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Old 07-19-2015, 06:22 PM   #51
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What a great thread!
Thanks to all who shared.
The smell,the odd creatures(some of my old LFS had monkeys and snakes and exoctics also!).
I do remember the boxes Andy(although I had forgot!).
I wish I had kept my original metaframe 29 g slate bottom.
Back then when I was young, you may have only had one hobby and for that the reward could be great!.
I have been blessed to have a"father and son" LFS that although moving 4 times in last 35-40 years is still run by the surviving son today.
They are my #1 LFS of all time.
It is nice to know fish history and have fish history.
I remember the first "submersible " heaters as I did not have any !
We sure can't go back and there is some good in the new(good luck finding out about it), but is nice to remember when......
Thanks all!
The thread still exists. You sound like it may be your last post. I hope not. We need you.
What a blessing to still have that great old store. I wish I could say the same.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:09 PM   #52
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One of the stores that started by my Dad's friend is still open in NJ. They have since moved across the street to a new building but it's still run by the friend's son. A few years back I was working in a fish wholesale house in Miami and the store was one of our shipping customers. There is a twist to this. The manager of the store when I was young, married the owner ( my Dad's friend)and came to visit the place I was working. We had 3 buildings and when I heard this man was in another building with the boss, I went over to see him. To say it was a fun reunion would be an understatement. I was describing things about the store from way back when and he couldn't believe I could remember so much. They had a store mascot Spider Monkey and a koi pool in the middle of the floor. His response to my mentioning the pool was " geez, I even forgot about that pool. LOL " Now to make the twist tighter. I mentioned a former employee of his that moved down to FL and came to work in a store I had been managing. The store's name was similar to his store's name because the owner of the store also came from our area of NJ and was a customer as well. So I was, even after leaving 20+ years earlier, still connected to the store. LOL
How's that for reminiscing?
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:09 PM   #53
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Good story, but a wee bit confusing.
Thanks Andy. You're a great guy.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:07 AM   #54
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Good story, but a wee bit confusing.
Thanks Andy. You're a great guy.
Thanks for the compliment.
What's confusing?
This is it in a nutshell: The manager of the NJ store when I was a kid became the owner, through marriage, of that same store after I left NJ. Roughly 6 or 7 years after leaving NJ, I go to work for a store in FL that has a similar name to the NJ store. The reason it's similar is because it was inspired by that very store in NJ. About 2 years after working in the FL store, someone comes to work for us in the FL store and turns out to be a former employee of the same NJ store. ( Big inhale.......)
Approx 15 years after leaving the FL store, I now work for a fish wholesaler in Miami, FL and one of our customers is that same NJ store( now run by the son/stepson) and the step dad ( who was the manager from when I was a kid.) I tell him about all my memories of his old store and he's impressed because he didn't even remember some of them.
So even tho I had moved 1200 miles away and it was almost 25 years later, I was still , in a round about way, still connected to one of my LFS from my childhood. ( I'm not sure how many can say that. lol ) I told you there was a crazy twist.
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:32 AM   #55
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Man I'm only 15 and this thread hit me dead in the feels.



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Old 07-20-2015, 06:58 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post
Thanks for the compliment.
What's confusing?
This is it in a nutshell: The manager of the NJ store when I was a kid became the owner, through marriage, of that same store after I left NJ. Roughly 6 or 7 years after leaving NJ, I go to work for a store in FL that has a similar name to the NJ store. The reason it's similar is because it was inspired by that very store in NJ. About 2 years after working in the FL store, someone comes to work for us in the FL store and turns out to be a former employee of the same NJ store. ( Big inhale.......)
Approx 15 years after leaving the FL store, I now work for a fish wholesaler in Miami, FL and one of our customers is that same NJ store( now run by the son/stepson) and the step dad ( who was the manager from when I was a kid.) I tell him about all my memories of his old store and he's impressed because he didn't even remember some of them.
So even tho I had moved 1200 miles away and it was almost 25 years later, I was still , in a round about way, still connected to one of my LFS from my childhood. ( I'm not sure how many can say that. lol ) I told you there was a crazy twist.
Thanks for the clarification, Andy. Co-incidence for sure ! What are the chances ?
Great story !
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:53 AM   #57
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You ever are down in California check out p & p tropical fish in cypress they have been there for over 30 years husband and wife owners, they need support.
I have been there many times, but find it hard to purchase because the health of the salt section is atrocious and his prices on dry goods are considerably higher than other local shops.
He does have some nice coral, but I'm honestly leery of getting anything from his tanks.

Sadly Paul is more or less burned out and it shows.

I like the guy, very friendly, but you can tell he hasn't been able to keep up with competition, but he also doesn't do much to try and get new business either.
I have yet to visit the store when there wasn't rampant cases of ich in the salt section, with apparently no concern from the owners.
He actually got angry with me once for pointing out ill fish.
Like I said, he is a sweetheart of a guy, but refuses to adjust his business model to accommodate customers and grow the business back up.
Example, one day I was shopping for a canister filter and asked to see a few he has up on a top shelf. "Oh, those are just empty boxes, they don't even make the Fluval one anymore." was his response.
Why in the heck would a person devote real estate that they are paying for every month with stuff they can't sell?????
Needless to say he lost a sale that day.

I offered help and some advice to generate more sales, but was met with anger more than anything else.

The store has great potential, but I'm not sure Paul still has the drive in him to do it. He seems pretty beaten down.
If you think I'm being too harsh, visit the store with a critical eye and you will notice these things.

Interesting side note, when he started his store he bought all the equipment, tanks and supplies from the store I managed when they went out of business.

sorry for going off on a tangent, I really feel for the guy, but can't ignore issues that preclude my being a regular customer.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:05 AM   #58
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Many of my early fish keeping memories mimic Andy's, probably because we are both old farts....LOL


I mainly visit two stores in my area, 405 Tropical and Tong's. Both family owned and in business for many decades. They both do it more or less right and the stores are always busy from opening to closing.


I noticed Dallas seemed surprised that the store he mentioned uses undergravel filters. For a lfs undergravel filters are THE best and easiest way to go, IMO.
The only thing you need to do is give the substrate a good cleaning every few weeks and your golden.
We used to simply set-up the old Vortex diatomaceous earth filter and let it do it's thing for about 15 minutes and then on to the next tank. Easy and never any issues that are associated with centralized systems; like parasites spreading through the system.
The store I ran had undergravels in all the fresh water and reverse flow undergravel filters in the salt section.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:05 AM   #59
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Don't expect I'll ever be there, but my heart goes out to that owner. Can't tell if you're being too harsh without actually being there myself. My hope is that you are, but it doesn't sound so.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:10 AM   #60
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Many of my early fish keeping memories mimic Andy's, probably because we are both old farts....LOL


I mainly visit two stores in my area, 405 Tropical and Tong's. Both family owned and in business for many decades. They both do it more or less right and the stores are always busy from opening to closing.


I noticed Dallas seemed surprised that the store he mentioned uses undergravel filters. For a lfs undergravel filters are THE best and easiest way to go, IMO.
The only thing you need to do is give the substrate a good cleaning every few weeks and your golden.
We used to simply set-up the old Vortex diatomaceous earth filter and let it do it's thing for about 15 minutes and then on to the next tank. Easy and never any issues that are associated with centralized systems; like parasites spreading through the system.
The store I ran had undergravels in all the fresh water and reverse flow undergravel filters in the salt section.
Never had one. Even in a goldfish tank with a high bioload ?
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