Every saltwater aquarium hobbyist loves to get new gadgets for their tank. If you are looking to buy yourself a treat or perhaps find a gift for a loved one and stick to a budget, this article is for you.
Here are 11 best saltwater aquarium gadgets under $50.
11 Best Saltwater Aquarium Gadgets Under $50
Being able to measure the salt level in your tank accurately is very important. A good salinity level is around 36g/L. It should have a gravity level of 1.025, you should aim to have a specific gravity of 1.024-1.026. A refractometer is an affordable way to measure this.
2. Flipper Algae Cleaning Magnet
I mentioned in my Flipper review article, that I believe the Flipper is the best aquarium algae cleaning magnet on the market today. They work great on glass and acrylic tanks. It will easily clean all types of algae from your tank without scratching.
The Flipper design is very unique, it allows you to switch from a padded side to a bladed side without putting your hands in the water. You simply “flip” the outside of the handle on the dry side of the tank and watch the magnet do its magic. If you want to keep your glass or acrylic clean, the Flipper is a great tool you should try.
3. Heater controller
A heater controller is a very affordable piece of equipment that can prevent a disaster from happening. All heaters have the chance of failing, perhaps sticking in the on position and baking your tank. This is what happened to me.
A controller will cut power to the heater shutting it off in the event that it sticks on. Even if the temperature reaches the desired setting, it will shut on and off to maintain a constant temperature within 1 degree. Very accurate and easy to use, plus the peace of mind is priceless. The Inkbird temperature controller is a great way to save your tank from heater failures.
4. Eheim surface skimmer
The Eheim surface skimmer is a great tool if you are struggling with that oily film on the surface of your water. Not only will it remove that oily surface, but it efficiently eliminates it and you will have crystal-clear water and high oxygenation.
The Eheim surface skimmer is easy to set up and use right out of the box. Attaches directly to the aquarium glass using suction cups. You can use it on a continuous basis or short term use. It only consumes 5w power, so it is efficient to use.
5. Pocket PH checker
Maintaining your tank’s PH on a consistent basis is important for the health of your tank. The Pocket pH Tester is a waterproof, easy-to-use pH water tester that makes monitoring water quality simple. It’s very accurate and will show readings with 0.1 resolution.
It has a compact design making it simple to store or put it in your pocket to take with you anywhere you go. It also features a temperature sensor, LCD display, automatic calibration, and much more. This Hanna instrument is a popular choice that many hobbyists love.
6. TDS meter
TDS or total dissolved solids are important to measure as you want to ensure your RODI water filter is doing its job properly. Some RODI filter units come with a built-in TDS meter but many don’t. You want to use water that has a TDS reading of 0. Most tap water will have a high amount of TDS which you don’t want to use.
If your RODI filter does not have a built-in TDS meter than you can buy an affordable checker that is accurate and easy to use. This will allow you to test your filter efficiency and make sure the water you are using is perfect quality for your tank. It will also help you determine if your filter is fully used and needs to be changed.
7. Refugium light
If you have or plan to have a refugium on your tank, it’s most likely that you keep macroalgae like Cheatomorpha. In order for that algae to grow, you will need light. There are many different types of lights available for refugiums and depending on your setup, you will have several options.
I prefer to use an LED refugium light and the JBJ Macro-Glo adjustable refugium light is an affordable option that works great. This light is easily adjustable and simply attaches to your refugium. It’s compact and lightweight, doesn’t consume much power and comes in a 15w version and a 25w version utilizing 6400K light to promote macroalgae.
8. Frag rack
If you are keeping corals in your tank, chance are that you will want to frag larger colonies into smaller frags. If you decide to put your frags onto a frag plug, it’s nice to have an organized and neat place to keep the frags. This is where a frag rack comes in.
Frag racks come in many sizes and shapes. Some racks will have magnets that attach to your glass, and others have legs that you can set on the rocks or bottom of your tank. Regardless of the type of frag rack you choose, they are a great tool to have for hobbyists who love to frag corals.
9. Coral viewer
There is nothing like getting a clear and close up view of the corals in your tank. The Flipper DeepSee magnified coral view will do just that. This is a 4″ viewer that attaches to a glass or acrylic aquarium allowing you to not only see the corals close up and clear, but it allows you to take awesome photos and video to share with others.
Its optical lens can help you find unwanted critters that may be on rocks and corals that perhaps you might not have noticed. This makes a great gift for yourself or anyone else in the hobby!
10. Coral view lens (tablet and smartphone)
Unlike the coral viewer mentioned above, this is a clip-on lens that attaches to your tablet or smartphone. The Poly-Lab coral view V2 lens allows you to see and capture the beauty of any aquarium with your mobile device. This lens clamps directly over almost any smartphone or tablet, allowing the camera to instantly filter out excess blue light from the photo.
This allows you to photograph or record and share stunning images of your corals. The new V2 lens is a mix of 15k and 20k and adds a polarizer filter designed for seamless picture and video quality. There is a dial on the polarizer filter that can also saturate the colors, perfectly.
11. Auto feeder
If you are someone who travels or perhaps will be away from your aquarium for an amount of time, then feeding your fish can be difficult. Using an auto feeder will keep your fish fed on a regular schedule so you won’t have to worry. It is definitely a convenient gadget to have.
The Eheim Feed Air Automatic Feeder is a reliable and safe way to feed your fish. It is electronically controlled and has 4 daily feeding cycles available. It has an easy to read LCD display and a long-lasting battery which will run for about 6 months.
A great feature of the Eheim auto feeder is that it delivers the fish food underwater and keeps it in the same place. This prevents food from floating all over the tank, getting caught in rocks, or being sucked into the filters and overflows. This helps keep your water clean and healthy.
Hopefully, these 11 Best Saltwater Aquarium Gadgets Under $50, gave you some ideas if you are on a budget but still want a great gift. You don’t have to spend a fortune to find something that all saltwater hobbyists will love!
Thanks for reading!