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Old 11-02-2006, 11:46 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otis View Post
Triton,

Found the other kuhlii.

Tim
put a hold on him be in tonight to get him.
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:30 AM   #62
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Default My experiences.

Hey everybody. I was surprised to find this much information about GR stores on this forum, it's been helpful. I thought I'd give my impressions of the stores I've been to around Grand Rapids.

VIPets (Plainfield)
This is one of the best stores I've been to for fish. Their selection on fish/marine is very good, and the people there seem to know their stuff. The only downside to this place is that their selection of plants is somewhat lacking the 3-4 times I've been there. I did get some Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana) there, and it's been growing great. They will also do special orders for their customers it seems.

Petsmart (Grand Rapids)
Thankfully, I can say that this Petsmart staff knows their stuff. There are usually the same 3 girls working in the fish section, and they all give sound advice to people that I've heard. For some cheap fish products, this store may not be a bad stop. The fish selection is pretty good, prices are of course good, and the health of most of the fish is incredible compared to most chains. Their plant section is decent, but nothing to rave about. I am happy that I was able to find a Hagen CO2 system there, although it was a bit pricey ($30). If all petsmart were like this, the chain would probobly be in high standing to hobbyists. (Just need those information signs changed!)

Pet Supplies "Plus" (Grand Rapids)
As the name suggests, it isn't exactly what I would call "plus", but you can get some good deals on aquarium equipment/ornaments that you might not be able to find anywhere else anyways. The definetly get some weird fish in their store, so for fun it may be interesting to at least check it out. The health of the fish is pretty bad though...

Chow Hound (Grand Rapids, 28th ST)
Since this store was recommended in this topic, I decided to take a visit. To be honest, I was disappointed. People said their plant selection was good, but I found it to be only a little better than usual. The one guy that waited on me did not impress me, and seemed more interested in demonstrating the carnivorous fish than helping out customers. He also said that the SAE listed as Flying Fox were indeed Flying Fox, they clearly weren't. Fish selection was subpar, but the plants they DID have seemed to be in good health, so I will give them that.

VIPets (Cutlerville)
Just got back from there tonight, I went there hoping for a better plant selection than the other VIPets, and thankfully they did! I was also glad to see a large bow-front tank fully planted on display, looked like it was taken care of well. I purchased 1 Java Fern (3.99) and 12 Dwarf Saggitarius ($5.00 total), the Saggitarius was a very good deal! They didn't have a massive plant selection, but it was definetly better than the others I've been to. They even had Riccia, which I was quite surprised to see. The staff also convinced me not to buy Riccia since I only had 2.5wpg, which I'm glad because I forgot of it's light requirement. Overall, I recommend this store for plants! Fish were in good condition as well!

EDIT: I went there for a second visit and the plants didn't look as good as they did before, actually nothing that was there would be worth buying in the state that it was in. It could be cause it's winter, but still was disappointing.

I have yet to visit Aquarium Services, but that will be my next stop. Hope you guys find this information helpful, any questions just ask.

Last edited by Casty; 02-20-2007 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:46 PM   #63
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Hmmm, I guess I need to get down to the cutlerville VIPets soon. I was very, very disapointed last time with thier plant selection, as well as the health of the green spotted puffers. sounds like they have done a 180 with the riccia!!! As well as the good advice...
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:16 PM   #64
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I did see GSPs in not the best of health, kind of black but they looked happy still. At least they were in brackish... They also had a fahaka puffer, about the size of a GSP for 20 bucks, I wanted it. =p As for the Riccia, they had it tied down on some small rocks, glad to see it wasn't planted. =p
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Old 01-28-2007, 12:45 AM   #65
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I've just recently gotten back into the hobby and I have also done the circle tour of GR pet stores in the last couple weeks. I will second all of Casty's reviews. I didn't make it to VI Pets on Plainfield, but went everywhere else. I also was impressed with the 72 bowfront at the VI pets in Cutlerville. Pictures of that tank ultimately helped convince my wife to let me to start buying things.

