Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hong Kong: MongKok 'Goldfish Street' Adventure at Ebi Lab

Store: Ebi Lab
Owner: Ian
Specialty: Shrimps - Pure Red Lines, Pure Black Lines, & Taiwan Bees

Let me start off by saying that Ebi Lab is NOT located on MongKok's 'Goldfish Street' but that's not to say that the store doesn't deserve a visit!  Trust me this store is worth every second it took to get there.  This shrimp specialty store is located near Kwun Tong district of HK.  Ebi Lab is located on the 6th floor of a very non-distinct building.  Honestly, if it hadn't been for the store's signature shrimp miniature, I would've completely missed this fantastic store on my trip.  Because Ebi Lab is located further away from MongKok's 'Goldfish Street' I feel like I MUST write about this store and share my experiences so everyone can know to visit this store on their own HK trip!

Ebi Lab is a fantastic shrimp specialty store that epitomizes everything that we've seen online from Japanese/Asia websites of what a TRUE shrimp store should be.  This store is just awesome!! Literally, this is a shrimp lover's heaven.  The store itself is custom built from inside and out.  Everything inside the store was custom built by a woodworker so the entire store looks just perfect!  The attention to detail for this store is amazing. 

Ebi Lab is owned by Ian.  This store is a little less than two years old.  I love that this store is strictly shrimp as a lot of the stores on MongKok that carried shrimps also carried fish.  This is not to say I don't like fish, because I do, but to find a store solely dedicated to keeping shrimps is just a really awesome experience. Ian knows a lot about shrimp keeping and it really reflects when he discusses his passion for shrimp keeping and breeding.  Ian travels regularly to Japan to HAND PICK his shrimps.  Ian told me he LITERALLY spent 2 days hand picking shrimps from sunrise to sunset during his first few visits.  He continues to do this, but as the process literally takes days, he opted to hand pick the high end Pure Red Lines from Japan's top breeders.  Ian is also working with a partner in Japan to produce his own line of food which I was lucky enough to get a sample for my own shrimps at home.

Store Logo
This is Ian's signature logo for Ebi Lab. Again, I can only stress about how much I love the detail and amount of work put in the store.  LOOK! Even the sign looks fantastic!  Something about the sign got me very excited even before entering the store.  I think it has a lot to do with how everything in the US regarding shrimp breeding and keeping is entitled 'EBI."  Just seeing the sign got me super stoked and I think I might have left my girlfriend behind as I hastily rushed into the store to explore what was inside!

Inside Logo
Ebi Lab X Rosso is most likely a collaboration between Ian's Ebi Lab and his partner is Japan.  I recall Ian telling me the food brand is named Rosso, but I could be wrong as my memory is bad and it's been nearly 3 weeks since I've been back...  Sorry, it's so rare that I have time to sit and write a long blog.  If Rosso is the brand name of Ian's own brand of shrimp food, I must say I am impressed.  My shrimps did flock to the pellet food as soon as I dropped it into the water, but I won't do a review about the food now.  I'll save that for later!

Ian of Ebi Lab
GirlFriend's lovely mom trolling me
GEWD!! look at the setup! Left Side
Shrimp netting station
Right Side
The display tank
Blah.. my terrible camera skills!
Assorted plants
Simple tanks... awesome view!
25G Cube
More CUBES?!?!
...I love 25g cubes...
I'm in love with 25G cubes!!!
Just cubes on cubes on cubes on ... lego miniatures??
I love this little clip on light... should've picked one up...
I love Taiwan Bees!!
...Ian's Blue Bolt owns my Blue Bolt...
Some PRL
Sorry I didn't take more pictures of the shrimps
More Taiwan Bees
Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Ebi Lab.  I think this store has a lot to offer to experienced shrimp hobbyists to beginner shrimp keepers.  I believe this store is a MUST visit for anyone wanting to experience what it's like to visit a true shrimp specialty store. The atmosphere is really great and Ian is very knowledgeable on shrimp keeping and husbandry.  I believe the best way to learn something new is by talking to someone and sharing ideas.  After spending my last day at Ebi Lab and getting a chance to speak to Ian and discuss some of the breeding ideas and practices, I feel like I was able to go back home with really valuable information and revitalize enthusiasm for my own shrimps.  Ian's a great guy who is very passionate about shrimps and his store is a testament to his passion.  I definitely want to visit this store again on my next HK trip.  I cannot wait to see all the new things and shrimps Ian will be keeping in the future!  I hope you guys get a chance to experience what I was very lucky to be able to experience at Ebi Lab.

Until next blog post!! 

Sickkkk shrimp miniature that I put at my work office!!
AHHH she's trolling me!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hong Kong: MongKok 'Goldfish Street' Adventure at FishLoves Aqua

Store: FishLoves Aqua
Owner: Alan
Specialty: Shrimps, Cichlids, Planted Tanks, Nature Tanks

FishLoves Aqua is another specialty aquarium store located right on the main street of MongKok.  This store, like other specialty stores, is located on the second level of the building.  The store may seem small at first, but Alan made great use of the space available.  The store is divided into two areas, one dedicated for cichlids and another area for shrimps.  I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit FishLoves Aqua twice during the entire stay.  My first time around the store was to explore and see what was available.  Alan is a world class cichlid breeder and is also skilled at breeding and rearing shrimps.  He mainly kept Crystal Red Shrimps of mix grades and Taiwan Bees.  Alan's Ruby Reds are quite stunning and definitely a sight to see!  The colors were quite amazing.  It was on my second trip that I was able to see the Rubies and Dragons as he is currently moving into this space and is doing renovations.  Alan doesn't speak much English so having a translator will help you tremendously.  I was fortunate enough to meet Alan's wholesale supplier for ADA products on the first day.  He spoke perfect english and really helped me explore the many different things inside Alan's shrimps tanks as I had a ton of questions.  Oh, if I didn't already mention, I traveled with my girlfriend who spoke decent Cantonese, but it was my girlfriend's mom who really helped me get the sweet deals on all the goodies I bought while in HK.  Well... enough with the talking.. check out the photos!

The Logo
Unfortunately, the store's actual logo is quite discreet and you might miss this wonderful store if you're rushing by.  Above is the store's logo once you step inside.

Street Sign.. Keep an eye out for this!
Meet Alan
Meet Alan's Shrimps
Not PRL but still AMAZING! 

:O Alan's Ruby Reds/Dragons

Moss stump
My attempt at demonstrating his collection
Alan's Plants

Alan... The Cichlid Pro!
Alan's cichlid breeding rack
OMG Buce Tank!

Super awesome, simple lava rock/buce scape!

Oh.. and this SUPER SWEET glass aerator bell!

Whoa... That was a long one with so many pictures of Alan's store!  I didn't realize how many pictures I was taking but I'm glad I took that many.  Overall, I'm very impressed with Alan's store and his passion for breeding and caring for cichlids AND shrimps!  Although Alan's store doesn't keep/sell any Pure Red Lines, the normal grade crystal red shrimps that he does sell are still quite spectacular.  I really enjoyed his setup and I feel really lucky to have been able to see his Ruby/Dragon TB on my second visit.  If you find yourself in HK with some free time, definitely stop by FishLoves Aqua on MongKok!  Oh, remember to swing by the adjacent fish store, it's also owned by Alan!  I'll leave what lies inside that store as a nice surprise for you to experience as you explore!

I hope you guys enjoy this part of my HK/MK 'Goldfish Market' review for FishLoves Aqua.  I have a few more entries I hope to post by this week so stay tuned!