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Customer Testimonials

  • Jim [one of Old Town Aquarium’s service technicians]  just left and I want to thank you so much for having him come  out.  He was terrific with the tank and seems to really enjoy the work.  I so appreciate Old Town Aquarium and that you listen and support the customers and their requests.

What I love about Jim coming out is now when we come in on the weekends he knows exactly what the tank can and cannot hold.

We did talk about getting a 90-gallon and moving this 45 gallon to my office (also in our home).

Once again, thanks so much for all your support.

Brenda & Tad S., Gold Coast


  • I've been a customer of Old Town Aquaruim for 7 years. Since the time I had a custom tank designed, Ian and Jim have been very helpful all the way through. When my tank was ready for fish to come home to it, they wouldn't sell me one until all the levels were checked and ready. It was frustrating for me, but in the end I realized that they care deeply about the fish they sell and their customers. Even to this day, if I want a new fish, they ask a lot of questions before letting one go. When my tank gets serviced, Donnie goes through the entire tank, top to bottom and is in no hurry to leave until it's right. Thanks for the committment Old Town Aquarium.

Rob M. Lakeview, Chicago


  • I've been maintaining and enjoying freshwater and saltwater aquariums for a little under 20 years and Old Town Aquarium is the best I've seen in the business. That's a rather bold statement and I stand behind it. Here's why: They hands down have the best product AND offer the best service. Eddie, Ian, and the entire staff will take the time to learn your wants and current aquarium specs -- and then see to it that you are content with your buying experience and fully taken care of. I would strongly recommend new and existing hobbyists to stop by and give them a shot. Keep up the good work!

Jason C., Chicago


  • Jim Walters is co-owner of one of the finest aquarium specialty stores to be found. With partner Ian, and their accomplished staff, they hardly need an introduction from us. Old Town Aquarium (OTA) has been doing great hobby business for 31 years in the Chicago area. They have specialized in procuring the rarest and finest specimens of marine and freshwater fishes since opening in 1975. With a heavy investment in employee training and customer service, it is no wonder they garner the respect that they do. Yet, for all of these accolades, the folks at Old Town really just like to focus on helping new aquarists get up and running successfully in our hobby the first time around. Take advantage of their education, well-informed staff and commitment to aquarium science.

Anthony Calfo - author, publisher, and professional aquarist. www.readingtrees.com


  • My compliements on the Scribbled you sent me a week ago. It is doing well and EATS just as you claimed. This is the first time I have ever gotten more than promised. Normally vendors exaggerate the size of fish anywhere from 1 to 4 inches. You told me 8 inches and it is actually 9 which is great. It seems to like the 600 gallon aquarium I put it in.

Thanks, Steven


  • [Visitors to Chicago] may prefer to visit John G. Shedd Aquarium, though locals believe the true Chicago fish collection is the Old Town Aquarium, a tropical fish store in the Gold Coast.

Wired Magazine


  • I’ve been a customer of Old Town Aquarium for well over six years and would like state the following:

The expertise of the staff and products are by far the best that I’ve experienced in the Chicago land area since I started my Reef Aquarium back in 2001.

This organization has always taken the time to answer my questions and to give advice that ultimately has resulted in a healthier environment for my specimens.  Their Live Stock and Products are bar none the best quality that you can find.

Jim J., Chicago



  • ...we have to add the service was excellent. This project was in the making for several years. We checked many stores in northern Il and southern WI. The first visit to your shop about a year ago and we knew the search was over. Very nice people, great stock! Thanks.

L & L, Wisconsin


  •  Hi everyone, Just wanted to let you know that my blue angels arrived at eleven thirty this morning perfectly perky and safe. They have acclimated very well and are busily checking out their new digs. It's amazing to see how much my original three have grown in just a few short weeks in comparison to the new guys, and I'm sure these four will be no different. I love the confident attitude of these fish. My major jumbo angels don't seem to bother them at all. Thanks for the TLC with the packaging.

  • I am writing to thank you for your hospitality and time you spent answering our endless questions during our visit to your lovely store this past Saturday.  It was the highlight of our Chicago trip.  When asked to describe what I liked most, I replied your marine and freshwater aquariums with the pendant led lights in the front of your store were exquisite.  Your selection of marine animals is amazing and beyond what we see in the Twin Cities.  In my forty two years as an aquarist, I found your store to be the most interesting.  The food at Topo Gigio was also great.  Thanks much. 
  • Ian,
    The tank installation went great. Jim was professional and courteous as always. It was nice to have the time to discuss the new tank as well as our existing reef tank with him. He always is very helpful.
    Again, great staff and shop.