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Where Do You Go For Your Aquarium Purchases? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Dejen, May 22, 2019.

  1. Dejen New Member Member


    Simple, random question. Where do y'all go for your equipment? Local pet store? Online? Specialty vendor? Does it matter?

    How about your plants or animals? Obviously pet store is simpler on the creatures (theoretically less transit) but I've heard about people ordering plants and animals online?

    What have people found to be the pros and cons?


    Apologies if this question isn't in the right place or anything...

    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2019
  2. -Mak- Fishlore VIP Member

    Almost always online, the quality, variety, and health of plants, animals, tanks, hardscape, lights, almost anything is better online. Unfortunately the chain stores and local fish stores nearby aren't very specialized in what I use, and mostly have overpriced tanks, unhealthy common plants, no aquascaping material at all. I haven't actually dared buy fish from a store. They usually have dead or sick looking ones, while my online fish orders have been great :)

  3. Platylover Fishlore VIP Member

    For fish I pretty much exclusively use online resources. That or local auctions. There’s simply much more variety and healthier stock then you will typically see at a store if you go to the right sites.

    This being said, I used to have a decent LFS, great selection and decent stock, but the owner is rather unprofessional when it comes to contrary opinions. They also started selling dyed fish which I can never support.:(

    So some stores are decent quality-wise, but, as with any place, it’s good to keep an eye on the management/owners. Just to make sure your supporting a good place! (Also why I do not buy from pet stores!).

    As for if it’s easier on the animals, I don’t believe it is to go in store. When you purchase online the it typically goes like this/
    Importer or original seller - warehouse - you

    From a physical store-
    Import or original seller - public store - you

    The main and important different between the two is where they are temporarily stored. With online sales they will typically remain in the warehouse for a short period and quickly get shipped to their permanent residence. They will be stressed, yes, but with any transport fish will be stressed. In warehouses it’s typically just a quick resting spot.

    With store fronts, they will also likely only be there for a short period, but they are going to have to deal with the public (boo). That means kids (and adults) banging on the glass and constant movement.

    They are both similar, but I truly believe there’s more stress involved with the fish when they have to deal with the public. I’ve also always seemed to have better stock from trusted online sellers vs stores.

    There’s also the fact that you may not be buying from a company, but an individual seller. In these cases the fish typically have little stress to deal with minus transit. They are in smaller setups with more attention and generally have more places to hide. Their nutrition will typically be better as well.

    For plants I buy from auctions or online sellers/hobbiests online. All ways give you access to nice, healthy plants.

  4. fjh Well Known Member Member

    I get most of my stuff off craigslist. Honestly, if you don't mind used equipment, you can get most stuff for free. I've gotten a couple 55g tanks, cannister filters, a stand, you name it.

    For fish and plants, I've been too scared to ship stuff plus if I get it from a local breeder o shop then I can see the exact fish I'm getting. I have heard good things about aquabid and liveaquaria though if you are looking for online sources.
  5. Noroomforshoe Valued Member Member

    Petstores are not better for the creatures. being handle buy random store employees, placed in dirty tanks with somtimes sick fish, in stressfull noisy places . I would rather have them shipped from the breeder to me instead of shipped to the petstore first. but I cant afford live animal shipping so I go to local Lfs mostly, and observe them carefully.

    I buy almost all supplies online. unless its super urgent.
  6. skar Well Known Member Member

    I buy stock and some equipment from lfs And ebay for media and chems more expensive equipment...
  7. Donthemon Valued Member Member

    Lfs for my tanks and most fish online for other equipment. Costs to much to ship aquariums.
  8. ystrout Well Known Member Member

    I get my fish and frozen food at LFS or from the breeder directly for specialty fish. All the other stuff is random, sometimes a LFS, sometimes big box stores, and sometimes online.
  9. Crispii Well Known Member Member

