I was at another "Mom & Pop" store today and can now add another store to the "You really need to support this store" list.
I drove over 1 1/2 hours to get to it and thank goodness I don't have more tanks set up than I do. I went there focused on Angels but if I had the tanks set up, I would have maxed out a few of my credit cards for sure. This store was an old world fish shop and is being run by a second generation owner. The layout is a bit confusing at first and when I finished looking in the first room, I was disappointed. I thought " I drove all the way over here for this?" Then I found another room, which led
to another room, which led
to another room and in the last room, I finally found my Angels. After a fairly long discussion with Steve (the owner), I explained what I was doing and my plans and he immediately gave me his card and asked that I send him fish when I have some. He is seeing the same things as I have (and most of you all have) and said that he has no choice. His Angels do come from a local breeder but are not "like the old days."
So while I had to control myself and not take the bigger fish, I almost went crazy and took varieties that didn't show the traits I am looking for JUST BECUASE they were different. (I do know not to get caught up in the frenzy
) But I didn't
I did pick up 2 very nice Dark marble veils and 1 Veil Koi and and a regular Koi. I have 3 more stops along my return trip so I may get more if I see nice ones plus my Sunday stop for my other fish.
So if you are looking for a fully stocked, merchandise and fish, shop and knowledgeable assistance, I highly recommend Ely's Tropical Fish in Florham Park, NJ. (You'll get the name of my other great find on Monday AFTER I pick up my fish there
) Fair warning, if you are looking for a Petsmart, Petco type setup with bright lights and huge floorspace, this isn't for you. Truthfully, I looked past the algae in the tanks, the old style glass tops and lights and other qualities that might turn a non hobbyist off. I, on the other hand, am a hobbyist so I looked at the fish. They were BEAUTIFUL!! Varieties I haven't seen in years in some cases. I couldn't believe the selection.
So my mobile fish transport setup is up and running with Ely's fish in it.
To be continued....