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Old 12/29/2017, 04:25 PM   #1
DeepBlueSea
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My gut said don't do it....

Getting back into the hobby... Reading up on all the new technology... The big question... Old reliable for a return pump or one of the new fangled DC return pumps.

Read 100's if not 1000's of reviews. Some good, some bad, some from the fanboys, some from the haters. old reviews, new reviews. Retailer reviews, customer reviews. YouTube reviews, old articles, new articles.

Try to make the most educated purchase I can possible make... My gut said don't do it... just go with a reliable Eheim 1262 return pump...

BUT NO... I choose to roll the dice and spend twice the amount on an Ecotech Marine Vectra M1. I convince myself that this pump will grow with me. As I get the larger tank, this pump will be the future setup too... I won't have to spend twice and in the end I will have spent less by spending more upfront.

2 weeks to the day of plumbing it... Vectra M1 acting up. It's cycling power on/off all morning long. Watching it go through 10,15,20 attempts before it starts pumping water again. Two minutes later, shuts down again and again, and again. Finally, it's not doing anything. Unplug it, let it sit for 30 minutes, plug it back in.. it's pumping.... for five minutes and back to on/off power cycle.

So, my hands were back in the sump, removing the brand spanking new $350 Vectra M1... and replacing it with the 12 year old, Eheim 1262 that runs the skimmer.

Logged a ticket with EcoTech Marine, updated said ticket a dozen times with everything I tried.. no response today. Didn't really expect it. It's Friday before New Years weekend... I'm sure when they do get to my ticket, they will provide wonderful customer service. They'll probably want to charge me $1 for them to ship out a new power supply or controller or both... who knows. In the end, I'm sure I'll have a working $350 DC pump, but damn am I frustrated and not really sure I'm going to trust the pump for anything more than a salt mixing water change pump at this point.

I really don't mean to bash EcoTech.. I've spent $2,000 on EcoTech Marine products. I really really want to like their products, but 2 weeks for a Vectra M1. A bad dry side on initial start up of my Vortex. 2 out of five products 'defective'. That's not making me feel warm and fuzzy as a consumer.

I'd much rather have a solid product that doesn't require customer service, then having 'good' customer service for a sub-par expensive product.

Signed,
Super Frustrated...
The EcoTech reps will know who I am. (I'll apologize in advance.)


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Old 12/29/2017, 04:38 PM   #2
outy
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None of the DC pumps have proven reliability like an Iwaki or other similar AC pumps.

Due to the high wattage of these pumps I decided to try DC as well and went Jeboa for a basement pump. At first this 80W pump ran at 100% and was a little lower flow then I have ran for a decade. I redid the plumbing with a Y instead of a T, and used 1 1/4" pvc instead of 1" and now I run at 50 watts same flow as I'm used to, and so far this pump has had better reviews here then ecotech. The m1 has showed itself to not be that reliable.

I hope you get a good one next time around. Ive heard from DC users that its best to keep these clean and to stay on top of maintenance.


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Old 12/29/2017, 05:11 PM   #3
hijinks
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I've run a jebao DC pump for 4 years now. I tore down my told system and getting a larger one after the move.

The reason I go that way is I oversize the return pump. I bought one that can pump 30x my display per hour and I like running them at 50-60% It cuts down on the noise and I have a lot of growth off my manifold.

I don't even hear the pump in my setup.


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Old 12/29/2017, 06:24 PM   #4
tkeracer619
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They'll take care of you. There are a lot of vectras running without any problems. Electronics usually fail early on or not for a long time. Sucks it happened but I wouldn't read too much into it.


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Old 12/31/2017, 02:33 PM   #5
DeepBlueSea
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Just to offer an honest and continuation of my rant from Friday....

After removing the pump from service...

On Saturday, I noticed that the power indicator light on the power supply was 'constantly on' even though I didn't have it connected to the controller.

On Sunday, I decided to throw the pump into a bucket of freshwater and see how it would operate and to see if I could hard reset the controller.

We'll, I threw it in the bucket, plugged the unit power supply into the controller, cycled through and... low and behold, it's working. I let it continue to pump in the bucket for the next five hours, checking on it periodically. Never heard it shut down, seemed to be running consistently.

