Above all else, Whitlyn Aquatics is a passion project, a labor of love; and that attitude carries through in everything we do. Every member of our team is a seasoned aquarium enthusiast with years of experience. Our goal is to pass on that experience to you, our customers, to ensure your success as an aquarist. We’re not the kind of store that’s going to tell you anything and everything to make the sale today, leaving you with an unsuitable aquatic pet or piece of equipment. We operate under a policy of honest, transparent, and personalized customer service. We’d rather lose the potential sale today, and invest in your long-term success, hoping you’ll continue to shop with us for years to come.
The story began back in 2014, with the founder, Jeff Kinney, selling coral frags on a small scale out of his personal tank. Ever the entrepreneur, Jeff saw an opportunity to bring a saltwater coral and fish store to the Southern Indiana area, which hadn’t seen a dedicated marine aquarium store in close to a decade.
And so, in 2015, Whitlyn Aquatics was founded. Jeff, together with his first teammate, Matt, began building out a retail space in Jeff’s basement. No square foot was wasted. With 9 8ft long frag tables, a small fish system, and a dry goods area, things were understandably tight. Business grew from there, and on busy days it was sometimes nearly standing room only as customers came in to see the fresh new coral and fish shipments from around the world. In 2017, Whitlyn saw its team grow once again with the addition of Jimmy, another lifelong aquarist.
Eventually, Whitlyn Aquatics needed room to grow. In 2020, we moved into our current location with over 12,000 square feet of space to stretch our legs. We went about filling it with a saltwater fish and invertebrate system sporting 77 individual tanks. For coral, the retail space received 6 8ft long all acrylic frag tanks, as well as an aquaculture facility in back with a dozen similarly sized growout tanks. The drygoods area similarly benefitted from the new space, allowing us to carry a greater variety of equipment and consumables for the reefing hobby.
This new space also allowed Whitlyn Aquatics to expand into freshwater fish in 2020. With 9 fish racks of consisting of 9 tanks each, plus several large display tanks, we came out swinging and ready to compete in the freshwater space. In 2021, we expanded on our freshwater offerings with ponds, offering pond equipment, koi, aquatic turtles, consultation, service, and installation.
2022 saw the addition of 2 new fulltime team members. Jase was brought on to handle coral and fish photography, run the store’s social media, design, and help manage the web store. Collin joined the team fulltime soon after as our freshwater and pond specialist, resident handyman, and builder