Aquarium keeping remains in the doldrums in most European countries and in North America. However, this stagnation relates primarily to the ornamental fish that are kept, because the development of aquarium technology and accessories is forging ahead in a market that has become quite difficult. There are various reasons for this. One is the fact that the infamous cheap deals of 1960s aquariums offered mainly by DIY stores and discount supermarkets are by no means as widespread as they were some years ago. Word has evidently got around in many countries that cheap fish tanks are made from cheap materials and don't exactly promote the hobby of fish keeping in the long term. On the contrary, many people who bought such aquariums quickly relegated them to the basement or took them directly to the tip, because the generally poorly performing tank equipment failed to create the optimum equilibrium. A build-up of algae soon appeared and the fish went downhill. Many enthusiasts gave up the hobby and refused to have anything to do with aquariums in the ensuing years.
Nowadays even the keenest bargain hunters recognise that a cheap aquarium isn't necessarily a thing of beauty for the home. How an aquarium looks now plays an increasingly important role: it must have the right visual impact and blend in with the furniture. Leading aquarium manufacturers now make a great effort to talk up the attractiveness of an aquarium in their advertising and to create demand for stylish, well-equipped tanks.
LEDs are reviving the market
What of nano aquariums, which once gave rise to considerable hype with their claim to create an aquatic world in a compact format? They are still around and they still have a following, although this type of aquarium has long since passed its zenith.
A lot more attention is currently being devoted to the technology field. The switch from the conventional T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps to LED lighting has been capitalised on by the aquatics market. Since LEDs consume much less power, they are more sustainable and in keeping with the green spirit of the times. In the opinion of most hobbyists, the light from LED lamps is also more targeted and focused - it highlights what it is intended to highlight. The colour spectrum, which was problematic for a long time, is now more varied with LEDs and the light is warmer than was the case in the early days of this type of lighting.
Apps growing in popularity
The aquarium market has also benefited strongly from another…