A lot of reef aquarium companies have built a name for themselves in the online and event space for high quality frags and Top Shelf Aquatics is certainly among those leading the pack. It’s easy to develop an image and a brand online and to show up to reef shows with carefully curated corals and frags but it’s quite another thing to build a fully fledged reef aquarium store like the dope reefing mecca that Top Shelf has developed in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida.
Much like a reef tank an aquarium store is something that takes a long time to develop and the TSA team has been working on their retail location for several years and it really shows. Some stores are known for their livestock, sometimes fish are the main event, more often it’s the corals, other shops pride themselves on having a wide range of invertebrates and others still really put their effort into having every kind of aquarium product you could ever want for your tank.
A well rounded reef shop with equal parts of livestock, dry goods and a generous spread of aquarium setups ready to take home is rarer than an Angry Birds Tenuis Acro but that’s precisely the experience that you’ll get by visiting their Winter Park retail location. Around this time last year Kevin showed us around the TSA coral farm and he reprised his role for our tour of the retail shop where pointed out that in addition to all the shiny Ecotech, ClariSea and Neptune Systems toys they even stock more exotic aquarium furnishings such as stacks of UV sterilizers, the automatic water testing Mastertronic, and a more parts, fittings and plumbing than you’ll find at most hardware stores.
It’s one thing to read about the tanks, fish, corals and gear that you want on the pages of Reef Builders but it’s another experience altogether to walk into a fully fledged aquarium store dedicated to reefing. If you’re in the Orlando area definitely look up the Top Shelf Aquatics retail store because you might know them for their frags, but you’ll have a great time seeing their spread of fish, corals, aquarium equipment and their slew of hand made reef aquarium aquascapes.