Tanked was the reality television show that aired on Animal Planet from August 2011 until December 2018.
The show mainly starred brothers-in-law, Brett Raymer and Wayde King, who ran and operated Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing along with other family members and longtime employees.
Throughout the show’s 15 seasons, King and Raymer made a variety of elaborate fish tanks that were filled with rare and beautiful fish.
From their wine glass tank to their car-themed tanks, each tank was like a work of art.
What Is The Most Expensive Tank On Tanked?
The most expensive fish tank made on Tanked was the one made for the Bellagio Conservatory’s summer exhibit, which was underwater themed.
It cost $1.6 million in total for the popular Las Vegas Conservatory and Casino, which is known for its elaborate floral displays.
The 1,500-gallon pool is meant to be a walk-through experience and featured luxurious acrylic observation windows through which guests could watch all the different fish swim by.
Surrounding the aquarium were floral displays consisting of 80,000 blooming plants that depicted a mermaid, jellyfish, and even scuba divers.
To keep the attraction looking good, the Bellagio Conservatory has to get 6,000 tulips each week and about 2,000 ivy plants.
While this tank may have been the most expensive tank that Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing has taken on, the upkeep of the entire display was even more overwhelming.
The Los Vegas attraction was only available for a limited time because the Bellagio Conservatory changes its exhibits five times each year.
From May of 2016 until September 10th of 2016, guests could enjoy the calming underwater scenery and sculptures.
In order to ensure the safety and well-being of the fish, specialists from the Shark Reef Aquarium supervised the installation of the tanks and the introduction of the fish.
They were also the ones who donated the fish in the tank, which included five flame angelfish, six sailfin tang, six Spanish hogfish, and three lunar wrasses.
Each tank was about 20 feet long and the walkthrough experience included an illuminated floor to give viewers an even more whimsical feel.
Those who were able to see the tank in person could get lost in the enveloping display.
This display is still the biggest project that the Tanked cast has ever taken on.
How Much Did Tracy Morgan’s Tank Cost?
Tracy Morgan’s Jaws-themed fish tank cost him $400,000 and contains 2,700 gallons of water.
This tank is home to seven different sharks, each costing the comedian anywhere between $65,000 and $80,000.
Morgan has always been a massive fan of the ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, which is what led him to get his first underwater pet.
Bwyadette is Morgan’s “dolphin smart” octopus that he had before he took in his pack of sharks.
Living in his custom tank, Morgan has a white tip shark, a black tip shark, three Japanese leopard sharks, and a couple of others.
This tank is also home to two stingrays, two tigerfish, two moray eels, plenty of jellyfish, and a few smaller species of fish.
Morgan only intended to keep the sharks while they were young and small enough for the tank.
After the shark outgrew the tanks, Morgan donated the sharks to aquariums that wanted them and got new baby sharks to raise.
The tank is located just as you step down into Tracy Morgan’s basement.
Wayde King and Brett Raymer added their own creative touches to the tank by making the front of the tank look like the scene in Jaws where the shark has the boat in its jaws and the hero is sliding slowly towards its mouth, right before being blown up.
The store manager custom-made each plank of wood displayed in the tank.
He also used the arm and leg of King and Raymer to make the cast for the fake limbs in the tank.
Both Raymer and King were elated when they first got the job from the famous comedian, of whom they were both fans.
The pressure was on for the duo to get the job done right, and they succeeded.
How Much Did Shaquille O’Neal’s Tank Cost?
Shaquille O’Neal cost him $50,000 and it stands at nearly the same height as the famous basketball player.
This 3,000-pound tank is built into the cab of a tractor-trailer and has the Superman logo featured in the tank.
Shaq’s saltwater tank is home to exotic species such as Clown Triggers, Miniature Groupers, Mappa pufferfish, and the infamously aggressive Dragon Eels.
Each Dragon Eel cost the basketball player more than $1,000 and made Brett Raymer and Wayde King’s job even more difficult.
Due to the eels’ aggressive and predatory behavior, it was difficult to fill a tank with a variety of fish.
In the wild, dragon eels will eat anything they can get their mouths around.
The dragon eels’ aggressive nature became a problem again when they wanted to incorporate more than one eel.
Dragon eels are normally better off living on their own or only as a bonded pair because they are known for being incredibly territorial.
King and Raymer also had to wrack their minds around how they were going to display the eels and give them an environment where they felt safe.
Dragon eels may be feisty, but they are also incredibly shy and prefer to hide in their tunnels.
Every part of this tank seemed to be a struggle for the Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing team, from the conception to the installation.
Although Shaquille O’Neal’s home was large and proportionate to him, the shell of the tank and the tank itself were difficult to move around.
Since the shell of the tank was the cab of a tractor-trailer, it was incredibly heavy to lift and took careful maneuvering to get it inside the basketball legend’s home.
When Shaq saw the finished project, he was jumping for joy over his new fish tank.
How Well Are The Fish Used On Tanked Living?
Even the biggest fan of Tanked is willing to tell you that not all of Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing’s fish tanks are created equal.
Some tanks focus more on the visual presentation than the actual well-being of the fish living inside the tanks, while others are most concerned about the fish inside.
When Tanked first started, Wayde King and Brett Raymer had a difficult time balancing out the needs of the show with the needs of the fish.
