Both of my parents had friends that eventually opened up pet stores but it was my Grandparents who got me interested in fish. ( My parents were breeding dogs when I was born. ) Every time I would go to visit their place, I would run through the apartment to see the 7 1/2 gal
tank with those beautiful Neon Tetras and assorted other fish. I eventually inherited that tank and stand ( I still have & use the stand today, 50 years later. Who says quality doesn't last?
So I can throw out some oldies stuff for you all to reminisce with.
Metal framed tanks with slate bottoms held together with black tar.
Bubble up HOB
filters. ( Thank you metaframe.
Aquaking filters ( also the Aquamasters
TFH magazine. ( The little one with the book inserts.
FAMA magazine ( for those who aren't quite that old.
Sodium Thiosulfate crystals. ( precurser to chlor-out)
Too many great medications that are, sadly, no longer available. ( ie snail rid, aquarisol, Chloramphenicol...)
Hang on aquarium heaters. ( I am still using some Supreme heaters I got 30 years ago. You just need to keep cleaning those contact points.
Hush 1,2 & 3 air pumps ( Special mention to the Silent Giant air pump too.
Supreme Dynamaster piston pumps ( regular and 12 volt.)
And for you older folks ( like me
) the Cosmic piston pump. ( I know it's around here somewhere. lol )
How's that for old stuff?
A couple years back, I had made some trips back to NJ ( where I came from) and visited a number of stores in the state. I did find 2 that were real "old world", old school hobbyist pet stores. In one store, the place was a little small but it was organized, the fish were beautiful and the owner knew his craft. I highly recommended that store for those looking for the big box experience with the home town touch. Prices were in line and the fish were worth every penny. ( I even brought some of his fish back with me to FL. )
The second store was dark, very crowded with merchandise, the tanks all had sponge or corner filters that looked like they had been in service for quite some time and had some algae growing in them. And NONE of that mattered when you saw the fish in those tanks. They were BEAUTIFUL!!!!! You could tell they had been cared for properly and were being housed properly to have such a great appearance. I took some of his fish home too. ( Thankfully, I didn't have many tanks set up yet or I would have bought back way too many fish.
) The owner was 3rd generation pet shop owner and really knew his stuff. So there are some hidden gems still out there. You just have to be willing to look for them.