i hope your trip went well. if you ever come to the bay area, i'd say you would at least need 1-2 weeks considering the things and places you'd want to see. you could probably do the touristy stuff in san francisco itself within a few days probably 1-3. then theres the rest of the bay area like sausalito is really nice and napa etc. a lot of the places would be day trips from san fran. then on top of that you would want to of course visit the fish stores as well. here is what i have to say about most of the places in SF
6th avenue aquarium on clement- cheap, quality is a little low, but prices beat most of the other fish stores out there. They also have some really cool looking things that most other fish stores wouldn't sell. it's also self serve which is a bit odd so don't expect too much customer service. they also have an upstairs section which i don't know if people know about but its a bit scary to walk around up there because its relly tight and cramped.
Ocean aquarium in the tenderloin/civic center- i wouldnt bother. it's in a really scary ally way with tons of homeless everywhere. their shop is really tiny and their tanks are just packed full of moss and you dont even know what kind of fish are in them. it reminded my of the wand shop from harry potter because everything was just piled on top of other stuff with little buckets and bowls of stuff and fish everywhere.
Lucky ocean aquarium on balboa- pretty good. the guy there has a lot of knowledge but its a little small.
Neptune aquatics in milpitas- i've never been there but i've hear great things. if you're in san francisco, it'll be a bit of a drive might be a small day trip.
Aqua forest in japantown (Definite visit unless recommended against)- DEFINITELY recommend. probably should be the number one on the list. or last because you'd want to save the best for last.
Albany Aquarium in the east bay- also never been here but i've hear a lot of good things about this place. since its in the east bay, it would also probably a side/ day trip.
Aquatic Central over on Ocean Ave-this place is alright, i think their trying to do something to their store at the moment like restock everything im not really sure because i went there one day and they had everything all set up and went there again a month later and everything was broken down and different. so maybe it'll be different the next time you go there.
also i do agree with the academy of sciences and the monterey bay aquarium. they're just amazing aquariums with tons of stuff to see.
Last edited by inthepacific; 11-15-2012 at 08:54 AM.