Minnesota may have 10,000 lakes, but the catch of
the year is on Richfield soil.
A World Of Fish, located at 1516 E. 66th St., has
earned local and national recognition over the years for its selection of tropical and
Named Best Fish Store by Minneapolis/St.Paul
magazine, the modest-looking shop houses some serious oddballs.
Customers can marvel at the fish with an
elephant-like nose, buy one that matches a paisley shirt or watch the temperamental Clown
Loach stand on its head.
From the beginner to the
devoted hobbyist, customers get a sampling of fish from around the world.
"You can own a part of the reef in
Minnesota," is an expression owner and president Ted LeVin enjoys using to describe
"Over the years, we have worked to develop a
wealth of suppliers," LeVin said. "We have people around the world hand
picking our fish to get the best selection.
The fish travel to Richfield from Japan, South
America, Africa, and even a few lakes in Minnesota.
Freshwater fish are a favorite with the average customer, while
some of the saltwater fish appeal to the intermediate to expert hobbyists, LeVin
said. Even anglers can find a hearty muskie or catfish to take home - minus the
Keeping up with the latest underwater trends, A
World Of Fish also sells living rocks and plants for salt-water aquariums.
"The rocks reproduce themselves," LeVin
said. "It's the latest in the hobby and is a nice addition to a tank with the
One eye catcher is the living coral that looks
like a brain. Hence, its name: brain coral.
Other wonders in the store include sea anemones,
serpent starfish, over-sized goldfish, and small sharks.
Starting with only a few tanks of not-so-exotic
fish in 1974, LeVin has watched his company grow into a specialized business venture that
also includes a wholesale and commercial service division.
The wholesale department sells food and equipment
product lines to other businesses and has the market on African cichlids, found in two
lakes in Africa, LeVin said.
Just as some of the company's fish are peculiar,
so are a few of its customers.
One customer had a 3,000-gallon cylindrical
aquarium serviced by A World Of Fish. Running from the first to the second floor
ceiling, the company's aquarium service employees don diving equipment in order to clean
the bottom of the tank, LeVin said.
"We are a highly specialized
shop," LeVin said. "We try to give the best, accurate and knowledgeable
information as possible. If people have success with their own tanks at home, we'll
As a result of the store's specialization,
hobbyists voted it as one of the best fish stores in the country, LeVin said.
A World Of Fish also offers a club membership,
which includes thousands of people from around the five-state area, LeVin said.
"We run on honesty," LeVin said.
"We do what we can to give people the best. We pursue excellence."