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Old 12-07-2004, 07:25 PM   #11
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I tend to use AA as a reference to judge some of the LFS in my area. It has really helped to identify which ones are the better stores based on comparing their information to what I found at AA. The ones that were on par with AA have proven to be the best ones as well in terms of knowledge and livestock quality.

It was invaluable to have the info of AA when making the move from freshwater to saltwater. There is also a big difference in the quality of the stores I find for FW or SW and you need to considier them for each area of aquarium I find not just in general. Some are great for FW, but seem to only dabble in SW or vise versa. Luckily we have a great selected of LFS here and there are some very good ones. Wouldn't have been able to know without trial and error which were best though with AA, thanks!!!


Equipment: 33G SW Reef tank (pic), 192W Coralife PC lighting, PHs for H2O circulation, Red Sea Berlin Classic Skimmer
Aquascaping: 3" DSB, 50lb live rock (~35 lbs home made Cement Base Rock)
Clean Up Crew: Blue Leg hermits, Cerith snails, Astrea Snails, Stomatella snails, Brittlestar, banded brittles.
Critters: Hawaiian feather duster, Coral Banded Shrimp, Emerald Crab
Corals: Open Brain Coral, Cabbage coral, 4 RBTAs, Melon mushrooms, green Zoos, yellow polyps, finger Leather, orange Zoos, Brown Zoos, Chocolate Zoos, Xenia, GSP, Kenya Tree Coral, 2 acropora SPS, blue sponge, candy cane
Fish/Inverts: Maroon Clownfish, Scooter Blenny, Coral Beauty dwarf angel, Sea Hare
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:14 PM   #12
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I may sound like a broken record (record...what's that?) but it was due to bad advice I recieved from a LFS (chain BTW) which resulted in my finding AA. Think about it, I had a major problem with my tank and the LFS just didn't sound confident in what was being said. Presto...search net for info...find AA...problems being solved by members who take the time to follow my updates. Oh, since I recieved invaluable info from these knowledgeable members, I made a conscious decision to become an active participant and provide insight into "How to avoid an Aquarium nightmare of biblical proportions". Just imagine hearing the following from a LFS: "Buy set-up, add water, decorations, start filter...come back in 6 days for fish...don't add all at once...add @ 3/4 every three days until you reach your limit" Fish died?...here's credit...replace them...etc....etc..."

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Old 12-07-2004, 08:30 PM   #13
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Ill be honest I havent read all the responses here so if I say the same thing im sorry.

This is how I look at it.

In general the LFS has the potental to benifit from any advice given to a potental customer. Be it good advice (in the customers favor over the long run) or poor advice (in the stores favor over the short run). Most stores will not discourage a customer from spending money in the store. This makes the advice they give somewhat of a double edged sword. Never know if its profit driven advice or honest advice.

Now web based forums like ours and other discussion style websites have very little to gain from the advice we give. If we give bad advice the person will just leave and find someplace else they trust. If we give good advice then they will stay. Sure we have the potental to benifit from banner ad clicks or donations but overall websites do not derive the bulk of their cash inflow from the members directly. So its in our benifit to give you helpful advice to keep you comming back so its in our interest to give you long term advice vs a short term solution.
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Old 12-07-2004, 09:39 PM   #14
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Well said FF. I very rarely even talk to my lfs anymore. I have gotten bad advice most of the time(or advice that was just way too expensive to carry out) I do most of my research online or at the library and have had great success. If you do find an lfs that is honest and trustworthy then that is a great thing, unfortunately that doesn't happen very often. They are in the business to make money so that is where most of there advice lies. I dig this site and have gotten good advice from everyone so why would I change where I get my info from?
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Old 12-07-2004, 09:43 PM   #15
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Working in a LFS i find that the people who have been in the business for excess of 20 30 years are the hardest to change in ideas. I've worked at a few different ones including a retail chain. The chains really are after your buck and i don't blame anyone for staying away. I can tell you honestly, aside from someone who is in the hobby seriously, those people don't care. The LFS's that i have worked for all have different ways, some are extremely picky and make huge profits off of tricking customers into buying water monthly which is ok for R.O. but for regular unfiltered fresh its insane. I send many a customer to this website so that they can not only get my ideas and thoughts but those of many others. I think anyone who would base a decision on the sole advice of one salesperson is looking for trouble. My LFS is pretty concerned with making a good buck, but i never force a customer into a sale. I guess in an ideal world people would research things and ask questions in forums before even going into the LFS. I warn every new employee about B.S. 'ing a customer because some really do know what they are talking about and it's the most embarrassing thing to get caught. If you don't know ask and if the customer is at all unsure, have them research it. It is after all a hobby, though some do not view it as that.
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Old 12-07-2004, 09:50 PM   #16
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Working in a LFS i find that the people who have been in the business for excess of 20 30 years are the hardest to change in ideas.
This is so true. My father setup a freshwater 55g last year, with knowledge he learned in the 70s and 80s when he used to be a fish breeder and sell to the local stores. He was an old school UGF + never change the water type of guy. Unfortunately the LFS he goes to is still living in the past as well and will sell any fish to anyone without hesitation, then reccomend you stick a UGF in that tank if you do not already have one. His 55g tank turned into the death tank before he came around. It took me MONTHS to finally get him to use the Python I bought for him. He just was not interested in doing a water change no matter what. When he finally used it, he was like, 'Wow, this works really good, thanks for getting it for me!" Now he is turning into someone who does a regular water change and thinks UGFs are junk...
*26 freshwater*
2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
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Old 12-07-2004, 09:57 PM   #17
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This site has also been very useful to me. Im just starting out and my tank is only 4 months old. I already know some things my local lfs didnt even know! Thanks AA!
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:27 PM   #18
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I have visited all three of the LFSs you mentioned when I last visited maine( as I do often ), and I agree with you in that they all fine stores and are each of different mindsets, but I think you may have mis understood one of them. The LFS I think you are talking about that (quote)" encourages people with no reef experience to buy a 7g tank and swears it is easy" does tell customers that reef keeping is easy, but does not push any specific size tank, only has said that it can be done in as small as a 7g. I say this only because I set up my new SW tank from her store and she said much the same thing to me.
By the way, I agree with you in that there is alot of useful info on the net, especially this site, and I as well come online when I cant get straight answers. Another store you might wanna take a look at could be little shop of pets here in NH.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:47 PM   #19
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Trust the web. Remember the web is not trying to sell fish they are trying to help you while LFS just want your money.
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Old 02-26-2005, 10:59 PM   #20
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Im sorry but I beg to differ with PumaKrieg on their opion that you can trust only the web when buying fish and getting fish keeping advice. Mabye that is how it is where they live, but I think you can trust LFSs as much as you can trust the net, if not moreso because you get to personally hear opinons. People on the web are just as interested in selling fish as stores are, and the LFSs must enjoy the hobby at least a little to own a shop dedicated to it. I admit that unfortunatly many FSs do not keep up on info or keep fair/reasonable prices, but there are also many LFSs that do do these things and are successful at fish keeping and trustworthy storekeepers. Obviously LFS keepers want money, but isint that the point of owning a store? Unless you are being ripped off I dont see a problem with LFS keepers wanting,and needing money; its their job as well as their hobby.

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