First: Yes – I’m a huge fan of EcoTech Marine products! Because of that I propably was one of the first who preordered the brandnew EcoTech Marine Vortech Quietdrive Pump. I have 3 EcoTech Radion, 2 Vortech pumps and 1 Reeflink – and the inter-compatible system fits perfect.
During the last years, EcoTech Marine mainly focused on developing LED-lightening and building up a system which is based on ecosmartlive – a powerful platform for controlling all your EcoTech products via App or browser. In the past – around 10 years ago – EcoTech hits the market with the first Generation of Vortech pumps. Placing the driver outside the tank was very innovative at this time. Next were the Radion LEDs and the Reeflink – a small unit which makes it possible to control all EcoTech-devices via a Web-Interface or iPhone/Android App. First there were not that many possibilities to control them – but today, ecosmartlive is a powerful tool to setup detailed schedules for the lamps and pumps. And – like Apple – very intuitive!
Now, I received the brandnew EcoTech Vortech Quietdrive promising to be 90% quieter and 40% stronger. Loudness was sometimes a problem with the older models and because of the outside placed power unit, you could recognize a bit of noise when running with more than 60% power or in wave mode. It wasn’t a problem for me because with 2x mp40 it was enough flow in my tank running them at 60% max.
So let’s have a closer look at the new EcoTech Vortech mp40wQD Quietdrive:
Haptics and supply
There’s no difference in scope of supply to the older Vortech mp40w – it contains the Dry-Side and the Wet-Side. Besides there’s the Controller which has – again “Apple-styled” – only one Led-lighted knob.
The external driver has the advantage that no heat is released into the water and you have no electric device inside your tank.
The pumps are available in three different sizes – the Vortech mp10w, Vortech mp10 (without wireless), Vortech mp40w and the big Vortech mp60w. One has to mention that mp10 and mp60 don’t have a new driver – they only have the new controller. But the mp40wQD has a brandnew designed driver. All new pumps promise to be up to 90% more quiet. It is the result of deep research, how the driver is energized by the controller which EcoTech has improved massively. Because of that, all new models – if they have a new driver or not – benefit from the controller update! Also the mp40 model shall have 40% more flow (Therefor: Quieter and more power = more efficency!)
Comparing the Vortech mp40qd Quietdrive and the Vortech mp40w:
The new pump has a new and fresh Design:
Loudness and performance of the mp40w QD:
Let me compare both models. Unfortunately I don’t have the possibilities to absolutely mesure the sound levels – which is not a big problem because loudness is difficult to compare having that non-linear characteristic.
I placed both pumps – the old one and the new – beside each other and switched them on at 50% – there was no real difference in loudness. But I immediately recognized that the new mp40QD is much more stronger in performance than the old pump. After some playing around I am sure that the new pump has at least the specified 40% increase of performance – rather something more. Looking at the tornado in my tank I have to say that the new mp40QD has whirled up my tank drastically (and I had both old pumps sometimes running at 100% without getting that much flow!) I also have the impression – although not officially confirmed – that the QD features an optimized propeller, because the flow looks a bit wider and more indirect.
My first impression: Extreme increase of performance – but mp40wQD is not complete silent on the first day! Writing this article some days later I can say: It changes dramatically – the pump is really quiet ! I will write a detailed sound-comparison follow up about that.
Programming the EcoTech Vortech Pumps:
I use EcosmartLive for programming the pumps You can either download the connection manager and program them via USB and a laptop. Or – like I do – have the small and practical EcoTech Reeflink, which connects all EcoTech products wireless.
After adding the pumps to your tank layout (note: sometimes it is necessary to reset the pumps first) you can start setting up the Vortech schedule. Nowadays it is possible to realise a detailed schedule.
I use the Lagoon Mode by night at 50%-60%, starting the day at 08:00 a.m. with 70% Reefcrest in Anti-Synch, have a 3-hours NTM-Mode (Nutrient Transport Mode at late mid and Wave Mode (Short Pulse) ending the day with Lagoon Mode.
Experience with the Vortech Pumps – Pro’s and Con’s:
- Extremely quiet pump
- Extremly strong pump
- Excellent and easy possibilites of programming
- Modern Design
- Wide flow
- Inter-compatible with other EcoTech products
- Price is high – if you only need flow, it’s cheaper to get
- You can’t hide it in your reef
Upgrading old Vortech controller
The highlight of the new pump is that you can upgrade your old MP10W, MP40W or MP60W pump-controller and make them quiet! You won’t profit from the increase in performance, but the pump will run quieter. The controller will be available during April and will cost a little more than 100 €.
The new pumps have greatly benefited from the modifications. The manufacturer keeps his promise of a quiet and powerful pump! EcoTech products were indeed always located in the upper price segment – but it also offers refined technology and best flow for reef tanks. It is not a cheap Chinese pump – it’s the Mercedes of flow – the state-of-the-art pump for saltwater tanks!
Do you have questions? Feel free to comment below!