Local Fish Stores near Philly?

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Poseidon2.0 created the topic: Local Fish Stores near Philly?

Can anyone in the Philadelphia area enlighten me on the best LFSs? There was a store near me I use to go to in West Philly that closed down, it wasn't particularly good, so no loss aside from the convenience. Recently I went to the Aquarium Center in Clementon NJ, but I was a bit dismayed by the water quality of their tanks (which I tested from a few sources). Maybe that is normal for a large supplier of fish (I hope not), but other places advertise good water chemistry, so I am thinking it isn't.

Anyway, I am thinking The Hidden Reef (which someone mentioned here) or the Fish Factory, both about a mile from the other and within 30 minutes of me.

I am going to buy a new largish tank and stand and place that might have good advice. In short, a store I could call "mine" and frequent on the regular.

Thanks in advance!
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DBLN8 replied the topic: Local Fish Stores near Philly?

Darth Nandopsis is a Philly guy I'm sure he will see this and chime in.
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Local Fish Stores near Philly?

I was wondering about that place in Clementon......now I know. They send me e-mails all the time for "sales", which really aren't all that great.

Hidden Reef is great for prices on dry goods......but I have issues w/ their livestock (although I did see Dovii, but they were from a local hobbyist).....& most of the people they have working there are not so knowledgeable. They were better when they were in Philly & were a smaller place.

The Fish Factory is a wee bit more expensive on dry goods, & is a much smaller store, but the people they have working there are hobbyists & know their stuff. Ask for Roy, Chuck, or Perry. Plus, they usually have a pretty good selection of cichlids (SA/CA/African). VERY good marine side too.

Both places of course will try & sell you stuff you may not need, as they are in the business of making a profit.....but FF is more honest. Go fore-armed w/ knowledge, & you know what you need.

Honestly, The Fish Factory is my go-to place. Many times I needed a part for a filter......HR did not have, FF always does. Like I stated, FF is a wee bit more expensive, but they are more knowledgeable & the customer service is better. I support them, as this is one of the last true "Mom & Pop" places. FF even has an "outlet" store on Street Rd that you can purchase used tanks & equipment from. 3 out of my 5 tanks are from there.

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Local Fish Stores near Philly?

Great! Thanks much for the info. I will check out the used tank outlet for FF for sure. The little bit extra cost isn't too much of a concern for me. They are the one's to advertise good water chemistry, so glad to know they get your seal of approval.

AC is big, and they have lots of supplies and fish, but the nitrates were through the roof in their aquariums (from four different aquariums), so they must not do enough maintenance, wc, etc. They got good reviews on Yelp. I guess they are a step up from Petco, but could be better.
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Local Fish Stores near Philly?

I'm not sure of their set-up @ AC....I was going to make a trip but wasn't too thrilled w/ the "sale" prices they quoted.....but if you have a huge central system w/ thousands of fish, nitrates will be an issue, really no matter who you are or how well you take care of the system. You could do a huge WC one day & the nitrates would be right back up there the next. (Basically, you have to think of a central system as a huge tank that is severely overcrowded) I would be concerned more w/ the overall appearance, color & activity level of the stock in question. I used to manage an aquarium store many years ago, we had a central system, did every 3rd day 100% WC & nitrates were always an issue. No ammonia or nitrite, but nitrates were always around 40-60PPM +/-.

Now if they have individually filtered tanks & the nitrates were high, yup, that would be a problem.....but not many places do that anymore.

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Local Fish Stores near Philly?

Ok, I don't know if they have a centralized system or not, could well be. Good to know that the nitrate levels might not be a concern, if so. I haven't compared them to another comparable places, so you might want to check them out. Their cichlid "display tank" did seem pretty over crowded to me and the plants I bought weren't anything to write home about. None of the fish I bought have died, so there's that.

It will be good, in any case, for me to check out these other places, and I will have a better gauge to judge AC.
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Local Fish Stores near Philly?

Easiest & best way to gauge an aquarium store? When you walk into their fishroom, take a whiff..........if it smells like fish, walk away. Clean healthy fish tanks will not smell like fish...a musty, earthy smell, OK, but NEVER fishy. That indicates neglect.

After that, a thorough visual inspection......look @ the fish....are the colors vibrant? Do they swim normally? Any signs of parasites or disease? If you are purchasing a new fish, ask to see it eat. If the employee won't do it, or if the fish refuses food, walk away.

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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