2016 Marine Depot Best of Awards Seal

The Marine Depot Best of Awards recognizes aquarium supply manufacturers and products that have demonstrated outstanding performance throughout a one-year period. In 2016, more than 180 brands from across the globe were considered for the sixth annual Marine Depot Best of Awards. Product winners were selected based upon key performance metrics including sales volume, internet searches, website searches, customer rankings and call center data. To see 2015's award winners, click here.

Best In Show

Red Sea Reefer Aquariums

While Red Sea aquariums have been a hobbyist favorite for years, Red Sea really hit a sweet spot with their Reefer series aquariums. Sporting clean and modern lines, Reefer series tanks are a beauty to behold. However, the Reefer’s beauty goes beyond the surface. With the Red Sea Reefer you will get a well-designed and well-featured aquarium that has plumbing all figured out so that you can focus on what will go inside your beautiful new museum quality showpiece. The reefer is elegant and sophisticated, accentuating the beauty of any home.

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Best New Product

Aquatic Life Twist-In RO/DI System

Every week we help hobbyists frustrated with setting up a reverse osmosis system, which can easily become a confusing cluster of tubing. Enter the AquaticLife Twist-in RO/DI system. AquaticLife takes a proven method and simplifies the product to be simple and pleasant to use. Streamlined canisters omit numerous tubes. Sealed, twist-off canisters reduce spills and make maintenance a breeze. For most hobbyists, the new Twist-In RO/DI system is a winner when it comes to simply making great water.

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Best Protein Skimmer

AquaMaxx HOB-1

The AquaMaxx HOB-1 is a perennial favorite with our staff and customers. It’s easy to see why. One might say that the AquaMaxx HOB-1 is the best skimmer in its class, but really, it’s in a class of its own. The HOB-1 boasts more power than most other hang on back skimmers with a strong, reliable Sicce pump creating tons of foam. That power has only increased with a redesigned bubble plate and collection cup. The HOB-1 belongs in a class of its own, and is easily our favorite choice.

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Best Media Reactor

AquaMaxx FR-S

Media reactors need to be versatile, simple, functional, and easy to maintain. The AquaMaxx FR-S hits the mark in each category. The pump, placed directly beneath the reactor, removes the need for tubing. A cord holder keeps things streamlined. The reactor is set to use with a wide variety of media. Filling and cleaning the reactor is easy. For a small or midsize tank the AquaMaxx FR-S delivers affordable and effective filtration.

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Best Aquarium

Innovative Marine Concept Aquariums

There are any number of great choices when it comes to aquariums these days with different levels of features. That being said, Innovative Marine’s Concept Aquarium series brings a whole new level of possibilities. The Atoll cylinder makes for a beautiful presentation in a small package. The Abyss concept aquariums, available in peninsula or panorama orientations, are particular stand outs. Aquarists can create a small aquarium with multiple biomes, such as a reef drop off with a reef crest zone and a lagoon zone. Whole new aquascaping options are opened with the originality of their design, freeing hobbyists to artistically create instead of being constrained to a traditional rectangular box.

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Best Light

EcoTech Marine Radion G4

The Ecotech Marine Radion has for years been the most highly praised light in the market for great color, power, and control. Through EcoSmart Live, each individual color can be programmed independently throughout the day and comes with proven settings for growth and color. With the Gen 4 model, Ecotech took the best and made it better. Though the Gen 4 fixture looks the same, under the hood is a comprehensive redesign. Added to the already impressive features is the introduction of hemispherical edge illumination (HEI) optics, new lenses which provide exceptional light spread and superior color blending. Whereas in the past hobbyists often used supplemental T5 lighting, the Radion Gen 4 eliminates the need. We love the power, color, and intuitive use the Radion Gen 4 offers.

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Best In Flow

Maxspect Gyre 200 Series

Since its release the Maxspect Gyre controllable powerhead has been a bestseller and a hobbyist favorite. For three years running the Gyre has won Marine Depot awards. It’s no surprise, considering that the Gyre provides unrivaled, controllable “gyre” like flow that gets water circulating throughout the entire tank, preventing dead spots. The Gyre can be mounted vertically or horizontally and comes with adjustable heads that can be rotated to customize flow. The 200 series adds to that award winning design stronger propellers and bushings and, most importantly, an advanced controller that will blow your mind with its features and versatility.

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Best Test Kits

Red Sea Multi Test Kits

Testing is an important part of keeping an aquarium running well. However, when testing becomes a complicated chore hobbyists will avoid testing, often leading to a neglected tank. Red Sea test kits are very useable and come complete with detailed, easy to follow instructions. On many test kits, Red Sea even incorporates guidelines for their aquarium additives, simplifying the process of testing and dosing. Red Sea’s commitment to quality means that the test results will be accurate. While Red Sea has chosen quality and accuracy over simplicity, this integration with their other products makes an aquarium more enjoyable.

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Best Nano Light

Kessil A80 LED

Kessil lights are prized for their exceptional color blending and unmatched shimmer in led fixtures. Now, Kessil has taken that impressive dense matrix led technology and miniaturized it to about the size of a hockey puck with the A80. The seashell design is fashionable, but also serves as a functional heatsink, reducing noise by removing the need for a fan. At 15 watts the A80 is a great nano fixture for reef aquariums 14” long or fish only systems up to 24”. Just like its larger siblings, the A80 has intensity and color control complete with Kessil logic that maintains consistent output for coral growth across the color spectrum.

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Best Filter Media

Chemi-Pure Blue

Boyd Chemi-Pure media has long been a hobby standard in filtration media. With the release of Chemi-Pure Blue, the standard has gotten higher. Chemi-Pure Blue is a filter media specially designed for marine and reef aquaria comprised of high quality pelletized carbon, phosphate removal media, and high capacity ion-exchange resins. Since Chemi-Pure Blue is formulated specifically for saltwater aquariums, it has the added benefit of helping to stabilize pH. Chemi-Pure Blue is simple to use and comes pre-bagged and ready to insert into the filter or sump. We trust Chemi-Pure Blue and know it will help your aquarium thrive.

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Best New Gadget

AquaMaxx Macroalgae Reactor

AquaMaxx has been known to think outside the box to move the hobby forward. We love the new macroalgae reactor for its ingenious design. Refugiums are great for nutrient export, but not everyone has space or a designated chamber for one. The AquaMaxx Macroalgae reactor provides a versatile breeding ground for macroalgae like chaetomorpha that soak up nitrate and phosphate, as well as microorganisms like copepods that consume waste and serve as food for livestock. In our tests macroalgae grew prolifically and was harvestable every two weeks because the LED light surrounded the algae at close distance. No space? No worries. Try the AquaMaxx Macroalgae reactor and solve your algae problems.

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Best Bio-Media

Brightwell Aquatics Xport

Brightwell Aquatics has released the Xport Bio-Media, a leap forward in biological filtration that has been flying off our shelves. Bacteria process ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the aquarium, but require surface area and the right conditions. Xport Bio uses a new technique to massively increase surface area, 20,000x more surface area than bio balls, 15x more than other ceramics, and 10x more than live rock. Plus, Brightwell has figured out how to “dope” the media in order to provide additional benefits. We love the Xport NO3, which adds sulfur to the ceramic, which in turn allows bacteria that process nitrate to thrive. The end result is a single media that manages ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate—a clear winner.

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