The Right Fish Store For You.
Finding the right fish store can be a challenge and with online fish stores on the rise it’s becoming harder to find a good LFS (local fish store). Where you choose to buy your livestock, equipment and find helpful advice will have more of an effect on your success as a saltwater aquarium hobbyist.
Having the right store is as important as any other decision you will make when starting a saltwater aquarium. In the same breath, just because they are local doesn’t mean they are your best option (which I have found in the past). A good fish store will be able to help you pick out the best saltwater fish for beginners and a lot more.
I tend to stay away from the big box stores when it come to livestock but I have been known to pickup a bucket of salt mix or frozen food on occasion. It’s not that I’m against big business, but I would rather support a small business.
I would rather do my shopping where the person taking care of the aquariums knows as much, if not more about keeping saltwater aquariums as myself (rather than some teenager that was wishing they could play with their cell phone).
With the recent down turn in the economy most of my local fish stores had to close up shop. Now I find myself doing more of my shopping on the internet. Check out my article on the Top 10 Online Fish Stores to find the best one available to you.
What To Look For In a Fish Store.
A few things to look for when looking for a place to shop:
- How educated are the employes are on setting up and maintaining saltwater aquariums?
- Ask if the employe if they have a saltwater aquarium at home. If so, How long has the aquarium been running? What there favorite fish or coral?
- How clean are the aquariums, do they look and like something you would want to keep in your home?
- Are any of the fish or coral dead and/or sick in the aquariums?
- How did you get treated while you were there? Did they take the time to answer your questions? or made you feel welcomed?
These are a tell tale signs. If they can’t keep fish and corals alive in their aquariums, how are they going to help you keep livestock alive in yours?
One year ago, I was at my local fish store and I noticed he had some rather large Tangs (6+ inch) in his 55 gallon section of tanks. Upon further inspection I noticed most (if not all) had ich. Having fish infected with ich in a system that connects ten 55 gallon aquariums with fish that you sell to the public in my opinion is a deal breaker and is not someone I would want to do business with. That was the last day I walked out of that reef shop and I have not been back sense.
It may not seem like a very important thing to consider, but the right fish store will help you make the right decision for you, even if it means less money for them. They will make you feel welcomed, they will help answer most of your questions and if they don’t have the answer they should be able to know where to find it. Because thats great customer service and that what a great fish store will do.
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