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I am having such a tough time finding fish stores with a solid and somewhat rare freshwater selection! So far I have Sea Escapes-south Elgin, Gingerbread aquatics- Naperville, Aquarium Adventures-Hoffman estates , beyond the reef- Hoffman estates and that’s about it! Anyone know of any other solid ones?
 

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While it's in Chicago, just on the outskirts of the city is Ocean Design. They usually have a pretty good selection and he's willing to get fish in that you want.

I believe there is one other place that's routinely recommended in Lombard called Tropicquatics. I haven't yet been there myself, but I see folks always recommending that shop.

Another I haven't been to in ages is Coral Reef Pet Center in Norridge on Lawrence Ave. If you go there, Ocean Design is like 10 minutes away so it might be worth a quick stop.

Fish Planet as mentioned above is another that's frequently recommended. I haven't yet been there either.

ETA: I don't know if your reason for avoiding Chicago is similar to mine, but Ocean Design is maybe a couple miles east of Cumberland Ave. It's probably one of the only two places I still go to in the city...the other is to get my CO2 refilled, otherwise I avoid the city like the plague.
 

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While it's in Chicago, just on the outskirts of the city is Ocean Design. They usually have a pretty good selection and he's willing to get fish in that you want.
I'll have to drop by. Since it close to the expressway, the drive time is similar to Fish Planet for me.

Another I haven't been to in ages is Coral Reef Pet Center in Norridge on Lawrence Ave. If you go there, Ocean Design is like 10 minutes away so it might be worth a quick stop.
I'll probably stop by this place too.

I don't know if your reason for avoiding Chicago is similar to mine, but Ocean Design is maybe a couple miles east of Cumberland Ave. It's probably one of the only two places I still go to in the city...the other is to get my CO2 refilled, otherwise I avoid the city like the plague.
I grew up on the north side, but I can't deal with that kind of traffic anymore. Does Ocean Design refill CO2? It's been difficult finding places to fill up in the northwest burbs. I ended up going to Perfect Brewing Supply in Libertyville.
 

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I'll have to drop by. Since it close to the expressway, the drive time is similar to Fish Planet for me.



I'll probably stop by this place too.



I grew up on the north side, but I can't deal with that kind of traffic anymore. Does Ocean Design refill CO2? It's been difficult finding places to fill up in the northwest burbs. I ended up going to Perfect Brewing Supply in Libertyville.
To the best of my knowledge they don't. I usually avoid the city at all costs, but when I need my CO2 refilled I take a ride to NFC Company on Saturday morning. I usually plan on leaving at 9:30am and can get there just before 10am and I'm back by 11am. They're significantly further in the city....more or less like the Ravenswood area-ish. I take Belmont down to Clyborn, hang a right and they're right by Wellington Ave. It's not too bad on Saturday morning.

I used to go to a place out by 355 and North Ave but the guy who filled CO2 seemed lazy and every time I'd go there he'd try to sell me a recertification on a tank that was recertified by him, a couple fill ups prior. It actually winds up being a longer drive to go out there than into the city. NFC is a great place though...you're in and out pretty quickly and they refill paintball CO2 canisters.

I also grew up on the north side and ever since moving out of the city almost 20 years ago, I do my best to avoid it lol.
 
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