Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan
I work in Troy and Live in Sterling Heights. I mostly focus on SW selection but for here I'll list what I've come across.
Atlantis fish shop: A good store. I've been in there 2-3 times to check stuff out and kill time on lunch break. Their FW selection is limited and their plants looked sort of rough. Their prices are good on dry goods and they have a good variety of substrates. Their SW selection is pretty good though coral prices are higher. The tall guy working there most of the time seems awkward, though somewhat knowledgeable. The store is clean.
Amazon Stingray: Right down the road from Atlantis, their stingrays are amazing. If I had the room for a large tank I would get one hands down. The lady there is really nice and I had a great conversation with her. It seems that they get shipments in regularly and the livestock looks in good health.
Kees Aquarium: Best LFS in the area IMO. Clean, helpful employees though sometimes a few of them come off quite arrogant. Good plant tank, healthy livestock, and overall a very enjoyable place to be.
Moby Dicks - awesome livestock, small store. I used to go here a lot when I lived in Auburn Hills. It gets really busy on weekends so you have to grab an employee to get service. Overall some very good employees though who are knowledgeable and overall really nice.
Tropical Fish & Pond (14 & Woodward): I'm conflicted about this place... Very nice reptile selection - some great looking geckos! I was also quite surprised with their really good prices. I spent a good amount of time in there checking out everything. The guy working - presumably the owner - was friendly and asked if I was looking for anything while he sorted out the decade old selection of books for sale. Regarding their fish, it was mixed. Some fish were really nice but most of the fish were only okay. Their tanks are mostly individually run using HOB power filters or under gravel filters. The result is quite a bit of noise - but the benefit is that any infections stay isolated. I found a few nice full grown fish for good prices. Those can be harder to find. That being said the place was totally gross. I'm not easily grossed out but the place stunk. There were dried up fish underneath the tanks by the rocks. The tanks all had quite a bit of algae growing. A whole corner of the store was taken up by old crusty tanks waiting to be sold off. The plants were insufficiently lit. There is a larger SW system with like an 8ft trickle filter but it was covered up by old tanks. Interestingly enough I didn't notice many heaters. He keeps the place warm for the herps, but I felt a few of the tropical tanks were quite cold, 65-70 if I had to guess. But again the prices seemed quite good. They had some really cool spiders & scorpions. They even had tiny rose legged tarantulas for sale in sauce cups for $4. If it were my store I would spend my spare time cleaning it up and removing the hazards (by the SW filter there is a metal electrical conduit which has rusted through exposing the electrical wires - which looked wet). It just seems like the owner should spend more time keeping the place up.
Pet Haven (16 & Van Dyke): Owner seems nice. The tanks and inhabitants are in decent condition. Doesn't seem like a store for more advanced hobbyists but a decent place to get some fish for your kids. There are a bunch of little antiques and stuff in the front of the store.
Oceans & Seas (696 & Gratiot): I went there and their selection is good. It's a bigger store and they have a lot of fish. The employees are not so nice - the girls there pretty much ignored me. I bought a fish that was supposed to be on special - but the guy made me buy their membership deal to get the discount - which was also dumb because there was a coupon to join their membership club for free too... The tanks look a little dated, as do the shelves that support them (the inside in the places I checked didn't seem to be painted so the wood had fuzzies growing on them). Overall not a bad store though. I would certainly check them out.
I'll add more as my adventures take me elsewhere.