If you’ve spent anytime trolling marine aquarium forums, you’ve probably seen some examples of how tech-savy hobbyist are using mobile devices to take advantage of their Internet accessible aquariums. Accessing your aquarium from the Internet is often made possible by “Apps” (programs that run on mobile devices and tablets) created specifically to meet the needs of reef hobbyist, and while there are seemingly millions of Apps for iPhone and iPads, there are only a handful dedicated to helping hobbyist manage their aquariums. I started to think about what the ideal reef aquarium app would look like, and since it doesn’t exist yet I’ve decided to write my wish list for such an App. Of course I would want all of these features neatly packaged in a high definition interface and all for around a $5 price tag.
Below is our wishlist, and we invite you to add to it.
1) Universal iOS app (iPad & iPhone optimized).
2) Android version also available.
3) Livestock database with built-in and customizable fields plus picture attachments. Ability to display, sort and search database. Ability to export database for backup.
4) Equipment database with built-in and customizable fields plus picture attachments. Ability to display, sort and search database. Ability to export database for backup. Replacement and maintenance notifications for each piece of equipment on database.
5) Multiple aquarium support.
6) Monitor and control of Neptune Systems and Digital Aquatics controllers. Data logging and graphing capabilities. Program editing and backup/restore of multiple program versions.
7) Aquarium picture/video gallery with netcam support for live streaming video.
8 ) Aquarium parameters testing database with the ability to manually input test results as well as automatic import of parameters being monitored by aquarium controller. Graphing capabilities for testing results by day, week, month and year. Testing reminder notifications. Ability to export database for backup.
9) Customizable maintenance and supplement dosing schedule with notifications.
10) Various reef calculators built-in (water volume, supplement calculators, etc.)
At the moment I am able to take advantage of most of these features by using 5 separate apps, but the ultimate and complete reef aquarium app would make it easier and much more elegant to maintain and enjoy my aquarium with my smartphone or tablet. Well, what are you waiting for? Get to programing!
On a side note, I want to take a moment to praise and pay respects to the man who made the whole Apps thing possible. Rest in peace Steve Jobs.