Meet The Staff at Aquariums West


 The Fine Art of Urban Pet Care,
796 Beatty St. Vancouver BC V6B 2M1
604-669-9249 aquariumswest@shaw.ca

jeannie_front_tank2010My name is Jeannie Lister and I have owned Aquariums West since 1980. In this time I have made every mistake you can make and learned from each and every one of them. I was the child with $5.00 of baby sitting money in my wallet, taking the bus all over Vancouver on Saturdays visiting pet stores looking for the perfect plant or the fanciest guppy. From the time I was 12 years old I have enjoyed the beauty of an aquarium and it still delights me to this day.

I am constantly learning new things (many from my customers), and am amazed by the things I don’t know. It is such a treat to have access to the Internet now where there is a website for every imaginable thing. We have a computer set up in the fish room for all to use. See a fish in the store you know nothing about? You can look it up right in the fish room. We no longer have to depend on our memories because Google has everything. I encourage customers to research as much as they can about any of the creatures they keep and share their information with us!

I love to try new things in my business which includes looking for innovative products to feature and I am open to any suggestions by my customers. I like to test and compare products so that when I say I use it and recommend it…. I really do!

I am currently living in the beautiful Okanagan and  travel between Vancouver and Penticton every week.  If you live in Penticton or the surrounding area, I am happy to bring fish and supplies with me for FREE delivery!  After many years working 6 or 7 days a week, I decided that it was time to slow down to just 3 days a week and hand over the management to Kreig LeBlanc. Cam McOuat has completely retired now and spends his days reading, cooking, playing guitar and working out!!  Yes you read that right, working out!!

Jeannie works Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


Kreig LeBlanc  is now the Manager and part owner of Aquariums West.  He has been a dedicated, reliable employee for over 20 years and now has a share in the business!  Kreig specializes in exotic reptiles  and marine aquariums although he knows all aspects of the business. He is sought after by many animal organizations to assist in their animal care husbandry. He also works closely with movie set designers to add live animals to their sets.

He can help design beautiful custom aquariums or terrariums and is very fussy. His attention to detail is much appreciated by our customers. For specialized assistance from Kreig regarding the design and setup of a salt water reef system or an exotic reptile environment, please call to make an appointment at 604-669-9249 or email Kreig. Kreig’s honest, sincere approach and soft spoken nature make him one of Aquariums West’s best assets.

Come and see one of Kreig’s projects, the Red Sea S Line 500 saltwater aquarium. Kreig has installed, designed, maintains and continues to beautify this aquarium everyday. Many of the corals have grown so well that he has harvested frags to sell in the store.   Kreig also maintains our Red Sea Max 250 C aquarium, the frog terrarium and a million other things.

Kreig works Wednesday to Sunday.


Connor Huntington is the aquatic gardener extraordinaire!  He has designed most of the aquatic gardens in the store.  His displays are stunning and inspirational.  Connor is passionate about aquatic fish and plants and is constantly researching and learning more about the specific species that we carry.  If you would like help designing your aquatic world, Connor is more than happy to help you or if you have questions about specific plants Connor will know as he has grown just about everything.  He is also well versed in small animals and reptiles.

Connor comes to Aquariums West with tons of animal experience having worked in the pet trade for 5 years.  He has many aquariums and animals at home and especially loves his pet rat.

Gorgeous aquascape that Connor designed and maintains. Come and see it set up in the store.

A work in progress using Dragon Stone, Tropica soil and Caribsea sand. Plant is Tropica Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘cuba’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connor hopes to study Aquaculture on Vancouver Island in the future.  In the meantime we are so happy to have him as a part of the Aquariums West team.

Connor’s gorgeous aquascape with Tropica plants from Denmark – Penthorum sedoides, Limnophila hippuroides, Pogostemon gayi, Cardamine lyrata, Nymphaea lotus, Lobelia cardinalis, Cryptocryne wendtii “green”, Hygrophila polysperma “Rosavernig”, Taxiphyllum barbierii and Micranthemum “Monte Carlo”.

Connor works Thursday to Monday


Andrew Cumming is our resident expert in all things creepy crawly.  He is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to reptiles, amphibians, flora, fauna and invertebrates.  If you want to fully understand the proper way to set up a terrarium or the best way to keep any type or reptile, amphibian or invertabrate, Andrew will teach you.

Andrew’s Day Gecko environment with live plants.

He studied Ecology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. When he’s not at Aquariums West, he enjoys cooking, camping, fishing, hiking, foraging and just generally being out-of-doors. At home he has two cats, a Fire Skink, a Haitian Galliwasp and a Bearded Dragon. He dreams of working for a Zoo or Aquarium one day where he can continue to share and practice his love of herptile husbandry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew works Monday to Friday


Betty Draven was in the store so much that she decided she should just work here.  She loves playing in water and looking after fish.  If we have a sick fish, Betty will nurse it back to health and sometimes even take the fish home.  It doesn’t matter if it is a neon tetra or large goldfish, they are all precious to her.  She has a goldfish tank, an oscar tank and another “large” fish tank with eels and knife fish.

