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Canoe2Can 04-05-2006 06:44 PM

Pet Supplies Plus, other LFS in Pittsburgh Area
I've not sure if Pet Supplies Plus is a local, regional, or national chain, but I'm pretty sure that they are mostly in Pennsylvania from my experience.

Well, I've had it with them. When they first opened a few stores in my area, they were one of the few chains that seemed to have good livestock and competitive pricing. No more. Their livestock stinks and their pricing is worse. Just about every time I go in there to buy something, I find that the "real" price is different from what is marked on the shelf.

For example, today, I wanted to buy two 25 pound bags of regular old aquarium gravel. The place I usually go was sold out of what I wanted, so I went to Pet Supplies Plus. I found an acceptable color, and at $10.15 a bag, it was a bit more than I wanted to pay, but acceptable. So I take them up to the register, and they ring up at $13.50. So I made a stink about it (as I have done at least twice before). The saleswoman walks back with me to the shelf, looks at the price tag, and tells me that "it must be for something else." Yeah, I always figure that the price tag RIGHT UNDER the item is for something else.

So I walked out. If I can help it, never to return.

Anyone else have this experience at Pet Supplies Plus?

Ryzilla 04-05-2006 06:55 PM

I have several of them by me around Chicago, IL. I think that at times they are competetive, but that is when they have deals. Currently their dog food is $2 less then petsmart and petco.

Wilder 04-05-2006 07:34 PM

We've got them here in Indiana. Great for natural dog/cat food, but I don't buy much else from them. Interesting to note that the one we usually go to has no animals for sale, unless you count cats for adoption through a rescue. The one where we used to live (about three hours north) had one dingy section of nasty tanks that had only guppies, platies, etc. in them. They were so badly maintained it was horrifying... especially how they sold them as, "Serve yourself." They wouldn't catch a fish for you.

I guess it's different in each store.

RoseHawke 04-05-2006 07:52 PM

We have PSP here. I believe it is a franchise rather than an actual chain per se. So you'll have different owner/operators for each store, and each store run differently, I suspect. I like mine, they have a good selection of fish supplies at decent prices and the ONLY Malaysian driftwood I have seen at any LFS in the area.

But I probably wouldn't buy fish from them as I buy all my fish from a mom 'n pop type establishment down the road.

To tell you the truth I've not even really looked at their fish. I'll have to take note next time I pop in to check out the driftwood.

filipnoy85 04-05-2006 11:23 PM

They're here in Michigan too... I'm not sure about all their prices, but they're fish are expensive and selection sucks. They do have great sales though. I bought a quality air pump (forgot the brand) at 50% the retail price at petco and petsmart.

Canoe2Can 04-06-2006 02:09 PM

Well I guess that answers the question of local, regional, or national. And I wonder if RoseHawke might have something about the franchise thing. I have certainly noticed differences in stores from one to another. But I've also noticed some of the exact same things (example, they all used to have public restrooms, now none of them will let you use it, not that it has anything to do with fish).

When my wife was in college (before we were married), she lived in Ohio, and they had a PSP there. That store seemed to have better selection and livestock.

Well, regardless, I think I'm done with them.

But since this is a Pennsylvania page, I'll put in a plug for another place here in PA. I got my new 120 and stand at Pet Supply Warehouse in Greensburg, PA. Their prices on tanks and stands are better than anywhere else I've ever found. I paid $270 for the tank and $170 for the stand. I couldn't find a 120 anywhere for less than $300 (not even That Pet Place in Lancaster). And the stand I got from them is solid oak. I couldn't even find a pine stand anywhere else for less than $200. Pet Supply Warehouse is not exactly a one stop shop. They don't sell any livestock, and their selection is limited. Customer service is a little lacking too. But if you want good prices on tanks and oak stands, you can't beat it.

hooha 04-24-2006 06:09 PM


Pet Supply Warehouse is the place to look if you need tanks/stands or equipment for sure. I think you could always call them before making the trip out from Indiana.

As for PSP, my experience is that the North Huntingdon store is the (relatively speaking) best, then Monroeville, then Greensburg. It's only 5 minutes from me so if I'm desperate and in a hurry I'll drop by there for something.

As for livestock, the main place I go to is All Oddball Aquatics in Pittsburgh, definitely worth the trip.

Canoe2Can 04-24-2006 08:36 PM

WOW!!!!!! Finally another person on this forum from Western PA. It seems that every time I notice someone is from PA, it's always out East.

I've never been to All Oddball Aquatics. Sometime I'll make a trip there, but I'm not a Pittsburgh person. I like the city, but hate driving there.

I occasionally go to Elmer's, though I've been disappointed with them the last few times I was there. Another place that I like is down on 51 a few miles south of the tubes. I think it's called Atlantis Aquarium.

