LFS that just don't care?

creativeballance

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I honestly don't think his political standing has anything to do with the condition of the store at all. (I also fail to see how a pro-police hat is a red flag but I digress) I understand the price for the goni, a lot of suppliers are having to sell for more due to COVID but $200 is a little excessive. The snowflake trade-in makes sense to me as snowflakes in my area go for $20-$30 a pop.
I was going to say the same thing about the comment about the hat.
 

SMSREEF

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I get tired of people dumping on LFS. Usually it’s people who can’t even keep their own tank straightened out. They know how to perfectly fun an LFS though. Lol.
Really?

The aiptasia or other hitchhiker issues we get is from their frags, not by spontaneous generation.

Now the SPS browning out or dying in a brand new tank or putting first SPS corals into, that’s on us for sure.

You seriously can tell us that all stores you shop at and look closely at the rock and frags, after asking them to turn the white lights on... are pest and disease

I personally have moved to buying from other hobbyists.
 
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Tiki Reef Joshua

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Man there are A LOT of folks who could run the worlds best LFS in here! It would be aiptasia free, the customer would always be right, it would have every fish you wanted all 100% perfect ready for your DT! No one would get their feelings hurt and their new shipment of corals would grow as far as the eye could see. Glad you guys are dropping all your knowledge on these lowly LFS scum you are enslaved to shop at! Go get em!
 

BigSkyRich

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Very timely topic. I'm a newbie but purchased all my startup ( the expensive stuff - waterbox 100, pumps, powerheads, lr, sand, Etc) from lfs. Overpriced, yes, but an investment in that I can go and pick their brains on all issues. At least I thought so.. Turns out after all that I'm just another customer in a busy store. Sometimes wait 45 minutes just to talk to owner andthen he'sjust an order taker.. No time for me to converse about the progression of my project or questions. I even emailed a fish list for him to price out for me. No response. I live in montana so minimal options for other lfs. I'm done with them, brs, tidal gardens, aquasd, LA gets all my business and money. They respond to inquiries, have the knowledge I need and generally interested in me as a customer
 
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Flippers4pups

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Nick Steele

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Stores are much harder to run then single or multiple tanks in your house. I’ve never see a store without aiptasia or some algae. If they were perfect I would think the systems were to clean and something was up tbh.

Heck my two lfs that I frequent both usually have asterina starfish, algae and aiptasia in 90% of their tanks. I’d only have an issue with it if they weren’t trying to do anything about it or let it get uncontrollable. The one with asterina starfish constantly has harlequin shrimp in that tank to help. Heck i’ll strike deals on frags when I notice aiptasia or algae on them to knock $5 or so off the price. I know I’m removing the frag plug anyway so I don’t mind. Haven’t brought anything into my DT yet besides ich which I knew I messed up on when I purchased fish from my “coral only” lfs.

I think you have to take the good with the bad not everywhere is perfect.
 

DiaTom

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I'm blessed to have 3 very cool and very different stores in my area. I've listed them in the order that I discovered them since starting saltwater in January.

The first has both fresh and saltwater stock. It always has a good selection of fish, and cool inverts. There is aptaisa all through their tanks though and recently, bubble algae all over the frag tanks. The store is a bit dirty, but cool. The various staff are helpful and it's usually busy. I've bought 3 coral, a fish (and lots of freshwater fish and plants), and a nem there. I don't think that I'll be buying anymore coral there - there was even bubble algae growing on the underside of a nem that I looked at a couple of weeks ago.

The second store is immaculate, has a lot of high end coral and equipment, but less of a fish selection. There are no bad critters anywhere in the tanks. It's not been busy when I've been there and I've always been able to speak with the owner. I've bought 3 coral, 2 fish, a nem, and some equipment there.

