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Fish stores in the Long Island area

Curryb15

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hello all I wanted to vent for a second. My disclaimer is I have not visited every LFS on the island.
So as I complete the build phase of my 50 gal cube I started to scope some of the LFS. When I was in the hobby about 5-6 years ago I had a few go to places mostly because of my location in Holbrook at the time. This is a great hobby and it kills me that it's not more widespread so I like to support the LFS as much as I can.
Fast forward to day, I had a day off and decided to check out aqua hut, country critters, and magic isle. It was disheartening to see what was going on and it was at this point I realized that there in my opinion aren't any good LFS in my area. Here was my experience today.

Aqua hut: this place is number one on my do not go to list. I used them years ago when I was in the hobby last time and let me say what a decline in the store from then and now. I've been to aqua hut a few times in the last few months. Today I went in and there might have been 1 other customer in the store. There was about 4 teenagers maybe 17-20? Who I assumed where working there one girl behind the counter on the phone , 2 guys doing what I assumed was tank maintenance, and the 4 th horsing around the store. I was there for a total of maybe 15 mins and in that time it was like I was invisible, no one asked if I needed help or if I had any questions. Now generally that's the way I like it I consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable and prefer to be left alone while I observe the live stock. One of the boys where working in the isle where they keep a lot of there invertebrates, I was walking down the isle looking at the tanks and realized I was getting dirty looks from the employee like I was in his way. But enough about the employees let touch on the reason I will deff not be going back and that's the live stock. All the tanks where dirty and there was a dead fish in almost every tank. The coral was almost all covered in algae and discolored. Nems where in tanks that had no lighting and all the live rock they had for sale was covered in detritus. As I walked through I was thinking to myself " my god how can anyone who has decent knowledge about this hobby come in here and buy from them". This wasn't just one time this is what I have witnessed over and over again from this place and today was the straw that Broke the camels back
 
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Curryb15

Curryb15

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Thoughts on magic isle:
This was the first time I was there recommend by a friends who seems to like them. When I walked in I got excited and thought maybe this will be the place. That thought quickly changed when I went over to the big drag tank they had. I was impressed is was out using kessels but that's about it. You could barley see in the tank as there was so much dirt on the outside and algae build up on the inside. They looked like they where mostly soft corals with little to No color kept in the tank. Now the 2 major things I picked up on , the amount of Aspia in these tanks was jaw dropping. Every tank and every rock had at least 1 Aspia on it, it looked like they where thriving. When I walked in opposite of their dry goods was a huge tank that had a couple of extremely late tangs and some sort of cat fish looking thing. When I came in it caught my eye because the blue hippo tang looked to have some wierd coloring on large patches of his body and was swimming wierd. I walked about for about 10 mins and when I passed the tank again I thought where was that hippo tang? Then I realized that there was a greyish colorless fish laying on its side heavily breathing, this fish was the hippo it lost all of its color and looked like it was dying. I said something to one of the employees and was told that this was normal and he probably was just hungry! Needless to say I walked out right after that statement.
 
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Curryb15

Curryb15

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Good ole country critters. I don't have many bad things to say about them. The employees are always very knowledgeable. They prices I feel are very high and last time I was there it looked as though they may have been shying away from the coral business. There prices are enough to keep me on the online train for now. Like I said these are just my opinions and I'm sure there are some good ones out there but in my area it's slim pickings. There was a place in deer park I remember being extremely impressed wiTh but I haven't made it out there yet
 

reefbeard1

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Yeah I live in Ronkonkoma and I definitely can feel your pain. I've been to Aquahut a couple times recently and yes...it seems done for.

I was just in Magic Isle a couple months ago and everything seemed pretty good to go. Didn't buy any livestock but I bought some sand. I wanted to check it out since they moved locations from the Centereach plaza. Not sure if it's under new ownership or not. It's certainly the closest shop to me, literally about 5 minute drive so I would love if they expanded their selection!

