Is the Local Fish Store more or less important today?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by revhtree, Jan 11, 2019.

?
  1. is more important

    109 vote(s)
    52.9%
  2. is less imporatnt

    56 vote(s)
    27.2%
  3. not less or not more important than any other time

    41 vote(s)
    19.9%
  1. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    If you're like me when you started this hobby you couldn't stay away from the local fish store. Matter of fact my wife knew that when we traveled one of the things we were going to do is visit any local fish stores we were close to.

    It is well known that the local fish store has provided a great deal of worth the the hobby as a whole. In fact without them we may or may not be here today talking about reefs on this forum. Traditionally LFS has been of utmost value and even today many people can't keep aquariums without them.

    I'm not advocating one way or another on this subject but I was curious to hear what you thought about the subject and why. So the question is this:

    Is the Local Fish Store of more, less or the same importance today as any other time in history for the saltwater aquarium hobby?

    4be998c2-1d19-4b9f-999f-15ee60e2a478-1024x646.jpeg

    image via @TopShelfAquatics
     
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  2. Sea MunnKey

    Sea MunnKey Valuable Member

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    In Toronto our local lfs' plays an important role in majority of my (our) saltwater requirements be it salt, aquatic medias, coral & fish foods, hardware & especially corals & fish. Without them I don't think I'd be in this hobby as most of them are as close as family to me. The rapport & trust built over the many years serves as a relationship like "reef brothers in arms". :) . Can't thank them enough for this addiction! :D
     
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  3. Chilli

    Chilli Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    i have ordered 80% of my stuff online - animals and hardware - so for me is online buying more important than the local fishstore. but only because i have no other possibility.
     
  4. LDH

    LDH Active Member R2R Supporter

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    I feel very lucky to have a LFS on my little island. Great place to meet people and talk tanks, obviously there are fantastic online forums to do this as well, but it is nice to have a face to face convo with other hobbyists. The other nice thing about a LFS is a lot of them allow you to trade things. Corals for salt for example. Online ordering is great but I spend muchos bucks at my LFS as I would be very sad if it ever went under.
     
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  5. ccoffel81

    ccoffel81 Active Member

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    Very important key word LOCAL.
     
  6. Kayden Hutchings

    Kayden Hutchings Active Member R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    You can see the real coloration of corals.
     
  7. shred5

    shred5 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    For me it is because we actually have a good lfs and we didnt forever.
    He keeps allot of up to date stock and at great prices which compare to the internet.
     
  8. Musovski

    Musovski Tangs, Clowns, Butterflies & Softies! R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hudson Valley Reef Keepers

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    Yes and No. I say this because i find what i want for cheaper online. But with my LFS i can go and meet people who i can trade with, and or support my LFS with purchases of rare corals. I do get great knowledge from my LFS but nothing can really beat R2R for help. I also find people on R2R which i meet up with and trade coral, or just talk and help with their big builds, which i find very fun.
     
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  9. Jeremy Luke

    Jeremy Luke Active Member R2R Supporter

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    I think it's more important than ever. I will never forget the first time I saw a reef tank in person many years ago. I was amazed. The incredible display, filled with acropora and lit with metal halides was at an LFS. This experience drew me in to the hobby.

    While most of my information and advice comes from R2R, it's great to be able to go to a good LFS. You can pick up essentials while asking advice and interact with fellow hobbyist in the real world.

    I believe, there would be far fewer people joining the hobby if they only could experience it via pictures before getting their feet wet.
     
  10. fish farmer

    fish farmer Active Member

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    I voted no less or more.

    I'm as far from LFS as always. The better stores are still 1 hour or more. When I started in 2000, I was buying more stuff "local", but still bought stuff online since my stores didn't carry things like good skimmers, the lighting I wanted, etc. Even the good stores were limited with dry goods.

    Fast forward and nothing has really changed with the LFS in my area, one really nice coral store(limited dry goods by design, just carries the basics that his customers want) and the general business dry goods you find at Petco's, mixed pet LFS. Although my last stop at one of the better LFS , got me a free copy of Coral magazine. I think the owner knows the better store took some of his reef customers.

    I buy most of my dry goods online now, since the selection is oustanding and have started to venture more into buying WYSWIG corals online as well. I would buy local, but the close stores just don't have much that I want when I stop in.
     
