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Old 03-31-2006, 09:41 AM   #1
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Local Fish Stores

Hey, this thread is for everyone to post info/reviews as well as location of local fish stores in the area.

I'll get it started.

I'm in WV but my favorite store is Exotic Aquatics in Baltimore. I've been to a bunch of lfs in MD, WV, VA and PA and none as far as I'm concerned measure up to this one store. For the most part their staff is knowledgable but just like with the forums, everyone has their way to doing things right or wrong so take the advice for what it is and do your own research. As for the store, it's clean and the fish always look robust and healthy. Thier saltwater stuff is a bit more expensive than some places but you get what you pay for.

Exotic Aquatics
8870 Waltham Woods Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21234

I also visit on occassion, Randallstown Aquarium Center just outside of Baltimore. The fish there are iffy at best and you should really check them out before purchasing but they normally have a great selection of dry goods.

Randallstown Aqarium Center
3689-A Offutt Road
Randallstown, MD 21133

Next on my list would be Winchester Aquarium Center in Winchester VA.
The fw fish are ok, the sw stuff is usually sick or have some type of fungus and thier corals are always sick looking. Thier dry goods are plentiful but a bit over priced. I visit this store about once a month just to check in and buy chinchilla food. lol

Winchester Aquarium & Pet Center
(540) 667-8198
190 Costello Dr
Winchester, VA 22602

I guess I'll list the two local shops in my area. The one I don't buy anything but bugs from my lizards, the other I never buy anything from, period.
The first is Aquariums Unlimited.
This is a very crowded run down store with lots of old, old stock on the shelves. The fish are always sickly and some of the tanks are so scratched and abused that you can't see the fish in them.

Aquariums Unlimited
Berkley Plaza Shopping Center
Martinsburg, WV 25401

The other store is Dog Gone Pets and it's a new, overpriced pet store. They have about a dozen tanks for fw fish and a bunch of over priced exotic animals. And the customer service leaves alot to be desired.

Dog Gone Pets
55 Meadow Ln
Martinsburg, WV 25401
(304) 263-1771

In Hagerstown MD there is another pet shop called Pugh Petcetra/Aquarium. Been a while since I've been there. Last few times I was though thier tanks were empty. There were a few fw fish but all the sw tanks were empty as well as thier large display had lots of dead corals. Just not a good impression.

Pugh's Fish & Aquarium Warehouse
13340 Pennsylvania Ave
Hagerstown, MD 21742
(301) 791-3685

Hagerstown also has a PetSmart which is ok. I don't shop there much.

16522 Hunters Green Pkwy
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 582-9143

Hagerstown has also recently added a Petco. Again, nothing to write home about. Very limited selection with is just as well.

17235 Cole Road
Hagerstown, MD 21740

In Frederick there is a place called Rick's Pets. I do on occassion visit Rick's to see what he has. I don't normally buy fish from him though. It's a hit or miss type of store. It has good and bad days. I have picked up a few nice anemones from him at fair prices. The worse part about the store is it's crowded. The isles are very narrow, you can't even get a baby stroller into the store.

Rick's Fish and Pet Supply
1003 W Patrick St Ste J
Frederick, MD 21702
(301) 694-9664

I've recently had the opportunity to visit Roozen's Nursery. That was an experience. They have a huge area in back of the nursery just for sw fish and corals. It's worth a stop if your ever in the area.

Roozen Nursery Inc.
8009 Allentown Road
Fort Washington,MD 20744
1-800-721-6003 or 1-301-248-2500

House of Tropics I just revisted a week or so ago. Nothing good to say here so I'll just skip it. I'll post thier info when I find it.

I also got the opportunity to visit a new marine store called Sea Saves.
This was a small store with very friendly staff and resonable prices. Worth a look if your ever in the area.

Sea Save
7362 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard
Glen Burnie, MD 21061-3242

On the north side there is That Pet Place. Awesome store! It's huge with tons of dry goods and thousands of fish. Each area has it's own room. FW, SW, Ponds and a small room for nothing but aquatic plants. This place is great. The only downside to it is it's always super busy. So busy that you have to take a number and wait to be called to have your fish/corals/plants scooped up. lol That's not so bad though. Normally by the time my numbers called my purchases have double. lol

That Pet Place
237 Centerville Rd
Lancaster PA 17603

And lastly I have to give mention to Pacific East Aquaculture. It's not exactly local but it's a great place and a must see if your ever on the eastern shore. It's very clean and everything is healthy looking. It's a bit expensive but the help there is very friendly and Dr. Mac is very knowledgable. When I was there, the greenhouse was down where they grow thier sps corals. I hope to go back someday just to see that in full operation.

Pacific East Aquaculture
107 School Street, PO Box 217
Mardela Springs, MD 21837

Guess that's it for now. Please add your favorites and comments.

