SunSun JVP 530 GPH Wave Maker Powerhead Review

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Dimensions Adjustable Noise Level Longevity Price
6″ x 2″ x 3″ Direction – 360 degrees
Flow – Not Adjustable
Medium 6 Months -2 Years Low

The Sunsun 530 GPH is a medium strength powerhead that comes at a bottom of the barrel price. Its lifetime can be fairly short, but when treated properly lasts for much longer than expected. For those getting into the world of corals this is an excellent low cost powerhead. It is best suited for tanks between 25-55 gallons. It has a plethora of cons, meaning you will need to put in some work to get this powerhead working safely and efficiently.


The Sunsun 530 works like most powerheads, turning on and off only when power is given and without a switch. This means you will need either a timer or power strip to turn the power off without unplugging it. Unplugging it isn’t really problematic but it does get annoying to do every day.

The noise caused by this powerhead is a bit louder than the larger models, making it not suitable for bedroom tanks. For noisier rooms there should be no issue. To reduce noise you can place the pump deeper in the tank or even put a secure fitted lid on the tank.

To get the powerhead deeper into the tank you may need to use an extension cord, as the original cord is only 3.5 feet long. Remember if you are using a power strip it will also function as a short extension cord.

The body of the powerhead is a bit large, but not too big so that it’s unreasonable to use in medium size tanks. The front cover of this powerhead is also something to be concerned about. The front is only covered by three bars, meaning even large, 2 inch fish can get into the propeller. This is not usually an issue, as the water flow will keep all fish away from the blades. However when switching the powerhead on and off you will need to be sure no fish are hanging out inside the powerhead. If you need to set your powerheads on a timer and have them off regularly you will want to DIY a cover. The bags oranges come in make an excellent cover that wont stop the water flow.

After a few ons and offs the Sunsun JVP 530 GPH model can start up and run in reverse. This creates a lower flow rate and of course can suck in fish. This is why you should create a mesh next cover for the power head. If you are not willing to check the flow direction or create a DIY cover you should definitely choose a different powerhead.

The original suction cups on this powerhead are not the strongest, but will typically hold up when left in place. If however it fails there are a number of replacement suction cups that can be affixed to the powerhead. I prefer to DIY a magnetic base to hold the powerhead in place.


To open up the Sunsun JVP 530 GPH powerhead you will need to unplug it and remove it from water. By squeezing the front and with a bit of wiggling the front grate will come off. You can then clean it off easily, as well as remove the propeller and clean the insides. I personally like cleaning my powerhead every month, but it isn’t mandatory. Cleaning powerheads reduces the stress on them and prolongs their lifetime dramatically.

Flow & Adjustments

The flow created by Sunsun powerheads has always proven to be fairly high, matching their displayed numbers. In this model the flow is directed more forward than usual, creating a strong forward current. For this reason it is best to angle the powerhead towards one of the walls. This creates a circular current in the tank, rather than the powerhead hitting the wall and returning the current straight back into itself.

Sunsun makes three different strengths of powerheads, the 530, 800 and 1300 GPH models. If you need to choose stronger models they are actually much more reliable than this size.

Remember the type of fish you are keeping when setting up the powerhead, as well as the tanks layout. As previously stated the powerhead has strong forward current. Even fast swimming fish will need slow areas to rest and sleep at night. Slow swimming fish should be left large areas of weak flow, so that they are not restricted to only tiny portions of the tank. You can easily do this with rock formations, angling the powerhead more upwards and even pointing it more towards the side of the tank. all of these actions will diffuse the flow, making for a more gentle environment. Additionally if you are housing corals you may need to rearrange them so that the new water flow suits their needs.

Warranty & Lifetime

Sunsun offers a short 90 day warranty on their powerheads, giving you a good amount of time to find any defects. Should you find anything, such as failure to start, breaking plastics or tearing wires you should begin the return process immediately. This is done via email by contacting them at [email protected] (yes that’s the real email)

The average lifetime on the Sunsun 530 GPH is between 6 months and 2 years. This is mostly dependent on how often the powerhead is on, how often it is cleaned and the tanks conditions. When left filled with macro algae or even coralline the propeller will be stressed until it breaks only a few months into ownership. This is why I consider it key to deep clean you powerheads once a month.

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