The third store, I just visited last week. It's a bit outrageous - a giant 900 gallon display tank is in the front room. The sale tanks are just loaded with stuff, mostly sps, but some other cool stuff too. Some of their corals have been in the sale tanks for many years and some are not for sale. Very cool staff. I bought a coral there when I visited.

I've acquired most of my stock from local reefers though - 15 corals and 4 fish.
 

Jojo92

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So I have a LFS that is usually pretty good. He has good prices and a pretty good selection but this year it has gone down hill. I know with covid and all that things are a little off but some things you just can't let slide. Example- Aptasia in the frag tank. About 4 months ago i spotted a small Aptasia on a new frag that had come in so I let him know. He said he would take care of it and I said cool. But every week I go in and it's still there and multiplying. I've let him know several times and he just looks at me. I went in on Saturday and he has Aptasia everywhere in the frag tank. He sees me looking in the tank and is like you getting anything today. I just say not until you take care of your Aptasia problem and leave.
Other examples like selling mostly dead corals for full price and generally being condescending.

It will probably be a few months until I go back IDK. Dose anyone else have issues with LFS like this?

Side note: Its the owner that I have been talking to not an employee and has had salt tanks for over 20 years.

Dude! So I’m so new it’s ridiculous. Like less that 3 months new. But I have lfs where I walked in a few weeks or so to get a second opinion type thing. He had a whole dead fish in his tank!!!
I’m not the type to cause embarrassment or call you out like that in public so I left. But like!!!

I sincerely hope it’s coronavirus and an issue of not enough employees or something. But the other salt water store is an annoying distance. Loo
 

kzitzman1

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I have issies with a LFS as well. And Ill flat out mention it. The store is called Capitol Aquarium in Virginia. Been shopping there for years and this nee guy took over as manager of the store and hes got a pretty smart mouth on him. Hes nice alot of the time.. but i dont think he realizes he says things you shouldnt really say unless you wanna start a verbal fight with someone

The tanks have gotten cleaner. They were filthy before. And his trade in values are semi reasonable. But the other day he mentioned i need to take pics with filters and i said no thanks. Filters make a coral seem like something they arent in person.

And he snaps back and says we can argue all day about this but youre wrong. And im like argue ? We each said 1 sentence. Chill out guy snaps easily.

Bought a red goniapora with my trade in credit and i didnt think to ask him to wave flow on the coral to retract the polyps so i can see the skeleton. I got home put it in my tank and immediatly saw 50% of the flesh was dead snd skeleton. The polyps are still there by they hide it when they come out. Hense why i didnt see it in the store and why he think its was ok

I sent him a pic and message simoly saying half the coral is dead. And he waits 1 day and says it wasnt like that when it left the store LOL.

SO he immediatly blammed me. When clearly it was like that because corals dont just spontaniusly combust like this rtn happens but not in this way. And there was nothing sloughing off anyway it happened awhile ago.

Guy is a Jerk. And honestly i feel like going in on wed when they open to have a talk with him about this. Because originally i didnt want a refund or some partial refund.. but his snippy mouth im asking for one. And if he says no thats fine. I just wont spend money there anymore. I mean i only spent like 4000$ there in the last year or so.

A new store opened closer to me and the owner is so much nicer and store is way cleaner anyway

I’d switch to the store with the better owner even if he did give you a refund. Clearly the old store has gone down hill and will likely continue to be an issue
 

mike550

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Man there are A LOT of folks who could run the worlds best LFS in here! It would be aiptasia free, the customer would always be right, it would have every fish you wanted all 100% perfect ready for your DT! No one would get their feelings hurt and their new shipment of corals would grow as far as the eye could see. Glad you guys are dropping all your knowledge on these lowly LFS scum you are enslaved to shop at! Go get em!
@Tiki Reef Joshua just to be clear I have no interest in running a LFS. And I’m sure that an LFS that you’re describing would have a hard time staying in business. But I’ll tell you this. If there was a LFS within a one or two hour drive that provided a robust QT process before putting fish on sale, coral that was free (or at least not obvious in their frag tanks), and employed people who were helpful, I would happily pay a premium to retail because of the additional effort and risks they are taking.
 

