It may just be my location, but for me they are pretty easy to find. I have noticed that they are pretty bad when it comes to hardiness, unless you have really good stock. I got 10 from a friend, I lost one randomly, not sure what happened, then lost another randomly. The 8 are holding steady and haven't got any diseases, despite having ick a couple weeks before getting them.
So maybe they die easily in new conditions and once settled they are hardy?
I would recommend not mail ordering these guys. They are pretty sensitive when you first get them so you want to make sure you are buying good stock. Buying fish like this "Sight-unseen" is a bit risky IMO.
You want to make sure they are nice and red at the tip and are healthy when you assess the skills, gills, and fins.
I know that Petsmart and Petco can get them. YOu may have to special order them but almost EVERY major store buys from Segrest Farms and they have them all the time.
Is the Wetspot in Portland Oregon? I just did a quick google on them and after 15-20 detours to other aquarium interests (LOL) I google mapped them. Is it possible that they're in the same store that used to be Boyd's? That place ROCKED. Man, of all the things I miss about that town, Boyd's was right up there. I know they closed a while ago and more or less vanished off the map. They were 2 brothers who ran the place and they were close to retirement when I shopped there back in the 80s.
It all depends on the LFS you are getting them from. After all these fish all come from the same fish farms whether you get them at a LFS or from an online vendor. I do agree that Wetspot has nice quality fish but that has more to do with the way they acclimate them and the care that is taken before they sell them.
I agree. It does depend on the store(wetspot is a LFS), but most stores are not good enough quaility. Half of peoples fish problems stem from where they get them IMO. And wetspot takes care to make sure they have quality suppliers, and they take great care of the fish once they have them. So once you get the fish, they are at a very little risk for disease because of weak genetics, bad conditions, or both. I always try to split my orders online so shipping becomes very reasonable.
I bought a dozen tank-raised from LiveAquaria about 9 months ago. A little pricey, but they are all alive and well. I think it helps to cut out the middleman (LFS) for these guys so there is less shipping and acclimation they have to go though. Also, if you are getting them cheap, chances are they are wild caught and you'll likely have much higher losses.
I just pm'd him on Friday after my loss to check my other options and he said he didn't know if he would have more until right before Thanksgiving. He is a sponsor Aquarium Design Innovations and his user name is tex627.
I get my from lfs $2.29 each. The way I see it, its the way lfs QT their fish.
Most lfs QT system run on one water system. If one tank get sick the rest of the tank most likely will catch it.
I know of one lfs that doesn't run on one water system.
Each tank they have run on AC hob filter.