Definitely check out Aquarium Services. I've been there twice in one week stocking up my new aquarium. Tim is really knowledgeable and has some great display tanks. BTW, he just got a shipment of plants in last night...
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Old 02-05-2007, 03:06 PM   #66
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Ernie,

If you are down the Kzoo way and want riccia just let me know. I have plenty of it!

Doug
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Old 02-18-2007, 04:00 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casty View Post
Hey everybody. I was surprised to find this much information about GR stores on this forum, it's been helpful. I thought I'd give my impressions of the stores I've been to around Grand Rapids.

VIPets (Plainfield)
This is one of the best stores I've been to for fish. Their selection on fish/marine is very good, and the people there seem to know their stuff. The only downside to this place is that their selection of plants is somewhat lacking the 3-4 times I've been there. I did get some Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana) there, and it's been growing great. They will also do special orders for their customers it seems.
I found there staff great but prices a bit high and not to many plants
Petsmart (Grand Rapids)
Thankfully, I can say that this Petsmart staff knows their stuff. There are usually the same 3 girls working in the fish section, and they all give sound advice to people that I've heard. For some cheap fish products, this store may not be a bad stop. The fish selection is pretty good, prices are of course good, and the health of most of the fish is incredible compared to most chains. Their plant section is decent, but nothing to rave about. I am happy that I was able to find a Hagen CO2 system there, although it was a bit pricey ($30). If all petsmart were like this, the chain would probobly be in high standing to hobbyists. (Just need those information signs changed!)
Great for a common tropicals fish, but plants are lacking prices aren't to bad.

Pet Supplies "Plus" (Grand Rapids)
As the name suggests, it isn't exactly what I would call "plus", but you can get some good deals on aquarium equipment/ornaments that you might not be able to find anywhere else anyways. The definetly get some weird fish in their store, so for fun it may be interesting to at least check it out. The health of the fish is pretty bad though...
Great for supplies and dog food but lacking for fish is an understatement
Chow Hound (Grand Rapids, 28th ST)
Since this store was recommended in this topic, I decided to take a visit. To be honest, I was disappointed. People said their plant selection was good, but I found it to be only a little better than usual. The one guy that waited on me did not impress me, and seemed more interested in demonstrating the carnivorous fish than helping out customers. He also said that the SAE listed as Flying Fox were indeed Flying Fox, they clearly weren't. Fish selection was subpar, but the plants they DID have seemed to be in good health, so I will give them that.
Got some unique fish here I found horse head loaches, and albino bristtle nose pleco , plants a bit lacking I think they are getting out of freshwater as the salt water section has expanded.

VIPets (Cutlerville)
Just got back from there tonight, I went there hoping for a better plant selection than the other VIPets, and thankfully they did! I was also glad to see a large bow-front tank fully planted on display, looked like it was taken care of well. I purchased 1 Java Fern (3.99) and 12 Dwarf Saggitarius ($5.00 total), the Saggitarius was a very good deal! They didn't have a massive plant selection, but it was definetly better than the others I've been to. They even had Riccia, which I was quite surprised to see. The staff also convinced me not to buy Riccia since I only had 2.5wpg, which I'm glad because I forgot of it's light requirement. Overall, I recommend this store for plants! Fish were in good condition as well!
Nice planted tank in the front but that is it. They would sell anything in that tank and selection a month ago wasn't the greatest.

I have yet to visit Aquarium Services, but that will be my next stop. Hope you guys find this information helpful, any questions just ask.
Aquarium Services the best for freshwater plant knowledge hands down. Decent selection of plants for simple non CO tanks. He is working on setting up some CO tanks or tank not sure how big that will get. Some great non CO show tanks setup and great selection of hard to find fish fish and salt.


http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...cant-look.html

See pics of Tims tanks at the above link.
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:53 PM   #68
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Thanks Matt,

Just thought I would let you know that I have a new shipment of plants coming in this week. Lots of new varieties. They will be in the fishroom on Saturday.
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:48 PM   #69
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Well, today I think I'm gonna go check out Aquarium Services, if I can't find anything that I want I guess I will come back saturday.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:29 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otis View Post
Thanks Matt,

Just thought I would let you know that I have a new shipment of plants coming in this week. Lots of new varieties. They will be in the fishroom on Saturday.
Very nice....I think I need to stop back in. Been a long time! Tim, would you have a use for a couple of java fern-choked peices of driftwood? I may smell a trade coming on....they have seriously outgrown my 29.

