 😉
    My worst culprit and sadly one of my favourite creatures was a lettuce slug, which I can’t remember anyone ever recommending both for their love of danger and the fact that they can be difficult to keep fed and healthy.
    I decided to take up the challenge and proceeded to cover all powerheads and even my overflow with foam blocks and mesh which in turn caused big issues with reduced flow and detritus build up so that’s probably one side effect worth keeping in mind.
    Nevertheless I came home one day to a rather distraught looking slug battling one powerhead. The amazing thing is that when I rescued him about 3/4 of his body was missing and yet he survived and grew back to bigger than before. Amazing animals

  6. Jeff Kurtz says:

    Thanks for your kind words and insights, Nic! Glad to hear the slug survived such a daunting brush with death. That is some truly amazing regenerative capability!

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