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Old 09-22-2004, 11:28 PM   #41
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i came from Cary MChenry County area, some stores there id recomend checkin out are

exotic aquatics (highly priced) lake in the hills

Advanced Aquatics in schmbrg

sho tank aquatics marengo

Beyond the reef schmbrg (only been once but nice setup)

Living Sea Aquariums park ridge (huge selection)

Scotts Pet shop westchester

something fishy aquatics in south elgin (staff rude but fun setup)

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Old 09-24-2004, 01:21 AM   #42
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I found a list of illinois places and here is what I found on a few near me.

Strandell's Equine and Pet Center, 2025 E. Algonquin Rd, Algonquin, Illinois, 60102, phone 847-658-8866

They are only freshwater now. They did have some cool freshwater stingrays, Chilids (sp?) etc. Not a lot of drygoods either.

Exotic Aquatics. The address they had was wrong but close enough that I could still find it after stopping to ask.

They have alot of large expensive fish, some coral (ok selection) and alot of reef equiptment and supplies. They are expensive as xxmoorishmanxx pointed out.

Crystal Lake
Birds and Beasts, 35 Berkshire Drive, Crystal Lake, IL, 60014 , phone 815-477-7387

The have a large selection of coral maybe a hundred or so different pieces. All started at $30-40 for a 3-4" piece. They have a few fish and inverts mostly clowns and none very large. They have alot of Freshwater fish also. They have an ok drygood selection. They also have a $10/year club that gets you 10% off. After paying for the 2nd year its a lifetime 10% as I was told.

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Old 09-30-2004, 10:34 AM   #43
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I've visited Pets Etc, and found at least one of the staff to be fairly ignorant of what they were doing. On the bright side, there were no dead fish in the tanks.. yet. They seem to lack knowledge, but were good about keeping the tanks clean. The fish seemed fairly healthy, so I'm assuming someone else was taking care of them other than the person I talked to. I'd consider buying a fish there, but after researching it somewhere else - I wouldn't take the staff's advice. The Seahorse tank in front made my eye twitch.. let's just say it didn't look too healthy.. even for a Seahorse that was being blown sideways by the water flow.

I've also been to Pet Paradise, but only once. The staff was friendly and helpful, and set me up with my first SW tank. I'd go back if it was on my way.

None of the Petcos or Petsmarts have been appropriate places to purchase fish, but I will occasionally pick up dry goods there. When you go to the fish section and ask if they sell Amazon Swords, and get "I don't know what kind of fish we have" as a response, that's not a good sign. Also, the ratio of dead fish to tanks should probably not be around two to one. I won't mention the feeder Goldfish tanks.

..No, I will. Dead fish lined the filter intake. Entirely. I also found one stuck to the wall in the live plant tank. Staff at every Petco I've ever been to has almost *insisted* that I buy their smallest bowl with any Betta purchase. Some have flat out insisted, informing me that the Betta would somehow be *happier* in a plastic vase because it was more like "home". 8O

Aquatic World in Chicago is decent. They sell a fair variety of animals, and are mostly SW based. Some of their inverts don't look so good, but that may have been due to poor handling before they arrived. LR seemed overpriced, especially the uncured. It did have some nice shapes though. Staff is very friendly, and is happy to answer questions. I go every now and then, sometimes just to see what they have in next.

Petland had some variety of fish, but I wouldn't be surprised if a purchase didn't make it through the week.
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:51 AM   #44
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Just an addition - just visited Living Sea Aquarium. I have to drive a little over an hour to get there, but for livestock this is my current choice of LFS. They have a HUGE selection - don't go right before they close, you won't find the fish you're looking for in time. They have some nice set ups (lots of rays), one with quite a large eel in it. For their return policy - if you want their 7-day guarantee, you have to bring in a water sample. I find this reasonable. 24 hour, otherwise.

Reasonable prices, decent staff. Will be going in again this week.
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:30 PM   #45
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Just an update on Tropi-Quatics of Lombard, IL
They have moved to a new building, just to the north (but still south of the tracks) and the other side of the street (now on east side). The move was last fall, and it is A nicer setup. The tanks are looking better that at the old location. The goldfish tanks are rather sad, but I have found that to be the case at most LFS's. The SW section is looking good (through my FW eyes). Fish Prices seem good too, especially if you join the pet club to get discounts. Lots of Discus. Pretty good selection of FW fish. It might be worth another look.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:10 PM   #46
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Old Town Aquarium on Wells at North Ave in Chicago is my LFS of choice.

