The Orchid V3 vs The Aqua Clone Review

Aqua and Orchid V3 Review

The Orchid RBA is a dual bottom coil rebuildable tank atomizer made by Aethertech, who is an American modder. Aethertech is the same company behind the very popular Plume Veil rebuildable dripping atomizer. The Orchid RBA is an elevated Kayfun design with its dual coil and 4 juice channel design. Since its initial release to market, the Orchid’s design has been upgraded from a top filling V1, to the V2 which has a fill port on the bottom of the RBA. The authentic Orchid V2 retails for $150.00 USD. However, before the Orchid RBA by Aethertech existed there was the Aqua RBA.

The Aqua RBA was the first dual bottom coil rebuildable tank atomizer released to the market in late 2013. The Aqua RBA is made by Footoon of UVO systems, who is a Korean modder that is also well known for their Origin mechanical mod which plays hybrid partner with the Aqua RBA. The authentic Aqua RBA retails for $175 USD at select online retailers.

For this review I decided to do a comparison between the “old and new” to see how these two very popular dual bottom coil rebuildable atomizers stack up against each other. There are four versions of the Orchid clone currently available on the market, and I will be reviewing the Orchid V3 against the 1:1 Aqua clone. Both the Orchid V3 and 1:1 Aqua clones featured in this review came from Focalecig.com, and retail for $18.34, and $21.69 USD respectively. Both atomizers are packaged in a gift box, with a spare parts package for each as shown below.

Buy the Orchid V3 Clone

Buy the Aqua Clone

Orchid collage 1

ORCHID V3 SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Brand: Green Life Technology Co, LTD
  • Type: dual bottom coil rebuildable atomizer
  • Material: 304 grade Stainless steel
  • Connection threading: 510
  • E-liquid capacity: 2ml
  • Diameter: 22mm
  • Height: 60mm (with drip tip)
  • Features:
  • Bottom fill port
  • Removable 510 drip tip
  • Adjustable 510 pin (gold plated brass)

THE AQUA SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Brand: Green Life Technology Co, LTD
  • Type: dual bottom coil rebuildable atomizer
  • Material: SUS 316 stainless steel
  • Connection threading: 510 and hybrid adapting for Origin mechanical mod
  • E-liquid capacity: 2ml
  • Diameter: 21mm
  • Height: 73.3mm (with drip tip)
  • Features:
  • Adjustable air flow
  • Juice flow control
  • Two removable drip tips for juice flow control
  • Hybrid adapting for Origin mechanical mod

BUILD QUALITY

Both the Orchid V3 and Aqua clones are very well machined atomizers with clean threads. All of the removable parts screw on and off the atomizers with ease, and I consider both to be high quality replications of the authentic Orchid and Aqua RBA’s. This particular Orchid V3 clone is a Chinese made iteration, in that this stainless steel Kayfun style nano body, and custom heat sink top cap with drip tip is not found on the authentic Orchid RBA. What is most interesting about these two clone RBA’s are that they were both manufactured by Green Life Technology, a fact that I did not know when I initially received these atomizers for review. However, this also explains the comparable quality of each atomizer clone.

The Orchid v3 and Aqua clones break down into five basic parts which are the base, chimney, tank, top cap, and drip tip. The Aqua’s chimney is different from the Orchid in that it also acts as an adjustable juice flow controller, and it receives one of the two removable drip tips that come with the Aqua. The Aqua drip tip shown on the left actually fits better into the chimney/juice control, while the drip tip on the right is a very tight and stubborn fit. The base of the Orchid’s drip tip is a made from PEEK insulators.

While the Orchid V3 and Aqua clones have approximately the same e-liquid capacity, you can see that the Aqua is taller in height by 13mm, and also 1mm smaller in diameter. The difference in height is due the base and deck design of the Aqua, and the 510 adapter. The Aqua also has air flow control, while the Orchid has non-adjustable dual air flow holes.