I've been told to check out a place in Johnstown called Gittler's, but haven't made time to see it yet. Here in Indiana, we have nothing. At all.

hooha 04-25-2006 03:36 AM

Most of the Pittsburgh plant geeks hang out at the "other" forum - one is a moderator there.

I haven't checked out Atlantis yet, but was thinking about it one of these days. If I check out a Chiefs hockey game again I'll try to find Gittler's. I live in Greensburg so going into the city is a pain as well, but usually it's for aquarium-related activities :)

Another place in Monroeville is Petland, near the Starbucks. Not that great, but if you're looking for some of the schooling fish they usually have some stock on sale (neons, black neons, etc). Elmer's stock is disappointing, don't know if they have very healthy stuff alot of times. If I ever buy fish it's from AoA. They actually sell decent plants too - the manager is a plant geek. It's cool to talk shop with Tim (manager) about plants or Eric (owner) about fish.

You should make a trip to AoA next Sunday, May7 at's the next PAPAS (Pittsburgh Area Planted Aquarium Society) meeting. :) Lot's of plants for auction - usually 1 or 2 bucks for stuff, even rare stuff as well. Oddball also stocks some cooler planted-tank related stuff as well, like Nerite snails, Cherry shrimp, sometimes some other shrimp as well (Bumblebee, green). It's about 10 minutes from the Parkway, just south of the Southside.

Canoe2Can 04-25-2006 04:12 PM

Thanks for the info, hooha.

Does the PAPAS have a website or anything? I've been thinking I might get involved with a society again.

Can't make it to AOA on the 7th. One of my first loves, backpacking, is calling me to the wild. But I will definitely have to check the place out some time. I'd like to try cherries some time. Of course that would require another tank.... Southside is not a place I frequent, but since they opened the new REI store, I've found time to get there on occasion.

hooha 04-25-2006 06:15 PM

np bro. PAPAS has been together for about 9 months, we're in the process of putting together a website, hopefully it will be up soon. Meetings are every first Sunday of the month, so think about June.

If you're in the Greensburg area again and looking for some plants, PM me. :)

Canoe2Can 04-29-2006 04:28 PM

Made it to Gittler's Aquarium in Johnstown today. Not really worth the bother. It was better than anything here in Indiana, but then again, all we have is Wally World and the scariest, nastiest, smelliest pet shop in the world.

Gittler's had a decent selection of fish, but some of the prices were really too high ($3-4 per platy, $26 per bag of Eco-Complete, more for Flora Base). Also, their plant selection consisted of one tank of mostly dead Ludwigia, Cabomba, and other common plants. Finally, I had to take issue with some of the fish that they were selling there. They had FW stingrays, bala sharks, iridescents, gars, and clown knives for sale in little dinky tanks. None of them had any notes on the tank saying that all these species grow to be huge. Don't appreciate that.

I'll tell you, it is just about impossible to find a good LFS in this area. I don't expect to find everything imaginable in a store, but all I ask for is clean tanks filled with healthy fish, knowledgable staff, and responsible practices. No such luck.

hooha 05-03-2006 01:31 PM

yeah, unfortunately there really isn't a one-stop shop for aquarium stuff around here. I've come to find that I need to go to specific stores for what I'm looking for - Pet Supplies Warehouse for tanks/stands (or Elmer's for Oceanic), AoA for any fish, and Elmer's for when I get ghost shrimp. Alot of my goods I buy online noww (Flourish, Flourish iron, etc.) because it's just too expensive locally.

There is also Adam and Eve's Hobby shop in Latrobe if you haven't checked it out when you're down this way. Just take 981 from 119 through downtown Latrobe, once you hit route 30 go east one light and it's on the left in the back of the shopping plaza near the movie theater. (If you go down West 10 minutes you're back in Greensburg). I have a feeling you'll find it like Gittler's though. They specialize more in RC planes/cars, etc. but is the only place I've found that has quality cardinals.

It's probably going to be raining this weekend, so if you're hiking trip get's postponed you're always welcome to come to the meeting :icon_bigg

ultasol 02-02-2007 07:54 PM

I also found gittler's a let-down. I stopped by when I was driving through Johnstown,... other than having some nice red form males of Pelvicachromis pulcher and some red phantom tetras,.. they were not great. They also were keeping aggressive fish in with calm species resulting in massive kills. I noticed diseases in the tank.
It was a crapshoot. Some tanks looked healthy others not so much. Not worth the drive if you're not from the area or in the area for other reasons, but worth stopping by if you're local...
oh, and the plants and discus looked to be in quite rough shape.

Cydric 02-03-2007 09:26 PM

Doesn't surprise me. Want a good laugh at some terrible fish keeping and plant keeping? Visit Petco in West Mifflin, I saw a tank of Bala sharks completely covered in ick. Then in the same tank I saw other fish with ick. The worst has to be their live plant section. Absolutely horrific. Let's just say...algae explosion?

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