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Old 04-05-2005, 10:05 PM   #31
motifone
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Southern California LFS's


I'm from the Los Angeles area as well, the 310. I have gone as north as the valley and as south as the South Bay and can chime in on a few of the stores mentioned here. See previous posts for most of the addresses. I shop at these stores for their freshwater livestock & plant offerings. I get all of my equipment and dry goods online because it's FAR cheaper. Be sure to call ahead for hours of operation, because some have whacky hours! In no particular order:

NEPTUNE'S REEF: I second everything mentioned about the store. Great big plant & healthy fish selection, great display tanks of all sizes, helpful sales clerks. Clean, polished, spacious, well-kept. Great plant display tank.

MARK TROPICAL: in Studio City. I agree with the previous positive comments. Very nice plant and fish selection. A tad small and cramped, especially on weekends or sales. The tanks are clean though and clerks are attentive.

THE AQUARIUM: on Sepulveda in Culver City by Target. Owned by a really nice guy named Daniel. This place has come along over the years, with renovations and expansions. Decent selection of fish and increasing selection of plants (although some of the plants I thought were overpriced). There's a sign posted "no guarantee on livestock", BUT they did give me a few replacements on a sickly batch of Praecox rainbows I bought from them. The store isn't as "polished" as the above two merchants, but improving and recommended. Helpful clerks.

JIM'S EXOTIC FISH: on Sepulveda in El Segundo. Bought my tank, stand, and canopy from Jim. Nice guy. Clean, polished, roomy store. Nice planted display tank. Nice healthy fish selection. Modest, but healthy selection of plants. Bought some nice $7.99 crypts there, whereas another store wanted $14. Recommended.

ALLAN'S AQUARIUM: on Lincoln. Average selection of fish and plants; cheap prices, but not always healthy looking. I only check things out here occasionally. Sells more than just fish.

APEX AQUARIUM: on Sepulveda. Big, relatively clean store. Average variety of fish. No fish prices on most tanks though (big negative for me) and a little "cold" sometimes in the customer service department depending on the clerk, which is a double negative since you always have to ask how much a fish costs. Often have nice big Congos and Rainbows. Plant selection is small to none. Not a plant store, folks.

VEN-MAT TROPICAL FISH: on Venice. Used to be owned by Daniel of The Aquarium, but was recently sold off to new owners. Tank room is a wee bit dingy, tanks seem a bit run down and fish selection is weak. Plant selection is small to none. Pretty much off my radar now.

AQUARIUM CENETR: on Ventura Blvd. The website looked so cool, but the fish selection was not what I expected and smaller compared to other stores. Plant selection is minimal. Only place in LA that carried New Life Spectrum food though, so kudos to them!

ONANDA: on Santa Monica. Decent selection of fish I suppose, pretty much clean. I haven't been there in couple of years since buying a batch of cardinals from them (and the replacements they gave me) that dropped like flies in my old tank.

And yes, you might also want to peek at the occasional PETCO or PETSMART. Petco sometimes has some decent fish, the price is usually more competitive, and you can't beat their 14 day guarantee on fish. Just don't buy anything sickly. Petsmart might have a similar policy. Certain Petsmarts also price match web prices from other stores, so I was able to get 2 bags of Flourite for like $24 at the store in Torrance. Depends on the manager though!
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:26 AM   #32
Little Moe
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Default LFSs in Ventura County?

Does anyone know of any good LFS in Ventura County? Specifically one that carries a wide varity of plants like Macranda, etc.?

Here's a couple that I've found since I moved here...

TAT's located in Thousand Oaks on Janss Rd. They just moved to a larger facility. They sometimes have nice plants, but nothing to write home about.

Aquatic Zoo also located in TO on TO blvd. Small place, not too clean but they do have Eco Complete, Flourite, etc. Plants selection is not good though.

I'll have to check out Underwater Depot in Valley.

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Old 05-10-2005, 06:47 PM   #33
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I wouldn't bother with Underwater Depot, they have a small plant selection. I think if you are going to the valley you should check out Marks Aquarium in Studio City, descent plant selection, good service, also check out Aquarium City in Sherman Oaks, the plant section is a complete disaster but you may find a few stems of the more unusual because they are the only LFS in the area that take plant cuttings from other hobbyists, but like I said its really not kept well, and look around as they keep plants everywere.
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:56 AM   #34
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places i like

Strictly Fish in Lakewood and Garden Grove
The Reef in Anaheim (St College and La Palma)
Pacific Reef in Anaheim
P&P Pet in Cypress (Not to Plant oriented but very cichlid/SW)

Dont go to
Mermain Tropical Fish in Garden Grove
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:57 AM   #35
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Default A+++ = Strictly Fish in Lakewood!

I have to add a rave about Strictly Fish in Lakewood. I've been there before, and have always liked their selection and condition of their tanks, but I'm a really happy camper today.
I have a Tetra pond pump that had a broken (and I thought unfixable) impeller. Part of the impeller had broken off and gotten stuck in the housing. Someone on another forum suggested I go there because they have tons of parts, and are very helpful with that sort of thing. When I showed it to them, they found a replacement impeller, and explained that the stuck part could be removed and replaced. Even though they had several other customers come in and out, they did their best with the tools they had on hand to try to remove the stuck part. They weren't successful, but I decided to buy the replacement impeller anyway (it was only $20), in the hopes that I could get the part out myself at home. The guy said I was more than welcome to return the new impeller later if I was unsuccessful.
At home, after a little digging and prying, I got the part out, and put in the new impeller. The pump is now as good as new.

