Marine Extremes carries the largest volume of saltwater fish and corals in Wichita.
The business recently moved, tripling in size to accommodate the aquariums and equipment. Owner Vince Mott has been in the saltwater business for 20 years. He says his large assortment of fish come from all over the world.
“Vietnam to the the Fiji Islands, from Australia to the Red Sea, just about everywhere, Africa, you name it, we can get it,” Mott says.
Mott decided to open Marine Extremes about six years ago. It’s filled with all types of fish including tassle filefish, angels, aero crabs and clowns.
“I love seeing the different fish and collecting the coral and just educating the public about this hobby.”
Mott says the difference between freshwater and saltwater fish is that most of the freshwater fish are from local ponds and streams or different places inland, saltwater fish are from the ocean.
Saltwater fish are more expensive to maintain. Marine Extremes offers ongoing maintenance for customers. Mott says there is a lot of equipment involved.
“We tell customers that if we start out with the right equipment, it’s a lot easier to keep your fish and your corals alive” Mott says.
The largest aquarium designed and maintained by Mott is stationed in the lobby of the Stinson Morrison Hecker building on the Waterfront in northeast Wichita. It’s 23 feet long, 12 feet tall and 6 feet deep.
“It’s the largest privately owned aquarium in the Midwest,” Mott says. “Kids come in groups and visit throughout the year.”
Mott says his crew cleans the Waterfront aquarium by scuba diving into the large tank every week.
“Every time we do dive that tank, we have to watch out for the fish cause the fish are real curious about the head gear and they will come and nibble on the wire.”
Mott says saltwater fish aquariums fascinate many people, who like the idea of taking underwater scenery into their homes. Plus, experts say aquariums are good for the heart and help to lower blood pressure.
Mott enjoys sharing his knowledge of saltwater fish with customers and looking after Big Mike, the store mascot. It’s an eel from Africa with giraffe-like skin.
“A lot of people come in just to see him.”