The Vectra line of QuietDrive controllable DC pumps from Ecotech Marine have been available to aquarists for about half a year now, and already this pump is gaining widespread adoption with control freaks and Ecotech fans. Many reefers are turning to the Vectra QuietDrive pumps to be the heart of their reef aquarium system, but with only two sizes available, not all tanks are suitable for the current models of Vectra pumps.
The Vectra M1 is currently the smallest return pump from Ecotech Marine, pushing up to 2000 gallons per hour at 80 watts. The larger Vectra L1 pushes up to 3100 gallons per hour at 130 watts. These two models of QuietDrive return pumps are completely suitable for running the medium to large reef tanks but if you’ve got a smaller aquarium or a really big one, you’re out of luck for now.
Much of the cost of these pumps, $349 for the Vectra M1 and $449 for the Vectra L1, is coming from the electronics and power supplies used to operate them, so a smaller or larger pump wouldn’t be priced that much differently. There definitely seems to be room in the sizing and pricing for a potential Vectra S1 and a Vectra XL1. To be clear, we have zero information about Ecotech Marine’s plans, but it doesn’t take a crystal ball to foresee that these subsequent models will eventually see the light of day.
We envision a Vectra S1 with a maximum flowrate of 1200-1500 gph with a pricepoint of $249-299 and hopefully a footprint somewhere around 3 by 4.5 inches. This reduced size would make it smaller than a Vectra M1 so that it can fit into the tighter spaces of All In One tanks and small sumps and if the price got down low enough, it could also make a great controllable pump for media reactors, calcium reactors and more.
On the larger end we imagine a Vectra XL1 with a maximum flowrate between 4500 and 5000 gallons per hour and a price between $549 to $649. We think the larger Vectra XL1 should be significantly more flow than the L1 since it would be used primarily on extra large and jumbo reef tanks, and if less flow is required you can simply dial it down. The footprint of this future pump is less critical than the Vectra S1 since the XL1 would likely be used on huge setups with big sumps, and room for external plumbing.
The wildcard in the future lineup of the Vectra pumps is a needle wheel version, which would likely be a modified version of the existing Vectra pumps. Whether we see a Vectra NW1 or M1 ‘needle wheel’ is really uncertain, as it would take much more than just a needle wheel impeller to make this pump operate at new performance improvements that are worthy of being called an Ecotech Marine product. But with built in smarts, there’s no doubt a Vectra-powered protein skimmer would be a very exciting aquarium device indeed.
Many reefers are already enjoying the benefits of having a smart Vectra return pump, but we also know plenty others who are waiting for the right size model to be released for their tank. Again, we are just speculating here, just in good fun, but we want to know from you, which pump do you most want to see Ecotech Marine release next in the Vectra line?