That Pet Place many years later
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
Bushkill
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That Pet Place many years later


My son played his first college baseball game in Bel Air MD yesterday, and I followed the GPS down the toll road routes and tried my best to not have NASA mistake me for a meteor. Yeah, i was about a half hour late leaving.

I had my mind set on stopping at TPP on the trip home to break the trip up into a few manageable chunks. I hadn't been inside the place in at least 18 years. I have Lancaster photos of me and the kids and Michael was still in the "bunch of broccoli" phase. So I had a LOT of remembering to do.

It definitely changed in terms of the store layout, but the fishroom is where I saw the biggest difference that I could recall. The difference in floor space allocated to SW vs FW was astounding and to be honest there didn't seem to be any more foot traffic on that side. The FW side was at least clean and well-kept. No floaters, and the tanks themselves were all very clean. The selection could've been a LOT better. There were a few tanks without working lights. The only fish there I wouldn't have paid a dime for were the discus and angelfish. Both were really the worst looking fish in the place, by far, and actually the only truly sad specimens.

The plant room was somehwat disappointing. Selection could've been much better and some of the rooted plants were just over-priced I thought.

Just a little disappointed, and yeah I walked out empty-handed. Proud of myself on that count.

With my daughter in school in Philly I've stopped at the Aquariumcenter in Clementon a couple of times. The drygoods seemed really expensive, but the fish and plants were really top-notch I thought. I have to drive down there Thursday to pick her up for spring break and will most likely take the detour again. Somehow, I don't think I'll come away empty-handed this time.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:14 PM   #2
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That is my neck of the woods! Tpt has a great selection and pricing on dried goods, meds, etc and is certainly a great place to shop should you have other pets as well. I am not a fan of their freshwater fish care or selection, but many are quite pleased. One thing I do like that they do, is on the label for each tank is the date that teh fish arrived (under the species and care info). I think this is invaluable for the concerned shopper. Gives you an idea of how long they have been there, and their health, as that place utilizes a central system.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:16 PM   #3
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That is my neck of the woods! Tpt has a great selection and pricing on dried goods, meds, etc and is certainly a great place to shop should you have other pets as well. I am not a fan of their freshwater fish care or selection, but many are quite pleased. One thing I do like that they do, is on the label for each tank is the date that teh fish arrived (under the species and care info). I think this is invaluable for the concerned shopper. Gives you an idea of how long they have been there, and their health, as that place utilizes a central system.
I was thinking about you as I saw signs for York!

You're right about the dates on the tanks, and like I said, you really couldn't say much if anything bad about the place other than the FW side looks like it's been pushed aside. Just the impression I got. But good gosh is it awesome to be able to buy spare parts right off the pegboard instead of wondering if what you just ordered is right! And if a size tank is made, it's there.

Forgot to mention the 1,000 gallon acrylic setup in the back of the store for a mere $25K!
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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I agree with you on the general decline of the store. I first went there in the mid 90's and was amazed by the quantity, quality and variety of fish and plants. Back then, i lived in Hazleton, and would make the 1.5 hour drive quite often because it was worth it. I stopped there again a few months ago after getting back into the hobby after few years break, and don't really see myself going there too often at this point. Like you, I walked out empty handed, save for a couple hardgoods. My buddy lives in Lancaster and when I went to see him last month, I didn't even consider going there. That never happened 10 years ago.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:04 PM   #5
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I agree with you on the general decline of the store. I first went there in the mid 90's and was amazed by the quantity, quality and variety of fish and plants. Back then, i lived in Hazleton, and would make the 1.5 hour drive quite often because it was worth it. I stopped there again a few months ago after getting back into the hobby after few years break, and don't really see myself going there too often at this point. Like you, I walked out empty handed, save for a couple hardgoods. My buddy lives in Lancaster and when I went to see him last month, I didn't even consider going there. That never happened 10 years ago.
Yeah, it definitely has the feel of being just a big pet store now. I remember stuff being stacked on huge warehouse-style shelves. There used to be very separate rooms for everything if I'm remembering right?Maybe we've become a bit jaded too. Not really sure. It's a little over 2 hours for me and honestly, the cost of gas just doesn't make it worth the daytrip anymore. I finally had the occassion to justify the detour and didn't have other people with me that I knew would be "disinterested". Another sign of the times? But I know if I lived closer I would be in there a lot. The whole website is there, and then some.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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Yeah, it definitely has the feel of being just a big pet store now. I remember stuff being stacked on huge warehouse-style shelves. There used to be very separate rooms for everything if I'm remembering right?Maybe we've become a bit jaded too. Not really sure. It's a little over 2 hours for me and honestly, the cost of gas just doesn't make it worth the daytrip anymore. I finally had the occassion to justify the detour and didn't have other people with me that I knew would be "disinterested". Another sign of the times? But I know if I lived closer I would be in there a lot. The whole website is there, and then some.

Yes, they used to have everything split up more. I preferred it that way, but times they are a changing. They also have burnt their bridges with some distributors, for instance they no longer carry caribsea brand (I used to buy their substrates), among others. While the store is still by far the best in the area, it has lost that feeling of private ownership that made it so special. I live in the area and only go there if I am in desperate need of something fast (med, lights, etc etc) or if I am attendign the ACLC which meets there.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
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Yeah, it definitely has the feel of being just a big pet store now. I remember stuff being stacked on huge warehouse-style shelves. There used to be very separate rooms for everything if I'm remembering right?Maybe we've become a bit jaded too.
Yep, everything was on warehouse shelving, not the grocery store castoffs they have now. Everything had a separate area, if not a room to itself. The plant tanks were all along one wall, memory tells me at least 24 tanks usually loaded with plants. Each row of fish had a distinct theme, too, like tetras, cats, loaches, etc. last time I was there, the fish room seemed a little more more scattered.
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