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NewfieReefer
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Guys do you have any stories to tell about your LFS. My LFS is very dishonest! Tells you want you want to here in order to get you to buy stuff.

1. Early on when I first had my 25 gallon setup he told me it was safe to put in a bi-colour angel. It lasted two days, he was like thats strange what happened. Too early for any delicate fish like a angel!

2. Still early on he told me it was safe to buy a maderine Gobbie it lasted 3 days. he told me the same story, thats strange he sells them all the time and they don't die. Must be something in the tank. It turned out to be something that I didn't have food for him!

Thats only a few stories, but I guess most LFS are there for one reason only to sell fish and make money. Hard way to be though!

Anyone else got stories!

CHEERS
:beer:
DERM
 

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One LFS owner told me the SPOTS on the neon goby were part of his coloring....and not ich. Thats when I realized he was out for a sale and I haven't been back.
 

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Gee out of the 2 lfs around my area One sells damsels telling people that they are a great fish to have in your tank. The other is quite respectful and I have never had problems but I know he will take advantage of other people. I have no problems because I have been dealing with him for around 10 years and I know his lines but I have seen him sell people a nano set up with all the rock some corals, fish and anemones and tell them after ya get the tank filled go ahead and put the stuff in.
 

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When I started they told me a 110 PC light over a 46 bow is enough lighting for clams and basically everything. Meanwhile all the SPS frags they had in their tanks were turning white and deteriorating.

Someone I know just started a 26 gallon tank. Their LFS has sold them in the past 2 weeks; 2 mandarins, 2 clowns, a diamond back goby, 2 green chromis and a seahorse. I wonder how long that tank will last??????

Most will do anything for a buck. I learned to do allot of research before going to the LFS.
 

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Let's see. . . of the 3 or 4 LFS in my area, only one is worth going into. Unfortunately their "expert" doesn't know a whole lot. His eyes glazed over when I asked about SouthDown, he's never heard of narcissous (sp?) snails and when I asked his to order in a Hippo Tang (I even said "you know, the blue fish from Nemo.") and he ordered in a PBT. Then, he had the nerve to tell me that he'd ordered exactly what I asked for and that I was "obligated" to buy the fish! :mad:

Needless to say, I'm not very impressed. . .
 

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Worst thing about my LFS is that when I walk in the owner seems genrally disinterested in helping. His employees all just sit on the counters or lounge around, and don't bother helping folks looking at the fish.

Don't even get me started if you ask this joker if he can special order any livestock...:mad:

All I can say is Thank GOD for TRT!!!!:banana: :banana: :blob: :blob: :blob: :banana: :blob: :banana:
 

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I have a customer that used to come in the store before he moved to Idaho....what a sad story here...

This store actually tells people that under gravel filters are fine, and you don't need MH or anthing other than a NO strip light to grow croals. Tells people that it's only hype and why put out money when you don't need to. Simmers aren't necessary, sumps are just a big waste of money. He also sells half dollar size yellow tanks for 36 bucks...sad to say, but they are the only store in town, and people there have gotten discouraged in the hobby and have given it up.

Our former customer (who is once again my customer) is now showing people in that town what a "real" reef tank should look like. And how they should be set up, and what can and can't go together.

TRT should shortly have a new group of mmbers from this area as he is passing the word around about where to go and informaton....research....research...research
 

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My LFS was rated the worst in NC. I am trying to find the link to the review. I have not once gone in and not found at least 5 completly dead fish in his tanks, and of course he is standing around not doing anything about it. He actually yells at people if they come for RO water in the morning because that is for his accounts. The live rock looks like something out of a ditch and every week it has a new name and more expensive price even though it is the same rock. I'll try to find that review and everyone can feel better about their LFS.
 

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My LFS is not different than many stories I have read here.
I managed to get the guy to help me, by reading loads of info before returning to the store. The guy that owns it is a Marine Biologist, so I figured he should be able to help customers, right? wrong!!! I soon realized that the guy was very interested in setting up tanks and hook up the customers for good with maintenance services. He's built a number of impressive setups with all that's supposed to be in a Reef tank. The store display is quite nice and the rest of the tanks in the store look pretty clean. I have never seen fish gasping in a corner, or swiming flat against the tank's bottom. I asked myself, why wouldn't he help everyone put together a healthy tank. Simple, he needs those people to come to the store over and over. If you ask him to build a complete setup with bells and wistles, and have him come to your house to do maintenance chores, then I guess you'll receive a premium service.
I remember when I didn't know sq**t about SWT, and I was putting together my first one, he sold me 4 blue damsels and a yellow tang and he never explained to me how I was supposed to feed the tang, or that the damsels were not the best choice. Only when I saw my tang was skinny, I went to the store, to find out that I was supposed to feed him "lettuce". God, he still wasn't honest enough to tell me to feed him Nori, at least!!!.
I even fell in the anemone-clownfish trap, when he sold me "the kit" without telling me the anemone had special lighting needs.
Only after I started reading, I went back to that LFS when I decided I wanted a reef and I was able to discuss my project with him, I think he realized I couldn't be tricked or fooled no more. He's been a whole lot more helpful since, and he does not try to sell me phony products from the shelf. He gets me exactly what I need, and he even gives me discount. You will say, why would you buy from him again. Simple, he's got the only saltwater tank store in town. The rest are FW stores.
Bottomline, It's hard to trust someone who makes a living by selling things, I guess. But that's what they need to do to bring food to the table.
I was thinking that maybe, some of them don't take many customers seriously, suspecting they won't be coming back too often, or the customers do not really care.
So I think one needs to go in there very well informed. You'll receive more respect and consideration, more honest service. It will save you big bucks.
I learned it the hard way.
I guess it happens to everyone, everywhere.
 

