New to Dallas Metro

Spiffy

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Hello all y'all,
I'm new to Dallas and getting prepared to set up a large peninsula tank. I'm looking for the best LFS's in the area that supply healthy fish and coral. I must, unfortunately, say that I have been to several shops, some of them supposedly the best, in the DFW area and I am not impressed. We only had three shops in Omaha and two of them are heads and tails above anything I've seen here. I'm surprised and disappointed. What am I missing? Please let me know who you think is best and why.

thank you,
 

markysgirl

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Hello all y'all,
I'm new to Dallas and getting prepared to set up a large peninsula tank. I'm looking for the best LFS's in the area that supply healthy fish and coral. I must, unfortunately, say that I have been to several shops, some of them supposedly the best, in the DFW area and I am not impressed. We only had three shops in Omaha and two of them are heads and tails above anything I've seen here. I'm surprised and disappointed. What am I missing? Please let me know who you think is best and why.

thank you,
Well, now I am curious, which stores did you go to that were yucky?
 
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Spiffy

Spiffy

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Well, I don't want to insult anyone or place in this forum so I won't name names. Let's just say that one in particular seems to be held in high regard as far as 'stars' but they had hardly any fish, the herbivores were skinny and the corals were eh. To me all of them seem to cater more to the freshwater crowd. In a city this size I would think there would be at least a couple that were pristine and well stocked...I've seen neither.
 

maxepr1

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Spiffy, I know what you mean. I moved down here almost 20 years ago from Chicago and I am beyond disappointed. Our worst shop up there is by far better than the "Best" shop down here. Im pretty sure I know which you speak of. I went there when I first moved down here and said we are not setting up till we find something better! In fact I was in that area yesterday and it has not changed much. I keep hearing about Apex but I have yet to go.

I don't really see any clubs active here either.
 
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Spiffy

Spiffy

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Spiffy, I know what you mean. I moved down here almost 20 years ago from Chicago and I am beyond disappointed. Our worst shop up there is by far better than the "Best" shop down here. Im pretty sure I know which you speak of. I went there when I first moved down here and said we are not setting up till we find something better! In fact I was in that area yesterday and it has not changed much. I keep hearing about Apex but I have yet to go.

I don't really see any clubs active here either.
I guess we're left with on-line buying. What a shame that in a market this size, someone hasn't figured it out. When we were house shopping I stumbled across a small shop operated by the guys who started Aquashella. Nice guys. They said there was a very large and active community in DFW. As you can see by this thread...I'm not feeling it. Thanks for the info, I'll research Apex.
 
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Spiffy

Spiffy

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Yep.

Let me know what you think of Apex if you end up going.
Website says they closed their retail location in 2018 and now only do maintenance services. Argh. The ironic thing is there are dozens of maintenance companies. Makes me wonder how good they are at maintenance when non of them run a quality retail outlet?...hmmm
 

maxepr1

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Interesting. Had a few people send me PMs about Roberts Reef and Franks Tanks . Roberts is a half mile from me, it opened back in the summer, I have not been there but never see anybody there. I will check it out this week. Franks is by Hulen mall. If you are the Dallas side of town these would be a haul.

My kids doctor has a massive tank in the lobby(700+gal) and he uses DNA for there maintenance. I have watched them work and they do a pretty good job and the tank always looks clean and healthy. He won't tell me what they charge him..lol
That means allot!
 

maxepr1

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Spiffy, I went to Roberts Reef today and checked it out. This one is the best so far! Small shop, pretty much livestock only some food and additives, but he can get anything you need (tanks, equipment, lights). Tanks are clean, he does medicate and has isolated tanks for it but does have true "QT" system as most stores will not have. Fish look great! I walked in when he was feeding time,and I didn't see any not eating. All look fat and healthy. If you like tangs, he's got some beauties! Even a Gem. Not just your standard yellows and blues. Some of the best Sailfin and Blacks I have ever seen! He is propagating his own coral so he has a variety. 4 frag tanks full. I thought the fish prices were on the cheaper side and corals higher, but when fragging your self it is allot of work so it was to be expected.

DFWMAS gets a discount as well. I will be dumping money into this place when I get up and running again. Not sure where you are in metroplex, but this may be worth the drive. Pleasantly surprised.
 
