Buying Tropical Fish

  1. stella1979

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi everyone!:) I'm looking for opinions here, so let me set the stage.

    I am trying hard to source Cardinal Tetras. I live in FL, the land of tropical fish farms. None the less, I have only found one local place that stocks these guys. In giant cement ponds, where it is impossible to really inspect the fish before they are bagged. This place is well liked in the community, mostly for cichlids, goldies and koi, but I will never go there again. I've purchased a total of 22 fish from them... 21 of them didn't last long.:(

    So, several months later now, I'm looking online. I've gotten a few recommendations for good online vendors. Trouble is, only one of them has the cardinals and they are so very far from me in Oregon. There are a couple other online sellers, that are based in FL, but I haven't heard much about them.

    So, the question is, do you think it's safer to buy from a place that's well recommended but very far? Or, might I have better luck with places in state, even though I've heard nothing about them? Two I'm looking at are Blue Grass Aquatics and Something's Phishy. Does anyone have experience with either of those?
  2. C

    ChiefBrody Valued Member Member

    What's the motivation behind keeping cardinals? I'm sure there's something similar available in Florida. Like you I prefer inspecting specimens myself before a purchase. Not only don't I trust the seller but neither do I trust the delivery personnel they may hire. I literally had a FedEx guy throw my order over a 12' fence so even if it's a "reputable" seller that's no guarantee for safety. I assume you have access to a vehicle living in Florida. Why not pick them up yourself?
  3. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    No specific help but you should be able to find them easily. It's one of the most popular fish in the hobby. A friend of mine works at a FL fish farm. I'll ask him today if he has any ideas who might have them. Almost all of the Cards in the hobby are wild caught. The trick is to find somebody that actually QTs them. My local LFS does.
  4. Platylover

    Platylover Fishlore VIP Member

    If you decide to go with an online source, try Wetspot, ordered over 20 fish and only one was DOA. Since your in Florida you should be able to go with the 2-3day shipping, but they only do that certain times of the year. They were a pleasure to work with and would answer any questions I had. They also were apologetic when they didn’t answer within a day, very quick and helpful. It’s really up to what you want to do as far as buying online or in store. I’m personally blessed with having really nice fish stores near me, so depending on what I’m getting I’ll go with an online seller or in store(if I’m buying a lot I prefer to go online, if I’m only buying a few I prefer in-store). But I can only give WetSpot good praise and suggest them if you do want to go the online route.
  5. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsy Fishlore VIP Member

    Bluegrass has the cheaper shipping. Somethingsphishy has a great selection, but I had to create an account to get a shipping price: $57! (and I just stuck a single $10 fish in my cart)
    So many places only do overnight shipping, but that’s the only time I’ve had issues.
    I think I’d just buy the 24 ct and sell the extras...
  6. OP

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    I do have a vehicle.;) Trouble is, the places I've found that sell cards online are 6+ hours away. Even then, I contacted one I found on aquabid and he would not allow me to pick them up. I'm afraid I'd find much the same with other wholesalers.

    I also am pretty stuck on the cards... it's a long story. Suffice to say that I currently have a single lonely cardinal, who I love very much. I want to get him a school.

    Thanks so much for offering to contact your buddy @OnTheFly :) You would think I could easily find this common fish... It's just not the case though. I'm surrounded by fish stores, they're great for cichlids or other larger fish. Also, many LFS's are salt only. I do feel blessed in location for my reef tank, but getting these cardinals has been giving me a headache.
  7. D

    Discusluv Well Known Member Member

    Something phisy has a terrible reputation in the discus world. Not just with quality--- but poor customer service if any problems. Dont go there.
  8. D

    Discusluv Well Known Member Member

  9. vangilder

    vangilder Valued Member Member

    The cardinals that I got from my LFS were over priced, they have me next to nothing for my trade ins, and the cardinals all had ich (not visable, but quickly became visable in my QT tank). I will NOT give them any more business.

    I'm in the Detroit area, and my local chain stores don't sell cardinals, but I can drive an extra 30 minutes and cross the border into Canada, where the Canadian Petsmart stores all sell Cardinals, if I want to pay border crossing, which I don't right now... so...

    Saw liveaquaria site for a long time but never placed an order. Didn't want to pay shipping or spend the amount to get free shipping.

    They have free shipping on orders of $99 or more. They have great prices on a lot of stuff (weekly sales). Got about $50 in plants and $50 in fish and inverts (assassin snails).

    Everything arrived ich free and good looking. They sell cardinals too. They have a 15% off promo code out there too, plus a reward sysem (I have like $7 in rewards off my next order).

    If you have a friend, coworker, etc, with a tank you could split the order too.

    Service and merchandise could not have been better.

    Hope that helps
  10. OP

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    Thank you @Discusluv !!! I have family in Ft. Myers and will actually be there in two days! Tried to instant cycle my qt a few days ago too. The filter media had been in a running tank for 2 months, but no dice. No worries though, I'll make contact with these guys as I wait out the cycle. So excited to have a new lead!

    Thank you @vangilder , that certainly does help. I've seen them on LiveAquaria too, and while I've not heard anything bad about them, it's still really nice to hear about your experience.:)
  11. C

    ChiefBrody Valued Member Member

    Why didn't you say you had a lonely cardinal tetra... why that's a horse of a different color!
  12. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    Those Cardinal prices are great, but I'd be ticked if I had to pay overnight shipping if I lived a few hours away. Still, if you bought enough it would work out. Well QTd Cards cost 3.99 each here, and tax of course.
  13. D

    Discusluv Well Known Member Member

    I doubt that one would ... if lived in Florida also.
    But, yeah, if I was expected to pay that much for shipping I simply would not pay it- period.
  14. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    I'd kill to have your options honestly. Imperial gets fish to me in Iowa in under 48HRs with no shipping charge and that's been good enough 100% of the time so far. Having somebody to hand pick sweet fish jades my opinion more than a little. Prepare to hear too much about them very soon. :)
  15. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    Some places will make you pay because they make some money on shipping. It only works for an initial tank stocking when you are dropping a couple Benjamins on very good fish.
  16. D

    Discusluv Well Known Member Member

    Which I will be shortly... :)
  17. OP

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    Can you believe it? Freshwater Tropical Fish Online
    is the place I already got in touch with. No local pick ups right now due to some Irma damage to the fish house. Also, the smallest qty of Cards he sells is 25. I'm looking for a dozen for a 20g long, and my qt is only 5g.

    I wouldn't mind buying 25 and selling the extras, but there's no way to make that work with the tanks I have.... right?
  18. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsy Fishlore VIP Member

    Could you use a bigger plastic tote for qt?
  19. OP

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    Wish I could but I am totally out of room with 3 tanks and 2 qt's.:rolleyes:
  20. R

    Racing1113 Well Known Member Member

    I purchased my panda cories from ziggys tropical fish and they arrived in great condition and are all doing well. They sell cardinals for $2.50 when buying 12 or more, or $3 for less than 12. They'll also do 2-3 day usps for only $15, and my pandas actually got here (I'm in Colorado) a day earlier than the tracking number originally said.

    Edit: never mind, I just realized they're in Oregon which you said you didn't want to do.