I would say if I do need anything right away, I go to Country Critters now. I would agree with you that around 4-5 years ago it seemed they were letting the livestock side of things get away from them. I hadn't been in there for a good few years though and recently I went in and they re-vamped the whole dry-goods section and the livestock looks a lot better, but yes, prices are steep! They do have some of the biggest snails and hermits I've ever seen in a tank!

Once in a blue moon I'll make the drive to Aquarium Village in Westbury (I think?).
 
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Curryb15

Curryb15

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Yeah I live in Ronkonkoma and I definitely can feel your pain. I've been to Aquahut a couple times recently and yes...it seems done for.

I was just in Magic Isle a couple months ago and everything seemed pretty good to go. Didn't buy any livestock but I bought some sand. I wanted to check it out since they moved locations from the Centereach plaza. Not sure if it's under new ownership or not. It's certainly the closest shop to me, literally about 5 minute drive so I would love if they expanded their selection!

I would say if I do need anything right away, I go to Country Critters now. I would agree with you that around 4-5 years ago it seemed they were letting the livestock side of things get away from them. I hadn't been in there for a good few years though and recently I went in and they re-vamped the whole dry-goods section and the livestock looks a lot better, but yes, prices are steep! They do have some of the biggest snails and hermits I've ever seen in a tank!

Once in a blue moon I'll make the drive to Aquarium Village in Westbury (I think?).
I wanted to update this thread, the other day I took about a half hour ride to tropical island aquarium in deer park. This was going to be my last hope before I fully committed myself to buy everything online. Theres only one word to describe that place and its WOW! Everything in that store looked absolute awesome. I asked about the quarantine procedures and the person working there said the racks on the Left side of the store run with copper and lower salinity. The racks on the right side are fish they have quarantined and show no sign of illness. The greatest part was the coral selection , all the corals looked extremely healthy with no signs of any pest in any of their tanks. I had a great conversation with the person working although I did not get his name he provided me with all kinds of good information that other LFS could not provide. ( I already new the answers to the questions I was asking) This will be the place I go to for sure esp for corals, I highly recommend people go check it out
 

reefbeard1

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I wanted to update this thread, the other day I took about a half hour ride to tropical island aquarium in deer park. This was going to be my last hope before I fully committed myself to buy everything online. Theres only one word to describe that place and its WOW! Everything in that store looked absolute awesome. I asked about the quarantine procedures and the person working there said the racks on the Left side of the store run with copper and lower salinity. The racks on the right side are fish they have quarantined and show no sign of illness. The greatest part was the coral selection , all the corals looked extremely healthy with no signs of any pest in any of their tanks. I had a great conversation with the person working although I did not get his name he provided me with all kinds of good information that other LFS could not provide. ( I already new the answers to the questions I was asking) This will be the place I go to for sure esp for corals, I highly recommend people go check it out
Yeah I was in there a few years ago and definitely like it too, don't think I bought anything at the time but do remember having some conversation with one of the employees, super nice dude and very helpful! Of course only downside is it's in Deer Park! :eek:

But yeah I will be checking them out again. I think though when I stock my take fully in about a month, I will be getting most of my stuff online. Just way easier and more convenient and these days there are TONS of quality online coral vendors to pick from.
 

Mopartech

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Yeah I was in there a few years ago and definitely like it too, don't think I bought anything at the time but do remember having some conversation with one of the employees, super nice dude and very helpful! Of course only downside is it's in Deer Park! :eek:

But yeah I will be checking them out again. I think though when I stock my take fully in about a month, I will be getting most of my stuff online. Just way easier and more convenient and these days there are TONS of quality online coral vendors to pick from.
They are one of the better LFS around. Only knock is that they charge a bit more. I remember they wanted 19.99 for a 60ml bottle of selcon. Got it at Caribbean Blue for 13.99. I remember paying 10 bucks more for a 175 gal bucket of coral pro salt.
 
