Aquarium Cameras – The Best $30 You Can Spend On Your Tank!


Years ago when my first child was born a friend told me about Wifi cameras that you can buy for cheap to keep an eye on your newborn, even during darkness. This was awesome and it also allowed my family to see him when I gave them the login details.

A little while later we were planning a family vacation and the inevitable ‘Tank Stress’ began to set in. Then I had the brain wave of moving the WiFi camera to watch my aquarium instead of his bed!

We Were Taking Bets If He Was Going To Fall Out!

The vacation was so good because then I could log in and see my aquarium anytime to check on it. From that point on I permanently mounted 2 cameras. One for my aquarium and one for my sump.

Some of the best and most affordable cameras for aquariums are:

  • Wyze Cam
  • Amcrest Surveillance Camera
  • Wansview Wireless Pet Camera
  • Netgear Arlo Camera
  • Nest Indoor Camera
  • Ring Indoor Camera

To help you reference several types of cameras while reading this article you can find a nice selection of them Here at Amazon.com
Let’s talk more about these great little devices and show you why you need to get one of these! Read On…

What Is An Aquarium Camera?

An aquarium Camera is a small camera that connects to your home wireless network and whenever someone logs into the camera it streams a live video feed to any mobile device, tablet or computer, anywhere in the world.

Since 2010 the Wifi camera technology has come on leaps and bounds and the Chinese market has been great for dramatically dropping the price of these invaluable tools!

All that is required is for you to plug it into the wall for power, connect it to your home WiFi network, add the app onto your phone/tablet/desktop then you can securely view the live feed from anywhere in the world.

The great things about Wifi cameras are the plethora of features that most come with today:-

  • 1080p Full HD High-Quality Video Stream
  • Infra-Red Night Vision
  • Motion Detection
  • 2-Way Voice Communication
  • Global Access to Video Stream
  • Pan/Tilt/Zoom of Camera
  • Add Additional Cameras
  • Notification of Motion Via App
  • No Additional Monthly Fees
  • Alexa & Google Voice Control
  • Cloud Storage for Recording
  • Multiple Mounting Options
  • Simple Setup
  • Variety Of Costs
  • Updates With New Additional Features

Many of the popular models are either a fixed camera that you mount and point at the view you want or you can purchase ones that come on a controllable base.

The controllable ones allow you to remotely turn, pan and zoom the camera so you can look at multiple items. I have a pan and tilt camera in the filter area of my basement so I can look at the frag tank, the sump, the skimmer cup, the RO/DI unit or anything else I wish.

Why Do I Want An Aquarium Camera?

Three words: Peace Of Mind

The main purpose of a camera on your aquarium is for you to view it when you are not home. We all know the only things that happen fast in a saltwater aquarium is a tank crash, so being able to view the aquarium and filtration at any time gives us that peace of mind.

Another great feature with the cameras is when you have a tank sitter, you can keep an eye on them or even walk them through what you want them to do, using the Two-Way Voice Communication features.

Just think, you can be sat on the beach with a Margherita while talking to your house sitter while they clean out the skimmer cup!

A Screen Shot Of My Reef From The Wifi Camera

The other great bonus of the cameras monitoring your aquarium is that if you have an aquarium controller like the Neptune Apex (Marine Depot Link for More Information), you have even more peace of mind.

For Example:

Your Apex aquarium controller sends you a Text Alert to inform you it has detected a flood while you are on vacation. You log into your camera app and see the protein skimmer is overflowing for some reason, and your tank sitter had nudged the skimmer over to the side of the sump, by accident.

Aquarium water is now pouring over the edge of the sump from the overflowing skimmer. Because you have an aquarium controller you can now turn off the skimmer via the Aquarium Controller App.
Next, you can call your tank sitter and ask them to head over, move the skimmer and mop up the mess.

Without a camera and an aquarium controller, you could have come home a dead tank because your Automatic Top-Off system has topped it up because it thought the aquarium water was being evaporated, thus your salinity dropped off the scale.

Your wood floors now need to be ripped up because they are drowned in salt water, the basement ceiling has collapsed because of the water coming from the floor above… You get the picture!

Cameras and Aquarium Controllers are invaluable! Both of mine have saved my aquarium more than once while I’ve been away!
Murphy’s Law dictates chaos ensues whenever it is most inconvenient!

Are Wifi Cameras Secure?

Bottom line is ‘Some Are Better Than Others’. A few years ago there was a worldwide hack of home wifi cameras where many people had just plugged them in and left all the Username & Passwords as default and these feeds got hacked.

When you log into your webcam feed you are really logging into a server that is taking the feed from your camera and then relaying it to your device. The location and security of this server can be compromised and your feed hacked. To many people, this fills them with dread!

There are several ways in which you can do your best to ensure your feed is as secure it can be:

  1. Give your camera feed a unique username and a strong password consisting of characters, upper case letters, lowercase letters, and numbers. You can search google to generate a secure password to help
  2. Buy a camera that has great reviews from real users that have had no issues
  3. Spend as much as you can afford as the more recognized brands like Ring and Nest have very reputable servers.
  4. Enable Two-Factor Authentication if your device has that function

The last final thing you can do is to make sure your video feed shows nothing but your aquarium! Even though I have all the security I can on my wifi cam if anyone hacks my feed all they get to see is my fish cruising around! If they hack my fish room then all the get to see is the bubbles in my skimmer! But this is an individual’s personal decision.

My $50 (7 years ago) camera has never caused me any issue or hacks that I’m aware of.

My 5-Year Old Controllable Wifi Camera Monitoring My Filtration

If you are prepared to take a little risk then the cameras <$50 are a great option. If you want the most secure feeds then look at the cameras from Ring and Nest.

