If you’re any kind of aquarist or aquarium lover, amateur or otherwise, you’ve encountered that heart-sinking feeling that comes along with running into dead fish upon returning to your tank. It’s far too frequent an occurrence, and one that the founding team at Current Labs believes is entirely preventable in most cases, thanks to tech advances that make remotely monitoring and controlling aquarium health surprisingly easy. They’ve created the FishBit, which is sort of like a Fitbit for aquariums, but with a more comprehensive overview of the entire aquatic ecosystem.
“We’re trying to make it easier and taking a holistic approach to owning an aquarium,” explained Current Labs co-founder and CEO Nathan Levine. “Ultimately this is the kind of hobby that will never be hands-free unless you’re paying someone else to be the hands for you. But making it easier for people who don’t know what they’re doing, and holding their hands along the way, if that’s what they want, or if they already have the basics down, just showing them insights that they otherwise might not have seen.”
Over 50 percent of fish bought by aquarium enthusiasts die within the first year, according to Levine, which means that there is a lot of potential to help owners minimize that fatality rate. A huge percentage of those deaths occur as a result of pH imbalances in the water, along with other factors which the Fishbit is designed to detect. It consists of a sensor that you place in your aquarium via magnetic attachment, which also draws power conductively.
The aquarium industry draws in $1.7 billion per year in the U.S. according to Current Labs, but monitoring remotely via sensors and connected dashboards is reserved for the upper echelon of hobbyists and pros, since systems are complicated to install, expensive to maintain and difficult to interpret. FishBit, which consists of flood sensors, the main unit and essentially a connected power strip, presents the information in a simple dashboard and makes sure that when it reports info, a user will also know exactly what to do when said info comes in.
FishBit allows you to monitor your tank ecosystem, with the user providing info about tank capacity, fish makeup and more. Real-time notifications alert tank owners to problems, and the app allows them to actually take action via the connected power strip to turn on lights and activate other devices to respond to and address those issues.