One of the pleasures of owning a fish tank is visiting aquarium shops around the world to see what new and strange creatures can be found. Local dealers are the life blood of the aquarium hobby. If you find a good one, treat him well. A good fish shop will have knowledgeable people who are genuinely interested in fish and how to take care of them. The best shops are those that are run by hobbyists who are in the business for the love of fish rather than the love of profit.
Following are shops that have been recommended by visitors and friends of Jonah's Aquarium. We make no claims as to the actual quality of these stores. But dedicated hobbyists have mentioned these as stores they have enjoyed.
If you have a favorite shop or shops that you have enjoyed visiting and would like to recommend it for our list, email us. In your email, answer the following questions:
1. What are the best fish stores you have visited, anywhere in the world? What we're looking for is places that people like us might want to stop and visit if we are in that part of the country/world. Also, places that you think deserve some beneficial publicity.
2. What is the name, address, and phone number, if you know them?
3. Why do you like these shops?
4. Is there any other information you want to share, such as what is their specialty, what is the store like, anything else that makes this store interesting, unique or worth visiting?
5. Do you want your name and/or email address included as the recommender of this shop?
North San Diego
12-15-2000 - One of my favorite shops is in North San Diego, owned by Fred Cooperstein. Don't have the address. Very large, privately owned freshwater and marines. Large selection of both, plus huge selection of pool fish. Fred and Sandy have a gorgeous home pool of Koi. Recommended by Jake Levi
- Sailfin Pet Shop
- Champaign-Urbana IL
12-15-2000 - The number one pet shop I have ever been to. Sailfin is a full service pet store with everything from an incredible selection of small pets and birds to fish, and everything to meet their needs. They also carry dog and cat . You can buy fish food in bulk sizes. I only get to Sailfin about once every 3 years since I now live in Michigan. But I can find so many different species of fish on those days I can easily spend over a $100. When I was there last (NANFA convention 99) I got honey dwarf gouramis, sparkling gouramis, a brackish water lampeye, Egyptian mouthbrooders, neon rainbowfish and several guppies. They also had at least 3 or 4 types of killifish. I still remember the Burmese Danios I had to leave behind. The staff is knowledgeable and
friendly. The owner has a wealth of information about fish care and rearing, and is an expert in the use of medications. There is a wonderful selection of plants, gravel, plant growing instructions and mixtures, tanks, filters, pumps and heaters. On a 5-star scale, they rate a 7. If you go in and meet the owner, John Cwaygel, mention my name and tell him I said "Hi!". Recommended by Joe Gardner, firstname.lastname@example.org
- 12-15-2000 - My favorite store is Aquatic World in Chicago. A rather long drive from Schaumburg but worth it occasionally. Sean, the owner, is more into saltwater, but he's friendly. Check out the huge (20lb+) gourami and Sean's private salt tank. Reasonable prices on live food. Recommended by Sajjad Lateef
- Fish Rac Inc
1512 N Elmhurst Rd
- Mt Prospect IL 60056
- (847) 392-3064
- 12-15-2000 - The Fish Rac, at Camp McDonald Road and Elmhurst, is a great store. Rick, the owner, knows his stuff. Recommended by Sajjad Lateef
- Pet Food Warehouse
777 N Quentin Rd
- Palatine IL 60067
- (847) 705-7745
- 12-15-2000 - This store is dedicated to pet but there are a few freshwater and a few salt tanks. Cheap prices on foods. Owner breeds cichlids, has some awesome, huge Oscars, some rare lake cichlids (not for sale). Recommended by Sajjad Lateef
- Rainbow Pets
- 1417 W Schaumburg Rd
- Schaumburg IL 60194
- 12-15-2000 - Rainbow Pets is on on Schaumburg Road west of Springisguth next to the Fire Station. The owner is into cichlids - big time. Has a variety of live foods too. Also sells birds, reptiles and other pets. Recommended by Sajjad Lateef
3689 Offutt Road
Randallstown MD 21133
410-521-4529, 410-521-4332, 800-813-8172
12-15-2000 - Over 700 aquariums with live aquatic specimens from all over the world and a reptile house with exotic reptiles, amphibians and arachnids.
Preuss Animal House
2119 Haslett Rd.
Haslett MI 48840
12-15-2000 - Seem to maintain very healthy specimens, and seem to be quite knowledgeable. Deal in live plants. Have quite a large selection of African cichlids as well as many other fish. Recommended by Ted Lucas, Fishbreedr@aol.com
- New World Aquarium
- West 8 th St
- Manhattan (New York NY)
- 1-4-2000 - Busy, crowded shop. Never seen so many fish packed into such a small space.
- Win Tropical Aquariums
- 169 Mott St
- Manhattan (New York NY)
- 1-4-2000 - Tiny shop in Chinatown. The knowledgeable owner is there to talk fish and show you what's in his tanks. Healthy fish. Good prices.
- Marine Oasis
5340 Ridge Road West
Spencerport NY 14559
- 12-15-2000 - Marines and freshwater, some killies. Possibly the best system designer/builder in the northeast. Recommended by Jake Levi
24 Bursen St (Culver/Norton)
12-15-2000 - Excellent marine shop. Large store. Owner, Milly builds cabinet quality stands. Worth the visit to see. Recommended by Jake Levi
3718 Fishinger Blvd
Hilliard, OH 43026
1-25-2008 - One of the oldest shops in town. Caters to the fish connoisseur. Always has something different. Exceptionally knowledgeable staff. Fresh and saltwater fishes and animals and stuff. Beautiful display tanks. Byerly's apparently moved to 3718 Fishinger Blvd after a car drove through the wall of their old location. Haven't visited this new location yet. Anyone have the scoop? Let us know: Email - email@example.com
3816 West Alexis Road
Toledo OH 43623
12-15-2000 - Seem to maintain very healthy specimens, and seem to be quite knowledgeable. Deal in live plants. Have quite a large selection of African cichlids as well as many other fish. I have on occasion seen Betta species (non-splendens) available. Trilby's has had some of the less common livebearers available, and maintains a pretty good selection of catfish, at least the times I have been there. Recommended by Ted Lucas, Fishbreedr@aol.com
- Seven Seas Pets
- Brookhaven, Pennsylvania
- 12-17-2000 - The general manager, Leon Skalish, has been running this place for over 20 years now. Seven Seas does what Petsmart cannot. He has good quality fish, with separate filtration on each tank (more expensive but enables him to isolate diseased tanks). Diseased tanks are identified and closed off to sales until the fish are treated and cured. He's got a liberal return policy, with a strong inclination towards proactively avoiding fish kills. Considering the small size of the store there is a nice selection of freshwater fish. There is a small selection of marine fish in the back. I always used to buy my tanks there because he cut me a better deal than the big shops. They've also got an assortment of herps, avians, puppies & kittens. Amazing array of considering the size of the store. In case you haven't noticed, I'm very impressed that they can pack such a wide variety into such a small store. If there is anything you don't see, just ask for Leon and he'll order it for you at a good price. Recommended by Chris Hedemark.
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