Orchid collage 2

On the left you can see that the Orchid V3 has a stainless steel and polycarbonate tank section, with heat sink top cap, while the Aqua is a full stainless steel tank. There are full polycarbonate tanks available for the Aqua clone, which can be found on Fasttech.com. In the photo on the right you can see the difference between the original Orchid V1/V2 23mm PMMA and top cap (right), and the Orchid V3 tank (left). While I like the Orchid V3 tank/top cap, I actually prefer the look the of the original Orchid tank and top cap.

Orchid collage 3

The Orchid and Aqua are most similar in that they are both dual bottom coil rebuildable atomizer, however, the design of each atomizer is quite different. The Orchid uses a 4 post design, with two 2mm air holes on opposite sides of the base that feed up to the two air holes on the deck.

The Aqua has a two post design with thumb screws, and its air flow is also adjustable. The Aqua has two 1.5mm air holes in the base, that feed up to the air holes on the deck. The air flow is adjusted by unscrewing the tank section up to increase air flow, or screwing to down to decrease air flow.

Both atomizers have four juice channels machined into the deck however, the Aqua’s juice channels are considerable deeper and wider than the Orchid V3. The chimney designs are also quite different with the Aqua having a chimney that is also a juice flow controller.

Orchid collage 4

The Orchid V3 has a gold plated brass adjustable 510 pin, and bottom fill port, although there are some limitations to the pins adjustability. The Orchids 510 pin protrudes past the 510 threads by approx. 1.5mm, and cannot be screwed in/shortened beyond that. The Orchid’s 510 can only be made longer than 1.5mm, which in my opinion is not as great of a benefit if the pin cannot be adjusted to be flush with the 510 threads.

The Aqua does not have an adjustable 510 pin however, it does have a removable 510 adapter that allows the base of the Aqua to screw into the Origin mod as a hybrid. The Aqua does not have a bottom fill port, and it a top filling only atomizer.

Orchid collage 5

REBUILDING THE ORCHID AND AQUA

Just looking at each of the decks I had expected the Orchid V3 clone to be the easier build, with its simple four post design however, that was not actually the case. For both atomizers I used 30 gauge Kanthal wire, and a 9/10 wrap on a mini screwdriver which metered out to 1.24 ohms on the Orchid, and 1.27 on the Aqua.

With both atomizers you must install your coils so that they are positioned over the air holes in the deck. On the Orchid this means using the farthest right positive post hole and the farthest left negative post hole, so that your coil is properly positioned over the decks air hole. The one issue that I ran into while rebuilding the Orchid was the sharpness of the post screws, which snapped the leads on two out of the three builds that I did. I am sure this amounts to nothing more than a QC issue with my post screws being too sharp on the bottom.

Rebuilding the Aqua was literally a breeze for me as I was able to get both coils installed in under 2 minutes. I didn’t expect this to be the case as I had heard several times that the Aqua can be a pain to build. I think the best approach for building dual coils on the Aqua is to wrap the leads in opposite directions. For example, one side of the deck wrap the coils through the center of the posts and around, and from the other side of the deck wrap the coils from the outside and around. For me, when done this way it was a very fast build.

For both the Orchid and the Aqua you want to install and trim your wicks that they lay into the upper juice channels, without obstructing the lower juice channels. Determining the right amount wick to use may take some trial and error to work out depending on how much rebuilding experience you have. But you can get some idea amount wick density and length from the photo below.

Orchid collage 6

PERFORMANCE

The Aqua is a top filling only atomizer, while the Orchid V3 can be top or bottom filled. To top fill the Aqua first close off the air flow by screwing the tank all the way down. Fill with e-liquid until it the juice reaches the top of the chimney bell, then screw the top cap on enough to catch the top two threads, then flip over and continue screwing. When done filling, adjust the air flow to taste by unscrewing the tank the section.

While the Orchid can be top filled, this is easier to accomplish with the steel tank, and not so much with the frosted PMMA tank because the threads are harder to catch using one hand. However, this is the reason for the bottom fill port upgrade on the Orchid V2/V3. Bottom fill ports are good to have however, I do prefer being able to refill my atomizers without the necessity for tools. Both atomizers have a small e-liquid capacity of approximately 2mls however, I found the Aqua to be a little more efficient in terms of e-liquid consumption. There does exist a full size 4ml version of the Orchid, which is the V4.

