Man, 2 hours? You’re really pushing the limit of the term local in lfs.Sure. Ultimately it is your choice as a consumer. You choose where you want to spend your money.
I enjoy going to LFS. I’ve driven as far as Roseville, (before my current job) just to see the stores there. And if I find a good store, I will make the extra effort to go there as often as I can. My personal limit is 2hrs. Anything more than that would require the store to be phenomenal!
So if I was in SF, both AC and Neptune would be within my range. And would include all the other stores in between them of course.
I’ve driven as far as Watsonville, because there were no decent quadcopter stores here at that time. They had an online presence but I drove there anyway.
Just the other day, I was contemplating driving to Chico to pick up parts for my RC Heli. Could have ordered it online from their webstore (which I ultimately did because the store didn’t have it in stock but the warehouse did), but by going to the store, I would get to talk to the owners and workers there, meet other enthusiasts and have a good afternoon enjoying a big part of most hobbies. The other people who share the same interest.
It is the same with most things I choose to buy. I see if it is available locally 1st. Online is almost always 2nd choice.
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The tubes... they're connected to an Eheim canister holding MarinePure cubes; 40 or so cubes in there, layered on trays. I used them for the initial cycle prior to the tank purchase. You also see the heater and acrylic rod holding the intake tube in place. The canister filter and heater are going away once I move the remaining rock out of the sump and into the tank and the MarinePure cubes move to the sump. I'm planning on low-profile rock arrangement on the right side.What are those tubes on the right side?