Buying Marine Fish and Inverts: LFS vs. Online

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  1. Avatar Matt Bowers (Muttley000) says:

    I prefer to see the specimens so I have avoided the on line dealers thus far. There are a few who have a reputation I would trust, but the need to see a fish eating and behaving normally has been too much for me to get over!

  2. Avatar Jeff Kurtz says:

    I can relate completely, Matt. I’ve had some rough experiences with hunger-striking specimens over the years, so seeing them eat is of utmost importance to me now.


  3. Avatar Andy Henson says:

    All my fish I prefer to get at a LFS so I can see it, coral I have bought frag packs online both from commercial vendors and hobbyists, and from LFS. When buying online though I always go with the WYSIWYG so I can see the exact frags I’m getting.

  4. Avatar Chris Aldrich says:

    Coral is definitely easier to purchase online, Andy. You are very right there!

    In terms of fish, I can agree with preferring to see their behavior in person before purchase. I do have a collector I buy my Carib species from site unseen (or with a quick photo). But we have a great relationship so I know when I tell them what I want, I will get just that. They also ensure they are eating and looking healthy before they ship them my way. I remember one instance they held a fish for an extra two weeks until they were comfortable it was eating properly and ready for the voyage.

  5. Avatar Chris Aldrich says:

    I agree, Matt. It’s a tough hurdle to overcome (and in the end, does it need to be?).

    That said, I did bite the bullet while stocking my Carib biotope, as the less common species simply aren’t available in stores. In fact, I know very few people even keep a few of the species I have in my tank. Thankfully I was able to strike up a great relationship directly with a collector which I talked more about below in my response to Andy’s comment.

  6. Avatar Tommy says:

    Personally I haven’t bought any live animals online, and am still at the planning stage of a salt watter aquarium. I generally go into any purchase knowing what I want, and prefer local shops for the above reasons, most importantly building a relationship so I have someone to turn to if things go wrong. If the local store doesn’t have what I want, then I would turn to online.

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