Find A Quality Lfs

Discussion in 'More Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by Jill-Nicole Alexander, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Jill-Nicole AlexanderNew MemberMember

    My current Local fish store is closing
    There are a couple of other LESs within a reasonable distance. Any tips for distinguishing a quality store?
  2. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    This is my criteria (1) When I walk into the fish area I scan tanks to see if any dead fish. (2) Are their tanks clean? (3). Are their nets sanitized between netting or do they have separate nets for each tank (to combat cross-contamination). (4) Are their employees knowledgeable and approachable? (5) And this is personal for my needs - Do they have frozen foods: beef-heart and blood-worms?
    Good husbandry practices are key to a good LFS.
    I prefer (for others, this isnt important) enthusiastic and knowledgeable employees.

  3. Summer22Valued MemberMember

    I know it's not a great store if I get wrong answers on things I know. It's pretty easy to tell if they know their stuff if you sort of play dumb and ask them questions on things you already know. Research something in particular really well and then ask them about it. I know it is a dirty trick to play but it works.

    Another tip is that if it's family owned for multiple generations then it could be a knowledgeable store (not absolute though) but it would have a better chance than those nationwide stores who hire part time teenagers and throw them into the aquarium section with little training. (again not all fit into this box either as I have met a couple employees that do seem to be active in the hobby themselves and smart on fish)
  4. fisshWell Known MemberMember

    What does the store smell like? do you see any dead fish in the tanks? Are the employees happy to answer your questions? Do they're answers seem right? Do the fish look happy and well fed? does the store quarantine they're fish? These are some of the things to look for.
  5. Redshark1Fishlore VIPMember

    Any reviews and ratings you can look up?

    One of mine is considered the best in the country.
  6. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    The thing that worries me about reviews and ratings (when it comed to LFS ), is who are the reviewers, and what are they rating good/bad? Are they rating knowledgeable staff who maybe tell them to go and cycle their tank, and how to do it properly, or are they rating the "yes men" - those who say "set the tank up, leave it running for 3 days. When you come back, if your parameters are OK (which they will be because the newby won't have added ammonia) you can get your fish".

    The one nearest to me "advised" me that I can have as many Malawi in my tank as I want, without knowing the first thing about my set-up, water chemistry, filtration, tank size ... you get the idea ... just checked on Google, and it has a 4 star rating. :bored: :facepalm:

    Eta: there is a franchise who has a store a few miles away, about who me I've heard good things in the past (Forumlandia word of mouth). They have a 4.2 rating, so I'm looking forward to making the journey at some point. There's also another one I intend to check out that has a 5 star rating, but I know nothing about that one.

    OP: what made you choose your current LFS?
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  7. fisshWell Known MemberMember

    You need to rate the LFS's yourself. As far as Malawi cichlids, you should put a lot in the tank, the number is determined by the size of the tank and how much filtering you have.

    Attached Files:

  8. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    Yes, but he didn't know how big the tank is, or what the filtration level is - that's my point.

    Besides, I'm not planning on keeping Malawis. He suggested it. I'm thinking along the lines of South American fish.
  9. Redshark1Fishlore VIPMember

    I was a subscriber to Practical Fishkeeping Magazine which I rated highly.

    They ran a readers poll and this shop came top. It's a few more miles away than I normally would go.

    The reasons why it was given an award were explained and it sounded like the kind of shop for me. Run by a well known hobbyist who puts a lot of effort into his work, who is a respected breeder, who organises fish shows and specialises in supplying hard to get fish.

    I visited and the owner was really friendly and knowledgeable. The shop was an Alladin's Cave of interesting and rare fish. The drive there was lovely, very quiet roads in the countryside.

    I used the ratings as a guide and visited to see for myself.

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