What's missing at your LFS? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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What's missing at your LFS?

What's missing at your LFS (local fish store)? I'm thinking about opening a petstore in the next few years. I would like to know what you wish was available locally. Any ideas would be appreciated too. The store would cater to marine and freshwater enthusiasts while also making common pet products available. One of my ideas for advertising would be to setup tanks in some local school's biology classes. I figure if the kids like what they see who would they go to for their pet supplies. I would also have weekly classes at the store supporting the hobby. My wholesale suppliers would more than likely be from people and businesses on this site.
There would also be a web based store.

Ideas....comments?

And yes ....I know low price is what most of us are missing at our LFS.
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post #2 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:18 PM
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I'm missing:

Scaping stones
Driftwood
anything ADA
Shrimp (besides ghost shrimp)
decent live plants
live plants that actually go in an aquarium (NOT TERRARIUM)
different substrate besides clown puke
etc.....


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post #3 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:20 PM
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fish born in that very lfs . If that LFS is near me ..than it has the same tap water in their tanks. no stress of shipement etc etc
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post #4 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:22 PM
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Knowledgeable staff is the primary thing missing from most of the LFS in my area. I routinely hear the employees giving out some really poor advice/misinformation to customers. There are a few more knowledgeable people scattered around between the LFS', but they really are diamonds in the rough.

I get a lot of blank stares when I go into one looking for what, in my mind, is or should be standard aquarium equipment.

Naturally, healthy fish aren't always available, and the plants in every one of my local stores look like garbage. (There are a few further away I haven't been to, just to be fair.)

One other thing that most LFS don't have (with the exception of one store with excellent stock that's located 45 minutes away) is minor hardware, and general aquatic equipment. I'm referring to PVC hoses of different size, bulkhead fittings, universal strainers, glass/tile hole saws, replacement impellers, and things of this nature. I also can't find those universal, circular sponges for placing over filter intakes anymore.

For these reasons, I buy >90% of all my aquatic equipment, and livestock online. It's not that I don't want to support my LFS', and price is not the issue. They simply don't have the things I want or need, and generally don't have the knowledge or experience to be of much help to me.

The only thing I really buy in the LFS is frozen food, light bulbs (sometimes), and the actual tanks. If there was a well run, well and healthily stocked, LFS in my area with knowledgeable staff and basic hardware, I would gladly shift all of my purchasing to that location, even if prices were 30%+ higher than online (which they generally are).

There are 4 pet stores within ten minutes of my apartment, but the only one I generally go to is 45 minutes away.

I also prefer LFS that have self contained tanks, rather than one system all the tanks are hooked to. The majority of LFS in my area don't quarantine new arrivals either, likely because that would take up alot of space.
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post #5 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:37 PM
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Actually I'd pay higher prices (than online) if my pet store had decent plants rather than the raggedy things they carry now. They're probably adjusting to being submersed but the prices should reflect that. I also don't mind paying higher prices for store fish since I can actually see them.

Like the above poster, I'd happily spend all my money locally even at store mark-up if I could find what I wanted there.

Here are my biggest wishes:

** Ethics. You know, a place that's not going to sell some kid an Oscar, a goldfish, and a lone tiger barb for his 5-gallon non-cycled aquarium. I know that's asking a lot (not directed at you personally ). In fact, don't sell goldies or big fish at all. Hey, I'm fantasizing here.

** Decent selection of nano-related stuff. Filters, lights, tanks, fish, etc.

** Custom small-tank kits (20g and under?) that offer a better set-up than the Fluvals. Maybe even include a few plants and nano fish with the kit, maybe a tiny pack of ferts and Excel...some type of kit that gives your customer a good chance of success yet is low-tech enough not to overwhelm anyone. Have a display of one or two of these kits running successfully along with a little sign stating how easy it is to care for, how many hours you spend caring for it, etc.

** Good plant selection along with healthy plants.
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post #6 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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WOW great ideas and info so far! Thank you all so much! I really think these ideas are great for a LFS. I'm really going for a store that people in the hobby would be willing to travel great distances for.
I was even thinking of starting some sort of yearly event for planted tanks and fish breeding catagories.
I would also like to have an area for consignment items.
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post #7 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 09:57 PM
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an ideea
With the tank kit give a PDF to the buyer with some hints to build cheap biotopes..and also high tech planted tanks
A new guy in this hobby..gets into the store. He gets a tank from you and you give him the PDF with the temlpates. He takes the tank home ..he looks at the templates in that PDF and if he likes ..to say...Amazon Biotope you give him the filter the heter the bogwood the fish the leaves on the bottom and the hints to build it (all according to nature and the "laws" of Amazonia)
JBL, Sera they have something like that..but you can help the new guy with the whole setup at an instant right from the shelves of your LFS

something like that
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post #8 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 10:05 PM
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I wouldn't hesitate to travel a great distance for a decent store. I used to drive 2-1/2 hours to buy decent roses so doing so for a fish store would be no problem either.

I like your event and consignment ideas too. Great ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgmbosnia1 View Post
I'm really going for a store that people in the hobby would be willing to travel great distances for.
I was even thinking of starting some sort of yearly event for planted tanks and fish breeding catagories.
I would also like to have an area for consignment items.
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post #9 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Great idea fahnell
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post #10 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 10:13 PM
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btw
get a section..According to Nature in you store

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yd9C33BItw&NR=1

A kit to build someting like that. That kind of biotope is less prone to algae
And you know...newbies hate alagae. 3 algae in the tank and they quit the hobby
For the newbies i think that a nice competent LFS guy who takes his hand and builds with him a simple to mentain and algae free tank from a well defined template is the key

You MUST imo have a section dedicated to blackwater biotopes in you LFS. Models from 10 to 200 gls for example. The one in that video is very evry very easy to build. But you must get those kind of slim twisted branches. Not many LFS have them

What do you say?
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post #11 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 10:14 PM
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im missing a lfs all togethor... gotta drive 100 miles or better to get to one

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post #12 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Fahnell....another great idea....thanks! I will take a look at the video when I get back to my house. The one here at work doesn't allow streaming media.
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post #13 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:07 PM
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One that takes care of their tanks. I refuse to go to the only LFS because they simply do not take care of their tanks. My first and only visit there... walk in, smells like death warmed over, started looking in the tanks, nearly all of them had multiple dead fish at different stages of decomp!! And the lady that ran the place was just standing at the counter watching tv. Never again.

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post #14 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Northey that's one of my must haves too. How about when the store's floor tiles are poping up because all of the leaky tanks?
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post #15 of 89 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:42 PM
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I would love to see a greater selection of healthy looking plants (not just a few random swords or java fern) and a greater selection of alternative fish (loaches, eels, cories, ect....). Currently I have to rely on a local fish swap or pay huge shipping charges to get fish & plants I'm looking for.
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