Rolling on the River
Living Color has been creating award-winning aquariums and aquatic exhibits since 1988. (Text provided by Living Color).
Visitors to the new Loxahatchee River Center are able to experience interactive aquatic exhibits and explore the surrounding state park. The River Center takes visitors on a mini-tour of the river’s habitats, starting with the cypress swamp and leading to estuaries with oyster reefs and mangroves, sea grasses, dock pilings and ending with coral reefs.
One of the feature exhibits on the tour is an 2000-gallon freshwater aquarium that was built to represent the wild and scenic Loxahatchee River. The unique V-shaped aquarium has a large 12’ x 3’ center area for larger bass and catfish with 2 shallower areas decorated with aquatic plants and logs to create a suitable habitat for turtles and smaller fishes. A large mural adds a dramatic backdrop to the entire exhibit while life sized Cypress Trees, rustic wood flooring and facades built by Living Color’s Cabinetry Division complete the immersive visitor experience.
The aquarium was designed using our 3D CAD software and a scale model was created to determine final plumbing and décor placement (click on drawing below to enlarge).
The tank was built using a Fiberglass pan and acrylic panels were glazed in place to form the remaining tank structure (see photos of this aquarium’s fabrication at the end of this article).
To create the realistic interior theming our artists traveled to the state park and took molds of real fallen logs, trees and Cypress knees which were used to recreate the habitat in exacting detail (see photo right). Utilizing fabricated trees and mud banks helps keep better water quality and makes cleaning easier. There is no need to worry about decaying organic matter and excess tannins in the aquarium.
The life support system is located in a separate building 200 feet away and consists of cartridge filters, fluidized sand filter, bio tower and a UV Sterilizer. A 5000 gallon per day reverse osmosis unit produces filtered water to supply all the aquarium exhibits at the facility (see photo below).
Photos of the fabrication process