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Old 03-31-2006, 05:18 PM   #2
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Right now I go to Fins, Feathers and friends in Charles Town, WV.
214 W Washington St, Charles Town, WV 25414
(304) 728-7723

I know you tried it in the past, Cindy, but I like going there. They tend to have a smaller selection, maybe 25 SW and a whole lot more FW tanks. I prefer (being a noob) talking to them and ask questions, rather than order online (for now).
There is also one in or near ashburn, but I can't find it on yahoo yellow pages...

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Old 03-31-2006, 09:51 PM   #3
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Montgomery County MD
Congressional Aquarium
162 Congressional Ln
Rockville, MD 20852

Tropical Fish World
16529 S Frederick Center
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Fish Factory Aquarium
811 Russell Ave
Gaithersburg, MD

20924 Frederick Rd
Germantown, MD

220 Kentlands Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

12960 Middlebrook Road #520A
Germantown, MD 20874

275 Muddy Branch Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Northern VA
Annandale Super Pets
4415 John Marr Dr.
Annandale, VA

I second checking out ThatFishPlace in Lancaster PA. I'm headed there myself tomorrow!
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:12 PM   #4
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I have only been to two fish stores and they have both been listed but I figured I would elaborate.

Of, course I have been to countless petsmart and petco's being a multiple pet owner. I will pick up fish food from them from time to time. I think they are okay for that. But here is my opinion of the two LFS in my area.

Aquarium Center in Randallstown (listed above)
They have a good dry goods selection like fluff said before. They carry a good supply of tanks, stands, etc. I got most of my stuff to begin from here. I have gone there a few times and have only found one person who was helpful. As, far as their fish, they were okay it was hit and miss. I agree with Fluff definitely call and see if they have had shipments. They also carry reptiles as well if you are interested in that. I have included a link to their website so you can check it out.


Roozen's Aquatics (listed above)
Roozen's is the opposite of the Aquarium Center. They have a good stock of fish (SW), corals, inverts, etc. Although they do not have a great dry goods supply. I would definitely suggest making a trip though if you are ever in the DC area. It doesn't look like much upon arrival but it is worth it. I have attached their website as well.


Those are the only ones I have been to but if that changes I will be sure to update.

BTW, Fluff, I think this topic was a great idea. I am new to the hobby and am always searching for new places to check out.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:01 AM   #5
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roka64, I'll definitely be checking them out again.

bzbee, I see at least two on there I've never been too, cool!

BeGiNeR_7, I'm glad you posted. I just listed the ones I've been to and my personal take on these places. Feel free to add to those as well as give opinions on any store. Since you've been to Randallstown, I would encourage you to make the 20 min hike down the beltway to Exotics. It's worth the drive.
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Old 07-16-2006, 01:42 PM   #6
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Morgantown, WV

Here in Morgantown we have 3 local petstores.

4101 University Town Center Drive
Morgantown, WV 26501-2261

It's a basic Petco, the freshwater and saltwater departments are about what you would expect from a chain store. They have some good days and bad days, mostly bad with over crowded tanks, one tank always seems to have ich. There are two pluses to the saltwater department though, they have decent LR and they have some good looking display fish for sale which are in separate tanks from the main little tanks. Also they display fish are for sale you just have to ask. They have a nice clown trigger that is about $100 he has ben there for over a year at least, I think that the price of the fish scares people away and over to the $3 damsel tank. They also have a nice Eel Blenny (C. subducens) in anoher display tank. In the last display tank the thing to note is a huge arrow crab.

Streetside Home Reef and Pets
401 Fairmont Rd
Morgantown, WV 26501
(304) 296-9218

This is the place to go for saltwater fish in Morgantown. I generally go there once a week because thats the saltwater shipment day. They are also more than happy to help with questions or make special orders for you. They are a small pet shop that doesn't have much in the way of dry goods or equipment, however he can order you tanks and stands pretty quickly. As for small animals he has good healthy chinchillas, usually I am not interested in the rest of the stuff. What I like most about his shop is that he honestly concentrates on the fish. He has a small fish room that is divided up into about half freshwater and half saltwater. There is also one larger tank that has nano corals for about $19.95 and some regular corals for about $39.95. I only keep freshwater discus and he doesnt carry those so I am no sure about his freshwater selection but they usually seem pretty healthy and lively when I go in there. There are about 12 saltwater fish tanks and 6 saltwater invertebrate tanks. The fish are generally pretty healthy, his saltwater and invert tanks have substrates and some live rock probably to make some inhabitants more comfortable. Usually there are no sick fish in the tanks and he tries to space the more agressive ones out a bit. For example in the upper right hand corner he has a nice huma huma trigger that is about 6-7 inches and he has been there for at least 2 months for $39.99 which is a pretty good price for around here. I also like the fact that when I ask questions they try to steer me in the right direction and even away from the more expensive items if they dont fit my needs. For example I was going to get that huma huma but they looked at my setup and steered me to a much smaller and cheaper trigger that would better fit my tank.

