The history of custom aquarium building dates back centuries and displays human ingenuity and its never-ending quench for curiosity and fascination with nature. As the domestication of animals became commonplace, our imagination for the living quarters of our pets soared high. This is seen as most apparent with custom aquariums where ornamental nature has challenged the imagination of all marine pet owners. Let’s discuss how this humble container of water and fish evolved with time to what it is today, sparking a new wave of hobbyists who consider themselves as custom aquarium builders.
The Early Times:
The earliest record of an aquarium goes back to the Roman empire where they had been one of the firsts to bring marine life indoors in small tanks made from marble. These tanks were usually placed in bedrooms as a decorative piece. A few decades later, the glass aquarium made its debut allowing people to view and ponder upon and study the marine life indoors. Around the late 13th century, a porcelain company was established by the Chinese Empire under the supervision of the then Emperor, Hongwu. This development lead towards the production of porcelain tubs for storing small fish, such as the goldfish. Soon after, many people, over the centuries, started to contribute in the making of different tubs that eventually took a bowl-like shape of the modern fish bowl we know today.
Rise of the Modern Custom Aquarium builder:
The 19th century was seen as the golden age for aquarium production as more and more people started exploring stronger and more versatile materials to make aquariums with. The constant development that lead to this change was the fact that many people wanted to move away from the aquarium to be just a decorative piece into something that was much more meaningful. Some used it as a means for research and studying aquatic life, while others wanted it to meld into their décor and resemble fine art. These aquariums started to get bigger in size allowing for a larger quantity of marine life and water to be stored. This was also the time when people started to heavily use decorations such as rocks, soil, plants, and even toy fish inside the aquariums.
Many people started to patent the designs of their custom aquariums and established big businesses around them as keeping fish indoors had become a popular hobby for a large and growing portion of the population. This change brought forward an age where custom aquarium builders started to take their ingenuity a step further by creating truly flexible and customized aquariums that were both functional and fashionable.
The Early Modern Aquarium
Soon after the boom in the industry of glass, heavy production, and craftsmanship, the techniques to building complex and large aquariums had taken steam among custom aquarium builders. The 19th century has been known to be a pivotal time for custom aquarium hobbyists with the development of the first air pump that worked using running water instead of electricity. After World War I, many homes had started to fully depend on electricity in their homes. It was during this time that technology started to become part of the custom aquarium builder’s arsenal. Electric pumps, aquatic lighting and mechanical parts within the aquarium had started to take flight which soon paved way to the modern aquarium we know today.
The Custom Aquariums Today
Nowadays, we are only limited by our imagination when it comes to custom aquariums. We now have the technology and resources to create larger and larger aquariums, house heavier marine life, and create breathtaking visuals with the rise of aquascaping. Almost every aquarium owner now demands aquariums to be more than just a combination of fish, water, and rocks. We have now turned to aquascaping where people model the insides of their aquariums as they would for their house. Most custom aquarium builders like Titan Aquatic Exhibits, for example, now claim to be able to build any shape, size, and type of aquarium for customers. From building acrylic tanks to decorating and even providing nutritional services, the modern custom aquarium builder has become a powerhouse that can provide all services under one roof.
Where once we started from marble aquariums to today, where we can build and maintain aquariums that can be home to whales, sharks, and many other marine life, even complete ecosystems. We sure have come a long way and will continue to build more awe inspiring and breathtaking custom aquariums, that serve both the purpose of beautification, as well as the preservation of marine species.