Living in the city, I've gotten over the "shock" in sticker shock and accept the fact that OTA is going to be a bit pricey - but they take great care of their stocks, really know their stuff, and the guy who has befriended me there doesn't hesitate to whisper "you can get this on eBay a lot cheaper..." from time to time.

I haven't bought my new aquarium yet, but have been in several times just to chat them up and check out their live stock. And they've won over my business for the tank, cabinetry, and lighting, even though I know I could get it cheaper elsewhere...
Planning a 55 gallon planted tank, due sometime in July...
Draft Stocking Plan (Subject to change at any moment, all advice welcome!):

3 Boesemani Rainbows
9 Rummynose Tetras
4 German Blue Rams
1 Siamese Algae Eater (or 2 American Flagfish)
3 YoYo Loaches (or Zebra or Burmese Border)
1 Bristlenose Pleco (or Rubbernose)

The Maybes:
1 Leopard Frog Pleco (L-134) (if I can find it)
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:55 AM   #47
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I buy my fish stuff almost exclusively from the Southern Illinois Tropical Fish Hatchery (long name) in Salem. It's a small store owned by a friend of mine who is as good with fish as he is with people. The only times I see dead fish in his store are when they're in quarantine and have a disease or when the fish was very old.
They have a wide variety, from oddballs to the "bread and butter" fish, a few inverts, aquatic plants, and birds.
I'd recommend that anybody in the surrounding area check this store out. It's the only one in my general area that's even worth seeing.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:05 PM   #48
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I am up here in Mighigan and I love Aquatic Gardens in Saginaw. They don't try and sell useless stuff and all their fish are healthy. I have never seen dead fish in the tanks. They QT all of their new fish that they get and they have awesome reef systems. Also have koi ponds. The staff is very knowledgeable (sp? ) ( and hot lol) and I love to go in there and talk about my tanks and different kinds of fish with them.

Soldan's in Bay City, on the other hand, is horrible. There are always sick or dead fish everytime I go in there. The employees don't even acknowledge me when I go in there. I have tested them with questions and they just stare at me blankly. I approached an employee once asking about live plants and he said, "The plants in the tanks." and just walked away from me.

My Opinion.
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When in doubt, do a water change!

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Old 05-17-2010, 01:17 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by xxmoorishmanxx View Post
i came from Cary MChenry County area, some stores there id recomend checkin out are

exotic aquatics (highly priced) lake in the hills

Advanced Aquatics in schmbrg

sho tank aquatics marengo

Beyond the reef schmbrg (only been once but nice setup)

Living Sea Aquariums park ridge (huge selection)

Scotts Pet shop westchester

something fishy aquatics in south elgin (staff rude but fun setup)
a few more
birds and beasts- crystal lake- iffy on rudeness
aquarium adventures - schaumburg- about as rude as it gets
corbins exotic pets- marengo- iffy on their knowledge-sells sterile fish
sea escapes- south elgin- possibly something fishy but doubtful-rude
jims pet world- villa park(passable very passable I wouldnt buy feeders from this chooch)- read in the parenthesis
Living sea- park ridge- decent but also rude
old towne- chicago- been once, didnt buy due to chicago pricing
sho tank- mundelien- salt last time I was there
beyond the reef- schaumburg(my filter store and awesome staff, chris is great) awesome staff

Bad part is there are alot of vacant fish stores up in the mchenry/kane/lake county areas.
Rockford is supposed to have the bee's knee's of fish selections.
That's not a planted tank. That's a jungle with glass around it- MFDROOKIE Circa 2011
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:50 AM   #50
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MI - LFS - The Fish Doctors. I personally go to the Ypsilanti (South of Ann Arbor) and they are unbelievably phenomenal. The prices are good and they are always giving discounts and helping me out with everything. EVERY staff member I have talked to knows a ton about everything and if they don't they don't try to BS. They are a store with the heart of a teacher. I am thoroughly impressed.

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