Jump to content


Photo

1/3/04 - LFS' - What Do You Look For?


  • Please log in to reply
65 replies to this topic

#26
Dingo

Dingo

    Snail Whisperer

  • Members
  • 899 posts
  • Joined 04 Sep 2003

It really grinds me when I see a store bagging up a white anemone. Especially since I bought more than one of those before I knew better. Makes me want to shout at the buyer not to do it. People never want to believe how tough Anemones are to keep, though.

#27
faust9

faust9

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 37 posts
  • Joined 23 Dec 2003
I think I've found my new barometer on LFS aside from the usual dead fish in the aquarium thing. My wife wanted an aquarium for x-mas, so I said OK. Lets get you started with a nano because I've wanted one for a while now. I wanted something different than my all Hawaiian 30G.

So, I gave her a couple of books to read (which she skipped most of the important stuff and went straight for the species guide sections) hoping she would learn a thing or two about aquariums. I'm not dogging on my wife, she's a very intelligent person; however, science isn't her thing.

Because this to be her aquarium, I decided to let her decide which fish and LR and coral would be housed in the new AGA 10G. She chose a yellow tang (because she likes the one in or 30G), a reef trigger (She's Hawaiian, and saying the word Humuhumunukunukuapua'a is fun), and an achilles tang because she saw one while at Hunama Bay one time.... Anywho, I tried to explain to her that for her tiny tank she needed to stick with tiny fish. I made a few suggestions but that didn't seem to jive wiht her so we made a trip to a few local LFS's.

I had her ask the fish Guru's about appropriate species, care, feeding, maint, and the like while I listened a few feet away. OMG did she ever get some shoddy advice. There where about five LFS that gave above average to excellent advice which to me is a demonstration of not only knowledge but the general health of the fish at the store.

So, until my wife becomes adroit at taking care of her little nano, she'll be asking the questions, and I'll be listening in the background...

#28
brahm

brahm

    I Play Counter-Strike!

  • Members
  • 1,381 posts
  • Joined 28 Sep 2003
I wish stores would give discounts ony Bleached anenemoes. AW (Aqautic Wharehouse) Has this awsome.. Reallly Large 5-6" Foot diamter BTA but it's bleeching. I'm willing to put the time in to try to bring it back, but I'm not going to spend 60 bucks on a dying Invert.

#29
Xx_de_xX

Xx_de_xX

    ANTI SAND BED

  • Members
  • 305 posts
  • Joined 16 Jan 2004
I notice more and more that the two LFS's in my area have gotten cheap. One, is setting up it's display reef tank- with 2 400w mh. It's like a 290 gallon tank, prolly 3 foot tall. That's great, and wonderful, however in the section that they are selling their corals, they are keeping, (and let die) anenomes under 36w PC. The lights are probably 10 inches above the surface of the water, and obviously not near the amount of light that is needed. They got them 3 days ago, and they are all bleaching.

Provided I had a decent LFS that wouldn't tell me... "You can't put a 175w MH over a 15 gallon tank, you'll kill everything," I'd look for them keeping certain species under proper lighting. Making sure all their live rock, and coral specimens that are attached to rock are aptasia and velonia free (atleast from what you can see.)

#30
I. T. Salty

I. T. Salty

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 37 posts
  • Joined 27 Jan 2004
On top of the things already mentioned..

Tell them you just filled up your new 55 gal tank yesterday and
want to know what fishes you should buy today..

If they explain that you should wait (cycle etc.), this is a good first sign.

I've seen some places that appear run down(concrete floors etc) and yet the tanks, people and fish are first rate..

95% of the time, avoid chain pet stores for livestock.

#31
majestic sea life

majestic sea life

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 126 posts
  • Joined 21 Apr 2004
well yeah i ask tons od things like what do they feed then how mant times a day or week what lights the best deal i got was a black tang for 30.00 in a hole and the wall store with like 20 tanks good fish to

#32
fishbabies

fishbabies

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 493 posts
  • Joined 09 Jun 2003
i avoid places with algae in the tanks...then i look for good prices and selection

#33
scitz

scitz

    Flak Monkey

  • Members
  • 37 posts
  • Joined 07 Jul 2004
*I avoid places with algae in the tanks*

Having worked in the pet store industry for several years, not to mention having had tanks for years, a lack of algae is usually a sign of the use of algicides or very meticulous algae scraping. That says nothing about the quality of livestock or advice at a store.

