Reef Central Online Community Archives

Reef Central Online Community Archives (
-   Responsible Reefkeeping (
-   -   Aussie LFS crisis (

ozyreefa 01/04/2008 08:11 AM

Aussie LFS crisis
This is just for anyone who may be reading this thread in Australia. A new aquarium chain has started opening up everywhere over here and they simply go by the name of "Aquarium Warehouse". These guys would make petco look like saints, in most of their stores they probably have about 40-60 55 gallon marine tanks, and about 150 freshwater. The marine tanks are an absolute killing field, when their new stock arrives every month or so, they probably have easily 100 fish of mixed species in every tank, one week later you will see 3-5 dead fish on the bottom and 10-20 dying fish. As for anemones, these guys could wipe out local populations on thier own. Out of the three stores within my area, two of them have 2 55 gallon tanks with about 40-50 radianthus and entamacea quadricolor anemones mixed together and to top off the mix a nice big powerhead sitting on the bare tank floor with them all just to keep them company. The other store had the worst anemone holding tank i have ever seen, although this is a much larger tank, say 150-200 gallons, there is at least 150-200 anemones in this tank, the water is so brown that you cannot see the other side of the tank that is only 3 feet away. Every single store sells every anemone for $35 Australian(I think thats about $30 US) regardless of size, species or condition. Thier fish are also ridiculously cheap, flame angels, coral beauty's, all clown varieties, 5 or 6 butterfly varieties, bi colours, wrasses, and even trigger fish for prices like $10 and $15. It makes me wonder how they aquire thier livestock to be able to sell them at such cheap prices. They do have a tank with some soft corals as well as sps/lps but because thier conditions are so horrific the polyps are almost never open and receding skeleton is a common sight. They probably sell about 20-30% of their fish livestock and the rest die, as for their anemone and corals, about 95% end up dying in the store. I dont know how these guys continue to run with such big losses but they do sell alot of fish tanks too. I guess this is where they make thier money. The people they have working for them know absolutely nothing about maintaing marine aquariums, selcting proper tank mates, advising on correct products to buy ect. They are also starting to put all the other small independant LFS out of business, since they simply cannot compete with thier prices, on average "Aquarium Warehouse" sells 95% of thier live stock for about 1/3 of the price of other aquariums. Anyone seen anything similar? Over the weekend i am going to take some good pics on my 5megapixel camera phone and post them on here so you can see first hand the condition of thier tanks. Anyone intersted to see some?

Rossini 01/04/2008 08:18 AM

Very worrying.

samtheman 01/04/2008 02:04 PM

I'll bet the owners drive SUV's.

ozyreefa 01/05/2008 04:19 AM

I went into one of their stores today trying to snap some pics, but there was a hell of alot of staff hanging around the tanks, so i am going to try again tomorrow. I noticed they have had a shipment of many different species of wildly coloured dorid nudibranches. I asked them what they feed them, when they told me they love to eat brine shrimp i didn't even know what to say, i was absolutely gobsmacked. They are basically selling toxic timebombs for unwary aquarists to put in their tanks, and im sure the will sell a few of them, as the colours on some of these guys truly are amazing (an advertisemnt of their toxicity!). Anyways let me know your thoughts and hopefully i will have some pictures to post on here for tommorow.

billsreef 01/05/2008 09:10 AM

Did you try explaining that there is no way a nudibranch would eat artemia? You can point them to the sea slug forum for good nudi info, if you can get them to listen long enough.

ozyreefa 01/05/2008 05:41 PM

I honestly dont think these guys could care less, if it looks pretty and sells these guys stock it. Hopefully this nudibranch thing will blow up in their face. Wont be long now till customers start coming back to the store saying that their nudibranch has dissappeared and now all their fish/corals are dead. When I have questioned them about their ways on keeping fish stocks they just reply with "oh, thats how the boss likes to do it, he knows his stuff". None of the staff are local to their store either, all the staff rotate between the three stores in my area, how can they honestly have any idea of the condition of their tanks when they are only at a single store for a day at a time. Anyways, going to go james bond style (lol), and try and snap some damning pics today, I really want to bring these guys down. Allowing stores like this to flourish will cause major problems for our wonderful hobby in the not too distant future, I am sure. I wonder if i collected enough evidence against them, would the RSPCA even bother looking into the matter. Or is it just up to us aquarists to try and "boycott" certain stores in a vain attempt to protect our hobby. There MUST be a better way.

