SunSun JVP 1300 GPH Wave Maker Powerhead Review

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Dimensions Adjustable Noise Level Longevity Price
5.5″ x 3″ x 3″ Direction – 360 degrees
Flow – Not Adjustable
low-Medium 1-2 Years Low

The Sunsun 1300 GPH is a high strength powerhead with a price that absolutely cannot be beat. That being said it should be no surprise that it has a couple downsides. Overall the powerhead can be used when care is taken, but if you are looking for a simple plug and play powerhead you may need to spend a bit more and pick a different model.


All Sunsun powerheads turn on and off only when given or losing power. This means you will need either a timer, power strip or to unplug the powerhead entirely to turn it off.

Unfortunately this model can start in reverse after a few months of ownership and you will need to keep an eye on it to prevent this. Additionally the front has large openings, allowing fish an opening to enter the powerhead. Always be sure no one is inside when you turn this powerhead back on. If you are going to be using a timer for your power heads you should create a net to prevent any entry. The bag that oranges come in is my personal favorite, as the material is strong and I love oranges.

Remember that the powerhead is powerful and should be positioned as such. For my tanks I always aim strong powerheads at a slight angle to create a circular flow around the tank. This also creates slow moving zones for fish to rest in.

Because this model comes so cheaply in a two pack you will likely be using two in your tank. However if your tank is below 100 gallons you should probably be looking for a smaller model. Back on point, using two powerheads is best done to create one singular flow around the tank while also preventing dead zones. With these high strength powerheads I have had the best success placing them low into the tank, angling them slightly upwards on opposite sides of the tank. This takes advantage of the round body, which creates a more evenly distributed flow, and keeps the substrate free of debris. The water is then pushed around and upwards, keeping it all highly oxygenated. Furthermore you will need a few blocking structures, such as live rock, to help create low flow zones. These are where your fish will rest and sleep, so be sure there are enough for all of your fish. Don’t forget if you use an overflow box that behind it will also be a great low flow zone.

A huge flaw here is the cords strength. With slightly rough treatment, such as scratching against cut glass lids or sharp live rocks, the cord can easily become frayed. This leaks voltage into the tank, which at high enough levels can kill the entire system. Small levels will shock the aquarist when they reach into the tank. If this happens immediately unplug the powerhead and remove it from the tank. If you are an electrician you can attempt to repair it, but this is pretty much the end of its lifetime for me.

Another note about the cord is its length. the cord measures around 4.5 feet which isn’t too short. However with the strength of this model it is clearly meant for bigger, deeper tanks. In that case the cord is actually fairly short. You will need your tank next to an outlet, with its power strip raised as close as possible while still maintaining a safe drip loop.

The suction cups are of ok strength and will generally hold if you keep the glass underneath them clean. If the suction cup becomes warped and will no longer hold onto the glass you can try placing it in boiling water to try and fix it. This works by resetting the plastic into its original shape. A last ditch effort for a strong grip is to heat the suction cup just before placing it into the tank. Quickly stick it to the wall. As it cools the air underneath will contract and create a much stronger seal. Keep in mind the suction cup will be very hard to remove after doing this. If all else fails you can simply buy a new suction cup, but at this price point you may want to just consider reordering the powerhead if it’s getting older.


The Sunsun 1300 GPH JVP comes apart fairly easily by squeezing and wiggling the two parts apart. After that you can easily deep clean the powerhead, restoring some power and improving its lifespan. You can also clean out the propellers mounting point. Just be sure not to scratch the inner magnets or the propeller will never spin correctly again. No sharp pipe cleaners!

Remember to remove even the coralline algae from your powerhead. While it is pretty and can be beneficial to tanks, it will still cause undue stress on your powerhead.

Flow & Adjustments

As previously mentioned the spherical body creates a more even flow of water, allowing for a better spread throughout the tank. Take advantage of this and use the powerhead to both keep the substrate clean while also creating surface agitation. This will ensure the whole tank has enough oxygen.

For large tanks you can use the dual Sunsun 1300 GPH powerheads full force with little diffusion. For smaller tanks, still at least 65 gallons in size, you will likely need to point these either upwards or towards the wall to keep fish. If however you are only housing coral who love high speeds you can ignore this and go off your corals flow demands.

Warranty & Lifetime

The Sunsun JVP 1300 GPH powerhead comes with a 3 month warranty. In this time you will typically find all defects in the product, giving you plenty of time to return the powerhead if it has any issues. To start the return process you will need to email them at [email protected]

Oddly enough the quality of this model is a bit lower than the smaller model. This gives it a shorter lifetime which ranges between 1 and 2 years on average. If you switch off the powerhead/have it on a timer and keep it clean you will likely see the longer end of the spectrum. I cannot emphasize enough how much cleaning increases lifespan. It only takes a few minutes but can often keep the powerhead alive a few extra months.

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