Both of these atomizers are very good flavor producers, and in spite of the Orchid’s comparatively shallow and narrow juice channels, I did not experience any issues with poor wicking. The Aqua is a much warmer vape than the Orchid, although they are quite comparable in terms of vapor production. Although the Orchid has slightly larger air holes than the Aqua, it does not feel like the Orchid has more air flow than the Aqua.

Another issue that I had with the Orchid is the jumping around of resistance. I think was a symptom of trying not to tighten my leads too much because I did snap the leads on two prior builds. As such, the Orchid was a bit more fiddly for me and I had to bit a lot more work to keep it working for me. Again I think that overly sharp post screws are the culprit here.

Orchid collage 7

OVERALL

Overall I really like both of these dual coil atomizers, although I would give the edge to the Aqua due to its easy rebuilding and top filling. I also prefer the adjustable air flow of the Aqua clone atomizer. Both RBA clone are good quality, well made atomizers although the my Orchid V3 could benefit from better post hole screws. In terms of vapor and flavor production these two atomizers are very comparable, even as the Aqua has the warmer vape. With the adjustable air flow, and juice control the Aqua does offer the more versatile vape, not to mention it can hybrid with the Origin by UVO mechanical mod.

There is also the Orchid v4 which is basically a full size, 4ml e-liquid capacity version of the Orchid V2/3. All in all both atomizers are very good, and you really can’t go wrong with either one.

Orchid vs Aqua final photo

ProsCons
Orchid:Orchid:

  • Build quality

  • Bottom fill port


  • Difficult to top fill with PMMA tank

  • Sharp post screws

  • Small e-liquid capacity

Aqua:Aqua:

  • Build quality

  • Adjustable air flow

  • Juice flow control

  • Hybrid capability (Origin mod only)

  • Easier top filling


  • Small e-liquid capacity

Where to Buy an Orchid V3 and Aqua Clone

Orchid V3:

Orchid V3 $18.34 from Focal ecig

Orchid V3 Clone $10.19+ at Fasttech

Orchid V3 $19.99 at 101Vape (USA)

Aqua Clone:

Aqua Clone from $21.69 at Focal ecig

Aqua Clone $15.49+ at Fasttech

Aqua Clone $21.69 on ebay

Nicole Lea is a committed vape gear enthusiast of 3 years, who is dedicated to informing, educating, and guiding the vape community in this amazing world of electronic cigarettes.

21 COMMENTS
  • Paul (Nailz) 11/11/2014

    Not had a aqua, but do have a orchid v1, which I use the top fill cap from fasttech, which makes it a breeze to fill, but due to low juice capacity, it really is only a at home atty for me, but do love the vape from it though. I have a v4 orchid coming, so can have more juice capacity, just hope it still vapes the same even with a longer chimney.

    Thanks for doing a comparing review, made for a good read, and what a surprise on what mod they are on 😉

  • Sahsah 11/11/2014

    Your issues with the orchid mostly stem from the fact that you chose to build it with 30 guage wire, when in fact I’ve found, through trial and error, as well as through numerous youtube Vaping-channel’s’ videos on the orchid, that she performs best with thicker guage wires like your 26 and even 24 guage. I think the highest guage I would ever even try to build with would be 28 guage, but even there I’d be hesitant since I’ve found amazing results with a 24 guage dual coil build, coming out to .6 ohms (if I recall correctly it was a 7 wrap around a 2.4 mm screw driver for both coils. Also, I’ve obtained more consistent wicking by keeping my cotton out of the channels and just bringing the tails of my wicks right up to where the channels meet the deck, much more consistent juice delivery, especially for chain vaping or higher wattage vaping. Good luck to anyone starting with this device, once you learn her ways it’s an incredible RBA, has rose to the top of my pile of attys in a very short time.

  • Tam Semreh 11/11/2014

    I own both and your review is spot on. Thanks for another in depth review. Your the best.

