New Sicce Voyager Powerhead Review

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by rocketmandb, Feb 8, 2010.

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  1. rocketmandb

    rocketmandb Ocellaris Clown

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    So I actually responded to an email advertisement from Aquacave (no negative here, I signed up for them) that was talking about the new Sicce Powerheads. I did some research and found that Sicce claims their design precludes the startup clicks that plague most powerheads attached to wave makers. I decided to buy one to try it out and have to say that so far I'm impressed.

    Figure 1: Pump and Mount
    [​IMG]

    Mounting:

    The mount is the ever-more popular magnet mount and it is pretty strong. It holds through my 1/2" glass with solid attraction. It has an interesting circular magnet that I'm guessing helps keep things aligned and reduces material required (See figure 2).

    Inside the tank the mount is a solid design, but not the best I've seen. The best, in my opinion, is the Tunze Stream ball mount that allows you to simply rotate the output of the pump in any direction. I really like that. My guess is there is a patent issue there so what Sicce has come up with is a little more conventional and does work pretty well. The actual pump pivots only around one axis while the entire mount rotates. The end result is that you can set it to any direction, but not as easily as the Tunze Streams.


    Figure 2: Mounting Bracket
    [​IMG]


    Feature 1: Silence is Golden

    As mentioned above, so far in operation the repeated startup on my wave maker is completely as advertised. I cannot hear a thing other than the wurr of the impeller spinning in the water. I am quite happy with that.


    Feature 2: Controllable Flow

    Sicce has come up with an interesting way to control the flow coming out of the powerhead. Just cover up the holes (see figures 3 and 4 below). While not dynamically controllable, it does allow you to set and forget it. I'll have mine completely open, but for people who have sand blowing issues I think this is a nice feature. Now it's not all great. I fiddled around with it and wasn't too keen on the action to set it to different locations. Turn it too far and the plate disengages. It wasn't a huge deal while it was sitting on the table, I can forsee many a user setting these in the tank, having it fall off, sink to the bottom, get water everywhere trying to reattach, etc. Certainly not a critical flaw by any means, but a minor blemish on what is otherwise a strong design.

    Figure 3:
    [​IMG]

    Figure 4:
    [​IMG]

    Figure 5: Internal
    [​IMG]


    Feature 3: Price

    The Voyager series is a very good buy. At Aquacave the 800 gph, 1200 gph and 1600 gph models cash out at $51.95, $59.83 and $84.34 respectively. Compare that to similar Tunze Streams at $69.27, $106.11 and $134.34 and you've got a pretty good deal. It is roughly on par with similar Koralias (slightly more).


    Feature 4: Size

    Thanks to Mike for the idea to put in a pic comparing sizes. All I've got readily available and not currently in operation is a Koralia 2, but it makes for an apt comparison. At 600 gph it is half the rated flow of the Voyager 3 pictured, but as you can see from figure 6 below, it is roughly the same size. I wish I had a Koralia 4 on hand for an apples to apples comparison. I may run by a LFS tomorrow and take a pic.

    Figure 6: Size Comparison Voyager 3 (1200gph) vs. Koralia 2 (600 gph)
    [​IMG]


    Summary:

    With the major caveat that I have not run a Voyager for very long I can say that my initial impressions are highly favorable. A 1200 gph model (model 3) has been running on my wavemaker with no glitches and puts out a good flow compared to my Tunze 6065 (rated at 1700 gph) - falls short, but it should considering it's 1200 vs 1700 gph. It seems that the gap is closer than that. No noise on start up and no reversing flow like I've experienced on my Tunzes.

    As mentioned above, it delivers on its promise to keep quiet on startup and does seem perfectly suited for wave makers.

    Obviously it needs to run for a lot longer to see whether it has similar longevity to other models, but for a pump that delivers flow, price and, most importantly to me, silence on start up for wave makers, it delivers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
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  3. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    Do you have any Koralias you could put it next to for a picture so we can get a size reference? Looks like a pretty good design.
     
  4. rocketmandb

    rocketmandb Ocellaris Clown

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    Good idea... give me 5 minutes :)
     
  5. ZachB

    ZachB Giant Squid

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    Not bad little pumps. Buddy of mine has one here and it seems nice. Bulky in the tank, but not unlike a Koralia and more controllable.
     
  6. rocketmandb

    rocketmandb Ocellaris Clown

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    By the way... anyone know of the correct pronunciation of Sicce? I go by "see'-chay." I've heard "see'-say" and I've heard "sick"
     
  7. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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    Have you tried it on a wavemaker or timer or plugged and unlugged it multiple times to see if it rattles on startup? That would be the one thing I am interested in hearing about.
     
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  9. rocketmandb

    rocketmandb Ocellaris Clown

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    It is currently on my wavemaker and absolutely no rattles. Based on what I've seen so far I'm going to be putting three of them on my wavemaker in my new setup. Note that I've only run the 1200 gph version so far.
     
  10. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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  11. rocketmandb

    rocketmandb Ocellaris Clown

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    Quick Update:

    About three weeks since I bought the Sicce pumps and I wanted to post an update that they are still going strong on my wave maker. I'm very happy with them.
     
  12. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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