This month’s featured aquarium installation looks at a 250 gallon salt water “fish only” aquarium we performed for a Barrington, IL custom home builder. The home builder’s client had the idea of an aquarium in the grand entrance as a focal point of the home, great idea we thought! The aquarium will serve as a room divider, being viewable from both sides, between the great room and entrance. After lying out the design plan, we ran drain and return pipes from where the aquarium would eventually sit, down two floors and across the house, to where the pumps and filtration would be. Mill workers built a custom cabinet to encase the aquarium which matches other cabinetry in the home. After a majority of the construction was completed in the home we brought in and installed the aquarium, then started adding fish.
What we can never really anticipate however is home much the homeowner, or any new client for that matter, will fall for the aquarium. After stopping by recently to snap some pictures of the aquarium and visit with the client a bit, we started talking about how the tank has become so much a part of her and her family’s life. They’ve named all the fish, the kids fight over who gets to feed them and even the cats loose themselves for hours just staring into the homes new centerpiece.
On the heels of that conversation, our new client started asking about “reef” aquariums. Her current aquarium being “fish only” means that she has a huge variety of fish, such as eels, groupers, butterflies, angel fish, tangs and etc. A “reef” aquarium features invertebrates such as live corals, shrimp, urchins, starfish, crabs, snails and other things that would be eaten by the residents of a fish only tank. The way I best describe a reef aquarium is like an underwater Japanese garden, perfectly manicured, with polyps and corals flowing and swaying back and forth. Shrimps creep out of crevices and small fish pop and dart in and out of rocks. It truly is like having a window to another, underwater world, at your fingertips.
Well that did it, she’s hooked. We’re now planning on an even bigger “reef” aquarium being built into her office. I’ll be sure to update once it’s installed!