Written by Mat Roy
I always watch the Indianapolis 500 and have been a huge fan of Indy car racing since 1988, so when I found out that one of the most successful American open wheel drivers, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was interested in commissioning an aquarium from Living Color, it was just awesome.
The type of aquarium Ryan wanted and the location he wanted it placed inside his home certainly posed a challenge because it could only be done right the first time with no excuses. The wall it was going to sit against was multi-level with different differing floor and ceiling levels that we had to fit the aquarium around, but at the end of the day it fit like a glove. TV show aside, fitting this tank just perfectly was a really nerve wracking experience. We didn’t just double and triple check the dimensions – we quadruple checked them. The measurements and dimensions had to be on par because the last thing I wanted to do was to disappoint Ryan.
During the entire fabrication process I was very hands-on and we were able to incorporate his logo in several ways on the acrylic as well as inside the tank. Then, we also took a replica of Ryan’s car and had to make sure that every spec of metal was clear coated so that it didn’t harm the fish. His tank is a one of a kind custom piece through and through.
Now that the aquarium is in place Ryan has been kind enough to invite me to a couple of races. He gave me pit passes and I was able to stand next to Ryan’s car for the “start your engines” announcement and that was really cool to be able to watch him get geared up. I never thought I would get to be a part of anything like that. Being able to talk about the cars and get Ryan’s perspective as a driver was really neat. Very cool experience!
Catch the next episode of Fish Tank Kings: Finsanity, Saturday, May 26th at 10P et/pt on Nat Geo WILD.