Europe’s largest marine supplier has added a new return pump range to its equipment catalog. Called Reef Pump Compact these slimline, bottle-shaped DC pumps are designed to fit into extremely tight spaces while still able to provide adjustable flow rates from 500-10000lph/132-2642 gals. The smallest 500 model is just a tad over two inches in diameter and 4” tall, and to do this the manufacturer has literally turned the pump on its head, with the impeller facing the ground and the impeller, pump body, and outlet above it.
This has meant a total redesign of the volute, which would usually position the outlet perpendicular to the inlet, while both remaining at the same end as the impeller. With Reef Pump Compact intake slots are situated in the base of the pump before water is channeled vertically up through the pump body, exiting via a hose tail at the top. This space-saving design also means the pump can run in extremely shallow water – perfect for water changes, AIO, evaporation-prone filter chambers, or enterprising terrarium designs. The smaller models would make useful feed pumps for reactors and UVs too, where sump real estate is at a premium. That small intake surface area would run at a high velocity, however, so these pumps probably aren’t best placed directly into tanks where fish and inverts could come into contact with them, or anywhere with a lot of physical debris or macroalgae.
All the stats look good on these pumps from the tiny size to the output, energy consumption, and pricing. There are five models in the range, 500, 1500, 2500, 5000, and 10000, so named after their maximum output in liters per hour. As stated above they range in size from 2” wide and 4” tall to 4” wide and 9” tall and consume from 10-100 watts, pumping water from 5-15’ feet high depending on the model. Pricing ranges from just £59.99 to £199.99/ $78-260.
This time TMC has named the original equipment manufacturer – ZKSJ out of China – a pump mega factory making pumps for anything from automotive to kitchen appliances to medical. But this can be a good thing as all three of those markets demand extremely rugged, reliable pumps for their applications and it means the thought processes behind the designs also break away from the standard aquarium pump design blueprint.
Despite the slimline wired controller, we think there would be demand for an even more simple AC model and the product designer in us is already thinking about the potential for such a form factor equipped with a needle wheel impeller for the protein skimmer market. Maybe it could generate some new compact skimmer designs off the back of it?
It would be rude not to have one of these pumps in our itinerary for use as a water change pump, reactor pump or to do some serious DC pimping to nano reefs, super-compact sumps, and All-In-One reef tanks.