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Old 09-12-2004, 08:26 PM   #1
AlgaeHater
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the places to go in the bay


I have been to many of the fish stores in bay area and have found the Lucky ocean on 109 balboa #668-3676 east off of 19th to be the best store to get coralife tops and tanks. They have extremely good prices on almost everything and most of things are on sale. I dealt with steve and he cut me a deal on everthing I bought. This place is much cheaper than nippon and every where else I been. I recommend calling them or going there if you dont like or dont want to buy on the internet. The best place to buy fish and plants is by far Ocean Aquarium on a little cutty street off of vaness. Going north you make a right on cedar which is across the street from a big hotel like sheration or somthing and go down 300 yrds. Oceans 120 cedar 771-3206. The shop is on the left. Justin and Ady are the couple that own it and are super nice.They go way beyond any one else when it comes to presenting information about anything, like showing off pictures and info in atlas books. I have never had someone want to help me succeed in this hobby more then them. There prices are unbeatable and the quality is great. You may have a hard time understanding justin at first, I do sometimes, but I just keep asking questions and he will make me understand. The place is a hole in the wall, but every tank is planted and if you think they dont have something you might want to ask because 9 times out of 10 they have the plant or fish you just couldnt find. They always have rare and unusal wild caught fish as well as many bread fish from locals. Also many plecos like snowball and green phantoms plus many other rare ones. They sell already soaked wood and wood with plants on them already for great prices. If you havent been here I would highly recommend checking them out. Albany of sucks, theres only one person that knows about the plants and fish and she in my opinion is complety rude. I dont think I would spend anymore money over there unless I couldnt get it somewhere else. Though, this is where they always have siamese algae eaters. A lot of there plants lately come with hair algae for free. Thats pretty cool, not. Ocopus's garden on 3039 shattuck in berkeley off of unversity is a good shop to go to. They have a lot of fish, many many plecos, a lot of puffers, and 5 nice show tanks. They dont have the biggest or best selection of plants. Quite a bit of salt fish and living rock reef things too. Erin is the owner and is very nice, a little strange at first, but is super cool. staff is knowledgeable and cool too. They have a lot of really nice stuff. Its worth checking out.The lucky gold fish in oakland has a some nice salt water stuff and a awsome reef tank to check out. But other than that just another shop. Northbay aquatics in cotati has a lot of fish and has helped me a lot, but sometimes is expensive, deals on occassions. A big cichlid seletion and a huge tank with two red tailed cats that eat oscars. Thats cool to watch. A few nice show tanks. Has plants and is getting more. Nate is the main man to talk to he knows the name of about every fish. salt stuff and retiles here too. Its worth checkin out. Nippons ok on geary and worth checking out. Its probly the biggest in the bay 2 storys. If you go there ask for nathan on saturday or steve during the week. They are usually upstairs though with all the dry stuff. Down stairs your kinda of out of luck, I havent had much luck or gotten much info out of the fish catchers. I think my experieces will help someone. If someone would like to add more to this list it would only benefit us all by saving time and our hard earned money. see ya

Last edited by AlgaeHater; 09-13-2004 at 03:15 AM.. Reason: errors
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Old 09-12-2004, 09:35 PM   #2
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I put up a similar pot to this in the general discussion area... linikie

I first went to Albany (since that used to be my old haunt many years ago) and although I haven't had the pleasure to meet the lady you are refering to - I generally don't have any problems as I do quite a bit of research and know what I'm looking for when I arrive. The hair algae is an issue (got some of that for free too ) - but my otos & plecos are making a feast of it now so it's all good. I plan on going back tomorrow afternoon to get some new plants.

Last week I went to Octopus's Aquarium in Berkley, and the service there was great. Walked out of the store with every oto they had (9 of 'em) and the fish seem to be doing exceptionally well (they even cut me a deal on the price). Plant selection was minimal - and I saw they also offrered the free hair algae as a bonus LOL. I also went to the Ultimate Aquarium in San Mateo, anmd waked away with 2 plecos, another Congo tetra, one rock shrimp, and 3 Jullies. The Plecos and the Congo faired well in my tank and are happy little fishies, however the rock shrimp didn't make the tranfer to the new tank before passing away - & 2 Julies died a few days after introduction to the new tank. I don't think I'll be going there again as it appears my water (treated with an RO/DI unit, pH of 6.7 at 82 degrees F) is just too far removed from what they keep their water paramters at. These were my only causlties since I started my tank, and I do take 30 minutes of allowing the bags to float in the tank to get the temp stabalized, and 2+ hours of adding 1/2 a cup of tank water to the bags in 15 minute intervals to allow the fish to adjust... so it's not like I'm doig anything out of the ordinary to have caused any problems.

