In my opinion ...
As you may have read elsewhere
on the forum, I have had trouble with large, immediate losses of fish purchased at 2 of the LFSs (4/13 Cardinals & 3/15 Harlequin Rasboras survived). In both cases I lost fish over the 1st night and during the subsequent week or two. I think the problem stemmed from 1) the fact that the fish were new arrivals to the LFS, and 2) they were afflicted by pre-existing ailments. For the record, my water tests just fine--I also keep Otos and Cherry Shrimp without these losses.
Anyhow, I contacted New Wave Tropical Fish earlier in the week to see if they had Cardinals. They did, and allegedly have had them over the course of 1.5 weeks with minimal losses. I visited New Wave yesterday:
(Courtesy of my PalmOne Treo 600)
Seems they received about 800 (yes, 800!) Cardinals in their last shipment. They are all under an inch, but not much smaller like those I've seen elsewhere. They've spread them out into 5 or 6 different tanks, with no decedents in any of them. Coloring is great. I asked them to feed them in front of me, and they had a ravenous appetite--when they were done they had bulging bellies. According to them, they've had only 10 losses from this batch.
I asked for 10 of them, and the kind lady gave me 12. For $15. Most notably, all survived the night and appear to be well.
Re: New Wave Tropical Fish:
-the owners (I believe husband & wife) were very courteous and helpful
-a decent selection of dry goods for a smaller LFS
-some plants (no "exotics," though)
-overall fish health was good (no floaters)
-this LFS actually uses RO water and calibrates the water accordingly
-what seem to be, so far, VERY
healthy Cardinal Tetras
-livestock selection somewhat limited by small store size
-some fish were priced higher than Petown--but if they are healthy then it's worth it
All in all, I would recommend giving these guys a visit if you're in the market for some red & blue characins!