RSS CustomCradle Nano & XL probe holders review

MASA Admin

8 May 2007
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The CustomCradle is a very interesting new magnetic probe holder from Innovative Marine. The new probe holder is being offered in two sizes, a CustomCradle Nano with room for three probes and two dosing lines, and the CustomCradle XL with space to hold four probes, four dosing lines, and a half inch hose for water top off.

We’ve already seen a whole mess of magnetic probe holders from Avast Marine, Neptune Systems, Eshopps,Vertex Aquaristik etc. – basically, the concept has been around for years. Where Innovative Marine broke away from the pack is incorporating another magnetic point in the the attachment which secures all of your probes into place.

This innovative feature is what really puts the Custom Cradle on the map, since it makes it a breeze to access, install, service or replace probes in a breeze. We tested a review sample of each size of the Custom Cradle, and evaluated the fit and finish of these two accessories, in addition to how well these new products do their job.

Both the CustomCradle Nano & XL are made of a glossy black acrylic, with all of the holes and grooves being neatly carved out of the holder. The external magnet to hold the entire assembly is reasonably strong and they live up to Innovative Marine’s claims that the Nano & XL can grip onto glass that is 8mm (0.31 in) and 12 mm (0.47 in) respectively.

When the internal magnet of the Custom Cradle is removed it reveals the large grooves where the probes are held. Even when the internal magent is removed, all of the probes stay in place since they are firmly cradled by a U-shaped cutout which is lined with a thin layer of non-slip foam. A standard temperature probe fit inside very snuggly, the skinnier pH probe was only a tad loose, and there is enough additional room to cram the usually thicker conductivity probe.

Our most exciting discovery about the CustomCradle was finding out that a wired float switch can actually fit into one of the holes that have been created for holding dosing lines. It took a little force and finagling but the float switch went in very securely, with still a little bit of thread sticking out to screw down the fastening nut. In our case, the float switch does interfere with having a probe in the closest groove, but we only need the other two slots to monitor temperature and pH on this particular tank anyway.

So not only can you make the CustomCradle the go-to mounting location for your probes, dosing line and top off tubing, but you even have room to place a float switch on it. The CustomCradle is not the most strongly secured probe holder on the market but as long as you don’t go tugging on your probes it shouldn’t be a problem.

Priced at $29 for the CustomCradle Nano and $49 for the CustomCradle XL, we think that Innovative Marine has hit a really strong value with their special take on what a magnetic probe holder should be. With the release of the CustomCradle along with several new and updated gadgets and accessories, Innovative Marine is really on a hot streak of actual innovation, but we think the CustomCradle will be one of their most popular accessories to date.

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