Tropical fish stores or what we call “Local Fish Stores” (LFS) are retail stores that sell tropical fish and tropical fish supplies. This type of establishment can be a true gem to provide you with supplies, fish and answers to your problems.
I will go ahead and tell you here that I do not like purchasing fish from the major “Big Box” style pet mega stores. I am not saying that you will not find a good wet-pet every once in a while at these large stores, but in my experience you will have much more success purchasing from your local fish store.
A private owner usually owns the local fish store in your area. This owner has turned their passion for tropical fish into their career. In most cases, this means that the owner is very passionate in their work and will also be very passionate about the fish they sell and also the customers that purchase from them.
A local fish store and its owner want you to have success in this hobby. Let’s be realistic, if they sell you fish and you keep having them all die, you will more than likely quit this wonderful hobby. Your success will mean that you stay in this hobby and will return to their store. So in most cases they will be glad to help you in any way possible.
This is why I am building this site, to help you have success and so you can stay in this wonderful hobby.
You may have a Pet Shop in your hometown that just has a small section of aquariums, or you may have a “Fish Only” retail store that has hundreds of tanks setup. Either establishment will fall into what we call a local fish store.
In my area of Mississippi, (USA) I do not have a great supply of locally owned tropical fish stores. I do have one Pet Store I visit often in my area, but to get some of the more exotic fish, I have to drive 2 hours north or 2 hours south to get a wider variety of tropical fish.
If you have the blessing of having multiple tropical fish shops in your area, I invite you to visit them all and scout them out before purchasing. In this hobby, it is highly recommended to build a relationship with the owner of the store you visit most often.
It will not hurt to purchase from two stores in your area. It never hurts to put your name out there and build relationships in this hobby. I suggest you get to know your local tropical fish dealer or dealers.
When your local fish store learns what you like, and what you are looking for, they will often call you and let you know when they have new shipments come in. Just as in any business situation, it is all about relationships.
I do have a few of the “Big Box Retail Stores” in my area that sell tropical fish. I will not purchase fish from these retailers. I will discuss the reasons why later in future articles, but I want you to know there is a reason for this!
I will drive 2 hours one way to purchase fish at my “trusted” Locally owned fish shops. That is 4 hours on the road total to get the Customer Service and healthy tropical fish from people I know and trust.
Your assignment is to go out and get to know your Local Tropical Fish store’s owner and staff.
It will only make things a lot better for you and your tropical fish!