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Old 03-21-2013, 12:57 PM   #91
GMYukonon24s
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Your right in my area ajmckay. I work in Madison Heights. Where exactly is the Pet Haven store? Also thanks for the info on the other stores.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:22 PM   #92
ajmckay
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Pet Haven is at 16 (Big Beaver) and Van Dyke - by the Hockey store and Home Depot.

It's a smaller place but seems to always be open. I try to go to even the smallest places because you never know what you might find!

Also, for lunch today I stopped by Royal Tropical Fish & Brid (11 mile & Woodward) and I would have to say that I'm more than impressed with this store. IMO it ranks with Moby Dicks and Kees as one of the finest LFS in the area. Their fish selection is great (only FW), they have a wide variety of dry goods as well including decorations and rocks/driftwood & stuff. Their plants looked really nice. Their tanks are isolated individually, which as I mentioned before is kinda loud from all the filters running, but I feel good about them because I feel theres less of a chance of cross-tank contamination if some fish deveop an infection or get a parasite. I saw heaters in all the tanks. Their prices are pretty high. Some fish are double what you would pay at Petsmart/Petco or a cheaper LFS, but at the same time the fish looked noticeably healthier and I did not see a single dead/dying fish anywhere, not even close. Specifically, I compared Harlequin Rasbora to those I found at Petco and the ones at Royal were significantly more robust and had better coloring. Oh, and did I mention that the staff is awesome? Sue is apparently there most of the time and she's extremely friendly and knowledgeable. She gave me tons of info on Lovebirds while I was there.

Last edited by ajmckay; 03-21-2013 at 06:46 PM.. Reason: new visit
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #93
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Thanks I was Googling it and found it. I'm surprised that I haven't seen it in any of the searches that I have did in the past. When I leave here (work) I'll have to stop in and check it out.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:07 AM   #94
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Great, lmk if they have anything cool, like some rummynose tetras, which are surprisingly difficult to find.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:30 AM   #95
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Well I visited Pet Haven which I agree the owner was nice and asked if I needed any help. I started typing about this place and then I deleted what I was going to say. It's not bad its just unique I guess you could say. Ajmckay you summed it up in your post about this store. Maybe it was me but it seemed like some of the tanks didn't have lights on.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:25 PM   #96
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So today I made my first purchase at Royal Tropical Fish & Bird (Woodward & 11 mile). They had some absolutely gorgeous rams. I saw them yesterday and today I decided I need one so it's chillin in my desk drawer until I go home.

I also visited The Aquarium Shop, which is off main st. a few blocks north of 11 mile in downtown Royal Oak. This store is set up similar to others in the area with individual tanks set up on racks and a bit of noise coming from all the filters. Not a bad thing at all. They're a smaller shop and they don't have quite the selection that others do, however, what I did notice were some pretty unique species that I've never seen at other stores before. So that's a huge plus in my opinion. One fish in particular that I had never seen before is the Odessa Barb which looked absolutely awesome and would be a good fish for my 20L but they are a little over my budget right now... They are on my list for future fish though.
This store seems to have great quality livestock and is a little bit cheaper than Royal Tropical but not much. Then again they only have fish so they are a little more specialized. They have a saltwater section as well again with some decently priced fish that looked healthy. I would recommend this store as well. The Employees are helpful and knowledgeable, the owner gave me his card. Another employee there also seemed to be adequately engaged in caring for the livestock and keeping things tidy.

Edit* I should also mention that their lables and prices were accurate and very easy to read. Not necessarily important, but nice.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:54 PM   #97
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ajmckay

Did either of the stores have any plants? Also thanks for posting your thoughts.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:20 PM   #98
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Quote:
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Edit* I should also mention that their lables and prices were accurate and very easy to read. Not necessarily important, but nice.
ya know this isnt a huge thing but i agree ive been in too many stores that the labels are either wrong or you can make it all out. its nice when a store takes a little time to do it right.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:38 PM   #99
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Went to fantastic fins today got a cool hard to find not cheap pleco.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:14 PM   #100
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Went to fantastic fins today got a cool hard to find not cheap pleco.
I've never had of a "cool hard to find not cheap pleco" before. What is the L#?
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #101
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Well, i checked out the pet station in jackson this morning.. they seem to have a decent selection of fish, but that is about it. not much hardware, no plants that i saw, and very, very few rocks/driftwood, etc that i saw.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #102
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Well, i checked out the pet station in jackson this morning.. they seem to have a decent selection of fish, but that is about it. not much hardware, no plants that i saw, and very, very few rocks/driftwood, etc that i saw.
Yeah there lame i went there and payed 30.00 for a 2" synodontis petricola when i could have gotten the same one for 10.00
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #103
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ajmckay

Did either of the stores have any plants? Also thanks for posting your thoughts.
Royal had a few 30g tanks with probably 6-7 variety of plants in it. They looked good and some of them were buy one get one free. I don't know enough about plants to remember which ones they were as I'm not really ready to add some to my tank yet, but they looked healthy.

I honestly don't recall if the Aquarium shop had plants... I'm sure they do they just might be mixed into the various tanks. Either way the 2 stores are so close together you can get from one to the other in just a few minutes.

I did notice that the Petco at Coolidge & 14mile had a nice plant tank. Again I can't comment to the kinds of plants, but at least they aren't the little plastic packs.

Kees has IMO the best plants I've seen lately. They had quite a variety, the FW guy Sheldon is a true FW nerd, and they have high-intensity lighting on the tank (it's a step tank so some of it is deep and some of it is shallow). I'm seriously considering buying some glosso from Kees. I'm just not sure if that would be better for my tank than some dwarf hair grass.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:15 PM   #104
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I'm going out on a limb here. I have opened a small store in Hillsdale on December 1st 2012. As much as i would prefer to be purely aquatic in my small market I am forced to do everything in order to keep the doors open. Reptiles, small animal, birds and arachnids. Prior to opening I have been an auto mechanic for the past 20 years. My town has always been in need of a pet store and has had a few over the years. My good friend once owned one that he started from scratch and had a good run. His store was established and growing when he sold it after 6 years to move onto bigger and better things. The new owners tanked it in record time for several reasons. Since being in the hobby since i was 10 or 12 years old and had been haunting pet shops every since I decided with his help and advice that i would open my own.
I have been in a lot of stores over the years and am trying hard to make it what I think most people would like in a local mom and pop shop. It is however very hard to do in such a small market appealing to everybody. I have big ambitions and lots planned for growth but it will take time to expand safely. I hope people are not passing judgement on what they see currently in my store and can hopefully see the potential in what my wife and I are trying to create. We are doing this on a meager budget and it will take time and support to grow it out. Over the past few months we were able to greatly improve our selection and inventory but still have a long way to go. Now that the store is looking better and we have learned the ropes a bit it is now time to start doing more advertising to help us get the store some legs.
As it stands currently I am not getting many true hobbyists in. We hope to change that soon. I have put a few items in store that would only appeal to hobbyists as an indication that the store is interested and willing to carry the more hard to find stuff that we all like to see when we go into a store. But until then we are trying to keep the bread and butter things going and attract new customers and maybe even turn them to the plantside.

Thanks for taking time to read this.
John

Nature's Call Pet Shop
76 N. Howell st
Hillsdale Mi
49242
517 610-5355
https://www.facebook.com/NaturesCallPetShopLlc
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:42 PM   #105
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I will add your store to the Map. Hopefully it can attract a few more customers :-) After I get moved in to the new house I could make a run out there and get you some business!
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