    I usually buy my equipment and food at some big chain pet stores. I usually buy live animals from my LFS. As for plants, I mostly buy mine at my LFS, but there's one plant that I got from Petsmart.
  10. Mike Graw New Member Member

    Of all the tanks I have, I have only bought one new one from Petco dollar a gallon sale. The rest of the tanks are used ones found on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. A 75 and 38 gallon were picked up on the curb that someone was tossing. Both hold water fine, just need s good cleaning. Might reseal them to be safe, no big deal. Supplies local and online, food online from Yourfishstuff.com.
  11. david1978 Fishlore Legend Member

    I got most of my tanks used threw the newspaper. Yea its been awhile since I bought tanks. Most supplies off Amazon including food. Lights from Lowe's. Fish from petco (I know) plants if I could actually grow them I would get them off members here.
  12. Dejen New Member Member

    Thanks for your replies, everyone! It makes sense that getting fish from pet stores might not, in fact, be ideal.

    I'll probably get my tank and maybe my stand from a local pet store. Everything else I'll use online for, I think.

    Thanks so much!
  13. Ohio Mark Well Known Member Member

    Almost always online. There are no pet stores nearby, and only big chains in the general area.
  14. Dave125g Fishlore Legend Member

    Tanks I use petco. Dollar per gallon sale. Everything else online. Marineandreef.com or chewy.com. ebay sometimes too.
  15. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

    As mentioned by @Dave125g for Tanks the big "P" stores ($per gal)
    But otherwise basically Amazon and Ebay for equipment and supplies. Fish and Plants from "Members" here along with another forum and Local Fish auctions. I sell to LFS's but mainly only purchase Frozen Fish food, recently picked up some Amanos and Bamboo shrimp.
  16. kallililly1973 Well Known Member Member

    I got all my tanks ($1 gallon sale other than my 55 which was a package deal and all its accessories have since been upgraded) plants and fish from Petco and Petsmart ( only fish ) and all the rest of my supplies lights, food, airpumps, filters from Amazon and a couple other sites. All my stands are diy Wood and cinderblock stands.
  17. LagerthaM Valued Member Member

    I go to PetCo for thing like silk plants and tanks and some of my necessary chemicals. Amazon is also awesome.
  18. Gavius New Member Member

    I'm lucky to have two nearby LFS that sell healthy fishes at incredible prices (much cheaper than what I can find online and even craiglist). $1 for neon tetra, harlequin rasbora,$1.50 for all types of cory catfish, $2 for fire red, yellow, blue cherry shrimp and amano shrimp...Hard to find any other places that can compete against them with that price. My friend even got one to special order some exotic fishes at a price that is so much cheaper than what he found online. On the other hand, they have very poor selection of plants and their fish food are expensive so this is where petco/petsmart come to the rescue
  19. Islandvic Well Known Member Member

    Keep an eye on Liveaquaria.com's clearance section.

    They have been slowly getting rid if excess product and brands they are no longer going to carry.

    After Petco shutdown the Drs Foster and Smith website, Live Aquaria absorbed their inventory back in February and has been unloading it on clearance.

    Liveaquaria.com, Chewy.com, Kensfish.com, Amazon.com are some places I have bought gear, supplies and food from.

    Kensfish.com is a great place to buy fish food, sponge filters, dechlorinator, meds (among other items) etc etc. Their house brand of fish food is a good price and quality stuff.

    Many times, I will find an item at the Petsmart store and look it up on their own website, and it's 10-60% cheaper. The cashier will price match their own story's website if you show them the webpage of the item on your phone .

    For tanks, either finding combo kits/ensembles on sale (Top Fin, Marineland, Aqueon for example) or finding the Petco $1/gallon tanks (or 55 & 75g for 50% off) deals are a good way to go.

    Petsmart puts their Top Fin tank combos on sale for 50% 3-4x a year. Otherwise, they are commonly 20-30% off.

    Sign up for email alerts from Petco, Petsmart, Chewy, Live Aquaria etc and they will send discount codes that otherwise you wouldn't get.