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Re: Albany Aquarium

>I just have to step in here and defend Albany Aquarium, as it is
>my favorite LFS. I'm not sure what your definition of "filthy" is, but
>i have never seen dirty tanks at Albany,

I sure have ............many, many times!

and i've been there many

Me too. Many years.

I'm surprised that it appeared this way, as they are truly
>one of the best aquarium stores i have been to, if not the best.

Ocean Aquarium on Cedar in SF is cool IMO. Justin and his very nice wife
are- oh- so nice. Prices are better. Both places are seedy though with Ocean
being even more so. Careful not to trip if you go there!

 It is the *only* LFS i have
>ever been too that quarantines their fish for two weeks before
>selling to the public.

Many stores do this but mainly with salt fish. We all should support this
method. It will save you $ in the long run. Justin has been extremely good
on this one with FW fish. Altums, cory's, Discus etc.

 It is the *only* LFS i have ever seen that has
>live plants in every tank (except the cichlids of course).

From a store stand point this is not always good. Justin has every tank
including the cichlid tanks full of plants. Cyprichromis leptosoma and an
Anubias wall is a nice looking tank.

 They have
>an amazing selection of live plants (if you get there when they first
>put them on display - they sell quickly!), the best and healthiest i've
>seen in any LFS. In fact, the owner is thanked by Pablo Teepot for
>his contributions in the "Aquarium Plants" book.  And i never see sick
>fish displayed in their tanks- never!
>    Their tanks do have algae, but if you look close, almost every tank has
>otos and SAE's and cories for general cleanup. And i think that is
>the reason otos from albany don't mysteriously die like many do. Its
>because they are in a natural environment, doing what they do best -
>eating algae! The shop is old and run down (don't worry, no one has
>fallen through the second floor yet :), but they are moving across the
>street to a new building (soon i hope). 

I hope they do move soon also. It will be nice.

 The staff is exceptionally
>knowledgeable and friendly.

Grrrrr. I got into it with a manager there (but I also know the owner whom I
like lots) when I brought the first C. silaquosa for a trade and basically
got yelled at for trying to sell an illegal Hygrophila! I was very pleasant
and tried to explain what it was and the manager simply raised her voice to
show that she knew more than me about plants and that **I** was the one that
was wrong.
I'm easy going. I have been in retail hell for years. I know when a customer
is being a jerk or unreasonable. I have been on the other side of the
counter my friend. I really resented the manner in which I was treated. I
was going there to "sell" not "buy" also, so I was being very nice so they
would "buy" something if I was lucky. I was not, as you can see. 

It's bad enough not to know your plants to the genera or species, but to be
a whole ficken division off is horrid.
A fern and Hygrophila are extremely different.....ah one flowers and the
other doesn't for starters. 

I really try to support LFS's  and I really like Guy, but the service
incident has really caused me to stay away. I hope this never happens to
anyone else that goes there and is likely an isolated incident. 

I have good experiences at Nippon(Ernie and Steve),Lucky Ocean(Steve), Ocean
Aquarium(Justin) and Concord Aquariums in the Bay Area. I should go to
Alameda Aquarium also but hate the drive to get there from where I live. 
I'll go back to Albany if they get rid of that manager. Where I work, the
customer is always right and they are treated that way. 

>    As far as the prices, i certainly will pay a slightly higher price for
>fish that have been quarantined and taken care of properly. Did you
>see the size of the kribensis they have? And i will support a store that
>has quality fish and plant stock, and knowledgeable employees, even
>if i could save a buck going to Al's Pet Emporium or some similar

Tom Barr