Almost 300,000 people have watched a YouTube video about the filtration and life-support system of a home reef aquarium belonging to an Israeli entrepreneur in Haifa.
Eli Fruchter’s living-room fish tank isn’t your everyday aquarium: it holds 30,000 liters of water and it’s big enough for scuba diving.
Fruchter, cofounder of EZchip – which merged with Mellanox Technologies in January 2016 in a deal worth $811 million— has said that he has always liked fish.
He simply took his hobby one step further than most.
His amazing aquarium houses more than 150 colorful fish of 30 species, as well as corals.
A Technion-educated electrical engineer and veteran of the Israel Defense Forces 8200 intelligence unit, Fruchter designed his aquarium with a filtration system including a skimmer that doesn’t use power and speed-controlled pumps that keep the foam level even.
This 63-year-old high-tech entrepreneur also programmed an app on his phone to manage feeding, temperature, and opening and closing a sunroof above the aquarium.
Fruchter said that he replenishes one-third of the tank’s volume with fresh seawater on a weekly basis – driving a specially equipped golf cart from his home to the Mediterranean Sea.
This enormous fish tank actually came about because an earlier aquarium – about 3,785 liters in size – broke in 2004 and flooded Fruchter’s living room. He then decided to create a new aquarium and build a house around it.
This aquarium is believed to be one of the biggest – if not the biggest – home aquarium in the world.
In October 2015, Fruchter uploaded a first video of his home tank to YouTube so that people can learn about what he’s doing. Many viewers requested new videos on the filtration systems behind this enormous underwater kingdom.
In August 2016, Fruchter complied with that request – unexpectedly attracting even more attention as the video went viral. Nearly 300,000 viewers were even more amazed by his self-built power filtration system.
In fact, since uploading his videos, Fruchter has fielded more interview requests from foreign and local media about his fish hobby than when he was CEO of a billion-dollar company.
Viewers leave comments for Fruchter on his video channel and he answers with text messages or makes new videos.
The latest video shows him feeding his colorful pets.
“When I made my first video last year, I thought it might get a lot of hits — but this last video was much more technical, about the filtration system,” Fruchter told the Times of Israel. “I thought it was just going to be seen by the enthusiasts who requested it. But then it became popular on Reddit [a content website], and then it just exploded. And that’s when you called, and HaZinor called, and everybody called, so now I’m… becoming famous.”
Not a one-hit-wonder kind of a guy, Fruchter keeps an active fish log on his Facebook page and uploads gorgeous video snippets of his colorful Tang fish spawning at different times of the day.
It’s certainly a lot more interesting than television.