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Recently got back into the hobby, with a 250G tank. Did my trips to all the LFS. I got to say, the worst is Main Aquarium.

Dead fish everywhere, and even a dead redear slider turtle just floating with mold all over in their turtle tank. Most if not all their tanks had yellow/brown cloudy water, some so bad you couldn't even see the fish.

They had 3, 24" Asian arowanas cramped in 29gal tanks. All with broken barbels, one had hill curl, biggest one had missing scales and wounds on its head. I made an offer to buy one for 600$, the guy scoffed and said he won't sell them for less than $2999.

Those poor fish, I doubt they will ever be sold. doomed to die in a dirty tiny prison of a tank.
 

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They probably haven't been reported enough to warrant an SPCA inspection.

Ive be been there in the recent past and the turtle tank has a 'Not for sale sign, but I'm sure if u ask quietly, they'll sell.
These are baby RES, not a full grown ones for in-store attraction...
 

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I think Main aquarium is the same owners from Fraser aquarium which was also really bad, I went there years back and it was a gong show. I can't see why the SPCA can't do something about these abusive owners.
 

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Haven't been to either Main or Fraser Aquarium (even when they were open) in decades. Used o cycle to the original Main & Fraser Aq. in the 80s, but probably haven't visited since 1988.
 

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SPCA only needs one complaint to go investigate a place. If the conditions are that bad, especially with a dead turtle, they can definitely do something. Call and report everything you saw, with as much detail as possible so the officer that goes knows exactly what to look for. They have specific things to look for with fish and reptiles, like minimum tank size/cleanliness etc.

I'm saying this as a regular person and this post is not affiliated with my work at all :)
 

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I had a similar experience. Offered me a sick datnoid for $450, then that same arowana for $2,000. Turtle wasn't dead at that point though.
 

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I've been to Main Aquarium quite a number of times over the past year, mainly to peruse the inventory. I've even purchased a number of my clown loaches there mid-2017 and I can tell you they're doing well. I've been in this hobby on and off since I was a kid and have seen many LFS come and go... Main/ Fraser is not the greatest by any extent, but they're not as bad as it's being painted on this thread.

When they were on Fraser and with the father owning the store, conditions weren't great but they weren't that bad. BTW, the real Main aquarium was also owned by a private family that closed down their store at Main & 28th avenue over a decade ago...

I think what makes it worse in consumer eyes is that the son or direct relative is now operating the store. In my eyes, he's just putting in his time and this business isn't his real interest or passion, if he has one. He needs some lessons with today's expectation of customer service and communication.

I've purchased other fish from Main aquarium over the past year and each time, it was shortly after the inventory arrived in the store..... and yes, I do see some unhealthy looking livestock (occasional dead ones too) in the tanks. BTW, I think that turtles are ok to sell in most municipalities, but not tortoises except for a few.

Cheers
Junior
 

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I've been to Main Aquarium quite a number of times over the past year, mainly to peruse the inventory. I've even purchased a number of my clown loaches there mid-2017 and I can tell you they're doing well. I've been in this hobby on and off since I was a kid and have seen many LFS come and go... Main/ Fraser is not the greatest by any extent, but they're not as bad as it's being painted on this thread.

When they were on Fraser and with the father owning the store, conditions weren't great but they weren't that bad. BTW, the real Main aquarium was also owned by a private family that closed down their store at Main & 28th avenue over a decade ago...

I think what makes it worse in consumer eyes is that the son or direct relative is now operating the store. In my eyes, he's just putting in his time and this business isn't his real interest or passion, if he has one. He needs some lessons with today's expectation of customer service and communication.

I've purchased other fish from Main aquarium over the past year and each time, it was shortly after the inventory arrived in the store..... and yes, I do see some unhealthy looking livestock (occasional dead ones too) in the tanks. BTW, I think that turtles are ok to sell in most municipalities, but not tortoises except for a few.

Cheers
Junior
Red Eared Sliders are illegal in BC to sell and breed. They have been released into our lakes etc and have become invasive after a number of years, taking over territory of our own native Painted Turtle. They do not make good pets for 99% of people because the size they grow to, the size of the tank/proper equipment needed and their lifespan of 50+ years. A lot of people buy them when they are babies and unfortunately either dump them in the wild when they grow larger, or neglect them to the point where they are deformed and die prematurely. Other, smaller aquatic turtles are available but not as common because they are much more expensive since turtles cannot be imported from other countries, and all breeding is done within Canada (not many of them which is why they are pricier). Tortoises are allowed, besides huge ones which would never be for sale anyway, and they are more expensive as well because of the same lack of Canadian breeders. Tortoises in the pet trade can live 50+ years too so they are long term pets that are not for beginners.

Just wanted to let you know :)
 

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Very interesting and good to know about the turtles..... ... As for both turtles and tortoises, I know what you mean.... they can live a long time and definitely, not something for most hobbyist to own .

Cheers
Junior
 

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I've been to Main Aquarium quite a number of times over the past year, mainly to peruse the inventory. I've even purchased a number of my clown loaches there mid-2017 and I can tell you they're doing well. I've been in this hobby on and off since I was a kid and have seen many LFS come and go... Main/ Fraser is not the greatest by any extent, but they're not as bad as it's being painted on this thread.

When they were on Fraser and with the father owning the store, conditions weren't great but they weren't that bad. BTW, the real Main aquarium was also owned by a private family that closed down their store at Main & 28th avenue over a decade ago...

I think what makes it worse in consumer eyes is that the son or direct relative is now operating the store. In my eyes, he's just putting in his time and this business isn't his real interest or passion, if he has one. He needs some lessons with today's expectation of customer service and communication.

