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Thread: Officially will never visit TPP, nor will they ever get one cent of my money ever.

  1. #11
    Reef-O-Potamus HgrReefs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Hagerstown, Md
    Like Jason said, check out the LFS tab and ask around for experiences at those businesses. I know we have a new store popping up in Frederick, Md (former owner of King of Corals), and I always had good luck with their fish personally. I've also always had really good luck with fish purchases from Rick's Fish and Pet in Frederick as well. While I know this is a bit of a drive from Harrisburg, sometimes that is the trade off. Before King of Corals opened a few years back, Rick's Fish and Pet was the closest store to me (35 min), while the next closest stores were in Rockville, Md (1.5hrs away) and Herndon, Va (1.75hrs away). Sometimes it pays to take a day and hit some stores that are a little bit of a drive.

    Other than those stores mentioned, I'm a huge fan of Liveaquaria's Diver's Den (not standard Liveaquaria). They go through significant measures prior to releasing compared to most places online, and even open up their operation 4 times a year for people to come and walk through/make purchases. I've always heard great things from people around the hobby that have made the trip out to Wisconsin to attend one of their open houses. That said, there are always issues that arise along the way, even with Diver's Den, but their customer support is top notch IMO. I am the worst at quarantining fish--that is understood, so to remedy that, I no longer buy fish LOL. I rolled the dice in the past, thankfully it worked out, but quarantining is a great prophylactic measure.

  2. #12
    I am seriously pondering opening a LFS up here in HBG area.

    I would love to know what the main reasons for other shops closing? I understand that all livestock pretty much comes from the same few places OVERNIGHT in a box.....But "brick and mortar" superstores all seem to have the same exact items. The mis-labled thing has me pretty well blasted...I did advise over the phone that the fish had to have a black spot. I don't know if he thought I was joking and was pulling his leg. I want exactly what I want, and I want to see it to verify.

    I also have been shopping around for a mantis. TFP only sells 3 kinds. A spearer, a peacock and random smashers. I don't trust their nomenclature at all either. I think they are a victim of their own success in a way. They are selling what they have demand for. I hate to say it, I have been a snob but I don't mind.

    I changed out 25 gallon water today because it was scheduled. I poked around for almost 2 hours and cannot find the remains. I am going to ride it out. The crabs will appreciate it.

  3. #13
    Peppermint Shrimp Vonjankmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Ellicott City MD
    I think the margins on live stock are a bit thin and competing with online stores such as BRS on the dry goods side is very difficult, which leads to very few brick and mortar stores. VA seems to have a large population of reefers though so there are more than a few stores down that way. The size of WAMAS may have something to do with that also.

    I've always wondered if there was a potentially untapped customer base if entry into the hobby could be simplified. The RedSea large all in one systems have always interested me as far as this possibility goes. Their initial price is shocking to a lot of people but given what you get they really aren't priced badly, it's just seeing that one large price is much harder to swallow than that same amount of money, just broken up into chunks. Maybe some kind of once a month demonstration on how to setup a tank or something with the option at the end for anyone attending to purchase the entire setup they would need. Not sure, honestly it is difficult, our hobby requires a fair bit of patience and even then Murphy's law is a real PITA.

  4. #14

    Thanks for the great feedback. I would rather drive 2 hours to pay more at a "mom and pop" than have a cheaper fish at a big box 10 minutes away. Up here in Harrisburg, I really cannot think of one "Fish" store with worthwhile livestock. The small no-chain stores have people that actually empathize with the "product", and thus create a better product.

    @ Vonjankmon

    Margins are razor thin on everything. I think a small store COULD flourish easily in the right area. IF I got into it, there would be standard fish, and then I would have "premium" fish that have already suffered through a real deal q-tank and treatment. I think that a local store should sell locally grown on commission. Coral and fish. I really am just conjuring up the imaginary fish store that I would go to lol.

    When looking at my last disaster, I would go to this fantastic fish store instead. I would happily pay $75 for a fish that I ordered 2 months prior that was treated, well fed and surviving. Guaranteed to be treated with X medicines....

    But back in my reality, I took an emergency call for work and I will be working 9am-9pm until further notice. Thankfully I changed the water already, because the tank is in for a bumpy ride lol. I took a few minutes to move most of my acros back to my 40g. I may pull the acan out if it starts to get hairy.....however, I am planning on 25g/week until this overfeeding algae goes away. The rotting fish will get cycled out in the next 3-5 weeks.

    Tank status: Mess.

    It will come together in a few weeks, and Ill be thrilled again.

  5. #15
    Director of Sponsorship stravo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    gardners pa
    Check out the fish geeks. He does a fish order every Monday. I should say he tries to. And rediculous prices also

    Sent from my SM-S903VL using Tapatalk

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by stravo View Post
    Check out the fish geeks. He does a fish order every Monday. I should say he tries to. And rediculous prices also
    I will check him out when work schedule permits.

    Thanks again Stravo!

  7. #17
    Peppermint Shrimp justinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    York, PA
    Do you have any clowns in your tank? I have a misbar mocha clarkii looking for a home? You can have em if you want em.

    He came from TPP but has been though all qt and is healthy as a healthy shark!

  8. #18
    Vice President nkicks1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    thought 10x about open an actual store in hbg. Gone as far as talking to a bank for the loan and had a business plan lawyer-ed over. End of the day, niche is too small. Personally dont take much issue with TFP, im in there 2x a week and know what to expect from the staff. Large store, turn over with high school employees. Use your knowledge to your advantage and not their disadvantage. They also put out very nicely for our frag swap.
    Last edited by nkicks1; 05-28-2017 at 01:35 AM.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by nkicks1 View Post
    They also put out very nicely for our frag swap.
    I have been thinking about that, and There is probably no business of mine to even have started this.

    At the end of the day, it was all my fault....from the beginning I had larger expectations than were realistic. I think it is nostalgia. I remember when you could call and talk to "Andy" and he was a marine biologist. He knew EVERYTHING and was really a down to earth guy. He always seemed excited to talk to me, and I assume everyone else. He actually gave me the recipe for my agrocrete rocks...I can't tell you where he got it lol.

    I don't think its really fair to TFP for this thread to continue. This was my fault. Not theirs. They do have a nice selection of Power compact tubes in store. I have to give them some credit, just to end this on a positive note.

    Quote Originally Posted by nkicks1 View Post
    Use your knowledge to your advantage and not their disadvantage.
    Yep, Thanks! That was exactly what I needed to hear! You are 100% correct. I totally boned myself, and should have been happy to have a trip in the car with my wife and kids.

    As for the store, I think totally different about it. It needs to be modular and portable. If the area supports it, then move to something bigger. I would have no intention of working out of anything grand at all. Im not building a location at that point, but a reputation. I would NEVER go larger than large hobby with it, and I know that some of you have more livestock in your DT than I would keep in stock for sale lol. Just pipe you said, there is little market.
    Last edited by SquatchXXL; 05-28-2017 at 11:45 PM.

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