I would love to visit Ocean Aquarium & Nippon - but I have a rule of not going into the city. Parking, traffic, and just a general lack of respect of other people's property from the residents there has made me hessitant to venture out that way unless I have to do that tourist thing with visiting friends/realatives... and even on that rare occation - I'll take BART. However, since soooo many people have been extremely pleased with their visit there, I may just have to suck it up, drive my beater truck down there, and have a look see one of these days.

Thanks for the info
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:45 AM   #3
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Hi there. I'm not much of a fan of the city either. Like you say the parking and such, but everytime I go to Ocean on Sunday there is always parking in front. I think because it's in that ally and theres not much else going on there. Last time I was there I picked up a ziplock sandwitch bag packed full of Glosso for under $5 and some Limnophila aromatica for $1 per stem which I thought was very reasonable. Like was said if you don't see it 9 times of 10 he has it and you walked right past it. I like how he always pulls out his books to make reference to something for you and so on. Just way over what I'd expect. And you can't forget the free dripper for new customers!LOL

I've gotten a few fish from Ultimate Aquarium (most recent a school of rummies) and havn't lost any yet. My parameters are a PH=6.6 KH=4 GH=7 temp 82F,but I do drip water from the tank into the bags as soon as I get home. I used to do how you say, but I find my luck has been better this way. One thing I found out while talking to the guy there was that they don't believe in QT their fish so if the shipment just came in it can be why they didn't survive?? Who knows for sure right?
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:24 PM   #4
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where can i find eco complete in the city at a good price?

Ian
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:05 AM   #5
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Albany Aquarium has eco-complete 2 for $30.
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:09 AM   #6
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thanks that is a good price 2 bags for 30 bucks, i'm going to call them tomorrow.
Ian

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Old 10-12-2004, 07:17 PM   #7
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That "certain female" at Albany is the worst employee I have ever dealt with in my whole life. I would not go there except if she is not there and there is nowhere else to get the items I need.
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:24 PM   #8
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I agree. Steve at lucky ocean is very knowledgable. Great guy.

Ocean aquarium is great. Great prices and service. Healthy fish too. Justin even took the time to teach me how to aquascape. Most of the plants are sold from his planted tanks and they are already adapted and growing roots. This is great for crypts since they tend to melt if they are adjusted to the new water. Beware its hard to find!! The Cedar st sign is placed on the wall of a building so you cant even see it. Be sure u find the cross streets or else you wont know if you past it or not. Be sure to drip yuor fish in if you are in the east bay and measure your pH. The water is very different. I lost a whole school of cardinals because i didnt drip fully.

6th ave has dirt cheap prices but high losses. They sell alot and have huge selection of products. If you need meds go there. Examples are 20 neons for 5 bucks! Be prepared to quarantine and deal with daeth tho. Its not really worth it unless you are experienced in treating diseases and have a quarantine. Ive also seen 5 dollar discus still in the bag. Try your luck.

Fairy lake discus on clement st near 6th ave. Great small asian store. They breed all their own blue rams, discus, and angels, sometimes cardinals. Best place to buy cardinals. 6 for 10 bucks. Pretty healthy ones too. I hardly lose any.

Albany-high prices but rare plants at times. helathy but expensive fish. yes i know of that "employee" too.



Asian stores in oakland:
nature aquarium in the oakland has soem finds at times. small place, some days you have nothing. some days a rare fish at low price. some days great plants like a huge red rubin sword for 4 bucks. hit or miss.

international aquarium in oakland. If you are looking for discus they have some nice ones. wide selection at times. Depends on when they ship in. Award winning discus there too.
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Old 10-14-2004, 06:17 PM   #9
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One more question, does anyone know where to get tahitian moon sand near SF. I emailed carrib sea and they said the closest place to SF is Central Pet in Sacramento. Thanks,

Ian
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Old 10-14-2004, 06:31 PM   #10
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call around to save your sell a trip. But im sure a local store could order it for you. I would recommend that first, unless you also wanted to check these stores out. Actually buying on a website would be cheapest I bet.
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Old 10-15-2004, 05:02 AM   #11
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Hello guys and galls,

New to the site but wanted to chime in since i just visited ocean aquarium off van ness just recetly. Great place! He really loves the hobby and love live bearers!
Lots of nano tanks and great selection of plants and fish.
** do you guys know if he is using co2 in his tanks? i saw a couple tanks running diy co2 yeast systems.