I've purchased other fish from Main aquarium over the past year and each time, it was shortly after the inventory arrived in the store..... and yes, I do see some unhealthy looking livestock (occasional dead ones too) in the tanks. BTW, I think that turtles are ok to sell in most municipalities, but not tortoises except for a few.

Cheers
Junior
I know people seem to like to pile on on Main Aquarium and at the same time lament the demise of local pet stores that are not mega chains.

Imagine a scenario where you are the owner of a store that sells nothing but fish. You have a set up of tanks that is all public and available for viewing by the public. You have a new shipment of fish arrive that are beat up from 2 - 3 days shipping or that arrive in dirty brown water; or you have fish that have just arrived and need to be treated; or you have a 'trade in' fish that infects some fish in your tank. In any of these scenarios, if you were an owner of the store, how would you deal with it? I think that answers some of the questions about the appearance of the tanks sometimes

I was just in there over the weekend and he had just received a new shipment of fish including lots of angels and discus, also a few large phoenix's.He had just received the discus that week, the water color in the tanks was a combination of blue(he was treating them) and brownish - he is 'old school' and only slowly changes the water in discus tanks when they first arrive. Yes some of the discus looked a little stressed with a few frayed fins from ammonia burn as a result of the shipping(he didn't ship, not his fault).

Having purchased fish from him before, I picked up 2 little round blue diamonds at a fair price, put them into my big tank with the rest of my fish and had no problems whatsoever.

Personally, I have been going there for years, from the previous owners on Fraser to the store now on Main. I find that the owner is always polite when you treat him with respect(e.g. don't try and bargain with him for prices) and I love going to the store and he always has something different

Come on people, we only have 3 independent pet stores left within driving distance of Vancouver, Noah's Pet Ark, April's and Main....lets encourage them and support them and not pile on(especially if you haven't visited the store or visited the store recently)
 

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Good points by Joseph. All
Stores have different techniques and unless you have imported and Try to run a store it’s very easy to criticize. We
All do our very best
For the fish. I’m
Sure no owner wants someone telling them they know better.
Some new person came
Into my store first time a
Couple weeks ago. Looks around and gave a review on google. Sign doesn’t show well , a
Couple
Cloudy tanks and some
Skinny guppys. The guppys just landed and had t been fed before shipping and also young. Said shop wasn’t attractive and his rating was 3 and meh.
I suppose compared to petsmarts shiny new system tanks my racks are meh but individual tanks and happy fish.
It’s easy to criticize and each to their own opinion. But if they tried it for a week or two then they can comment .
As
Far as new discus arriving I always wait 2 days before the first wc to let them settle and no stress. If discus are going to break down it happens in 2-3 days so I
Leave them
Be so no extra stress. The. Start their 50 perfect wc daily.
They do what they know works for them.


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Re: " . . . I find that the owner is always polite when you treat him with respect(e.g. don't try and bargain with him for prices)."

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Sorry . . . any retailer who is not open to some form of negotiation on prices will not get my business. Respect is a two-way street. It is only natural that if I were in the market to buy multiple "whatevers", I would expect there would be some reasonable room to negotiate and not have to pay the same as the individual (full) price. If the seller has a firm NO NEGOTIATING policy - as implied in josephl's post - then, personally, I would shop elsewhere.
 

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If you were the store owner and trying to pay high leases, hydro, etc etc etc you may think different .
I do give deals when not asked if buying multiples but if I’m pushed and pushed to go way low then I won’t.
My prices are already reasonable .
I was always told it’s impolite to ask for things. Bad
Manners. If offered then say thank you and yes please.
Fish stores do not make
Big
Money. Hence there’s only a couple
Left .


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If you were the store owner and trying to pay high leases, hydro, etc etc etc you may think different .
I do give deals when not asked if buying multiples but if I'm pushed and pushed to go way low then I won't.
My prices are already reasonable .
I was always told it's impolite to ask for things. Bad
Manners. If offered then say thank you and yes please.
Fish stores do not make
Big
Money. Hence there's only a couple
Left .

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Well said.
 

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Re: " . . . I find that the owner is always polite when you treat him with respect(e.g. don't try and bargain with him for prices)."

--------------------------------

Sorry . . . any retailer who is not open to some form of negotiation on prices will not get my business. Respect is a two-way street. It is only natural that if I were in the market to buy multiple "whatevers", I would expect there would be some reasonable room to negotiate and not have to pay the same as the individual (full) price. If the seller has a firm NO NEGOTIATING policy - as implied in josephl's post - then, personally, I would shop elsewhere.
As stated in my original post, I have been a customer for years. I find that when I buy 'higher value items' I will often get a discount at the register without asking. That said, buying 'lower margin' items I wouldn't and don't get a discount. As April said, there are very few private non Corporate fish stores left because it's a low margin business, long hours and high risk of loss from disease etc
 

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I dropped by there a couple hours ago, things look "okay" to me. The three larger super red Asian arowana are being held for a customer whose tank sprung a leak. They are not actually for sale though the guy who owns them would sell if the price was right :) They've got some larger Indo Datnoids for sale, around 5-6 inches. Pretty rare to see them that size in a retail.

If you want to buy fish there, and are nervous about the water quality for any given tank, you should probably quarantine the fish before adding them to your community home tank. Likewise, when buying a more expensive fish it is often a good idea to ask to see the fish being fed before deciding to buy it.
 

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Re: "I was always told it's impolite to ask for things."

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In all due respect, aprilsaquarium, you are speaking as a retailer, so you have a vested interest in discouraging buyers from asking for "deals." I am speaking from a customer's perspective and in no way consider it "impolite" to negotiate business transactions - to do so is simply part of doing business. There are plenty of retailers out there who will negotiate, when approached with respect. Some even offer deals without having to be asked. That is where my hard-earned money goes. :0)
 
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