Local Fish Tank Supply Shop
So you have read about the therapeutic benefits of watching fish swimming in a tank, the wonders of growing coral, raising aquatic turtles, and you have decided to delve into the aquaculture hobby.
While you can have a fun aquarium without breaking the bank, you can’t do it without plenty of research and the right equipment. Sometimes a book or website does not really illuminate a point like talking to real person would. This is where a good fish tank supply shop comes in.
Most towns today have at least one big-box retailer, and maybe even a specialty big-box pet supply retailer. These places are fine to pick up a can of food, some new gravel and some such standard supplies. However, generally the staff there has only cursory knowledge of aquaculture, of fish tank water chemistry, and troubleshooting. So find a more specialized store for your specialized inquiries.
The Expert Fish Tank Supply Store
Walking into a good fish tank supply store is something like walking into a city aquarium. It tends to be a cool, blue place with a background of running water and plenty of “exhibits” along the walls.
A local fish tank supply shop will carry a much wider variety of healthier fish, interesting tanks, books, and even kitschy decorations than the most mega big-box store. Even if the floor staff didn’t start out as fish experts, they have learned something by being in a specialized shop, or if the store is staffed by the fish-aficionado owner, even better.
Especially for advanced aqua culturists, the fish tank supply shop staff is a great troubleshooting resource. They can tell you the pros and cons of many products, generally from experience in the shop. Tank getting cloudy? Not sure how to interpret the results of your last water chemistry test? These people are the ones to ask.
So to find the right shop start with the phone book, online, or paper variety and pick a few close to home. Then use the Internet to look for reviews or web pages of each shop. A website for a mom-and-pop fish tank supply shop may lack the finesse of a corporate site, but if it shows expertise and enthusiasm about aquaculture, that’s a good sign. Finally, check for websites by local aquaculture clubs; or join one yourself. If you hear good news about a shop from other hobbyists, check it out.