When the Animal Planet first aired the new “Tanked” television show, many hobbyists immediately criticized the company for what appeared to be terrible aquarium practices. Viewers saw a week’s worth or more of filming edited down to a one hour episode, and that one hour really cuts out on the most important, yet also most boring aspects of aquarium keeping. To address the concerns most people have about the television show, Brett Raymer got up in front of a room full of aquarium enthusiasts at the MACNA Reception Banquet and explained a little how the show worked. He started out by reading a handful of letters he received from excited viewers, then addressed all of the negative attention the show has received from the online aquarium community. He stated that he and Wayde, the co-owner of ATM started out as hobbyists and grew their passion into a thriving business. The company employs over 30 individuals, including two marine biologists, and has been in operation for over 15 years. He followed that up by stating that the Animal Planet film crew shoots anywhere between 50 and 70 hours just for one episode, and that neither he or Wayde have any creative control over what is aired. The footage gets butchered and twisted to fit the reality tv show criteria, then gets aired.
We still feel the show does an injustice to the hobby, but listening to Brett made us question who should we be mad at? If ATM has no creative control over what goes into any of the episodes, should Animal Planet then take the brunt of our criticisms and not ATM? After all, how does a company stay in business for 15 years and get to the size it is if they are doing things wrong and killing tons of fish?