Help: Stay with Tunze or switch to Vortech?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by scuba71, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    I know... might be a touchy subject to some, but I really need to know.

    So I've had two 6100 tunze's for a little over two years. I keep hearing that the Vortechs are way better!! Is it really true? Does the same statement apply to the new Tunze's, like the 6105?

    One of my main reasons for looking at the Vortech's is their footprint/size/bulkiness. The tunze's are just too bulky and protrude too much in the tank. I do like the variable speeds that the tunze provides, and the compatibility with the Apex. Not sure about the Vortechs and if they will be supported by the Apex.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    vortechs are supposed to be supported in the future.
    Vortechs are smaller (at least with internal footprint), but generally a louder.

    I like my vortech :)
  3. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    I did hear about the future support, but was not sure it is in fact true or not.

    Is it really louder? I would have thought for it to be more on the quiet side.
  4. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I've owned Vortechs and Tunzes. Here's my $0.02:

    Vortech MP40w:
    + Smaller profile in tank
    + Nice controller integrated if you don't have an Apex or AC3 + aquasurf
    + Broader flow (Noticeably so, although I wouldn't say that the Tunzes are too narrow.)
    + Runs cooler (Good in summer, bad in winter)

    Tunze 6105:
    + IME, more reliable. More tolerant of calcium buildup.
    + Postionable
    + Integrates reliable with Neptune controllers today
    + Quieter (Noticeably so.)

    I was a Tunze 6100 user for a long time, went to Vortechs and had lots of problems with them locking up. Got fed up and went back to the new generation Tunzes. Really happy I went back, although I do miss the lower profile of the Vortechs. I do find that I get a lot of CA buildup in my tank... maybe more than most people because I run both a Ca reactor and a kalk reactor... Maybe this wouldn't be an issue for you, but I couldn't deal with having to clean the pumps every two months.
  5. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I agree with what Eight said. I've had 2 MP40w Vortechs and the main issue I've had, besides more noise than I thought, is I've send them back for repair easily 6+ times over 3 years. It's been the least reliable reef equipment I've ever owned, but that said I'm not totally negative on them, the flow is great, just calling it like it is (at least in my setup).
  6. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Guest

    I'm alway been using tunze, got most of them on my tanks. But, with my new set up. I'll be going with 4 mp40w.. I'm kind of worried about the maintenance and noise issue. But will see, I still have the tunze, so i could switch back if i needed to.
  7. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Odd that you say that Jason, cause with my Tunzes I had major issues with calcium buildup and the impellars seizing [ see also the ear piercing wail of the alarm] and have not had any problems to date with my vortechs [knock wood]. Cleaning is way easier as well with the Vortech's. I keep an extra wet side around and rotate them every couple of months for a vinegar bath. They are quick and easy to clean vs. the clunky Tunze's.

    Both are good pumps and have good customer service. I don't think you can go wrong with either.
  8. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    Jason and CookieJar, which generations did you own? The 1st or 2nd vortech generation?

    Bryan, did you experience the noise issue?
  9. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    My vortech isn't dead silent, but it isn't exactly loud. Too loud for a bedroom tank, but not for a dinning room tank :p
    My vortech has behaved very well. In june, it will be 2 years of constant use without any major problems. The bearing is getting a bit worn, but ecotech is supposed to be sending me a replacement. Their service has been excellent with me in the past.

    I have ZERO experience with tunze.
  10. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I know... I just don't know why I had so many problems. I ran the Vortechs for around four months I think and during that time they came off countless times. I had two exchanges with EcoTech. I even probably have photos of the locked up impellers somewhere. I was really disappointed because I really wanted them to work. I loved the lock, I loved the concept, I loved the flow. I even shelled out for the battery backup.

    After the probably 10th night of finding the wetside on the bottom of my tank, I gave up and in a fit of rage bought a pair of 6105s. They have been noticeably more reliable than the Vortechs in my tank.

    EcoTech and Tunze are both great companies with great service, you'll probably be happy with either solution. Resell is good on both too, so if you run into a problem like mine, I'm sure you can sell them off and get most of your money back.
  11. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I had two MP40w Gen2s.
  12. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Does anyone have the new Tunze pumps? They look pretty small. Wondering how good they are compare to the older models.
    I love Tunze pumps.
  13. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Yes they are definately more noise then the Tunze's because the motor is outside the tank. It kind of comes down to pick your poision.

