Aquarium Fish

Ecotech Vortech MP40W ES Review

The Ecotech Vortech MP40W ES is an aquarium power head that is used to provide various types of water movement within your aqauarium. The Ecotech Vortech MP40W is very expensive and most hobbyists won't even consider this piece of equipment for their fish tank or coral reef tank given it's price ($450+ in 2011) when you can run several power heads for half the price. Reef tank keepers may want to really take a good look at it though because it can give you some really interesting water action in your reef tank that could prove to be very beneficial to corals. Fish only saltwater hobbyists or freshwater aquarium keepers could most likely skip this until the price comes down on them.

Ecotech Vortech MP40W ES

Ecotech Vortech MP40W Specs:

  • Rated for tanks between 50 and 500 gallons (190 - 1,800 liters)
  • Produces 1,000 to 3,200 gallons per hour flow (3,785 to 12,100 liters per hour)
  • Small in tank footprint (motor housing is placed outside the tank)
  • Less heat in the tank than conventional power heads
  • 9 to 28 watts power consumption
  • Dimensions: wet side - 3" diameter by 2.25" long, dry side - 3" diameter by 2.25" long
  • Clearance needed is 3"
  • Up to 10 different modes: Nutrient Transport Mode, Tidal Swell Mode, Reef Crest Random, Lagoonal, Short Pulse, Long Pulse, Feed Mode, Night Mode, Battery Backup Mode, Auto-Dim
  • On/Off switch on module for easy turn on/off (really convenient for feeding time)

After drooling over this Ecotech Vortech MP40W power head for the last couple of years I finally got the extra cash saved up to purchase one of them. Unless you have a reef tank I can't see how someone could justify the extra expense of running a vortech mp40w when you could get multiple power heads to almost recreate similar water patterns. Some feel that water flow is just as or even more important than lighting when it comes to corals. So, if you have a tank that is loaded with corals this might very well be a good investment but otherwise you could probably use less expensive power heads.

After getting it out of the box and setting it up I probably spent a good hour or longer just messing with all the many settings. Settings such as Lagoonal, Reef Crest, Short Pulse, Long Pulse and all the various speeds for each setting makes the options seem endless. It may take some time to get the perfect wave or water motion that suites your tank. Below is a sample video of the wave action you can create.

After many months of use I'm still very happy with this purchase. Maintenance is a breeze. You simply remove the wet side assembly from the tank and turn it counter-clockwise to remove the hard plastic screening around the prop. You can then use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the prop and base. That is all there is to it.


  • Motor is outside the tank which means less heat inside the tank
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to set up
  • Literally hundreds of different water motions you can create
  • You can link it to other vortech devices and set up master/slave combos
  • You can turn it off easily with the push of one button for when it's feeding time and then turn it back on and it remembers the setting it was on. Very handy feature that I use daily.
  • Very high flows with this size pump


  • Only one negative and that is the price.

Overall, next to a good skimmer and lighting set up this is another very good investment if you can afford it. I would definitely recommend it to friends and I give this product 5 stars

Thanks for reading.

Author : Mike FishLore

Rating Information
Review Title: Ecotech Vortech MP40W ES
Reviewed by: Mike FishLore
Summary: Review of the Ecotech Vortech MP40W ES.
Description: The Ecotech Vortech MP40W ES is an aquarium power head that is used to provide various types of water movement within your aqauarium.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Ecotech Vortech MP40W ES Comments

From: Sanders
Currently, the vortechs are the best water movers for aquariums that you can get. Period. They are over priced but they are the best.

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