Example: Walmart (in general) has algae free tanks, very clean/brightly lit stores. Would I ever buy fish from one? Nope.

Quality of livestock and advice are the #1 things in my lfs decisions.

#34
kraphtymac

kraphtymac

    Diabetic Reefer

  • Members
  • 526 posts
  • Joined 20 Jan 2004
Ask how long they've been in business. With the exception of Petco, time is the true test of quality. To help with this, if you don't like an LFS, don't buy there, and encourage others to do the same. In my town, the LFS has been in business for almost 14 years. The owner is very knowledgeable, and is now afraid to look up things he doesn't know in his expansive library.

#35
DRZL-sauras

DRZL-sauras

    my mack game is top rank

  • Members
  • 537 posts
  • Joined 30 Mar 2004
I look at the guy...i mean really stare him down...and if he runs away from his lack of knowledge...then i know....and he knows...and he shuts down...

l also look at the way they treat customers. Even if they havent a clue, as long as they are willing to admit it im cool. Also if it is midday and there are more than 3 dead fish in the tanks. No no. Corals that are mixed up species-wise too..ive seen softies touching up acros in the same tank..big no no...I also like asking questions to the top guy to see what he has to say. Other than that fish stores that treat you like valued regular customers are a plus...they give discounts......and they get all my moolah.

#36
bobbyb323

bobbyb323

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 109 posts
  • Joined 19 Jan 2004
Close by to me is Salem NH. They have four LFS. Two are mega national chains. One is a large privately owned shop that I'd never buy salt water livestock from. They load up their fish only system with copper. They treatment of livestock is aweful. They are very arrogant and talk down to you. They load beginners up with tons of equipment along with confusion.
Then there's is little shop off the main drag owned by two reefers. They know I have a 16 gallon nano so they only recommend what will live in my tank(no tangs, etc.) They are very knowledgable, kind and courtious.

Here's a link to their website:

http://www.aquaaddicts.com/

#37
Nemo_4_Ever

Nemo_4_Ever

    Clownfish Lover

  • Members
  • 139 posts
  • Joined 07 Jul 2004
I wish there were a LpS in my area that only does fish, and know absolutely everything that they're talking about. One I went to had 2 tangs and 2 clowns in a little compartment about 1G in size. TALK ABOUT NOT KNOWING WHAT YOUR DOING!

#38
brandino007

brandino007

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 261 posts
  • Joined 16 Nov 2004
I guess I'm lucky for I have one pet store that doesn't rip me off the owners are the ones who are working there and I ckecked their prices and they are close to online prices like I got my CORAL LIFE 96 watt light for $139 and I went to another LFS and it was $190 and they have tripled their prices on their fish and give really bad advice like told me it was OK to put fish in MY 29GAL after two days but they survived I'm lucky and they look at me like i'm stupid when I do somthing wrong I'm a newbe and don't understand a lot so I hate that store.

#39
drg0nzo1

drg0nzo1

    Nano Reaper

  • Members
  • 425 posts
  • Joined 08 Sep 2004
It all depends. I find that the larger more expensive stores will tell you anything just to sell you the product. I have become pretty good friends with the owner of my favorite LFS, its really nice when you go in there and they remember what kind of tank you have and ask "how is that (instert fish/invert) doing?"

It is really hard to say how to tell if the LFS knows what they are talking about etc, but nobody knows EVERYTHING. So it is best when you ask question and they do something like, grab a book and show you and get the info from there. It does annoy me how a lot of guys that run those stores act like they know everything when they are really misinformed.

It all depends on the consumers knowledge. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is read, read ,read. And then when the guy at the lfs tells you the RBTA can do fine in a nano cube...you can just chuckle to yourself.

#40
Esper

Esper

    thread-killer

  • Members
  • 146 posts
  • Joined 30 Mar 2005
DNA (some will know where i'm talking about) is HUGE but can be shady on the advice. one guy told me a white anemone was "very hardy!" :*( , although it WAS cheap i guess--$9.99.

my new favorite LFS has happy fish, happy corals, MH lighting where they need it, and a couple teenage kids that work there because they are reef geeks, not because they're trying to sell me something.

