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My husband and I are headed down to the Sacramento/Roseville area, as well as Grass Valley, Auburn, and Chico to see family at the end of October. Since my tank will be at the point of setting up by that time, I figured I could get a bunch of plants while I am down there, and possibly some fish. Does anyone have any recommendations? I have been into a few fish shops down there, mainly remembering the one with the giant koi pond you walk over but I also know I was not impressed by their stock or the way they kept their tanks.

Thanks for the input!
 

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Yah that was Capital Aquarium, and they unfortunately closed down. I would recommend Aqua Workz. I dont think they have a ton of plants but they do have a pretty good selection of fish that usually look pretty healthy. Its definitely worth a look if you wanted to shop around.
 

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Exotic Aquarium may have the best selection of plants, and a very good selection of fish. Capitol Aquarium will be missed - none of the other stores is as enjoyable just to visit, but JoJos is getting there.
 

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My preference in this order:

  1. Jojo's
  2. Aqua Workz
  3. Exotic Aquatic
 

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Wow capital closed down?? I wonder what happened?
From where I sit, it looked like they lost their enthusiasm for the business, started slacking off on tank maintenance, making their fish selections look much worse, which ran off some customers, which reduced their enthusiasm even more, etc. It was like watching a friend die - an exaggeration, but it did feel a little like that.
 

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I would say

  1. Jojo's
  2. Exotic
  3. Aqua Workz
JoJo's is #1 for sure after their recent expansion, especially if you're after plants or monster fish. Exotic is also good, mostly because of the large selection. After that, I'd honestly rather go to one of the nicer Petsmarts for generic fish, or to Crystal Aquarium for African cichlids (actually, if you want cichlids, you should go to Crystal over any of these).

I've been down on Aqua Works for a while, because their fish have signs of hormone treatments. I don't say that lightly - their peacock cichlid tanks have too many small brightly colored up male fish. This doesn't usually happen without hormones, because subdominant males hide their colors to appear female. Their rainbowfish also have way too much color for their size, and they generally show only male colors. Their tank of boesemani rainbows doesn't have a single female in sight, and even small fish have bright male coloration.

I could be wrong, but those are the facts as I see them.
 

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I've been down on Aqua Works for a while, because their fish have signs of hormone treatments. I don't say that lightly - their peacock cichlid tanks have too many small brightly colored up male fish. This doesn't usually happen without hormones, because subdominant males hide their colors to appear female. Their rainbowfish also have way too much color for their size, and they generally show only male colors. Their tank of boesemani rainbows doesn't have a single female in sight, and even small fish have bright male coloration.

I could be wrong, and I wish I could be more positive. but those are the fact as I see them.
Do hormone treatments fade like the dyes do?

I have to say that I have bred rainbows extensively for a little over a decade, and that I often had deeply colored males (and even the females!) all the time and the main changes during breeding were that the colors got deeper and more vibrant, and the yellow stripe would appear on the front of the humps - but that happened on all of them.

I'd maybe figure that the first generation could have been treated, but I'd have thought that after say ... 6 generations down .... that wouldn't be something that could be in effect and that coloration didn't seem to change no matter how far I bred down from the original stock.

I can't imagine that hormone treatments could last that indefinitely ... but maybe I am wrong? Never really occurred to me to be wary of hormone treated fish when buying back then ... but would have thought if that was the case, the following generations wouldn't be showing the exact same things if it was artificially induced with the foundation breeding stock.
 

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Do hormone treatments fade like the dyes do?

I have to say that I have bred rainbows extensively for a little over a decade, and that I often had deeply colored males (and even the females!) all the time and the main changes during breeding were that the colors got deeper and more vibrant, and the yellow stripe would appear on the front of the humps - but that happened on all of them.

I'd maybe figure that the first generation could have been treated, but I'd have thought that after say ... 6 generations down .... that wouldn't be something that could be in effect and that coloration didn't seem to change no matter how far I bred down from the original stock.

