Everyone knows that Vortechs are some of the best pumps money can buy, but does anyone really know how to run one well? What mode should we run them in? What flow setting should we run them on? These are questions that I hear a lot, and there really are no simple answers. Every mode on a Vortech can be used to make your reef very happy. Which one you use just depends on what you're keeping and what kind of look you want in your reef. EcoSmart Tidal Swell Mode is the newest one that I'm giving a shot and from what I've seen so far it's worth getting a full write-up. As said by Vortech: This EcoSmart mode is used to create a harmonic balance in your aquarium reminiscent of the changing flow conditions that would be found in nature. In this mode, you EcoSmart master driver will be purple and your slave driver will flash white/orange/teal and indicate its speed by the LED strip. The first two LED's will indicate which EcoSmart mode you are in. This mode would be great for ultra high energy reef tanks, such as those that an SPS keeper seeks to create.... As with all their mode descriptions, this is a bit on the vague side, so lets explore this mode a little bit more. What it does: Tidal Swell mode is just that, a simulation of natural tidal swells. This means that flow is slowly throttled up and down at a set interval, and each time it is throttled up it is run at higher and higher power. The final throttle up is a nice long curve peaking at maximum power. The entire cycle runs over a period of a few hours, so there are no abrupt changes that may cause corals to draw back. Why it does this: This is a great simulation of tidal swelling. Some people would say that it can't exactly match the time frame of when the ocean swells in and out, but really that's not the goal here. The goal is to recreate the ever changing conditions of the ocean, and this one hits it on the dot. Changes are nice and slow giving coral time to adjust, but flow still hits many different intensities throughout the day. It hits high points capable of getting particles back in suspension and cleaning out SPS, and it hits low points perfect for LPS to relaxe and catch some food out of the flow. Using it: This is the best mode for SPS reefs as even Vortech said. SPS needs high flow periods to keep healthy, but it also enjoys periods of low flow to catch food. For SPS reefs run this mode as high as you possibly can without making a sand storm. Corals may take some time to adjust, but believe me, they will love it! For LPS and soft coral you will need to set the pump for their needs. Set the pump to the green constant mode and gradually turn it up until your corals are getting thrashed around to the max that you would like to see. This will set the peak throttle of the swell mode. Now set your pump back on the EcoSmart Tidal Swell mode and let her run. Keep in mind that LPS and soft corals also take some time to adjust to flow and they can probably handle a lot more than you think.