The Planted Tank Forum

The Planted Tank Forum (
-   Maryland (
-   -   Aquarium Depot aka The Aquarium Center (

djlen 08-26-2004 04:20 AM

Aquarium Depot aka The Aquarium Center
Not only one of the best Aquarium Centers in Maryland, but IMO, on the east coast. An all inclusive LFS.


gnatster 08-26-2004 11:16 AM

Located northwest of Baltimore, the Aquarium Center is a shop that has unfortunately has, at this writing, past it's prime. The store is rather large at over 15,000 sq ft and is capable of having a quite large selection, but in recent times has not been as great as it once was. One is greeted with a musty scent of mold when entering the shop. Lighting in the fish area is dim and provided mostly by the tanks. While the store has many tanks and the capability to be stellar, recent visits over the past year or so have been disappointing. Tanks have been dirty and many turned off the main system to medicate livestock. The floors are usually wet and recently entire sections have been closed due to flooding. When it comes to plants the selection is quite large with 60 tanks available to house them, but again, as of late the quality of the plants has not been what it once was. Being this site is plant driven with a FW bend I will not go into the sorry state of the marine systems, refered to as "the aisle of death" on the local reef forum. Dry goods pricing is competitive and the store has a large dry goods display area, but recent visits have found many holes in shelves and lack of depth in stocking levels. The staff is mixed, one can find knowledgeable employees but there are many employees that seem disinterested and sometimes downright rude. It seems as this store is currently skating on it's previous glory.

Solace 02-20-2006 10:01 PM

We visited this store today -- I have to say it was a bad experience.

The management of the place could do a lot. As gnatster said, its past its prime.

We waited for over an hour to get service to get live plants, and never got it. I left without the plants I went for.

bigstick120 02-20-2006 11:23 PM

I leave that place disapointed just about every time I go there.

organic sideburns 02-26-2006 05:44 PM

Guys, your right about the crappy service, but they have alot of stuff to buy, its like Fish'R'Us and that why I always come back.

My worst experience there was the last time I went about a month ago. I bought a nice black top to go over my 46 bow, it was around 90 some dollars inlcuding the plants I purchased. I gave them 6 20's by accident(I should of gave him 5 20's) and the guy took my extra 20 and I didnt realize this till I got into my step dads car and we were driving home.

The employee took advantage of me most likely because I am only 16, and I dont think thats right.

beaucon 03-05-2006 12:37 AM

Another perspective
Like many others, I know the experience of waiting for way too long for service at the AC. However, I cheerfully drive past numberous other pet stores and a few other aquarium specialty stores for a chance to wait patiently at this place. This is a well named store, because it really is the center of the aquarium universe for folks in the greater Baltimore metro area. I was in there last Sunday, 10 minutes before closing, and the place was packed, with more people arriving right up to last minute. At 10:00 on any Saturday morning, there is always a line waiting for the store to open. You can decide for yourself what would cause so many folks to flock to a particular fish store. I'll tell you why I go. First, I love being surround by so many different people all drawn to the same place by their mutual interest in our hobby. This place is the United Nations of fish keeping. Next, I find a greater variety of plants and fish at this store than any other that I've been to. Finally, I get down to earth, pratical advise from people who are not "fish snob". If you don't want to wait in line, stop by on a work day afternoon. If you want great advise about a planted aquarium, talk to Gloria. Whatever you do, don't tell her I sent you. She is already busy enough.

organic sideburns 03-05-2006 04:08 AM

I agree its a great fish store, just the service and certain spots of the store are not top quality. Then again, this is America hehe...

Goldfishcrazy11 03-27-2006 11:09 PM

gnatster- You ripped that off a fish store commentary site without giving acknowledgement (I know this because I saw that entry)...

organic sideburns- I can say that the employee probably was having a busy day, and didn't see the extra 20 you gave him. Once when I gave the guy too much, he looked at me and apologized for his mistake (even though it was mine), and gave me back the extra money.

I've been to the Aquarium Center loads of times. Everyone was very knowledgeable, and would rather lose a sale then give me the wrong information. I bought my 90-gallon from there, and the guys were very helpful and nice. There was only two tanks with disease outbreaks, but they were new shipments under quarentine. I've had to wait a while to get service in the fish area, but the employees were trying to work the best they could.

The plants are healthy (except one or two that hadn't received enough light). The marine fish are always healthy and swimming around (except one or two in quarentine). All the reptiles look healthy and well cared for. It may be dark with only lighting from the tanks, but it gives it a public aquarium feel. I love the display tanks, especially the 125-gallon planted community.

I always recommend it to beginning hobbyists :proud:. I can't say enough about it!

No, I was not paid or told to say this.

organic sideburns 03-28-2006 12:54 AM

Every time I go there I see quite a few sick marine fish. I always end up telling the employees theres marine fish gasping or floating around and the plants are not very impressive but its hard to complain compared to Exotic Aquatics plant supply.

Goldfishcrazy11 03-30-2006 08:07 PM

I hate Exotic Aquatics employees. They gave me info that killed 6 fish... They not to more fish, but then the guys like, "But you can get a catfish."

organic sideburns 03-30-2006 08:39 PM

Yea, the exotic employees are a-holes most the time.

hOAGART 03-30-2006 08:42 PM

its still new and not fully stocked yet, but Scales TFW is now open.

organic sideburns 03-30-2006 08:55 PM

Link doesnt work for me. I also heard a new store coming out soon called Marine Dreams..

Goldfishcrazy11 03-30-2006 11:51 PM

The EA employees also have no clue about fish... They sold a family who had obvisouly JUST setup their tank 2 microswords (and with the hoods from most kits... eww that must have made a mess) and 8 guppies.

One of the guys from their old location sold me 3 neon tetras and a "pair" of guppies. This was when I didn't know much, but I later discovered what he had claimed was the female guppy was just a plain male guppy. The so called "Fish Doc" who told me I couldn't get more fish but I could get a catfish said tiger barbs could live alone... As well as cories. YIKES!

They also keep a high-flow filter in the discus tanks. They had a tank of wild discus with a high-flow filter once, and those discus were just about dead.

Sorry if I'm getting off topic :icon_roll. Well, atleast if you know your stuff EA's got some healthy fish.

But I still LOVE AC- I'm going to get a pair of german blue rams and three more cories as soon as my 29-gallon settles down :).

empire300 04-30-2006 05:05 PM

I like AC for the prices as well, the've got my business for the next tank im doing .. a 75 gallon but i do miss the quality of service from when they were in the deerpark shopping center and then at the beginning of the move to offut rd... now i still go there once in a while for a plant or fish either EA or tom's (dead fish city) doesnt have for example those german blue rams. The knowlegde of EA employees is lacking ... i asked a person what the difference between flourish and flourish excel was and the person told me it was a more complete version of flourish ... and i saw on seachems website its just more carbon! i felt stupid as well for not doing the research myself (i bought it)

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.