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Good LFS in St. Louis?


reefofart

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Hi! Can anyone in the St. Louis area recommend a good saltwater fish store???

 

After several message board searches, the best I've heard of was a place called Salt Water City, but when I went to Clayton to track it down it was nowhere to be found!? Has it gone out of business? (The messages I read recommending it were dated 2003)

 

I've been to a place called Beldt's that didn't impress me much. And the only other place I've found is an outfit called STL Marine Solutions in St. Charles. Is there a better option in the area that I just can't find? Or will I have to resort to online/mail-order to find the equipment and selection I'd like?

 

Thanks in advance for any recommendations! :)

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hello,

 

I would also really like to know if there are any recommended places as well. I'll be moving to STL this winter and I'm looking forward to getting a new project going, so it would be great to know where to start, and get in touch with other reefers in the area.

 

reefofart -- how was the place in st. charles? i just got a place in kirkwood, so i'm hoping there's something good nearby.

 

thanks,

~b

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There is still one in Clayton. I think it's called Clayton Pet Emporium. They have a very good coral and fish selection. But many of their prices are a little high. I was just at this store this weekend.

 

Also, there is one on 367 heading toward Alton just a few miles from 270. They have very good prices there and usually a decent selection.

 

Beldt's is OK at times. But be cautious of their fish. They often don't look too healthy. Sometimes they have some good corals at a decent price though.

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Originally posted by TheCheat

hello,

 

reefofart -- how was the place in st. charles?  i just got a place in kirkwood, so i'm hoping there's something good nearby.

 

thanks,

~b

 

They are the best I've seen so far, but I'm still looking around and exploring options. Things that bugged me were that a lot of fish weren't priced, and I couldn't find anyone working there to answer questions. But they were somewhat busy at the time.

 

I haven't bought anything from them so I can't give any imput about the health/ survivability of their stock. They generally looked good except for a puffer with a bad case of ich.

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My father bought some polyps, mushrooms and an emerald crab from there. They are all doing pretty well after 2-3 weeks. The lack of prices on most items is pretty annoying. The store on 367 is much cheaper in general though. Although the St. Charles store did have a few good sales and a much better selection.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Clayton Pet Emporium was awesome. They had an incredibly clean saltwater system going, and the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable.

Best of all were the TONS of SPS frags that they had for good prices.

Prices on everything else was way too high. $30 for a mandarin, puhhhlease!

~b

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  • 2 years later...
farewelltofriday_mailbox

off telegraph in south county is a nice little store called gateway aquatics that i go to. although not worth much of a drive but he does have a nice little setup going with lots of different kind of tanks and VERY easy to tell what things cost. he writes right on the glass in front of the corals. he also has $10, $20, $30, and $40 tanks he also gets deals where if you buy two $20 or $30 corals you get one free. so there you go. not a lot of equipment but great corals. he runs zomania.com out of the back of his store. if you ask to see the selection he will take you back there and show you what he has. he has tons in the back also decently priced and easy prices to find. he has a whole price system setup i like it. its small, comfortable a little dark because he only uses the tank lights to light the store but other than that the actual marine life selection is good. plus he knows what he is talking about and there is absolutely NO pressure to buy anything. he is actually on reefcentral i just dont know his username.

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off telegraph in south county is a nice little store called gateway aquatics that i go to. although not worth much of a drive but he does have a nice little setup going with lots of different kind of tanks and VERY easy to tell what things cost. he writes right on the glass in front of the corals. he also has $10, $20, $30, and $40 tanks he also gets deals where if you buy two $20 or $30 corals you get one free. so there you go. not a lot of equipment but great corals. he runs zomania.com out of the back of his store. if you ask to see the selection he will take you back there and show you what he has. he has tons in the back also decently priced and easy prices to find. he has a whole price system setup i like it. its small, comfortable a little dark because he only uses the tank lights to light the store but other than that the actual marine life selection is good. plus he knows what he is talking about and there is absolutely NO pressure to buy anything. he is actually on reefcentral i just dont know his username.

 

your from stl??

 

good to see another Missourian around here

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yep Im here too

 

slashclub.org is our club if anyone is interested

 

I love this place called Planet Reef. It is off of Dorsett and Fee Fee Road. They have a really good supply of stuff, and are really helpful. The prices are much less than any other place that I have seen also. They quarantine all of their fish (I forget for how long, but I think it is 3-4 weeks) before they sell them. They will special order anything you want.

