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Evanston native gives aquariums star treatment

4-2-03 A long-nosed hawk fish swims around clean-up his tank Nic (cq) Tiemens scrub 600-gallsalt water aquarium they serviced Wednesday

4-2-03 A long-nosed hawk fish swims around the clean-up of his tank and Nic (cq) Tiemens scrub the 600-gallon salt water aquarium they serviced Wednesday in a home in Burr Ridge. photo by Jean Lachat/Sun-Times

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:23AM

What started as a hobby building aquariums has exploded into a career designing high-end fish tanks for celebrities in Los Angeles for former Evanston resident Nic Tiemens.

Now, he has his own reality show, “Ultimate Aquariums,” which gets its debut at noon Friday on HGTV.

The show will showcase celebrity homes and follow Tiemens and his business partner, South Side native Joe Pineda, as they work with clients like Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker to design the perfect upscale aquariums. HGTV is running a pilot episode, and ratings will determine whether it gets picked up for more episodes.

Tiemens said he and Pineda keep busy “doing every big job for movie stars, celebrities and movie sets that comes our way.”

His firm, Infinity Aquarium Design, worked with David and Victoria Beckham, and Tiemens also has worked on designs for “The Price Is Right” set and for a movie featuring Ben Affleck.

Their big TV break came after Tiemens began posting videos of himself and Pineda working with celebrities. A production company in L.A. noticed and made a teaser for a TV show, and HGTV ordered the pilot episode.

Most fish added to aquariums installed by Infinity cost between $50 and $5,000, and design and installation can total as much as $50,000.

Natalie Hayes

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