finding the right store for your marine stock:
Choosing the right place to buy your marine stock from is one of the most important choices in setting up a new tank and keeping a established one healthy. Here are some tips on what to avoid and what to look for in a retail store:
Dont be put off by weather the store is a small local or a large chain store. Some small local shops are hidden gems with knowledge and a level of customer service rarely seen in large stores. There are also some fantastic large stores out there with a huge range of stock and choice so be open to a range of retail options.
Dont buy online unless you really know the store. Some online only shops are great but many appear very professional but behind the scenes are poorly run with poor stock. If you do buy online try and choose a place that has a bricks and mortar store as these will be easier to check reviews and see any photos of the stores to give you an impression of how they run their business.
when visiting a store if you notice lots of dead stock its best avoided. All stores of course have problems from time to time but if you have walked into a shop in the afternoon and you notice multiple dead fish or corals that have not been removed, it shows the store has little care for its stock or the impression it makes on its customers. so you know what ever they sell will most probably be less than ideal.
The same goes for shops where you can hardly see into the tank because the glass has not been cleaned in so long. Algae dose not always mean the water or stock is bad but again a poorly presented shop usually means they cant be bothered to do all the maintenance they should be doing.
find a shop that wants your custom. shops should be happy when a customer walks in, customers keep us in the jobs we enjoy. Dont waste your time and money on unhelpful or rude stores, you want a store you can feel comfortable contacting if problems occur or for advice.
The most important tip we can give you is always do research on a species before buying it. Dont just rely on one shops opinion. it is often the case in the marine hobby that there is no definitive answer to a question, its often opinion and personal experience. Try to find the most answers and go for the average, if lots of people tell you a fish will nip at your corals and one shop says no it should be fine i would go with the majority to be safe.