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Old 04-01-2006, 07:33 PM   #31
unirdna
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Aquatic Specialties is on Campus Drive (also referred to as University Ave). If you were coming down Hwy 12 from Baraboo, you'd take the University Ave Exit (one of the first as you come into Mad Town). Then follow University Ave for about 5-7 miles. Land marks such as a two-story "Borders" (on your left), and multi-story "University Credit Union" (also on your left) signal that you are about 100 yards away from Aquatic Specialties.

Take a left (north) on Shorewood Hills (Rd or Blvd, can't remember), and then take your first right into what looks like the back entrance of a strip mall. You are now in the parking lot of a strip mall where Aquatic Specialties is located. This parking lot, however, is One-way. So follow the road around the back, and it will curve around to the front. A.S. is one of 10 or so stores. You'll see their sign.

http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp...uarium%20Supls

If you mapquest Aquatic Specialties, they put the store on the wrong side of the road. Move that star to the north side of University Ave, and you'll be on target.

Also, while you are in Madison, you should check out another shop called "Living Art". It was started last June by a nice fella named Paul who used to work at A.S. Definitely worth a stop by, as Paul likes to specialize in hard-to-find-species.

http://www.madisonaquarium.com/
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:39 PM   #32
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Just to say Hi for now....

getting back into the hobby as far as fish, and taking my first real stab at live plants this time around. I am in Madison and in Addition to Aquatic Specialties I would like to mention a fairly new store out on the west side Living Art Aquarium.

The owner Paul is really knowledgeable. He does a good job of listening to what you want and trying to get it.

I had been looking for Foxtail for awhile as well as Red Ludwigia (sp?) and he warned me that it might not ship well, then went ahead and got some in anyway... after checking it out he deemed it saleable, and so far I have been happy with it.
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Old 04-07-2006, 06:27 PM   #33
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hey thanks for the directions and recomendations. i went to both places and i likes living art alot better! i picked up a huge clump of riccia for 5 bucks. the only thing i didnt like was, is it was so d*** hot in there. he said he doesnt run heaters he just heats the store.
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Old 04-10-2006, 04:15 AM   #34
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Default Im feeling your pain! Eau Claire here.

Hey happy, this is my first reply so hey, one more cheesehead on the planted tank bandwagon. I live in Altoona, (Eau Claire basically) and really have gotten the bug for aquarium plants. I am pretty low tech as of right now, until I learn more, but hey, gotta start somewhere, right?

I know what you mean, Tropic waters here in EC has a very limited selection (Swords and Hornwort) and Petco has a slightly larger selection sometimes, but theres noone there can even name most of what they have.

Hope they are a little better down there in Milwaukee, as for me, if I want variety, im gonna suck up the shipping costs and buy online.

Anyhow, here's to the Badgers!
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:39 PM   #35
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I justed wanted to add my two cents to the thread. I am from Madison and really like the three smaller aquarium stores. Aquatic Specialties is just down the street and is definitely a high-quality place. Aquarium Superstore near West Towne mall is good for fish and supplies. Despite the name it's also more of a boutique place than a big box pet store. Living Art has become my new favorite. The prices are pretty reasonable (plants much more so than fish, I should say) and they have rare species that are hard to find at the other stores. I just picked up a big handful of Riccia for $5, for example. Also, the staff seems more willing to ask questions, get to know your set-up, and offer suggestions without sounding condescending.
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:48 AM   #36
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I figure I would say hi and chime in on some stuff. I lived in the Milwaukee area all my life so I been to most of the pet stores in the Milwaukee area.

On the first page Azimuth, mentioned a store on Oklahoma between 76th and 108th, I think he was refering to Fish Factory, but not totally sure, cause I believe there is also one on 76th and Oklahoma. If he he talking about Fish Factory, I believe thats on 93rd and Oklahoma, which I am pretty sure that is the one he means when he said, "...I think it was once a good store, but it looks like the owners just stopped caring." That makes me really wonder what the heck happen there. I remember back when I think around 1990-1993-ish they were really awesome, even in many ways better then Aquatics Unlimited. Then something happen, they dumped almost all thier saltwater stuff, and not much more then a hole in wall mom and pop place at best these days, I think I stopped by a year ago they were still there, its not quite as bad as he made it out to be, but wonder if it will ever try to reclaim its former glory? But since this is a planted tank site, I should mention, even in thier prime thier plants, and plant supplies were slim to none.

