Living Color Aquariums brings exceptional skill to the art and artistry of custom aquariums
By John D. Adams
There are thousands of homes around the world that have those “million dollar views.” Far rarer is a view looking back inside, towards something that is unique, exceptionally beautiful, and full of life and light and motion. Custom built “extreme aquariums” have begun to take honored space within today’s luxury homes, resorts, offices, and commercial spaces. Ft. Lauderdale-based Living Color Aquariums has blazed this trail in the industry by creating and installing some of the most fascinating and beautiful aquatic living environments throughout the world. A true slice of the ocean. With their own reality television series on Nat Geo WILD, “Fish Tank Kings,” (check local listings) Living Color has given even greater attention to the beauty and complexity of these extreme aquariums.
Where engineering meets art
For 25 years, Living Color Aquariums has designed and built world-renowned aquarium exhibits for high-profile clients like Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins Ballpark, Loews Hotels, Rainforest Café, Bass Pro Shops, Nordstrom and many distinguished celebrities and individuals. President and COO Mat Roy has been with Living Color for the last 20 years. “We were a well-respected aquarium maintenance company that maintained those big beautiful aquariums you would see in homes, offices and theme parks. But as those aquariums got older and it came time to begin redoing or rebuilding, we saw an ideal opportunity to take Living Color to the next level, using acrylic as the medium for building the aquariums where most of our competitors would use glass.”
While weight is less of a factor (as is commonly thought), the durability and malleability of acrylic allows the greatest advantage. “We purchase sheets of acrylic, put them into an oven and create almost any shape…where with glass, you’re limited. We’re at the forefront in developing large, beautiful residential aquariums,” says Roy. “Our clientele afforded us the opportunity to develop Living Color Aquariums to where we are today.”
The company can boast producing projects anywhere from 150 gallon tanks to an astonishing 1.5 million gallons out of their 43,000-square-foot factory in Fort Lauderdale. And they do it all. Design, manufacturing and installation teams specialize in creating iconic, award-winning aquariums, custom cabinetry and woodwork, life support filtration systems, artificial coral reef structures and themed environments. No other aquarium manufacturing facility in the world has the turnkey capabilities to execute complex,
customized projects like Living Color. “We are a very special team collaborating together. We have engineers, artists, marine biologists and fabricators who all do a great job of balancing the production side and giving our product that artistic, one of a kind, touch. Everything we do is made by hand. There are no two simulated reefs that look alike in any of our aquariums.”
Living Color goes “WILD”
The company’s sterling reputation and stories of them travelling the world installing their elaborate aquariums for very special clients caught the eye of reality show producers for National Geographic’s Nat Geo WILD. The result has been the successful show, “Fish Tank Kings.” “It’s been a perfect fit with us,” says Roy. “The show follows our entire process:
excitement, artistic and logistical challenges…you even see us picking on each other a little bit,” he chuckles. “We have much more going on than the few projects that the show will cover. We are operating with 30-40 projects at any point, all in different phases of completion. When filming, we only show 2 projects running. But the reality is that there are many projects running and it becomes a very interesting challenge keeping up with all of it. We have a bunch of great
episodes coming up for the second half of Season 2, which premieres in late fall, early winter. Then, it is off to a 3rd and 4th season.”
With a true global audience, Living Color Aquariums continues to
delight and inspire. “It’s incredible,” says Roy. “Our fan base runs from around Europe to the Middle and Far East. We have a lot of dedicated fans who watch the show, many true hobbyists at heart who just love aquariums. It’s quite humbling that people take time out of their lives
to watch our show. At the end of the day, we’re just a bunch of
Visit Living Color Aquariums online at: www.livingcolor.com.
Learn more about Nat Geo Wild and “Fish Tank Kings” at: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/fish-tank-kings.