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I lived in Florence, SC, for eight years, up until a year and a half ago when I moved to Savannah.

Pet World on Cashua is not recommended. I went there several times, and the owner was very off-putting. He would talk down to you as if you were a child, and he was not at all knowledgeable about planted aquariums. On the plus side, most of his fish seemed healthy. I am told he was big into breeding angelfish, but I don't know if that was true. Regardless, I never gave him any of my money as he seemed neither intelligent nor honest.

Pet Lovers on Irby is an okay store for tropical fish, with a decent selection of fish and a small selection of plants. The reason I gave my business to Pet Lovers, however, was because of one of their employees. A man named Gregg who works there is very knowledgeable about both fish and planted aquariums. He was always friendly, honest, and willing to order anything they didn't have in stock (fish, plants, whatever). The fish I bought there were always very healthy and I never had any issues. Bought some Crypts there as well and they did quite good in my aquarium.

PetSmart is the only other game in town, and they are your standard big box pet store.

David
 

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Good Fish Store

Found a good store to purchase fish in Columbia SC --



Pet Lover
6800 GARNERS FERRY RD
COLUMBIA, SC 29209
803-783-9705
M-SAT 9-9
SUNDAY 1-6

Originally,bought fish from a big chain store and they all died. Our water tested fine. Not a great experience.
 

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Found a good store to purchase fish in Columbia SC --




Originally,bought fish from a big chain store and they all died. Our water tested fine. Not a great experience.
No disrespect intended but that is one of the worst fish stores I've been to in my 40 years in the hobby all over the world. This post looks more like SPAM to me.
 

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I like the lazy creek stores in Lexington and Leesville. My wife and I know most of the employees personally and they are all very honest about their stock. That, to me, is more important than having a big selection or a lot of stock. Plus, they are willing to price match and special order if they can.

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I like the lazy creek stores in Lexington and Leesville. My wife and I know most of the employees personally and they are all very honest about their stock. That, to me, is more important than having a big selection or a lot of stock. Plus, they are willing to price match and special order if they can.

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I would second that. I almost forgot about Lazy Creek. We moved to Columbia a few years ago but used to buy food for our American Bulldog and occasionally a few fish here and there.
 

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Update on Fishy Business. I move and haven't been into the hobby for a couple years. I setup a 75 gallon for African Cichlids and stopped by there hoping to stock up. It looks like the same place but they must have a new owner. I bought two small catfish. Nothing else was of quality. Tanks are in sad shape. Not like it use to be. I ended up ordering my fish and supplies online.
 

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I agree with the comments on Fishy Business. The stock is always minimal with mostly just common fish. Tanks are old and there are never enough employees to help you if you ever do want to buy something.

I do like the Lazy Creek Lexington store. Employees are very helpful and nice and take interest in you. I am setting up a 90 gallon low tech planted tank in the next couple months and they have been very helpful and interested in my plans and wanted to help in any way possible. Offering to order whatever fish I want. I have been looking for spider wood and they are the only place I can find it.

I was in Charleston SC this weekend and went to Age of Aquariums and Tideline Aquatics and neither carried spider wood.
Tideline does have a good stock of fish and were very friendly but only sell driftwood out of their tanks and they say it is mainly wood found in the area.
Age of Aquariums did have some driftwood but not a big supply and no spider wood. Their fish supply was limited also.
 

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Any updates on Florence area stores; Pet Lovers/Pet World/PetSmart? I did visit PetSmart over the weekend; was as expected for a chain store, fish stocks were decent (FYI - new stocks arrive on Tuesdays). Plants limited to plastic tube assortments. Inverts; no shrimp, but red claw crabs...I bought the last 4 for my brack tank for $5 w/coupon Swap-n-Shop.
New guy from Florence here! I've had an aquarium for years, and just decided to do a jump to planted. Unfortunately, we don't really have much in the way of LFS. I generally get my fish from PetSmart, and I've been getting my plants from Pet Lovers. Gregg at PL is awesome, and will gladly give you advice and guidance (even if it means sending you to another store to get something cheaper). I haven't had luck with their fish, though. I might try to find the place on Cashua tomorrow. I didn't realize they had moved, thought they closed.
 

