It started out so simple. Weldbend’s Coulas family wanted to provide its employees with a nice aquarium to look at near the break room at its Argo, Ill., headquarters.
All of a sudden, Weldbend became stars of an episode of Animal Planet’s “Tanked” and had a new, 3,000-gal., L-shaped saltwater aquarium to liven up the office.
It started when Weldbend revamped its offices and didn’t know what to do with a wall to the left of a staircase.
“The wall the tank is on had been empty the entire time we’ve been in this office,” says Jimmy Coulas, the company’s vice president of sales. “One of the guys here suggested a small fish tank. That small fish tank grew to a fish tank that’s basically a wall.”
The company that did the headquarters renovations for Weldbend had a connection with Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and that’s what got the ball rolling towardsWeldbend being on television. Through the Shedd connection, a group from Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing came out and surveyed the space and got to work. Acrylic Tank Manufacturing stars in all “Tanked” episodes. The series is in its second season on Animal Planet.
Jimmy Coulas, Vice President of Production Kevin Coulas and Assistant General Manager Mike Hammer were the faces of Weldbend on the episode. Many of the company’s nearly 200 headquarters employees were there for the reveal.
The tank has 3-in.-thick acrylic and features many kinds of fish, including Lookdown, Trigger and Clown species. Eventually, an Epaulette shark will be added. Don’t worry, the Coulas family made sure to stock the aquarium with fish that peacefully cohabitate with the shark.
“When you go up the staircase it catches your eye and you look at it in amazement,” Jimmy Coulas says.
Kevin Coulas adds: “The tank has put the finishing touch on the office. It gave our employees a really nice thing to look at throughout the day. It’s tranquil and it relaxes the hustle and bustle of the day.”
As for the experience of creating an episode of television, the guys had fun, but it was more work than they anticipated.
“It was very interesting,” Hammer says. “I had never been behind-the-scenes for anything like that before. The process of how many times you have to film, how many times you go through takes, it was a lot more than I’m used to. I usually just talk on the phones.”