My name is Alex Werries (owner). My passion for the aquarium hobby goes back to when I was a child. My grandfather had a freshwater aquarium and I eventually inherited it. My mother had a fish only saltwater aquarium and a cichlid tank both were 125g each.
Back in 2010 my children wanted an animal at home and we didn’t want to deal with cats or dogs. So, we decided it would be best to get an aquarium. We thought it would be something everyone could enjoy. We went to the pet stores weekly and always found something for everyone to add to the aquarium.
After a few months we decided to upgrade and get a bigger aquarium with some more aggressive fish so we decided on cichlids
Once again, we decided to expand and look into saltwater. I knew absolutely nothing about saltwater. I, watched hours and hours of videos on YouTube. I was obsessed!!!
We went on vacation a couple weeks later and explored the ocean. We seen the local aquariums and everyone in my family was very interested and excited to add to our new found hobby.
After a year of learning and a lot of trial and error my aquarium started to finally become stable and mature. Most exciting part was it was growing!!!!!
I can remember when I first fell in love with saltwater ecosystems. I was sitting in front of the aquarium one night. I noticed all the microorganisms’, copepods, bristle worm’s, micro brittle stars, and astrea stars etc. etc. At that moment I realized I wasn’t just caring for fish and corals. I was actually caring for my little piece of the ocean and the micro biome they lived within.
I went to a local frag swap in Louisville Ky sponsored by LMAS.
I soon realized if these aquarium hobbyist/enthusiasts can grow and sell corals so could I.
From 2011-2014 I fragged corals and sold/traded to my local fish stores for credit. I also sold/traded to other local hobbyist. I was simply “supplying my reef addiction”.
In 2015 my wife and I bought our first home. My wife allowed me to have full control over the basement and that’s when the reefing addiction really took off. First, I had a 125g reef and a 75g predator aquarium. That quickly changed to a sump room with frag tanks.
After 6 months I was traveling to frag swaps and aquarium festivals every weekend. I got very involved in the reefing community.
The basement operation quickly grew out of hand. Total combined water volume of all systems was over 3000 gallons. We even had a small selection of dry goods and supplies.
At the time I was buying wholesale from all over the world but some of the best corals came from Whitlyn aquatics in Evansville. My customers noticed the difference in quality I was bringing in.
June of 2019
I seen a Facebook post from a local aquarium store “Aquatica”. The business was shutting down so I went to the store one afternoon and spoke with the owner and offered him a buyout.
After speaking to the owner of Whitlyn aquatics we decided to team up and expand the Whitlyn aquatics brand. After 3.5 months of remodeling, rebranding, and restocking the store we opened to the public and had a grand opening.
I finally made a pipe dream into a reality! I had the opportunity to finally have my own store.
Dreams do come true. As you can see from this story it takes a lot of drive, passion, and dedication to achieve your goals.
Throughout this entire venture I’ve become owner, boss, plumber, electrician, service technician, trainer, accountant, and many, many other titles.
America is full of opportunities! If you simply apply yourself and set your goals high the sky is the limit.