A couple of days ago, we got yet another private screening of an unaired episode of Fish Tank Kings, and after watching episode 4 a couple of times, we’ve got a special preview and opinion piece for our readers. Airing this Saturday, June 2nd at 10pm EST on the National Geographic channel, this episode follows Living Color Aquariums as they relocate of a massive nurse shark (in the perspective of aquarium keeping). While the 6+ foot long nurse shark looks to be very healthy, it’s quickly outgrowing its 500-gallon circular home and desperately needs a bunch more swimming room. So, Francis and crew tackle the unusual and difficult task. Also featured on this episode is a complete teardown and redesign of a fish only auqarium at a Las Vegas based recording studio. The tank is in dire need of some TLC, and Mat takes the task upon himself to complete.
The shark relocation is obviously where this episode gets it drama and nail biting moments. Named Bessie, the six and a half foot long nurse shark was raised by an employee at the local fish store since it was a pup, and there was obviously quite an emotional attachment to the beautiful creature. That attachment only adds to the stress of an already risky move, as Francis and the rest of the gang at Living Color have to make sure absolutely nothing goes wrong.
In order to accomplish the task, Francis has to climb down into the aquarium with the nurse shark, a pair of blacktip reef sharks, and a pair of moray eels, and even with the aquarium drained significantly, it’s still a difficult task. With the help of a local shark catching legend, the shark is placed in a sling and carried out of the tank and placed in a large poly container in the back of a moving truck. From there, it’s transported two hours away to a large aquarium exhibit that is fed by natural seawater and houses tons of other sharks. But the move didn’t go as smoothly as planned.
As for the tank redesign at the recording studio, it’s pretty straightforward with the exception of one very cool fish. I won’t spill too many more details, but we encourage you to tune in an find out on Saturday night.
One thing we will comment on is the fact that what we continue to see in this show is the care and thorough planning that goes into each project that Living Color Aquariums undertakes. Sure, there are those reality tv moments, such as when Francis proposes putting an insanely rare Peppermint Angelfish (Centropyge boylei) into the recording studio tank, but we keep seeing hints of livestock planning, fish quarantining, and other activities that are more in line with the day to day tasks of actual aquarium hobbyists and do a far better service to the aquarium hobby in general than other aquarium based television programs. That said, the show is not perfect by any means, but it’s still entertaining and a good watch if aquariums happen to be your thing.