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Spiffy

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Max,
Spiffy, I went to Roberts Reef today and checked it out. This one is the best so far! Small shop, pretty much livestock only some food and additives, but he can get anything you need (tanks, equipment, lights). Tanks are clean, he does medicate and has isolated tanks for it but does have true "QT" system as most stores will not have. Fish look great! I walked in when he was feeding time,and I didn't see any not eating. All look fat and healthy. If you like tangs, he's got some beauties! Even a Gem. Not just your standard yellows and blues. Some of the best Sailfin and Blacks I have ever seen! He is propagating his own coral so he has a variety. 4 frag tanks full. I thought the fish prices were on the cheaper side and corals higher, but when fragging your self it is allot of work so it was to be expected.

DFWMAS gets a discount as well. I will be dumping money into this place when I get up and running again. Not sure where you are in metroplex, but this may be worth the drive. Pleasantly surprised.
I so appreciate the continued contact and information. I did look at their website and thought the store pics looked like it might be a good place. I live in Oak Point which is in Little Elm so I'm a good hour away from FW without rush hour traffic. I'm looking to begin the process, probably in March/April timeframe so I will want to visit Robert before that to see what he can do for tanks, etc. My next step should be to join DFWMAS to further immerse myself into the local scene. I hope we can get a chance to meet somewhere down the line so I can thank you in person. Keep me in the loop on your build and I'll do the same.
 

Another Newbie Reefer

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The stores here are really hit or miss. I used to love Fish Gallery (Dallas) when I had a big cichlid tank, but I'm not a fan of their SW selection or quality at all. I visited recently after a few years and the quality has degraded a lot. DNA (Addison) is solid, but their prices are high. They recently had a nice black Friday sale. The manager mentioned that they're going to have another big sale at the end of the year. Exotic Aquatics (Plano) is nice, but they're selection is pretty limited. It's a small store, but they're prices are fair. It was recommended that I check out a store in Irving (can't remember the name), but it was tiny. The owner was really nice and the prices were fair, but it's kinda out of the way to have so few options. It's been tough to find that good mix of selection, quality, and price.
 

maxepr1

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If I had $1000 to fill my new tank will corals and fish, not $1 would go to DNA. All the fish I saw the other day had something growing on them and not one was eating. All con-caved stomachs. Coral tanks loaded with algae and frag plugs coated. Sad that hobbyists settle for this.
 

SmittenKitten

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Welcome! My husband and I relocated to DFW area from Illinois 2 yrs ago. Best decision ever! We started reefing about a year ago. We enjoy going to Aquastudios Aquariums in The Colony. There are only 2 employees, both have over 15 years of experience. They have been incredibly helpful. Love their coral selection. Personally not a fan of DNA. They may have a great selection of products and tanks on hand but lack in quality as far as corals and livestock goes. A new store opened up recently in Keller, TX. Corals Fish and Beyond, have you checked them out? Looking forward to Aquashella May 16 in Dallas!
 

maxepr1

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Welcome! My husband and I relocated to DFW area from Illinois 2 yrs ago. Best decision ever! We started reefing about a year ago. We enjoy going to Aquastudios Aquariums in The Colony. There are only 2 employees, both have over 15 years of experience. They have been incredibly helpful. Love their coral selection. Personally not a fan of DNA. They may have a great selection of products and tanks on hand but lack in quality as far as corals and livestock goes. A new store opened up recently in Keller, TX. Corals Fish and Beyond, have you checked them out? Looking forward to Aquashella May 16 in Dallas!

Welcome!!

I moved down from Chicago 19 years ago. Miss it some days, go back few times a year. I am familiar with the Keller store, long story about the guy running it, rather not give him my business. Not with Aquastudios, have to check them out.
 

Another Newbie Reefer

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Welcome! My husband and I relocated to DFW area from Illinois 2 yrs ago. Best decision ever! We started reefing about a year ago. We enjoy going to Aquastudios Aquariums in The Colony. There are only 2 employees, both have over 15 years of experience. They have been incredibly helpful. Love their coral selection. Personally not a fan of DNA. They may have a great selection of products and tanks on hand but lack in quality as far as corals and livestock goes. A new store opened up recently in Keller, TX. Corals Fish and Beyond, have you checked them out? Looking forward to Aquashella May 16 in Dallas!
Welcome! I moved to McKinney from Ohio about 8 years ago and haven't looked back. I'll check out aquastudios today. Hopefully I can find myself an early Christmas present.
 

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