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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. Has anyone noticed difficulty finding certain plants during this pandemic? Back in the summer, I had bought this huge amazon sword from my LFS. Sadly I had to tear the tank down and the plant completely melted. I reset up the tank two months later and I am seeking to find another one of those huge swords. Sadly, everywhere I have looked, I can't find them. They do have really tiny looking ones. This also had a specific look as the leaves were a bit of a darker green and ruffled looking. It was awesome. I think it might have been a variety called ruffled sword or echinorodus martii?

Another plant I can't seem to find anywhere for the life of me is Rotala Indica. I can also purchase plants on ebay, but they aren't particularly cheap and you don't really know what you are getting until it arrives. I must have checked about 8 different stores, both chain stores and LFS. I spoke to the LFS I originally got the sword from and they said they would get some if they were in stock, but obviously that is not a guarantee.

Has anyone had any difficulty finding plants in similar nature that I have?
 

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I have easily been able to find all my plants from either ebay (usually great buy 2 get 1 free deals) or Buce plants. I havnt bought from buce plants cause ebay was always cheaper, but they do have a wider selection I believe.

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Yah, I get probably 60% of my plants on Ebay too. Over the years I've found a few good sellers with the right balance of quality and pricing, and tend to go to them for plants that I can't source locally.

You're right though that the pandemic has both limited selection at shops and driven up prices. I was talking yesterday to the owner of the shop around the corner, and last week to the fish wall manager of the PetCo by my work (he's a big planted tank guy himself), and both said that closing of borders due to COVID has seriously impacted imports from the big growers in Asia. It's affecting fish imports too. That's leading to supply chain issues at the large domestic distributors, and we all know how supply and demand affect prices. We just don't have enough domestic grown plants to meet domestic consumption, so prices are rising.

Another problem the LFS told me about was that with the massive increase of shipping, more boxes are being lost or are delayed so long that the plants/fish perish. Shops are eating the cost on that, so they have to make up the loss on what they are able to get in and resell so they can stay open.

On the bright side, if things turn around soon, prices may bottom out when things open back up because the market will be flooded by stock that the growers offload, and there is a good chance many plants will be larger when they come to market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I definitely do like the ease of using ebay. But one downside like I said is, you don't know what you are getting generally. I ordered a sword a few weeks back that I thought was going to be really big, but I sent it back because it was really small. I have ordered the same plant as well twice from the same seller and both times they looked completely different.
 

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I can't find the plants I'm looking for in the LFSs either. Would like some cardinal tetras as well but there no where to be found.

I recently placed an order with Aquarium Plants Factory in California. Paid for the two day UPS shipping. The plants arrived promptly and were in really nice condition. They have been in my tank for two weeks and are all are doing well. This worked for me in Denver. Might not go so well if you are on the east coast.
 

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Yeah I got rotala indica along with some other stuff from Buce plants, it was shipped out right away, but then sat at "out for delivery" for 2 days so a bunch melted. The buce and dwarf lilies survived, the rotala did not. Not really anyones fault, but I think Id save my money on out of state suppliers until things are better :-/
 

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You have to go online. My LFS has good supply (despite being not friendly) but has not done as well during COVID. Some businesses are simply using COVID as an excuse to deliver shoddy service and save some money. I've recently ordered a few times from modernaquarium (dot com) and they have delivered high quality plants to me. They have swords. For an extra large one, as others point out eBay is the great for a more boutique purchase. I'm sure there are some bad vendors on there but I've found some that rival the service and quality of more established ones. For example I get higher quality RCS for lower price there than established players like Aquatic Arts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I find it sad that certain LFS in general barely have any plants. Before the pandemic, even Petco's near me had a pretty good selection of plants. Swords, crypts, rotala, java ferns, anubias, ludwigia, and some others that I can't really remember what though.
 

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My LFS choices in DC/MD(Silver Spring) are not too good. Neither of the close by stores seem plant oriented and one store is cramped and damp, not too Covid friendly...or rather way too Covid friendly.

I have been buying from Aquatic Arts online. You need to be a bit patient as stock gets periodically depleted but the quality is good and packing is remarkable. They only ship overnight via Fedex so shipping can cost as much as your order if it is small. In my mind paying a bit more for something that you really want is better than risking your life in a cramped local store.
 
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