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Custom Aquariums EXPOSED – Behind the Scenes

By Jay Wilson on

Speaker 1: It's a great problem to have when you need a bigger building for all the amazing and innovative things you are doing. If you are not paying attention, you need to start. Custom Aquariums is right now.

Speaker 2: Where we do all the custom cages manufacturing. So, suncatcher cages, hybrid cages, majestic cages. This is where we do all the cabinetry work for aquarium stands, and all that kind of stuff. I'll show you that. What we have right in front of us right now, this is where the packaging takes place for shipping. If you look down that direction, we're going to swing all the way around.

This is not packaged to ship by crate out to somebody. It's going with one of our own trailers, and you can see the casters down on the bottom. All of our aquariums that are going into commercial spaces are not going out on casters. We have a problem, pretty frequently actually, when you put something out into a commercial facility, that six months later, two months later, they have to move the tank.

You drain the tank down, and we can roll it on the casters.

Speaker 1: What's crazy is, you think about putting an aquarium on wheels, and people lose their mind. However, when you do it right, like Custom Aquariums is doing, it makes moving, transporting, and redesigning areas with an aquarium, that much easier.

Speaker 2: Here they're lining out the seamless sump filter systems. This one actually it looks like [unintelligible 00:01:24]. The double sump system.

Speaker 1: No matter where you go inside Custom Aquariums, there's always something happening. Whether it's somebody doing all of the work to create the stands, the canopies, or any style of enclosure for an aquarium or even birdcages. Yes, birdcages. There's always something happening, but look at the detail in the craftsmanship. The wood is done really well, the holes are cut nicely, everything has a purpose, everything has a place, and Custom Aquariums is doing things on this level because this is what they are comfortable with.

High quality, durability, longevity with customer service. I got to hand it to them, the quality of wood and everything that I saw, was top notch. Sometimes when you're looking at something, the reason why the price may be slightly more expensive than something you can grab somewhere else, it's for good reason. It's gonna last, and it's got a lifetime warranty.

You buy an aquarium online, doesn't matter where you're buying it from, except maybe you should do it from Custom Aquariums. When it's done, it sits like this, but it doesn't ship like that. It's going to ship like that. Let's go look at it, so you can get an understanding that the folks here at Custom Aquariums, everything they do, they do a specific way because they've been doing it a while, and ultimately, you are paying for an amazing enclosure, aquarium, paludarium, whatever you're doing, you want it to arrive well, so do they.

Speaker 2: This is why we needed a new building. It's like playing Tetris with 500-pound [inaudible 00:03:15] aquarium. Yes, let it back up.

Speaker 3: Concerns, one is space. We're growing, we're expanding, and we're just getting so tight. Everything we make is pretty large. Alleviating the space issue, and then we needed storage issue. We have many, many SKUs, many products. With all the custom options, we have a lot of SKUs laying around waiting to be used. Basically, a full building, pallet racking [unintelligible 00:03:40] ceiling. It's about a 30-foot tall building. Inside, we have a workshop area as well, so that we can have assembling going on underneath, and then have storage all up above.

Speaker 1: One of the things that I really enjoy about aquariums and things, is detail. Everything is in the detail. From a boiler system that climate controls a room that they're making your aquariums in. It's not the idea that aquariums are being built in a superior way, with longevity, with high-quality materials, but it's the planning, engineering, and design of everything else that goes around it, that I believe sets Custom Aquariums above the rest.

From this new state of the art building with heated flooring, to help your aquariums get manufactured in a much more efficient way, and out the door to you, much faster. That's kind of things that I like to think about. Maybe you should start thinking about them too.

Speaker 2: What they're really not telling you is this is really the new Ted's fish room.


Speaker 3: You're not changing all your different dimensions. You can manage your yield a lot better. Each one now is like a 24-inch tank, and then I'm cutting a 30 inch next. Planning out yield, you have a lot of waste. Well, if we can say, "Well, I'm using-- You're cutting all 24-inch tall tanks over this piece of glass, you can utilize that sheet a lot better." That's one of the big disadvantages of being custom, and each order is a little bit unique. There is a lot of waste.

I can't just take a 12-foot stick or something and say I'm going to cut it all up in two-foot, one-foot, two-foot. Or one piece is two-foot, one piece is five foot, the next piece is three-foot, and then you have an 18-inch piece of scrap. We're trying to minimize waste, that helps us be more efficient. That helps us pass on the cost to the customer, and just time frame and labor and everything.

Speaker 1: Well, you've seen how they manufacture the stands, the enclosures, and where they're going to be moving all this stuff, but have you seen the making of the actual aquarium? This is something that's pretty fascinating. The ability to have two people, on a fish tank or whatever they're creating at the moment, and to be able to facilitate with ease. Look at this. The machinery that they use, the silicone that they're utilizing is top-notch. Everything that they are doing, they are doing with purpose. Let's just kind of chill out for a moment, and check out how they do what they do in their environment.


Speaker 1: [sings] She's got smiles that appeals to me.


Speaker 1: Everywhere you look, it is a massive facility. Yes, I'm way back there, and I'm walking from only one portion of the glass making warehouse. Custom Aquariums is large, they're doing it in a way that, honestly I can say, knowing what I know, they have went through every step to test and try methods. Even if they had been proven before. The reason is because they wanted to make sure that the way they were doing it was the right way, and the right way means that the customer is going to get exactly what they ordered.

Are they perfect? No. No one's perfect, but they're always innovating, and they're always making themselves better. That is why Custom Aquariums is Custom Aquariums. Yes, brother. As you can see, the taping, the silicone, the whole nine, literally, the whole nine yards, it is all done with intricacy, and with attention to detail, and caring. Honestly, that is exactly what you should expect from an aquarium manufacturer.

Thank you so much for allowing me to have this opportunity to go into Custom Aquariums and to look around. I also want to give a special thanks to Ted Judy for just making me feel at home. From my first time in Wisconsin, I got to see so many stores, I got to be on a bass boat, I got to just enjoy what Wisconsin has to offer. Thank you so much to the Milwaukee and Madison clubs for having me, and honestly, for making me feel like a part of their own, and giving the two talks on bacteria. It's just great. There's no other words. You know what's next.

Don't allow the trolls, the haters, the people that are trying to detract you from what you are trying to do, disregard them. It's not necessarily put blinders on, but you have to remain focused in what you're doing. It's not always going to be perfect, and sometimes you're going to fail, sometimes you're going to fall flat on your face, but if you allow the negativity to keep you down, that is the problem. We all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we could change, but we can't, so there's no reason in looking behind you. Focus in on front, stay on track, and don't allow the negativity and detractors derail you from what you're going after.

Thank you for watching.

About Jay Wilson

Custom Aquariums and Cages met Jay Wilson at the Aquashella Dallas event in Spring 2019. Jay has some great information about fishkeeping featured on his YouTube channel, from how to keep African Cichlids, to info on aquarium lighting and water changes! His channel includes African Cichlids, dart frogs, vivariums, aquariums, education and reviews.

"What you can expect from this channel is African Cichlids. You will also find aquarium and dart frog-related reviews and set ups. You get aquarium fish related discounts and fun. Check out for more information. Reviews will be on plenty of different products so if you have a product you would like for me to demo and review contact me at [email protected]."

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