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I'm happy with three in San Diego. The problem is you have to pick and choose what you are looking for between the three.

Fountain's - Fish and some plants.
Pet Kingdom - Lighting and substrate
Aquatic Warehouse - driftwood, SAE's (Reliably), filter parts

--Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It would be very cool if there were an LFS like an Apple store (I'm a Mac guy). Well lit, spacious, gorgeous tanks, plants, fish and good selections of dry goods with a theater area in the back with free mini-seminars about keeping aquariums, plants, etc. An LFS like that would rock. Almost wish I had the money to do it. A store like that could do great things for the hobby IMO.
 

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I've been to Pet Kingdom and Aquatic Warehouse (both great stores) but where is Fountain's? I haven't found a really good place for plants yet :icon_frow
 

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Jooleeus said:
I've been to Pet Kingdom and Aquatic Warehouse (both great stores) but where is Fountain's? I haven't found a really good place for plants yet :icon_frow
I was just in Pet Kingdom today and they've done some rearranging. Their plants are now under some of their stock tanks. That was to make room for much larger fish tanks for sale :)

As for Fountain's... http://members.aol.com/truescalz/fountain.htm
It's on University. Coming East on 8 from 15, get off at 70th and go south to University. Turn left and it will be on the right hand side a little ways down. From west on 8 take the El Cajon exit and turn left on Baltimore. Turn right on University and you'll pass it before you can make a U-turn and come back to it.

It's got a blue roof and is hard to miss. The girls are OK with their knowledge. The guys are pretty darn good.

Let me know if you find any others. There are supposed to be one or two in the encinitas area that are OK but I haven't found them yet.
 

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Dennx-
IMO,
#1- Tong's (Magnolia & 405)- best for selection (variety), location.
#2- Strictly Fish (Cerritos? & 605)- for selection, condition, knowledge & helpfulness of staff
#3- Pettown (Irvine?), both P.R.s, Discount Tropical Fish (LaHabra), West Coast Tropical Fish (Buena Park)
#4 The Newer Petsmarts
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Christina, I'll have to check out Strickly Fish, Discount Tropical and West Coast stores.
 

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Dennx-
Just a few words on what each has:
Strictly Fish- great selection of wf fish, great plant selection, clean tanks, helpful salespeople. Not so much selection in dry goods. Prices okay, not as high as Tong's.
Discount Tropical- prices are good, and if you're buying big things (i.e., tanks, stands), you might be able to haggle a little. I wouldn't really buy fish from them unless I was feeling lucky.
West Coast Tropical- clean tanks, okay selection. Prices okay. Not much in the plant area.

Now that I think about it, you might be better off just going to Strictly Fish and skip the other two.
 

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Fountain's is in La Mesa, 7575 University, I believe. Very cool place, nice, helpful people working there, good prices, at least for the stuff I've gotten there. Beautiful reef tanks. I don't do marine tanks myself, but a few of those tanks are almost Birch Aquarium level.... My kids went nuts running around the store, so many fish and coral and plants. Didn't look much at the plant selection, as I had just ordered a ton from Aquatic Depot.
 

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Hi Mandy, welcome to the forum!
Most of the places I go to are in O.C. I have only done limited exploring in the L.A. area near where I work, and I usually go to Fumi's which is on W. Pico near Crenshaw Blvd, not far from the 10. I won't say it's good for plants, but its' fish selection is pretty diverse. I have done searches online through the yellow pages in the L.A. area, and there seem to be a lot of fish stores in N. Hollywood, Burbank, etc. You might start there, and PLEASE post here if you find something good!
 

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I am in the same boat as Christina.

I have heard that Neptunes in LA is a good place to go, but I am not sure if that is for fish only, or also for plants...never been there myself.
 

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Hacienda aquatics. pretty good selection. and get pretty hard to find fishes every now and then. really good prices.

Rare fish and reptiles in walnut. they cater to ordering fishes. and have alot of rarefish. dont expect common fishes. they more cater to thoughs that like out of the ordanary fishes.
 

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Hey Wonder Woman!

Forgot I posted here so I missed your response. I'm going to post some very frank opinions about my lfs. I've been to the first four at least four or five times each. I don't pretend to know how things work everywhere or even how they should work, only how I feel they should work. These opinions are my own.

Los Angeles LFS:

Underwater Depot on Ventura at Woodman. Great selection of fish and plants. Prices are higher than down the street but these guys know their stuff AND they can retrofit an Eclipse hood in 15 minutes. Really nice people there.

Aquarium Center (not sure this is the real name but there's a big sign on the building that says that) on Ventura and Van Nuys, approx. same block as Guitar Center. 14 day guarantee on fish.

Less fish, lots of staples, lower prices. A guy name Steve works on Thursdays and Sunday, knows everything. really helpful. This place is always packed. There is parking in back.

Mark's Tropical Fish - Ventura Place at Laurel Canyon. Marks has some beautiful tanks set up. Lots of plants, a fair assortment of tropicals. Might have a better marine assortment, they're sort of separate. The guys all seem pretty nice. 48 hour guarantee on fish.

Onanda on Santa Monica and Fuller. Small, fish look great, good selection. I was really unimpressed tonight watching them sell 15 or so expensive fish to a couple for their uncycled tank. I asked him outright if I understood correctly and he grunted "yeah" at me but wouldn't meet my eye. He shouldn't have let them do it. This is the same lfs that told me you can't cycle a tank without fish. I left without spending the $59 on 10 jumbo cardinals. I'll wait til I find them elsewhere.

There's another one on Santa Monica, east of Gowar on the south side of the street. Can't recall the name. It's not particularly clean and the fish were way overcrowded but the people were nice. They have lots and lots of koi angels so I'll probably return. That's what quarantine tanks are for, right?

