Local store that sells Lily Pipes? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Local store that sells Lily Pipes?

Anyone know of any store around Philly that sells Lily Pipes? Looking specifically for a Poppy pipe. I'd rather try and support something local rather then online...I also like to see what I'm purchasing as this is the first time with a lily pipe.

I don't think That Pet place has them (they didn't last time I was there); anyone know about the Aquarium Center in Jersey? (I've never been there)
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 12:04 AM
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I don't think your going to find lily pipes at any LFS in the area you mention. They are a high end item, read expensive, and generally only bought by someone really into planted tanks.

I would call any LFS first, before you go. I dare to say few, if any, would know what your even talking about.

I prefer to support the LFS, where possible, but many just don't have a good high end equipment selection. I don't blame them. That's a lot of money tied up in inventory.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 05:00 PM
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I prefer to support the LFS, where possible, but many just don't have a good high end equipment selection. I don't blame them. That's a lot of money tied up in inventory.
100% agree. Not just illiquid capital lost to the inventory, but also it's inventory that they might sell one item of, a year. It would be like your local computer build/repair shop keeping $10k gaming rigs on the shelf.

I feel a responsibility to point the following out, though. Supporting your LFS (or any LXS for that matter, where X could be gaming, computer, tobacco, food, hardware, etc), costs you money. If it didn't cost more, it wouldn't be "supporting" them, you'd just be bargain/price shopping. No LFS can compete with online prices, online convenience, big corporations. It just won't happen. Point being, if you feel a need or desire to "support your LFS" (or your local community shop of any type), there is still a way.

Go in to the LFS. Show them a pic of the Lily Pipe (or w/e rare, expensive item) you want. Ask them to order it. Show back up when it arrives. Buy it, paying the markup, to help the LFS.


Just because insert-random-LFS-here doesn't have an item, doesn't mean they can't find it.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 06:54 PM
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Ordering through your LFS can have it's own set of problems. Often their suppliers don't carry what you want, so the LFS supplier needs to order it. If that happens you usually a long delay built into the process. Also, if something is not correct you have an even longer delay.

Another thing that can happen is that to get a reasonable price, the LS needs to order a minimum dollar amount of products. So he might have to wait till he has enough stuff to order before he places the order.

y personal rule is that if the LFS doesn't regularly carry the product I want, and nothing else in the store will work for me, I will get it online from major suppliers.

As an example, I live near a large city. With all the LFSs around you would think it would be easy to buy one of the common Eheim canister filters, but this is not the case. Only one of the LFS stocks any reasonable amount of Eheim canisters. If I want a part, even they don't have parts, not even common ones like an impeller or O rings. So, the various well known online places get my business for all parts. Note that we have not even talked about price here.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 07:09 PM
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If you don't have to get the name brand products, buying online is much much cheaper with them chinese knockoffs. Can't say much about quality difference. But, if they functionally do its job and looks as it does on the web images, they are much better for your pocketbook. The VIV brand seems promising. I might get a Chihiros.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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hmm these are all great suggestions. thanks!

I've called around and no one I know stocks them so I'll have to either go the online route or see if they can order them. As far as ordering I had not thought of that...that's a great idea! There's really one one store I like enough to consider supporting the mark up depending on how high the mark up is; so I'll have to find out about that.

If I do go the online route I'm going to spend a little more on a retailer I know and has a decent return policy; I know I can find them cheaper but since this is my first time ordering them and I'm not sure exactly what I want (though I'm pretty sure I've got an idea) I want that insurance
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 02:43 PM
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I personally only really get fauna from my LFS. They never have anything other than java ferns/mosses, amazon swords, and crypt plants, and have trouble keeping them healthy anyway, as they have no devoted planted tank to nurse them in. And their test kits expired in the 80s. And they have 1 single sunsun can filter. And a single check valve, flimsy little chinese piece of nothing, is $5.

To each their own. I was just pointing out that if you REALLY want to support the LFS, there will usually be a way.

