About me and Aqua-Theatre

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHello, my name is Eddie Hanson and I would like to thank you for visiting my website.  I have been in the aquarium industry for over 20 years.  I started out cleaning fish tanks for people from home and ended up building a huge aquarium design maintenance company in the San Francisco Bay area.  I also operated the largest salt water aquarium retail store in the area as well. My shop was called Tropical Paradise in San Leandro CA.  I left it all behind so I could pursue my bigger dreams of exporting fish and coral from overseas.  How the fish and coral started out in the ocean and ended up in our fish tanks fascinated me.  My goal was to set a new standard in quality control, from collection to quarantine to packing.  The fish and coral endure lots of hardship during the export process.  By the time I left the export end of the industry, my influence had a positive impact on many levels of the business.   “I strive to make a difference in the hobby” was my motto.

Reef scene with sponges.  Music:  Island Ukelele fun Music.

These days I reside on the East Coast, in a small little charming town called York in Southern Maine.   It is a tourist area and gets full of vacationers from all over New England and the East Coast during the summer. In winter, many locals go south for the winter (Florida) and most businesses close up shop and open back up in Spring.  The weather?,  well let’s just say “we are not in California anymore!”  Freezing cold is all I can say! ha! ha! Please keep in mind that I’m used to tropical weather in islands like Bali and the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific.  Fast forward a year and I am working on my new venture, the Aqua-Theatre Entertainment System. For more information on my background, please visit my Coral Adventures blog under “Hello World”.  

Maine is a beautiful state that has the four full seasons.  Last winter, it snowed like crazy. Got stuck at home few times but was fun. Spring is lovely with all the greenery and flowers, not to mention great striped bass fishing ha! ha! Summer is temperate hot, a lot like Northern California.  Not  much humidity and quite nice, especially at the beaches. Then there is Autumn, just plain gorgeous and my favorite time of the year. Everything is orange and red.  The colorful maple leaves are everywhere and apples cling to the naked branches (hey I should write poems – ha! ha!).  A breezy Sunday drive on Route 1 is just plain beautiful and relaxing. And after such an outing, I had the inspiration to produce the following video:).   

Autumn scenery.  Music:  Vivaldi The Four Seasons “Fall”

Back in 2003 I attended an aquarium industry trade show called Aquarama in Singapore. I was on my way to the Kingdom of Tonga, but decided to stop by to meet a friend, the famous author of many periodicals and industry analyst Anthony Calfo .  At the event, one aquarium stole the show. It was a beautiful reef tank with three small TVs inside centered and spaced in the middle of the aquarium.  I was fascinated by the design of this very unique fish tank.  It wasn’t until years later that I found out that my customer in Singapore (he was one of my first customers from Indonesia and we became good friends) was the one that had actually set up the “TV Tank”. His name was Ace and he had a retail shop.  Ace was extremely creative when it came to designing aquariums, and just like me in the past, was doing maintenance as well.

I never forgot the imagery of the aquarium with the three TVs.  Over the years while exporting, I thought about duplicating that TV tank one day.  But unlike Ace’s setup, I thought that it would be nice to put the whole TV as the background. Having a different background theme from videos and pictures using DVD players would give lots of options as to how the aquarium would look.


Enter the evolution of LED televisions (plamas run too hot for the application and LCDs have potential picture quality issues over time).  Not just that but prices overall of these HD TVs have dropped dramatically over the years.  And add to the fact that the 3D technology has advanced so good and is affordable, I knew my time had come to finally put the idea to the test. Initially I made models of the Aqua-Theatre Entertainment System out of cardboard.  I flew with it to the west coast to show it to a friend who makes acylic aquariums.  After a few adjustments and some time, I was the proud owner of my version of Ace’s “TV tank”.  My friend did a great job in manufacturing the aquariums according to what I envisioned. There are 3 setups for display at my showroom and you can see the details under “Aqua-Theatre Entertainment Systems”

If you live near the Southern Maine area, please do come by for a free demo with no obligations.  The pictures and videos really do not do justice,  the real deal is unbelievable. Come in and see coral reef videos in 3D with real fish swimming in front, you will be amazed!