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Live Closer to the Water
For some, a large, built-in aquarium is the cure for seasonal cabin fever
Kevin Sheller, who owns the Schaumburg-based Aquarium Artists (814 Mansfield Ct., Schaumburg; 847-962-9677, aquariumartists.com), has a slate of contractors at his disposal to install his signature freshwater aquariums, which use live plants and colorful fish for a lush effect that mimics a pond. "Most people say they've never seen anything like it," he says. (He maintains that captive-bred freshwater fish have a lower mortality rate than saltwater fish because they go through fewer hands in their journey to the tank.) After installation, maintenance is virtually trouble free for the owner: The tank includes a mechanical tray that automatically feeds the fish and, for $100 to $250 a month, the company will make cleaning house calls. The whole job—including construction, equipment, plumbing, and the fish and rocks or plants—costs about $5,000 to $6,000. Old Town Aquarium (1538 N. Wells St.; 312-642-8763, oldtownaquarium.com) offers the same level of service for saltwater aquariums, and no request, the owners say, is too large or outlandish—the company once installed an 18-foot-long tank as a room divider for a business.