If you want to see the most exotic fish in Baltimore, you head to the National Aquarium, of course. The awe-inspiring collection of more than 16,500 specimens of fresh and saltwater fish on display may also prove inspirational. After all, there’s something both intriguing and relaxing about the movement of fish as they swim through their aquatic environment, and the colors, patterns and shapes of tropical fish can be inspiring. But fish fanatics don’t have to go to the National Aquarium to enjoy the beauty of aquatic life; they can create undersea worlds at home.
Best Zoos and Aquariums in Baltimore
There are numerous places in the Baltimore area for fish fanciers of all species to get their fix and their aquatic supplies. Here are a few of the best:
House of Tropicals
7389-F Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.
Glen Burnie, Md. 21061
Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Aqua enthusiasts travel from Pennsylvania, Delaware and D.C. for the expertise and offerings at the House of Tropicals. In business for more than 40 years, this store carries more than 1,000 species in 750 tanks, including a rare and “oddball” fish. In addition to tanks and supplies, they boast a wide and constantly changing variety of coral, crustaceans, and invertebrates. A trip to House of Tropicals rivals a visit to the National Aquarium.
North Plaza Shopping Center
8870 Waltham Woods Rd.
Parkville, Md. 21234
Hours: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Exotic Aquatics has recently expanded its reach by offering its healthy livestock in their shop, as well as via the Internet. Customers will find a wide variety of freshwater and marine tropical fish, invertebrates, live corals, live rock, plants, pond fish, in the store and online, sourced locally and around the world.
The Aquarium Depot
3689 Offutt Road
Randallstown, Md. 21133
Hours: Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Tues 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wed-Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
From fish to filters, the Aquarium Depot carries it all for the beginner to the seasoned collector. The large selection of exotic freshwater, saltwater and tropical fish includes African cichlids, rock, rainbows, angels, catfish, discus, koi, tangs, tetras, swordtails, goldfish and more.
Wet Pet and Reptile Center
429 Eastern Boulevard
Essex, Md. 21221
Hours: Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
This small shop has the largest selection of exotic fish and supplies in the Eastern Baltimore County area. The knowledgeable staff prides itself on offering sound advice in a clean environment. Beginning collectors won’t feel like a “fish out of water” thanks to the experts at this shop.
Tropical Fish World
16529 S. Frederick Avenue
Gaithersburg, Md. 20877
Hours: Tues-Fri 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.,Mon closed (open on holidays)
Looking for monster fish and hard-to-find species? You will find them here, as well as expert advice on aquariums and accessories. If you don’t see the aquarium to match your décor, Tropical Fish World can help create a custom aquarium. The service ranges from initial design, through construction and plumbing, all the way to stocking. Customers have high praise for the owner and staff of this store who offer sound advice if things aren’t going swimmingly in your home aquarium.