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Re: Tropica & dupla

Below suggests a direct relationship between price and quality. Sometimes 
greed = price moreso than quality = price. Paying the highest price does not 
ensure that you are getting truthful info either.

I'd say fewer companies and stores are motivated by providing a quality 
service than by making the biggest buck. Even if that was the original 
intention, materialism and greed seem to eventually take over. Sometimes it's 
difficult for the local guy to get by, with the competition by mail order and 
the chains. They should keep their prices competitive and broaden services 
and product line.

I've done my part, trying to patronize the lfs to support them, rather than 
paying the cheaper prices at petco or the like, or mail order. But I felt my 
intelligence truly insulted when I saw prices going higher and higher, with 
an accompanying discount tag on products marked up to 2 and 3 times what I 
could pay elsewhere. And I did my moaning the other day about plant prices. 

We can't always take up with the dealer/shipper of the plant. Well we can 
try, but to no avail. The disclaimer is always the same--it was healthy when 
it was shipped, the rest is your problem. I suppose the plant truly was 
ludwigia when shipped and morphed into another species.

Sorry,  just had to contribute my cents worth. I've been frustrated with 
plant shipments over the last few months.


<< It IS the dealer's fault. There are many aquatic plant sources, both in the
 U.S. and in the far east, who know what they are selling. Your dealer is
 just not willing to pay a bit more to deal with such a company - probably
 because the majority of his customers are not willing to spend the extra to
 get plants which have been reliably identified. It's also, to some extent,
 YOUR fault - if you ordered a particular plant and that was not what was
 delivered, you should have refused to accept it and taken your money
 elsewhere. It wouldn't take too many customers closing their wallets to make
 the retailer sit up and take notice.
 The economy of North America is consumer driven - you really ARE in control.
 You just have to realize that fact and demand what you want. The flip side
 of that statement is also true - you have to be willing to pay a fair price
 for quality. It doesn't take too long on a list such as this to realize that
 a lot of people are incredibly cheap and will accept all sorts of excuses
 and/or substitutions for the sake of saving a few pennies. For example, they
 will spend a fortune on hardware and then look for the cheapest brand of
 kitty litter to use for a substrate - the archives are FULL of posts about
 how to shave a few pennies by making sometimes questionable substitutions.

 See the above rant about "cheap consumers".... Dupla was the company which
 popularized the high tech approach to aquarium management and it appealed to
 a lot of people because their approach seemed to have been backed up by
 solid research. Their book "The Optimum Aquarium" is still very highly
 regarded, even though it is out of print in English. Dupla is brought into
 individual countries by official distributors and there currently is no
 distributor in the U.S. Therefore, you can't get it, unless you can find a
 retailer who has remaining stock from when it used to be distributed here.
 Both Dupla equipment and their fertilizers are high quality, high end items.
 Nobody NEEDS to go that route, but those that WANT to appreciated Dupla's
 level of quality. I'm sure that same could be said of ADA, Dennerle, or any
 of a number of other full line manufacturers which are no longer available
 in North America.
 Product wise, consumers generally get what they deserve.... if they want
 high quality, high end products and are willing to pay the $$$ for them,
 someone will sell it. If they aren't willing to spend the money, the
 companies trying to eek out a living at the upper end of the hobby will
 continue to fold and disappear silently into the night.
 Notice that I make no claims that any of this high tech material is required
 to have a beautiful aquarium, full of healthy plants. Then again, nobody
 _really_ needs a Porche to drive to work or church either.