but the general state of the store is just gross.
I have to agree with you about the state of the store. But, I do disagree on buying fish there. If you can get past the nastiness of the store, they have a good fish selection IMO. They are the only place I have found rummynose tetras, bristlenose plecos, and german rams. I also bought 3 angels from them. All the fish have lived, except for one german ram, but they are pretty sensitive fish. I bought an angel from a different store and it didn't live.
Ed's tanks have algae growing in them, the place smells a little, and its rather unclean, but I will still by fish there, for their unique selection. They have some beautiful Discus and some large plecos and clown loaches.
I drive an hour across Bham to get to Ed's. That's how much I like the fish selection.
Now finding good plants in the Bham area, thats another story. I order all my plants online. They are better quality, have a better selection, and its convenient (sp?).