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March 16, 2004 > Mermaid Aquarium, A Living Work of Art

Mermaid Aquarium, A Living Work of Art

by Reshma Yunus

In November, 2001, a living art gallery opened in the Warm Springs District of Fremont. Mermaid Aquarium welcomes visitors with visions of vibrant and colorful sea life. These living rainbows fascinate observers as they swim, dart and cavort in their custom homes. Max Tran, one of the owners of the shop and manager of these intriguing complexes, confirms that each tank is unique and customized for each group of occupants who can only thrive in a variety of ecosystems and native habitats in many places around the globe.

Max's fascination for fish began in grade school. His family maintained a small aquarium at home and he loved to watch and study the fish. While other kids were goofing off, Max could be found taking care of his fish. "This is a hobby that really consumed me and still does consume me. To learn how to keep a fish alive in captivity is a challenge." Always ready for a challenge, Mermaid Aquarium is a testament to Max's expertise, determination and passion for these denizens of the world's oceans, rivers and lakes.

The sparkling clean water environments are carefully monitored and equipped for their occupants. Batfish, seahorses, emperor angelfish, and lionfish swim through carefully created landscapes to ensure their health and vigor. According to Max, customers can bring in pictures of fish and the store can usually locate the species. On occasion, the store carries fish that are one of a kind. Currently in vogue is a fish called the flower-horn. This fish resembles the earth, and Fung Shui experts say it even brings prosperity. Max told me that the life span of fish can vary from a few months to fifty years - Japanese Koi can live up to one hundred years.

In addition to a wide selection of freshwater and saltwater fish, Mermaid Aquarium offers unique services. The store's specialty is building custom aquariums. Max laughs and says, "The more challenging, the better. If you can envision it, we at Mermaid Aquarium can design it. Every aquarium is different, and every client that walks in has a different vision of what he or she wants in an aquarium. We sit down with our clients so that we can help them identify exactly what they want. Then, we strive to fulfill their visions." He treats every tank as "a living work of art."

One of the main problems for proprietors of these living works of art is proper maintenance. According to Max, minor, but consistent maintenance can prevent serious and major problems. The staff at Mermaid Aquarium provides maintenance services for those who are unable or unwilling to perform regular maintenance on their aquariums. Services are available for aquariums and ponds, performing all water tests and procedures necessary to ensure the vitality and health of aquatic life.

As Max's own interest in aquatic life began early, he understands how important it is to stimulate interest among children. The store hosts visits from local kindergarten children, and during their visit, the children are each given a small fish as a gift. "This way, children can learn at a young age about these fascinating animals," says Max.

Though he loves to see children visit the store, Max wants to share his love of fish with people of all ages. He would like to see a fish tank in every household, so that everyone can enjoy his or her own living work of art. In the meantime, Max invites everyone to come by and browse through his "art gallery."
Mermaid Aquarium is located at 46513 Mission Boulevard (Fremont) in the Warm Springs Shopping Center at Mission Boulevard and Warm Springs Boulevard near Albertson's and Longs Drugs. The store is conveniently located near Highways 680 and 880.

Phone: (510) 498-8272

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