Life Aquatic swims into New Canaan
Published 3:52 pm, Thursday, January 6, 2011
Business for Randy Jahier is going swimmingly. The former furniture manufacturer recently opened Life Aquatic, a saltwater fish and aquarium store in New Canaan's downtown named after the 2004 movie starring Bill Murray as arrogant oceanographer Steve Sizzou.
"New Canaan is a beautiful little town that doesn't have anything like this at all," he said. "I find a lot of people that come in here find a world that they never would have seen before."
Jahier said the 1,750-square-foot shop gives him a chance to show people that having a saltwater aquarium isn't difficult with the advent of new technology.
"People have a pre-conception that keeping a saltwater tank is impossible," he said. "It's not."
The store offers fish tanks in abundant shapes and sizes for its "thousands and thousands" of different saltwater species, said Jahier, whose largest pre-manufactured tank holds 300 gallons.
Jahier said Life Aquatic, which also sells live reefs, has only a couple of different types of shark because of the species' great size.
"They're better left in the ocean," he said.
Prices range from about $10 for the store's least expensive fish up to $400 for a vividly-colored harlequin tusk fish, said Jahier, who has two employees to help run the shop.
"You can spend thousands on a fish," said Jahier, whose inventory includes angel fish, puffer fish, clown fish and tang fish. "There's too many to name."
Jahier, who lives in Pound Ridge, N.Y., said his most of his fish come from farms -- part of an effort to protect the number of species swimming wild in the sea.
"Oceans are a threatened part of the world," he said. "What sets us apart is we are very environmentally responsible."
Jahier said his shop gives a less expensive way to gaze at exotic fish in a slow economy.
"People can go on mini-vacations by looking at their fish tanks," he said.
About 700,000 U.S. households own saltwater pet fish, according to the American Pet Products Association in Greenwich.
Life Aquatic is open Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.