Here’s a reality check for those with hoop dreams of a self-cleaning tank. Although it is true that Ecotech Marine has a subsidiary called NanoSystems which at one time looked into the feasibility of nano-tech for aquarium use, the Bethlehem PA company has long since shelved R&D on this project. We have been sworn to mortal secrecy about this topic since it’s inception but since one overzealous blogger failed to follow through with the whole story, we might as well spill the beans. Ecotech Marine’s NanoSystems was investigating the use of a nano particle coating which produces an oxidizing reaction when exposed to UV light. What this means is that in the presence of strong light, any surface coated with the nano-material would prevent the growth of algae and other bio-fouling. This technology is parallel to self cleaning windows which never need to be cleaned. As it currently stands, there is not enough UV light present in our aquariums to make the self-cleaning tank possible. Furthermore, the coating reacts with any organic polymer based materials so acrylic tanks and even Vortech pumps would need an additional protective coating lest they be oxidized by the nano-coating. Finally, the current production cost for delivering photocatylic technology is much higher than the market can bear. Should any new developments be made in this exciting area of aquarium technology, you can count on Reefbuilders to be the first to deliver the whole story.