Don't buy Angelfish from Aquatic Collection!

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by Benaminh, Sep 4, 2016.

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  1. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

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    Aquatic Collection does not stand behind its livestock. I purchased a $85 juvenile Queen Angel from them after our frag swap on 8/20/16. However, two weeks later, it is about to die from starvation. I called AC today and talked to them, no replacement, store credit, or partial credit was offered. I was told they don't guarantee ANY LIVESTOCK, for any reason, once it leaves the store. Caveat emptor!

    At the time of purchase, the fish had come into the store the day before and seemed alert and was interested in food. Two sales people told me it was from a Los Angeles wholesaler, but wouldn't give me an actual name. I was reluctant to buy, but since they are also a BAR sponsor I decided to take a chance.

    FYI, my main system has been running for ten years and is setup for SPS, if my water parameters are good enough for Acropora, it's good enough for any marine angelfish. I also have success and experience keeping dwarf and large angelfish, and all of mine readily eat pellets and other prepared foods from my fingertips. And finally, Queen angelfish are considered very easy to keep, not finicky nor shy, and have a strong constitution. For the first week I quarantined the Angel in an established hospital tank running copper then praziquantel. It was fed pellets, frozen, and live foods, it ate a little but continued to loose weight. Worried, I moved the Angel into the refugium last week to feast on live sponges, macro algae, soft corals, and Copepods the size of adult brine shrimp, but to no avail. It was grazing, but became more emaciated, today it was struggling with the weak current, barely hanging on to life. My educated guess would be that this fish was collected from the wild with cyanide or some other toxic chemical, and then sold to unsuspecting fools like me.

    So beware to the next shopper buying anything wild caught from Aquatic Collection.

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  2. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

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    Awe man, I'm sorry. You're not an unsuspecting fool though. You did have your reservations about it. Sounds like you did all you could.
     
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  3. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman BOD

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    Do any LFS give credit for deceased fish especially after 2 weeks?
     
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  4. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

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    Yes, some do. No guarantee on livestock is worse than PetCo. But the more important question is, why did the employees of AC obfuscate the source of the fish? Secondly, if they knew the wholesaler has hit and miss collection practices, a reputable business wouldn't carry their livestock, but if they do, they shouldn't release new incoming fish until after seven days of quarantine and feeding. Otherwise, they're no better than 6th Avenue Aquarium whom everybody loves to hate.

    It took me 40+ minutes inspecting the queen angel before deciding. I talked to two sales people, they knew the fish had just come in, yet not once did any one mention there was no livestock guarantee. If I had known I would have walked away. We're talking about a $85 angelfish, not a $10 tank raised ocellaris, that's an important distinction.

    The trade in cyanide caught fish is a systemic scam. The ultimate loser are the dead fish because of human greed. If you were forced to choose, would you rather pay $300 for a fish that lives in your tank, or $200 for the same fish that will die in quarantine? I would pay more for a healthy eating fish that is net caught versus a cyanide zombie. Perhaps if more aquarists held retailers and wholesalers accountable for their questionable practices, there will be positive change.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  5. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

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    Rant....I don't think it's a good idea to bash your sponsor like this, on a common practice that is adopted by practically every fish stores in the area and around the nation. Next time, I would suggest asking about the store's policy first before buying from them instead of assuming.

    FYI...we have the same policy on live stock purchase.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
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  6. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

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    Pretty typical for a LFS and not LiveAquaria or a conditioned fish (e.g. POTO). If you want something like that then you'll likely have to pay a higher premium and go with one of those other sources. Keep in mind that these other sources only guarantee for 14 days at a much higher premium. Once outside of that window, which your purchase is, you're kind of on your own as well. I don't know of any LFS that regularly brings in the quantity of fish that the LFS does that will offer you a two week guarantee, and still being able to charge you the amount that the LFS offers their fish at.

    The two wholesalers that I know of from LA are Quality Marine and CIS International in LA. Both are reputable suppliers of fish, corals, and inverts.

    Lastly, keep in mind that all fish are different as they fare in quarantine regardless of the species. One angel will act, behave, and acclimate differently even if they are the same species.
     
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  7. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman BOD

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    I was actually trying to be kind and sensitive to the issue when I asked the question -- I understood that Benaminh was upset. We've all been there. However, in truth, I've actually never heard of any LFS in this area that guarantees fish. Frankly, from a business standpoint how could they? Once the fish has left the store they have zero control over anything -- no control on water parameters. tank size, acclimation process, how long it sits in your car, etc. The margin on these items (frankly I have no clue how any LFS stays in business with the incredibly low margins on most items. Between the internet competition, MAP pricing and the nature of the business I can't believe any stay open. And if you think they make up for on fish margins I'd reconsider that. I know that they get a arrive alive guarantee on fish when they come in, but we've all seen the number that don't make it through the next few days after acclimation -- and they eat the cost of those.
     
