Before I put away my Waveline DC 2500 controllable water pump for later use, I wanted to share with you what it’s been like to own a device like this. This is less a review of this actual pump than it is a summary of the benefits of having a return pump that users can control.
When the controllable pumps first hit the scene, I was skeptical that there was any need to control or adjust the flow going into your tank. I mean this is the heart of the system, it might as well
beat pump at full speed all the time right? Most of the time this is actually correct, but over time I’ve found many uses for having a controllable pump.
The first thing I learned from using the Waveline DC 2500 is about the noise of a reef tank – by dialing in the water flow just right, I was able to get the maximum flow rate yet minimum water noise and gurgling for a very quiet reef tank. The other thing is that most of these entry level controllable pumps don’t have very good head pressure.
When the Waveline DC 2500 was cranked up to full speed, it barely pushed half of the 660 gallons per hour it was rated for, which was fine; however, with that tiny volute it has to spin to pretty high RPM to reach its maximum flow rate, producing a noticeable high pitched whine, even in submersible use.
This latter part was less fine, but not a deal breaker, but it did steer me towards getting controllable pumps that are rated for much more volume than I need on my reef tank, so I could dial it back, and hit the sweet spot of performance where the pump is very efficient, and very quiet.
I never found the need to control the Waveline DC 2500 externally since the included controller had speed controls, a feed button, and power button. Being able to control these basic setting of the pump right on the box was light years faster than reaching for my phone, firing up an app, logging in to said app, and navigating confusing menus . . . NO! Give me tactile buttons I can press on a whim while my hands are wet and I’ll be a happy aquarist.
I’ve since replaced the Waveline DC 2500 with an Ecotech Vectra M1, a device which is light years beyond in terms of features, but fundamentally, still gets water from the sump into my tank. As I was cleaning up the DC 2500 for storage or sale, I realized that although this pump no longer suited my needs for this tank, I think I’ll hold onto it for some future smaller setup, perhaps an All In One which could benefit from all the fun features of controllability, or even a small media or chaetomorpha reactor setup I haven’t built yet.
I can’t rave about the DC 2500 as it was an early generation device, and newer models are better in many ways; Perhaps I was expecting too much from it in terms of flowrate and head pressure. But nevertheless, I’ll be holding onto it because I think it will have another time to shine on some future reef aquarium application.