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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-29-2012 05:38 AM
Bserve Nature aquarium in LA is on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Yale at a little strip mall. I highly recommend getting some plants there. Toru (the store owner) is very nice and will help you well. He has some very good, healthy plants.
11-15-2012 08:52 AM
inthepacific i hope your trip went well. if you ever come to the bay area, i'd say you would at least need 1-2 weeks considering the things and places you'd want to see. you could probably do the touristy stuff in san francisco itself within a few days probably 1-3. then theres the rest of the bay area like sausalito is really nice and napa etc. a lot of the places would be day trips from san fran. then on top of that you would want to of course visit the fish stores as well. here is what i have to say about most of the places in SF

6th avenue aquarium on clement- cheap, quality is a little low, but prices beat most of the other fish stores out there. They also have some really cool looking things that most other fish stores wouldn't sell. it's also self serve which is a bit odd so don't expect too much customer service. they also have an upstairs section which i don't know if people know about but its a bit scary to walk around up there because its relly tight and cramped.

Ocean aquarium in the tenderloin/civic center- i wouldnt bother. it's in a really scary ally way with tons of homeless everywhere. their shop is really tiny and their tanks are just packed full of moss and you dont even know what kind of fish are in them. it reminded my of the wand shop from harry potter because everything was just piled on top of other stuff with little buckets and bowls of stuff and fish everywhere.

Lucky ocean aquarium on balboa- pretty good. the guy there has a lot of knowledge but its a little small.

Neptune aquatics in milpitas- i've never been there but i've hear great things. if you're in san francisco, it'll be a bit of a drive might be a small day trip.

Aqua forest in japantown (Definite visit unless recommended against)- DEFINITELY recommend. probably should be the number one on the list. or last because you'd want to save the best for last.
Albany Aquarium in the east bay- also never been here but i've hear a lot of good things about this place. since its in the east bay, it would also probably a side/ day trip.

Aquatic Central over on Ocean Ave-this place is alright, i think their trying to do something to their store at the moment like restock everything im not really sure because i went there one day and they had everything all set up and went there again a month later and everything was broken down and different. so maybe it'll be different the next time you go there.

also i do agree with the academy of sciences and the monterey bay aquarium. they're just amazing aquariums with tons of stuff to see.
11-05-2012 04:31 PM
blink I tried to post this last week but my phone was being flakey.

I just want to thank you all for your help and suggestions, we went to a couple places in Los Angeles, Allens and 7 Seas and both were very helpful and had tons of tanks in stock and one other I've forgotten the name of but it was pretty unremarkable.
San Diego was a different story, we were starting to burn out and decided to make Aquatic Warehouse our only stop which was great because they had everything we could have wanted, including the 12 long that was on my shopping list. It took some serious will power to not come home with a second, nor the finnex Ray2 I was eyeballing.

San Francisco will unfortunately have to wait till next time as we just ran out of go-go power and headed home, but I think we will fly there soon.

So again, I'd just like to say thanks to the locals who pointed our directions even though we didn't make it to all the stops.
10-20-2012 11:44 PM
hydrosparky Aquatic Warehouse has some nice stuff, but don't go to Fountains because their service sucks!
10-18-2012 07:19 PM
etane I second Nature Aquarium. The store is beautiful. Most tanks are beautifully scaped. They buy their tanks and stuff from AFA as far as I know. It's in Santa Monica near 3rd street Promenade if you so choose to visit. I bought both my 60H and 60P from Toru.

I'd add Seaside Tropical Fish in Huntington Beach. Despite their name, I'd say their specialty is marine fish that takes up 3/4 of the store. The store is very pretty. It's also close to HB downtown if you choose to visit.

Most of the other stores on your list that I can recognize is not worth seeing in my opinion such as 405 and Tongs. Nice stores but pretty generic and not worth the drive. But, that's me. Oh, and they are in OC not SD.
10-18-2012 07:25 AM
Originally Posted by mb165 View Post
Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica is nice.