I can't imagine that hormone treatments could last that indefinitely ... but maybe I am wrong? Never really occurred to me to be wary of hormone treated fish when buying back then ... but would have thought if that was the case, the following generations wouldn't be showing the exact same things if it was artificially induced with the foundation breeding stock.
Rainbow breeder, eh? Which kinds? I'm interested in getting some more.

The hormones DON'T last indefinitely, which is in fact the problem.

Fish fed 'juiced' food may stop naturally producing their own, which can lead to sterility and loss of color once they're no longer being fed hormone-enhanced foods. Also, hormones can make a male with lackluster genetics look much better than he actually is.

The effect is environmental, though, so unless the hormones sterilize the fish, when they reproduce their offspring will reflect the genetics of the parents, even if the parents were juiced.
 

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Oh they all died in my last move ... along with the discus and angels - was so devastating that it kinda drained the joy out if it for me, and then after having 3 houses I was renting foreclosed on us due to landlords not paying their mortgages, I kind of stopped doing tanks at all really.

Just kind of coming back into it now, but still not sure about the breeding - thinking of just trying for a male only tank, but.... I might already miffed that cuz the turquoise I just bought might well be a female, which will mean I'll have to rethink everything. lol

Hmmm - not sure then, I try to only feed tubifex or blood worms or live brine that always seemed to be their favorite thing ... but NOTHING around here seems to carry live brine, and I get sick of hatching my own shrimp unless it's for fry. I'll have to see what's out there - it's possible that I have never seen a hormone treated one, are the colors *that* dramatically different?

But that was in the past - I'll have to see where this takes me again, lol. But lord knows if I ever buy a house I'll be setting up every blasted tank I have I am sure LOL.
 

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Rainbow breeder, eh? Which kinds? I'm interested in getting some more
When I was breeding them I tended to go for the reds, blues, and bosemanis, the others had a lot more colors, but they were all much smaller when they were fully adult, and I really rather liked the size of those three when they were fully mature.

They were big, without being TOO big, at least for me.

Only real issue I had with them was they are such voracious egg eaters that they would piss off the angels or discus that were in the same tank, so that I usually had to wind up making breeding tanks to keep everyone happy (and fry to survive! LOL). But when they weren't procreating they all lived happily with each other, lol.
 

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Oh they all died in my last move ... along with the discus and angels - was so devastating that it kinda drained the joy out if it for me, and then after having 3 houses I was renting foreclosed on us due to landlords not paying their mortgages, I kind of stopped doing tanks at all really.

Just kind of coming back into it now, but still not sure about the breeding - thinking of just trying for a male only tank, but.... I might already miffed that cuz the turquoise I just bought might well be a female, which will mean I'll have to rethink everything. lol

Hmmm - not sure then, I try to only feed tubifex or blood worms or live brine that always seemed to be their favorite thing ... but NOTHING around here seems to carry live brine, and I get sick of hatching my own shrimp unless it's for fry. I'll have to see what's out there - it's possible that I have never seen a hormone treated one, are the colors *that* dramatically different?

But that was in the past - I'll have to see where this takes me again, lol. But lord knows if I ever buy a house I'll be setting up every blasted tank I have I am sure LOL.
Honestly, hormone treated rainbows aren't that common. Hormone treated cichlids are a much bigger deal, because many female cichlids are a drab grey and males are gorgeous neon reds, blues, and yellows. Lots of money if you juice your fish.

I'll note that if you look at a tank of peacock cichlids at Crystal or Exotic Aquarium, you'll see lots of gray fish and a few colorful dominant males. At Aqua Workz, every peacock cichlid is colorful...

On an unrelated note, I fed my now-deceased colony of M. australis Omega One super color veggie pellets, and the fish got beautiful colors without any sign of the 'obesity' that rainbows sometimes get.
 

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Obese rainbows? lol - is that really even possible?

I think the only fish I've had that got obese was an extremely deformed gold severum that I took pity on and bought for 10 cents - and that was because his spine curled over like a wave and so he couldn't swim very well lol.

Although, no, wait, Ive had kuhli loaches get SO fat that I was sure they were going to explode lol so I guess I have seen that now that I think about it, lol!
 
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