My LFS is actually pretty good. I wish they'd do a better job of training/educating new employees though. I often overhear them giving the same not-so-great advice that I've come to expect from the big box stores. The ones that stick around usually become more knowledgeable.
Sorry I couldn't complain more. If you're ever in the Chicagoland area, feel free to check out Aquarium Adventure in Hoffman Estates. I promise I'm not getting paid to say this. 😆
Stop, I hate AA, I go to the one in Bolingbrook and I pay out the nose for crap. I bought 10 Praecox rainbows from them, they originally wanted 15 each, but they were 50% off, so 7.50. I get home and after 2 weeks, all but 3 are dead. I feel that the fish quality is OK, better than Petsmart or Petco, but the prices are horrific, completely overpriced. They want me to pay $75 for a stunted, 3" discus, when Chicago Discus sells stuff 4-5" at that price, and miles better quality.
My rant is now over. Join this https://www.facebook.com/groups/954727274614628/
Its a planted tank group in the chicago area.
Go to Fish Planet in Deerfield, great quality, great fish, great everything, prices are reasonable. $4 for nice sized praecox is not bad.
Tropi-Quatics in Lombard, IL. I have had a pretty positive experience with them, they sell Finnex Products, although their plant area is poor, the FW and SW sections are nice. They have fair pricing and do carry quality Discus as well as a ton of cichlids and a fair number of oddballs. They have many tetra species and their tanks are in good health, I have had one issue, but they corrected it when I brought the fish back the next day.