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BSS 12-20-2005 11:30 PM

Any Interesting lfs's Near GR?
Hey folks,

I'm visiting the home-country for the holidays and was wondering if there were any interesting places to visit in my home town of Grand Rapids? Based on all you guys have written, it looks like I'll have to make the 1 hour drive down to Preus (sp?), perhaps Grandma will watch the rugrats and I can escape for a chunk of the day. But, anything closer to my childhood home?


esarkipato 12-21-2005 12:11 PM

YESSSSS go to Pruess, it will be like 1 hr 20 minutes (east of Lansing in okemos) but worth the drive. Another cool one is Chow Hound on 28th and Eastern, they have decent plants and fish, and some nice saltwater setups. What it lacks in variety, it makes up in proximity :)

eusair 12-22-2005 12:10 AM

is that all? that is terrible. i am in kalamazoo and there is nothing here. you would think more people would be into this, given the present weather. i guess beer is just too big of a hobby around here.

esarkipato 12-22-2005 11:51 AM

Yea the fish scene around w. michigan kinda sux. K-zoo has that one good shop on Stadium, deep sea or something. . . VI pets on south division in GR is nice for fish, but they have a plant section that makes me throwupinmymouth 8O

IMO, fish and beer mix together just fine ;)

Jdinh04 12-22-2005 03:12 PM

Yes, Preuss would be your best choice around mid-michigan area. They do carry a good selection of plants, but not the best quality that I have seen. You might want to check out today, that is when their shipments come in. They are also starting to order fro AquaBotanic (Robert Hudson) as well so maybe I will get to see the plant's quality get a little better.

BSS 12-23-2005 01:32 PM

Thanks, guys! I flew into Flint, so I might check out Preuss on the way back to the airport on Wednesday. As to Chow Hound, I'll likely try to hit that as it's not too bad of a drive from here.

Any others (though, I'm not holding my breath :) )?

figgy 12-23-2005 06:28 PM

Dittos for the VIPets on Plainfield. Pretty good selection of fauna, flora is lousy but they let me bring my bulldog in to shop.

Ernie--I didn't know about that Chow Hound,,,,thanks--I thought they were all as bad as the two on my end of town.

Preuss is your best bet.


BSS 12-24-2005 08:30 PM

I almost didn't make it to Chow Hound, because it wasn't listed in the yellow pages at my Mom's. But, I decided to head over there, and as advertised, it is definitely right there on the corner. Scott, one of the fish tank leads, I'd guess, seemed very helpful and knowledgeable. He spit out several of the latin names and mentioned Amano's name. He also talked about having insufficient light and such for the plants, but stated they did what they could. They had a couple Madagascar Lace plants, which I'd never seen in a store. They also had a dozen or so SAE's, though the tank listed them as Flying Fox for $1.99. Scott seemed to know this, though I wonder if he's honor the $1.99 price. That seems pretty good to me. Not a whole lot of tank supplies, but they had, perhaps, 20 plant varieties, which is better than most any store I've seen in Orlando. Scott also suggested that he'd try to order any plant I wanted and stated his prices were *much* better than Preuss, though he did agree Preuss was a very nice store. Oh, and he was pretty psyched to hear that his store had been mentioned on the net. Seemed like a real good guy!

I then headed south on Division. The store listed around the 4400 address range was gone, so I headed down to VI Pets at 6701 S. Division. Though the plants weren't spectacular, it was one of the best organized and helpful shops I've been in. They must have had 15 sizes/shapes of air stones, a decent assortment of tanks, and a nice selection of driftwood. There was a 72 gallon bf planted discus tank which a CO2 ladder which also included some of my favorite Sterbai cories. The plant health wasn't great, but it was a nice attempt. The fish selection in their back corner room was quite extensive, considering the size of the shop. I actually picked up two nice sized pieces of the multi-colored wood (Mawponi? Malaysian?) that I had not seen at stores before. I likely paid too much for it, but as I've been wanting some for a while, I snatched it up.

Not sure I'll get another chance to venture out, but it was a nice diversion for a couple of hours.

