Zach -- welcome to the Hawaii real estate/rental market! The real estate sales boom here has made the apartment rental market similarly rocket upwards. The one bedroom apartment near Ala Moana Center/Convention Center that I lived in when I used to rent, in 2001, was $800/month, and now rents at $1400. One of the prices of paradise...
Back to the fish topic, just FYI, the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture site at http://www.hawaiiag.org/hdoa/pi_pq_lists.htm
DOES list approved fish and animals, and the list is fairly extensive (see "List of Conditional Approved Animals"). That said, in order to import, you have to submit an application to bring fish into the state -- I think it's $15 for a one-time permit, and $40 for a multi-use annual permit. I had some beautiful Apisto. panduros and Laetacara dorsigera shipped in from Dave Soares in Oregon (via Aquabid).
Regarding plants, I think that the selection at Pets Plus is just as good, if not better than Petland Kahala/Ala Moana. While the Petlands have large quantities, they aren't necessarily a wide variety -- lots of crypts, swords. Pets Plus is a smaller store, but usually has a nice variety of different kinds of plants, including the aforementioned crypts and swords, as well as anubias, java fern and moss, crinium, aponogetons, etc. Talk to the manager, Stan (whom I refer to as "Stan, Stan, Aquarium Plant Man"), who grows quite a bit of aquarium plants at home. At various places, if you look regularly/religously, you can find glosso, riccia, and other plants (hopefully no salvinia
I don't want to sound down on Petland, because I end up finding stuff at so many different Honolulu stores (Pets Plus, Petland, Modern Pet, Pets Discount (!), Pets Unlimited, Coral Fish Hawaii). However, I find the fish/plant knowledge of the vast majority of Petland staff to be severely lacking. Both Ala Moana and Kahala Petlands of course, have some knowledgeable people, but they're the exception. While I'm griping, it bothers me that Petland Kahala sets up that beautiful plant tank, yet actually sells very, very little of the plants/fish at the store (i.e., no riccia, no zebra plecos, etc.). It's like:
-- "Look what a great planted tank you can build!"
-- "Great, can I get some of that____________ (riccia, zebras, whatever)?"
-- "Uh, no, we don't sell that here."
I'm sorry, but that just plain sucks.
Ben -- I haven't been to Naturally Pets, but upon my drive-by viewing, I thought it was just pet food. Hopefully I'm wrong, it'd be great to check out a new store.
Glad to see other Hawaii aquarium hobbyists here -- any of you guys with Honolulu Aquarium Society?