There were multiple cases of fish being put into their tank a bit earlier than they should have been, which has resulted in some fish dying from the stress.
To prevent this from happening in the future, the production team behind the show had to add some cinematography magic to be able to shoot on time and keep the fish well.
It wasn’t uncommon for later tank reveals to be done without any fish in the tanks.
The production team would use creative angles that showed off the clients’ attractions without showing the inside of the tank.
They would wait to film what the inside of the tank looked like until the fish were fully acclimated to their new environment, which normally took place hours after the reveal and sometimes starting as late as 2:00 a.m.
One of the tanks that was most infamous for killing the fish was the Latham wine bottle tank.
Within two months of installing the tank and the fish, most of the 65 saltwater fish had died.
The owner of the tank couldn’t help but blame his overconfidence when considering how well the fish would do in a new tank.
When critics reached out to King about the incident, he was shocked and claimed they do everything they can to keep the fish safe.
What Is The Most Difficult Fish Tanked Has Ever Used?
When considering the ecosystems that Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing uses for their tanks, they are afraid to include high-maintenance fish.
The most difficult fish to raise that Tanked has ever incorporated into their tanks include stingray, mandarin goby, cowfish, porcupine pufferfish, black tip sharks, nurse sharks, Port Jackson shark, leopard shark, mimic octopus, flame scallops, sea anemone, and a variety of corals.
Any shark is going to be difficult to maintain in captivity, and it takes a lot of resources and knowledge to keep them alive.
Being able to afford a tank big enough for even the smallest shark is going to cost you thousands of dollars.
Even the smallest shark breeds need at least 55-gallon tanks in order to thrive, with most other species of sharks needing even bigger tanks.
You especially need more space if you plan to fill your tank with other fish because sharks are more likely to become aggressive if they don’t feel they have enough space.
Like sharks, the octopus also has incredibly high standards that must be maintained.
The smallest octopuses need at least 50-gallon tanks, but there are some species of octopus that need at least 75 gallons of room in order to thrive.
What makes cowfish one of the most difficult species of fish to raise is their fragile nature and high need for mental stimulation.
Not only are these fish easy to become stressed out, but they are also known to release toxins when they are scared.
While porcupine pufferfish may be sturdier than the other difficult fish, they need the biggest tanks out of the list.
A porcupine pufferfish needs at least a 100-gallon tank due to the adult’s size of one foot long and its messy habits.
The cast of Tanked wasn’t afraid to give their clients a challenge, most of whom were aquarium enthusiasts.
Did Tanked Get Canceled?
Yes, Tanked was canceled after the cable network claimed it came to a natural end.
However, many fans believe that the cancellation was actually caused by the domestic assault case brought against Heather King by her husband Wayde King.
During a heated argument, the reality star slapped her husband across the face and then kicked him in the stomach twice.
This resulted in misdemeanor domestic violence charges being pressed against her and her husband immediately filing for divorce.
Only two days later, Heather King also filed for divorce.
They had been together for 21 years before that incident.
When police arrived on the scene, King’s face was still noticeably red from where he had been slapped.
The argument moved to the car where Wayde King was reportedly hanging out of the window when Heather King began pulling out of the driveway rapidly, which the wife denied ever happening.
Heather King claims that she slapped her husband because he wouldn’t let her leave the room they were arguing in.
While divorcing his ex-wife, Wayde King was granted custody of their two children in light of what went on between the ex-couple.
The Tanked Duo Taken To Court
In 2019, Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing was supposed to build a 6,000-pound tank that was eight feet wide and four feet deep.
The tank was meant to serve as a lounge area or dancefloor for Seminole County businessman Oliver Dawoud, who lived in a Florida gated community.
Despite paying $147,410 upfront in addition to the $10,000 deposit, there was no evidence that Dawoud had received anything in exchange for the incredibly high price.
The Tanked company was forced to repay their client with interest.
Dawoud had initially paid for the fish tank in late 2014, but the client heard nothing from the company until May of 2015 when he decided to email them.
When he finally got a response, he was told that a custom tank like he wanted “takes time.”
Brett Raymer had originally estimated that Dawoud’s project to cost about $368,525.
However, Raymer would later give an estimate of $750,000 to $900,000 to complete the project while the client was already above his budget for the project.
Oliver Dawoud received absolutely no word from Raymer or his company after not agreeing to pay more, which led Dawoud to hire the lawyer who filed the lawsuit against Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing.
Tanked Continues As Lifestyles Of The Fish And Famous
Although the series Tanked may be over, Wayde King and Brett Raymer are still entertaining their most loyal fans on their new spin-off show Lifestyles of the Fish and Famous.
While Tanked was more for entertainment and focused on the humans in the show, Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing’s new show is going to be more educational and focused on the fish.
While legal troubles and ethics were called into question, many old fans of the show gained their interest in aquariums through the show.
Being able to see how fun fish could actually be inspired many people to start their own saltwater aquariums.
Brett Raymer has been pitching a revised version of the Tanked series to other networks and has reached out to multiple streaming platforms.
Raymer has even begun pitching an idea for a new television show that revolves around his four donut shops called Donut Mania.
Although it may be sad to see that Tanked has ended for the foreseeable future, Acrylic Tanks Manufacturing has been busier than ever, and the family continues to work together.
There’s still hope that Tanked will come back in one form or another.