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  8. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

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    I can't speak for other store owners. But for me, it's the passion that drives me to keep the doors to the shop open despite the crappy profit margin. You can only imagine how misinformed and misguided hobbyists can wear down that feeling pretty quick after couple years. Any one want to buy Neptune Aquatics? I'll give you a good deal!
     
  9. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

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    @robert4025 I don't appreciate your attempts at thought control or censorship.

    A customer shouldn't have to ask about your non live guarantee, a salesperson needs to work the info in the sales pitch or you post big legible signs near the livestock and bagging station, not minuscule print half hidden by the cash register, as is often the case.

    Don't even get me started with Quality Marine, it was my experience with them two months ago combined with AC that broke the camel's back. I will provide the details in a separate posting, but you are wrong, QM does provide a guarantee... Sort of.

    I am not a misinformed or misguided hobbyist. I managed a Bay Area aquarium store decades ago and we quarantined every single fish that came in before selling to customers. Cardinal tetras took two or more months before leaving quarantine. Fancy guppies from Thailand or Singapore had a 60-70% death rate while in quarantine. I know what the markups are for quality livestock. The business model was based on nurturing repeat customers, providing quality over quantity, and helping new hobbyists have a successful start.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  10. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

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    I am wrong? Okay buddy. I neither have the time nor the energy to bicker with you on how little you know about the current state of the industry so I'll just say good luck to you and your longevity with this club.
     
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  11. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

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    I wish you even more luck and longevity on the foolish store expansion. You obviously need it more than I do.
     
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

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    No offense to anyone, but Robert look at the sub-title under his name. He's not bashing "his" sponsor.
     
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  13. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman BOD

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    NOt me. I owned a chain of seven retail stores for many years and from what I've seen of this industry (from the outside) puts it pretty close to the bottom of my list of acceptable risk when considering a viable business. It's just above a retail outlet specializing in hats for cats. I applaud LFS owners on keeping the doors open. It's a challenging industry.

    As to our guest (Benaminh) he's had his platform to rant on -- no reason to continue the dialogue in my opinion.
     
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  14. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

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    Easy now, come on guys. I know both of you and you're good guys. @robert4025, you've got good business practices and from every experience I've had with your business you provide quality livestock. @Benaminh, it's really too bad your fish isn't doing well but there's no way to know for sure where the fault lies. It sounds like you've done everything possible to keep it alive but sometimes this sort of thing happens. I don't know the owner over there but I wouldn't think he would knowingly sell a sick fish. Are you more upset over the fish or their policy?
     
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  15. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

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    Then are you trying to tell me you're condoning a "Guest" to come here and bash YOUR sponsor? I hope we're not pinning this thread on a technically now, are we? If this is what this club has evolves to, then perhaps I should reconsider my sponsorship.
     
  16. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

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    @sfsuphysics stoking the fire or outta popcorn?

    @Flagg37 John, I'm upset at getting ripped off (repeatedly), and the lack of respect for ocean life by certain fish vendors. My anger is directed more at the wholesalers, but the apathetic response from AC today was over the top. They accepted no responsibility for selling a bad fish within 24 hours of getting it from the wholesaler. There was no compromise. I would have been satisfied if they offered me a replacement fish at wholesale price after they kept it for a week or two and made sure it is eating and isn't malnourished.

    @robert4025 perhaps you should allow Aquatic Collection to respond and fight their own battles. Your indignation is better served focusing on improving your own business.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  17. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

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    Wow. I'm not sure if you're more upset about the lack of a livestock guarantee (which if one had to guess, 99% would assume there is none), or the presence of cyanide in the fish trade. You're going off a bunch of assumptions, so unless you know the exact source and cause of death, hold your accusations from a public forum.

    I wrote out a long posted but deleted it. If you've been in hobby for 10+ years, you know the drill. Some livestock make it, some don't.
     
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  18. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

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    I had my first tank in 1985 and got my fish from 'Tis Tropical Fish in Fountain Valley, I hope that is enough experience for you.

    I see, "It's a public forum but don't post any negative experiences from the sponsors, but it's okay if it's about their competitors. But wait @iCon, your opinion is worthless because you're just a guest.":rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  19. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Supporting Member

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    I cannot comment on livestock (yet), but I've been treated very, very well by Karson and the staff there. I live in SF, and drive to Hayward to buy items at AC. Sorry you had a bad experience. I asked the guarantee question and was told very succinctly there are no livestock guarantees. I trust this store and the folks working there.
     
  20. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

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    So, you're a "has been" LFS store manager that think he knows it all or knows enough to wrongfully bash other store based on assumptions? Right...LOL

    BTW...I am focusing on my business. I am here to weed out bad people like you from coming to my shop. I hope my buddies at AC will do the same to you.

    See ya!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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