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  11. andrewkw

    andrewkw Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    The many LFS in the Toronto area are fantastic. Speaking as someone who moved away to somewhere where there are no reef shops I miss them every week. While the last few years I did not go to the reef shops almost every single weekend like I did when I first got into the hobby I still frequented many shops and got tons of great advice, 100s if not 1000s of cool creatures corals and fish, and made a bunch of friends too. Any time I go anywhere I always go check out the local reef shops. When I go back home not only do I make the effort to visit friends and family but the reef shops as well, sometimes I want to see the stores more to be honest. I liked going just to look, maybe bring one small thing home and not worry about making an order that was worth it ect.

    I love online shopping for almost everything but fish and corals I much prefer to pick in person. Even a wysiwg picture does not compare to staring at the coral in person, or discovering a hidden gem ect. In the old days it was very common for shops to post pictures of the corals before they went onsale and many times I'd go in and pick something else out because I liked something more in person. I love walking into a reef shop and not knowing what to expect even if they post a complete fish and coral list. Something random comes in. So many exotic creatures I saw at fish stores before seeing them at pubic aquariums. I never would have purchased cuttle fish eggs, octopus, garden eels and lots of regular fish too if I had not seen them in person first. Other times you see something that has a bit of potential or something that fell behind something else and has gone unnoticed ect. You just never know what you are going to find in person. When you buy online you hope it's exactly what you expect. I like the unexpected.

    While I did have a few bad experiences I had 100s of great experiences shopping in person. Last year while visiting a shop I had not set foot in more then a year and hadn't seen the owner in probably 2+ years, after catching up with him he tells me he has something that he knew I'd be really into. It was a yellow scopas tang. That is something pretty specific that only a select amount of reefers would be really into. Even my wife was really surprised he knew I'd want it. Generally I hate any kind of salesman tactics but at the fish store it just feels different. Not sure if I explained this well in my post or not.
     
  12. Corey Baker

    Corey Baker Member

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    I am lucky enough to have a large amount of distributors and great reef stores all around me(Long Beach CA). I am big on giving these "mom and pop" local places my business. without them i would not have got into the hobby and so many now days match any online pricing and i can pick up product right then from the store, HUGE plus for me.
     
  13. theMeat

    theMeat Valuable Member

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    While lfs are less important because of the obvious online options, even fish. I now because of that try to do as much biz as possible at my fav lfs.
    Miss the days when lfs was the gathering spot for local reefers. Still is, but nowhere near as much. Thanks al gore, for inventing the internet
     
  14. CCK_8814

    CCK_8814 Active Member

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    I’m very lucky, within 25 miles of me I have over 10 LFS. All of them have they’re own individual pros and cons, but ultimately anything I need I can get. Whether it’s food, medications, equipment, hardware, etc, one of them is going to have what I need. There are 2 that are my “go-to”, I visit them at least 2 times a week if for no other reason than just to stop in and say hello. They’re prices are always spot on and if they’re overpriced they will gladly match amazon or BRS. The one even matches live aquaria prices for me on fish which is a big bonus. I’ve never ordered any fish or coral online and don’t plan to. Anything I need they will special order for me. So for me I would not be in this hobby without them.
     
  15. oldfishman

    oldfishman Active Member

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    I like my LFS but there is just too much information for a LFS to be up to date on. You can get just tons of information form the internet R2R manufactures etc. Everyone and I mean everyone looks for the best deal on the internet and this puts the LFS behind the eight ball.
     
  16. Sailingeric

    Sailingeric Active Member

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    I bought most of my hardware from BRS because my LFS does not carry that much in lights or pumps but I got all my fish, coral and rock local. I want to see the fish and pick the one I want and I want to see the size and shape of my rocks.
     
  17. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award R2R TV Featured Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Well, depends upon your point of reference. When I started in the hobby there was no online, so compared to then the LFS is much less important. Think about it; what does the LFS do for you? They sell stuff, broadly livestock and supplies; they provide advice (some of it dubious); and they service tanks (though, increasingly a store front is unnecessary for this). While people may like going to their LFS, or they may choose to go; it's not as necessary as it used to be. Everything they do can be done, in many cases better, online. I like to go to my LFS, but it's a choice not a necessity.
     
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  18. Roush2000

    Roush2000 Member

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    Super important!!
     
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  19. Roush2000

    Roush2000 Member

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    Super important!! Local fish stores are great if you find one with a knowledgeable staff, finding used stuff or a way to offload extra frags/corals. I can usually get fish and corals as cheap at an lfs as I can on liveaquaria or other discount online stores
     
  20. CJS80

    CJS80 Active Member Partner Member 2019 Hospitality Award

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    For me the lfs is what got me into saltwater years ago. I agree that online stores offer a lot more than the lfs for most people, even I ordered most of my equipment online. However with how many diseased fish are coming in I won't order any from online.
     
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