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Momotaro 12-07-2005 02:57 AM

The new Rt. 4 Aquarium
Rt 4 is a old shop over on Broadway (Rt.4) in Elmwood Park. In it's heyday, Rt. 4 Aquarium was the place to go. The aquariums were spotless, the fish were great and the display aquariums were awesome! Unfortunately, over time the place became run down, ownership seemed to lose interest in the business and the place became grossly mismanaged. It closed.

I stopped over at Rt. 4 Aquarium tonight with Jay Luto, as the place has reopened under new management. Jay had been in contact with the new owner and he invited Jay to stop by to discuss some ideas for the shop in general, and a plant section in particular.

I have to say, I was shocked when I walked into the place. It was clean again! The aquariums were all new, the place was well lighted, and the clutter was gone. The shop is still a work in progress, but it is much better that it was and seems to be progressing forward!

We spoke for a bit about local NJ politics and how they effect a business, and running a business. Then we talked plants. The owner was keen on starting up a plant section and definitely wants a successful plant business. We exchanged ideas, and are planning on setting up a display aquarium in the shop some time in the near future.

Right now the shop has the basics. African cichlids, common tetras, all know. the staples a new business needs to keep the doors open. With time fish and plant selection will grow. In fact, once the shop is completed, I'd encourage growers to drop off clippings to help expand the shops selection and make the place a real "plant destination". Jay and I plan to! :proud:

A very, very promising revival in the makings. I'll write a review of the shop in this section once it is up and running on all cylinders. Until then, I would encourage folks in the area to drop by the store and have a look around. Keep an eye out for the new plant section in the months to come, as well as the planted display aquarium! When you get there, ask for Les (the owner) and let him know about your interest in plants. tell him Jay and Mike sent you! ;)


jerseyjay 12-07-2005 03:47 AM


Thanks for this quick review. I definitely had a good time tonight and see this establishment in the future as one of the best distributors for plant related items in NJ / NY area. Les is very open minded and willing to promote the hobby and help us out. At the same time we should remember to support our Mom&Pop shops b/c that is where we develop close relationship which is extremely beneficial to our hobby's future.

There are a lot of exciting things coming up ! BIG THINGS I should say .... Stay tune ! Few of us are working on something interesting that should please a lot of local members :)

tazcrash69 12-07-2005 01:01 PM

Hey, Mike, and Jay
Is this the place on 4 west after the 208 split with a black and gray stone front?
I tried going there about 2 weeks ago (just to see what was in there), and it was closed with a "under new management sign".
If it is the place I'm thinknig about I'm glad to hear that it'll be a place to watch, and is very close to me.

SunkShip 12-07-2005 08:26 PM

I will definately donate some clippings when my plants start growing :sleep:

lester@rt4 12-08-2005 08:05 PM

The Aquarium At Rt. 4
Hello all,

First off I would like to thank Jay and Mike for the kudos and stopping by the store. As they mentioned I am looking forward to working with the club and promoting the hobby. We are still a work in progress and will continue to add improvements through the next couple months. One of those improvements would be to expand on the planted tank section, which never really took any shape in the past. With Jay and Mike's help, I am hoping to make this a success for the club and the store.

Taz, this is the place you are referring to.

The store used to be called Rt.4 Aquarium. Due to legal reasons and complications, the new name of the location will now be "The Aquarium at Rt.4". The new sign is coming. The store is under new ownership and management. As Mike said, we are looking to bring back the store and relive the reputation it had prior to the previous owners.

Like Jay said, big things are coming...stay tuned...or stop by...143 Broadway, Elmwood Park, NJ 07407, 201-797-6650, 201-797-6655. I will be at the shop on come and visit.

tazcrash69 12-10-2005 08:33 PM

I stopped by today.
Lester It was nice to meet you.

Right now they are concentrating on their bread and butter, but after talking with Lester it sounds like they will be doing some really nice things, and I can't wait to see how this turns out.

BTW, was talking with Lester about a purchasing a new tank (I'm getting the OK from the boss ;) ), and he said he would give 15% back in store cred for people on the board. :proud:

tazcrash69 03-01-2006 12:11 PM

Looking better
OK, here's an update o The Aquarium on route 4.
I picked up my new tank, stand, and canopy from these guys a few months back, and they gave me a 15% store credit (mention you are from the board on a tank purchase) :thumbsup: which came in very handy for setting up and stocking the new monster. Their plants are coming along little by little, and I canít wait to see them finish their planted display tank.
I do have to say this: their fish & their prices are top notch. 2 weeks ago I picked up 12 ottos and every one them has survived. Also I got 12 tiger barbs that have perfect markings :) (better than other I got from a different LFS) . Also the prices are some of the best in this area.

I really hope this place keeps on this track.

hedge_fund 03-09-2006 06:30 PM

I definitely have to stop by there soon. :thumbsup:

hedge_fund 03-23-2006 08:21 PM

I went there yesterday and was not all that impressed. It seemed like they were still renovating the place so I'll just have to come back at another time to get a good feel of the place.

LS6 Tommy 08-12-2006 01:44 AM

I stopped in today. Not very much in the way of plants. The tanks that did have plants had silt all over them. The only decent live planted tank is the display tank. As someone else stated, it looks like they're still renovating. They had a whole multiple-tank stand out in the middle of the floor being painted, there were building materials and tools just kind of laying around. Definitely not as good as the old Rt. 4 Aquarium was.


tazcrash69 08-14-2006 01:14 PM

I never went to the old route 4 Aquarium. I stopped by last week, and there has been some progress, but I guess these things tanke time. I have to agree with Tommy, it's still a work in progress, and it looks like plants are not at the top of the list.

tazz27 08-30-2006 11:42 PM

I went to this shop tonight for the first time in awhile. I have to aggree with some of the other posts in this thread that I wasnt to impressed. Many of the tanks had fish with cases of ich. And the plant tank had a great deal of silt still. There also looked to be dead fish lying on top of some of the tanks.

Momotaro 08-31-2006 03:03 AM

The new Route 4 has become the old Route 4.

I knew that was coming a month after the place opened. Jay and I were supposed to plant a display aquarium. We spent days on materials and plant lists, only to find out the owner went ahead and did it himself. :icon_roll

I'll never go back.


Nicolas Rodriguez 09-25-2008 10:46 PM

I dont see what your problem with it is. I was just there i believe yesterday, and the people were very helpfull. I purchased 3 angel fish and they are all doing excellent, and i also purchased 5 zebra danios a week ago, also doing fine. They have a very nice selection of angels and discus, and i believe they are relativly done renovating, the place seems very nice and the people are very friendly.

Gatekeeper 09-25-2008 10:49 PM

Hey Nicolas and welcome to planted tank. Mikes post is over two years old. Opinons on stores will always vary.

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