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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Visit to House of Tropicals

House of trops plant stock!








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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 05:16 PM
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I wanted some dwarf pennywart but they only have huge mats of it.
Awesome place though.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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pennywort

they have small portions too, last picture by the chain swords. i cant get that stuff to thrive in my tank. had to tear it all out

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 08:34 PM
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Nice, I plan on stopping by there sometime later this week, after stopping by Roberts Oxygen...

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Roberts Oxygen

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Nice, I plan on stopping by there sometime later this week, after stopping by Roberts Oxygen...
Im assuming you get your Co2 filled here? i have been looking for a place because im shopping around for a co2 setup and want to make sure i have a place nearby. I wonder if they sell cylinders?

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 12:19 AM
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Yes, but I use co2 for hombrew beer not aquaria (yet)..

Roberts only does tank exchanges, and you can buy a filled used cylinder. They have by far the most locations in md. If you want to own your own, check out laurel bottle gas in laurel.. I've also heard fireline in Baltimore does fills, as does some place in Rockville.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Roberts Oxygen

Their 5lb Co2 Cylinder filled is $110, ill have to order one online before going in

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 12:17 PM
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I'm from Los Angeles - just relocated here.

In LA, the LFS are just a different caliber than they are here - especially the ones that emphasize planted tanks. And CO2 is everywhere - super easy to find.

I was a bit bummed when I landed and tried to get back into the hobby I love.

Someone on TPT turned me on to Roberts. SO HAPPY!!! I brought my 10# steels here, as they're heavier (so they hold the big regs up better) and they're small enough to fit under any cabinet. 10# are easy to exchange in LA... After going to 3 different places out here, I finally found Roberts - and they exchange 10 pounders... SO HAPPY!!

HOT has become my defacto LFS out here. I've been to all of the shops - from Washington to NOVA to all over this part of Maryland. HOT is about the best I've seen out here, save the guy in Rockville (Congressional, I think).... that place knocked me out. Just too far.

If HOT had more light on their plants, they'd be in better shape. But its the store that currently gets most of my time and my dollars.

They have a frequent buyer club you need to ask about. You can accrue points and then get dollars off stuff later. Several of the stores in LA have that.

I'm so grateful TPT pointed me to Roberts.

Last edited by mo2vation; 08-11-2015 at 12:31 PM. Reason: Dork can't speeel.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rragan View Post
Their 5lb Co2 Cylinder filled is $110, ill have to order one online before going in
Interesting...

I'm not ordering a new bottle, so that may be a different situation.

Since I'm doing a bottle exchange with an out-of-date bottle that isn't originally from Roberts, they're charging me a $12.50 fee.

Beyond that it is $21.88 for the tank swap.

No need to go online, just show up and pay..

Note: this is specifically for the 706 North Crain Highway location, which is over by HoT (1.1 miles away according to google maps). I've heard different Robert's locations run slightly different pricing.

edit:
They also said the 12.50 fee would not apply if one of their bottles expired while I had it. I'm only paying the 12.50 because it's not a Roberts bottle.

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Last edited by mattinmd; 08-11-2015 at 05:12 PM. Reason: added note about fee..
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Co2

Oh I meant I should go online to order a brand new tank from someone else, i have seen some go for 65 shipped. but I did call Laurel Bottled gas since i work over there, they will sell a 5lb tank for $103 filled, then $17 per fill. still pricey for the tank itself.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Interesting...

I'm not ordering a new bottle, so that may be a different situation.
where did you get your bottle originally?

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rragan View Post
Oh I meant I should go online to order a brand new tank from someone else, i have seen some go for 65 shipped. but I did call Laurel Bottled gas since i work over there, they will sell a 5lb tank for $103 filled, then $17 per fill. still pricey for the tank itself.

Bump:

where did you get your bottle originally?
Remember, I don't use CO2 for aquariums (yet), I use it for kegging homebrew beer.

I got my bottle back in 2003 or 2004 from a homebrew store, Annapolis Homebrew in Severna Park. Back in the day they did tank refills there, and that's where I got my gas.

But then I had a kid and fell out of the hobby for several years, and recently pulled my old bottle out of storage and it still had CO2 in it. I used it for a couple of batches of beer and now it is almost empty. I've got a batch I just kegged late last week, and it has likely sucked the last 0.2lbs out of the bottle..

edit:
FYI, I asked roberts what their prices are to get one of their bottles with no exchange.. $125 for steel, $135 for aluminum.. Since these are technically used bottles that's very steep..

As for buying a bottle online, that probably works and is probably cheapest.. Laurel Bottle gas will probably charge you a few bucks for any DOT labels that are missing from it, which it may be. The guy there knows the rules and regulations and is reputed to be a stickler for doing everything properly. Not that it is a bad thing, just be aware that's his angle.

If you go that route, be sure to update with your experiences..

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Last edited by mattinmd; 08-11-2015 at 09:31 PM. Reason: added roberts pricing.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 01:31 PM
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I haven't been to House of Tropicals in awhile; looks like they've stepped up their game.

On the subject of co2, you might want to have a look at [Ebay Link Removed] I've gotten a couple tanks that way, for less than I would have paid locally. Roberts Oxygen had no problem accepting them since they had the tare weight and a current hydrotest date stamped on them.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 01:51 PM
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There's lots of online options for buying a 5lb tank...

I see a fleabay deal for a 5lb aluminum tank for about $50, plus shipping ($14-ish to Maryland).
(fleabay links not allowed, but you can search yourself)

You can buy them at Amazon for $65, free prime, even same-day where I live.
http://www.amazon.com/Zebra-DNA-Luxfer-Aluminum-Natural/dp/B00OVBTB68

I may go the Amazon route, since with shipping the price difference is negligible... Even if Robberts charged the $12.50, it's still much cheaper to buy an empty cylinder online and trade it in than to get a "new" tank from them for $135. It seems they have quite the markup on "new" tanks... even Laurel Bottle Gas seems to have somewhat of a markup.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Co2

Yeah I want to go the Amazon route, $65 5lb tank, 12.50 stickers, $17 fill is about $94

.. but I called and asked about a full new tank from laurel gas, they said 5lb tank is 86.50 plus fill 17, about $103

so all in all, not too much markup if I go the Laurel Bottled Gas route. I may pay the $10 or so for convenience.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 08:19 AM
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I was wondering if house of tropical a sells Amano shrimp or true SAEs since all the other stores I go to rarely have them. And how much do they sell them for?
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