I may have found a LFS... finally! At least I hope so!

sillylittlefishey

So the fish store options near me are pretty terrible. I have one store I would trust, but their primary focus is lizards (which I also have). They did just expand their fish department, but it's still rather lacking in options. They do get a TON of bettas though. There is a dedicated fish store nearby, but the tanks are pretty dirty and they hardly have anything the few times I've gone in.... like the tanks look picked over. They also sold me a nerite that was half dead and didn't survive the week. My only other options have been the big box stores Petsmart/Petco. So I had resigned myself to getting most of my stock for my 55 gallon online.

However, yesterday between YELP and facebook I found a store that I think might work for me ... it is about an hour away but if I like it in person as much as I like what I saw on facebook and their website I very well may have found my store. Their tanks look pristine (in their pictures anyway), they have beautiful fish, some that I've never seen in store or online before (Venezuelan Red Sail fin cory for example).... and they have my peacock gudgeons (from a local breeder) that I had given up on getting. They also consult with and supplied livestock for the local Science center's reef tanks.

I can't remember the last time I was this excited to travel an hour to go to a store. We are hoping to check them out this weekend and possibly get my first set of fish for my QT tank. I'm expecting them to be a bit pricey, however I would have spent a fortune buying online.... probably with just the shipping alone, especially since I couldn't get all the fish in one shipment because of the need to quarantine.

I had a basic plan figured out for my stocking, but if I end up liking this store, and I find that fb was a good representation of the store, my whole stocking plan could change.

We were planning to get some pearl gouramis this weekend .... I suspect if they don't have them, I'll find something else just as interesting.

*Fingers crossed* Please be the store I'm hoping you are!

I figured nobody could understand my excitement except other fish people :)
 

BigManAquatics

Good luck! I feel blessed to have 2 pretty decent ones near me...and whether by design or accidental, they complement each other quite nicely.
 
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sillylittlefishey

I keep hoping we'll get an amazing fish store one day ... but if this works out it will be worth the trip(s) just to have healthy beautiful fish. Most of the fish stores I've been to in my life feels like a rescue mission *sigh*
 
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jmaldo

I am lucky to have a few within a 1/2 hour. Another option, I found a local aquarium club. They have auctions and swap meetings a few times a year. "Great" home grown fish and prices.

Good Luck!
 
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Demonskid

I recently learned that I'm not far from a place that sells fish and shrimp. They are basically an online retailer but you can have the option to purchase online and then pick up at their warehouse. I'll be doing that hopefully next month as they have a few fish I have my eyes on.

Before that, all I knew were Pet Supplies Plus and PetSmart.

It's always a nice feeling, finding out there's a store near you. I hope the LFS you found is a good one.
 
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BigManAquatics

I recently learned that I'm not far from a place that sells fish and shrimp. They are basically an online retailer but you can have the option to purchase online and then pick up at their warehouse. I'll be doing that hopefully next month as they have a few fish I have my eyes on.

Before that, all I knew were Pet Supplies Plus and PetSmart.

It's always a nice feeling, finding out there's a store near you. I hope the LFS you found is a good one.
Yeah, i recently found a shrimp place online a couple miles down the road. Father/son team breed the shrimp and sell them online out of their house.

I am lucky to have a few within a 1/2 hour. Another option, I found a local aquarium club. They have auctions and swap meetings a few times a year. "Great" home grown fish and prices.

Good Luck!
I have known for awhile about a "local" aquarium club, have kicked around joining, as they have a couple swap meeta every year, auctions, etc. Problem is, right now everything they do, including meetings, are about an hour drive from me 1 way...my schedule is usually pretty full!!
 
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sillylittlefishey

We went to the store last night. It was decent, although not exactly what I was expecting. I got the pearls (gourami) I was planning on, although it was a close thing as they had some really nice cichlids (which I love). The one tank I could get the whole tank of fish to follow my hand which the kids really loved. Does anybody know of any peaceful freshwater fish that do that? I know I've seen a video of some, but I can't remember what fish it was.

Anyway the store worker told me all kinds of stuff that goes against what I've read which was the biggest knock I have against the store. That and the axolotl tank was filthy!! Its not enough to keep me from going, but I just can't trust this guy at least. He said that both genders of pearls look the same.... so you can't really tell them apart. I do think the ones they had were too young to tell, but he made it sound like you could never tell the difference. He told me all plecos can live with cichlids... he qouted the 1 inch of adult fish per gallon rule to me ... and said nothing about purposely overstocking cichlids. We really were close to changing things and going in the cichlid direction, but my kids have their hearts set on a clown pleco and pygmy cories, which I know don't go with most cichlids. The kicker is when he said that you just need to run your tank for 2 weeks to be fish ready. Our big tank is not ready, but I had my qt ready is how this came up. Because if we had decided to go cichlids we wouldn't have bought any fish yet as I know with them you want to mostly stock all at once. My water is super soft though and that is always my concern, especially with the mbuna that we were looking at.

They did have some nice Bolivian rams though, so we may go back for them later. They were already in my stocking plan

Their fish did look healthy so I feel fine buying there ... but I probably will still explore other options too. Its still better than the dedicated fish store near me.
The schooling fish I'd seen in the video was silver tipped tetras, but I'm not sure if they'd go well with my pearls and bolivian rams....
 
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Atomicfish

You guys and gals are so lucky to have a actual LFS. Here where I live all we have is Petsmart and Meijers which is a grocery store.
 
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LHAquatics

I felt the exact same way when I found out a pretty good petstore was 5 miles away from me. I was so excited to go there and I wasn't disappointed :)
 
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dojafish

I was gonna say the Silver Tipped Tetras. It's no match made in heaven but it could possibly work with your stocking plans... but I guess that could be said about anything if you're brave enough LOL. Probably best to avoid it just to be safe.

I think I can consider myself lucky. Then again, it's pretty ballsy to open up an aquarium shop or pet shop here, businesses come and go and even long-standing ones have been closing down in the past few years (even before the pandemic hit). So I guess only the good ones stayed in business. We also have a pretty decent community so there's a big club and social media groups that allowed us to network with each other.
 
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