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What is the difference between each mode, and which one is best for my aquarium?

Every aquarium is different, and our modes are designed for a wide variety of applications. Below is more information on each mode as well as detailed diagrams to help you better understand which would work best for you: 

Ecosmart TSM (Tidal Swell Mode): 

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, your EcoSmart master driver will be purple and your slave driver will flash white/orange/teal and indicate its speed using the LED strip. The first two LEDs 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, and is represented visually below: 
 

EcoSmart NTM (Nutrient Transport Mode): 

In this EcoSmart mode, water is circulated in a two phase program to promote maximum health and nutrient export, as well as increased growth for sensitive corals such as SPS. In this mode, your EcoSmart master driver will be purple and your slave driver will flash white/orange/teal and indicate its speed using the LED strip. The third and fourth LEDs will indicate which EcoSmart mode you are in. This mode is represented in the image below: 

 

Phase one, or the wave phase, consists of the pumps pulsing at an expanding frequency so as to achieve a resonant wave in any aquarium at some point in the pulse cycle. If you have already tuned a wave form into your EcoSmart driver by using the auto-tune function in Short Pulse Mode, this saved resonant wave will automatically be used during phase one of the this mode. The pulsing serves to raise debris and detritus from the bottom of the tank and behind the rock work, where it will then be migrated out from the water column and into your overflow during phase two. 
Phase two, or the nutrient transport phase, begins a flushing cycle to export nutrients and debris in the water column which can then be captured by your protein skimmer or other filtration equipment, effectively removing it from the aquarium and increasing the overall health of your tank. 

Constant Speed Mode: 

In Constant Speed Mode (indicated by a green LED on the knob) the pump runs continuously at a constant speed which can be set by the user. When in constant speed mode, slave pumps will only sync with the master pump, there is no anti-sync. When you change speed, the speed of the pump will be represented by the LED bar. To navigate to the mode, press the mode button until the control dial turns green. You can then adjust the speed of the mode using the control dial. The speed will be indicated by the blue LED light strip.

Random Modes: 

Random mode operates in two different settings, Lagoonal and Reefcrest. These random modes are used to simulate natural reef environments. To navigate to each of these modes, press mode until the control dial turns yellow. Then press set to switch between Reefcrest Random and Lagoonal Random. The specific Random mode you are in will be indicated by a pair of two blue LED lights brightly illuminated. The speed of these modes will be indicated by dim LED light. 

Reefcrest Random Mode mimics a high-energy reef zone such as that found on the reefcrest of a natural coral reef. In this zone of the coral reef, the waves crash down upon the reef providing frequent surges in flow. Reefcrest Mode simulates this environment by automatically changing the speed of your pump frequently and drastically. 

Adjusting the knob will change the maximum speed that the pump operates at while in Reefcrest Mode. This will be shown visually on the LED strip for three seconds. After the maximum speed representation disappears, the LED strip will represent what speed the pump is currently operating at within the Reefcrest Mode cycle. You will notice that at some times the pump runs at higher speeds than at others. This is the nature of Reefcrest Mode. 

Lagoon Random Mode mimics the low-energy reef zone such as that found in a lagoon. A lagoon is protected from the high energy of large waves and therefore the corals that come from this zone are used to slower, more gentle currents than those found in a reefcrest environment. Lagoon Mode simulates this environment by automatically changing the speed of your pump slowly. The graph below shows a sample of what Reefcrest and Lagoon Mode speeds might look like. 

 

Short Pulse Mode: 

Short Pulse Mode allows for pulsing the pump from a minimum to a set maximum speed for between 0.3 seconds and 2 seconds per pulse for the MP40w and between 0.25 seconds and 1.5 seconds for the MP10 and MP10w. This mode is generally used when one wants to create a resonant standing wave in the aquarium. A resonant standing wave refers to a gentle back and forth motion that can be created in the aquarium if you tune the pulse frequency of your VorTech pump to match the harmonic resonant frequency of your aquarium. For every uniquely sized aquarium, there will be a unique resonant frequency. Your EcoSmart driver allows you to auto-tune this frequency and to save it once the frequency has been found. Short Pulse Mode can then be used if you would like a wave running all the time, or you can use an EcoSmart mode which will auto-load your saved wave frequency and use it during points in the EcoSmart program. In this mode, your slave driver will ramp its LED strip. 

To use Short Pulse Mode, tap Mode until the LED turns blue. Now, by adjusting the knob, you can change the maximum speed that the pump achieves during Short Pulse Mode. Tap Set to save this maximum speed and to begin tuning the frequency. When you adjust the knob, you will see that the frequency changes corresponding to the pulse frequency in the LED strip. The graph below shows the sequence of short pulses that the Vortech pump will make when set to Short Pulse mode. 

 

Long Pulse Mode: 

Long Pulse Mode allows for pulsing the pump from a minimum to a set maximum of between two seconds and one minute per pulse. This mode is ideal for the creation of gyre flow within the aquarium. To create a gyre, a minimum of four pumps is ideal. Two pumps would be placed on one side of the aquarium and two pumps on the other side of the aquarium. The pumps in opposite corners will be synced together and the other two pumps would be anti-synced. When run in Long Pulse Mode, this will create a flow pattern which alternates from clockwise to counter-clockwise. 

To use Long Pulse Mode, tap MODE until the LED turns pink. Now by adjusting the knob you can change the maximum speed that the pump achieves during Long Pulse Mode, which will be indicated by the LED strip. Tap SET to save this maximum speed and to begin tuning the frequency. When you adjust the knob, you will see that the frequency changes corresponding to the pulse frequency in the LED strip. You can now save this pattern by holding SET. The LED knob will blink and then start breathing pink, indicating that the pattern has been saved. The graph below represents the sequence of long pulses that the VorTech pump will make when set to Long Pulse Mode. 

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