Wave makers are a popular choice for providing surging water movement throughout the aquarium, but these standing waves can have a huge negative impact on the structural integrity of the fish tank itself. While most aquariums can stand up to the pressure, older tanks or those of a shoddy build quality may not survive months and months of continual abuse. Think about it this way…a 90 gallon aquarium has at least half of that water sloshing back and forth, and that water carries some serious weight. If just 50% of the water in our example is being moved effectively, that’s 360 pounds of constant lateral movement. Since I’m no mathmetician, and it’s quite early, I won’t even attempt to calculate the pressure this adds to the walls of the aquarium.
The aquarium may live up to the water movement for a period of time, but long-term, the silicone could give way leading to, at the very least, a leaking seam. A total catashrophic failure of the seam could occur, dumping the entire conents of the aquarium onto your floor. We are not suggesting that you avoid using wavemaking devices, as their ability to move water is unparalleled in many cases, but just be careful with how much movement you create and consider turning the function off (or down) at night.