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Are there any good ones out there!!!

I've tried 3 LFS on a regular basis, one store I can trust the guy with what he tells me but his fish aren't healthy, the other store has healthy fish but he gives out horrible advice just to make the sale & the other store is like pulling teeth to get anyone to help you!!! I've got 1 more I'm going to try - keeping my fingers crossed
 

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We have 3 LFS in town that sell saltwater stuff (not including PetCo), and none of them are really worth going to.

One LFS has had severe ongoing aiptasia problems in all their tanks... and the owner likes to think he knows it all about reefing...
He was talking to a friend of mine after one conversation we had, and was badmouthing my 'Chinese' halide lamp I had bought online... an 'Ushio'... :D

The second-best LFS is run by a woman whose still a 5th degree b*tch on a good day, and any attempt to get help is usually futile... we waited almost a half-hour the last time we were there wanting to get a few astrea snails, while the only employee on the floor was fielding 20,000 questions about Betta's and Goldfish from some lady to lazy to pick up a book...

The last LFS kinda carries saltwater stuff as an afterthought, and asks insane prices for anything... half-decaying sun polyps for $49, a 3-head half-dead green frogspawn for $69, etc.... and their coral display tank has an 18w NO bulb over it (it's a 40 gallon tall tank I think).

Thank goodness I can order online... :D
 

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All I can say is that before I went to some of the portland stores, I didn't think it was possible for lfs to keep sps! Or really even coral.... They have a guy there now who is doing what woodie did, which is selling out of his garage, and his stuff is doing very good...
 

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There is three LFS here in Missoula, Montana and two of them are not worth their weight in "salt"! Sorry had to say that!
The other one called Blue Realm is a great LFS with awesome corals and a great selection of fish and inverts as well. The two co-owners are very knowledgeable and one of them dives all over the world! He has a great sense of humor and always got a story to tell ya! His name is Steve!
They are in the process of moving into a very large building with lots of space. One room is huge with fresh water tanks completely down the back wall and there must be 30 tanks. He also has 6 300 gallon ponds and in the back in one corner he is going to have a large mangrove set-up to feed to other SW tanks!
In the front of the store is a huge Amazon waterfall display and two 150 gallon bow front reef tanks! There are several saltwater tanks going up in this room as well! He is going to have a Anenome display with all kinds of aneomes that you can look down on them! Any way can't wait to see the finished store! Pat and I are very excited!:D
 

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We're very fortunate to have some good LFS around here. The two that I shop at have some very knowledgeable people working there and are truely interested in seeing you succeed in the hobby. That being said I'm sure that most LFS will occasionally have a new person that may be less knowledgeable. The key is to build a relationship with a good store and know who to talk to when you go in.

30 Gallon Gal you have a PM.:)
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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The two LFS I go to around here, The Hidden Reef, and Pets Plus are both pretty darn good...

The Hidden Reef Specializes in saltwater tanks... On a whole, the sales force there are very knowledgable, but I do questions some of their reccomended methods (like using damsels for the cycle)...

Pets Plus is only good for one reason... My buddy Matt... I have seen Matt turn people away when they wanted to buy expensive fish because he knows they will not last in their tanks... The one thing I really respect Matt for is that he listens to good advice as well as gives it.. I've brought to him a few good tidbits I've picked up from people here and when the info is something of value that he wasn't aware of, he admits it and says he'll pass on that into to other people who ask for advice...

Anyways, I consider myself fortunate in that I have some pretty good LFS's around here....
 

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Just two stores here worth mentioning.
The first one I ever went to was basically a reptile store with fish to help support his true love (snakes). The owner sold salt, but you could tell he was barely keeping his head above water. To give you an idea of the kind of advice I recieved from this guy, I purchased a 12" amircle counter current skimmer with no airstone or pump for 140 dollars......Used 3 double 40w strip lights over my tank. Each bulb he sold me for 25 dollars......thats right 6 $25 dollar bulbs, so when I set up this first tank I had 250 in light bulbs before I ever bought a single one of the strip lights. All in all that first trip to the LFS cost me almost 400 bucks in stuff that three hours after getting on the internet that night I realized would never get me where I wanted to be. The worst part was I could have had a decent lighting system for that initial 400 bucks.

