Is Aqua Imports good?

natalia1468

Does anyone have any experience with Aqua Imports? I've been looking to get some exotic fish and they have such a huge variety. Any info would be appreciated:)
 

CHJ

I confused them with AZ Gardens. for a moment. :eek:
I have a feeling I have been warned away from them but can't be sure?
The BBB says stay away Aqua Imports | Complaints | Better Business Bureau® Profile
Keep in mind the BBB makes it a hassle to report businesses which is why I haven't joined all the people reporting Angelmania.net.
Also I doubt any one has ever gone through that hassle to leave a positive review.
Finally a BBB accreditation can be claimed by anyone as it is a very very low bar. I have seen some of the least ethical sites still maintaining their BBB.

The rest of the internet? Reviews can be faked and their are some weird positive reviews. In general it looks like most of the people who are unhappy are those who have fish shipped. Most locals seem to love the place. Main complaints are all the sick fish, lack of quarantining, and if the ones they ship you die immediately you can go get bent. Many of the negative reviews are replicated across many review sites. I also don't know how easy it if for them to take down reviews they don't like across the internet.
So hopefully some people here have actual experience with them.

Looking at their site they have 48 pages of fresh water fish. Of those, 10.5 of the pages are fish they carry and then the gross majority are just there to lure internet searches. Highly unethical. No one likes scum sites that advertise fish they do not have/carry.
So they do not have even close to the variety of fish you think they have.
I also liked that they have a pic of a goliath tiger fish for their "new arrivals" but of course none have arrived. There is a pic of a chubby on their Facebook but they don't have those either.
I love searching for a fish. Clicking the site offering it and finding "Notify me." or "Email me when available".. because we want your email address so we can spam you and sell your address. At best it is so they can compile an order they will have sold as soon as it arrives but your LFS may be able to order stuff for you also.

So I think it would help if we knew what sort of exotics you are looking for? Rare wild caught bettas? Goodeid s that are extinct in the wild? Goonch? round tailed paradise fish? Green ottos? "Fresh water" moray? Desert pupfish?

I don't know where you live but I'm guessing you do not have much in the way of LFS there?

I know years ago my first online purchase was from a place that when I mentioned it people said "Oh god no!". That order was great and had a lot of extra fish in it.10+ years later 1 lambchop is still alive.
My next was from Angelmania.net and when I mentioned it to someone they said "Oh god no!". That was a total rip off400+$ out the window..
 

natalia1468

Hmmm, I've seen people on this forum say that they have had great experiences as well as one that said that their fish came with hole in the head. But that was a few good reviews to one not-so-good one. I found a couple of fish I really want to get (I live in California so it would have to be shipped). I'm on edge, if anyone has ever ordered from them online I would love to hear some reviews, thank you!
 

CHJ

No Cal? I'd guess So Cal has piles of cool fish shops?

What exotics are you looking for? People can let you know if their LFS who ships has them.
 

Revan

Hmmm, I've seen people on this forum say that they have had great experiences as well as one that said that their fish came with hole in the head. But that was a few good reviews to one not-so-good one. I found a couple of fish I really want to get (I live in California so it would have to be shipped). I'm on edge, if anyone has ever ordered from them online I would love to hear some reviews, thank you!
I've recently ordered online. Not the best scenario tbh. I ordered 8 celestial pearl danios from aquahuna, and I got 8 juvenile chili rasboras. I called aquahuna, and they asked me to email them a picture. If I don't get a response to the email by the end of the day (max of 48 hours reply for email) I'm going to call them again. They said that they would give me 8 CPD's for free if they were able to determine that they didn't give me CPD's from the picture, so if they respond, I'm fine with it. Just thought it was an interesting story. Usually aquahuna is a great online retailer.
 

natalia1468

That's interesting to hear, I mean if it all works out you'll end up with double the fish for the same price (work and stress too). Thanks for letting me know and good luck!
 

Linda1234

First you should email aquahuna and not call them; second they state clearly on their web page to expect delay in responses due to pandemic so give them some slack. They are reputable and they will respond and have great customer service it just might be a bit slow. The problem with aquahuna is that (a) most of their fishes are young so expect them to be small (b) they will not sex fishes which make them a pia if you are buying cichlid (c) I've found some of their stock to have deformities which is troublesome to myself.

From what I've read i would not use aqua-imports; the 'F' rating BBB give them is a pretty large red flag and I know of very reliable sellers and shops so why bother with something that might be sketchy. I'd make recommendations but i tend to pick my vendor based on the type of fish(es) i wish to order.

