Aquatop added LEDs to a magnetic algae scrubber and seeing the new product led us questioning can we innovate the magnetic algae scrubber any more?
First off, lets take a quick pass at the Aquatop algae magnet with LEDs (we also saw this one listed online at Alibaba). The triangular shape is a bit different from the norm and the LED lights are moderately useful, but at $24.95 is it worth the investment over other magnets like the MagFlip of MagFloat? Are there any more “innovations” we can bring to this handy tool?
Over the last few years we’ve seen this handy tool evolve…from floating magnets, pads that don’t scratch, ones with removable scrapers, get better into corners, a magnifying viewer and even LED lights. We have even seen these get high tech with automatic algae cleaners, cleaners with cameras, etc. So where else can these go?
The shape of magnets can only change so much — we have rectangles, squares, circles and triangular shapes. Not many other changes can be made to be effective. I mean a star-shaped scraper would be cool, but will it really clean any better?
The size can only go so far smaller or larger. The whole idea of cleaning magnets that people caught onto was just keeping them attached and out of the way as much as possible. This way you can just walk over and scrub as needed. Get too small and it takes too long to do or just doesn’t have the power. Getting too big means it will cost a lot more and is just too damn big!
Robots and automation is cool, but do most hobbyists need to spend hundreds of dollars on a tool that serves one purpose like this? Wouldn’t we rather spend the money on broader automation tools, life-support technology or cool new fish or corals?
What else can we have them do? The Porthole viewer and magnet was a fun way to break out of the single-purpose formula. Likewise, the MOAI is a robotic cleaner and a camera, adding at least another function to an automated cleaner.
Do we need a magnet and automatic feeder or a roving parameter checker? Maybe we’ll soon have the automated cleaner that can easily handle the corner transition or clean up the bottom and sides of your tank.
While we still get excited about the small nuances of products, cost and usability are key factors we take into consideration. Who knows, we may stumble across a few new tools at InterZoo that change our minds.