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pet shop ideal
Here's what I like to see:
Actual equipment in stock that I and other plant enthusiasts use such
1. Eheim filters, esp. the less expensive ones (not just the
2. Light fixtures with enough spaces for adequate lights for planted
aquaria. Most pet shops carry just the standard 1-2 fluor. light
fixtures, blah. I would go for fixtures that hold either 4 standard
fluors or 2 or 4 power compacts (such as JBJ for example).
3. PLANTS! and not in dark tanks. In well-lit tanks (power compacts
are nice here) so the plants stay nice until sold. Too many stores have
semi-decent plants but stash them in overcrowded, dark tanks and they
rot in a few days.
4. Plant tank accoutrements such as laterite, various liquid
fertilizers, fert. tabs for in the substrate, etc.
5. Substrates such as Onyx, Fluorite, and gravel of appropriate color
(natural) and size ( 2-3mm).
6. Small fish too, not just big cichlids! Rasboras, small tetras,
killies (such as lampeyes), small corydoras, siamese algae eaters,
Otocinclus. The fish should ideally be quarantined at the store so the
hobbyist doesn't have to do this (I only know of one store in 100 miles
of me that does this - Albany Aquarium, CA).
7. Knowledgable staff that can give you real advice on controlling
algae, how to adjust your water parameters, appropriate fish, etc.
These people should be interested in seeing you succeed, not just see
you come back in again and again.
8. Nice layout with show tank(s) where you can see them easily and
even the plant for sale tanks arranged aesthetically (grass-like plants
in one, round leaved bunch plants in one, whorled leaved plants in
another, etc. Maybe put red plants here and there, not all in one tank.
Just a thought).
Well, I don't want much, do I?