Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6015 Powerhead Review


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Size Dimensions Tank Size Noise Level Longevity Price
475 GPH 2.9″ x 2.7″ x 2.7″ 10-55 Gallons Very Low 4-15+ Years Medium-High

The Tunze Turbelle 6015 is a powerful, compact powerhead built with extreme quality. The power draw is absolutely minimal, only 3.5W, yet the flow can blast away unprepared tanks despite its small size. If you are shopping Tunze, you better not over buy unless you want a turbulent tank.

Set-up

Setting up the Tunze Turbelle 6015 can be a quick or long process, all depending on how you handle the magnets. My first Tunze was quite the experience, with my girlfriend immediately removing the Styrofoam from in between the magnets and connecting them together. I literally turned around to find the 4 rubber pieces, turn back and she says “these are really strong!” They sure are…They do say:

On our colorful winter afghan

After about 10 minutes later, once I learned I wasn’t separating them by hand and looking cool, I found you can separate the magnets by placing one on a straight edged surface and pushing one down while the other rests on the surface. This slides them apart, which takes a heck of a lot less force than pulling them apart. Still it did warp the side of the blue casing, as it certainly wasn’t easy.

You will want someone near by when doing this. Should the magnets come apart and then re-clamp around your hand or finger you will have no hope of removing it yourself. This will hurt a lot but they will be much easier to remove for the second person.

Always hold the magnets a good distance apart and do not hold them near metal objects. They can pull stuff from quite the distance and you do not want any loose forks or screwdrivers flying at you.

First place the interior magnet where you will be placing the powerhead. You can affix the powerhead holder beforehand for an easier grip. Next you will slowly bring the exterior magnet towards the interior, while still holding the interior magnet in place. Keep a firm grip on both magnets, as they will pull each other quite hard once they are close. We don’t want to crack our aquariums!

After the two have been put into place you can place the powerhead into the mount. Once in place you can swivel the head up and down, but not side to side. To direct the powerhead to the sides you will need to turn both of the magnets at the same time.

As a final note you can attach the Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6015 to on/off controllers only. They do not have the ability to change flow rate and therefor cannot be used with these controllers. Of course you can plug the powerhead directly into the wall if you want continuous flow.

Design Notes

Here’s most of the dirty details that should just be stated outright:

Tunze as a brand is know to be one of, if not the quietest powerhead supplier. The powerhead makes a very soft noise when turning on and generates the most faint hum that I have ever experienced. I could actually hear the air pump in another room over this thing!

The size is absolutely tiny, making it look almost like a gag powerhead to the inexperienced aquarist. This allows you complete freedom in placement, as does the 2 meter cord, which comes in just over 6.5 feet.

When brand new some Tunze will run in reverse on start up for a few seconds. This is caused by an extra tight casing, which will even out after a few months of wear. The problem will auto correct itself quickly, but you are free to shut it off and on until it starts normally. If this does not resolve itself you should contact Tunze right away. They will gladly find the exact cause of the problem.

If for whatever reason you need to submerge the second magnet, for instance installing it on the inside of your sump, both magnets are 100% safe to be submerged.Tunze rely on drag to fix their direction, which typically takes a few seconds. if problem persist contact Tunze directly and they will help with the specific model or send replacement parts to fix the issue.

Assembly

The Tunze Turbelle 6015 is well covered, protecting all fish, with the exception of butterfly fishes mouths, from the propeller. An additional grate is provided, which can be installed over the front of the powerhead. While the flow will keep out all fish, the grate will keep fish away when the powerhead is turned off. This is perfect for installation, feeding and cleaning times.

The Tunze is separated at the middle, pulling the front grate off of the powerhead and exposing the propeller. The propeller easily comes out, allowing you access to its mount. the propeller and mount should be cleaned using a soft material such as cotton swabs. More abrasive materials can and will scratch the magnetic components of the powerhead. This results in irregular spinning, increased noise and decreased lifespan.

The grate can be cleaned however you like. Some owners like to sock the powerhead in vinegar, but the Tunze is so powerful that a simple scrubbing is all it needs. You do not need to remove coralline algae, as this will not slow the flow down one bit unless it reaches the propeller mount.

Tunze themselves recommend cleaning at least once a year, with 3 months for tanks with high levels of lime and calcium. I personally clean all of my powerheads once a month, though given Tunze’s quality this may be a waste of time.

Flow & Adjustments

As previously stated the Tunze can only be adjusted vertically while on the mount. to turn it side to side you will need to turn both the interior and exterior magnets at the same time. Otherwise the interior will slowly turn back to its original position.

Additionally the 4 rubber mounts come off a bit too easy when turning the powerhead, making you snap them back into place. This is a small complaint, as the rubber mounts really make the powerhead absolutely silent.

The flow rate cannot be adjusted, meaning you will need to diffuse the flow if it proves to be too much for your tank. This is done by placing large decorations in front of the powerhead or directing its flow towards the wall.

Additionally there are plenty of other sizes to choose from, however they don’t get any smaller than the 6015 Nanostream. The 6045 model does however have adjustable flow down to 400 GPH.

Warranty & Lifetime

The lifetime is a bit difficult to discuss, as I don’t know of any that have died. The Tunze installed at my LFS was owned by the owner 5 years before he opened the shop. The shop has been running for 12 years and the powerhead still runs perfectly. The same goes for my models, though they are not nearly that old. At best I have found complaints at 6 years of lifetime.

Tunze offers a solid 2 year warranty on their powerhead, which is only really in place to protect those with defective models. Unless you receive a dead on arrival Tunze I cannot see the warranty being used.

That being said Tunze does have amazing customer service. Even if the powerhead is not broken they will help you with any issue you might have. This could be anything from start up troubles, torn cords or broken propellers. Just give them a call or email them via their contact page.

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