December 15 2011,

ATM additives and aquarium products have been hinted at almost since the beginning of the TV series “Tanked“. A press release confirms that ATM is confusing aquarium products for merchandise stating that “first wave of the ATM product line is targeted to new hobbyists”. Although it is true that Tanked is probably encouraging new people to get a home aquarium, there is virtually no connection between setting up a $30,000, 1,000-gallon marine aquarium for football players and casinos and the average Joe or Jane walking into an aquarium store to set up their first thirty gallon aquarium.

Sure ATM can build a big tank but would you buy sunscreen because it was made by the producers of the Survivor TV show? We can’t think of a single aquarium setup from Tanked that is in any way relatable to the size of aquariums, nor of the kind of tanks that someone is likely to start out with. Furthermore, the concentration and volumes of additives used in these large aquarium installations is nothing like what the typical LFS needs to sell.

Is the new line of ATM aquarium products and additives a move to capitalize on the success of Tanked by merchandizing aquarium products or are they really bringing some new science and know-how to the treatment of aquarium water? Brett and Wayde are likable, the show is entertaining and it is stimulating the aquarium industry but honestly, ATM should stick to the showbiz of building big tanks.

The brochure on the additives uses a good portion of the document making the distinction that the TV series was never intended to be a field-guide to properly setting up an aquarium. While that is true, using the show’s success at gaining an audience to better inform and educate starting hobbyists is not even part of the picture. Besides calling out concerned hobbyists about the lack of properly educating new hobbyists, ATM does nothing to use their position to educate and inform – offering additives as the best way to get and keep hobbyists is a stretch.

The brochure states “To fall into old and damaging habits of intentionally taking a stance against new things, such as ‘Tanked’, opens the door to a quagmire of perceptions and confusion that is disenchanting to the new hobbyist.” We can agree with this statement but in the same course of things lets be fair on what Tanked and ATM represent, awe-inspiring installations of aquariums, not a vehicle to properly keep people in the hobby. A winning attitude is about education and keeping people motivated to do things right, something that can’t just be found in a bottle.


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