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Curryb15

Curryb15

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They are one of the better LFS around. Only knock is that they charge a bit more. I remember they wanted 19.99 for a 60ml bottle of selcon. Got it at Caribbean Blue for 13.99. I remember paying 10 bucks more for a 175 gal bucket of coral pro salt.
Thats to funny I was there and didn't even think to check the prices of the dry goods, I thought the frag prices where fantastic esp since country critters is much more expensive. The place in deer park , all there tanks where spotless and coral frags all looked healthy and happy. I would be willing to pay a little bit more if it meant a better quality and being able to see what I'm buying in person vs getting it shipped
 

Mopartech

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I've been into aquarium village a few times. I was there a few months ago just took a look around. They have a nice selection of fish and coral. If I'm in Westbury I try to stop in and check out their selection of livestock.
 
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I love Advanced Marine Aquatics! The owner was very fair when it came to trading a fish that was wrong for me. Lots of high end, bright and healthy fish and corals, and very clean!

I was very disappointed in Magic Isle. I used to visit them as my go-to store years ago when I started the hobby when they were next to Big Lots. Ever since they moved to the new location, it's been terrible. Aiptaisia on every rock, dirty tanks.. poor hippo tang was covered in fungus and/or ich.

I'll never go back to Aqua Hut after I stepped on a dead fish. Terribly keep of the tanks there too.

Aquarium Village seems to be on the decline. The people there are really helpful and nice, they have nice (though overpriced) Corals.. but I've been seeing a lot of the fish sick or dead in the last several visits. Probably doesn't help that it's 120 degrees in there too. I usually visit bi-weekly during my lunch break and I see the decline.

Pets Warehouse stores are generally good. I like the one in Copiague for corals, but the one in Carle Place for fish. Both have very nice people working there- but some do not know anything about marine fish, so be careful. PW in Setauket doesn't have much a selection of SW fish compared to the other two PWs.

I've been to Tropical Island a few times, clean store and helpful employees as well. Great coral selection

I am not listing the stores I've visted once. I don't feel it's fair to review based on one visit.
 

reefaland310

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In ronkonkoma as well. Go to aqua hut if you want trouble, fish are always sick. I go to pets warehouse for my Sps, best selection I've seen on Long Island. (Acropora). If I want fish I go to country critters. When a new shipment comes in they won't sell the Fish for a week or two and they treat them, little more expensive but don't mind it. Tropical island aquarium has nice stuff but way over priced
 

reefaland310

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I love Advanced Marine Aquatics! The owner was very fair when it came to trading a fish that was wrong for me. Lots of high end, bright and healthy fish and corals, and very clean!

I was very disappointed in Magic Isle. I used to visit them as my go-to store years ago when I started the hobby when they were next to Big Lots. Ever since they moved to the new location, it's been terrible. Aiptaisia on every rock, dirty tanks.. poor hippo tang was covered in fungus and/or ich.

I'll never go back to Aqua Hut after I stepped on a dead fish. Terribly keep of the tanks there too.

Aquarium Village seems to be on the decline. The people there are really helpful and nice, they have nice (though overpriced) Corals.. but I've been seeing a lot of the fish sick or dead in the last several visits. Probably doesn't help that it's 120 degrees in there too. I usually visit bi-weekly during my lunch break and I see the decline.

Pets Warehouse stores are generally good. I like the one in Copiague for corals, but the one in Carle Place for fish. Both have very nice people working there- but some do not know anything about marine fish, so be careful. PW in Setauket doesn't have much a selection of SW fish compared to the other two PWs.

I've been to Tropical Island a few times, clean store and helpful employees as well. Great coral selection

I am not listing the stores I've visted once. I don't feel it's fair to review based on one visit.
Where is advanced marine aquatics?
 
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Curryb15

Curryb15

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Make a day trip of it, lol. visit Aquarium Village, Pets Warehouse and AMA, lol. they're all pretty close together
Pretty funny actually I’ll be in garden city for another appointment ffriday so maybe I’ll swing by then. I’ll have to squeeze it in as the wife wants to go get wedding license done o_O
 

lacrosseboss18

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Advanced Marine Aquatics It's the only place that I go to anymore! All his fish are super healthy and the prices are amazing. It's def worth the drive.
Andrew and I are working on a stocking list for my 225 and all my fish are coming from him.
He also just got me a harlequin shrimp from Hawaii with the most amazing color!!!

Only the best from them!!!
 

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