Vertex Aquaristik goes bust

Premium marine brand Vertex has gone into liquidation. Bulk Reef Supply broke the news on the forum on Friday the 24th of January 2020.

“It’s with sadness that we learned earlier today that Vertex is no longer in business. We have a few remaining Vertex products in inventory that we’ve decided to deeply discount. If you’re looking for a solid skimmer, sump, or even dosing container, now is a great time to take advantage of our liquidation sale.” 

“BRS will guarantee that your product will arrive in good, working condition. Please note, because Vertex is no longer in business, there is no warranty support and we can not accept returns on these items.” 

Company history

Vertex was founded in 2011 with its base in California as well as a manufacturing facility in China. Vertex quickly built a reputation around the world for high-end marine equipment, producing skimmers, reactors, sumps, lighting and controllers.

 As part of an early partnership with Germany’s Royal Exclusive, the Vertex Alpha Kone skimmers were some of the highest quality and most in demand protein skimmers of their time, and the red and white Vertex equipment and pipework colours broke new design ground in what was then a sea of grey and black.

 The Illumina LED light was a pioneering high-end fixture with computer control and the Supra Sump, the ultimate in luxury acrylic design and features. Vertex was high reefkeeping fashion and a designer label that combined looks, style and quality with reliability and results.

But cracks started to appear when the Illumina lights disappeared from the range, and at a time when sales of LED lights were actually increasing.  Next came news that Vertex had split from Royal Exclusive, the company behind the even higher-end Bubble King skimmer range.

Cerebra, the much anticipated flagship controller never actually launched, after a few false starts, and lack of support or communication by the company with its fans and customers caused bad feedback for many.

Bulk Reef Supply continued to champion the brand however, ensuring product availability and support across the united states, with Dutch marine wholesaler DeJong taking European distribution.

Vertex teased a Cerebra comeback in 2017 with the Cerebra 2, along with the budget Somatic sump and skimmer range, which oozes style and quality, but at an entry to mid level price range.

But fast forward to 2020 and now Vertex is no more. Now most skimmers are red and white, and for a fraction of the price, and acrylic sumps just single digit hundreds, not thousands, like the Supra. Controllers are straight to wi-fi enabling cheap software upgrades instead of expensive hardware modular LEDs are the order of the day, not large, single units.

Vertex has gone the way of other reef innovators like Waveline. It’s been beaten by copies of its own designs, with rising manufacturing costs in China but declining retail price points across the marketplace. Reef keepers still want Vertex, but it seems they just couldn’t deliver.  

And that’s a great shame.

Jeremy Gay

Author of three fishkeeping books and lifelong fishkeeper. Experience includes editor of Practical Fishkeeping magazine, editor of Pet Product Marketing magazine, multi award- winning livestock manager and aquatic store manager.