The place eventuall quit selling fish and dedicated itself to reptiles, and eventually went under.

The other is a place I still frequent, however I have no loyalty to this store what-so-ever. To me it is a necessary evil. I go in about once every two weeks. I rarely buy anything. The prices are pretty bad (90 dollars for bucket of IO). Also RA mentioned some dieing frogspawn for 69 dollars, I had to double check where he was from, as I just saw a three headed FS in there today, and it only had one living branch which was badly decayed. The worst of all are the SPS frags. I have never seen anything but a brown SPS coral at this place, and I have never seen on over 3" tall, or with more than 3 branches.....the kicker is none of these "small colonies" (as they call them) goes for a penny less than 70 dollars.

There are a few good places up around St. Louis, and I have a feeling when I get my tank up and running later this month, that I will probably be throwing a little money that direction.

Dave
 

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i guess im pretty lucky where im at (for the most part) the guy at our lfs (there are 4 in town) he tells me right up front, "im here to make money, its a business" but he wont sell you stuff "just for a sell" . hes been WAY helpful in setting up my tank, and keeps a nice reef, but the other 3 stores................ahh you know, it would be easier going to wall mart!
 

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well I cant say much for the 3 pet stores in my town. The first place (Noah's Ark) as soon as you walk into the entance you are met with a OVERWELMING smell of Pet urine (and a decaying 120gal tank and stand that has molding falling off). So if you can make it past the front door you are met with a 50 or so tanks that havent been cleaned in who knows how long (10 of them being saltwater) He asks way too much for all of his fish (generally look up a fish on the internet and dont expect to pay 5-10 more than it in the store). The second store is known for ick (they are the ones that sold me my original SW equipment (all of witch has been replaced) told me to cycle my tank for 5-6 weeks and come back for fish. Got the fish (yellow tang, Nigger trigger, and 2 others) it was buy 3 get 1 free)). All of those fish were in a 38 gal and they knew it because they asked. Never told me it was going to be overloading my bioload. Needless to say all the fish were dead with in a month. That discurraged me and the tank sat running with some pretty rocks in it being filtered by a canister filter for over a year. Hooked up with you guys and cleaned that tank up and transferred my stuff to a my 75 gal. I have hooked up with a 3rd pet store here in town but he is unreliable too. A month ago he told me that you have to count the spines on the dorsal fin of a clown fish to tell if it were male or female (and I know darn well that they change sexes, was just testing him). Also told me there was nothing wrong with having 2 females in a tank. Also sold me a green manderain saying he has had one for years and it would scavange off the substrate and eat brine shrimp. and best of all last Friday when I went in there he told me it was normal for his $75 Nasco (sp?) tang to be flopping around on its side on the bottom of the tank. That same fish was gone on sat when my wife wanted to see if it was alive and needed to get bird food. I have seen a couple of nice ones in the Milwaukee area and herd that there are a couple good ones in the Green Bay area. But most of all Thanks for all of you on edumicating me so I wont get the shaft anymore
 

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Every novice tends to defer to the advise of the LFS. Unfortunately, each of us has to learn that they are not experts at keeping animals, but just at transferring them to us (the consumers).

So, none of this is particularly suprising. What I do find suprising is that we are continuously upset by the system that we support.

No LFS is a sanctuary. Just consider the pups in tiny metal cages.

Jay
 

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There are dozens upon dozens, maybe hundreds of fish stores in Los Angeles. I think I've been to every single one........twice.

When I was keeping fw tanks only, I got spoiled because one of my best friends had a cichlid shop. It was kind of like I owned a part of it. I hung out there way more than I was home. That was before kids. Ah, the good ol days. Sorry, anyway. I learned everything I know from my friend. That isn't saying much, but I think I get by OK. With the help of this board anyway.

Since my friend closed up shop a number of years back, I haven't developed another relationship with an LFS. Iwas spoiled remember? I do go to Jeff's Exotic Fish at least three times a week. Jeff is a great guy with good solid advise. I've told him about this board. He's probably lurking somewhere. I also go to Strictly Fish. Typical LFS but at least there tanks are clean.

One of the worst shops I visited was a place called Hong Kong Tropical. This just happens to the closest shop to my house. (Jeffs is the closest to my work, convenient for lunch breaks) I was shopping for a chiller a few months ago and stopped in to see what they had. The only chiller they had was an Ice Probe in an open, torn up box. She tried to tell me she would give me a good deal. $200.00 minus the controller you need work the thing. When I told her I would pass, she said "That's OK. Corals can live in water temperatures up around 88 degrees." And it was true. I started looking at her tanks and none of them was below 85 degrees and they mostly carry corals!! But none of the polyps were out and most looked like the dead coral you put into fo tanks. Needless to say, I have never gone back.

There are a lot more good shops in my area than bad ones. The secret is, come to this board, read books, do searchs online for all of you info. Then, when you visit the LFS, you go in, buy what you need, look at the pretty fish, and go home. Works for me.:)
 
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