Okeanos Custom Aquariums and Ponds
521 West 26th Street Suite 600 | New York, NY 10001
212.244.9555

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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…

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From Derelict Airport to Stunning Hydrologic Park: How Water’s Natural Cycles Can Inspire Your Aquascape

Posted by on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Airport aquascape

Airport Lake, proposed for the derelict Quito airport.
Image source: Ggpht.com

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I don’t know about you, but I heard those three magic words all the time while growing up. My school system tried to teach us at an early age that we all have a responsibility to be environmentally conscious. Some eco-friendly choices are easy to make, like throwing plastic bottles into the recycling bin rather than the trash can. Other choices, like figuring out how to recycle a derelict airport, are a bit tougher.

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0°01’ W Network in [e]motion Floating Art Gallery: Beautiful or Hideous?

Posted by on Monday, January 6th, 2014

0°01’ W Network in [e]motion

0°01’ W Network in [e]motion — Image source: Archdaily.net

I’ve written about some pretty bizarre ideas in my time: underwater skyscrapers made of garbage, egg-shaped floating houses, hotels made out of ice, and so on. The floating building 0°01’ W Network in [e]motion (yes, it’s name is also quite weird) will join those ranks. Continue reading…

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Whitepod Eco Resort: The Beauty of Man and Nature Working Together

Posted by on Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Whitepod Eco Resort

Whitepod Eco Resort — Image source: Inhabitat.com

I confess: I hate the cold. I spend most winters wearing thick wool socks, comfy thermal shirts, and wrapped up in a warm blanket. So, the idea of spending a week in some frigid wasteland sounds more like torture than vacation. However, the stunning Whitepod Eco Resort nestled high in the Swiss Alps, might just win me over. Continue reading…

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Grabbing a Little Bit of Luxury: 5 Private Tropical Islands that Can Be Yours in 2014

Posted by on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Private Tropical Island

Private Tropical Island — Image source: Usdivetravel.com

The start of the new year is all about new beginnings, second chances, and improving your life. What can you do to make 2014 your best year yet? Well, for one, we can work on making one of your dreams come true. Continue reading…

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A Whale of a Building: The Half-Floating Pavilion “Fluid” Redefines Aquatic Architecture

Posted by on Monday, December 30th, 2013

Fluid

Fluid — Image source: Ning.com

Most of us know the story of Jonah and the whale. At least, we think that we do. Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible claims that Jonah was swallowed by a giant fish and not a whale. In any event, that story has left many people wondering what life would be like in the bowels of a gigantic sea mammal. In fact, the famous song “The Mariner’s Revenge” explores this idea. Give it a listen: Continue reading…