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Old 05/03/2012, 01:48 PM   #101
Lib95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubanreef22 View Post
Hey guys what do you guys prefer in Northern Illinios?? There really arent too many choices???

Sho Tank in Mundelein is one of the good N. IL places.


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Old 05/03/2012, 02:06 PM   #102
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Exotic Aquatics

I was just in there last weekend....and they were doing some heavy cleaning in the tanks and the store had a god awful smell. My wife had to walk out of the door after about 5 minutes.
they are moving, dont know where


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Old 05/03/2012, 02:06 PM   #103
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Sho Tank in Mundelein is one of the good N. IL places.
+1 and another one in Deerfield...


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Old 05/03/2012, 04:14 PM   #104
cubanreef22
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Sho Tank in Mundelein is one of the good N. IL places.
I know about that one but just seeing if there were others to see more of a variety...


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Old 05/15/2012, 03:13 PM   #105
sixty4tw
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This is an update of the reviews I posted in October of last year:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...1&postcount=65

I no longer reside in Oak Park and am now living in the Albany Park area of the north side. I've had the chance to visit many more LFS (starting to stock my new 29g FOWLR) and also wanted to update my last post.

Again, these are just my opinions....

Places I have already reviewed:

Oak Park Natural Pet and Fish
Have stopped in for dry goods several times and everything still looks good. I don't think "Jim", the eastern European guy works there anymore as I've only seen Scott the last few times. Too bad, because I really liked the other guy.

Ocean Design
I recently stopped in and was somewhat disappointed. The selection of SW was very minimal and some of the livestock did not look too good. The staff seemed less helpful and enthusiastic. Doubtful I will be buying any livestock from them.

Coral Reef
Still not at all impressed.

Old Town Aquarium
Still one of the best (if pricey) shops around. Last visit they just did not have anything I was specifically looking for, but would buy from them again.

New Fish
Still my favorite. I wish they had a bigger selection, but the staff is top-notch and they are one of the few that actually quarantine most of their new arrivals. Highly recommend!

Note: I am expecting a few fish to come in on order this week from New Fish. I have never actually special ordered from any LFS store before because they usually just take down your info and ask you to keep checking and it never happens. But James (owner or manager...not sure) is very hands on and when his order comes in this week I am hopeful to be getting a Blue (MacNeill's) Assessor and a Harptail Blenny. I will let you know how this goes!

Places that were not in my last review:

Living Sea, Park Ridge
I've read a lot of reviews, some terrible - some positive, of this place. I would say it falls in the middle. It certainly is a large store and they have a pretty big selection of SW fish (not as much for Nano). Their tanks seem pretty clean and none of them are overcrowded. But their prices are very high. The staff is ok, not great. For such large store they have a very limited selection of dry goods (for SW). A very large slection of corals and inverts also. One of the few I've seen that stocks the Banded Trochus snails, of which I may purchase a few.

Old Orchard Aquarium, Skokie
Same thing here, a lot of mixed reviews. I do like this place more than Living Sea. Most of the staff is very friendly and fairly knowledgable (one guy is a bit too much of a know-it-all for my tastes). The prices are high, but not outrageous. Livestock selection is very good and the tanks always look good. They seem to have great selection of corals. But again they are a bit pricey. I bought some live rock (and base rock) from them at a very reasonable price for my new tank and I am very happy with it. Overall a really nice store. Great selection of tanks and dry goods as well.

Beyond the Reef, Schaumburg
A smallish store that is exclusively SW with a reasonable selection of fish, corals, and inverts. Clean tanks, friendly and non-pushy staff. Decent slection of dry goods. Again, they did not have anything that was on my list but I would probably buy from them if they did. One thing I liked, all the fish in their main display tanks have a "date" which tells you how long they have been there. I think that's very useful information. Their prices are very fair as well.

Advanced Aquatics, Schaumburg
Another small shop that seems to have more of an emphasis on corals (enormous frag table). The fish selection is very limited as are the dry goods. The owner struck me as...a little odd. I might revisit this place if I deceide to get into corals.

Aquarium Adventure (Schaumburg and Bolingbrook)
I've recently been to both locations. These are very large stores (each has an adjacent full-blown pet store).

I have to say I was pretty APPALLED at their saltwater section (the FW seemed MUCH nicer). In both stores they have dirty, crusty display tanks. Many are mislabeled as to what is in them. Some of the tanks are bare bottom and all of them are just not well-maintained in any way. There are dead fish, stressed fish, sick and injured fish (I saw a Possum Wrasse, which I would like to get, but he was all beat up, most likely because they had it an a tank with an aggressive fish...and no place to hide). Others looked malnourished as well. Just a very depressing experience when in it comes to SW livestock. I would never buy from them.

Not that I would give them my business (because of the above) but they do have a huge selection of dry goods. They are also the only stores in the area I have seen that carry Deep Blue Professional aquariums, which I think are a notch better that Aqueon, Top Fin, or Marineland.

But, be warned, this is not a place for any serious hobbyist.

That's it for now. Planning an LFS crawl to the south city and south burbs soon so I will post more soon.

Thanks!


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Old 05/19/2012, 03:48 PM   #106
wakeupneo
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Did you guys add Reefwise of Lisle, IL to the list?

He has some of the most reasonable prices I have ever seen. I just bought some top notch tonga live rock from there for $5/lb.