You will always find Betty in the fish room maintaining our aquariums.  She has her own unique style which is constantly evolving.  You may remember that the girl that helped you in the fish room had blond hair and now there is a girl with blue hair….yes, that is still Betty.  She is as sweet as they come and she gets more compliments than anyone in the store for her customer service skills.

Betty is also a gifted makeup artist and spends many weekends doing the makeup for an entire wedding party or a Halloween horror show.  Betty is also a performance artist and musician and is often seen riding away from the store on her scooter to a show that she is staring in or to a band practice.

Betty works Tuesday to Thursday


Grayson Howard is our youngest employee at Aquariums West and is almost up to his 2nd year anniversary.  He started working at the store when he was just 14!  He helps to maintain all the small animals, cleans aquariums, catches bugs and is an extremely polite young man.

Grayson loves Physics and Chemistry and hopes to teach younger children about the wonders of physics one day.  He also is an avid Dragon Boater and enjoys working with a team.

His first pet was a leopard gecko which he purchased from Aquariums West’s many years ago and now has added an amazing chameleon to his collection. While purchasing his silkworms, crickets and other yummy treats for his leopard gecko, he decided that he would like his first job to be at Aquariums West and we are very happy that he did.  He has learned all about aquariums, small animals, saltwater fish, aquatic plants and how to work in a retail store.

Grayson works every Saturday afternoon.


Haley Fisch is passionate about all species of animals from the cute and furry to the creepy crawly and everything in between.  She works part time at Aquariums West while going to school studying to be a veterinary technician and hopes to be an exotic veterinarian one day.  She currently owns a small planted aquarium with a Siamese Fighting Fish and crustaceans.  While living with her family she helped her Mom maintain their 65 Gallon Cichlid aquarium, bred bristlenose plecos, and raised guinea pigs and hamsters.

She has had 2 years experience working in the Pet trade and loves to teach and help people learn all they can about the many animals that can be owned as pets. Haley is extremely enthusiastic and wears a huge smile most of the day.

Haley works Friday, Saturday and Sunday


Kyra Bree Wasik has over 3 years of professional pet experience working in the pet trade. She currently runs 9 freshwater aquariums, ranging from 5 gallons to 180 gallons, all of which are planted and has recently delved into the world of saltwater converting a 15 gallon Fluval Flex to a coral and small fish tank.

Kyra owns a 12 year old leopard gecko and a 4 year old bearded dragon and had a Sinaloan Milksnake for 18 years.  She has experience with many other types of snakes and is currently in the process of building her first bio-active vivarium for micro frogs and geckos.  She also own a dog and cat and is well versed in animal nutrition.  In other words, she can answer any of your questions regarding pretty much any kind of pet.

She is studying to be a technology teacher at BCIT .

Kyra works Saturday and Sunday.


Costin Andrei brings his experience of tropical fish keeping from Romania as well as working in the aquarium business in Vancouver for the past 10 years. His many specialties include the design of both Saltwater and Freshwater natural environments right from the drawing board to completion. He is extremely well versed in the latest technologies as they come to light on subjects relating to designing aquascapes, technical equiptment, and saltwater and freshwater fish care. Costin’s passion for the “Perfect Aquarium” is reflected in the many aquascapes that he has created for his clients.

Here is what Costin says:

The concept is simplicity. Nature is simple as long as we understand how it works. All my ideas are based on that natural simplicity but also adding the modern factor to the table. Combine that with the health benefits that a fish tank has to offer and you are on your way to a better life. I bring the fun. I create the center of attention. I will teach you how to use the life within it… how to relax and witness evolution in a “glass” of water. It’s high definition on continuous play. Just sit back, relax and dive into your dreams

Costin graduated from working for Aquariums West to working for himself by establishing his own company AquaVibes. We refer Costin  to all of our customers who want something extra special for their home or office. His company provides everything from the set up to maintaining your aquarium on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Costin’s artistic eye and his attention to fine details turns an aquarium into a piece of art. To reach Costin call (778) 385-0945.

Here is what one of Costin’s customer says:

“I look forward to Costin’s every visit. His life-long passion for fish has him possessed of a vast amount of knowledge, but it is his natural, genuine and warm personality that makes his visits so enjoyable. He is impeccably courteous, he leaves everything spotless and he teaches and encourages me in my hobby. I hired an expert but wound up with a relationship that feels more like a friendship because of my respect for him and trust in him. I would leave him the key to my apartment in a heartbeat were I to go away. I am proud and happy to recommend him”.   Chris


camille_happy_in_paris110911

Camille McOuat

Camille McOuat (our oldest daughter) takes many of the photographs that you see on the website. She worked at Aquariums West for  years while she was going to high school and during her summers home from university. She graduated from McGill University in Psychology and is currently living in Paris, France working on many projects as a photographer.  Her photography takes her to many places including Istanbul where she is working on another book.

If you want to visit her website or need to hire a photographer in Paris for a project or event you can contact Camille at www.camillemcouat.com

Her latest project is “It Was So Beautiful I Died” check it out!

 

It Was So Beautiful I Died by Camille McOuat

It Was So Beautiful I Died by Camille McOuat