How was your last LFS experience?

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KingTideCorals

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I am one to immediately say before we get into this thread that I 100% support my LFS no matter what!

Now that I got that point across lets get into what the thread is all about; lets talk about your LFS in your surrounding area, and how was the last trip you had there?


I have in my opinion 3 stores in my area that I can head to whenever I am in need of food, CUC, or other aquarium related things! Of course with the increase of Amazon being so simple and having next day free shipping... I sometimes will grab filter floss, tubing, and other basic materials from them just because of the sheer convenience and on top of it I don't have to deal with... THE PUBLIC...

Back to the LFS though.. My go to LFS (Barrier Reef Aquariums in the Seattle area) is an amazing shop! Usually they bring in really nice corals and their fish selection is usually diverse and keeps me interested. The last run I made there (actually two days ago) was to snag some frozen Cyclopods to introduce into my fishes feeding arsenal. While there I talked shop with one of the managers, saw some really brilliant fish, and got EXACTLY what I was looking for! Now I understand this is not always the case so I wanted to start this thread to reach out and see all of your typical experiences at your LFS!

Last point and I will say it again... SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE!! Now lets start the discussion!
 

T-J

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As much as I would like to support small business and local fish stores, I have to say that my options and experiences aren't that great.

For example, I went to one of my LFS in the Phoenix area last week. I wanted to buy 4 Radion XR15 diffusors. They only had 1. I said no thanks, and went home. Ended up ordering them online for $10 cheaper each ($40 savings!). And yes, the online vendor is also considered a small business, so I feel I'm helping them just as much as I would a LFS. This LFS also was selling apple murex's as fighting conchs.

Another LFS will never again be visited by me. Not only are their prices out of hand, but the "manager" went above and beyond to insult my wife.

Another LFS has nice looking stuff, and reasonable prices, but I always have to hit the frags with Aiptasia Rx since their tanks always have Aiptasia.

Having said all of that, I like supporting my local fellow reefers. They have amazing tank-raised stock, great prices and are always available to help out. You can also talk to them and find out exactly what kind of parameters the corals are kept in. I love knowing that a coral has been successful in a tank similar to mine.
 

JCM

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I wish I had better stores in my area. I'm in DFW which is huge so you'd think we would have nice stores, but no.

I frequent one nearby. I've known the owner for about 15 years, he's very knowledgable and keeps a spotless store. Unfortunately his selection leaves alot to be desired.

I buy mostly online or from local individuals these days.
 

BeltedCoyote

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I have a few stores in my area but I’ve only made it to one so far (the other two have baffled me when I tried to figure out where they are lol)

But my go to (The Reef Indy) has never disappointed. They’ve actually talked me out of buying certain pieces of gear in favor of less expensive but better suited pieces. They’ve also been expanding their coral and fish selection.

oh and their weekend manager puts up with me sometimes texting him out of the blue with questions.

all in all I’m happy they’re around and I’m happy to give them my business
 

Pico bam

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Last time I went to my lfs I was pleasantly surprised. Ended up spending about 700$ lol here's what I bought. The trachys were cheap 150$ each 7"ers. And a big 10" or so long tentacle plate 180$. I dont usually buy much from the store because I'm a deal hunter but I just had to.
 
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Pico bam

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Oops
 

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Tamberav

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I like my local LFS. One I have established a good relationship with and they email me about fish that came in that they know I might be interested in before they are even out of the bag in case I want to be the first to buy them. Picked up two radiant wrasses this way recently.

They also give me store credit for frags and I don’t want to sell out of my house so this is win win.

I don’t care about fish disease or pests as I QT everything myself anyways and rather keep prices low.
 

mdb_talon

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Last time I went to my lfs I was pleasantly surprised. Ended up spending about 700$ lol here's what I bought. The trachys were cheap 150$ each 7"ers. And a big 10" or so long tentacle plate 180$. I dont usually buy much from the store because I'm a deal hunter but I just had to.

That is precisely why when I leave for the LFS I have to lie to my wife and say I have a date or something. If I tell her LFS there is no way I am getting out of the house.
 

NashobaTek

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I wish I had better stores in my area. I'm in DFW which is huge so you'd think we would have nice stores, but no.

I frequent one nearby. I've known the owner for about 15 years, he's very knowledgable and keeps a spotless store. Unfortunately his selection leaves alot to be desired.

I buy mostly online or from local individuals these days.
The Canton/Tyler area is worse, Petco, PetSmart and petland are the only ones I have found close by.
 

Rmckoy

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Living in Ontario Canada .
it’s been a little while since I’ve been to a lfs with all the lock downs
The best is about 1.5 hours away .
 
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ReefBeta

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They had buy 2 get one free deal. Got 3 $20 frag, and a $10 one. They insist the $10 is free instead of the $20 one. Got tired of explaining logic, said not taking the $10 anymore, paid $40 and took the three frags home.
 

tnw50cal

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I went to a old school LFS that has some long (think 50 foot) cement tanks out in a greenhouse that has live rock/corals growing in them. Most are about 5 feet deep. Floored me when as I was looking into one a 2 foot long angel fish swan by. He was blue with a white strip in the middle. Next time I go I'm going to bring my camera.
 
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twwety

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Only 1 worth going to here in MN(that I know of) so it gets packed on weekends way to busy but the owner is very knowledgeable and friendly and gets a good coral selectection I have noticed prieces going up but that seems to be the progressing norm. But the store is always clean and things are taken care far better then average lfs they also quartine their fish wich is a plus.
 

mdb_talon

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They had buy 2 get one free deal. Got 3 $20 frag, and a $10 one. They insist the $10 is free instead of the $20 one. Got tired of explaining logic, said not taking the $10 anymore, paid $40 and took the three frags home.

Haha that's hilarious
 

RickNavyDad

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Being newer to the hobby I have 2 that give me solid advice and try to go out of their way to help. But then again I am in South Florida a big number of great places within an hours drive. I am learning where I can go for what. The closest and great place is only 10 minutes away.
 

Pico bam

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Only 1 worth going to here in MN(that I know of) so it gets packed on weekends way to busy but the owner is very knowledgeable and friendly and gets a good coral selectection I have noticed prieces going up but that seems to be the progressing norm. But the store is always clean and things are taken care far better then average lfs they also quartine their fish wich is a plus.
Reef collective had some killer deals last time I was there. I think i bought all the good stuff though.
 

Habibi Brizzy

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I live in the San Fernando Valley and let's just stay all my experiences have been terrible here. All they only care about is selling fish for profit without providing useful information. They don't care about the wellbeing of these fish and actually educating their customers or guiding customers in the right direction. Whatever they guide you to is always so they can make money. So please do your research. I onetime saw a whole entire isle of tanks completely empty due to ich outbreak because I was told by a newbie employee. Only to ask other employees and being lied to. “Oh we haven't been receiving new shipment in”, “Oh we had a big alge problem, so we needed to clear out the tanks” every employee I ask was a different story. I will never buy livestock from these lfs again.
San Diego is where it's at! They are very friendly, they provide you with the right info, live stock is very healthy, tanks are always clean, and prices aren’t crazy high even when considering buying costly things and to even that they will advise whether or not it is necessary. Unfortunately it's not often I'm down there.
 
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