The next place I go to is Beldts on Howdershell. They are more expensive but sometimes have a better selection and in general I have not had any problem with their supply. I have been to Marine Solutions on 94, but the last time I went there their coral tank had a nasty outbreak of bubble algea and cotton candy algea and their other displays did not look all that great.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I have this down to a science, here's the breakdown to get the best prices, selection, and quality (explanations follow):

 

SPS Corals: Clayton Pet Emporium

Soft Corals: Marine Solutions or Tropical World

Dry Goods: Marine Solutions

Rare Exotic Fish: Marine Solutions

Cheap Common Fish: PetCo or Tropical World

 

There might be people who disagree with me on some things, but I've combed through St. Louis, and these are the places I go depending on what I need to buy.

 

I live in Clayton, so Clayton Pet Emporium is the place I usually go to. They have frags for decent prices (their softcorals are overpriced however, $35 for GSP), but most of their other stuff is very highly overpriced. The owner and employees are fairly nice, and they do have a discount policy. (Although you give up your fish guarantee if you take it) The best thing about this place is that they have very clean and tanks. You can buy fish and live rock and expect it to be disease/pest free.

 

If you're in the market for dry goods, Marine Solutions in St. Charles has the best prices for that. You can also try to negotiate with the owner for a discount. Their prices on fish are moderate, however I have found them trying to pull a fast one on the novice. I have had multiple experiences when fish/inverts were misidentified and sold at a much higher price then they are worth. (ie: cheap strawberry dottyback sold as an expensive fridmani, cheap common anemones sold for $60) This is not to say their prices on most things are not reasonable. Just beware of exactly what you're buying before you do. I would bring an ID book, and maybe know exactly how much you should be paying for what you buy before you do it.

 

There are two stores down south on Watson road. The one near laclede station is almost all freshwater, very little saltwater stock, not worth going to IMO. The one farther west has a small section. Their fish aren't too spectacular, but they do have a decent frag section. Prices are reasonable here.

 

Planet Reef was very unimpressive the time I went there. They have a large store, when I was there the selection of fish livestock was very limited to only a few easy to sell items (damsels, flame angels), and a few were diseased. They do have some exotic sharks/rays and frag tank. However, most of the prices I saw on their livestock was very overpriced. They are the only place that carries t5 lighting that I know of, so that's where I'm going to replace my bulbs.

 

Of course, there is the often dreaded "Death Co." Not all of the Pet Co's have saltwater fish. However, I do go to west county once in a while, and the one at Clarkson & Baxter road does sell saltwater fish. They don't have a great selection, but they tend to rotate stock that they carry. Prices on fish here are VERY cheap. The tanks are kept clean enough for large retailer standards, and I have not witnessed any diseased fish of any kind, nor had problems with any of the fish carried there. I'm not sure if any of the other Pet Co's or Petsmarts have saltwater fish.

 

There is a place across the river in IL, however I have yet to go see that one yet.

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civicstikated

I'm from California and my girlfriend is from STL. She lives on the same street as Planet Reef, so when I'm visiting her I always stop by there a few times. I like what I see. Very friendly people and nice setups. Better than some shops over here in San Diego.

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Ive been to every LFS in St Louis area and even to Nemo fishs in Ill. I have to say Clayton pet emp is a very nice store, owner is very knowledgable and has some awesome displays.

 

Planet reef, the owner is Steve and has a wonderful additude, he treats you like a friend instead of a customer. Will try to undersell you if he thinks your buying something not really needed. I do find his stock abit limited, but he carries good amount of SPS, LPS. Best Live rock hands down.

 

Gateway Aquatics. Chad is the owner and has a down home additude. Answers any question you have honestly and doesnt pressure you in the least. I think he has some of the better looking frags of all the stores but is abit high on his colonies. I love his $10 frag section, buy 3 get 2 free. Also has $20, and $30 frag sections. Oh and dirt cheap clean up crews.

 

Andys Animal house, Want cheap colonies go here. Not much else. Hes a full on pet store, dogs, cats, reptiles and the like. He has a nice size coral tank with colonies in it not frags. And they seem cheap.

 

Tropical world on Watson. I buy all my tanks here, havent found anyplace to beat new tank prices, not even petsmart or petco.

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A big flurry of activity on this thread all of the sudden! Here are my updates / additions.

 

Clayton Pet Emporium is pricey but has the most gorgeous displays. Family run by the same family for many years.

 

Marine Solutions in St. Charles is the go-to place for most corals.

