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Old 03-10-2011, 09:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Richmond, VA (Henrico County)
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Good experience at local fish store!

Just thought I'd post some info about a local fish store in Richmond. I recently purchased 2 angelfish from Azalea Aquariums on Henrico Turnpike. Today I went back to buy 2 more as I had originally planned. I saw 2 in a tank that I really liked. When I went to the manager to purchase the fish, he told me he couldn't sell them to me because he was treating the tank for ich. I didn't even see it. In fact, I still didn't see it after he pointed it out (the place is dimly lit and I didn't have my glasses on). To be honest, that really impressed me. I googled his place in the past and found a lot of negative reviews. None of the reviews were about the quality of fish; they were all about the manager's "bad attitude." I have to admit, I did not experience that with him today. In fact, I found him to be quite helpful. Others have called him "mean." To me he was just serious about the fish he sold. Admittedly he will give some off-the-wall advice: like don't acclimate your fish, just dump them in. But so far he's only sold me healthy fish and compared to the local chains on this side of town, he has a decent selection. When you first walk in you may be turned off by the look of the place, but if you take the time to get to know the people and are armed with information before you enter, you will find that it can be a decent place to shop. Anyway, that's my opinion of the place. If you've been there and have had a different experience, please let us know. The more information we share, the better our experience at lfs's will be.

I'd rather be "better" than "right"! :
"Humility is the clearest indication of strength". Sure wish I was humble!

Ultimately, experience is the best teacher.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:15 PM   #2
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I actually went to Azalea Aquariums last weekend and brought my 3 year old daughter with me. The place is dimly lit, very hot, and crowded with aquariums... but all of the fish are awesome and healthy.

I delt with the manager, I think he has asburgers syndrome or some other condition where he doesn't perceive emotions in situations, and he was kind of an *** to the other workers. That being said, he was very knowledgeable and you could tell he was passionate about his fish keeping. I always appreciate passion, because it tells me that they are speaking from the heart.

I saw a customer's Fluval FX5 canister filter set up on a shark tank and asked him about it. I've got a pair of Emperor Marineland 450s and wanted to replace them with the FX5. He gave me a very honest opinion of it and explained in detail what he didn't like about the design. He actually recommended a much more affordable chinese brand.

I waited about an hour to be helped, but I also spent about an hour being helped, so I really didn't mind. Their saltwater setups included spotted stingrays and a jellyfish, neither of which I've seen at any local Richmond petstore. He also had a school of Kuhli Loaches, which I purchased along with some Java Moss and Hornweed. The Java Moss was a tiny starter ball which he gave me for free, and the hornweed was only $2.99 for a 18" tall bunch, which my koi have really enjoyed so far.

Everyone was very helpful when they had time, it did take a while to be served. The fish looked great and well cared for and he had one of the best varieties of verts and inverts in FW and SW that I've seen in the area. I frequent several Petsmarts and Petcos, but I've recently checked out Azalea Aquariums and Richmond Aquariums. For variety, I would always go to Azalea. If I had a SW setup that needed servicing or wanted a custom SW setup built, I don't think you could go wrong with Richmond Aquariums, those guys were VERY knowledgable and extremely helpful and also properly staffed.

Richmond Aquariums has some FW fish, but are primarily a SW shop. They have a 2,000 gallon SW display tank with a 1,000 gallon sump. Massive does not begin to describe it. Try floor to ceiling... thank god that it's on a concrete slab.
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