Hi, living in Santa Cruz, from Berkeley. I'm newish to hobby and locally we have 3-4 lfs
and a pet-smart. I don't particularly like Tropaquarium for their lack of selection or service, but they cater more to SW
or reptiles perhaps.
So far I am most impressed by Brown's Eco Aquarium, very happy tanks and lots of nice plants. Fish marked not for sale are a sign of the owner's love of his hobby/livelihood IMO
The pet emporium in capitola is a good resource, they have a lady there who is knowledgeable about disease treatment, however they also thought I was strange for doing a fish less cycle. Maybe a little old school, and the younger employees are just clueless kids with local tude. A bit pricey but well stocked on equipment and medications.