Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Global Pet Expo 2013: Part II

Finally getting around to posting our take on Global 2013 only about 2 months after it took place (it has been a very busy couple of months!). So here to wrap up what we took away from this year's show are some new and noteworthy aquatics products and other interesting news. We're especially excited about the last bit of news on this entry- read on to find out more!

Highlights of Global 2013- Continued:

Innovation(!): After a somewhat stale stretch in terms of new or interesting aquarium products, the market seems to have picked up again with some creative, unique, and just plain practical product innovation. It was a ton of fun getting to sneak away from our fish display to check out what's new and exciting in the industry and as a hobbyist with an ever-growing number of tanks at home (funny how they just seem to multiply, isn't it?) I always enjoy seeing what standout products to look out for in the coming year...

So a quick run through what I was most impressed with on the dry goods side of things:

Aquatop: These guys just continue to impress with sleek design, solid product and extremely reasonable prices. I think at this point everyone at Segrest Farms has a substantial hoard of Aquatop product (myself included!) in and around their home and office aquariums, and it doesn't look like that trend will be over anytime soon. Standout products include their gorgeous high-clarity glass rimless tanks, submersible heaters with LCD display, and their awesome canister filters with integrated UV clarifiers. Anyone who's been in retail knows how good packaging sells product, and I have no doubt that their superbly well-designed packaging is going to help move this company closer to the spotlight very soon... keep up the good work guys! Oh, and check out this video recap of their display at Global:

Canister w/ UV- I have affectionately renamed mine R2-D2.
See the resemblance?

Rimless Bowfront: 3 and counting in the Segrest office

Current USA: Current has been around the block a few times when it comes to aquarium lighting (I remember setting up my first reef tank with their 48" power compact fixture and brand new LED moonlights...anyone else remember those?), so it was great to see them getting into the LED market with a really innovative fixture. And unlike so many companies who are entering the market with high end ultra-high-powered LEDs that can be seen from space and cost roughly the same as a down payment on a house, the Current fixtures cater to the middle ground of aquarists who just want a really nice light fixture for their aquarium (nothing against the high tech LEDs, because everyone knows how gadget crazy reef aquarists are and some of them are very cool). These lights feature an adjustable spectrum and an awesome "lightning storm" feature you can trigger from the (included) IR remote. I must have watched the demo unit cycle through the storm feature several times...all I could picture was an Amazonian biotope tank with a simulated rainy season...very cool stuff.

Sleek fixture, nice lighting, and Segrest fish in the tank!
The poor discus in this tank had to endure me playing with the "lightning storm" function on their light over and over again!

Eshopps: Another product that really caught our eye (and a sign that freshwater aquariums are starting to catch up to salt tanks, tech-wise) was this sump/refugium designed for freshwater aquariums. An awesome way to allow for nutrient export in setups that otherwise wouldn't be conducive to plant growth, or to raise fry, these sumps are a great option for an advanced freshwater hobbyist. With all the hype about freshwater pipefish lately I couldn't help but think this would be a perfect environment to raise them- away from other fish and in a densely planted environment.

Photo via reef builders

Other Highlights:

Aquatic Experience Trade Show: The aquatics industry is experiencing encouraging growth at the moment, and we're seeing no signs of this trend slowing down any time soon. There is a lot of excitement among industry members, our customers, and the hobby community and the enthusiasm for all things aquatic is contagious. At Global we were thrilled to learn that World Pet Association is planning an all-aquatics trade show in Chicago for late 2013. Most industry members and retailers alike will agree that the larger US trade shows have largely become dog, cat, and grooming shows over the last decade or so, with specialty and aquatics in particular having a somewhat marginalized presence. So it seemed only natural for the aquatics industry to come together and we have to give a lot of credit to WPA for having putting the time and effort into making this happen. Rest assured that Segrest will be there with a strong presence and the best fish in the industry on display!

We'll see you there!

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