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Preview/review of Fish Tank King's second episode

By Leonard Ho - Posted May 17, 2012 09:00 AM
Advanced Aquarist was granted a special prescreening of Nat Geo Wild's Fish Tank King's outstanding second episode. It is a significant departure from their first episode and must-see TV for aquarists and fish lovers.
Preview/review of Fish Tank King's second episode

Dutch Schrier, founder of Curacao Seaquarium and ocean explorer

We won't spoil the second episode (airing this Saturday, May 19 @ 10pm on Nat Geo Wild), but to whet your appetite, here are some of what you can expect:

  • The Florida Aquarium seeks Living Color Aquarium's help to stock their new deep water Caribbean exhibit, so they trek to Curacao Seaquarium to view their facility but more importantly to collect deep water reef fish with a submersible.  We're talking depths of 800+ feet!  A large portion of the show is dedicated to exploring the twilight zone.
  • Rare fish lovers will see cameos of such holy grail species as the Golden Basslet (Liopropoma aberrans) and Spanish Flag (Gonioplectrus hispanus).  To put what you'll see in perspective, the first ever live Golden Basslet was collected and sold in the aquarium trade just last year for nearly $10,000 USD.
  • Viewers are shown a great deal of the collection process, including innovative decompression chambers required to safely bring up such deep water fish.
  • After surfacing from their collecting expedition, Allan Marshall (VP of Florida Aquarium's Biological Operations) exclaimed: "That was freaking cool."  We could not agree more.
  • One of the fish they collected is the ultra-rare Sabre Goby.  It almost doesn't make it into the display tank ... watch the episode to see what we mean.
  • Living Color Aquarium is tasked to build a 3000 gallon shark tank for a new pet store ... with a deadline of three short weeks.  Ben heads the stressful aquarium build while Francis oversees the livestock, including a black-tip shark that, despite Francis' objections, must be readied for the pet store's opening on short notice.


In our opinion, this is the episode Nat Geo should have aired last week to kick off the series.  Whatever your opinion is about the first episode, we strongly encourage you to tune in to the second episode.  We are told this is the type of show viewers can expect for the remainder of the season.

Spread the word.  Fish Tank Kings is an aquarium show aquarists can be proud of and one Advanced Aquarist would like to see back for a second season.  Both LCA and NatGeo are receptive to aquarists' opinions, so we encourage you to sound off your constructive thoughts.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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