A little visit

I mentioned I was out of town in the previous post. I had a meeting in Chicago for a few days. While I was there, I took some time to visit a local aquarium store. Located in the Old Town section of the city, the store is aptly named – Old Town Aquarium.

Located  just a few blocks from Lake Michigan, Old Town Aquarium sits on N. Wells Street in a quaint little neighborhood filled with little shops and street cafes. The store occupies the street level floor of a small brick building just north of W. Schiller Street.

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Front of Old Town Aquarium store in Chicago. Photo by author.
With all aquarium products in the front half of the store and the fish room in the rear, the store is nicely laid out and organized. Rather than species-only tanks, the store utilizes multiple 20-30g acrylic tanks that each house multiple species. Marine livestock is on one side of the store while freshwater occupies most of the other. The cichlid selection is not very extensive and, from what I could tell, focuses mostly on new world species. I saw some nice Firemouths, Geophagus, Salvini, and even some dwarf pikes. An interesting and rather unique aspect of the retail tanks in the fish room is that each tank is aquascaped. Aquarium stores typically provide little decoration and cover in their tanks, which I personally think is a mistake.

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The freshwater side of Old Town Aquarium’s fish room. Note the boxes of new livestock that were just delivered. Photo by the author.

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Aquascaped freshwater retail tank at Old Town Aquarium. Photo by the author.

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One of the product walls at Old Town Aquarium. Photo by the author.

Unlike many aquarium stores, Old Town is full-service, meaning they’ll not only help you decide what to buy but they’ll even design it, set it up, and maintain it for you. Prices are reasonable on everything from fish food, to new tanks, to the fish themselves. In fact, the store offers a nice selection of products that is sure to provide the needs of every fishkeeper from the beginner to the expert.

If you live in downtown Chicago, you undoubtedly already know about this friendly neighborhood LFS. If you’re in town visiting, take the time to stop by and check it out.

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