Every year and every reef show and conference we go to, people always come up to us, either at our booth or while walking about, whether there or we have seen any new and revolutionary new products lately. Most of the time we can see and catch a glimpse of several new products that have potential, but most of the time we’re talking about really small incremental steps in certain devices or technology.
MACNA 2015 was different, there were a ton of new products, an avalanche of new entries, new companies, and a whole suite of great new devices. Right off the bat we could tell that several of the products we spied at MACNA first would truly stand out, and after posting about all of the top-level products we saw in Washington D.C. this year, here are five (plus one) of our picks for the top products of MACNA 2015.
RLSS DBi series protein skimmers – The new DBi skimmers from RLSS are not an evolutionary advancement, but a real leap ahead in terms of feature set, performance and cost. No matter how you look at it, a great controllable protein skimmer with a tiny footprint, novel design, which is hyper efficient and Apex Ready is simply a sure-fire winner.
Smart ATO Micro – An auto top off device is an unlikely candidate for ‘top MACNA product’ but Auto Aqua really deserves kudos for the Smart ATO Micro. The miniaturization that happened with the Smart ATO has been pushed to the current technological limit with all of the electronics and control features being hidden right within the device itself. The Smart ATO Micro is so small that we could be in danger of losing it if it weren’t attached to a cable.
Hydra 26 and 52 HD “HyperDrive” – LED lighting for aquariums has experienced some radical technological changes in the last few years and we thought we’d reached a plateau. Aqua Illumination, the most seasoned of all the aquarium LED lighting companies currently offering top end reef lights blew us away with a whole new concept in LED aquarium lighting. Since we’ve all gotten nearly bored with being able to control multiple channels of LED color at one time, AI has gone ahead and given us back the power we ‘lost’ by dimming one channel and letting us redistribute it to the colors we want to see more of.
Reef Octopus (Octo) Lux Slim Flow Aquariums – The bulge of large overflows has only been ‘allowed’ due to reefers’ demands for reef ready tanks that are pre-drilled to drain water to the sump and under-tank filtration. Many companies have tried to reduce the need for such massive overflow boxes and the huge sacrifices it makes of workable volume inside the tank. But no company has ever done what Reef Octopus has done with their Lux Slim Flow Aquariums by making the entire return and drain assembly become one with the back of the tank.
MindStream – Step Ahead Innovations had its big coming out party at MACNA where they were able to finally get the MindStream in front of a hgue audience. We’ve covered the MindStream extensively in the last month and we can’t wait to see what comes next.
Neptune Systems Fluid Monitoring System (FMM) module – There can only be FIVE in our top five picks for MACNA products, but the first runner up is the Fluid Monitoring Module from Neptune Systems. This is our selfish pick for exciting new aquarium product. Being able to measure and track actual water flow through all of our different filters, tanks and skimmers may seem superfluous now, but once we get use to having them we’ll never really want to go without one.