Recommended Cameras For An Aquarium?

There are some great cameras out there and they all range in price but the features are generally the same. The more you pay, the more well-known the brand.

Cheaper Cameras:

Wyze Cam 1080p Wifi Camera

  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • Motion & Sound Recording
  • Night Vision
  • Voice Contol via Alexa Or Google (US Only)
  • Dedicated App From Wyze
  • Link to Other Wyze Cameras
  • Great Reviews from over 11,000 owners on Amazon.com

Around $25.00
Click Here For More Information,
Reviews & Price at Amazon.com


Wyze Cam Pan 1080p Wifi Camera

  • Pan/Tilt/Zoom Functions
  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • Motion & Sound Recording
  • Night Vision
  • Voice Contol via Alexa Or Google (US Only)
  • Dedicated App From Wyze
  • Link to Other Wyze Cameras
  • Great Reviews from almost 6,000 owners on Amazon.com

Around $40.00
Click Here For More Information,
Reviews & Price at Amazon.com

Mid-Priced Cameras:

Amcrest 1080p Controllable Wifi Camera

  • Pan/Tilt/Zoom Functions
  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • Motion & Sound Recording
  • Night Vision
  • Voice Contol via Alexa Or Google (US Only)
  • Web-Based Flash Interface
  • Great Reviews from over 12,000 owners on Amazon.com

Around $60.00
Click Here For More Information,
Reviews & Price at Amazon.com


Ring Indoor Cam 1080p Wifi Camera

  • Well Known Brand
  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • Motion & Sound Recording
  • Night Vision
  • Two-Way Voice Communication
  • Voice Contol via Alexa Or Google (US Only)
  • Dedicated App From Ring
  • Great Reviews from almost 300 owners on Amazon.com

Around $60.00
Click Here For More Information,
Reviews & Price at Amazon.com

Higher-Priced Cameras:

NEST Cam Indoor Camera

  • Well Known Brand
  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • Motion & Sound Recording
  • Night Vision
  • Two-Way Voice Communication
  • Voice Contol via Alexa Or Google (US Only)
  • Dedicated App From Nest
  • Linkable To Other Nest Devices
  • Great Reviews from over 7,000 owners on Amazon.com

Around $170.00
Click Here For More Information,
Reviews & Price at Amazon.com


Netgear Arlo Pro Indoor Camera System

  • Well Known Brand
  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • Motion & Sound Recording
  • Night Vision
  • Two-Way Voice Communication
  • Voice Contol via Alexa Or Google (US Only)
  • Dedicated App From Netgear
  • Rechargeable Battery Powered Camera
  • Great Reviews from over 15,000 owners on Amazon.com

Around $190.00
Click Here For More Information,
Reviews & Price at Amazon.com

How Do You Install A Wifi Camera?

Installing your Wifi camera is usually a very simple process that even the least technically-minded people can complete with ease:

STEP 1 – Mount The Camera

Find a location to mount your camera where it will be out of the way and won’t get knocked during aquarium maintenance.
I find having the camera looking down the aquarium from one end is the simplest.
Try not to have the camera looking at the aquarium from across the room as this adds to privacy issues if you have them.

STEP 2 – Power Up The Camera

Most cameras will just require plugging into the wall for their power. For those that are battery powered, ensure you have easy access to remove the battery for charging.
Power up the camera as per the installation instructions.

STEP 3 – Connect To Home Wifi Network

Simple Setup On Today’s Cameras

This is usually a very simple process and each camera manufacturer has its own way to do it. Usually installing the APP and then looking for the camera to be detected is the most common way today.

STEP 4 – Test The Camera

Test the video stream to your app and desktop browser to ensure the camera and software is set up correctly.

STEP 5 – Focus The Camera

Most cameras will have a digital focus or a ring on the lens that will need to be adjusted to ensure to have the sharpest picture quality.

STEP 6 – Adjust The Camera Settings

Saltwater aquariums contain a lot of blue light in the color spectrum and the cameras color settings, especially the ‘White Balance’ may need to be adjusted to get the color set correctly. The camera’s instructions will show how to do this.

STEP 7 – Security

Once all the cameras settings are completed, the video feed is to your liking it is now time to ensure all the security options are enabled and you have changed the username and password to something unique and difficult to hack.

STEP 8 – Enjoy

Enjoy the new feed of your aquatic family members swimming back and forth! The piece of mind you will have is second-to-none.

Caution:
Unless you have an unlimited data plan for your home internet don’t go and let your webcam stream to your work computer all day, every day.
You could face a hefty data overages bill!

How Do You Add Additional Cameras?

If you are like me and also want to add an additional camera to monitor your filtration, or even begin the start of a home security system, then adding a camera, especially of the same brand is usually a very simple process.

When I had to add another camera to my first, over 5 years ago, it was a real pain in the rear. Since then it has become apparent the people require the simplest setup and installation of cameras and it is now pretty simple.

Most apps will just require you to power up the new camera and then it will search for it. Set it up like the steps before and boom, you have another camera you can view in the same app!

To Finish

Next time you are planning to go on vacation setting up a $30 WiFi camera, even if it’s just temporary while you are away, will save you so much anxiety! Sit by the pool and see how green your tank glass can get in two weeks! Trust me it gets green!!

Once you have one installed you will wonder how you lasted so long without one!

Further Reading

If you found this techie article helpful, you may enjoy the following articles from me:

Richard

Hi, I'm Richard and I have been an avid aquarist for over 30 years with a passion for Saltwater Aquariums. I love to pass on my knowledge to help others get the same amount a pleasure out of this hobby as I do. View my About Me page to find out more about me & my mixed reef aquarium.

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