About this project
The Avo Kickstarter has now been successfully funded but if you still want to get your hands on an Avo please go to our website at noux.co.uk. Thank you :)
Want to find out a little more? Watch the six minute video below.
I've always kept fish and it was a steep learning curve in the early days - trying to maintain a tank properly, making sure my fish were healthy and had a clean tank. Fish keeping isn't as easy most people think - you'll know yourself if you've ever kept fish. There's important bacteria in the tank that need to be maintained, plus there's the weekly water changes and smelly filter cleaning needed to maintain a healthy tank.
After extensive research, speaking to many fish tank owners and experts I decided I'd design something that takes the stress out of keeping tropical fish and makes fish keeping simple, beautiful and above all enjoyable. After over three years of research and development, plus 18 months of testing I have designed Avo - a self-cleaning fish tank.
Avo is packed full of technology and clever design features that make it really, really easy to keep fish. Here are a few of the things that make it so special.
No water changes. The fish, plants and bacteria work together to create a balanced micro-ecosystem. The harmful ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are removed from the water meaning the water never needs changing.
No filter cleaning. I've perfected a filtration system that is both natural and self-maintaining. The filter system is a moving bed filter system, this means the filter cleans itself so no filter cleaning ever.
Often fish tanks get algae, this usually means that there's too much light and too many nutrients (nitrate) in the water. Avo's plant specific LED lighting is automatic, which prevents algae. The light emitted is plant specific, providing the wavelengths that the plants need to photosynthesise and grow, making sure they are cleaning the water efficiently.
Avo's lighting produces some wavelengths of light that our human eyes can't even detect. To us they appear as three colors fading on and off automatically at different times of the day - soft red light in the morning, daylight white in the day and cool blue in the evening.
But don't worry if you want total darkness when Avo is on there's an override switch to turn the lights off until the next day.
The heating is taken care of too, a temperature of 27°C (80.6°F) is automatically maintained. This is the perfect temperature for most tropical fish. The heating elements are also cleverly positioned to create convection currents, helping the nutrients get efficiently to the roots of the plants.
Avo has some other unique design features that make it really easy to use.
The light looks pretty swirling around the bowl, but it does make it a bit difficult getting fish and plants into the tank. We've thought of this and the light is held in place by super strong neodymium magnets, plus a clever connector. If you need to get things in and out of the tank the light removed with an easy twist and snaps back into place.
There are 7 individual pots for plants that slot neatly into place around the filter system. This makes it really easy to care for the plants, they can be lifted out for trimming or easily rearranged to change the look of the tank.
Avo is a nano aquarium holding 15 litres (3.5 gal) of water, this is the perfect size for your desktop, coffee table or nightstand and is just right for beautiful tropical fish such as a bettas, shrimps or guppies.
As you can see from the photographs we have a working aesthetic prototype. We've been testing a working prototype for 18 months now so we know that the product works long term. Right at the moment we're finalising the design for manufacture - consolidating parts, applying draft angles and preparing the little details of the product so it can be manufactured both efficiently and to the highest standard.
The next stage is where you will come in, the design is 99% ready and we'll soon need to get going and make some fish tanks - this is why we are Kickstarting - we need the capital to pay for the tooling.
If all goes to plan and we have no setbacks Avo will be delivered to your door in July 2015, The chart below shows the projected time plan.
- One Avo fish bowl with integrated lighting, heating and filter, in a choice of either black or white matt finish.
- One air pump (to power the filter)
- Filter media
- Seven modular plant pots
- One bag of black gravel
- Seven fertilizer tabs (to boost plant growth)
- Tap safe (to remove the harmful chemicals from your tap water).
Unfortunately there are some additional shipping charges when delivering outside of the UK. Please see below for the amount and add this to your pledge, if you are unsure of what to add on then please get in touch.
- UK Shipping - Free
- EU add £12 / €15 / $20
- USA/Canada/Rest of Europe add £25 / €31 / $42
- Australia/China add £30 / €37 / $50
- Rest of world add £45 / €56 / $76
My Name is Susan Shelley and I am the founder and director of Noux. I studied Industrial Design at University before going to work for a design studio in London. I left work in the design studio in 2013 to focus my efforts on developing Avo. I'm passionate about design and pets, I believe products should be both beautiful and functional, good design should make life both richer and easier. I believe Avo embodies all of these qualities.
I'm not developing Avo alone, there's a team of folks. We have a top engineer who used to engineer at Dyson - he's helping us perfect our design for manufacture and assembly plus some of the more complicated features of Avo. We've also got experts in marketing and PR helping us to tell the world about Avo, plus we have an accountant who is guiding us through the confusing world of tax and managing finances. I know that one person can't do everything so getting the experts on board has saved me a lot of time and potential mistakes!
Are you press? High res images and a press release can be found here
Risks and challenges
VAT. We're in the UK so we've taken steps to ensure that Value Added Tax (VAT) of 20% is already calculated into the price. I know a lot of projects in the UK have stumbled on this hurdle. This is also great news for international backers because you don't pay VAT, but we've used this 20% to reduce the cost of international shipping.
Manufacturing and assembly supply chain. We've manufacturing and assembling in China. This has the advantage of reducing the cost and meaning we can get Avo to you at the best possible price. However, there are increased logistical challenges. We're using a Chinese manufacturer that is UK managed, this means the tooling is costing a little bit more but it also means that the risk is reduced. The UK management company have a Chinese presence and will be able to handle the translation, quality control and are working with their trusted Chinese suppliers.
Unforeseen costs. There could be unforeseen costs such as the price of the tooling, the costs of materials or shipping going up. This could but a temporary spanner in the works. We have a 10% contingency but if prices really start to shoot up there are other avenues we could tap into to raise more capital such as angel investors, this could delay us for a few weeks.
A few of the eagle eyed backers will have noticed that out target has dropped since the relaunch. This due to us sourcing better value tooling options meaning that we need less capital to start up.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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