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Took a road trip this past Saturday in search of driftwood/new fish/shrimp. This is the list of stores made before we left:
Sumter, SC:
A Fish Store - closed/moved/no longer where it's supposed to be
PetCo - meh. chain store that seemed very disorganized (there was some other reason to go here, but I can't remember exactly what. Of course the search for aquarium stuff was far more important)

Columbia/Lexington:

Lazy Creek - AWESOME. Found my driftwood and some RCS, which were my main two items I wanted. And of course, it was the very last place we went.
Pet Lover's - Eh. Went here twice (other half found a lyretail guppy) and the first time, for the ten minutes we were in the store, not one of the 4 employees spoke. At all.
Angel Aquatic - Had a really nice piece of driftwood that I seriously thought about going back for, but not much else in the way of fish. Also, the neighborhood seemed very...sketchy.
Pet Supermarket - Another chain store. They did have a lot of ghost/glass shrimp, though. Even those are difficult to find in Florence :/
Fins (Irmo) - Closed/moved/no longer where it's supposed to be

There were a couple other pet stores we stumbled upon, but I don't remember the names or locations. They were fairly lackluster in their offerings, thus easily forgotten.
 

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Columbia, SC LFS

I went to Angel Aquatics a few weeks ago and like said the above reviewer stated the neighborhood was sketchy but the fish supply was pitiful. I walked in and it was like a smoked filled with room with one light on in the back office. There was one guy in a back office on the phone smoking cigarettes and stinking up the whole place. No aquariums had lights turned on. This place made P???Mart look like the garden of eden. I felt bad for the fish in this environment. It was hard to breath so I left after about a 2 minute tour around the 10 tanks with fish.

Lazy Creek in Lexington is great. Good supply of wood, fish, shrimp, etc. Very nice employees.
 

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Columbia SC LFS

Looking for a few items today to feed my angelfish fry and went to both Lazy Creek and Fishy Business.

Lazy Creek - greeted as soon as I walked in with a smile and friendly hello. Asked me what they could help me with and got what I needed - ASAP. They had other customers but still greeted me.

Fishy Business - Walked in the door and was ignored - walked around the store for about 10 minutes and was never spoken to by an employee. Three employees walked by me but I was never acknowledged. Looks like they have tried to do some upgrades to the show tanks but stock tanks are the same old stuff. I have refused to go there for the past year because of previous experience of being ignored but I really needed something to feed my angelfish fry so I gave them another shot. After yet another terrible experience at FB, I will not return.
 

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Just wanted up update a little....

Petsmart in NE area (Two Notch Rd) has gone down hill even more. They don't ever seem to get new stock in and their plants (the ones in the tube and little pouches) never seem to be restocked.
We have purchased some fish from them and it's really a 50/50 chance whether or not they live or not.
The employees are clueless and you're lucky if you can ever find someone to help you b/c they see you and then go hide.. at least that's what it feels like.

Petsmart on Jackson Blvd is a little better. They also don't really restock their plants, but the fish look better. They don't have a lot of tanks though so not a lot of variety. This location seems to be really really understaffed b/c you have to hunt someone down to come help you.

Pet Supermarket on Two Notch. I've only been to it one. Only a few tanks and there was some lonely dude blocking all of the tanks asking the poor employee stupid pointless questions so I couldn't see in to all of them very well. The fish looked ok though, but the plants they had were all covered in brown algae.
Was asked by 2 employees if I needed help though.

Petco on Forest Dr... I met one employee that was really nice and helpful, but the other employees had nothing but stank attitudes. Small small fish selection, but they looked ok. They do seem to restock their tubed plants, but they have a tank one that hadn't been restocked with anything new since I went to it the first time.

Pet Lovers Warehouse Garners ferry.... their fish tanks are terrible. We did buy some killifish there that are doing well, but everything else in their tanks look sad and sick. Did get my koi betta there too and the employee that rang me up didn't bother to check the price on it so I got it for the regular betta price.. so there's that at least lol.

Fishy Business.. recently been back twice within the last couple of months. They seem to have a slightly bigger fish selection from when we first started going to them years ago, but their tanks are hit and miss still. Sometimes the fish look ok and sometimes they don't. They sold us some really sick dojo loaches that didn't make it. And a lot of their tanks usually have a few dead fish in them.
They seem to be getting better plants in... sometimes. I did buy nice sword plants and their jungle val looked really nice and only 3 or 4 dollars a piece.
They also had a lot of staff working. Guy that helped us didn't really know much, but they were nice at least.
 

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I like Tideline Aquatics in Hanahan, SC in the North Charleston area. Great and knowledgeable folk, and very friendly. They seem to put their live stock and customers first. There have been several times I've gone in to buy some equipment I thought I needed only to be told to get something that would save me money and work better, or be told that I didn't need it. They are easy to talk to and they are more than willing to spend time with you and give you advice when you ask.
 
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