Jebao wavemaker pumps

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by sfsuphysics, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    So a very large taped up box arrived from UPS. Opening up found... some non descript brown boxes kind of look like they fit neatly in a cargo container or something at one time...

    Opening up the brown boxes... hmmm can't read that, wife tells me the symbol on the right means wavemaker. WP-25 though I know those symbols!

    So these are the "new" (been out there for about a year) pumps from Jebao, yeah they get a lot of flack for being "Chinese knockoffs" but lets look at that shall we.

    The first critique is that the numbering system they use is obviously trying to copy Vortech... eh, maybe? But one look and you would know this isn't a Vortech pump, in fact if you got fooled into thinking this was maybe you deserve this pump (and it's not really a punishment getting it). Somehow I doubt there's a lot of "Christmas shopping moms" who are going to buy this because Little Johnny said they want an MP60 pump.

    Second critique is that they are Tunze ripoffs! This one I could actually see as being valid. Sure it has a round ball just like the Tunze, it has a holder just like a Tunze, but the magnet is not like the Tunze in fact it's similar to that of a Koralia in that it's not super strong (However neither are Tunzes anymore) and it has some suction ability with it. Also the Tunze claim isn't all there either, Tunze pumps are not symmetric around the impeller, these are, the outlet for the Tunze is off set, the clamps looks similar sure but they aren't exactly identical. As far as I know (which sometimes isn't very much :D) Tunze does not hold a patent on the shape of a pump or the clamp they're using, besides think back to older aquarium pumps like an Aquaclear or a Maxijet, they're all very similar in design too aren't they? Rectangular box shape pump, intake underneath, output at a 90 degree angle to the intake, very often you can even rotate the output, power cord coming out of the top... guess all of them are ripoffs too! (not sure who made the first pump that looked like that). Either way the Tunze design is very nice for an pump, is it legal to make something similar? Then why wouldn't you? EcoTech however does have a patent on the magnetic coupling for it's pumps so that's why we don't see any knockoffs of those.

    So now that's taken care of.

    Here we go unboxing the WP-25. I'm not going to lie, it looks just like a Tunze nano pump (a bit bigger than the nano I think though). Pump has a screw cable to the controller, with that same connector that seems to be on all the DC pumps that are coming out now, rubber o-ring to stop fluid from getting in. I actually like this design and think it's superior to both Vortech and Tunze pumps. Both the vortech and the tunze pumps are connected directly to the controller which can make it quite a pain if you're moving stuff around, especially if you attach the controller to a nice dry space, which in the case of my Vortech controllers they were screwed to the inside of the cabinet so I really didn't want to move the controllers so I had to play jump rope with cords going up and over and around other things if I wanted to move the pump. Also an upside to this is if you don't want to use this controller you can plug in your own! I know ReefAngel makes a cord that attaches to this so you can use your ReefAngel to control it instead, there was a story about Neptune (Apex) talking with the Jebao people (not going to look too much into that yet), but overall a DC signal, PWM, all good stuff to control with! :D It comes with some generic instructions (both had the same instructions), a sticky pad so you can attach your controller to a wall or under a tank cabinet out of the way of splashiness. A little diode you can cram into the controller which apparently will give it a "night mode" so when the lights go out the pump goes into a lower power mode, now whether or not this is actually useful I've read mixed reviews on this all surrounding the fact that the diode is very sensitive to light, too much light (like from your tank) you'll fry it, however that orange glow from your DJ power strip? Might think the lights are still on. Either way haven't done anything with it yet as I'm not convinced a night mode is necessarily a useful thing. And a fat ugly wall wart that will take up way too much space on any power strip you have, also I noticed this was fitting quite loosely in the power strip I plugged it into, this may be an issue as there was a considerable spark when putting in (you'll see this with just about any AC/DC transformer) hopefully the looseness doesn't lead to arcing leading to fire, something to keep an eye on. It could also be the connectors inside my strip are quite loose and don't grip the prongs very well since it is quite an old strip.

    And the WP-60, basically a bigger version, much wider mouth, looks similar to the Tunze 6305 (and replacement) pumps. This one will remain untested for a bit as I don't have a tank big enough to set it up yet (more on why I don't put it on a smaller one later).

    Similar stuff as the WP-25, only real difference is the wall wart is now a power brick which is nicer with the plug being much more secure in any socket. Is this a cheap chinese power brick? yes... but guess what so is the one that Ecotech gives you, I probably have gone through at least 6 of those with various Vortech pumps over the years.

    Side by side comparison between the two with the best non-Greek yogurt in existence!! Looks like the WP-60 could eat the 25 for breakfast!

    Now for the comparison to what we might know. Here's a WP25 WP60 MP40 and MP60 (that badly needs a vinegar bath), overall looks like the Vortech have a much smaller footprint in the tank, which is true since the motor is outside the tank.