#41
bradarmi

bradarmi

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 266 posts
  • Joined 18 Feb 2005
  • SW Chicago Suburbs
I was once in a LFS and told the salesman, who was very courteous that I would like 3 female and 1 male platy (or swordtail or something), and he laughed and said,
"No one can tell them apart." I was puzzled.
Drugs are cool...Dept. of Pharmacology slogan

#42
imafishboy

imafishboy

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 1,010 posts
  • Joined 05 Dec 2004
  • monterey park
when i go to lfs, i judge its "worthiness by the people that work there;) this one guy i know in monrovia is really cool, so is the owner. the guy gives us as best a deal as he can offer w/o getting in trouble with the owner. haha. and some lfs have good stuff, but you can tell if they're ripping you off by the way they talk to you. the ones that want to rip you off, don't want to talk to you much. and vice versa.

#43
Davidd

Davidd

    the ultimate zing!

  • Members
  • 219 posts
  • Joined 30 Jun 2004
I'd say I have a pretty decent lfs. the staff always seems to know what's up. I overheard this guy trying to buy a big goniopora (100+ bucks..), and my buddy Chris actually didn't let him get it! Probably not the smartest decision from a business standpoint, but the guys there are pretty good w/thier reef keeping ethics. The manager would've gone ape on him if he found out, but Chris is hardcore like that. We're peas in a pod...

#44
BKtomodachi

BKtomodachi

    "I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

  • Members
  • 18,528 posts
  • Joined 05 Mar 2004
  • Michigan
I like to judge on display tanks. If they know what they are doing, it will show there.

In fish displays, so many fish move in and out, and rocks moved around, its hard to make them look nice. Where I work, we're just getting the plumbing finished on an ~2000 gallon tank from tenecor. Suh-weet.

#### got real, yo.

q8ww2IO.png

 


#45
Zack

Zack

    Clueless

  • Members
  • 220 posts
  • Joined 20 Oct 2003
Zack's LFS = EXPENSIVE. They charge TWO TIMES as much for equipment as any online store does, and they have a dead fish in their tank every time I visit... The only other choice is Petco, which, is also.......expensive....

#46
Pili4444

Pili4444

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 956 posts
  • Joined 21 Sep 2004
try a mag 7 for $150 at one of my LFS. I paid about $50 for mine on marine depot.

#47
Zephyr-Uk

Zephyr-Uk

    RockerFool

  • Members
  • 55 posts
  • Joined 27 Jul 2005
My local Lfs is Very reputable (also one of the only in Ireland that sell Marines.) and give great advice, However they know nothing about Nanos :). It costs 5 Gbp per lb of Live Rock, about $9 . Though ALL their livestock is in great condition.So they are exactly what I look for in an lfs except for the price :)

#48
junglist

junglist

    head reefer

  • Members
  • 89 posts
  • Joined 30 Jul 2005
ive worked in a few different fish stores over the past 5 yrs. i find its much better to be totally honest with the customer. i think a few ppl may be suprised to hear that thats not always that easy. a lot of people take me asking them the specs on their tank the wrong way. they then ramble on about what experts they are and how ive just insulted them. it is sometimes just easier to sell them what they want.
prices come with the area also. i now live in fl where lr goes for 5-6$ per lb. in ct, ny, or nh its anywhere from 9-14$. livestock prices fluxuate in this way as well. as any of you who do internet orders know...shipping costs are enough to make you broke. indifferent areas the distributor pays more, so the lfs pays more, so we pay more.
an algae free tank. thats laughable. ive scraped miles worth of algae and it never ends. theres sometimes more inportant things to do than scrape the unsightly algae in the tank. i agree that the overall apearance should look clean...but there will always be algae.
when i go to a lfs..as long as the people there have a basic knowledge of what theyre doing(and are willing to admit they dont if they dont), and their livestock looks good and isnt overpriced i will buy from them.

#49
ereefer

ereefer

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 131 posts
  • Joined 23 Aug 2005
I really believe you get what you pay for:
Example:
The better LFS in my area has beautiful, and I mean IMMACULATE tanks, Great lighting, these tanks are awesome. They have 25 gallon tanks for smaller fish and two 100 gallon larger fish tanks and 6 coral tanks that are 70 Gal a piece. And they are expensive, but I go there because I go into the back equipment room and pick out a fish from one of their 12 acclimation tanks and i can pick it up in 15 days, I mean they REFUSE to sell you a fish that wasn't acclimated for 14 days. I have never dealt with this kind of dealer. They pay high school kids to clean there tanks about 15 hours a week. I could go on for hours about them

#50
Killagoby

Killagoby

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 63 posts
  • Joined 16 Jul 2005
Experence in the staff!

Oh yea,

if the tanks don't look as good as mine - bad!
dead/sick fish - bad!

Nuff said!