Got A Spare $1000
Fish Art Aquariums manufactures a variety of salt-and freshwater tanks for the home or office, including affordably priced nano tanks in which you can get your feet wet for around $ 1,000.00 “But our clientele tend to be diehards who want the most high-end aquariums for their custom homes. It really just depends on your vision and your budget. Once these are determined, Fish Art goes to work to build it and maintains it for you” says John Farrell of fish Art Aquariums.
John Farrell, a partner at Fish Art Aquariums in Chatsworth, Ca., designed this aquarium to fit into the corner of a room at a Hidden Hills home. (Evan Yee / Staff Photographer). Diehard clients are what’s kept Chatsworth-based Fish Art in the competition. For 22 years, the company has been installing custom aquariums in the homes of Oscar-winning actresses, basketball Hall of Famers and Hollywood producers.
Right now the company is installing a 6,000-gallon blacktip reef shark tank to be used as a room divider in the home of a movie producer who already has a pair of 500-gallon jellyfish tanks that he calls “living lava lamps” in his bedroom.
“It’s just another toy to put in one of these big, extravagant homes,” Fish Art co-owner John Farrell says. “They’re conversation pieces, they’re works of art. And then you have some people that genuinely love their fish.
“An elite home building client residing in Beverly Hills has a 400-gallon tank behind his bar, and he’s not a big drinker,” adds Farrell. “But he sits with his fish every night just because they’re so tranquil.”
The Right Stuff
The fish in Hochman’s tank offer an eruption of vibrant colors.
Hochman hired Fish Art to redesign an existing tank that had become so overcrowded with fake plants, dark coral and live rock that the fish began to die off.
“We were lighting candles on a weekly basis,” he says.
According to Farrell, live rock is only critical to the success of live coral and should not be used with fish.
“When people try to put live rock in a fish tank, the fish just destroy the live rock, and the live rock starts to break down as a result,” he says. “It really screws up the environment.” By using decorative coral and rock pieces that were either dead or synthetic, the team led by Farrell’s business partner Jim Stevenson was able to breathe new life into the ailing habitat. The fish are now thriving in their see-through aquarium lodged in the wall between the dining and family rooms.
“It’s a fun addition to the home,” Hochman says. “I have three little kids (5, 8 and 9), and they love to stare at it. Anytime there’s a new fish, it’s a big deal.
“We had a fish a year and a half ago that was just a mean fish,” he adds. “The kids called him Meanie because he’d run around and try to bite the other fish, and he did. We had to get rid of him. But right now there’s no real dissension in the tank.”
These fish tip the scales:
• Conspicillatus Angelfish — $2,500
• Black-tip Reef Sharks — $2,000
• Rare Stonefish — $1,200
These are small-fry:
• Goldfish — 12 for $1
• Tetra — $2
• Damselfish — $5
Source: Fish Art Aquariums, Inc. Chatsworth, Ca.
Sandra Barrera (818) 713-3728