What shapes come to mind when you imagine an aquarium tank? Well, probably the same shapes that everybody else imagines — squares and rectangles, with the occasional fish bowl shape for small gold fish aquariums. There’s nothing wrong these aquarium shapes; they’re classics, after all. But just because everybody else opts for rectangular aquariums, that doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. Today, we’re going to take a walk off the trodden path to examine oddly shaped aquariums that might be the perfect fit for your home or office space.
A Fish Tube
The massive AquaDom aquarium in Berlin’s Raddison Blue Hotel definitely scores points for its size, but nowadays huge aquariums are just about everywhere. What really makes tubular aquarium stand out is its bizarre shape. Vertical aquariums are certainly unique, but you need to take special care to balance out the upper half with the lower half. Different fish prefer to swim around at different depths, so you would need bright, active fish who like to hang out in shallow waters to balance out with the coral and bottom dwellers who prefer deeper waters. The final result should definitely be worth it, though — the energetic, free-swimming fish at the top of the aquarium will provide a stark contrast to the rock formations below.
Fish-Filled Ice Cream Cone
This peculiar aquarium, which is installed inside of a restaurant in Beijing, creates a dizzying swirl of color. One of the most interesting features of this aquarium is that it toys with our understanding of physics. The massive aquarium must weigh thousands of pounds, yet it’s balanced precariously on a small point. This creates a sensation of anticipation and danger that attracts our attention, in much the same way that a tightrope walker enthralls onlookers.
If you replicate this aquarium in your home, I would definitely recommend that you put in fewer fish. The fish in this aquascape are packed in much too densely. According to the news source, a waiter at the restaurant relayed that the fish could only survive for six days at a time. You can draw inspiration from this Chinese aquarium design, but you should strive to be a more responsible pet owner!
Aquarium in the Sky
Sometimes, you don’t need an interesting shape to push the envelope on aquascaping — you just need to put it in a unique location. This aquarium from the 2012 Art of the Planted Aquarium Competition invites viewers to behold an aquarium in a way that many of us have never seen: from the bottom up. The disadvantage of this aquarium is that it doesn’t offer a very clear view of the aquascape. It still provides a breath-taking view of the aquatic world. Rather than displaying a beautiful array of plants and fish, this aquascape allows viewers to imagine life as a fish. Surrounded by plants and rock, you can look up to see the bright sun shining down upon your aquatic home. The only tricky part is figuring out where to install it. Personally, I’d love to install this aquarium above my bed. There’s nothing quite like looking up into an aquatic world to help lull you into a peaceful night’s rest on a comfy bed.
The whole point of highlighting these three aquariums is to break out of the rectangular mold and explore new aquascaping possibilities. Your custom aquarium could be round, oblong, flat, or anything in between. For example, one shape that is underutilized in the world of aquascaping is the U-shape. Imagine being able to sit in a chair and see aquariums ahead of you and to your left and right — it’d be like fishy surround sound. This Japanese bathroom explored the concept by surrounding the potty with sea turtles and tropical fish.
Don’t get stuck into rigid geometry when you imagine your next custom aquarium. Consider pyramids, donuts, spheres, or even aquariums shaped like your favorite buildings. How great would it be to see goldfish swim along the transparent, winding path of the Great Wall of China? The guy who created this custom aquarium pulled off a fish highway, so you can too! For more inspiration from quirky aquascapes, check out our list of the top 5 strangest aquariums.