    To me here were my plusses and minuses of Vortech vs. Tunze:

    Easy cleaning and maintenence
    Less down time when cleaning (if you purchase an extra wetside) cost is about $75 for an extra wetside
    Battery backup available
    Better controller and ability to sync
    More room inside the tank for aquascaping
    More solid screen (I cracked more then one tunze screen when cleaning

    Definately noisier
    Unable to change direction of flow
    cost of changing out what I already had

    There probably are lots of other plusses and minuses to other people but the above were what is most important to me.
  14. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Size for smaller tanks. :p
  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    In a nut shell, no they aren't WAY better.

    IMO the Tunze 6x0x models and the Vortechs are pretty much the apex of in tank pump solutions, they're controllable, they're powerful, they're quite energy efficient.

    So when it comes down to it, it's what do you want.

    -Vortechs win in the aesthetics category since there's no wires in the tank, and they're quite low profile compared to the coke can sized Tunze 6x00 pumps
    -If you have a larger than standard sized tank, then the ability to point your tunzes might be a beneficial thing.
    -Vortechs have a bonus because you don't have to buy a controller, however you also have a negative in that you have to buy a controller with each Vortech, that added $75 to the cost of each pump for already pricey pump.
    -I'm not a big fan of the whole "wireless" solution they went with, considering my controllers are all within super close proximity to each other having a wire going to each one would not have been a big eyesore/pain. Hell there have been times when inter-connectivity between controllers wasn't even needed, as I had each one doing it's own random thing.
    -Vortechs are a bit pricier than Tunze 6105 pumps, however if you toss in the cost of a controller (if that's what you want) then they do become similarly priced.
    -Tunze have higher flow solutions with their 6205 and 6305 models, but you pay for it.
    -Both of them have bang up reputations as far as customer support, with my Vortechs everytime I've had problems, I've always gotten a cheaper than advertised repair price too from Steve :D

    IMO I would only switch out to Vortechs if you're having a lot of troubles with your Tunze and/or want that big coke can out of your tank, same thing with the 6105 pumps, they're basically the same (I think a tad more energy efficient) and they have a different design/look and are a bit smaller (IIRC). You're not going to get a huge increase in flow, if any, if you swap them out though. Now if you were going from a Koralia or Seio type of product, then yeah, but as mentioned Tunzes already are in that upper tier.
  16. Eight

    Eight Guest

    Well put Mike.

    The one thing I would say is that the 6105s are noticeably smaller and better looking in the tank than the old 6x00s. I really like the way they made them so easily positionable.

    I also was not a huge fan of the Vortech controller... it's nice if you have no controller at all, but they're not close to as versatile or as well integrated if you are using an Aquacontroller or Apex. Integrated feed mode with skimmer control, remote network control, timing the waves to multiple specific periods of the day and all of these other advanced functionalities which require the controller to work with the pumps are not an option with Vortech until they finally get integration with Neptune Sys. I have heard they're working on that though, so maybe this won't be a future some point in the future.

    Also, the Tunzes integrate beautifully with battery backup as well... You just need to buy a small interface part from Tunze and then get any large DC battery. I have a thread on this somewhere on BAR. Seach "Tunze battery backup"
  17. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    No need for the "you heard" since it is a publicly known fact :p

    You also forgot to mention you need to buy a charger for the battery as well (for the Tunze back-up)
  18. Eight

    Eight Guest

    Fair enough Gresh! :)

    On the flipside though, has Neptune confirmed official planned support for Vortech yet? I am assuming so, but haven't seen anything definitive to that fact.

  19. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    From Curt on the RC forum, currently in beta testing:

    - Preliminary support for Vortech module
  20. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    Thank you for the awesome feedback. As of this moment I am leaning towards Tunze just because of the noise factor. However, I am still not crazy about the "coke can" size that I have to deal with in my tank.

    Then again, it will be interesting to see the Apex module support for Vortech. May be that might sway me over into getting the MP40.

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