Like the person above stated, 6th and clement have great prices on fish but the death rate is high. When i buy fish there i get 3 to 6 of them, expecting half will die =( I bought 4 panda corys from them @ $1.25 each! They have decent prices on other things and have a great selection compact lighting. Oh and you bag your own fish!

Another place is Aquarium Central. 1963 ocean ave off 19th.
Small place not much of a selection but have healthy fish. He had a tank full of sterbai corys 3inches big!

In San Bruno off el camino- there is a place call "99 pets and fish?" They just moved to a new place, have a great selection of fish but just like 6th street aquarium, they deal with high volums of fish- death rate is a little high. They care alot of asian products and tanks, ex jbj

Place in China Town Called Pet central, off Broadway i beleive? near all the strip joints =P Ive ordered 100 neons from them before in great condition. Ask for Terry, very helpfull. They can get anything you need. VERY complete selection of replcement parts for filters ect. Their asian, so they want your business ( dont worry im asian also )

BTW I beleive 6th street aquariums will be having a sidewalk sale this weekend 16th and 17th i think. Anyone confirm this?
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Old 11-26-2004, 05:55 AM   #12
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Exclamation That certain employee at Albany Aquarium...

undefined

To everyone who shops at Albany Aquarium and have complaints about that certain female employee who to you seems rude, maybe you should actually come in the store open-minded and ready to learn something, instead of coming in like Patrick Starfish from SpongeBob Squarepants and drooling all over yourselves. I go in weekly and see the silliness that she has to deal with and if I was that "certain employee" I would take a probably act the same way and be just as annoyed with the customers . You look at the young lady and because she is more knowledgeable than you who must be at least then she you feel offended when she gives more information than your minds can handle then you feel dumb and feel like making it look like she is wrong. Not to mention is that you don't go to this store for the good feeling services, you go to this store for the wealth of information and research that this young lady obviously has done....you might try listening to her, and your fish and plants wouldn't die.....
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Old 11-26-2004, 08:11 AM   #13
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Default Now then back to the picture....

I havn't been up to Albany in a while. I fell in love with that store 15 years ago. I need to go back and check out the changes.

Lately my buisness has been going to the online folks. However.

Since using Octopus Garden for my last Amano shrimp purchase I'll be going back. Nice folks and decent fair prices. Probably somone you could make special requests with.
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Old 11-26-2004, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' SeaHorse
undefined

To everyone who shops at Albany Aquarium and have complaints about that certain female employee who to you seems rude, maybe you should actually come in the store open-minded and ready to learn something, instead of coming in like Patrick Starfish from SpongeBob Squarepants and drooling all over yourselves. I go in weekly and see the silliness that she has to deal with and if I was that "certain employee" I would take a probably act the same way and be just as annoyed with the customers . You look at the young lady and because she is more knowledgeable than you who must be at least then she you feel offended when she gives more information than your minds can handle then you feel dumb and feel like making it look like she is wrong. Not to mention is that you don't go to this store for the good feeling services, you go to this store for the wealth of information and research that this young lady obviously has done....you might try listening to her, and your fish and plants wouldn't die.....
I'm all for knowledgable employees working where I shop. In fact, if this particular young lady would take the time to not treat all her customers as if they were an inconvenience to her time, maybe there wouldn't be mention of her in this thread at all. Once, I had her ask me what I wanted. When I replied that I was still looking she proceeded to park herself in the corner and glare at me for the duration of my visit. Yeah, don't I feel like the fool for looking at the merchandise.

And no, I do not go in there asking a bunch of silly question, unless you call asking for the name and price of a poorly marked plant a silly question.

Face it, some folks are better suited for back-office duties. If you don't like dealing with people, find a different job.
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Old 11-26-2004, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' SeaHorse
undefined

To everyone who shops at Albany Aquarium and have complaints about that certain female employee who to you seems rude, maybe you should actually come in the store open-minded and ready to learn something, instead of coming in like Patrick Starfish from SpongeBob Squarepants and drooling all over yourselves. I go in weekly and see the silliness that she has to deal with and if I was that "certain employee" I would take a probably act the same way and be just as annoyed with the customers . You look at the young lady and because she is more knowledgeable than you who must be at least then she you feel offended when she gives more information than your minds can handle then you feel dumb and feel like making it look like she is wrong. Not to mention is that you don't go to this store for the good feeling services, you go to this store for the wealth of information and research that this young lady obviously has done....you might try listening to her, and your fish and plants wouldn't die.....
"more knowledgeable"? Not so sure. I read somebody took some rare crypts there for trade, and she thought it was a hygro . ok, found the original post by Tom Barr. Is that the same employee?

I am no expert yet, but it seems the store has more trouble keeping plants alive/healthy than in my tank.
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