A shop right here in Seattle, creating its own one-of-a-kind aquariums.
It's the only shop of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, and one of only a handful around the country offering those living in smaller spaces to bring the outdoors in.
Take a second to just look and listen, and you'll begin to understand why Steve Waldron gets up and goes to work every morning.
"There's something about the aquatic world that's just magical, the way the animals move in the sort of free-floating space and the colors and forms,” said Aquarium Zen owner Steve Waldron. “It just is a world we don't get to see that often and so the aquarium acts like a lens, a way for us to kind of get involved in that world on a regular basis."
Aquarium Zen is a small shop in the Roosevelt neighborhood, that's a portal to other worlds.
"We have exotic species from all over the tropical regions of the world, so India, the Amazon, Africa," said Waldron. "These are little algae balls that are found in certain lakes in Europe and Asia, and they look like these little furry Star Trek alien creatures."
You won't see any plastic pirate ships or fake seashells, though.
Steve specializes in nature aquariums, or "aquascaping" - combining underwater life and Japanese gardening.
He helps customers design and landscape their own aquatic ecosystems.
"And then once the plants are happy, the fish feel right at home,” said Waldron. "Your aquarium is your underwater forest or garden, and you have these little fish like birds flying around it."
It's a perfect option for city living - where traditional gardening isn't always an option.
"If you don't have the space, if you're living in a condo or an apartment, this could be your opportunity to bring a little nature indoors,” said Waldron.
And, if you take a second to look, and listen, you really can escape into an aquascape.
"It kind of feels like part of me, like my soul, like my soul has a home, really,” said Waldron.
Aquarium Zen can set you up with a nature aquarium for $100 to $200. DIY-ing helps keep costs down.
920 NE 64th St, Seattle, WA
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