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Where’s the Aquarium Hobby Going in 2011?

Crystal BallOk, it’s time to put on our Nostradamus hats and tell you all the things we’re thinking, and in some cases hoping, will happen in the aquarium hobby in 2011…hint:  it’s all about technology. Hold on to your Vortech…here we go.


1. LEDs Become More Affordable…and more Reef Grow-Able.
The LED aquarium lighting revolution is already here, but let’s face it: for the most part they’re still priced out of the average aquarist’s range. What’s more, hardcore reef guys are still skeptical that these low-wattage phenoms can keep their coral happily thriving. 2011 will lead to more convincing tests, along with more affordable units, as aquatic tech geniuses further make this amazing technology more available, and believable, to the masses.

2. Sleeker and cooler nano and betta aquariums
Designers are starting to put the display back in smaller aquariums. Newer contemporary designs should continue to appear as consumers continue to add live aquatics to their decor…you’ve all seen the house with the hanging betta display. Fueled again by technological advances, or in the industry’s case: integrations, nano reef fans will continue to salivate with improved small tank design now incorporating LEDs, more efficient filtration, and (GASP!) Wi-fi connectivity and smartphone app control.

3. Increased emphasis on the ecological significance of reef decline and captive propagation
Sorry it took a catastrophic spill (here’s looking at you BP) and proposed global warming to draw attention to it, but reef decline is legit. The live rock industry is doing their part with sustainable options other than direct harvest. Reef aquarists are actually in a unique position to help too. Utilizing the beauty of asexual reproduction and a pair of cutters, a reef hobbyist can easily duplicate and share his collection with anyone…and even make a couple bucks in the process.  Plus, as any hobbyist knows, it’s a lot cheaper to expand diversity in your tank with frags than it is with full grown colonies.

4. You become the scientist
You’re heard Frank Indiviglio talk about this a lot, but now with the Internet age, it’s more and more possible for everyday hobbyists to actually share home discoveries and techniques that could affect real scientific change. For every Facebook post, DIY YouTube video, Tweet, forum post or blog entry you’re potentially exposing the world to a new way of understanding aquatic life and systems. I mean, after all, they just discovered that fish have personalities..?!…We’ve known this for years!

Wish List

1. Industry Standards
You’ve all seen it. You’re trying to compare one filter with another, you’re looking at the gph ratings, and they don’t match up..or worse, they’re in lph? And, don’t even get me started with what happens when you actually put media in the thing. Aquarium Industry: unite and standardize.

2. Greater Understanding & Adoption of Water Changes
We know, we know, it’s one of the most annoying aspects of aquarium keeping. Nevertheless, it’s probably the one single constant in successful aquariums and even fish bowls. But, that doesn’t mean we have to like it…which leads to…..

3. A Replacement For Water Changes
Ok, not going to happen, but we can wish! Scientists: create a bacteria that transforms Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia back into neutral gravel or something…

We’d love to hear some of your predications for 2011. Drop us a line in the comments or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.  In the meantime, have a great holiday season!

– The Fish Blog

Crystal Ball image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Sanjay Acharya

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  1. avatar

    Yeah! No more water changes!

About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.