 

The PetCo on Lindbergh just north of I-44 has a pretty good saltwater fish section. Pretty well cared for by chain standards, and a couple of knowledgable employees. I've had them tell me when shipments were coming in for certain fish they knew I was looking for.

 

I went by the LFS on Watson West of Laclede Station a couple of days ago, and their saltwater room was totally dismantled. I don't know if that is a temporary or a permanent situation.

 

The LFS at Watson and Laclede Station is, as mentioned earlier, mostly freshwater. They have wildly inconsistent prices on fish, sometimes GREAT buys (dwarf lionfish for $15, hawkfish for $10) and other times ridiculously high ($30 for a cleaner shrimp). Hardly any corals or cleanup crew for sale.

 

Gateway Aquatics on Telegraph is where I go for cleanup crew and frags. Small operation, Chad is usually there.

 

I'm surprised more haven't mentioned Beldt's in North county off I-270 on Howdershell Rd. Probably the largest LFS in town, their marine section was wiped out in the power failures a year ago, but has recently been greatly expanding. Usually a good fish selection, only store I have consistently seen seahorses for sale. Only store I've seen macroalgae for sale.

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  • 1 month later...
A big flurry of activity on this thread all of the sudden! Here are my updates / additions.

 

Clayton Pet Emporium is pricey but has the most gorgeous displays. Family run by the same family for many years.

 

Marine Solutions in St. Charles is the go-to place for most corals.

 

The PetCo on Lindbergh just north of I-44 has a pretty good saltwater fish section. Pretty well cared for by chain standards, and a couple of knowledgable employees. I've had them tell me when shipments were coming in for certain fish they knew I was looking for.

 

I went by the LFS on Watson West of Laclede Station a couple of days ago, and their saltwater room was totally dismantled. I don't know if that is a temporary or a permanent situation.

 

The LFS at Watson and Laclede Station is, as mentioned earlier, mostly freshwater. They have wildly inconsistent prices on fish, sometimes GREAT buys (dwarf lionfish for $15, hawkfish for $10) and other times ridiculously high ($30 for a cleaner shrimp). Hardly any corals or cleanup crew for sale.

 

Gateway Aquatics on Telegraph is where I go for cleanup crew and frags. Small operation, Chad is usually there.

 

I'm surprised more haven't mentioned Beldt's in North county off I-270 on Howdershell Rd. Probably the largest LFS in town, their marine section was wiped out in the power failures a year ago, but has recently been greatly expanding. Usually a good fish selection, only store I have consistently seen seahorses for sale. Only store I've seen macroalgae for sale.

 

 

Hey everyone,

I'm a St.Louis native. There is one store I have not seen mentioned.....

Aqua World

http://www.aqua-world.com

3910 Gravois Avenue Saint Louis, MO

 

They have a very small selection of salt water fish but a huge selection of African cichlids. But for those of you looking for a different store to try this might be it. I've been to just about every other store mentioned on this site & thought I'd throw out a new suggestion!

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  • 2 months later...

I am new to saltwater but I have really have good luck at gateway aquatics the LFS up the road on watson is called Tropical World, I baught my BC29 from them and all my chemicals from them but there corol tanks have a really bad algea breakout going on right now and out of the 3 fish I have baught from them only one has servived, not to happy about there service the guy that sold me all my stuff talked like he knew something about salt water come to find out all he does if fresh water but Chad at Gateway is the best I have found so far.

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  • 8 months later...

I have been in STL for about 2 years; honestly after looking around I do most of my purchases online.

Beldt's- is OK at Best for corals when they are having sales, otherwise I think they are a little over priced. Their live fish I would not buy. More often than not the fish look diseased. They do have a nice selection of high end fish foods and pods though at a reasonable price. Their Live Rock is atrocious. Staff is nice and helpful.

LFS on Watson Road (I forgot their names)- The first store near Lacledes Road has minimal Saltwater as previously mentioned. I agree with other opinions stay clear. The other LFS on Watson, contrary to prior note, I would also stay clear. I had previously bought livestock from them and my tank had HUGE outbreaks of Worms, and then disease. Also, the individuals that work either dont know what the hell they are talking about or are super shady. Stay clear.

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  • 1 year later...

hey all stl reefers theres a new store in the high ridge area that has a small selection of high quality corals and really good prices on supplys. the name is head to tail pets.

also trying to meet reefers in the area as i am new to the hobby so pm me.

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