Vandal suspected in deaths of exotic fish

By the time employees of the exotic fish store reached the wall of 70tanks, hundreds of fish, including small sharks and rare shrimp, weredead.

The first indication that something was wrong was the smell of bleach.

By the time employees of the exotic fish store reached the wall of 70 tanks, hundreds of fish, including small sharks and rare shrimp, were dead.

“It smelled like a public pool,” said Adam Ghavari, co-owner of Indoor Jungle at 1285 Kennedy Rd.

“And for the rest of the day, the fish kept dying and there was nothing we could do. We watched our money go down the drain.”

Ghavari said he is certain it wasn’t an equipment malfunction and believes a chemical or bleach was poured into the central system, which filters and heats 400 tanks holding more than 5,000 fish.

He said the vandal, who attacked Wednesday afternoon, went for the store’s most expensive fish and 200 pieces of rare coral.

Small bamboo sharks, lion fish and hundreds of rare shrimps were among the 700 exotic fish killed, along with endangered corals imported from Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Caribbean.

“We know whoever did this had some knowledge of how fish tanks work and what the fish need to survive,” Ghavari said.

He estimated the damage in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“That wall was the first to go, but they weren’t trying to kill just a few tanks.”

Customers alerted store employees at about 1 p.m. about a strong smell of bleach coming from the tanks. Ghavari said the store had thriving business since it opened five months ago in a competitive neighbourhood.

It is one of about a dozen fish stores along Kennedy Road between Steeles Avenue East and Eglinton Avenue East, but Ghavari said his location is “bigger than other stores in space and the amount of fish we have is so much more.”

 
 
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