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Old 12/26/2007, 10:01 PM   #1
ACBlinky
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When a LFS does something right...

I think it's nice to post and tell everyone!

There's only one store in my city that sells SW fish - they specialize in fish and reptiles, while every other store in town that carries fish is really a pet store. They're not perfect - their corals aren't usually very healthy looking, many of their prices are VERY high compared to LFSs in Toronto, but they do one thing spectacularly. Their SW fish are the healthiest, fattest, happiest LFS fish I've ever seen. I've never seen a sick SW fish there, never a torn fin, never a sunken belly - it's quite impressive.

My hubby took me there today to get me a Christmas present - he knows you can't buy someone a living animal for their reef without them being there - and as I looked over the stock I was very pleased with what I saw. I wanted a flame angel, but the one they had was a bit out of our budget at $139.99. Then I noticed a beautiful little coral beauty in another tank - they're not my favourite dwarf angel, but this guy was nicely proportioned (rounder than some), beautifully coloured, and he had personality plus. He was a cheeky little guy, sneaking up on the other fish and taking playful dives at them (no harm done though, he really seemed to be playing), grazing the substrate, watching me through the glass - it's this fearless nature that I adore in dwarf angels.

On the spot I decided to take him home, he was too cute to leave behind. When I asked someone to catch him, the first thing the employee told me was that he was a reptile specialist, so he would go get someone else if I needed questions answered, or if I needed advice on whether the fish would work for me. Two points! Most stores will just sell you anything, they actually wanted to make sure it was going to a suitable home. He caught the fish quickly and gently, which was a nice change from some LFSs where they chase the fish with a tiny net until it's exhausted.

I asked the manager about their QT/treatment procedures, and he told me all about how their fish are selected by hand, and only those that eat at the wholesaler's are chosen. They're treated with copper and formalin, and stay in the store 8 weeks or more before being sold. Nice! Disease-free, happily eating, settled, rested fish. I was happy to pay $10 more than a Toronto LFS would charge, to get a virtually perfect purchase.

Last time I was at this store, I had a bit of a sour experience with the manager, but he's definitely redeemed himself. Just thought I'd give a decent LFS review where it's warranted, since they're always getting bashed


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Current Tank Info: 150g mixed reef, 30g sump/refugium, LED lighting, 100lbs LR, coral beauty, flame angel, blue & yellow tangs, gobies, damsels, 6-line wrasse, lawnmower blenny, dottyback, clown pair, rabbitfish, shrimp, crabs, CUC.
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Old 12/26/2007, 10:17 PM   #2
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Sounds like they deserve to be frequented.


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Old 12/26/2007, 10:21 PM   #3
ACBlinky
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Yep, agreed. That's why I joined their 'fish club' today - $10/year, for 10% off all livestock purchases and 25% off today's purchase (my coral beauty).

I was hesitant to shop there at first, the prices are a bit daunting, but if I figure in the price of gas to take a trip to the city and then add in the possibility that those fish may not live because they're not handled with nearly the same care, and all of a sudden those higher prices make a lot of sense!


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Current Tank Info: 150g mixed reef, 30g sump/refugium, LED lighting, 100lbs LR, coral beauty, flame angel, blue & yellow tangs, gobies, damsels, 6-line wrasse, lawnmower blenny, dottyback, clown pair, rabbitfish, shrimp, crabs, CUC.
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Old 12/27/2007, 01:47 AM   #4
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Good to hear ... and I agree, the good ones need to get more press.

Spleen


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Old 12/27/2007, 10:13 AM   #5
ACBlinky
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Anyone else have good LFS experiences? Let's spread some good cheer!


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"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea."
- Isak Dinesen

Current Tank Info: 150g mixed reef, 30g sump/refugium, LED lighting, 100lbs LR, coral beauty, flame angel, blue & yellow tangs, gobies, damsels, 6-line wrasse, lawnmower blenny, dottyback, clown pair, rabbitfish, shrimp, crabs, CUC.
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Old 12/27/2007, 02:18 PM   #6
ernestlives
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$140 for flame angel??? Seems really steep


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Old 12/27/2007, 02:32 PM   #7
jonathanws
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Quote:
Originally posted by ACBlinky
Anyone else have good LFS experiences? Let's spread some good cheer!
they've been very few and far between lol


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Old 12/27/2007, 02:43 PM   #8
zach0660
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$139 for a flame angel!! Holy crap, the better LFS's here sell them for around $50.


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Old 12/27/2007, 02:54 PM   #9
Toddrtrex
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Quote:
Originally posted by zach0660
$139 for a flame angel!! Holy crap, the better LFS's here sell them for around $50.
Mind you that she lives north of the border, so that price might be in Canadian dollars, or loonies, or whatever they are called.

(( at least I hope that is the case ))


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Old 12/27/2007, 02:54 PM   #10
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Not to rain on the parade, but it's pretty easy to keep fish healthy looking for the short term if you pump them up with Copper and Formalin, but long term exposure to those medications can cause severe internal problems with many types of fish, especially Tangs.

