The Ocean Swipe 360 is an entirely new kind of aquarium accessory that aquarists had never even dreamed could be possible. With its ability to essentially replicate the motion of cleaning aquarium glass like a human, and to clean all sides of the aquarium, the Ocean Swipe 360 opens up a world of possibilities that come with having a robot periodically cleaning the aquarium walls.
Now that the Ocean Swipe 360 is being offered for sale to backers of their new KickStarter campaign, we’ve given ourself permission to dream of what it would be like to have a robotic maid that is always hard at work wiping down the window to our home aquariums. The benefits of having clean glass go well beyond the obvious, so here are our thoughts on the top five benefits of having an Ocean Swipe 360 on your home aquarium.
#5 Prevent the build up of tougher algaes – Wiping down a small film of diatoms and light dustings of various algaes is easily performed, either with an algae cleaning magnet or by rolling up your sleeve and doing it the old fashioned way. But regular cleaning of the aquarium glass can also serve to prevent the build up of tougher algaes.
Those tough green algae spots and especially coralline algaes all start out as tiny little growths which eventually develop a ‘holdfast’, this is an actual thing that some algaes develop to prevent being ripped off the reef rocks. If you can wipe your aquarium glass so frequently that holdfasts never develop, well you’re just looking at a great positive feedback loop of constantly clean aquarium glass.
#4 Automatically feed your filter feeders – Speaking of light algae and diatoms, we’ve always enjoyed the aspect of cleaning aquarium glass that essentially turns your dirty aquarium glass into phytoplankton factories. The simple act of wiping down diatoms and other biofilms ejects them into the water column where you filter feeders can benefit from having a regular addition of nutritious planktonic food in the water column.
Depending on your type of aquarium, your glass may develop a little or a lot of algae growth on the aquarium walls. All corals from SPS to LPS and especially nonphotosynthetic corals, clams and other filter feeders will relish an organic supply of natural planktonic foods right from the aquarium walls.
#3 It’s just downright cool – You have to admit, that having a freaking robot cleaning your aquarium glass, automatically every day, or on command, is really, really cool. It might seem like a simple thing, but non-aquarists who visit your tank will be in awe that you don’t even have to get your hands wet to keep the glass clean.
When they come over, you can’t really ‘demo’ your aquarium pumps, skimmers or the like; sure you can make the newest LED lights do a little light show but that is nothing like having a robot fire up and dutifully start scrubbing the aquarium glass. Heck, we know how amazed some newbies get when they see a simple algae cleaning magnet, imagine their reaction when they see you have a mechanized version thereof.
Also, it might be a minor party trick, but we love listening to music while being around and working on the tank, so the music player feature of the Ocean Swipe 360 is one we’ll likely be using pretty often. Even if you just want basic white noise ocean sounds to fully round out the experience of gazing at our own little underwater world, the OS360 can do that.
#2 Spend more time doing the fun stuff – We’re sure you know the drill; you’ve had a long week at work, or just got back from a trip, and you just want to see how your reef aquarium animals are doing. If the algae growth is especially rampant you might only scrub a little window clean to spy on what’s going on inside.
If your tank is particularly large, you might be loathe to scrub the entire tank glass, and by the time you do, you’re already deflated from doing any further work on the funnest parts of having a home aquarium. If your tank is always clean when you’re ready to ‘play reefer’, you’ll be more likely to spend time doing the fun stuff like repositioning corals to better spots, optimizing light and flow, making frags or just downright kicking back and enjoying the fruits of all your hard work.
#1 An always clean aquarium is an inspiration – There’s something about having a healthy, thriving reef tank with glass that is always crystal clear. Aquarium service companies are a big part of the aquarium industry precisely because people love having their tanks just looking perfect all the time.
With an Ocean Swipe 360 you can have your own aquarium glass cleaner without having to shell out a monthly fee. And having clean glass will inspire you to pay closer attention to the finer details of what makes a truly great aquarium display. For us, the inspiration that will come from having an always-clean aquarium glass will free us and invite us to spend a great portion of our time enjoying a reef tank.
Us reefers love our aquarium gadgets and there’s never been a device as gadgety and geeky as the Ocean Swipe 360. When it was first revealed, we weren’t sure if the Ocean Swipe 360 would really come to market, or if this was just one man’s garage mega-DIY for personal use.
With the Ocean Swipe 360 crowdfunding now fully underway on KickStarter, we all have a chance at tasting a glorious future where our aquarium glass is always clean, so we can focus on the aquarium magic that makes our fish and corals thrive.