Ocean Views

A custom aquarium can be the perfect finishing touch in a high-end home. Not only is it soothing, but a custom aquarium can also add a dramatic appearance to any room.

Living Color Enterprises in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., creates aquariums that are unique to each client and each home. “It doesn’t matter the size or style of a home. We create aquariums for all styles,” says Mathew Roy, president.

The aquariums are made with acrylic material because of its UV stability, its power to be thermal-formed and better clarity than glass.

The coral inside the units is also designed and built by Living Color and acts as a disguise for the aquarium’s plumbing components. “We fabricate the coral in-house. We mold a natural piece of coral to create a silicone mold, allowing us to reproduce it in urethane,” he adds. “We can replicate a reef of a certain region if the client wants us to.”

Most aquariums are custom-made, with an average tank size of 2,000 gal., and can be as large as 10,000 gal. The most creative aquarium Living Color created was a 22½-ft.-tall model in a three-story house. “This aquarium was a cylinder unit that started in the basement and reached to the master bedroom on the third floor,” Roy adds.

Although most units are custom, Living Color offers a standard line of smaller aquariums. “The standard line is called the Discover Collection and within that we have three sizes: Neptune, a 158-gal. cylinder aquarium; Poseidon, a 180–gal. rectangle aquarium; and, Atlantis, a 270–gal. rectangle aquarium,” he says.

Once a client has shown interest in creating a custom aquarium, Living Color will ask for architectural drawings and a CAD sketch of the house to see the layout and decide on its best location. “We want to put an aquarium in a room where clients spend most of their time. Then we need to look at ceiling heights and proper maintenance access,” Roy says. “Space is required above the aquarium to maintain it, and proper height off the floor for pluming and water flow into the aquarium is important. For example, if an aquarium is 48-in. tall, then there needs to be a minimum of 2 ft. of clearance above it, and if it is 60 in. tall, then there needs to be 3 ft. of clearance above that.”

Once the location is chosen, Living Color creates an extensive document that explains the plumbing, filtration and electrical requirements. “The CAD documents are extremely detailed so the client knows what is required,” Roy says. “We work very closely with both architects and builders as well as the maintenance company that will care for the unit once it’s installed.”

Living Color recommends maintenance companies take care of the aquarium, because maintenance is required once a week. “We stay completely attached to our aquariums to extend their life span and to prevent fish loss,” he says.

As beautiful as they can be, a custom aquarium can be more expensive than what some clients expect to spend. “These aquariums are expensive but clients are getting more than just a product,” Roy says. “This product includes top-of-the-line filtration, acrylic and the best cabinetry to surround it.” For more information on Living Color Enterprises aquariums, please visit livingcolor.com or indicate #76 on e-Inquiry.