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Having Friends in Fishy Places

Taking the time to build a good rapport with your local fish store now will allow you to reap a windfall later.

By Mike Wickham |

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In this magazine, we talk a lot about fish and our relationships with them. It is, after all, the fish that draw us into the hobby. But our fish often come from a local retailer, and we don’t often discuss our relationship with that retailer — and it is a very important one. Without local dealers, this hobby would be virtually nonexistent. So, I want to tell you how to develop a friend in the business. I will discuss how to find a good dealer, how to benefit most from him or her, and how to be a good customer so that the dealer benefits from you, too!

Finding a Good Dealer
Finding a good dealer is not always easy. If you live in a rural area or small town, there may not be a single shop nearby. You might have to travel great distances to find a decent fish shop. First, you have to know where to look. The Yellow Pages or an Internet search is probably the first place to start. Look under “aquariums,” “pet shops,” and “tropical fish” for listings. If you have friends with aquariums, or if you belong to an aquarium club or society, ask them for store recommendations. There are also several types of stores that sell fish and supplies. In the hobby, a dedicated aquarium store is often referred to as the “LFS” (local fish shop or store). Stores that sell only fish, aquariums and supplies are usually staffed by people with a sincere interest in and knowledge of fish. These stores aren’t always the largest or fanciest and maybe not the cheapest, but they are likely to have a large variety of fish, and to have new species coming in all the time. So, there is always something new to see.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the November 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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