Everyone in the Milwaukee area that post online seem to rave about Hoffer's, I been currious how come? Granted I havent been there since 1990/1991 but back then I was mostly doing salt/reef tanks, so I can't say anything about thier plant stuff, but they use to mix sellable (not display) inverts and fish, always made me think huh? But even back then they did have a great selection. But oviously I gotta wonder if that was just a fluke or something as they play host for the local aquarium society, so I think I missed out on thier good points. Just wish they had a better location, be like 1.5 hour trek for me here on the SW side of town

Aquatics Unlimited... Well they are Big and on the SW side of town, so I shouldnt complain :P but I will, the guy who said when he asked if they could get something, they still blow you off and tell you to call or come back another day. They do tend to have great selection of fresh and saltwater fish, supplies, but expensive (but we all mostly mail order or internet buy anyways, right?) thier plant selection is ok but not great. They do have some really smart people there but the smart guys seem to be a bit arrogant, so I like to stick to thier average employees, they seem more friendly, I can get plenty of the good info from the people here

Ok seeing that I rambling with over opinionated babble, I just wanted to mention a place that so far has gone unmentioned, and that is Pet World, (now I think its called Pet World Outlet). I think they have several locations in the Milwaukee area, but not totally sure, I have only been to the HWY 100 and Oklahoma store in the last few years. They tend to have a nice selection fresh and saltwater fish/inverts. They seem to have the best price on supplies, but again mail order/ internet for the win, when shipping time isn't an issue. Thier plant selection seems to be poor, maybe if more people start asking for plants they will improve that, as I know personally they really strive for excelence in thier saltwater stocks. But most importantly if your in the area and got some time to kill, they tend to run some very nice display tanks, if you get a chance check out the displays (the display tanks dont change often or very rarely at best, but they are definately worth seeing at least once).

Also those of you from Madison, how are the display tanks in the LFS there? Are they cool enough to check out cause with the weather getting warmer, definately a good reason for a road cruise.

Hopefully I didn't hurt anyone too much with a brutial attack with the wall of text but, I figured I would toss out some opinions to stur up some extra Wisconsin discussion.
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:36 AM   #37
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Mmmm new Madison fish store. I'm gonna have to go check it out. Aqu. Sp. has been my favorite so far, too bad I'm a FAR east sider.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:49 AM   #38
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I grew up in madison though i live in the twin cities now. Stopped into living art while visiting family over the holidays. Was a decent store. Had some nice planted display tanks, and quite a few malawi cichlids, with a smaller selecetion of tangs. Decent amount of saltwater too though i didn't really look. I had several abd experiences with aquatic specialties on University Ave, though this was several years ago and things may be different now. The last store worth mentioning is on gammon rd. jsut south of the beltline. Forget the name of it, used to be Jack's Aquarium Superstore. Its in a minimall on the west side of the road. Definatly not a plant store, but they have quality fish and the owner was always knowledgeable.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:00 AM   #39
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Just wanted to stop in and say hi. I'm in Madison; I moved up here from Indiana to finish grad school. I just recently setup a planted discus tank, but I've been doing saltwater/reef for about 10 years.

I definitely need to get to Living Art....I really enjoyed and appreciated Paul and his brother when they worked at Aquatic Specialties. Speaking of which, I work at AS part-time now; I started in March. I gotta support this tank addiction somehow, lol. Lee sold the store a couple of weeks ago, and Jon from Aquarium Superstore is now the new owner. I wonder if I've met any of you Madisonians yet?
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:43 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gawain1974
Lee sold the store a couple of weeks ago, and Jon from Aquarium Superstore is now the new owner. I wonder if I've met any of you Madisonians yet?
Holy Crap! That's news to me.

Welcome, Les . Check out the local club. We have a massive plant swap every month or so.

http://www.aquariumgardeners.org/about_us.htm

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Old 07-01-2006, 04:50 AM   #41
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Thanks, Ted! I'll have to definitely check the club out since it's almost literally in my back yard (I live on Old University).
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:58 PM   #42
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new to this forum as of today. i am also from madison, frequently visiting aquatic specialties and living art. its a shame lee sold his business and from what i heard last week, the new owner will definitely be making changes.

there was a good reason why i never shopped at aquarium superstore in the first place.
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:02 PM   #43
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Hi all,
I am new to this forum as well. I live in Milwaukee (south side).
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Old 09-20-2006, 11:02 PM   #44
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Hi. I live in Madison and frequent Living Art Aquarium. The staff there is great and really knowledgable. Wasn't all that impressed when I visited AS a couple weeks ago. I used to go there... I feel like it 's kind of going downhill though. Living Art is great, I just wish it was bigger and not quite so pricey.

Speaking of this local club... I might be going to the Brewer's game tomorrow, but hopefully I can make the meeting. What can I expect out of it? How big is a "massive" plant swap? I Don't have much of anything to trade, but am looking for a few plants that can't find at the local fish stores. Do people pay for trades too?
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Old 09-20-2006, 11:08 PM   #45
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Hi junco,

AS was bought out by the owner of Aquarium Superstore (on the west side, near Woodmans).

Agreed that Paul's shop is great!

The "massive plant swap" can be just that, or, it can be just a few species. There is no rule as to how much you can take home based on how much you bring in. Truth is, I usually bring in a ton because I need to get rid of it. So, why on earth would I take a ton back home with me ?

No monies involved. If there is a lot, everyone gets a lot. If a little, everyone gets a little.

Usually around 20 people attend.

Last meeting, we were given a fantastic presentation re: how to take better tank photos. This coming meeting, we will learn how to digitally tweak the photos to look the best.

My name sticker will say "Ted" .
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