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Old 05-19-2013, 11:18 PM   #1
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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
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:25 AM   #2
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I don't think this could have been said any better. I drive an hr one way just to get to mine. While there are 7 lfs between my house and work I'd much rather go to a place that I know cares about the fish and customers. If there is a fish he doesn't have, he orders it for me and occasionally at a cost to him will still sell it at the cheapest price around. I don't mind waiting a few extra days to get a fish when I know my money is going somewhere good for the fish community.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:27 AM   #3
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Same here, I rather drive an hour to the mom and pop store I go to then the pet co. 20 min away
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:19 AM   #4
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AndyG and CG, glad to see you agree. Thanks
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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Add me to the list. I always went to the same 3 places (all locally owned) but the quality and quantity was just poor. I finally found a place in downtown Albany called Davy Jones Locker, it is a GREAT place. They are some what overpriced, but I will pay for quality. Their fish are always healthy and they have oddballs and a ton of south american cichlids. I also enjoy that they setup there tanks like communities so you know what your fish will be like, not just 23 gourami shoved into a 20g tank. If anyone lives within 2 hours of Albany it is worth the trip. Tell them Ralph sent you, you might get a deal haha.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
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Add me to the list. I always went to the same 3 places (all locally owned) but the quality and quantity was just poor. I finally found a place in downtown Albany called Davy Jones Locker, it is a GREAT place. They are some what overpriced, but I will pay for quality. Their fish are always healthy and they have oddballs and a ton of south american cichlids. I also enjoy that they setup there tanks like communities so you know what your fish will be like, not just 23 gourami shoved into a 20g tank. If anyone lives within 2 hours of Albany it is worth the trip. Tell them Ralph sent you, you might get a deal haha.
Thanks for sharing Ralph
Here's something to think about regarding prices: To keep fish in good to great condition, it takes quality foods, quality filtering systems and proper medications upon arriving to the store. All these cost money. So, is the store "over priced" or are they taking into consideration all that it took to offer that quality fish?
To me, over priced is when multiple stores sell identical items and one store sells them for a lot more than the others. I don't think you can compare the quality of the fish at the big box chains to the fish you described at Davy Jone's Locker. ( Great name BTW ) And that was my point for starting this thread. One should not just go to the 2 types of stores and say that " he charges more for the same fish". Are they really the same? More often than not (and that's being generous) they are not the same. For example, the Platys I saw at this new find could eat the Platys I usually see at my local chain store in just a couple of bites. Yes they are both Red Platys but they are NOT the same fish.
Unfortunately, NJ is about as far North I am going this trip or I'd definitely be checking out DJ's Locker

Just something to think about from an old fish retailer
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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Haha the one I go to is called the Bermuda Triangle. They have everything from lion fish to guppies
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:00 PM   #8
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Haha the one I go to is called the Bermuda Triangle. They have everything from lion fish to guppies
And I bet their employees know not to put Guppies in with the Lionfish (unless for food lol)
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:15 PM   #9
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Yep, thankfully.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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I love my mom n pop fish store! The owners are really nice, very knowledgeable, and they are more than willing to share that knowledge. Can't count how many times I've heard the lady that runs it asking new customers if their tank is cycled or how big it is before she will net fish for someone. Not only that, but she gets to know her customers. I walk in the door and she asks how my various fish are doing, how work has been lately, how's my new car running, etc. Some stuff is on the expensive side, but the prices on fish are good. And of course I don't mind overpaying for some supplies on occasion if it means keeping a great local business around.
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