WATER INN is run by
George Stamatiou. The petshop is located at 32, Ilision str.,
Kifissia. Tel: +30 210 8003097 e-mail:
When a new aquatic petshop opens its gates in Athens, our first response
is to pay a visit and see if it has to offer something different to the
hobbyists. This is especially so if - as rumor had it - this was the
largest petshop in Greece (and one of the largest in Europe). It seems
that some people decided to spend their money and create larger and
better equipped shops in Greece lately. Some friends told me how to find
it and, one day before the closing of 2005, there we were with our
cameras and a lot of expectations. Let us draw the conclusion at this
point and let you enjoy this report with no worries. Yes, it is the
largest shop in Greece and - along with Hydrocosmos - the best organized
shop we have seen in this country, directly comparable to the ones we
have enjoyed and envied in Europe. "Water Inn" is the largest of the two
by a good margin. The owner, George Stamatiou, has spent a fortune to
build it and has a clear vision about its future. As he told us, being a
hobbyist for many years, he knew all too well what he would like to see
in a petshop and this is why (and how) he created "Water Inn".
The decoration is excellent, all in curves, with a nice blue overcast
all over the place. Space is ample and the variety of goods on offer is
excellent. However, what left us speechless is the filtration system and
the quarantine (huge) room. You have got to see it to believe it. No
compromises, no second thoughts, simply the best there is. Definitely,
money was not an issue - outmost quality and safety were.
It is not for us to speculate if such a huge investment will ever break
even but we hope it will. This will only ensure that more such places
are built in Athens which will benefit both the hobbyists and the
petshop owners. As George Stamatiou said, "we want to make hobbyists
happy. We want to give them the best equipment at the best price and
this is also true for our livestock. We will not display any fish for
sale until we are confident that the fish is healthy and - in the case
of marine fish - eating properly. We have build an adequate quarantine
system and we are able to keep the fish there for months if we have to.
This is why we created this system. We don't have to "push" the fish to
the hobbyist." Does that work ? you may ask. Well, we have looked in all
his tanks and what we saw was marine and freshwater fish in excellent
shape, active, with excellent colors. What else could we ask for ? His 5
ton marine tank is an exhibition of fish everybody would drool about -
mind you we are talking about a foot long Emperor Angelfish dominating
it. His triggers almost tempted us to add salt and a skimmer to one of
our tanks. The discus were in very good shape with vivid colors, his
African cichlids were also in excellent shape. His corals, too. We were
nicely surprised by the fact that all the front glasses of the tanks
were crystal clear. As we learned, the tanks are all serviced from the
back to avoid spillage on the display side. Little things do matter. If
you are a plant addict, there is a very nice selection there with
His selection of food stuff, filters and accessories is as complete as
it gets and the prices are really friendly. In a space below the ground
floor (next to the filtration / quarantine section) there is a selection
of ready made aquariums to choose from, ranging from small table top
units to 500 liter tanks. Apart from that, they will create any custom
tank you ask for. As George said "We don't want to promote any given
brand of equipment or food. If we are asked to give our opinion, we will
gladly do that, but it is the hobbyist who will make the final
selection. What we can and should do is to offer him a large variety of
good quality items."
We had a hard time to select some photos for you to see but we will make
a stop here and give you the technical details which comprise this
petshop. Many thanks to George Stamatiou for sending this information to
us. He had already told us those figures during our visit there, but we
were too busy taking photos.. to take notes!
Petshop Surface :
Underground floor : 600 m2
Ground floor : 300 m2
1st floor : 200 m2
24 tanks x 200 L each - for freshwater livestock - tanks and quarantine
72 tanks x 200 K each for marine livestock and quarantine
2 tanks of 3000 L each for conditioning salt water
1 tank of 3000 L for conditioning freshwater.
2 tanks of 1600 L each for conditioning fresh water.
6 tanks of 200 L each for fresh water species
170 tanks of 90 L each for fresh water species
6 tanks of 200 L each for corals
6 tanks of 200 L each for marine species
18 tanks of 90 L each for marine species
4 ponds of 300 L each for plants (see photos below)
2 ponds of 100 L each for plants
1 display fresh water tank (discus shaped) with a volume of 700 L
1 display fresh water tank (hanged) with a volume of 300 L
1 display marine tank (shaped like an "8") with a volume of 5000 L
Still not impressed by the numbers ? Let's see how all this looks like..
This is the entrance. Blue is the color that dominates
everything and very rightly so. The special plastic sheets create a blue
shade and keep the sun radiation away from the interior. Christine and
Johnny are talking to George Stamatiou. The white stones visible to the
left and right of the "bridge" will become a pond.
As you can see the interior is a mixture of functionality and correct
decoration. In this photo you can see the discus-shaped tank in the
center and three of the plant ponds in the foreground under the hanging
A view of what was behind us in the previous picture.You can see the
plant ponds again, part of the 5 ton marine tank (left corner) and the
tanks. Screen hanging from the ceiling show videos from coral reefs..
Standing next to the marine display tank (right side) we take a view of
A view of the interior taken from the entrance. You can see the discus
shaped tank, the marine display tank (in the center) and the tank
arrays. The lens used was a fisheye which doesn't show you the true
"sizes" but gives a better impression of the scenery.
George Reclos and George Stamatiou. We would like to thank the "other"
George for his hospitality and the nice discussion we had with him. We
really kept him busy for a long time but there was really too much to
see and learn. We hope that his plan to create a "meeting point" for
hobbyists in the first floor will soon become a reality. We will
definitely be there very often!
One of the plant ponds..
and another one. What a nice way to present the plants !
At the back you will see a huge selection of foods, nets, accessories..
We are at the underground floor now and this is the place where you can
choose your next tank. There is a size (and shape) for everyone.
George Stamatiou proudly shows us the three huge tanks for conditioning the
water of his system. Each one of the three black containers will hold 3
tons of water. You may also see the first array of stock and quarantine
tanks on the left.
Part of the filtration system. Huge, expensive and efficient. This kind
of filtration will lead to fewer losses and happier fish.
John takes a look at some of the specimens kept in quarantine. I hate to
say that, but at least half of them would be sold to hobbyists in some petshops I know..
next page, we will show you some of the fish we saw there.. only a few of
them since most photos will appear in the species section of MCH sooner
All photos taken by MCH
and published with the permission of George Stamatiou.
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