Also, I wouldn't waste your time going to Sacramento.
Excluding wholesalers, I prefer Sac to LA and the Bay Area. It's easier to get to the stores, and they have WAY more square footage and better prices. Jo Jo stacks up well against most other stores in the nation, and Exotic has the tank space of a wholesaler...except that you can buy directly from them.

I second the recommendation for Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica. My favorite of the LA stores.
10-18-2012 04:09 AM
KFryman Academy Sciences! Totally forgot it! This place is awesome! They have tons of animals and they have a simulated rain forest in a big sphere. Including fish at the bottom where there is a pond, and there are tanks below as well. Really awesome.
10-18-2012 12:59 AM
Jonnywhoop Monterey Bay Aquarium
San Francisco Academy of Sciences

Not fish stores, but you will. you will. !@#$ your pants
10-17-2012 06:52 AM
KFryman I have two nearby that sell ADA, Neptune and AFA. Though Neptunes Aquasoil is more expensive than AFA's since they buy Aquasoil from AFA. They also have lots of wood and rocks.

I know there are some people in Sac, but havent heard of any cool stores there. Monterey Bay Aquarium is really cool. They replicate natural environments, like the kelp forest is actually replicated from the forest that is literally outside the aquarium building. Really cool place to see saltwater fish, just no freshwater besides a small thing for trout.
10-17-2012 04:28 AM
blink Thanks for the responses so far, it's nice to have this first hand local knowledge.

I'll definitely post plenty and I'm sure after we return home I'll be remembering the better ones fondly.... Our closest ADA dealer is 2.5 hours away lol
10-17-2012 02:37 AM
mb165 Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica is nice.

Also, I wouldn't waste your time going to Sacramento.
10-16-2012 09:12 PM
Gooberfish In Regards to the SF Bay Area:

6th ave: Kind of a thrifty place. Great asian food nearby. I love Clemment Street. I recommend eating at King of Thai Noodle on the next block across the street.

Aqua Forest: Definitely go there but not on Tuesdays because they're closed on Tuesdays. Wed-Sun are the best days (IMO) GREAT seafood place up the street from it. Woodhouse Fish Co. What better way to complete looking at fish than eating some. I had an orgasmic crab melt though.

Aquarium Concepts: Gets better each time I've gone in, but I still think their Saltwater>Freshwater. Worth visiting.

Connies: It's on the way to Aquarium Concepts. Also steadily improving. Go browse the pond section in the back parking lot area. Best in the bay area.

Aqua Traders: Pretty sketchy. If there's one you could skip, you won't miss out on this place they're website is far more impressive. It's in a warehouse-type building, not much of a LFS feel.

Albany Aquarium: Very good store. The guy there, Evan, is the most personable LFS dude I've encountered. Pretty knowledgeable too. Livestock is expensive but looks very healthy (not that you'd be buying fish & shrimp on your honeymoon)

Aquatic Central: I've been in there about 3 or 4 times, hasn't impressed me yet. It's been quite a few months since I last walked in, but go in with low expectations. I just buy excel and that stuff.

Let us know how your experiences were. I've never been to the LFS in the south bay (Sunnyvale, Milpitas etc.)
10-16-2012 06:35 PM
blink Good point plantedrich, im mostly looking for nice display tanks, good plant selection/health and dry good selection because bringing back livestock is harder and i suspect requires import permits.

Thanks for the responses so far
10-16-2012 06:13 PM
Kathyy Not fresh water and nothing to buy for a fresh water tank but if you are going that way Santa Cruz has the Monarch butterflies roosting for the winter at Natural Bridges and Natural Bridges is very close to Long Marine Lab which is not large or expensive and is quite nice to visit.

My favorite LFS is TAT in Ventura off the 101. DH likes to eat at the Japanese market next door and I sneak over to look at the fish and multiple tanks of plants for sale and planted tanks in there.
10-16-2012 05:51 PM
johnson18 I know it's not a aquarium shop but the Monterey Bay Aquarium is amazing! I could easily(and have a time or two) spends days in that place!
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