Thanks for the suggestions, folks!!

figgy 12-30-2005 11:56 PM

Chow Hound Redux

Inspired by Brian's trip, I dropped by the Chow Hound he described. Not bad for Grand Rapids. We met Scott, who was indeed a nice guy, and got some plants at a discount since I came from the plant forum out there that mentioned him. A trio of small melon swords and some cabomba that had just come in. We chatted long [he was, of course, smitten by my Bulldog Gina] and I saw pictures of the planted discus tank he himself used to own.

He also had a gorgeous pair of Blue Rams I wished I had the room for!

I also got a two LED white "lunar light" that I couldn't find at my end of town and he even offered to sell me less than 5 gal of R/O water at a time for the going price. My regular lfs won't do that and it ticks me off to no end! 40lbs is too heavy for me to haul down the path to my house, dangitt.

For us locals, he said that Wednesday is "New Shipment Day" and to stop in for new plants, etc.

We had a good time, and Gina got some cookies....:thumbsup:


tritan 01-02-2006 02:52 AM

Nice place
There is a little hole in the wall place that is a secret in GR. Its on the west side in the township of Georgetown in Jenison. The store is called Aquarium Services. Tim the owner has 5 or so employees and maintains tanks for Big companies , hospitials , and even the Devos family. He has been in the buisiness all his life and has alot of knowledge with both salt and freshwater fish. He has a (new location)building off Old Main street in Jenison just off I -196. The building is a house with a pole barn behind it that he has coverted in a store. You drive behind the house and you will see the store . He has a room of fresh and a room of salt and marine fish and plants, corals etc. No prices on the tanks you just ask and eveything for the most part is for sale. He has a decent selection of hardy plants in all the tanks and does a great job of displaying . Its very tropical feeling in his shop with palm branch like ceiling fans and hula skirts around the tank bases.You can take your coat off as the temp reflects the amount of water and tropical feel to the store. Tim doesn't have a humidiifer installed yet. He primarily makes his money off the service end of it but has recently taking on more retail with plans in the future for expanding . His hours are strange but you can call to see if he is there and if he answers the phone the doors are open. If you guys want more detail directions let me know. If you stop by tell him Matt sent ya.:thumbsup:

eusair 01-02-2006 11:59 PM

awesome. i'm glad to hear there are a few sources around.

i just went to deep sea aquariums on stadium in kalamazoo. indeed, that have much that can't be found elsewhere. however, they have very little that i would consider buying from them. their couple plants are unsellable and i wasn't impressed with the coral display. i didn't find the staff at all personable. I know nothing about fish, so i can't comment on them. they had a few reptiles. a veiled chameleon and a blue tongued skink, amongst others. maybe it is the time of year, but that place is nearly useless to me. nevertheless, it is a virtual monopoly in kzoo.

i'll definately be taking a road trip soon. it sounds like i'll still have to buy most of the plants i want online, though. i don't see why stores don't have more plants. most plants are easy.

tritan 02-25-2006 04:46 PM

:thumbsup: I just came from Aquarium Services in Jenison. All i have to say is wow!! He has added alot more planted tanks now that he is becoming established in there new buildiing.I can't believe some of the fish he has that no other store has.I bought some angels from him about a month ago they are the marbles that have a touch of golden yellow to them . I couldn't find that type any where but his store. got to check them out!! I told him about this site and he stated he has been checking it out thats great news for the planted fourms!!:thumbsup: :fish:

esarkipato 02-25-2006 05:17 PM

Hey matt, I'm definitely going to need to check out Aquarium Services in Jenison. How can I find out his hours? Sounds like a pretty cool setup, I'd love to see it!

tritan 02-25-2006 06:47 PM

Here is a map to the area. I don't have his new address but this is within 2 houses. I say houses because the front part of the place on the road is an older farm house. There is two cement strips that enter to a large pole barn type construction building behind the house. You will see a open close sign in the window at that point. You can take your coat off and stay awhile as it feels like a rain forest in there:)
He told me his web address is www.aquariumservices.usa but I can't get to work. I will have to call him monday and see if there site is down or not up yet. I don't know his weekday hours but Saturdays are 9am-2pm. I will see what I can find on monday.

BSS 02-26-2006 02:25 AM

I went to the Grandville school district during my entire childhood, and graduated from high school there before heading out the UofM and 'escaping' :) . Looks like that location is very close to one of the original Meijer Thrifty Acres. Looks like I've got another reason to go visit good, ol' Mom!!

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