Cuboid Nature Aquarium - Bucks Co, PA

alauruin

If you live in southeastern PA, you know that some of the best LFS have closed up (Reef to Rift) or just fallen in quality (many of the other ones) in recent years. I just recently had the pleasure of visiting Cuboid Nature Aquarium (in Peddler's Village - Lahaska, PA) for the first time, and I was not disappointed.

First Impression: this is a TINY store. They utilize their space very well, fitting a surprising number of tanks to hold an impressive selection of fish. About half of the store is occupied by dry goods. They have several display tanks setup with gorgeous plants (that are apparently available for sale to the interested buyer, as well!).

Dry Goods Selection: Cuboid specializes in planted freshwater tanks, so if you need scaping material, you'll be pleased. Multiple types of driftwood and a variety of rocks are available. They have a large sandbox set up for you to experiment with hardscaping and see how it looks -- so fun! They do carry a small supply of tanks (mostly small and rimless), lighting, filtration, and food, but selection is limited.

Plants Selection: ??? I'm not sure if it's mediocre or if I was just there at a bad time. Like I said, they have gorgeous display tanks that can apparently be bought from; they do know plants. The actual dedicated plant section was poorly lit and a little haphazard looking: potted plants floating about with ambiguous labeling. Their selection is largely the basic stuff -- crypts, anubias, a few ferns and stems. Had some nice mother anubias. They also have a decent selection of tissue culture plants that I took advantage of.

Fish Selection: surprisingly good, but limited to smaller species. They have a decent number of tanks crammed into that tiny little space, holding a variety of tetras/danios/schooling fish, loaches, corydoras, dwarf cichlids, small gourami, etc. Had a lot of the common stuff (neons, cardinals, livebearers) but some more unique things as well -- freshwater gobies, cruciatus loaches, and kerry blue tetras stand out in my memory. Several varieties and colour variations of snails and dwarf shrimp were available. They also have a whole wall of bettas in a variety of finnage and colour varieties. I didn't see any overt signs of illness or distress in any of the fish; they all appeared well fed and lively (although there were a number of floaters, as I'll mention below).

Personnel: the owner is incredibly knowledgable and accessible. He only had one staff member on when I was there, and she was less knowledgable but very friendly and willing to answer questions to the best of her ability.

Potential cons:
- Prices are high: this is a boutique-style shop in an expensive area.
- Plant supply is simple/limited outside of tissue culture, or at least it was when I was there.
- Not the place for you if you want large fish.
- No saltwater.
- There were a decent number of dead fish in some of the tanks, which was disappointing considering that it's a small place, I wasn't there at a busy time, and I should think they would have time to clean up regularly.

Bottom Line: if you're in the area and you're a fishkeeper, definitely stop in. Even if you aren't buying, it's a neat little shop for browsing and having a nice chat with the owner. If you're within reasonable distance and don't have a preferred/good LFS, this place is also worth a trip. I drove down from Lehigh County and was not disappointed.
 

peachsonas

Oh, nice! My state borders PA so I’ll have to visit next time I’m near Peddlers Village :) I’m about to move to Lancaster, so I’m excited to explore PA fish stores!
 

alauruin

Update: I went back to Cuboid this weekend. I was surprised to learn that Cuboid strongly encourages a "help yourself" model, meaning this was the first time I've ever been set loose in a fish store with a net and a fish box. (This is dangerous: quite predictably, I ended up coming home with more fish than planned.)

I got some GORGEOUS scarlet badis and a school of exclamation point rasboras, all of which coloured up and became lively within a couple hours of getting home. I was wishing I had more tanks, as they had some spectacular spotted blue-eyed rainbowfish I was hesitant to leave behind. Other more unusual community fish I hated to turn down were blue neon rasboras, emerald eye rasboras, and red arc pencilfish.

Finally, the plant selection was much better this time around, and I finally got my hands on Pink Flamingo Cryptocoryne.

Cuboid still holds an A+ rating from me.
 

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