Since, I'll be home for the next 48 hours, I figure, let's throw it back into the sump as the return pump.

I then re-synced the Vectra M1 with EcoSmartLive. Reset the program to run at 65% of my last calibration on 12/17/2017.

It's running normally again. Wondering what could have caused the problem on Friday that I experienced????

Either way, I suspect EcoTech Service will get back to me on Tuesday January 2nd. I'll see what they have to say and if it acts up again.

I'll update the post accordingly.


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Old 12/31/2017, 03:42 PM   #6
DeepBlueSea
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That didn't last long... Not sure when it went out, but just looked at it and the controller was 'dark' (no power). Power supply LED... Unlit.

Back to the 12 year old workhorse Eheim 1262.


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Old 12/31/2017, 03:43 PM   #7
DeepBlueSea
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Must be a bad controller, because now that I unplugged the power supply to the controller, the LED on the power supply is illuminated.


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Old 01/03/2018, 01:54 PM   #8
DeepBlueSea
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At the recommendation of EcoTech Support, performed a Factory Reset on the controller and re-calibrated. Ran over night at 50%. Time will tell if it happens again. All I can say... Under the circumstances, I don't feel confident running a single return pump at this point in time. Not a bad idea for anyone to run dual return pumps, and what I was planning on running on the main display that is in the works anyhow.

I will also say, as a guy who doesn't own any other controller at this time... I do like the ability to control the system via an app, web browser and being able to control the flow in the tank.


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Old 01/03/2018, 04:17 PM   #9
Bronx19
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Whilst we're on calibration. I'm running a M1 and have not and cannot be arsed calibrating it. The pump has a max and a min output, what difference does it make if each set increment on the dial is slightly out?


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepBlueSea View Post
At the recommendation of EcoTech Support, performed a Factory Reset on the controller and re-calibrated. Ran over night at 50%. Time will tell if it happens again. All I can say... Under the circumstances, I don't feel confident running a single return pump at this point in time. Not a bad idea for anyone to run dual return pumps, and what I was planning on running on the main display that is in the works anyhow.
One of the least discussed issues with reef aquarium hobbyist is possibly redundancy (i.e. having equipment back-ups), especially for those with significant investment in their reef aquariums. You see in at public aquariums of course (or could if one went "behind the scenes"), but don't hear/ read much of it in various forums.

I keep back-ups of lights, return pumps, flow pumps, heaters and even aquariums (not feasible for very large displays usually). Having to rely on a single return pump and having issues with it is indeed problematic, but does not necessitate running two pumps, but having two pumps, with one in reserve.


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:34 PM   #11
biecacka
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I have also heard that the M1 puts out substantially less flow than advertised. However, I don't know that since I've never used one, just something I have read a few times.

Corey


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:41 PM   #12
Sk8r
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I love my Iwaki 100, but thank goodness it's in the basement. Sounds like a jet warming up.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, 2 firefish, 2 chromis, royal gramma basslet, starry blenny, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/03/2018, 06:38 PM   #13
HBtank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronx19 View Post
Whilst we're on calibration. I'm running a M1 and have not and cannot be arsed calibrating it. The pump has a max and a min output, what difference does it make if each set increment on the dial is slightly out?
I think that feature is to help tune over-sized pumps from accidentally exceeding the overflow capacity of the aquarium; once set it's not an issue.


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Old 01/04/2018, 01:59 PM   #14
tkeracer619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooman72 View Post
One of the least discussed issues with reef aquarium hobbyist is possibly redundancy (i.e. having equipment back-ups), especially for those with significant investment in their reef aquariums. You see in at public aquariums of course (or could if one went "behind the scenes"), but don't hear/ read much of it in various forums.

I keep back-ups of lights, return pumps, flow pumps, heaters and even aquariums (not feasible for very large displays usually). Having to rely on a single return pump and having issues with it is indeed problematic, but does not necessitate running two pumps, but having two pumps, with one in reserve.
A return pump failing won't kill a tank as long as the tank has additional powerheads and heat if necessary. Keeping a spare on hand is a good idea though. I have a spare with all the matched fittings ready to go.


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