Any Reefers near the SW Suburbs?

AquaLogic

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Saint John, Indiana here. I bought most of my stuff from Mario at Aquatica but since he sold it I haven't been back. I have been buying online lately.
Where do you like to buy from online? I haven't tried that yet but will consider it.
 

esquare

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Where do you like to buy from online? I haven't tried that yet but will consider it.
For equipment, BRS and SaltwaterAquarium.Com. livestock, Biota, ORA stuff through SaltwaterAquarium.Com and LiveAquaria.

I have been trying to buy captive bred when possible to minimize risk of disease and improved adaption to tank life.
 

AquaLogic

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For equipment, BRS and SaltwaterAquarium.Com. livestock, Biota, ORA stuff through SaltwaterAquarium.Com and LiveAquaria.

I have been trying to buy captive bred when possible to minimize risk of disease and improved adaption to tank life.
Thanks. I've used BRS a lot in the past, but I've never bought livestock online. I'll give Biota a look.
 

AtlantiCat

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For the record, I've been to Aquatica, Rob's, and Chicago Fish & Coral and I would recommend Aquatica above the other two.

Aquatica is still going through renovations and I suspect pricing is going to be one of the changes, since prices were too high under Mario and they haven't improved. Their staff are knowledgeable and I expect the place will improve significantly in the near future, just give them a little time.

Chicago Fish and Coral has a poor selection and the owner is a jerk who mistreats his employees, or at least the ones I've seen the few times I've been in there.

As for Rob's...I went once...the shop was only vaguely clean, the stock was fine, but their selection of equipment and tanks was lacking quite a bit. If you wanted *A* filter or *A* heater, you could find one, just not more than one brand, for example. The real reason I went only once is I walked into the place and was completely ignored by the 2 employees in favor of a heavily-biased political news broadcast blaring on the TV at full volume...not the kind of place I'd go back to. Just saying.

I'm also aware of The Little Reef Shop in Downers Grove, which is a reasonable drive, but I haven't been there yet. Plan to go there and Blue Line Coral in Naperville when I get a free weekend.
 

AquaLogic

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For the record, I've been to Aquatica, Rob's, and Chicago Fish & Coral and I would recommend Aquatica above the other two.

Aquatica is still going through renovations and I suspect pricing is going to be one of the changes, since prices were too high under Mario and they haven't improved. Their staff are knowledgeable and I expect the place will improve significantly in the near future, just give them a little time.

Chicago Fish and Coral has a poor selection and the owner is a jerk who mistreats his employees, or at least the ones I've seen the few times I've been in there.

As for Rob's...I went once...the shop was only vaguely clean, the stock was fine, but their selection of equipment and tanks was lacking quite a bit. If you wanted *A* filter or *A* heater, you could find one, just not more than one brand, for example. The real reason I went only once is I walked into the place and was completely ignored by the 2 employees in favor of a heavily-biased political news broadcast blaring on the TV at full volume...not the kind of place I'd go back to. Just saying.

I'm also aware of The Little Reef Shop in Downers Grove, which is a reasonable drive, but I haven't been there yet. Plan to go there and Blue Line Coral in Naperville when I get a free weekend.
When I was in Rob's it was tidier than Aquatica (probably because as you said, they are renovating Aquatica). Looks like there is new flooring in there too. He must have done some updating. There was nothing playing on TV that I noticed when I was in, but the last thing I want to talk about or be exposed to is politics no matter which way it leans. Life is too full of that, I want it far away from my hobbies so if I had had the experience you did I would have reacted the same way. Rob's customer service is definitely..... gruff. But he was polite enough. I almost never buy equipment locally because I'm pretty picky about my setups so having tanks and equipment in stock isn't very meaningful to me personally. His well cared for live stock is what caught my notice.

I hope Aquatica shapes up. Their staff was really friendly and it was a more pleasant experience than Rob's. I couldn't be happier with the service I got there. My issue with Aquatica is really with how they are caring for their animals. They aren't being kept in acceptable conditions and that matters a lot to me. Outside the poor value proposition of unhealthy animals being sold for premium prices, I just have ethical issues with it so unless the way they keep their animals changes I just can't support them. Their service was so good that if their animals had been kept well I would not have even bothered with Rob's. I will give them another try in a few months and see if they have cleaned up their habitats and their animals are healthy.

I'm not surprised about your perspective on Chicago fish and Coral. The reviews seem to concur with you. At some point I will check out Little Reef Shop in Downer's grove. I stopped by Petco in Oak Lawn today just to see what they stocked, and (not surprisingly) it was only what I could call a **** show. Whoever is caring for those tanks should be ashamed of themselves. It made Aquatica look down right state of the art.
 

AtlantiCat

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FYI, if y'all are interested, two shows upcoming, one in Joliet, the other in Lisle.

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Haven't been to one of the Mermaid's Delight ones (they're a local frozen food manufacturer), but the Reefing USA one I was at last year and they squash the vendors into a teeny tiny room...not a good place if you're claustrophobic. Raffle wasn't impressive, mostly miscellaneous equipment, but there were some decent coral deals and one place had some nice inverts.
 

Minifoot77

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I went to the reefing usa one as well... waiting on the raffle was the roughest part cause everyone was standing around.
 

AquaLogic

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FYI, if y'all are interested, two shows upcoming, one in Joliet, the other in Lisle.

FB_IMG_1705691070764.jpg


FB_IMG_1705691178203.jpg


Haven't been to one of the Mermaid's Delight ones (they're a local frozen food manufacturer), but the Reefing USA one I was at last year and they squash the vendors into a teeny tiny room...not a good place if you're claustrophobic. Raffle wasn't impressive, mostly miscellaneous equipment, but there were some decent coral deals and one place had some nice inverts.
Thanks! I'll check them out if I can. Appreciate the heads up.
 

esquare

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There is a group of us that have been conversing on Facebook (I don't have FB so I use my wife's) under the group name Northwest Indiana Marine Aquarium Society. There is a scheduled meet up at the ARK Pet Store in Merrillville, Indiana which is a decent Pet Store. I say Pet Store because they carry products for all pets including fish and reef. They have a limited number of reef fish and coral but seem to keep the tanks clean, at least the few times I've been there.
 

Fish_wiz2

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I went to the reefing usa one as well... waiting on the raffle was the roughest part cause everyone was standing around.

Thanks! I'll check them out if I can. Appreciate the heads up.

AquaPros/Pro Reef Corals has been my favorite hidden gem for at this point, 15+ years. Unfortunately since COVID, their hours have been significantly reduced and inventory has been low. To add salt to the wound, rumor has it the business is for sale..... Hope whoever the new owner is can breathe new life into it while keeping the charm and gems it always gave me.
 

Minifoot77

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Anyone going to Joliet this weekend?
 

AtlantiCat

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Anyone going to Joliet this weekend?
I'll be there when it opens, but not staying the whole time so if you can find me, you can have my free raffle tickets. :upside-down-face: Look for the ratty old Snap-On Racing jacket or the black R2R hoodie if I've taken it off.
 

esquare

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I'll be there when it opens, but not staying the whole time so if you can find me, you can have my free raffle tickets. :upside-down-face: Look for the ratty old Snap-On Racing jacket or the black R2R hoodie if I've taken it off.
I still have my father's old snap-on tool box and ratchet sets
 

Minifoot77

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I'll probably be in snapon gear to but its cause my tool bill gets me free stuff when my truck gets hoodies and jackets...
 

Minifoot77

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On my way if anyone is still going
 

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