    Here's the WP25 and MP40 side by side, this time with the back magnet removed since to be fair that's outside the tank. The MP40 is smaller yes, but not by a tremendous amount. If you have a smaller tank a MP10 might be better suited, although there are WP10s out there that are even smaller than this but I didn't order any of those since those are way too small for what I need. If anything this is a comparison similar to Vortech vs Tunze, on one side you have a "cleaner" look inside the tank with no wires, but on the other side you can aim your pump in any particular direction. Plus with the smaller outlet you do get a bit more velocity on the water as it's squirting out that's quite noticeable.

    Now here's a comparison between the MP40 & 60 and the WP60. Obviously the WP60 is bigger by a lot, however this is not a pump you'll use on a tiny tank either so this might not stick out so much like a sore thumb as you might think. I wish these showed up a week earlier so I could throw this on the 180 and see how well it moves water compared to the Vortechs that were on there.

    Now here's a comparison between Tunzes of the WP60. On the right a Tunze 6125 (I think) it's the non-controllable AC model but it's similar in shape and size to most Tunze DC pumps, on the left is the older 6100 model which is DC controllable but it's attached to an ugly controller that looks like it was thrown together on DIY workbench and that is powered by one ugly as shit cylinder of a power brick, to be fair it is a really old pump and the German engineering that put it together probably had the "If it's not broke why fix it" mentality. Size wise it's about the same as the newer Tunze pumps, in fact if I had a 6305 it might look very identical as that has a wider outlet (and whatever their newer model numbers are, 6255?), looks like the older Tunze is smaller however when you take into account the mounting bracket & magnet then it sticks out quite a bit larger. All of these are good pumps though, the older one allows you to rotate in one plane and it tends to be angled downward a bit due to the weight of it on that hinge on the back. The newer models you can rotate in two planes simply by rotating the magnet so the Jebaos are nice like that, it's a really good design for pointing the flow where you want it to go.

    A throat view of all three pumps, they're roughy the same diameter body with the WP60 having a much larger mouth.

    Now the controller itself might be a weak point of the unit. It has a couple little buttons, a knob, and some leds to indicate what mode it's in. My first complaint is that knob doesn't control the speed, so you can't crank these down to nothing if you have too small of a tank, however as mentioned using an external controller you could. What the knob controls is the rate of pulsing on the pump. I was more than happy with my first Vortech pump back in the day before it was wireless and was $100+ cheaper, all it did was control speed that was cool. Even the Tunze pumps had a way to control speed, the older ones it was a major pain in the ass though where you had to get a tiny screwdriver in a hole as you literally were directly adjusting the POT that was in there, I'm assuming the newer Tunze DC streams are a bit easier to control. This basically had 3 settings 100%, 75% and 50% (more on this later)

    Constant flow modes
    The controller does have various settings H1,2,3 each of those is for a constant flow with no oscillation, where H1 is full power H3 is 1/3 power, and presumably H2 is 2/3 power. The WP25 pushes about 2000gph, and the WP60 a little over 5000gph, I put the WP25 on my anemone tank and removed the Koralia pump that was on there that maybe did half that, and yikes it was crazy, when I put it on constant mode there was not a piece of detritus on the bottom that didn't get yanked up into the water column. It seemed more powerful than a vortech MP40 on full mode, now part of that is due to the outlet size, water volume moved vs water velocity can do different things in a tank.

    Wavemaking modes
    Also it has W1,2,3 modes which allow you to do pulses. W1 is basically off/on pulse, W2 does a slower ramp up/ramp down, and W3 does a similar ramp up as W2 with a slower ramp down so more overall flow from the pump. Each of these modes can adjust the frequency of the output with the knob. I will say that getting my anemones to flop back and forth was extremely easy, I didn't actually get the water sloshing back and forth, which I don't like doing, but the anemones told me they were blowing in some "wind". For the life of me I could not get that same thing with any vortechs I've had. I'm not quite sure how the Tunze's wave action are as I've never used mine in a wave motion. It should be noted you can't get fancy wave action from a Tunze without buying a separate controller, while this is nice compared to a Vortech pump as maybe you don't want to control and don't want another $100 added to each pump, it is something that should be worth mentioning since I am comparing these products in a way.

    There's also an "Else" mode, which I have no idea what the hell that means but supposedly it's simply a random flow based on various power settings. I'm not sure if it changes the actual intensity or if it just does pulses of random time intervals though, judging by the way the controller works I'd probably bank on the later though.

    Speed adjustment
    You can also change the speed but only slightly, S1,2,3 is the output level to lock the speed, S1 is full power, S3 is 50% power, knocking it down to 50% power I still had much more water movement than with my 1000gph Koralia pump, could be an old/new thing though. I'm also not sure how this mode ties into the H modes, if I do S3 H3 do I have 1/3 of 50% power? Somehow I don't think I would, I think the S mode is more a limiting upper limit, although even in H3 mode things moved around way more than the Koralia, I'm not sure if that's an output design or if the instructors were printed wrong on the power output.

