Reef tanks can be a very beautiful piece of living furniture in many settings but nothing can detract from the aesthetic more than a tangled mess of wires. unfortunately, it usually takes a lot of gadgets and gizmos to have a fully loaded reef aquarium display which means a lot of things to plug in, and a lot of wires going all over the place.
Cable management is a fine art for building gaming PC computers but the craft is only just beginning to become part of a holistic approach to reef building. There’s been a number of companies that have developed various takes on cable management kits and boards and we recently took the Marine Depot controller board for a spin at the Reef Builders Studio.
The MD Controller Board comes in black but we spray painted our demo unit white to match the motif of the studio. The most beautiful part of the completed controller board is not what you can see but everything that is hidden – the power strip, all power supplies, and the whole kit tightly wound up into a simple straightforward arrangement.
One key asset which helped to keep the inside of the MD Controller Board very well organized is specially purchased ‘power cords’ to supply electricity to the power supplies which are only six inches long. These short power cords drastically reduced the amount of cabling needed to be managed inside the controller board and the distinct color also helps to visualize what’s what, at a glance.
The one thing lacking from the Marine Depot Controller Board is any kind of direction or instructions – with so many attachment points and different components to keep in check, it’s kind of hard to know where to start – some illustrated examples would go a long way to help the uninitiated get started. But if you start with the power strip, then move onto the power supplies and follow the general layout we came up with, the rest of it should fall into place.
Finally, instead of screwing the entire board to the wall we actually used a pair of hooks to hold up the entire thing and a separate hook to catch the board on the side when access to the cabling is required. The board retails for $139 and organizing all the cables really takes at least a solid hour to get everything in place, but man it sure does make the environment around the tank so much cleaner, and it also will streamline any changes made to the power center in the future. [Marine Depot]