We’ve only been blogging for a couple of months now, but we thought we’d bite the bullet and discuss a subject that is on everyone’s mind who stops by our new site: how much do custom aquariums cost? And, to put it even more bluntly, why can they be expensive? Let’s take a look at some of the aspects that go into a $20,000+ custom aquarium.

Aquarium Design

Part of the reason that designer aquariums are so expensive is found right in the name: design. Special aquariums require expert design, both in the components you can see and those you take for granted. Certainly there’s the design that goes into the physical tank to ensure it can withstand the pressure of the water, but there’s also the design of the pump and filter system that perfectly matches the needs of the livestock you have in your aquarium.

Environmental Design

Speaking of livestock, there’s also the environmental design that goes into the aquarium. It’s important to employ an aquarium designer who knows the fish, coral, shrimp, and other livestock and how they interact with each other. Environmental design ensures that your fish will remain as healthy as possible and provide you with the absolute best in entertainment.

The Glass

Some of you might remember Star Trek: The Voyage Home; it’s the one where the Enterprise crew goes back in time to save the whales. Because they have no money, Scotty trades the chemical formula for “transparent aluminum” to a glass company in exchange for some huge glass panels (to build a tank to hold the whales, naturally). Well, life imitated art, and aluminium oxynitride, a transparent blending of aluminum, oxygen, and nitrogen, now exists. It’s used mostly as a bulletproof glass and in high-tech lab applications.

That’s not what we use. It’s insanely expensive and impractical to work with in built-in aquariums! (Also, even the largest panels they can make are too small for your average custom aquarium.

What we do use are glass panels, which still aren’t cheap. And while you probably don’t need an aquarium that’s 50 feet long like they did in the movie, the high-quality glass we use is still quite expensive because of the pressures it has to withstand. Could you save money by going with acrylic? Yes, but we don’t recommend it. Glass holds up much better in custom saltwater aquariums.

The Equipment

We touched on it up above, but let’s revisit the importance of the equipment that goes into your custom aquarium. You want your aquarium to be as clean and healthy as possible, and that means using the best equipment available. This means pumps, filters, and heaters that are considerably less likely to fail that the kinds you’ll find at your local pet shop. You’ll also get a monitoring system that will alert us immediately if something goes wrong, ensuring that your livestock and home are safe if something goes wrong.

Are custom aquariums cheap? No. But are they worth it to get your own little piece of the ocean? Absolutely! Find out more about what’s included with designer aquarium installations and then contact Gibbons Aquaria!