Jeannie Lister has 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!
After many years working 6 or 7 days a week, I decided that it was time to slow down and hand over the physical store management to Kreig LeBlanc. I currently live in the beautiful Okanagan and take care of the business end and the online store from here. Cam McOuat has completely retired and spends his days reading, cooking, playing guitar and working out!! Yes you read that right, working out!!
Kreig LeBlanc is now the Manager and part owner of Aquariums West. He has been a dedicated and reliable employee for over 20 years and is now a partner 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 the store. His 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 usually 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, he 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.
Connor comes to Aquariums West with tons of animal experience having worked in the pet trade for 8 years. He has many aquariums and animals at home and especially loves his pet rat. He 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 works Saturday to Wednesday
Douglas Soo first started working in the pet industry in 1993 and continued until 2009. He took a few years off to work in the construction trade but found that he really missed working with aquariums, small animals, reptiles and tropical fish. We are so grateful that he chose to come back to this business and work at Aquariums West. He brings many years of experience as a pet specialist having worked as both a terrarium and aquarium designer and a tropical fish and reptile breeder. Doug knows an incredible amount about the aquarium trade and manages the fish room expertly. He has an eye for efficiency, quality and enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge with customers and coworkers alike. We have all learned so much from Doug.
Doug also loves the outdoors and all aspects of nature and has studied fine arts at Langara. He enjoys fitness and rides his bike to work everyday no matter what the weather is doing. If you need expert advice just ask Doug!
He is also fluent in Cantonese and English!
Doug works every Monday to Friday
Callum Seggie is the youngest and most senior member of the staff at Aquariums West. He started helping out in the store when he was 14 years old and thankfully has never left. He was drawn to aquarium keeping early on and was fascinated by the aquascaping aspect of the hobby.
Callum has designed some gorgeous aquariums in the store and has become a very skilled aquascaper. He keeps up to date with all the latest trends and tricks in keeping a beautiful planted aquarium and is well versed in the many different plants that we carry.
Callum graduated from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in 2017 and currently attends Langara College. He is an extremely bright young man who is an absolute pleasure to work with and customers love him. He can help you with all the different types of animals that we carry and will set you up with the proper equipment that you need to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Callum works every Friday to Sunday
Jenn Hashizume is a recent import from Lethbridge, Alberta. She has had extensive training in all aspects of animal care including dogs, cats, fish reptiles and birds while working for four years as a pet counselor in a large pet store chain in Alberta. Her favorite animals to work with are reptiles and she has absolutely no fears in dealing with any of them.
She completed a full year at the Vancouver Film School and learned about film production design and producing. As well as working at Aquariums West, she also works on film productions in Vancouver gaining as much experience as she can.
Jenn is also a gifted artist and we hope to display some of her art in the near future in the store.
Jenn works every Monday to Thursday
Alexander Marusk is an artist, musician, songwriter, animal lover, fish and reptile keeper and a generally just plain cool dude. He has kept a variety of fish for a number of years but most seriously during the past five years. As well as working at Aquariums West, he also works as an audio engineer and holds a diploma in audio engineering and music production.
He began working in the Pet trade in 2016 and has become familiar with a variety of tropical, cold-water, and brackish fish care and is currently learning all about saltwater. He has made homes for a Bearded Dragon, and Leopard Gecko in bio-active enclosures, as well as a 30 gallon planted tropical tank. Alex can help customers with the care requirements of commonly kept reptiles and amphibians, such as Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, Crested Geckos, Fire Belly Frogs, and alike, as they are the types of animals he has cared for.
Alex works every Thursday to 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 15 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 equipment, 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.
"The concept is simplicity" says Costin "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