I am currently on a quest to bring back quality Angelfish to the marketplace. I am currently on a trip to NJ where I am starting my search.
Well today I started my fish search in earnest and I have to say, I was in a Mom & Pop shop in a town in NJ and was just floored. This store is what a quality tropical fish store should be for sure. The tanks were clean, the fish were fat and healthy, the prices were well beyond reasonable, the selection was better than any Big Box pet store's and I made sure to tell the owner who I was, what I did in the fish industry and how impressed I was with his store. He has some of the varieties of the fish I am looking for and I will definitely be bringing back some of his fish with me to Florida.
Once I pick up my fish on Sunday, I'll tell you the name of the store. ( Don't want anyone getting my fish before me. lol
So for all those out there complaining about the big box store's quality, prices, or employees, take the time and research your area's Mom & Pop shops. You may even need to go a bit out of your area but you too may find a hidden gem like I did. I am searching 1200 miles away from my home but I'm sure you can find one closer to you
Mom & Pop shops are what created the tropical fish industry through teaching the hobbyist, old and new, on how to keep their pets alive. (That's what I heard this store owner doing today before he knew who I was.) Let's support those shops who want to keep that tradition alive. I sure am!!!
Happy searching and enjoy your fish