Hope that helps! Sorry if I broke any rules by naming stores. just delete me if you need to.

Cheers!
 

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Mandy-
Thanks for the info- now I finally have the 411 on L.A. area lfs's. I'll have to make time to go to some of them. Re. Upwater Depot- what did you mean "they can retrofit an Eclpise hood in 15 minutes"? Retrofit with what? That's new to me and I'm curious about it.
Thanks again!
-Christina
 

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Hey again,

Eclipse retrofit - Well anyone who has bought an Eclipse knows unless you're very handy and willing to live with a juryrigged set up, you can't really do anything about the lighting in an Eclipse 3 and you can't just easily replace the hood because the filtration is built into it.

The guys at Underwater Depot didn't blink. They used a retrofit made by coralife that they pulled apart and stuck right into my fixture. Okay, I had to bend the reflector a bit to get it to close, but 65 watts sure beats what I had!

Hope that helps!
 

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Cool!
I didn't even think of that. Nice to know it's a possibility.
Thanks!
 

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310, 818 area LFS

hopefully this HTML editor will work...
HTML:
<table width="790" border="1">
      <tr>
        <td width="139"><strong>Name</strong></td>
        <td width="146"><strong>Address</strong></td>
        <td width="98"><strong>City</strong></td>
        <td width="44"><strong>Zip</strong></td>
        <td width="102"><strong>Phone</strong></td>
        <td width="221"><strong>Comments</strong></td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>Ven-Mar Tropical Fish</td>
        <td>12807 Venice Blvd</td>
        <td>Mar Vista</td>
        <td>90066</td>
        <td>(310) 398-9920</td>
        <td>near Venice H.S.</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>Allan's Aquarium</td>
        <td>846 Lincoln Blvd</td>
        <td>Venice</td>
        <td>90291</td>
        <td>(310) 396-6211</td>
        <td>has other pets too</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>Apex Aquarium</td>
        <td>4338 Sepulveda Blvd</td>
        <td>Culver City</td>
        <td>90230</td>
        <td>(310) 391-0305</td>
        <td>lotta stuff</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>Jim's Exotic Fish</td>
        <td>630 N. Sepulveda Blvd</td>
        <td>El Segundo</td>
        <td>90245</td>
        <td>(310) 322-FISH</td>
        <td>clean place</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>L.A. Aquarium</td>
        <td>11662 W. Pico Blvd</td>
        <td>W Los Angeles</td>
        <td>90064</td>
        <td>(310) 477-1928</td>
        <td><a href="http://www.laaquariumco.com" target="_blank">online</a></td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>The Aquarium</td>
        <td>5403 Sepulveda Blvd</td>
        <td>Culver City</td>
        <td>90230</td>
        <td>(310) 390-1240</td>
        <td>by Target</td>
      </tr>
      <tr>
        <td>Aquarium Center</td>
        <td>14256 Ventura Blvd</td>
        <td>Sherman Oaks</td>
        <td>91423</td>
        <td>(818) 501-3544</td>
        <td> </td>
      </tr>
<tr>
        <td>Underwater Depot</td>
        <td>13708 Ventura Blvd</td>
        <td>Sherman Oaks</td>
        <td>91423</td>
        <td>(818) 789-7323</td>
        <td><a href="http://www.underwaterdepot.net/" target="_blank">online</a></td>
</tr>
      <tr>
        <td>West Coast Aquarium</td>
        <td>7252 Reseda Blvd</td>
        <td>Reseda</td>
        <td>91355</td>
        <td>(818) 881-2833</td>
        <td><em>Corydoras habrosus</em> sometimes available</td>
      </tr>
<tr>
        <td>Mark's Tropical Fish</td>
        <td>12063 Ventura Pl</td>
        <td>Studio City</td>
        <td>91604</td>
        <td>(818) 762-7700</td>
        <td><a href="http://www.markstropicalfish.com/" target="_blank">online</a></td>
</tr>
  <tr>
        <td>Tokyo Aquarium</td>
        <td>4600 W. Adams Blvd</td>
        <td>Los Angeles</td>
        <td>90016</td>
        <td>(323) 735-7553</td>
        <td><em>Corydoras habrosus</em> sometimes available</td>
</tr>
    </table>
 

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310, 818 area LFS

ok, it didnt work. Here it is in an easier format:
HTML:
Name Address City Zip Phone Comments 

[B]Ven-Mar Tropical Fish [/B] 12807 Venice Blvd Mar Vista 90066 (310) 398-9920 near Venice H.S. 

[B]Allan's Aquarium [/B] 846 Lincoln Blvd Venice 90291 (310) 396-6211 has other pets too 

[B]Apex Aquarium [/B] 4338 Sepulveda Blvd Culver City 90230 (310) 391-0305 lotta stuff 

[B]Jim's Exotic Fish [/B] 630 N. Sepulveda Blvd El Segundo 90245 (310) 322-FISH clean place 

[B]L.A. Aquarium [/B] 11662 W. Pico Blvd W Los Angeles 90064 (310) 477-1928 online 

[B]The Aquarium [/B] 5403 Sepulveda Blvd Culver City 90230 (310) 390-1240 by Target 

[B]Aquarium Center [/B] 14256 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks 91423 (818) 501-3544   

[B]Underwater Depot [/B] 13708 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks 91423 (818) 789-7323 online 

[B]West Coast Aquarium [/B] 7252 Reseda Blvd Reseda 91355 (818) 881-2833 
Corydoras habrosus sometimes available 

[B]Mark's Tropical Fish [/B] 12063 Ventura Pl Studio City 91604 (818) 762-7700 online 

[B]Tokyo Aquarium [/B] 4600 W. Adams Blvd Los Angeles 90016 (323) 735-7553 Corydoras habrosus sometimes available
 
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