Hydor Koralia Evolution Powerhead Review


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Size Dimensions Tank Size Noise Level Longevity Price
600 GPH 5.5″ x 2.75″ x 2.75″ 25-80 Gallons Very Low 2-8 Years Medium
850 GPH 5.5″ x 2.75″ x 2.75″ 30-100 Gallons Very-Low 2-8 Years Medium-Low
1150 GPH 5.5″ x 2.75″ x 2.75″ 45-140 Gallons Very Low 2-8 Years Medium
1500 GPH 5.5″ x 2.75″ x 2.75″ 55-175 Gallons Very Low 2-8 Years Medium

The Hydor Koralia Evolution is a middle priced powerhead that offers amazing power, circulation and overall quality for a fraction of other brands. It has a wide selection of sizes, all with only minimal price difference, meaning large tanks can find all their circulation right here without having to worry about replacement for years. The Evo model is much lower profile than the previous models while also being more energy efficient.

Set-up

Setting up the Hydor Koralia Evo is a simple process, and the 6 foot cord ensures you have plenty of freedom while still enabling a drip loop. The powerhead comes set up with the magnets separated, and for good reason! Right off the bat I need to warn you to never let the magnets touch! These are designed to hold the powerhead still, under high pressure while pushing out tons of water, through 3/4″ thick glass. When put directly together, as I’ve once had to deal with, is an absolute nightmare.

If you need to separate the Hydor Koralia magnets you will need a strong, straight edged surface and some muscle. Otherwise you will need a magnet separating device, which is pretty simple and does the same thing you can do by hand. Place only one of the magnets on the edge of the surface, with the other hanging off. Next you will need to push the magnet down the other one in an attempt to slide them apart. Do this with someone nearby, as you will not be able to remove the magnet by yourself should it clamp on to your hand. It will take a lot of force, which gave the rubber on mine a small permanent bend, but the magnet will slowly slide off the other. This goes without saying but keep these magnets a good distance apart once you separate them and do not put them near anything metal. The can yank kitchenware from a surprising distance so do be careful.

Anyways you will want to hold the outside magnet next to the glass while slowly bringing the inside magnet towards it. This is done because the water will help you resist the magnets. Once it is close to the glass keep a firm grip and do not let go until the magnet is 100% secured against the glass. When done hastily this will easily crack your aquarium.

Scary magnets aside you should be done setting up your Koralia Evolution. et the direction of the powerhead before turning it on to avoid any sandstorms or blown away corals/rocks. You will also want to ensure no fish are in front of the powerhead when turning it on, as they will not be ready for the sudden flow. Once on you will not need to worry about your fish and can fine tune the direction until it is just right.

Note: While the Koralia evolution can be used as a wave maker it is far from ideal. The propeller may run reverse on start up, causing the propeller to spin briefly before striking the reverse flow checking pin. This creates a loud clicking noise and will happen about 30-50% of the time you restart the powerhead. Additionally when this happens too frequently the pin can be broken off, leaving nothing to stop the Koralia from running in reverse. To prevent this you should reinforce the pin using aquarium safe adhesive.

Assembly

After using the Koralia Evolution for sometime you will need to add a safety net to the front of the powerhead. This is to protect all fish from the propeller in the event of reverse running while also keeping fish from resting in the powerhead when it is turned off. For my powerheads I like to cut a net from the bag oranges are sold in, as it is strong and cheap.

The Koralia Evolution comes apart fairly easily, allowing you to clean the grates, propeller and propeller mount. For the longest lifetime it is suggested that you soak the powerhead in vinegar before taking it apart, as this will make the process easier and reduce the wear on the powerhead. Be sure to clean the propellers mount with a cotton swab, as abrasive materials can damage it and prevent the propeller from spinning properly.

When the powerhead is noisy it is often because it is ready for a cleaning. Cleanings should occur every month for the best results.

Flow & Adjustments

The flow on the Koralia Evo cannot be adjusted without a controller, meaning the powerhead will only turn on and odd via the power cord. The direction of the powerhead is easy to set thanks to the ball jointed mount.

The flow of the Koralia Evolution is a bit more directed than other powerheads, closely resembling what the Tunze powerhead produces. While it is still distributed fairly well it is more suited to long tanks than tall ones.

The four models cover a massive range of 600-1500 GPH. Keep in mind that fish will be swimming in the tanks and not to put the powerheads, especially the stronger versions, in well established territories. This will cause plenty of stress as the fish will see its old home but be unable to rest there.

Warranty & Lifetime

Hydor offers a 2 year warranty on their Koralia Evolution model powerheads, and they always stick to their products. You can easily contact them Via email or phone. Email allows you to explain your problems in better detail, but I just like to write down the issue and then call them. This lets me give Hydor a detailed description of the problem without fumbling on the phone or forgetting major bits of info.

When treated properly the Koralia Evolution can last well over 3 years, often reaching up to 6 years of constant use. To get the full six years you will need to be gentle but thorough when cleaning out the powerhead. It also helps to keep away any macro algae, as this can be rough on the propeller if even only for a second.

Review

Overall the Hydor Koralia Evolution brings the effects of a much higher cost Tunze filter for a fraction of the price. The parts are definitely not as strong, and you wont see the 15+ years some Tunze owners brag about, but you will get amazing water flow for years to come. If you are serious about keeping high flow demanding fish and corals, but aren’t yet ready to invest in a high priced powerhead, the Koralia Evolution is for you.

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