  • TAZ 11/11/2014

    I have The Aqua and a couple Orchids. I have to agree that your review is spot on except even though I have tried 30, 28, 26,and 24ga and they work good but I think 26ga works the best out of both of them. I think the Aqua is just a little better in terms of vape quality. But the Orchid is a very close second. Both the Aqua and Orchid completely put the Kayfun and Russian to shame.

  • madeinmachines 11/12/2014

    I’d be interested to hear comparisons of these to the fogger v5 given it also shares many similarities. I have thought about getting both but i’m not sure.

    I’m not sure I fancy building on the aqua and given it’s a full size atomizer 2ml of juice seems a bit of a joke. Isn’t the fogger a similar size but holds more than double the liquid? Is it easy to fill without flooding? I’d prefer a clear tank to see my liquid if you can get them.

    The Orchid seems much easier to build on if you get good screws – have you tried sanding yours or replacing them? I’ve read it’s a nightmare to fill without flooding given what i’ve read. I can forgive small juice capacity easily if it’s small in size and easy to fill. I think dual 2mm airholes would be say too airy for me – I think dual 1mm or 1.5mm would be preferable for me but there’s no way to change it.

      • madeinmachines 11/13/2014

        Yeah I saw that tank. You don’t really need a fogger now anyway! I heard some people mention it was difficult to dill via the fillport as the chimney gets in the way? Does the aqua afc stay in place or does it easily change your setting by accident? The aqua top fill does seem nice actually – nicer than the erl actually because its so easy to close of the airflow without taking the device off your mod. Would probably look sweet on my 21mm WAE II. I don’t really like fill ports with screws where you need a tool etc. Did you find the orchid to have a very loose draw – dual 2mm on my magma clone is very loose for me. Strange you said it doesn’t feel more loose than the aqua – those holes look huge in the build deck!

          • madeinmachines 11/13/2014

            Maybe its something to do with the chimney acting as a bottleneck for airflow whereas drippers don’t have that so it’s different.

  • madeinmachines 11/13/2014

    Can’t decide on the v3 or v4 orchid – i do like nano size though.

  • madeinmachines 11/13/2014

    I’ll probably go for sexy. I’m a serial juice changer anyway. I can’t vape a whole tank of anything. I just saw FT has a black one now but the deck is coated – I don’t know if that matters but some people like to complain about it. How do the aqua and orchid compare to the squape R? Think I can get hold of the EHpro squape R version now.

  • madeinmachines 11/14/2014

    Is that not just because you had a dodgy squape r clone or is it just the design itself that underperforms? I can get the aqua and 2 orchid clones for less than the price of a squape r clone. I have a hard time believing the aqua is an easy build though haha.

  • madeinmachines 11/20/2014

    Hey Nicole, I got my orchid v3 today and have some initial thoughts. The main thing I could do to know is if there is a fix for the deck screws snapping your wire (apart from trying a thicker gauge wire). I have the one with the allen key screws.

    This thing is very much like a dripper but with a tank – it absolutely chucks the clouds. The airflow is big but it doesn’t feel much too loose so there is some resistance. I did a build with a channel wicks as on an ecf thread I found.

    Filling is a complete pain from the bottom so I guess I need to use a needle nose as liquid started going directly through the chamber and out of the drip tip. However, I have successfully filled it from the top without any flooding so that’s really great if that continues!

    I did have a problem with the screws snapping my wire – is there a fix for that apart from to use thicker wire? I have the allen key screws version. The threads and machining are ok – not great but good enough. It looks amazing on my gus dark knight and I do love the nano size. It absolutely drinks juice.

    Flavour – well. The erl is much better to be honest. I feel the overly large air holes might be a factor in this. I get plenty of flavour on the exhale but none really on the inhale as I can only really do lung hits so I can’t really even tell I have any vapour in my mouth until the exhale when it comes flooding out like a steam train. The flavour does improve at higher wattages as I guess it burns enough juice to try and compensate from all the air it’s being mixed with. I feel like it’s just like a dripper in regards to flavour.

    To me this is a cloud chasing tank not a flavour chaser. I’d definitely like to see adjustable airflow and better deck screws that are kinder to your wire. I do quite like it though!

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