Stars of Animal Planet’s reality TV smash hit, Tanked, Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) is one of the world’s finest creators of bespoke aquariums and acrylic exhibits.
Las Vegas, Nevada, may be famous the world over for its neon-lit strip and its instantly recognizable casinos, but if you stop to look a little closer it is also home to a number of other wonders, including some of the world’s leading companies in their respective fields. One such example is Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM).
“We are a family-run business, founded in 1997, which is recognized as being the world leader in exhibit design and development, and one of the most successful builders of aquariums on the planet,” begins Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Wayde King. “We specialize in the design and construction of commercial exhibits, viewing panels and water features, taking on more than 200 projects every year, with tanks ranging from 50 gallons to one million gallons in size.”
With a client base that extends from residential homes and restaurants, to casinos, zoos and aquariums, each of ATM’s creations is unique and custom built to meet its customers wishes. Such is the company’s reputation for creating what it describes at ‘living art’ that it has been the subject of the reality television series Tanked, broadcast on Animal Planet since 2011. “Tanked is one of Animal Planet’s top rated shows, drawing almost 1.2 million viewers per week, and airs in more than 100 countries in Asia, Europe, and Latin and South America,” Wayde continues. “The success of the show has definitely provided us with worldwide recognition. We have hundreds of fans across our social media platforms and it has opened the doors for us to build tanks for celebrities, musicians and athletes, providing us with an amazing and exciting adventure to embark upon.”
ATM is housed in a 37,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility, which as well as housing its manufacturing capabilities also plays host to its offices and showroom, where customers are welcome to view many of its most recent aquatic creations. “ATM’s aquarium systems are engineered to provide many years of dependability and enjoyment,” Wayde explains. “On average, the process of consultation, design, manufacturing and installation of a customer’s aquarium takes six weeks. Our proprietary process gives us the ability to bend acrylic, while the endless creativity of our team allows us to be faithful to our slogan, which is ‘if you can dream it, we can build it.’”
Aquariums under 300 gallons in capacity carry a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects, while those that are 300 gallons and above are covered by a five-year warranty. All the acrylic used by ATM is guaranteed for 20 years against discoloration and flatsided aquariums are guaranteed to provide completely undistorted viewing. All of the manufactured products and materials used by the company are made in the United States, and all of its live stock are drug-free.
The majority of custom fish tanks are created to hold thousands of gallons of water and these structures need to be cut with precision, molded to perfection and assembled with the best quality materials available. All of the aforementioned requirements are all in a day’s work for ATM. The company knows that the best part of owning a custom tank, created to one’s specifications, is that whatever the intended use it can be made precisely for one’s space and personal style.
The first stage in the construction of an ATM custom aquarium involves the customer communicating with its artists, sharing their ideas, which are it turn passed to the company’s manufacturing professionals. All conceptual designs are then run through 3D illustrations and CAD systems, before a final design is sent for construction. Upon completion, ATM ensures that the aquarium is meticulously installed to provide the customer with a worry-free start-up. It follows this up with expert advice regarding the daily, weekly and monthly maintenance checks the customer should carry out. The company stresses that when a logical and regular pattern is followed, properly set up aquariums are remarkably reasonable and predictable in their maintenance demands, and it also offers a range of products to assist with this.
In addition to providing a majestic aquatic addition to people’s homes, ATM also specializes in creating custom exhibits for zoos, aquariums and similar establishments. These exhibits are designed to create a seamless experience between guests and animals, and can range from recreations of coral reefs to mango swamps. Such exhibits can be constructed out of various materials with acrylic and fiberglass reinforced plastics often molded in various shapes and sizes, with features such as waterfalls, touch tanks and tidal surge tanks created by using gunite or shotcrete. These mediums can be carved to depict natural stone work from around the world, and ATM’s exhibit tradesmen and artisans have been known to have created some of the most realistic trees, roots and veins ever seen. Furthermore, should the exhibits needs be for local or indigenous nature, the company can offer onsite poly tech molding of natural rocks or plant life to make it as realistic as possible.
When working on such significant projects as those ATM undertakes, it is vital that the company can be confident in the quality of every aspect of the work that is performed. To this end, ATM works with suppliers and partners who uphold its own values and standards, and it has established relationships with partnered service affiliates that it can trust will deliver exactly the service required, in a timely and reliable manner. One such member of the affiliate program is Aquarium Design Network New York, and Wayde highlights the benefits of working with trusted partners such as this –they are especially important given ATM’s reputation and also its television presence: “ATM enjoys working with companies and people that are part of our affiliate program because they are familiar with our filtration and know the quality and level of professionalism that ATM stands behind. When we work with someone that we have been working with for years it also saves time, which is very important, especially during filming.”
At the time of writing, ATM continues to attract huge amounts of interest and projects, a number of which continue to feature on Tanked, which is now into its twelfth season. “We truly feel that our capabilities are limitless, which is one of the main characteristics on display in all of the projects we undertake,” Wayde concludes. “Moving forward we are determined to grow even larger, but without ever sacrificing on quality, and we will do this by working hard to acquire more clients, who we think will go on to agree that ATM builds the best tanks in the business.”