Okeanos Custom Aquariums and Ponds
521 West 26th Street Suite 600 | New York, NY 10001
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Amazing Underwater Restaurant Serves as Inspiration For Luxury Aquariums in Your Home or Business

Posted by on Friday, January 31st, 2014

 

Underwater Restaurant

If you tell me you don’t want to eat here, I probably won’t believe you.
Image from wikimedia.org

Eating underwater has never really been one of mankind’s top goals. If you are eating with the ocean over your head, chances are something has gone catastrophically wrong, and, honestly: you probably have bigger concerns than dinner (namely, avoiding becoming dinner). But that isn’t always the case, as proven by the jaw-dropping underwater restaurant at the Conrad Hotel in the Maldives. Named Ithaa, which means “mother of pearl” in Divhehi, the national language, the restaurant is an architectural, engineering, and aesthetic wonder. It rests under 16 feet of ocean, which doesn’t seem to be a lot at first glance, but the amount of sea life that can fit in those 16 feet is staggering. And it isn’t just the roof- the walls and ceiling are made of a curved, reinforced glass, offering a 270-degree view of the ocean. Continue reading…

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Indoor Waterfalls: The Perfect Peaceful Complement to Your Design Aquarium

Posted by on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Indoor Waterfall

An indoor waterfall is a guaranteed source of both peace and conversation.
Image from trendir.com

When you think about having water-based art and architecture in your homes, chances are you think of aquariums- or, if you are thinking a little outside the box, you might lean toward a koi pond. So now you have that. You’ve gotten your fish or more exotic non-fish sea creatures, gotten an expert to help design it and set it up, and then: you’ve got it. The perfect house, a melting pot of man and nature. Or so you think. There is a lot more you can do with a house to complement your aquarium or pond, and one exciting new development is the indoor waterfall.

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Forgetting Nemo: 5 Non-Fish Alternatives for Your Design Aquarium

Posted by on Monday, January 27th, 2014

One of the great things about aquariums is that they are like snowflakes or fingerprints: they are all very pretty. Oh, also, they are all different! Or, in the case of aquariums, they all have the potential to be different. Sure, you can go for the standard square with a goldfish and one of those strange diver guys bubbling on the bottom, but you don’t have to. An aquarium designer can do just about anything you need. You have a choice on size, on the plants you’d like, and on what kind of fish.  But you don’t have to limit yourself to fish- anything that goes in water can be in an aquarium (size-permitting, of course: sorry, blue whale aficionados!). Here are five of the most interesting, most fun, or just most bizarre non-fish alternatives!

CRAYFISH

Crayfish

A crayfish is an unusual but fascinating aquarium pet.
Image source: wikimedia.com

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Blue Is the New Green: Creating Beautiful Ponds on Eco-Friendly Rooftops

Posted by on Friday, January 24th, 2014

A chic rooftop pond is beautiful and environmentally-friendly.
Image from inhabitat.com

In the last decade, “green rooftops” have become an important instrument of urban environmentalism. Green rooftops are typically a bunch of plants literally planted on a roof- a layer of dirt (or another “planting medium”) and a drainage layer are installed over an insulation layer on top of the roof. The benefits of this are more than just a garden in the sky. A rooftop garden dramatically lowers energy costs by providing extra insulation, with the added benefit of prolonging the life of heating and other HVAC systems. Additionally, a collection of them can even help lower the temperature of a city by absorbing heat that is otherwise dispersed around the sweltering downtown canyons.

Green rooftops help to collect rainwater as well. This helps to lower the amount of storm run-off that floods sewer systems during rainfalls. In fact, it is estimated that green roofs can absorb (and obviously use) 70-90% of rainwater during the summer. People are beginning to recognize that the collection of rainwater, and what can be done with it, is an important factor of green roofs. Collecting rainwater isn’t new, of course. But people are beginning to recognize that this collection doesn’t have to be merely utilitarian- it can also be beautiful. A roof can become a garden with fully functioning, and functional, ponds. A roof becomes a green roof, and a green roof become blue.

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Koi in the Living Room: A Luxury Indoor Pond Brings Serenity to Your House

Posted by on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Indoor koi

An indoor koi pond brings you the peace of a pond without distractions.
Image from aquaeden.com

It’s hard to hear the phrase “koi pond” without feeling a sense of peace. They are famous for being a corner of your backward toward which you can retreat, and lets the stressful veil of the modern world slip away, revealing your true and serene self.  But suppose you live on a busy street, or near a runway? Suppose your neighbors have just put a trampoline in their yard and have a pack of screaming kids? The honking and the roar of engines and the cacophony of yodeling bouncers make it near impossible to find peace, no matter how wise-seeming your fish. So what to do?

