My Story

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


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


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. 


September 2019 

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.


June 2022

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


America is full of opportunities! If you simply apply yourself and
set your goals high the sky is the limit. 

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