About Exotic Aquatics
30+ Years of providing hobbiest with quality corals, clams, saltwater fish and inverts.
I started out as a hobbyist like you back in 1974, when it was almost impossible to keep anything alive. I endured the troubles that went with the hobby back then, to find out why fish always perished even though I kept the water quality high and as close to natural seawater parameters. By taking a trip to the Florida Keys and netting a few fish myself, I came to realize that the fish I caught always survived while the imported fish quickly perished.
In 1980 I began experimenting with different planktons. Through research and help from Tom Frankes (who was involved with raising captive bred clownfish). I developed a plankton soup that incorporated 3 species of phytoplankton. I also raised zooplankton and sold these nationwide to wholesalers and retailers. This furthered my interest and provided extra cash for my hobby/habit.
In 1982 I developed a large-scale wet dry filtration system that was large enough to support a stores central system. It was used in four different stores that I designed, built and put into operation. Fresh and Saltwater capable, it was one of a kind. The retailers that used this system loved it, and this gave me the capital I needed to open my own store.
I started out of my house with 390 sq ft and 780 gallons. I soon realized with my great success that I needed a storefront.
Then in 1986 I opened Exotic Aquatics. 950 Sq. Ft. and 1400 gallons of saltwater. Fish, live rock and inverts. I only sold animals from the Keys and Hawaii. I only sold what I knew would survive in my customers’ tanks.
We moved in 1991 to a larger place, 1500 sq ft and doubled my gallons to 2800. Still only dealing with saltwater species. As Quality animals became available from overseas, we began to expand our selection. This was key to success with only dealing with saltwater. I used Cortez Marine a wholesaler that sold only net caught fish.
I started to collect my own fish and inverts from the Florida region in 1988. I was introduced to net collecting of fish and inverts by a few local collectors. To this day I still make trips to collect fish.
In 1996 we moved our storefront to Highland Indiana. We currently have 3,100 Sq feet facility with over 3,600 gallons displaying our marine fish and corals. Through all these years we have remained an only saltwater aquatics shop. We continue to do it the same way I started back in 1982, we sell what will live in captivity, what is good for the animal, good for the customer, good for me.