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Old 05/30/2012, 07:41 PM   #107
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Mind posint some pics of the Tonga? Im looking for some good Live Rock


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Old 05/30/2012, 09:57 PM   #108
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LFS open house this weekend.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2175915


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Old 05/31/2012, 04:34 PM   #109
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I was just down at Aquatic and Chicago Fish and Coral. Aquatic is a very nice store with very helpful staff (I counted 4-5 staff members). All the fish looked healthy and reasonably priced. They are having a sale on hermits@ $.99 a piece. Also looks like they have some pretty high end palys and such. Prices on the coral were reasonable. Good selection on inverts as well.

Chicago Fish/Coral on the other hand...very limited selection of fish and coral. Prices where lightly high for what I saw. Probably won't go back.


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Old 06/11/2012, 01:41 PM   #110
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I stopped by Reefwise late last week and have to admit this is one best stores I have been to. The selection of corals surpasses any other store I have visited. Can't wait to upgrade my lighting to Aqua Illumination, so I can stock my tank with some corals from Reefwise. Two thumbs up from me!


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Old 06/23/2012, 09:53 PM   #111
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^^^I agree 100%. For those who remember ReefDepot, ReefWise is the next best thing. I was there today and got some really great frags. Fish all looked healthy and the corals are amazing. Great selection of everything.


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Old 07/17/2012, 09:08 AM   #112
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by michealprater View Post
OK, that worked, here is a map of all stores in the Chicago area.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...2,3.515625&z=8
Map is awesome - Thanks for making this!


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Old 07/17/2012, 01:45 PM   #113
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+1 on Sho Tank in Mundelein. Very nice selection of fish and corals. Awesome store display


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Old 09/06/2012, 10:04 AM   #114
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New fish store in St Charles just opened. Out of the Blue Aquatics. right off route 64 and Dunham rd. They are new. Great prices on fish. coral selection is still ramping up but he is working on getting variety.


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Old 11/03/2012, 04:12 PM   #115
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Looks like Beyond the Reef in Schaumburg has new owners. I am looking to get back into the hobby and the person I talked to there today unfortunately was not very knowledgeable. Sad to see Jeff and his wife sell.


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Old 11/03/2012, 07:07 PM   #116
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Looks like Beyond the Reef in Schaumburg has new owners. I am looking to get back into the hobby and the person I talked to there today unfortunately was not very knowledgeable. Sad to see Jeff and his wife sell.
What??


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Old 11/04/2012, 07:03 AM   #117
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What??
Yep, apparently they sold last week


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Old 11/05/2012, 08:52 PM   #118
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And I was going to go there this week!


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Old 11/14/2012, 07:14 PM   #119
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Stopped at reefwise today and they had a lot of great corals and pretty good prices too.


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Old 11/14/2012, 09:55 PM   #120
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Just bought 2 percs at Beyond the Reef yesterday. Big note on the register saying "goodbyes" from previous owners. I felt like I bought 2 really healthy fish. I drove from Bolingbrook, passing several LFS including the Aquarium Adventure in town where the fish all look like they are dying. I just feel good about how the fish look at BTReef.


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Old 11/19/2012, 02:16 PM   #121
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Stopped at reefwise today and they had a lot of great corals and pretty good prices too.
I was out there this weekend. They were very helpful and prices did seem reasonable to me. I wish they had more in the way of fish selection but the coral tanks are really nice.


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Old 11/23/2012, 11:36 AM   #122
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I was out there this weekend. They were very helpful and prices did seem reasonable to me. I wish they had more in the way of fish selection but the coral tanks are really nice.
If you noticed the two large acrylic tanks in there with the large acrylic tanks on top, that is going to be his new fish setup. Brian has been working on them for months, cleaning them up and putting a custom overflow with dividers. He has been cycling the water and rock in the blue tub with the bio-pellets and the one with the triggers. His current fish setup is going away and in it place he is building a new SPS tank.


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Old 11/29/2012, 07:07 PM   #123
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Just a heads up, Reef Plus in North Aurora is starting to use Facebook more and uploading pictures of corals and other livestock he gets in along with specials. If anything the owner takes some awesome pictures that are pretty nice to look at. Steve is also starting to stock a lot more dry goods and equipment in the store over the last few months then he has in the past.


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Old 12/17/2012, 06:07 AM   #124
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Old Orchard Aquarium Beware! Do not Shop here!

Guys, have to warn you all! Stay clear of Old Orchard Aquarium! They sell RO/DI water that is not filtered and after testing it, comes out .135ppm! If you have expensive fish like me, do not risk killing them. This store has an attitude and they also have a very tough return policy. The staff here are extremely rude, obnoxious, and they are nice only as long as you are spending lots of money and don't ask too many questions. If you don't believe, read all the filtered reviews about them on yelp and also this forum.


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Old 12/17/2012, 09:37 AM   #125
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Guys, have to warn you all! Stay clear of Old Orchard Aquarium! They sell RO/DI water that is not filtered and after testing it, comes out .135ppm! If you have expensive fish like me, do not risk killing them. This store has an attitude and they also have a very tough return policy. The staff here are extremely rude, obnoxious, and they are nice only as long as you are spending lots of money and don't ask too many questions. If you don't believe, read all the filtered reviews about them on yelp and also this forum.
.135ppm isn't going to kill fish


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