Custom Aquariums In Tela
Living in a developed country, we often take for granted just how easy it is to buy an aquarium, including all the necessary equipment for a healthy reef. But outside of these countries, the aquarium landscape is often quite different.
Aquariums, especially saltwater aquariums, are a luxury which many people cannot afford, so finding the perfect tank and having an endless selection of gear is simply out of reach for most. Not to mention in the USA if you are looking to get involved in the hobby you can often pick up second hand gear to start out.
For the past three weeks we’ve been living in Tela Honduras, and it’s safe to say Antal, the director of Tela Marine has been bitten by the aquarium bug left dreaming of his next tank. But the process to create an aquarium here doesn’t start at the local fish store.
The humble aquarium in Tela is currently the only public aquarium in the country and during our stay, we’ve seen school groups, hotel staff, tourists, and teachers all visit the aquarium, and for nearly every person it was the first time seeing a marine animal.
We decided to take a trip to the city of San Pedro Sula to visit the glass fabricator Estrellita de Sula to find out, how to make an aquarium where aquariums don’t exist. And only when you see how the process starts to build a custom tank can you appreciate the time and dedication Antal has invested into this aquarium.
To start we identified the dimensions for the new tanks. We are building two identical tanks 37.5″ x 21″ x 21″ (95 x 53 x 53cm), one to be used for the sump and one as a display. Each tank will cost just over $300.00 US and is made using tempered glass.
The glass workshop is mostly building doors, windows, mirrors and other household glass works, however, all the current tanks in Tela were made here. Once the display tank is finished there is still all the pumps, pipes, and various gear to make the tank come to life.
While there is no shortage of fresh seawater and livestock in Tela everything else takes some out of the box thinking to find.
We thought it would be interesting to you our readers to see a few photos inside the glass workshop. I’m sure you can imagine the process to cut and stick five pieces of glass together but nonetheless, it is not often we get the opportunity to see this process in person.
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As we write this article we have a special goodie box full of reef gear heading our way including a new Kessil AP700 LED. Right now all the lights in the aquarium are white, and we can’t wait for everyone’s eye light up when we turn up the blue!
We are encouraged by the aquarium in Tela and can see first hand just how many people have already benefited from Antal’s generosity, inviting anyone and everyone to come learn about the ocean. We hope to see this project continue to grow and inspire Hondurans to appreciate the natural wonders in their backyard.