By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 11, 2024.
An new store selling fish and reptiles downtown is hosting workshops for community members to participate in.
“Here Fishy Fishy” recently opened its doors and hosted a fun build-your-own terrarium workshop on Sunday.
Co-owner of Here Fishy Fishy Nadine Wehbe shared the plans they have for future workshops.
“It’s actually the very first workshop in a series of workshops we plan to do. . . . I do entomology so a bunch of bug pinning and diagonalization, things like that. Today, we’re doing a (terrarium) workshop,” which was a collaboration with another business called with Custom Indoor Growth,” said Wehbe.
She voiced what inspired her and her partner to open up a pet store downtown.
“Me and my partner were joking around that, like we should just quit our corporate jobs and open a pet store because our house is basically a pet store. And then one day, that joke turned out to be, well, what if we did, and so we bit the bullet and just took the leap on it.
“Another big reason is just there really isn’t that much for reptiles in Lethbridge. We saw that niche. And as hobbyists ourselves, we were getting really sick of just a seeing how some of the animals are treated,” she said.
Here Fishy Fishy is located at 306 5 Street South.
Wehbe said the pets they have are all ethically sourced and they will not bring in any animals that aren’t.
“If we can’t ethically source them we will not bring them in. That’s the main reason we won’t carry water dragons or chameleons, or things like that. You just can’t ethically source them. But we have (fish) betas – we use two breeders for those, one is from Thailand.”
The terrarium workshop included a 10-gallon fish tank, plants, and everything needed to build an terrarium.
She described the ethical breeders they get their fish and reptiles from. “There’s things like jumping spiders, that’s from a local Alberta breeder. She also hand-makes all the enclosures which is really cute. We’ve got tarantulas that actually comes from like a really big Canadian tarantula breeder.
Snakes sold in the store come from Medicine Hat while frogs are sourced from a friend who converted a school basement into a little hobbyist room.
“And then we have some local Lethbridge breeders that are very small, very ethical that we work with,” said Wehbe.
Wehbe said a future collaboration is in the works with Lethbridge College for LGBT+ therapy with animals.