I've been to a lot of fish stores in Orange County and L.A. County, but I don't know of another store where the salespeople will voluntarily take time out from running the cash register to help someone with a broken piece of equipment they didn't even buy from them. And never, at any time, did they try to tell me that the pump was ruined, and that I should just buy another one ($100+).
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:44 PM   #36
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Anyone know about any places in the san Bernardino, redlands, Rancho cucamonga area?

The only really good place I know of is Daryl's. they're good but they don't have a really wide selection. and they aren't so good in the plant department. fairly knowledgable staff though. and they're willing to special order just about anything
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:53 PM   #37
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Has anyone seen Apistogramma borelli? Or know anyone that is currently breeding them and have sellable fry?
Thanks
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:07 PM   #38
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does anyone know where i can get duckweed in southern california/los angeles, san bernardino county? none of the online stores will ship it to california!!! im desperate!! thanks!
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:01 AM   #39
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Default LFS in North County

There is a store I notice isn't mentioned in the thread. Tri-City Tropical Fish in Vista.

I've worked for the store for over five years now and the store's been in business I believe for 12 years or so. We carry a full line of livestock and supplies...custom and standard tanks and stands. We have a pretty good staff. Some knowledgeable, some just learning, but generally if one person doesn't know something, there's someone else there who does. Bossman can be a bit hard, but overall we do try to have whatever our customers need. If we don't currently carry it or just out of stock, we'll go out of our way to help get it. We are dedicated to our customers and in turn they are dedicated to us. It's a nice little store. Sometimes can seem a bit messy, but that's only because we're more busy taking care of the fish than cleaning up the clutter of paper notes and such...LOL. Our fish are in good shape and we keep a good system.

I was impressed with the filtration set up in the back when I first went there. Wow. Bio ball tower haven...lol. We won't be running out of bio space at all so long as it doesn't become contaminated. Each system has a set of two towers full of bio balls. Each tower is about two to three feet in diameter and over six feet tall. The only system without bio balls is the invert system and that sump is filled with live rock. Each sump is kept in a pit in the floor and they are huge. We hardly ever have water quality issues. The most of our problems is when fish decide not to behave with each other all of a sudden...and that's commonplace...LOL. Their sometimes unpredictable behavior keeps us on our toes

Anyone feel free to check us out. We are located in Vista at 1920 Hacienda Dr. 760-631-1532. We're open Monday thru Friday 10am to 8pm and weekends are 10 am to 6 pm. Christmas and Thanksgiving are the only holidays we are closed. We don't have a website up yet, but one is in the making.
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Old 07-04-2005, 07:36 AM   #40
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Got to agree with WonderWoman. Strictly Fish is a very good store to deal with. Plant selection is always good and in many times I pass by, on the way to my brothers house which is just past the park, the plant selection is awsome.

Another good store is in Hacienda Heights. Hacienda Tropical Fish. It's on Hacienda Blvd. just north of Amar on the left side if you are going north.
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Old 07-04-2005, 03:57 PM   #41
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Found another one in San Diego county. Supposed to have quality fish and willing to work with you. I haven't been there, but a friend who does SW tanks is who gave me the review.

Fish Haven
(760) 741-1525
2203 E Valley Pkwy
Escondido, CA 92027
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Old 07-26-2005, 09:52 PM   #42
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Oh man, after reading reviews about Strickly Fish, I had to go take a look for myself. I'd have to say it was great, small, but great selection and knowledge. I saw some rare fish there and the plant selection is excellent and healthy compared to what I have around here. The staff is the most knowledgable people around, just ask them anything and they will gladly answer. Friendly staff, asked me if I needed help more than a few times.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:18 PM   #43
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Hey, in encinitas there is a petsmart. Pretty nice place. Lots of aquariums.

Anyone know a place in San Diego or near there that sells nice plants? Maybe dwarf puffer fish too?

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Old 07-27-2005, 11:42 PM   #44
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Pufferpeep, you're going to do a lot better through this site, aquabid, APC, etc., and trades than you will with stores in San Diego county. I can't speak to Tri City Tropical fish (Vista area), but the stuff down below you I've got a little info on. Aquatic Warehouse and Fountains look to be the best bets for common plants. Don't even bother with Pet Kingdom because they have relegated plants to tucked UNDER stock tanks.

Anyway...you could try the SCAPE forum on www.aquaticplantcentral.com to see if anyone has what you want.

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Old 08-20-2005, 08:58 AM   #45
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i like to go to this fish store in pasadena. its called ptf (pasadena tropical fish?) its on colorado blvd. you get off on san gabriel blvd on the 210 and its in a little mall across from a car dealership.

also, theres another fish store in monrovia on huntington. its a small little place but cool. right off huntington on the 210 i believe...
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