Checked out a couple stores today and thought I'd post reviews.
Friendly Pets in Friendly Center
Huge variety of tropicals and cichlids. No inverts, save for a handful of what were probably glass shrimp, and all the tropicals, at least, were quite cheap. All equipment, however, was ridiculously expensive (AC70 HOB, for example, was $17 more than at PetSmart). Saw an assortment of tanks for sale, and an employee (possibly owner) told me that with an $8 membership, tanks were 15% off. Didn't see a single dead fish, but every single tank was algae-ridden. Had a few tanks of plants, but none looked terribly healthy. Also sold puppies and kittens, but the kittens, at least, were rescue animals. Also guinea pigs, birds, and rabbits.
1620 Highwoods Blvd #A
Large, clean, well-organized store. Gorgeous tanks, including reefs. No floaters. No plants, either, and the fish selection in general was tiny. Still, very nice to look at. No info or prices on tanks, but everything else was pricey. Huge tank chem selection (I found Flourish Excel there, which I haven't seen at any other store). Random assortment of other stuff, too. I saw a single Coralife T5HO fixture and a selection of bulbs. Also had some random hardware (faucet adapters, for instance). The store doesn't look like it's very popular, and I'm not sure how long they'll be around. They seem to have one or two of everything (not deeply stocked).
Aquarium Center of North Carlina, Kernersville
Not a huge place, and I was disappointed by that. They'd also apparently recently (and were still) having leakage problems through the ceiling, missing ceiling tiles and having buckets sitting on the floor, collecting drips. There was one fairly large (75-90g?) planted tank, but they were doing maintenance on it and all the plants were out of the tank and under towels, so I didn't get to see anything. Most of the store is divided in half between saltwater and freshwater, and half the freshwater was cichlids. There were a few fish I haven't seen at another LFS, but most were fairly standard. I did pick up a few locally-bred golden bristlenose plecos that are doing well (this was several days ago). I was told they generally have several varieties of pleco in stock, including rhino and clown plecos, but they were out at the moment. They had a small bin of driftwood and a couple small bins of rocks ($2.99/lb I think), along with the standard medications and chems. They did have a stock of refrigerated foods (mostly for saltwater fish, I believe, but I'm not familiar enough with foods to be more specific), which I haven't seen at another LFS. The fish seemed to be well-taken care of, and the tanks looked good, especially the saltwaters. If anybody is interested in seeing some very cool established reef tanks, make sure to check this place out. No neat equipment worth mentioning, unfortunately. Basically, unless I wanted something specific, I would probably stick with "Friendly Pets" here in Gboro rather than make the 25min drive to Kernersville. Not a bad place, but a bit of a letdown from what I'd been hearing.
Last edited by kevmo911; 01-10-2011 at 04:21 PM.