Btw Boulder is a great place - highly recommended for those who love the mountains and clean air. This means if you must use aqua-imports then drive out to boulder and enjoy the scenery.
 

natalia1468

Haha, thanks for the advice, sadly I can't travel all the way to boulder (I live in California). As for the fish I was looking for, I was actually thinking about a zebra pike (or any pretty pike that's not too aggressive and preferably without a stripe) and a false tiger knife fish (gymnotus Javari). Aqua imports has the knife fish and a couple of different types of pike. I was really rooting for the false knife fish though so I don't know. What do you think?
 

CHJ

I'll check and see if the LFS still has their zebra pike (or whatever those pike that looked like zebra pike are/were). Last I noticed he had 3-4 of them. I know he ships bettas and guppies left and right. I'm not sure if he ships things as big as those pike.
I don't think I have seen knives there, false or otherwise.
 

Linda1234

wetspot has several species of knife fish for sale and they ship and are reputable but shipping is a bit expensive for one fish. I know nothing about knife fishes so i can't comment on if they are the species you are seeking. They also have three species of pike fish again i avoid pikes so you will have to check if they are the species you seek. One of them is a dwarf green pike which on the surface looks like a nice fish.
 

natalia1468

Last I noticed he had 3-4 of them.
Which store are you talking about (is it the aqua imports in-store in boulder?
wetspot has several species of knife fish for sale and they ship and are reputable but shipping is a bit expensive for one fish
Sadly I checked and they don't have the exact species I'm looking for but thank you for telling me about the website:) More choices for fish if I ever want more variety to choose from in the future.:):):)
 

CHJ

My LFS (Local Fish Store). A store in MN. It specializes in exotics. I can share the name if they still have the fish and will ship something that big. IIRC the pike cichlids were ~10-12"
 

SotaAquatics

CHJ Forest Lake Pets?
 

CHJ

CHJ Forest Lake Pets?
Nope, though that is a cool store and they are doing the lords work taking in all those monster fish that people can no longer house. They still have housing issues and at time I wonder if they could move some of the fish like rays that cover the bottom and part of both sides of their tanks so they can never be flat, to a place like Ohio fish rescue. It has been a long time since I was there so I don't remember if those poor rays were in 220s or 125s. I wish that place was closer instead of ~1hr each way.
I'm talking Tamed Waters in St Paul.
 

SotaAquatics

Tamed Waters with Phil! One of my good work friends went to school with him. Good guy, got a beautiful betta from there once. Had no idea he had cichlids now.
 

CHJ

Yeah.
The thing is his "guy" in SA will send him fish when he orders them. The guy will not always ship him what he orders. There is no arguing with your guy or you don't have a guy there anymore. So you pay and see what you get. This means he may not have ordered them as he doesn't really do non-dwarf cichlids. Right now he has more cichlids than I have ever seen in his store due to this. Now when it comes to dwarf cichlids, he is an apisto addict and a ram fiend.
His guy in Africa once sent in some Malawians. One of them was a brilliant purple with yellow seams. never seen one like it. I didn't have a tank I could put it in. It was of course a terror, chasing everything in its tank and shredding all the plants. Many fatalities before the fish was gone. Beautiful fish I wish I could have housed.
 

CHJ

OK the zebra pike apparently sold a few months ago.
For pike cichlids all he has are some dwarfs
Sorry about the 2nd pic. I am bad at picture.

IMG_20211007_170149.jpg
IMG_20211007_170125.jpg
IMG_20211007_170240.jpg
I didn't think you were looking for dwarfs. I do believe those may be rare/exotic.
 

natalia1468

Alright, what a story! Thank you for all the info:) I checked out their Facebook and they do have some beautiful fish pictured. It's too bad that the zebras are gone, I can't have anything too small (like some of the dwarfs) bc I have some large fish in my tank and they could get eaten pretty quickly. Thank you so much though!
 

Linda1234

Yeah.
The thing is his "guy" in SA will send him fish when he orders them. The guy will not always ship him what he orders. There is no arguing with your guy or you don't have a guy there anymore. So you pay and see what you get. This means he may not have ordered them as he doesn't really do non-dwarf cichlids. Right now he has more cichlids than I have ever seen in his store due to this. Now when it comes to dwarf cichlids, he is an apisto addict and a ram fiend.
His guy in Africa once sent in some Malawians. One of them was a brilliant purple with yellow seams. never seen one like it. I didn't have a tank I could put it in. It was of course a terror, chasing everything in its tank and shredding all the plants. Many fatalities before the fish was gone. Beautiful fish I wish I could have housed.
I wish we had a local store that was an apisto addict. There are some really nice and interesting apisto out there but the only thing our local store ever carries are cockatoo from a local breeder. Not sure what people see in cockatoo; one of the most boring uninteresting fish i've ever owned. Highly not recommended.
 

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