Stock Check is our new series of videos/articles where Kandace and Jaron review categories of products with an eye to stocking a retail store. This week they take a look at aquarium return pumps. They each picked five pumps they would put on the shelves if they owned a retail store. They chose pumps that meet a wide variety of customer needs, but also have decent margins.

Jaron and Kandace both worked in local aquariums stores and understand customer needs as well as the economics of retailing aquarium products. On a daily basis at VASCA they also see which products local fish stores are successfully selling.

Kandace's Top Five:

#1 Reef Octopus OCTO VarioS-2 Controllable DC Circulation Pump
A compact and reliable DC pump with a max flow of 792 gph. Features a detachable controller with a waterproof union. A float valve switch connection for added security because nobody wants 100 gallons of water on their floor. 5 speeds. Includes a 0-10v input for a Neptune Apex controller or a Reef Angel to be controlled via wireless.

#2 Reef Octopus OCTO VarioS-4 Controllable DC Circulation Pump
Two sizes up from the VarioS-4—for bigger tanks. Max flow of 1720 gph.

#3 Hydor Seltz D 3200 GPH Controllable Universal Pump
An AC controllable pump with a max head of 16 ft. Includes 3/4", 1", 1.25" & 1.5" hose barbs. Can be used externally or internally. Very energy efficient and can be used in either fresh or saltwater. Compact and quiet. Made in Italy. Not as expensive as EcoTech Vectra, but with more flow. Good margin.

#4 The Little Giant 4-MDQ-SC Aquarium Pump
A durable external-only pressure pump that is a great fit for situations where there is significant back pressure: in-line canister filters, UV sterilizers and chillers. Flow rate of 850 GPH and a max head of 24.3 feet. The connection inlet is 1" FNPT and the outlet is 1/2" MNPT. Very durable—known to last 20 plus years! Little Giant is a US manufacturer.

#5 Oase OptiMax 1420 gph Aquarium Pump
A 1420 gph pump that is great for both submersible or external use. It fits most 1" & 5/9" plumbed aquariums, has an adjustable flow lever to control the amount of flow and is very affordable. Though an aquarium pump, it has a titanium shaft that is more common in pond pumps where the need for a strong shaft is greater. Oase is the leading manufacturer of pond pumps in Europe.

Jaron's Top Five:

#1 Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One Pro Model 400
A small and versatile 103 gph pump that can be used in many situations: media reactors, ATOs, nano tanks, fountains , or just mixing salt water in a jug. For submersible use only. Can be used with freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Great value.

#2 Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One Pro Model 2200
594 gph. 3/4" and 1" hose fittings. Max head of 10.66 feet. A versatile and affordable return pump for 55, 75 and 90 gallon aquariums. Great margin for an entry level pump. Bigger pumps are often used in the same situations, but they can be loud (with just one 1” drain).

“The cheapest pump I would consider buying.”

#3 Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One Pro Model 3000
Yet another Quiet One from a man everyone knows likes to talk. An entry level return pump with 758 gph and 10.3' max head. Great for tanks with two 1" drains or single 1-1/2" drain. For tanks up to 300 gallons.

#4 Rossmont Riser R550 Return Pump
Small, quiet and strong, this return pump can also be controlled with the Rossmont Waver (sold separately). Flow rate of 550 gph, which is great for aquariums up to 110 gallons. Small enough for most all-in-one aquariums. Made in Italy.

#5 Rossmont Riser R850 Return Pump
An 850 gph AC pump that can be controlled with a Rossmont Waver wireless controller.
Very quiet and energy efficient. Can be used in a sump, an all-in-one tank or even a closed-loop system. Rated for up to 145 gallons saltwater and up to 290 gallons in freshwater.

We hope these recommendations are helpful. We would also appreciate any feedback you might have and suggestions for future videos/articles.

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