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Old 07-22-2006, 06:55 PM   #1
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online, used, or LFS

I am new to the hobby and have read several books on the subject. I am in the beginning stages of looking and pricing equipment.

Can anyone recommend a whether I should buy from the LFS, look in the classified ads / ebay, or try my luck online?

Also, is there a popular website that the majority of people think has good prices? I stumbled upon a couple (Drsfostersmith, the hidden reef) but just wanted to make sure that I wasnt not missing a good one.

I also went to my LFS but they seemed on the pricey side.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:50 PM   #2
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I have found that bigalsonline.com has:

Good prices
Extensive inventory
Great customer service

What more could you ask for?

Drs Foster & Smith are good for INFORMATION, with numerous pages of very helpful info on everything you could possibly want to learn about and more. They also sell live stock and give pertinent info on the fish, inverts etc. They also have weekly sales to get you looking on a regular basis.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:59 PM   #3
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check out craigslist in your area, too. ive ordered from ebay and from drfostersmith and have good results from both. it just depends on what you are after and how much you want to pay. if your bugdet is limited, definately check out all of them. i def recommend drfostersmith. they have decent pricing as well as shipping and you cant beat the customer service. there is also a classified section on AA that you can check out....
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Old 07-22-2006, 09:02 PM   #4
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I recommend buying the large items such as tank, stand, and canopy from a reputable LFS. This will save on shipping costs and possible damage claims. Be sure to shop around because prices vary alot from store to store. Smaller items such as lights, powerheads, skimmer, live rock, and livestock can be bought online at prices much better than your LFS. You'll save on shipping costs by combining many items in one order. Check out the advertisers on this forum. They are very reputable.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:14 PM   #5
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I was going to say the smae thing as JD as anysavings getting online will be eaten up by the shipping. Welcome to AA and if you need anything element ,just ask.
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:24 AM   #6
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Big items like the tank and stand should just be purchased locally. Whether you buy new or used really depends on the deals you can find. I actually advocate buying dry goods and equipment online because there is a large savings (at least where I live), especially when you place large orders. Many places have free shipping when you spend a set amount of money. Just do some pricing between the LFS and online vendors to see what is the better deal.
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:31 AM   #7
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Here is a thread I started a few months ago comparing drsfostersmith.com with my LFS...
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...online+savings
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:06 PM   #8
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I agree that buying the aquarium and stand is best at the LFS, however you can find some great deals on tanks on Craigslist if you are careful and water test them.

I bought most of my equip. from Dr. Fosters and Smith and by making large orders saved a lot of money. I have also used BigAls and the shipping has been very fast, however I prefer Dr Foster and Smith.

There are also some people selling equip. on the AA classified.

Good Luck
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Old 07-23-2006, 07:37 PM   #9
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Thanks a bunch everyone.
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Old 07-23-2006, 08:04 PM   #10
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I just bought a tank and stand at my LFS and now I am trying to buy everything else online. I find prices vary greatly online so I am jumping around.
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