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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This series of reviews is from visiting stores Summer and Fall 2009. Each review is written from the perspective of freshwater planted aquaria only. What I find interesting may not be what you find interesting. Feel free to post any updates, clarifications, or corrections. I'd like for this to become the reference I wish I had when starting an aquarium on the front range.


Store: Aqua Imports

Location: 2690 28th Street, Boulder, CO

Website: http://www.aqua-imports.com/

Plant selection: Medium. 2 tanks?

Freshwater livestock selection: Medium. Not huge, not tiny. Some unique things.

Dry goods selection: OK. Had most of what you'd want. Had some bulk food as well.

What's Unique: In freshwater? Not a whole lot. Solid selection, has most of what you'd want. Decent selection of african root wood, and nice looking rocks. Somewhat cramped inside if there are other customers.

Is it worth driving past 3 other fish stores to get to? I guess that depends on which 3 stores. ;)
 

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I found that if you are looking for something that others cannot get, they can get them. They get their stock in on Thursdays. Between all the fish stores in the front range, These guys and Fish den are my two choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Was more impressed with them recently. They had a few things that are easily available in the swap+shop here, but aren't typically at LFSes (cherry shrimp, riccia, amano shrimp, a few more plants).

I'll definitely be wandering back at some point. About the only thing that was off putting to me was that they had fish labeled as endlers that clearly weren't. But, in the grand scheme of things, pretty minor compared to having most other things in order.
 

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They rotate stock quite a bit, so what was labeled as endlers might have been what was in the tank last week.

They tend to have different plants every time I go in, it is kinda nice to see the three tanks with plants in them, plus the ones sprinkled about in the store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm pretty sure it wasn't what was in the tank last week. They were close to endlers, they had fluorescent coloring, but they weren't. At least, none of the native or hybrid strains I know of. I don't know enough of the similar species to ID them, though.

That's different from a lot of the other fish, where they had a fish, but had the label and price on a tank next to it, or across the aisle. I'm sure that's due to rotation, and isn't a big deal to me, since everyone does it.

But I agree on the plants. Nothing too exciting to me, but I'm spoiled. :) I'm glad they had a few tanks worth of variety, and the lighting situation on them was at least decent. I'll probably be through there a little more often based on what I saw last time.
 

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I'm pretty sure it wasn't what was in the tank last week. They were close to endlers, they had fluorescent coloring, but they weren't. At least, none of the native or hybrid strains I know of. I don't know enough of the similar species to ID them, though.

That's different from a lot of the other fish, where they had a fish, but had the label and price on a tank next to it, or across the aisle. I'm sure that's due to rotation, and isn't a big deal to me, since everyone does it.

But I agree on the plants. Nothing too exciting to me, but I'm spoiled. :) I'm glad they had a few tanks worth of variety, and the lighting situation on them was at least decent. I'll probably be through there a little more often based on what I saw last time.
If you need a specific plant, the guy that looks like an old school hippy lol can check his order list and see if it is available. They did an order of Amano shrimp for me, and tried to get me a plant I really wanted, they are super nice guys there.
 

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You know, you actually had me going until you mentioned the hippie in Boulder. April Fools, huh? :)
lol nope, that is really the only way I can describe him. Super nice guy, tall and slanky. I guess I can say "old school hippy" not the type of hippy you find in boulder now a days lol
 

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They did an order of Amano shrimp for me, and tried to get me a plant I really wanted, they are super nice guys there.
So I have you to thank for those Amanos! It's my neighborhood LFS so when I walked in and saw a tank of Amanos and Nerite Snails (NOT their standard stock) I did a triple take! I picked up 6 Amanos (at a discount since I got 6) and they've been making my tank sparkle!

Thanks!!!

Will
 

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So I have you to thank for those Amanos! It's my neighborhood LFS so when I walked in and saw a tank of Amanos and Nerite Snails (NOT their standard stock) I did a triple take! I picked up 6 Amanos (at a discount since I got 6) and they've been making my tank sparkle!

Thanks!!!

Will
I picked up my Amano's In oct. He had said at the time that they usually did not carry them, but could order. Wonder if they sold so well after that, that they started stocking them lol. I did ask about nerites in jan, out I was told that they did not carry them. Guess they do now, time to make another trip
 

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Glad to see everyone active on this forum.

I usually like to shop at Exotic Aquatics because I know the manager there, but AI has a way better selection. They told me they could order white cloud mountain minnows for me, and they carry Celestial Pearl Danios (galaxy rasboras).
 

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Stopped in there today for the first time. First impression was "this place is a dump!", but spend a few minutes in there and you realize they have a pretty good selection. Some different fish that I hadn't seen before, and many more plants than I'm used to seeing. Picked up some bulk food (cheap!) some more HC, and some Blood Stargrass/Water hedge (Didiplis diandra).

I'll go back, probably for the bulk food. ..and that 'old hippy guy' was pretty cool.

Aaron
 

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I love the place, I go there every weekend. I know the "hippy" you're talking bout too!
he has to be the nicest guys I have met in a LFS, and pretty darn knowledgeable when it comes to plants
 

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The "hippy guy" is the guy to talk to. He not only knows his stuff, he is passionate about it.

Also hearing him talk to kids cracks me up. Awesome guy.

I will say, if you go by where they sell the lights and peek into that door...well...you get to see a dark room full of filthy cages where they raise feeder mice. That part is actually pretty shady...heard one of them complaining that they forgot to do something and a bunch of em died. I realize its a necessary evil, but at least get em a light in the room..sheesh.
 

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AI has some rabbit snails in stock, and a few other harder to find items. But the price is a little steep on a lot of stuff. Nice selection of microfish sometimes. But the lanky hippy guy is one of the nicest guys that I've met at an LFS since moving here 6 years ago. (Fish Den guys are decent too).
 

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AI has some rabbit snails in stock, and a few other harder to find items. But the price is a little steep on a lot of stuff. Nice selection of microfish sometimes. But the lanky hippy guy is one of the nicest guys that I've met at an LFS since moving here 6 years ago. (Fish Den guys are decent too).
I just picked up some "Emerald Rasbora" there, they have a GREAT selection of micro fish. I almost picked up some Sundadanio axelrodi, but they were a tad high in price, as were the CPD's The little guys I picked up look very much like CPD's except stripped instead of spotted.
 

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I just stopped in to take a look at what they had, they just got a plant shipment in, and was working at getting it in the two planted tanks while I was in. They are now doing orders on the plants IE they used to just order a mixed bag of plants, they are now ordering specifics on the plants. They had the "nano" tank just behind and above the planted tank with a few new species that I have not seen there before. They have some Briggate Rasbora "Chili rasbora" in stock, they are SUPER CUTE! lol for 4.49 each. They had some CPD's (at least I think i purchased what they had left lol) They had Badis badis in stock, and these strange little guys called Paradox Stickleback, they were strange looking but very cute. Jon "the hippy guy" had told me that they were pretty hardy, but only once you got them eating. They have extremely tiny mouths. And getting them to eat was a bit of a pain. I might give them a try at some point in time.
 

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I stopped by, and I saw they have some cool fish. They had some pretty Rams!! Makes me wanna have rams. Also they has CBS/CRS, but very very expensive :( Better to buy them from here.
 
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