Fear My Lfs Is In The Spiral Of Doom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by OldFort Exotics, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. OldFort ExoticsValued MemberMember

    First off I like my LFS and I spend a good amount of money there to help them stay in business so I'm not trying to bash them at all just sharing what I have noticed. Over the last few years I have been keeping a journal of all the fish I have bought and that have died in my fish room. It is just a simple note book and I write what fish I bought, what store, how many and the date. Then if they die I make a note of the date. I will add this isn't a scientific study or anything just notes I keep to help me remember stuff. I do quarantine all fish coming into my fish room for 30 days, I also dip my nets, and hoses in bleach water and allow them to air dry after using them in Quarantine tanks. I do this the same with all the fish so I don't think this has effected my results.

    When I look at my notes from the last few years I was surprised to notice that fish from my LFS (1 mile from my house) often die with in 2 weeks, where fish from the big stores or other Locally owned stores often do just fine.

    For the last few week I have been thinking about this trying to work out why fish from this LFS don't do well. I don't think poor conditions at the LFS are the problem because all their tanks look good(for a fish store tank) and I often see them doing water changes. So I think maybe they get fish from the cheapest supplier and get low end fish. I don't know the owner very well and don't want to bad mouthing his supplier but I work too hard to my money and care too much about my fish to keep throwing both in the trash. Some fish I have bought where breed locally and those always do good so that supports the cheap supplier idea.

    Talking to my wife about this issue she made a good point. As an experienced fish keeper if I have issues with fish from the store how much harder would it be on a new fish keeper buying fish there. Not trying to come across as the perfect fish keeper but I do have to agree it would be very hard if starting out. This is one of the reasons I have stepped up the breeding in my fish room, I would like to be able to supply some of the common fish to the store in hopes that it will make it a little easier on new keepers. But maybe I'm over thinking it and it won't do any good.

    So my fear is the LFS isn't making as much money as they started buying from the cheaper supplier so they save money but in doing that they are losing repeat business and that means they make less money. This means at some point they will close the doors unless they can turn it around. And while not the best LFS it is still a LFS so hate to see it go as it is the last one it town.
  2. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    We lost a fantastic LFS here - RIGHT after I got back into the hobby. I took a 75gal tank and many fish off his hands before he closed shop but it sucked. The shop was owned by a guy who was ALWAYS there, only other guy I saw there was his son, usually if he was out of town or ill. He had freshwater only, no plants, but his stock was fantastic, and he knew EVERY fish he sold and what worked together, etc. He was great to talk to.

    We have one other LFS in the area and they are...OK. About half the folks working their know what they are talking about, I sell fish to them too. They seem to take pretty good care of their tanks, I dont think I have seen a dead fish more than once (unlike the big box stores, I always find a few...) he seems to stock a lot of oddball stuff though, like the other day I noticed about 10 of these huge catfish, not sure what they were, they were white and grey and had HUGE eyes so I dont think they were done growing.

    He has fresh and marine, a good selection of tropical and a pretty good selection of African and CA cichlids (nothing like the other guy did though, he had probably 50 tanks dedicated to cichlids only - uhg I miss that place).

    I dont like how I see them treating the fish however, I have seen him get a fish he wanted to grab out stuck in a decoration and he just shook the heck out of it above the water, for upwards of 30 seconds until the fish came out. I also sold an adult to him once and was in there a few days later and my fish was still in the same tank he started in, but was beat up pretty badly, not sure why he was not moved...He was gone about a week later, I hope he was sold and not dead...

    Good on you for noticing these types of things, its hard to drop hints and not come off as a jerk, but maybe the opportunity will come.
  3. OldFort ExoticsValued MemberMember

    Hate to hear that about a good LFS closing but it is happening more often.

    Having good staff is very important and really helps a store grown. The is a LFS about a hour drive from here that is a lot like you said the second one is, good staff for the most part but still not perfect.

    The owner of this store is always there too, his wife works with him some times but she is a pain to deal with so I only work with him. She comes across like customers are a bother and not worth the time to talk to, she doesn't have customer skills. I really hope I could build the relation ship with the owner and get a chance to talk to him about what I have seen. Part of me would love to buy the store and turn it around but I know I don't have those skills so it is just a dream.
  4. ChaoryValued MemberMember

    Yeah a lot of family own etc shops seems to have fish that sits there for a while. I usually only by fish from the bigger chain stores, since they seem to carry healthier and newer stocks. Imo it is hard for a mom and pop shop to compete with a big chain store.
  5. OldFort ExoticsValued MemberMember

    I can see how some smaller stores don't move the fish as much. This store does get new fish every week so I have to assume they are selling lots of fish but not sure how much they are making. Their prices are a mix with some higher and some lower then bigger stores, but their fish normally are not as colorful as the big store.

    I buy fish from the chain stores also but mainly when they put stuff on sale. Some of the products are cheaper at the small store, I buy 20g sponge filters at this LFS for $4 or 60g for $8 the big chain stores don't even carry them.

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