I never watch "Fish Tank Kings", but I have watched "Tanked" a lot and I must say I like it for the entertainment value. Some of the tanks I have seen them make are amazing.
Having said that, I can't believe how they stock them sometimes. It always seems over stocked. I will say while they do not show it in their show, on their website they do tell you how to look after your aquarium.
Acrylic Tank Manufacturing of Las Vegas, Nevada | Home of the Hit TV Show TANKED only on Animal Planet | Custom Acrylic Aquariums, Pool Panels, Water Features and Exhibits
Also their store does talk about cycling the tanks.
Aquarium Cycling | Acrylic Tank Manufacturing
So they do know what they are doing, but I do agree a lot of what they do on the show is for "Show".
It's a TV show, so a-lot of what goes on will be scripted to have fun, and to entertain us. Do you really think "Redneck"" slept the whole time they were pulling his trailer to the middle of the desert for a prank? Come on, that took days to set up. It was funny, and for entertaining TV it worked. So I have no disillusion that don't have a script they read. To me it's just a entertaining show, but you MUST dig deeper into their website to find the important information, that I feel is lacking in the show.
I heard that they prepare their water and everything else in advance before they set up the tank. They have all the filters seeded with bacteria already and all the water is basically their water ready to go. They than throw their bactira in a bottle in the tank.
Also lets not forget, this is a BIG company and they do thousands of tanks, so it's bound to have a bad tank here and there. It's no excuse, but a cooling unit going out is possible. My only gripe with the Gum Ball tank was there was nothing for the fish to hide out in if they wanted too, it was bare.
So while I am torn on the issue, I do think they know what they are doing and to be honest they are not going to show the acclimation process as it would be too long for TV. I do wish they would talk about it and just say that they HAD to do it first.
Overall I think the show is entertaining, but it's not informative. My only real problem is that it can give the wrong message to people that want to start a tank and not study. They just go and do what the ATM guys do, not realizing that the show is scripted or the massive amount of work that goes on behind the curtain to get the tanks up and running.