Okeanos Custom Aquariums and Ponds
521 West 26th Street Suite 600 | New York, NY 10001

Why Getting a Design Aquarium Is the Best Thing You’ll Ever Do

Posted by on Monday, February 10th, 2014

Design Aquarium

Your aquarium can be a reflection of your personality.
Image from Opulentitems.com via homeinteriorproject.blogspot.com

On this blog, we’ve discussed everything you can put in your aquarium, from the tamest plants to the scariest sharks. We have countless articles about how to build and maintain your aquarium, and the best places to put it. But most of those articles are geared toward people who already have an aquarium, or have made up their mind.  A lot of them are for people dedicated to the hobby. But there is an area we haven’t covered well enough, and an audience we haven’t spoken to, and those are the people who are on the fence. There are a lot of people who might have toyed with the idea of getting fish, but simply think they’re going to have an ugly glass box with a couple of needy fish bubbling pointlessly around.

That doesn’t have to be the case. A company like Okeanos can deliver you an aquarium of your dreams, an extension of your personality. Here’s why your life will be better if you get yourself a design aquarium built with you in mind.

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Water and Ice Inspire Beautiful Olympic Buildings in Sochi- Can They Inspire Your Design Aquarium?

Posted by on Friday, February 7th, 2014

This weekend, the Sochi Winter Olympics will kick off, and people are anticipating them with a topsy-turvy mix of emotions. There is the usual excitement that comes with the Games: the thrill of competition, the drama and pagentry of figure-skating, the usual jokes about curling (which isn’t fair, because: wouldn’t you want to be a curler?). There is also dread of what will go wrong, because it is assumed that despite spending $51 billion on the Games the Russians won’t deliver (but people think that about every Olympics). Then there is the controversy about the price tag, about Russia’s human rights violations, their policies toward gay rights, and the way people were kicked out of their homes for the Olympic venues to be built.

But we’re not going to get into that. I want to talk about the stadiums, but not about their cost, the quality of construction, or what was lost for them to be built. Those are all important, and architecture and design can’t (and shouldn’t) be divorced from their social context, but it is also important not to lose sight of their impressive design. The designers of Sochi, for all the flaws, delivered a cohesive and aesthetically-significant setting for the Olympic games.

Not many people think of Russia as being particularly water-based, and for the most part, it isn’t. Russia is known for the crushing vastness of its endless steppes and the ceaseless frozen expanse of Siberia. But Sochi is in the Caucasus mountains, a non-ethnic Russian region subjugated over hundreds of years and integrated into the federation. The Caucasus are shaped by their mountains and by the way they form an isthmus between the Black and Caspian Seas. Sochi is a gorgeous resort town hard on the Black Sea. The designers of the games took the region’s connection to the water and tied it to the spirit of winter. Here are some of the more remarkable buildings you’ll see at the games.

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An Outdoor Aquarium Is the Perfect Addition to Any Gorgeous Deck, Patio, or Backyard

Posted by on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Outdoor Aquarium

This fancy outdoor aquarium is sure to impress your guests.
Image from messagenote.com

On this blog we’ve talked about a few reversals, like bringing your koi pond inside and adding a waterfall to your living room (where, I have to stress, they rarely occur naturally). But we’ve rarely taken the reverse route: bringing items that are normally found indoors to the outside. But we can do that, if we take a look at the booming field of outdoor aquariums.

It is admittedly strange that this is something surprising, that we’d be shocked at the very idea of fish existing outside our house. Obviously, that is they belong. But the backyard exists as kind of a hybrid- it is our property, sure, and we try to tame it with lawnmowers and porches and sheds and those little gnomes that stare at you, always. But it is also infused with nature, and so it seems unusual to add fish to it. It’s the land, but not the sanitized and protected land under our roof.

It’s the juxtaposition and hybridization that I think gives outdoor aquariums their capacity to surprise and thrill. It’s not just the goosing jump of seeing something where you don’t expect, but seeing something where you have the nagging feeling it shouldn’t be. Luckily, that isn’t the case. Aquariums can be in the backyard, provided you keep a few things in mind.

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Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week: Awe-Inspiring Predators Add Drama to Your Luxury Aquarium

Posted by on Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Indoor shark tank

“Oh the shark, babe, has such teeth dear, and it shows them, pearly whites…” Bobby Darrin would approve of your home shark tank.
Image source: bigalscanada.com

On the great TV show 30 Rock, movie star Tracy Jordan advised hayseed Kenneth that if he really wanted advice on how to live life to the fullest, he had to “live every week like it’s Shark Week.” Throughout the show, Tracy would frequently talk about his love of sharks, and how he has a big shark tank in his house. Well, it turns out that the insanely wealthy, absurdly funny man-child of the the show has a lot in common with the impossibly funny, hyper-self-aware absurdist actor who plays him, Tracy Morgan (not much of a surprise). Morgan revealed last year that he has a $400,000 shark tank in his house.

Now, obviously, that’s a little excessive. We don’t all have his money, or talent (or, as Morgan-as-Jordan said when told he was ridiculous, “I know! It’s a good thing people laugh when I say things!”). But that doesn’t mean we can’t have what some would consider the pinnacle of aquarium life in our homes – the apex predator, nature’s perfect killing machine, a beast out of legend, and one of striking beauty: the shark.

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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…

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!



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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