Also, do you have any apistos or Kribs in right now??
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:15 PM   #71
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Hi Ernie, I always welcome trades(no kids). I have several varieties of Apistos right now and at least a pair of kribs.

Tim
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:37 PM   #72
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I have a bunch of cuttings of narrow red luwediga, some narrow leaf Hygro and some Crypts , java moss and a couple of others that need a new home. Some fish is loving the Tiger lily.. Anybody want to do some trades? I will be stopping by at opening on Saturday to beat the bus rush..
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:09 PM   #73
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LoL, just realized this thread is way off topic. I think tim needs his own discussion thread!!

I'll plan on stopping by sometime tomorrow, but probably not at 9!!
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:15 PM   #74
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i will start a new thread called Aquarium Services

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/mi...-services.html
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:00 AM   #75
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I have been working at the cutlerville VI for a few months now and i have been looking for threads regarding the store. I can definatly say i'll be trying to get the time to straighten up the planted tank and try to talk the fish room "sorta manager" into doing another planted tank order. We order from the bread and butter wholesalers and typcally get slightly greener shade of crap most of the time. But since most people put plants in there and wont listen to reason about proper lighting they just plop them and replace them a few weeks later. We do have a few planted tank keepers though that take steps to make things work...now to get more salt water people to realize anemones need REAL light...ah well thats another thread.

About every four to six weeks we hit up a real plant wholesaler outa florida and stock the tank well...then the employees snag their share *whistles innocently* and the customers with planted tanks show up and with in literally a busy weekend it all we have left are the dregs of the tank.

My first goal is to generally clean the rack up and get the misc debris outa there. Its hard as hell to maintain decent CO2 with the circulation system on that thing so i guess i'll have to figure away around that. I might just ask if i can take over ordering for the plant system and the maintence, it literally gets about 40 minutes of care a week...on a good week.

Give me a few weeks ( i dont get a great deal of time to work in the fish room on a serious level most times ) and i'll see what i can do to turn it around a bit as i'm hoping to start a proper planted tank i have a bit of a personal interest in getting a decent selection and reputation going. If i can boost sales it should boost willingness to spend more on plants and that allows better variety to come in...not just the "sale of the week" stuff we get a lot of now. We do have some nicely growing lace plants (small ones) but those still scare me with no proper tank to put them in.

If you anyone pops in look for the quasi fat bearded fellow wandering around that should be me.

Yeah the GSP come in like crap so i start a drip acclimation for them and start them on frozen krill and clams and offer what snails i can find in the plant tank. Its sad i can recall most fish i've seen come through there...i'm too obsessed i think. Also brackish water is a bit of a stepchild tank to most stores and most hobbyist...too much of one thing, not enough of another.

I havent hit the other stores in months (no money, spend it all at work) and the only one i can recommend with out a second thought is preuss's i'd love to work there but its to dang far to drive. I hope to get there after i get my tax returns back i have to harrass a fellow about his lungfish and generally drop some money . I've never had a bad time there and i'm there for HOURS..hell i put fish on hold ate lunch and came back for a few more HOURS of wandering drooling and observing. The best kept display tanks i've seen have been there i love the 92 corner planted tank they used to have at the old location and i want to see how the african display turned out, it was work in progress last times i was there.

Jason

PS if i've interacted with any of you in the past i hope it was reasonably well handled on my part...i'm trying to treat every customer how i'd like to be treated but some days go better than others.
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