Just a small and probably incomplete report & review from the southwest corner . . .
I live in Norwalk, where there are no true LFS, only PetCo, PetSmart and a couple of "choice" chainstores that aren't anything I'd choose.
Exotic Aquatic is gone.
There's a place in Ridgefield (Ridgefield Pet) that I visit from time to time - he's got a half-decent assortment of community fish including things like emperor tets and kuhli loaches, along with occasionally decent Africans and goldfish.... For plants, just the basics - swords, bananas, Java ferns & like that. Prices range from decent to pretty good, but do be aware of BBA infesting his system.
Last time I was at Fish Bowl in Stamford, I didn't get to enter - he's closed Sundays & Mondays 'til October or so.
And then, there's Greenwich.
Greenwich Aquaria is like an art gallery - you should visit, even if you don't buy. Freshwater is in a smaller room in the back, and though he doesn't devote a lot of space to sweet water, what's there is a cut above! It's the only place I've seen things like Danio choprae, Corydoras sterbai, ember tetras, drapefin barbs, black emperor tets (this was a black fish with blue eyes!) and algae-eating gobies offered locally. He's got one plant tank, and not a lot of great labeling, but a fun selection of everything from Anubias "petite" to dwarf Valisneria to Cryptocoryne "Tropica" and "balansae" and some real monster ozelot & lotus. Look for a female guppy in that tank that's easily as big as most platties offered in pet shops! (And if you get _really_ lucky, you'll happen in during one of his seasonal weekend sales.....) Prices are higher, but not completely outta line.
The same can't always be said for the House of Fins on the other side of town. Two shops, one for fish & basic dry goods, one for stunning systems, HoF is a beautiful place with helpful staff, but their prices are as stunning as some of their animals. (Like Greenwich Aquaria, they lean heavily to the salty side.) They've got two primary plant tanks, and all the plants are well labeled & lit. They're also the only place where I've seen peacock gudgeons and celestial pearl danios offered, but at prices I can only dream of affording. As well, they're the only shop I've been in which regularly offers red cherry shrimp - but at $9.99 each. Still, if you're the kind of hobbyist who enjoys black ruby barbs or elephant-nosed mormyrids, or viewing _BIG_ reef systems, this is definitely a shop to visit - and to patronize. Really, the only complaint I can find about the place would be the pricing. Still, I can't help but think that if folks had continued to patronize shops like Life Gallery, Norwalk Aquarium and Purrfect Pets instead of spending all their bucks at PetSmart & PetCo, those shops or their descendants might still be here...
Does anyone know of any local shops which still offer live food, particularly tubifex or black worms, which I wouldn't mind having colonies of in my tanks?