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So where are you all getting your livestock?


Livestock....online? or in store  

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Greetings and welcome to Austin!

I am sort of partial to Austin Aquariums, but I love this store as a customer.

It is located right next to Northcross Mall, one block south off of Anderson Lane.

You can call the store at 206-0646 if you get lost or have trouble. The people working

there are always so friendly and helpful and they have nice livestock.


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I'm another fan of Austin Aquariums also. After that, you need to take a day trip one Saturday to San Antonio. Go through Spring Branch on the way (CB Pets). Lot's of good places there, and a whole lot cheaper.

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You forgot to put an option of both in the poll. I've bought from Saltwaterfish.com, and gotten some dry goods and things that are hard to find locally from Drs. Foster & Smith, but I'm leaning more towards LFS's for livestock now.

As far as which LFS's, I like River City Aquatics best. Gallery of Pets is improving since Glenda and her husband bought it. The previous owner was mostly interested in the birds, but Glenda used to run a tank maintenance business so she's making the fish a bigger priority. I also like Aquatek.

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Yeah sometimes you cannot beat going to a store to see what you are actualy getting. Plus you are supporting LFS. That is impoprtant, since they will be there in an emergency, and a place to go and spectate.

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My first choice would be a locally-owned store in South Austin, but I've only found 2. Rivers & Reefs on SoCo is really not much of a fish store, in spite of the name and I didn't like the way their tanks looked. AquaDome is the place that sold me the 1.5 gallon tank with the damselfish, and I'm still annoyed with them about that. If they had just told me that the fish needed more room than that, I would have gotten a bigger tank to begin with. OTOH, if I had done that, I wouldn't have anyplace to keep the thinstrip hermit crab.

If I can't shop in South Austin, I look for a locally-owned store in Austin in general. Austin Aquariums is convenient to where I work. I've bought all my stock except one live rock there. They have a good selection, their tanks are clean, and their staff listens to me and seems knowledgeable. Their live rock looks great (at least to my inexperienced eye), although I'd prefer some rock that's less dense.

I've been to AquaTek and bought most of my equipment there. Some of their staff seem to be very knowledgeable, but some others seem to know less than I do. I've been to Horizon Pets and picked up a small moonlight and a powerhead there. I stopped in at River City Aquatics for the first time yesterday and saw some nice tanks that I'll give a closer look after I've moved, when I'm ready to move in to a bigger tank.

I've done some window-shopping online and I'm likely to buy some equipment online down the road, but for livestock I prefer to see the individual I'm considering adding to my household. I can't think of any stock I'm likely to buy sight-unseen except snails. The prices online are much lower in many cases, but I can't choose the individual animal and I can't see what kind of conditions they were housed in.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I frequent:

Partners in Round Rock because its close to my house. They just moved locations for those who didnt know; they are in the same shopping center, but a larger suite, so its much nicer now and the swf section is larger. I wouldnt trust them for advice on anything though, because they didnt know what 'Salifert' meant and I have heard the staff give erroneous or questionable advice (about saltwater) at times. Good freshwater selection and is more their specialty. has frozen marine foods, supplements, etc. 255-3351

River City Aquatics--love this store, carlos is very helpful and so is the rest of the staff, store looks great, lots of dry goods, did I mention great customer service? :D 219-7200

Gallery of Pets. I bought a tank raised arabian bluelined dottyback there this week and the saltwater section is looking nice. 345-8920

Austin Aquariums: friendly customer service and knowledge, nice tanks and livestock, nice live rock curing system, broad selection of foods and dry goods 206-0646

Aquatek: Am never impressed with the vibe when I go there although the last time I went, someone actually approached me and asked if I needed any help. That rarely happens and if I seek someone out, help has rarely cheerfully been given, or I happened to approach the freshwater guy and am told "I dont know anything about saltwater" (even if I just want him to bag it up!) instead of "Sure, let me get someone to help you who knows more about that." or "Sure, I can put those snails in a bag for you." I know that some of the guys there have been in the hobby for a long time and know what they are talking about but the customer service just isnt there when I've visited (probably about thirty times over the last 3 years). That said, they have nice tanks, nice looking fish most of the time and an improved holding tank for the inverts. Gorgeous display marine tank. Extensive freshwater selection.

Aquadome: large selection of tanks and freshwater, although their marine section seems to be neglected and forgotten upstairs.

Theres a place out in Cedar Park called Pet Connection. Small marine section, sometimes they have really nice fish that I havent seen elsewhere (for example certain anthias)

Dont forget superfishstore.com for dry goods off Howard Lane...([email protected] or call 989-2293) this is a home-based store. I pick up my salt from there. (43 bucks for 200 gallon of IO, but I am going to switch to Reef Crystals)

I havent visited yet, but I was reading the classifieds, and Georgetown has a new privately owned (homebased) store. "Corals from around the world, marine fish, inverts, premium live rock, for great prices call 512-868-9749; email [email protected])

I visited Rivers and Reefs once and the experience was not worth going back esp. since its not close to me. (to be fair, my visit was three years ago and it may have changed)

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I was going to Partners for a little while, but everything I bought there died within 2 weeks.

Rivers and reefs is no better. I went in there for the first time a couple of weeks ago and walked out in disgust. The tanks were dirty and they had a huge Lion fish in a tank so small he could barely turn around.

I had the same problems as you at Aquatek.

I used to go to Gallery of Pets a lot, but since the new owners have taken over they have substancially raised the prices.

I tried doing business with the people in G-town, but they never emailed pics and quit returning my calls.

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I always make sure to choose my livestock carefully esp at partners. then I test the bag water and my water to see how different they are; then I use drip acclimation for at least an hour or maybe longer depending on the difference in water params. I usually dont have a problem if I am conscientious.

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