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RE: selling plants to the LFS

George wrote:
> > If it's not "too much trouble" as it is with our LFS.  "Please come in
> > when we  are not busy" (i.e., not on weekends), "please only 
> > deal with the owner" (not on Mondays and Tuesdays), "only bring 
> > in stuff I can sell in a hurry" (because plants die in our holding 
> > tanks), "only come in when College Students are setting up 
> > their tanks" (September and January). It's far easier to drop
> > them in the garbage can!

?Karen responded:
> I think you've got to find a different store.  

I'm in the same town as George, so I understand his predicament.
There are other stores... about an hour and a half away.

> >I have a short dissenting opinion.  It would seem to me that the LFS depends 
> >more on *lack* of success with plants than anything else.  After all, once 
> >someone becomes adept at growing plants, there is very little need to buy
> >more.  

> It's going to be a _very_ long time before there are more people growing
> plants than killing them.  In the mean time, the smart stores are getting
> on the "planted tank band wagon".  

I agree:  We need a smart store.  However, what George is not
telling you that they *really* see him as competition.  I don't think
they want to go very far for "good will".  We all know about the success 
of George's tanks and his high volume, high quality output. That's pretty 
intimidating for the store that knows their plants won't be good enough 
for George to buy (unless they special-order some new or interesting 

I agree with you that it's not smart on the part of the store, but it's 
the reality of the situtation.  It's taken me many years and many
thousands of dollars (literally) before I realized the relationship
with the store is pretty one-sided.  I teach and meet a lot of people
with fish, and the store really does have a reputation:  They are
large, offer more species than anyone else in town, but "have
a real attitude".

> > Frankly, the LFS that carries plants goes out of their way to make us 
> > want to buy things from the "other" LFS or mail-order suppliers.  
> > For example, they don't carry the specific items we want (mostly 
> > because the owner is pissed at most of the wholesaleers in 
> > the area and won't carry their lines) and they won't 
> >special order anything for us (too much trouble). 

> Boy, you do have a problem.  

Me too.  ;-(  
That's why I *love* swapping plants with you guys on this list!

Now, though, I'm more like George:  His plants are better than
mine, (I don't have MH or CO2), but I'm still running at a plant
surplus and rarely have fish death.  I produce ten times what I 
would be able to buy (both fish and plants). 

> >The only things we ever bought there were two-pound bags of frozen 
> > food cubes and PennPlax Ultra TriLux bulbs.  The "other" store now 
> > special orders UTL bulbs and sells them to us for less than 
> > mail order prices.  Now we buy smaller packs of frozen cubes 
> > from him. 

> So why not work on him to keep a better inventory of plants 
> in the store too?

That store is a "pet store", and sells items for dogs, cats,
gerbils, lizards, snakes, etc. as well as fish.  They physically aren't
even as large as the other store, and I think are limited as 
a result.  

I thought the people in there were helpful, and I especially liked
the fact that they let you "swap out" large fish for smaller ones
that better fit your tanks (the big store allows absolutely none
of this).  However, this little store regularly stocks the 
dye-injected blueberry and painted tetras, so I'm on a little 
personal boycott.  (When I asked if they knew the fish were 
dye-injected, they responded, "Yes, but that's what people 
want, so we keep ordering them").

SO, I'll make the appeal here.  ANYBODY WANT TO OPEN
A FISH STORE in the very exciting town of Fort Collins,
Colorado USA?  It's nestled in the front range of the Rocky
Mountains in northern Colorado, and there's a land-grant
state university in this town of 150,000.  We could use
a great fish store.  We get all four seasons, temperatures
reach into 70F every month of the year (even if there is
snow on the ground), and we have a huge consumer demand.

I wanted George to open a fish store, or maybe partner
with me to open one, but he has too much sense.

Further, what we really *need* is a local aquarium
club.  There's nothing here, and no store is willing to
sponsor one (apparently, they fear they may have to
give away door prizes or something, and it might be
"too much trouble".)

--charley bay