Water pumps and powerheads are crucial pieces of aquarium equipment, so why not treat them as such? Instead of letting them build up thick layers of algae and crud, try cleaning them every onece in a while. Over time, as the pump intakes and propellers/impellers become covered in growth and debris, their output decreases. On top of that, the motors are taxed with the added workload, and unbalanced propellers can lead to broken or bent propeller shafts. And when pumps start failing, or becoming so inefficient that they are almost useless, then our tank inhabitants start suffering. Nutrient control declines and corals may “brown out” or even die.
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