Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Gainesville, FL
I do like it when employees make conversation and ask about my tanks if I'm buying anything, and I understand they're probably also trying to make sure I'm not just buying fish to throw into a bowl or anything. But then don't try and get me to buy a bunch of products that I most likely will never need. I understand you have to run a business, but not everyone is going to buy into the opinion that you need to add this and that to have healthy fish/plants...
Poorly labeled tanks are a big one for me too. Not only is it misleading if the fish are no longer in there but it's a pain to have to ask about everything you're considering buying. A bunch of scribbled out writing on a tank doesn't make it look very attractive either. In addition, know your stock well enough to at least give me the idea you know what you're doing. I worked at a LFS for a short while and was completely out of my element sometimes when it came to saltwater, but I researched enough to get to the point where I could ID fish if I was the only one around to bag it for a customer (having it labeled properly helped). I recently went to a LFS, stood in front of a tank full of Vals and asked for some Vallisneria runners...the guy looked at me like the entire sentence was in Latin.
I also don't like messy stores in general. Most places tend to be "hole in the wall" stores which are cram packed and not very conducive for cleaning, but I don't want a stack of empty boxes blocking the aisle or product with 1" layer of dust on it that makes it look expired. Obviously keep the tanks free of dead or sick fish. All good stores should have separate QT facilities.
I think that quality LFS just have knowledgeable employees, a varied stock (or are at least willing to order specific things for you), and keep a good looking store. If you can do that then I have no issues.