Healthy fish maintained by a proper diet and good water quality and husbandry are much more impressive, IMO. But it is good that this store does a QT before putting them out for sale. That's probably why they jack the prices up so high. $140.00 for a Flame Angel is out of sight. Even more out of sight if that's Canadian $$ (US is weak right now). I can get copper treated ones at the local Petco for $35.00, and I live further from the ocean than you do in Ontario!


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Old 12/27/2007, 03:46 PM   #11
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It is great to hear some good new every once in a while. I would also frequent a shop like that.
Don't take their word on the qt though. Do your own at home.


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Old 12/27/2007, 03:53 PM   #12
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Every thing in canada is expensive. They are used to it. We are not


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Current Tank Info: I have a 180 gal mostly LPS corals, it contains 1 Val. Tang, 1 yellow striped clown fish, 3 percula clownfish, a blood shrimp, cleaner shrimp and a sand shifting goby, 5 pajama cardinals, 1 green chromis. Also a 75 gal. sump/fug.
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Old 12/27/2007, 04:15 PM   #13
andrewkw
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Quote:
Originally posted by usmc121581
Every thing in canada is expensive. They are used to it. We are not
Actually live stock in general is cheaper in canada, equipment does usually cost more.

I've seen flame angels as cheap as $29.99, that's probably where
ACBlinky's store got theirs.

In a small town things are always going to cost more since the stores are most likely buying from wholesalers instead of importing their own.


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Old 12/27/2007, 04:19 PM   #14
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Ok well an LFS in my city Charlotte NC.

I bought one of their show sized fish, a 10 inch red coris wrasse. I acclimated everything perfectly and everything went right until 2 weeks later. I told him about it and he came to my house, did water changes , helped me catch all the fish to put them in QT, hyposaline, and refunded all the fish i bought from him that died ( only about 2 fish died)

and he did all of that free of charge.

Now they are my main LFS and all their fish are healthy. They hand pick ALL their fish at their other location store and make sure they are eating. They DO NOT use any sort of medications all their fish look healthy, exept an occasional 2-3 in a different system. The service is excellent and treat you very well, with very knowledgable advice.

Price is very low also.


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Old 12/27/2007, 04:21 PM   #15
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Also a note with prices, even if their low, you have to measure up to the serivce and quality they give u

I would rather pay high prices for a quality fish, than low ich infested.

But Low with excellent service works too =)


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Old 12/27/2007, 05:50 PM   #16
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ACBlinky, you write exceptionally well. Congratulations on a pleasant experience.


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Old 12/27/2007, 07:33 PM   #17
ACBlinky
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Well thanks Steve!

I agree the price on the flame angel is extremely high, but they're priced anywhere from $65 up most places I see them. The 'fish club' member price was $89, which is still steep, but it's a beautiful, healthy fish - had I not seen the CB, I might have forked out for the flame but since it's the personality and algae-eating I'm after, the CB fit the bill nicely. I paid $37.50 for him, which IMO is very reasonable for a QT'd, eating-everything-you-throw-in-the-tank, fat little CB

This is the first SW fish I've purchased at this particular store, and so far he's doing very well. I also bought my mollies there, and they're all thriving and breeding like rabbits. I guess only time will tell if his apparent robust health is chemically induced, but my gut tells me he's going to do very well


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Current Tank Info: 150g mixed reef, 30g sump/refugium, LED lighting, 100lbs LR, coral beauty, flame angel, blue & yellow tangs, gobies, damsels, 6-line wrasse, lawnmower blenny, dottyback, clown pair, rabbitfish, shrimp, crabs, CUC.
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Old 12/27/2007, 08:41 PM   #18
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Great to hear. I've had similar experiences with an LFS that I visit on occasion. High-priced livestock but everything always looks to be in incredible health. I've purchased three fish from this store - all of which remain in my tank to this day. I could've easily picked up the same species of fish elsewhere for much cheaper, but figured I'd rather pay the extra few bucks for something I know has been taken care of properly. So far, my three little investments have been paying out nicely.



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Old 12/27/2007, 08:54 PM   #19
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Most of the flame angels here in winnipeg are about $70, not sure if that's similiar to below the border.


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Old 12/27/2007, 09:31 PM   #20
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I walked in a Petland store once and it was like a crime scene. Most of the fish looked shocked and were swimming very slow at the bottom of the tanks. In one of the tanks, the refractometer was left inside floating. I wish I had a camera and take some photos. Not to mention hair algae spread all over!!


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Old 12/27/2007, 09:58 PM   #21
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I've seen Flame Angels here in the Toronto area as low as $29.99. Just all depends on where you live, how many stores exist in the area, where the fish comes from, store type ie. independent-owned vs. franchised vs. corporate, and so on and so on. A lot to consider when pricing a fish it seems..
:S


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Old 12/28/2007, 03:46 AM   #22
spleen93
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Flame angels can vary greatly in price depending on where they come from. Christmas Island flames are a dime a dozen and can be found for generally cheap prices. Hawaiian flames are much rarer and correspondingly more expensive - who knows, maybe the one that ACBlinky saw was actually from Hawaii. (Christmas ones are more orange on the sides, the Hawaiian ones are very red).

Spleen


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