The Reef Tank banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
644 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I am now in the process of looking for a new lfs. I was wanting to get the advice and opinions of everyone here at TRT. What makes a lfs good or for that matter bad. Wither it be personal experience or general rule of thumbs. What to look for and what to stay away from. Also if you have some stories to share good or bad please feel free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,295 Posts
Bad:
If you ask when they got _(fish out for sale)_ in and they say "yesterday."
If they don't label well with proper names.
If they don't ask about your tank size, other stock, corals or no, covered, etc.
If they have anemone's sitting on huge rocks that they have to remove it from.
If they don't let you see their QT, even if just from the door way.
If you bring in water to be test and the use a "dip stick" test.
If you ask to see a fish feed and they say they "just fed"

Good:
If they tell you, we just put this fish out from quarantene today.
If they label accurately
If you ask about a fish and they first ask about your tank - love it when they deny selling. Mine wouldn't sell a gobi after I said the top wasn't covered/enclosed.
The anemones are on small pieces of rubble rock they sell with the anemone so they don't have to pull it off.
If they proudly show the QT but won't sell until they make it two weeks.
If they let you observe a fish and preferably feed it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
10years ago, there was a fantastic little reef store in Charlotte. i would hit it whenever i was passing through it. it was a hole in the wall place with just the owner working it. he knew his stuff. disappeared after a few years. :(

there are not many "good" LFS. unfortunately good and staying in business are really hard to do hand in hand. :( at least for the SW side. what makes a good LFS to me is being able to buy a critter from them in the bag from the supplier if i wanted to. there are certain critters i would not trust in any system besides mine and maybe the supplier once i know who the supplier is.

if the tanks are not maintained at 1.026, then the more likely i am not going to buy any invert from there.

G~
 

·
Novel Responder
Joined
·
4,371 Posts
If they ask you questions and aren't afraid to tell you 'no', that is a step in the right direction.
Look at what tools they use and how they care for their own tanks. If they use strips to test (bad) or a hydrometer (bad) versus bottled test components and refractometer (good). If have fish with ich in display tanks, that is a sign they don't take very good care of their stock. How is the variety? Do they have only damsels and clowns (bad) or do they have higher end fish for sale that look healthy, such as tangs? Do they have good LPS/SPS corals, or just a lot of softies, which tend to be easier to keep? What do they feed their fish (pellets only would be bad whereas a mix of live and fresh seafood would be good)? Ask them how to cycle a tank? If they say to throw a damsel in, walk out. Ask questions you know the answers to just to see how they answer. i.e. I am looking for a small Pacific Blue Tang to add to my 3" yellow tang in a 29g biocube. See if they'll sell it to you. If they do, walk out. Tell them you just put in the salt, LS, and LR yesterday on a new tank and want to add some fish. If they offer to sell it to you, walk out.
Listen to other conversations with other customers. Can they educate their customers, or just sell.
Ask for a sample of their water to test. Test the parameters you normally would and see if their water is in line with recommended ranges.
Ask what their process/policy is for getting new fish in stock through selling them. Some will take them in and sell them out the door same day. Others will wait about two weeks, or until they know they are eating, etc.
Will they hold fish until they see it eating before selling? Good sign.

Bottom line, they should be able to care for their tanks, educate customers, and not be afraid to say "no" to a potential customer. The smart hobbyist, who is in it for the long haul, will be back to the LFS they can trust. This hobby is too expensive to throw money away....at least for most of us.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top