kzitzman1

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I think a couple of you have described what i am seeing on my end also and believe this is becoming a trend probably set by survival behaviors since the onset of COVID-19
It just appears the word “ Quality and “customer care “ has faded and these stores and businesses forget who has kept them surviving.
We all have choices and I already made mine upon recognizing these behaviors. Loyalty is hard to earn and once lost is hard to regain
As I always remembered when i had my pet store:
TAKE CARE OF THE CUSTOMER OR SOMEONE ELSE WILL !!

I agree.There are a few LFS’s that have salt water fish and corals in my area (Salt Lake Utah area). But my favorite is Rusty’s in Bountiful, UT just north of SLC. I wish all businesses were run like this one. Rusty and his wife own and run the store and they are amazing. His knowledge is phenomenal and his trust worthiness is even better. He is why I’ve had so much success with salt water. His availability is great and he can and will special order things. I often see people talking on here about struggling to find a fish and he gets it in for me. I had that situation with a Starry Blenny Also has more unique corals and is highly liked and trusted by everyone I have talked to. Quality store and very quality people. They will take the time to answer questions (I ask a lot) and give great advice and great service.
 

Dark_Knightt

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If youre in Ontario Canada just go to any of the many Big Als Aquarium stores and you will be satisfied. Except the one in Brampton. That one will just ruin the hobby for you.
 

MarshallB

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I think this is just small business in general. You can clearly and easily tell if the owner is passionate and truly has a drive to succeed regardless if its a LFS, a hobby store, or a family restaurant. Attention to details is super important to me and is a indicator on how much they care. Would you eat at a restaurant with dirty tables, or would you even return if the food came out cold and tasted funny? As expensive as this hobby is, if i dont feel like a kid in a candy store then I wont return.

The LFS I go to keeps everything clean. Their display tanks makes you stand back and go wow I want my tank to look like that one day. Not everyone that works there is super knowledgeable and that's expected, but if I have a question they can't answer they will call someone who knows. I always go their first before I order something online.

To differentiate there is another LFS around here that is much smaller. The tanks are maintained but dont have any wow factor in the display tanks. The real killer is it was the first LFS i went to when building my tank and the employee 'helping' me seemed more annoyed than helpful when I asked basic questions. I have not returned since. Every detail from presentation to customer service makes or breaks a place like that.
 

Glass Algae

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@Glass Algae I completely agree with you that the current economy plays into the problems, and I want local businesses to survive. But whether you're a small mom/pop store or a big company, when you forget about taking care of your customer and start to take "short cuts" on the near term that sacrifice the quality and reputation of your business I will find someplace else to go. To be fair, I also am willing to pay more to support local stores. I get coffee from a small shop run by one woman and her family vs. going to Starbucks or Dunkin.
I'm 100 percent the same. Couldn't agree more m8.
 

Fishguru

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I was in the store yesterday and didn't see any of those issues.
 

IKD

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Stores are much harder to run then single or multiple tanks in your house. I’ve never see a store without aiptasia or some algae. If they were perfect I would think the systems were to clean and something was up tbh.

Heck my two lfs that I frequent both usually have asterina starfish, algae and aiptasia in 90% of their tanks. I’d only have an issue with it if they weren’t trying to do anything about it or let it get uncontrollable. The one with asterina starfish constantly has harlequin shrimp in that tank to help. Heck i’ll strike deals on frags when I notice aiptasia or algae on them to knock $5 or so off the price. I know I’m removing the frag plug anyway so I don’t mind. Haven’t brought anything into my DT yet besides ich which I knew I messed up on when I purchased fish from my “coral only” lfs.

I think you have to take the good with the bad not everywhere is perfect.
If your removing the frag plug anyway, why you pushing for discounts? ;)
 
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