Swimming With Sharks In Florida
Florida-based aquarium suppliers, Dynasty Marine Associates have learned that building better doesn't always come with a higher price tag.
When Dynasty Marine began planning an expansion of their tropical marine habitat, their director, Forrest Young knew that concrete was the way to go. With over 30 years of fish-collecting and aquarium keeping under his belt, the leader of Team Dynasty understood that concrete would be tough enough to withstand the daily rigours of marine husbandry but price, ultimately, had to be considered.
Concrete tanks, while longer lasting than their fibreglass counterparts, often come with extra considerations and expenses such as liners, sealants and formwork. It was only after a conversation with Steve Ehrenpreis at Octaform, that Mr. Young saw that he could build better and still stay within his budget."We wanted concrete tanks but did not think the cost would fit into our budget," said Young.
"Steve helped us determine the costs for concrete tanks with the Octaform forming system and we found that they were very affordable,“ continued Young.
With Octaform, Steve explained, they could eliminate many of the costs associated with conventional construction.
Octaform is a stay-in-place concrete forming system that assembles quickly without specialized labor or heavy equipment. Extruded from food-grade, potable water safe PVC, it forms and protects concrete in one step.
This built-in, easy-to-clean, PVC membrane not only protects the fish; it protects the tank walls. Octaform snaps together to form a watertight barrier between the tank and the concrete protecting it from moisture and other corrosive elements.
While Octaform had never been specified as a tropical habitat before, the team at Dynasty were able to look at recirculating aquaculture systems across the globe that used the system. From Saudi Arabia to Japan, Norway and the United States, Octaform tanks are used to grow everything from salmon to barramundi in some of the most simple and some of the most complex aquaculture systems in the world.
With Steve's help, Dynasty Marine saw that Octaform was not just better than the fibreglass alternative, it fit the budget.
Using Octaform Finished Concrete Forms, Team Dynasty formed and protected two round, 10 ft high, insulated tanks joined by one straight, shared wall. The tanks, painted aquamarine blue, are now the centerpiece of newly opened, Aquarium Encounters in the Florida Keys.
Aquarium Encounters offers a truly immersive experience for its vistors who are invited to actually get in the tanks with the marine creatures and be a part of the action in the thriving ecosystem that exists in the aquarium environment.
Visitors get up close with tropical fish, sting-rays and (as seen in the video below) they can even feed the sharks.
Dynasty Marine Associates, Inc. supply sustainably caught tropical fish to public aquariums, research institutions and pet stores worldwide. They are a USDA supervised facility and are active members in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the European Union of Aquarium Curators (EUAC), and the Animal Transportation Association (ATA). They dedicate 15% of their annual operating budget to the active conservation of marine resources.
Octaform is a PVC, stay-in-place concrete forming system that is ideal for the construction of high performance structures like vehicle washes, barns or commercial buildings. Because the built-in finish is watertight and food-safe, it is also ideal for tank construction. Whether it is for aquaculture, biogas or even manure containment, Octaform is a superior yet economical choice.