    Magnet strength
    The instructions say good to 15mm glass which translates to about 0.6 inches, seems to have no problem on 1/2 inch glass, even tried on some 3/4" acrylic and it kind of holds, the suction cup aspect on the interior magnet does help, and this was a dry tank too so maybe with a little water buoyancy it would work better. If you have thicker glass however you'll need to swap out the external magnet, which luckily is something that can be done unlike a Vortech MP40 you're limited to 3/4" and 1" for the MP60. Tunze magnets have gotten weaker on all but the most expensive pumps as of late, claimed to be due to rising rare-earth prices which in some way is true, but I think it was a nickel and dime bit to maximize profits on products I mean how many people are going to use their "smaller" pumps on large tanks? (me that's who... my Tunze BARELY holds onto 1/2" glass), yet the Sure Grip magnets I have have no problem snapping to the glass. This is one reason I'm going in this direction, not that I'm unhappy with Vortech but I'll have acrylic that's too thick for the MP40s to operate, and I really can't justify the cost of going to the higher end Vortech and Tunze pumps, at about 1/7th the cost even if I have to replace then once a year I'll probably still come out ahead.

    Closing thoughts
    Overall though I can say they seem like a nice little budget pump. Will they have the staying power of the more expensive pumps? Who knows, but what really is the staying power of those pumps? You'll usually have two schools of thought those that never had any problems in which case they'll claim they're rock solid, and those who have had issues in which case they'll say they're just as problematic as other pumps (but might say the customer service is good). I'm kind of in the later boat when it comes to Vortech pumps.

    For smaller tanks the WP10 or WP25 probably is a good choice, as it's not that much more intrusive than a Vortech, and you could put it on the back glass and angle it sideways or towards a corner and work that way. The pumps themselves are in the same quiet range (well the 1 of 4 that I actually tested) as Tunze pumps, which are quieter than Vortech pumps. It is hard to tell though, my tanks never have run dead silent, so the pump is usually the lowest sound coming from it anyways.

    From a price standpoint these are hard to beat, especially when compared to the higher end pumps. Now if you're interested in a really small pump then things like MaxiJets or Koralia nano sized pumps are going to be cheaper, but you're talking apples to oranges, AC pumps are cheaper than DC pumps, not a big surprise. Should note though that the larger Koralias get more expensive than these. It's funny there's not a huge price difference between a smaller pump and one that moves much more water, where as with Tunze you see a huge difference in price between low and high, makes me wonder if that cheap little controller is what costs the most money :). However had these shipped from New Jersey instead of China which made a huge world of difference in the price, from China it would add another $20 per WP60 pump added to the freight cost and like $6 I think for the WP25, from New Jersey cost $3 to ship for everything. Not sure if that's a glitch with their software, but whatever I'll take advantage of it :)

    Well that's all the comparison I can really do. I could fill up a tank with water and put each of these pumps on it to show the wave motion but there's a bunch of YouTube videos of that already. Not to mention I don't have a reef blog where I get things to try from manufacturers or ad revenue money for views, as much as I would love that I have a different job that takes attention from me, and a lot of demo work because I have two largish fish in a 60g tank who are quite pissed they got down graded to a tiny apartment and waiting for their new digs!
    denzil, neuro and rygh like this.
  2. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    Wow. Great post. Thanks for taking the time to do this. This should be a sticky.
  3. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Nice review Mike. You didn't mention the noise level with the various pumps. They're suppose to quite down after a month, but they're still audible as far as I can tell. I wonder if the Tunze brackets fit on the WP40's? Also Fishstreet came out with their version of the WP'S with horizontal slits and better dampening on their brackets.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  4. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    Nice review! I still gotta check to make sure the pumps I ordered arrived. You did get it much faster! :)

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  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I know there's an essay worth of reading but it was in there. However as you can see I do concede the fact that there are other noises associated with my tanks that are louder than most any pump noise. I will note though that when my MP40 is on higher speed settings it does make a considerable amount of noise compared to both Tunze and the Jebao pumps, when the MP40 is on lower settings it is much more silent. Most noticeable is in a pulse mode it's that oscillation of noise that my ears pick up even though it's far from loud it is noticeable which is why I rarely had my Vortechs on pulse mode.

    I didn't get any WP40 pumps, which I believe are the ones they redid not sure that they redid the entire line, but the WP25 pump I have on my anemone tank is quiet enough that I can't tell there's anything going on. Maybe if I did a tank test away from my tanks so that there were no other tank noises I could compare everything.

    As to the bracket, I don't know, it does have a similar design in that it has a few silicon spacers as vibration dampers, not sure if they're spaced the same. The magnets are not the same though, Tunze decided to go with two magnets that have opposite poles facing out, where as this magnet is a single magnet.
  6. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    That's a really thorough review, Mike. Thanks for doing that, I'm sure many folks will benefit from reading it if they're considering getting Jebaos.
  7. Great review,I love my wp60,It's does keep detritus afloat tho with wave moving mode.

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