Just moved from DFW to Chicagoland - any LFS I have to hit?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
fishman76092
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Just moved from DFW to Chicagoland - any LFS I have to hit?


As the title says-

I've done the obligatory search the internet/yellow pages and cruise around Chicagoland and haven't seen a single store worth going back to for FW fish/plants.

Old Town was nice, small and pricey. There were a couple others with some hidden gems swimming around, but wouldnt go back on purpose. Been to Schaumburg, Skokie/North Shore, Lombard, Bolingbrook, near Tinley and it seems all places in between. Back when I used to work for The Cichlid Exchange selling fish, I had a lot of clients out this way, but they seem to have gone the way of many stores.

I'm not sure if I've missed something or if it is what it is around here. I did see a post about Hoffer's and another place in Milwaukee that I must see- I'm fine with driving to a great store. I saw no other posts in the Illinois section raving about any stores.

Interested in FW fish/plants- mostly cichlids, catfish, loaches, predatory fish.

Any help?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
Razorworm
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have you been to Aquarium Adventure? more often than not, I am pleased with their selection. Old Town is a reef store for the most part.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:26 AM   #3
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I've been to the one in Bolingbrook and it was ok. Lot of potential, but nothing out of the ordinary. I hear there is another in Hoffman Estates- any nicer?

I drove up to Milwaukee today to check out Hoffers and Aquatics Unlimited. I was completely unimpressed with Hoffer's selection. Lots of empty tanks and only commonly found fish.

AU had a ton of stuff, but a few of the Malawi fish they have were hybrids (selling Dim. compressiceps that are venustus/comp hybrids and some others too). that always turns me off. They had many tanks of the same stuff....someone obviously breeds dovii, bahia geos, red peacocks and a few others locally! I would go back when I get to town.

Bottom line- I'm looking for something along the lines of A Place for Pets in Seattle, Wet Spot in Portland, Fish Gallery in Hou/DFW... With all of the hobbyists here and the weather the way it is, I can't believe there isn't a fantastic store in Chicagoland. Unless everyone here just orders on the internet which kills the LFS...
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by fishman76092 View Post
Unless everyone here just orders on the internet which kills the LFS...
I don't know if everyone order online around here, but I do. The quality of stuff I get online beats pretty much every store I have seen including old town and aquarium adventure in Hoffman estates.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:37 AM   #5
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=145237

A link that is kind of old regarding LFS's in Chicagoland in case you haven't seen it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:59 AM   #6
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I recommend you to mark your calendar and visit GCCA swapmeet. I think you'll like it. I like to go at the end so crowed is not too bad and i just preorder my stuff. Bundle your purchases and haggle with price, they are usually good with that.
Good luck
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lmt6600 View Post
I recommend you to mark your calendar and visit GCCA swapmeet. I think you'll like it. I like to go at the end so crowed is not too bad and i just preorder my stuff. Bundle your purchases and haggle with price, they are usually good with that.
Good luck
Thanks for the link to the stores- I've been to most on that list, but the ones left I'll find in the coming weeks. I'll also join the GCCA. Was a member of the TCA and went to a few auctions/swap meets.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishman76092 View Post
I've been to the one in Bolingbrook and it was ok. Lot of potential, but nothing out of the ordinary. I hear there is another in Hoffman Estates- any nicer?

I drove up to Milwaukee today to check out Hoffers and Aquatics Unlimited. I was completely unimpressed with Hoffer's selection. Lots of empty tanks and only commonly found fish.

AU had a ton of stuff, but a few of the Malawi fish they have were hybrids (selling Dim. compressiceps that are venustus/comp hybrids and some others too). that always turns me off. They had many tanks of the same stuff....someone obviously breeds dovii, bahia geos, red peacocks and a few others locally! I would go back when I get to town.

Bottom line- I'm looking for something along the lines of A Place for Pets in Seattle, Wet Spot in Portland, Fish Gallery in Hou/DFW... With all of the hobbyists here and the weather the way it is, I can't believe there isn't a fantastic store in Chicagoland. Unless everyone here just orders on the internet which kills the LFS...
you wont find anything here like Wetspot. I would say that the AA stores are essentially the same. Rarely do I buy livestock from them, just plants when they look good. for livestock, I prefer to deal with local breeders.

The GCCA swap is a great opportunity to purchase or just network.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Razorworm View Post
you wont find anything here like Wetspot. I would say that the AA stores are essentially the same. Rarely do I buy livestock from them, just plants when they look good. for livestock, I prefer to deal with local breeders.

The GCCA swap is a great opportunity to purchase or just network.
I'll probably just do what you do with the plants and bring in things from Steve.


thanks
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:10 PM   #10
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Did not like Aquatics Unlimited. Some nice fish, good reef stuff, awfull plants. I noticed what looked to be feeding time in one of the chiclid tanks only to see what they were feeding on was one of their very dead brethren.

Who is Steve?
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:13 AM   #11
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Did not like Aquatics Unlimited. Some nice fish, good reef stuff, awfull plants. I noticed what looked to be feeding time in one of the chiclid tanks only to see what they were feeding on was one of their very dead brethren.

Who is Steve?
Steve Lundblad- Wet Spot owner. I used to run the online/aquabid sales for him until I handed it off to Anthony. Did it from TX- known him a long time. Was his first sales guy at The Cichlid Exchange while I was in college in the early 90's. Probably just set up a group buy in case anyone wants anything. Going to bring in some Chuco microphthalmus, Thorichthys callolepis and probably some Crypt. panamensis.
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