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Add Life to Your Design Aquarium with These Beautiful Freshwater Plants

Posted by on Monday, January 20th, 2014

Our aquariums tend to age with us. Our first ones tend to be very simple, when we’re kids, both out of a lack of experience and because of pragmatic parents not wanting to dump a lot of money on the fluctuating whims of a child.  I don’t know if the comic-stereotype of the little bowl with some gravel and a lonely goldfish bubbling around is something that people still do – or if they ever did – but if not, that is just a slight exaggeration of the simple way many of us start our hobbies.

For those that stick with it, that recognize the fun and embrace the responsibility of creating an ecosystem, our aquariums tend to get more elaborate. They get bigger and incorporate more fish, and then tend to get plants. Again, at the beginning, people often want plastic plants. I know my first aquarium plants weren’t real – it was scary enough to try to keep fish alive; I wasn’t going to do the same with plants. But the main problem with plastic plants, of course, is that they are static: they never change, which takes a large chunk out of why having an aquarium is such a joy. You want a living space. Plants that grow and shift and flower add an organic and dynamic addition to any aquarium.

Flowering plants

A collection of plants give a natural feel to your tank.
Image from ebay.com

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Amazing Aqua Skyscraper Shows Aquatic Architecture As Inspiration for Luxury Design

Posted by on Friday, January 17th, 2014

There’s a certain sense of joyous contradiction to the Chicago lakefront. The city was built rapidly on an intense capitalistic ethos – it sprung from a swamp to a major metropolis in a generation, burned down, and was built up just as quickly. But despite it being a monument to trade- a place the Nelson Algren, in what is probably the best piece of writing on any city, called “a city on the make” – it has a sentimental side, and that’s reflected in its lakefront: miles and miles of parks and paths unbroken in the spot where the land meets the inland sea. This would be the most valuable real estate in the city, but while other Great Lakes cities built right up to the water’s edge, in Chicago, it is left for the public.

The contradiction has always been prevalent in the skyline, as well. While there is no doubt that the Chicago skyline is one of the best in the world, it stood in contrast to the lake: it was a skyline of muscle and steel, as hard and cold as the lake, but with none of her grace. That’s started to change, as most of the new skyscrapers have been built with blue and green glass. The apotheosis of this trend is the first skyscraper to really incorporate the idea of Chicago as a city built by water – the Aqua skyscraper by Jeanne Gang.

Aqua skyscraper in Chicago

The Aqua skyscraper ripples into a blue sky.
Image by gizmag.com

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Floating Homes in Winter: Can Luxury Aquatic Architecture Survive in All Climates?

Posted by on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Floating home in winter

This may be an extreme, but as floating homes become more popular, they will have to take winter climates into account.
Image from media.carbonated.tv.

In his novel Suttree, Cormac McCarthy’s eponymous character lives on a houseboat on the Tennessee River, just outside of Knoxville. Some of the grimmer scenes come in the winter- a winter which those of us in more northern latitudes would consider mild, but which was still scary, with the cold coming off the pages, and nowhere for the man to really get warm.  Now, granted, this was set in 1951, when houseboats were more rickety, and it is McCarthy, whose books could never be called “happy” to begin with. But it does raise some interesting questions for people interested in floating homes.

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French Botanist’s Materpiece in Miami: Greening Your Aquascape with Vertical Gardens

Posted by on Monday, January 13th, 2014

Pérez Art Museum vertical garden

Patrick Blanc’s vertical garden at the Pérez Art Museum.
Image source: Inhabitat.com

Patrick Blanc is something of a legend in the world of gardening. Blanc is known as the father of vertical gardens after popularizing the concept in 1988 in Paris. Vertical gardens have since exploded in popularity, springing up on the sides of commercial buildings and private residences. Continue reading…

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Getting Colorful with Aquascaping: Frozen Pink Waterfall Delights Residents in Uptown NYC

Posted by on Friday, January 10th, 2014

Pink Waterfall in NYC

A pink waterfall in NYC was a pleasant surprise for passers-by.
Image source: Inhabitat.com

What would somebody think if he were walking along a secluded forest path and stumbled upon a frozen waterfall with pink and blue icicles? Well, you might think you’d discovered some divine miracle, or that you’d accidentally located the handiwork of a magical woodland fairy. Or perhaps you would more likely assume that it was a clever advertising stunt or the work of an enterprising artist. Continue reading…