After working as a master chef in New York City and Las Vegas, Anise Jammal said he decided to make a career change five years ago and returned to his roots in Spring.
“My parents owned one of the first aquarium stores in Texas, and although I loved cooking, I decided I wanted something where I could have a family life,” Jammal said.
Jammal opened That Aquarium Place on Stuebner Airline Road in 2014. The store specializes in fresh- and saltwater fish, corals, plants, invertebrates and tank supplies.
“Our dry goods are all hand selected and tested by us,” Jammal said. “It’s not like big-box stores where you’re selling 300 products and don’t know what to give your customers.”
Now in its fifth year, That Aquarium Place relocated down the road in March, allowing the shop to expand from 70 to 300 freshwater tanks and from 20 to 150 saltwater tanks.
“We have one of the biggest stocks in Houston,” Jammal said.
On any given day, the shop carries 300-400 freshwater and saltwater species. Jammal said some of the store’s more unique species include stingrays, nurse sharks and eels. The store receives new species three times each week, which he said are net-caught in the waters of Australia, Indonesia, Bali, Singapore, Hawaii and Florida.
In addition to special-ordering species for customers, That Aquarium Place also offers a tank service and can provide routine maintenance and vacation feeding for tank owners.
Jammal said he plans to add more parking, outdoor ponds and a patio to the new storefront. He is also considering adding an on-site food venue and play equipment to make the store more family-friendly.
“We just strive for the best customer service, and we want to make sure everybody is happy when they leave the store,” he said.
That Aquarium Place
17649 Stuebner Airline Road, Spring
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Mon.
Fishing for advice
Owner Anise Jamal offers the following advice for fish owners.
Tip #1: Do not rush the tank-building process
- When first setting up a tank, owners should let the water cycle for seven to 15 days before adding fish.
Tip #2: Control feeding and lighting
- Controlling the lighting and feeding is vital for a tank to run smoothly. Do not overfeed fish.
Tip #3: Continuously provide maintenance
- Jammal recommends fish owners should change tank water on a weekly basis.