The last store is
Exotic Jungle
1716 Mileground Road
Morgantown, WV 26505
(304) 296-8552

Now the Exotic Jungle has the best reptiles you can find around here. The owner is a reptile afficionado. For example she basically has a room with one glass/acrylic wall where this one constrictor lives (about 12 ft long is my guess), there is also an albino cobra in another area, needless to say if you like reptiles this is your place. This place also has an abundance of dry foods and lots of dog/cat stuff. The store is always going through changes and because of that things get disorganized easily and the aisles just seem to get more narrow. Now if you want freshwater fish this is a fine place to come. And because they have greater space they have more freshwater tanks than the above store. They are also the only place to regularly carry discus. The overall health of the fish is on par with Streetside reef. Now the poor saltwater section, they have undergone renovations and previously had a decent saltwater selection but everything is just sad now because the owner told me she was getting disillusioned with saltwater and wanted to take a break for awhile, even disassembling the great display tank they had and selling it off. They had a giant clam in there that must have been about 1-1.5 feet across (don't know much about clams so I dont know if that is noral or not, anyway it was beautiful). Currently I am told that the saltwater section will be redone in the future sometime, but I can't really suggest much here in the way of saltwater livestock. However the jungle is the pet store with the best dry good, specialty foods for freshwater and lots of freshwater plants because they also do a lot of pond setups which means if you need koi you shoul probably come here. I think the one thing about this store that turns some people off is the age of the staff, everyone must be about 22 or younger. This doesn't bother me since this is close to my age bracket, and I think it's great that the owner is giving young people jobs, but I feel that sometimes people are turned off by that.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:27 PM   #7
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Well I see this thread hasn't had any action in a while but I'll throw in my 2 cents on a couple of the Montgomery County places listed...

1) Congressional Aquarium - no NO NO!!!! Bad! Never ever support this store with your hard earned money. The place was bad, they moved to a bigger location, and months later its still bad. Tanks are filthy and fish are listless and sickly. NOTHING I have ever bought there in over a year has lived. My latest purchase of 2 catfish died within 48 hours- and it wasn't my water or my tank because the 2 catfish were in 2 different tanks at my house. The only thing I buy there is plants because they DO have a good plant selection and they seem to do OK.
EDIT: They also sell those evil painted and tattooed fish! Shame!

2) Tropical Fish World in Walnut Hill shopping plaza (Gaithersburg) is GREAT!!! People are pretty knowledgeable. The fish selection, I admit, has good days and bad days. You gotta catch them after a delivery for the best stuff. But nothing I bought from there has ever died.

3) Aquarium One in Wintergreen Plaza (Rockville) - relatively new place. Wasn't impressed at first but the place is growing on me. Purchased 2 angelfish from there a few weeks ago and they are healthy and happy little guys and the price was really reasonable. Nice kid at the counter- actually knew about fish.

4) Petco/PetSmart - cheapest place around for food, gravel, airstones, etc. But never had much luck with the livestock.

So there is my completely opinionated biased review! LOL

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Old 01-06-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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John & Bob Bianchi
5003 Sudley Road
Catharpin, VA 20143
Phone / Fax 703-753-7566

Some of you guys have been to BRK with me and others on your own. So far from all the places I have been this has been the most reliable! John almost always has an amazing selection of fish and an unbeatable selection of corals, inlcuding ORA frags! I have been to many different LFSs and non have been able to beat his prices. Not only does he carry all the fish, corals and critters we like for our tanks but he also has tons of equipment and extras. The staff are knowledgeable and willing to help! I have yet to hear any of them giving bad advice on fish corals or equipment.

All in all my #1 pick for LFS in the area!
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:16 AM   #9
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I'm new to this site, but I do know of a great shop outside of Urbana, MD.

Aquatic Creations Limited
2909 Urbana Pike
Ijamsville, MD 21754

They have a HUGE SUPPLY OF fw and sw tanks, lots of great tanks, dry goods, and the people are pretty knowledgable (at least they used to be when I dealt with them). Usually worth a stop in to check them out. They even deal with prize koi, large filtration systems, outside ponds, etc....
Let me know what you guys think!

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Old 02-25-2008, 08:51 AM   #10
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eastern penn. best LOCAL place ive gone is called One Fish, Two fish in saylorsburg right on 209... but the beat all end all awesome place for fish is That Fish Place/That Pet Place in lancaster... its 2.5 hrs. but so worth the drive even if you just wanna look around they have such an amazingly huge selection... only problem is you gotta take a number and wait for help but there is so much to look at its worth it...

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