-- 2.5 Gallon mini bowfront with a field of crypt wendtii, some java fern, java moss, 8 RCS, and several species of snails.
-- 55 Gallon long with Green Rotala, Crypt Wendtii, Red Ludwigia, Blyxa Japonica, Bacopa Carolinia, Banana Plant, Dwarf Sag, and an Amazon Sword. 2 Bolivian rams, 2 German Golden longfin rams, 2 German Blue Longfin Rams, 17 Rummies, 7 Neons, and a lonely Amano.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HaeSuse View Post
I personally only really get fauna from my LFS. They never have anything other than java ferns/mosses, amazon swords, and crypt plants, and have trouble keeping them healthy anyway, as they have no devoted planted tank to nurse them in. And their test kits expired in the 80s. And they have 1 single sunsun can filter. And a single check valve, flimsy little chinese piece of nothing, is $5.

To each their own. I was just pointing out that if you REALLY want to support the LFS, there will usually be a way.
oh of course! I really appreciate it! I always forget to ask if they can order things for some reason...that opens up a HUGE inventory assuming they can. Although I may or may not use that idea for the Lily pipes I'm sure I can do that for plants and other things that they usually stock (or at least more similar to what they usually stock)

Thanks again!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 06:43 PM
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...The VIV brand seems promising...
I have Viv and ADA lily pipes and there is basically no difference. Viv pipes might even be made of slightly heavier glass.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 09:47 PM
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If you ordering online and you get a good deal, my advise is to order two sets. If your new to lily pipes you stand a good chance of breaking one in the not too distant future.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 12:24 AM
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I have Viv and ADA lily pipes and there is basically no difference. Viv pipes might even be made of slightly heavier glass.
I guess heavy is good. Less fragile. Glass optimal clarity isn't important because they get dirty quickly.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 02:27 AM
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I guess heavy is good. Less fragile. Glass optimal clarity isn't important because they get dirty quickly.
Yep, heavier is better. My Viv pipe is made of slightly thicker glass.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 04:56 PM
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With all the LFSs around you would think it would be easy to buy one of the common Eheim canister filters, but this is not the case. Only one of the LFS stocks any reasonable amount of Eheim canisters. If I want a part, even they don't have parts, not even common ones like an impeller or O rings.


Have you checked out Hidden Reef? They are conveniently easy off/on to Route 95 just north of the city and they stock several Eheims and a few replacement parts, However I mostly agree mostly with the comments in your post.


I had found a store in upper central NJ that stocked replacement filter parts but unfortunately they closed up shop a year ago.....
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 05:51 PM
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Have you checked out Hidden Reef? They are conveniently easy off/on to Route 95 just north of the city and they stock several Eheims and a few replacement parts, However I mostly agree mostly with the comments in your post.


I had found a store in upper central NJ that stocked replacement filter parts but unfortunately they closed up shop a year ago.....
Yes, I have been to The Hidden Reef many times. The last time I needed an Eheim Canister Filter in a hurry I got it from them. As for parts, they seem to have very few. I can't blame them. An inventory of parts is expensive to maintain.

If I need a part, I'll go online first, simple because they are so much easier to find that way.

Hint - you can get parts directly from Eheim, but that is sometimes an expensive option. Before you buy from that source do an online search on the Eheim part number and see if anyone has it for less.

Shops that close down is something that has been happening a lot over the last 15 years or so. Some of them deserved to go under, since they charged outrageous prices and had limited selection. Others were great stores but just couldn't compete with online places.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 06:54 PM
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Shops that close down is something that has been happening a lot over the last 15 years or so. Some of them deserved to go under, since they charged outrageous prices and had limited selection. Others were great stores but just couldn't compete with online places.
It doesn't even seem like local shops want to compete any more. They offer zero value other than convenience of purchasing something right away, if they even have it. The complaint that they can't compete with online sales is rather moot, considering the ease of which someone can set up an online store front. Now, I'm not downplaying the difficulties in running an online store, managing stock, researching what is selling, and otherwise keeping abreast of the hobby.

Fact is, these places continue to do business the same way they did 10 years ago when it was much more difficult to order things online.

I've noticed, in the past few years even, the general decline... there's almost no reason to swing by a LFS in our area. Same hardware, same fish, dead fish, etc.

If you're going to compete in this era, you need an online presence. That's true for most businesses. I used to love perusing the local shops, but I just don't bother any more... I supposed they're more exciting for folks new to the hobby.


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