Aquarium Industry Predictions for 2012By: Brandon Klaus
With the new year comes the inevitable resolutions. Everybody’s making them. Whether it’s a vow to lose weight, be a better aquarist, or whatever. Well, we say screw resolutions. Who follows through with those anyways? Two months in and the resolutions get tossed out the window. So instead of making promises we’re guaranteed to break, let’s make some bold predictions. Below is a list of just a few things we think 2012 will bring our way.
Prediction #1 – Ecotech Marine will release their own aquarium controller
EcoTech Marine has released high impact aquarium products for multiple consecutive years. Over the last three years alone, the VorTech MP10 (2009), VorTech MP60 (2010), and the Radion XR30w (2011) have all been made available to aquarium hobbyists. With this track record, we are positive something big will come our way from EcoTech Marine yet again in 2012, and we feel an aquarium controller just makes sense. Many of the EcoTech products are already compatible with multiple controllers already on the market, and the Radion hardware can communicate with all of the VorTech pumps with wireless EcoSmart controllers. EcoTech prides themselves on their product line, and in an attempt to keep things in-house an aquarium controller will be likely be implemented. MACNA 2012 in Dallas will probably be the spot where we first get to see it, so until then we’ll impatiently wait.
Prediction #2 – The television show “Tanked” will continue to draw in viewers
Let’s face it, reality tv draws in a crowd regardless of the shows content. The Animal Planet show “Tanked” only had six episodes in its inaugural season, but due to good ratings it got renewed for a second and full season. And we know season two will continue to draw in the reality loving crowd. We’re just not sure if the producers of the show or its cast of aquarium builders will heed the criticisms from the aquarium community, but we sure hope they do. We are hoping to see a more conservative approach to aquatic husbandry and at least a few disclaimers telling viewers that what the crew does on the show is just for tv. We’d also like to see disclaimers and various little breaks in the viewing for explanations on the proper way to do things.
Prediction #3 – The aquarium industry will draw more fire from critics and activists
2011 proved to be a busy year for anti-aquarium activists. They protested many times in Hawaii and their movement gained speed with the passage of a pair anti-aquarium resolutions by two different Hawaiian counties. This moderate success will only embolden the movement, and we’ll likely see more activity from this particular crowd. Hopefully, the lawmakers in Hawaii will view the data and ignore the emotional argument, allowing them to make the right decisions.
Prediction #4 – LEDs will continue their dominance
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a bold prediction, but rather watching the continuing trends unfold. LEDs were hot in 201o, absolutely exploded in popularity in 2011, and the aquarium industry will see even more advancements as this year progresses. Many new manufacturers will pop up, and those already dabbling in the technology will unveil new and exciting products for us to drool over. So what will the new features be? More controllable channels? More efficient diodes? The answer to both of those is likely yes, but other than that who knows what sort of new technology we will see later this year?
Prediction #5 – Another big name in the industry will shut down shop for good
Over the past few years, we’ve seen companies like Aquarium Obsessed, Sapphire Aquatics, IceCap Inc., and Tenecor bite the dust. To those with any amount of history in this hobby, these companies were known to carry a lot of clout in their respective fields for years. Because of plaguing economic conditions and the inability to adapt to the market, these former giants closed down and there are likely more to follow. With the recent legal troubles of SWC owner Jason Daeninck, perhaps that company is next up on the chopping block.
Well that’s our short list of predictions. What do you think 2012 will offer the aquarium community? Feel free to chime in below.