As the glassbox revamp is in process I decided to increase the power of the return pump and eliminate a couple small powerheads. To solve this I went with the ATB Flowstar 1800. This pump is based on the Laguna 1500 Max Flo motor block, but features en enlarged volute for improved flow rates and […]
As the glassbox revamp is in process I decided to increase the power of the return pump and eliminate a couple small powerheads. To solve this I went with the ATB Flowstar 1800. This pump is based on the Laguna 1500 Max Flo motor block, but features en enlarged volute for improved flow rates and some extra soft rubber feat for noise and vibration dampening. Note the Flowstar is not to be confused with the ATB Airstar–although some models feature the same motor block the Airstar is for skimmer applications and packs a venturi and pinwheel.
Laguna / Askol pumps are some of the best and feature some unique circuitry. An example of this can be seen in the tangental output design. Radial pumps can start either spinning either way, clockwise or counterclockwise without any difference in performance. Tangental pumps perform best spinning in one direction (depending on the output location) and if spinning backwards performance will suffer. The internal electronics on the Laguna motorblock prevents the pump from spinning “backwards”–along with monitoring heat overload and featuring some high powerfactor numbers.
The smaller ATB Flowstar 1500 utilizes the same motor block as the Flowstar 1800, but lacks the enlarged volute. The volute may hinder performance when under high head pressure, but greatly increases performance in low pressure flow applications (+300gph with minimal increase in electric consumption). The ATB Flowstar pumps are ideal for closed loops or as low-head return pumps.
ATB lists this pump at 80w, but depending on the application this can drop significantly; 60-70w is not unheard. A large reason why I chose this pump was its quiet nature and low electric consumption. Using a ball valve on the output, I expect to hit the 65w mark with this pump. It will return water to the display while also feeding the ATB Cone Skimmer, a new media reactor and recirculating the sump to keep detritus suspended. Did I mention it’s whisper quiet?
The price on this pump is not for the faint of heart–it will set up back $449. The Austrian CNC’d volute greatly increases the cost–the Flowstar 1500 which features the same motor and base plate costs $219–just $10-$30 more than the stock Laguna pump depending on where it is purchased.
So far in testing the noise and flow levels are impressive. More to come after we get this pump plumbed for real world testing. For more information see ATBskimmers.com