chrissreef 01/05/2008 11:55 PM

"if it looks pretty and sells these guys stock it"

I see this too often in the US

billsreef 01/06/2008 11:51 AM

Sad but true :(

The biggest reason they get away with it, these things take several weeks or months before the starvation finally kills them. By then, few people really understand the true cause of death and just go by another. Best we can do, is spread the real info to other hobbyist so that they don't support such things with their wallets.

ozyreefa 01/07/2008 04:16 AM

Very well said,
I got some pics to post on here of this store's tanks, just gotta work out how to downscale em off my phone

Kemo484 01/07/2008 01:48 PM

I hope this store doesn't pick up and start chaining out to the rest of the world. I say try your boycott, if you get 10 friends to participate, and they get 10 friends and so on, you can really get something going. Also send some picks to Humane Society International or a like organization in Australia, when these kind of big groups get involved situations like this are more likely to make headlines.

asonitez 01/07/2008 02:32 PM

Tagging Along.. I'd like to see pics.

RumLad 01/07/2008 02:46 PM

Have you at least had a word with management about trying to help them out? It's simply not enough to state "I doubt they even care" if you haven't at least asked the management. Perhaps they would be open to some form of education, especially if you could put it in dollars and cents terms. That seems to get everyones attention when it come to business.
If you try and they rebuff you, then by all means take it up a notch and inform others to stay away from these stores when it comes time to buy any pet supplies.

ozyreefa 01/07/2008 09:21 PM

good advice, got a couple of dodgy pics here, im sorry about the quality but the management at one of the stores has already given me a good questioning about why i am takin pics, so i kind of have to be sneaky. Employees body language changes when im in the store now, i have a feeling at least one of them knows what im doing. These pics barely show 1% of the large scale damage these guys are doing. The first two shakey pics are of the remaining survivors of the latest nudibranch batch. The other is some remaining anemones that are doin the best they can to soak up the 20 watts of 5000k light above them. Disgusting.
[IMG][/IMG] [IMG] [/IMG]
[IMG] [/IMG]

ozyreefa 01/07/2008 09:39 PM

And while im here, i may as well mention the latest, I mentioned in my origional post that these guys do alot of buisiness by selling actual tanks, well it turns out that they are also cutting alot of corners in this department also(nothing certain yet, i will do alot more research to be sure). Long story short, instead of supplying aquariums that meet the local requirments of electrical and glass pressure safety, the owner travels to Taiwan, buys hundreds of local quality (NOT EXPORT QUALITY) and ships them to Australia for next to nothing. Upon arrival, the lighting wiring systems are badly rewired (obviously by someone that shouldn't be) to match our 240 V supply and plug fitting, then the new wiring is sealed behind A PIECE OF CARDBOARD!! Needless to say that many reports are now flying around that these tanks have a habit of electrocuting their owners. The glass is also half the thickness it should be, and at least 4 tanks that I know of personally have cracked through the middle of the rear pane of glass (every single one basically in the same failure point). Im not talking about slow leaks here, im talking instantaneous complete tank failure (eg. 100 gallons of saltwater flowing through your living room). However i will do more research and hopefully get my hands on one of their worthless lighting hoods that come with the tanks so i can dismantle it and have a good look at exactly what the do with the wiring. If i find anything funny dodgy i will post some pics on here. Thanks for caring, lots more info to come.

reef rico 01/10/2008 10:56 PM

I live in sydney nsw. Im only 15 and this is one of the things that sucks in Australia. The LFS are very crappy, they put magnificas under 2 fluros whcih are 1metre above the water and once when i was a noobie I bought a baby blue tang and they gave me freshwater ich medication. They didnt even worn me that copper was toxic to inverts. One alright place in sydney is in rockdale called st. george aquariums. It has pretty good specimens but then again they are all dirty in the tank. Theres one other place in willoubhy which was run by 2 asians man and wife. The condition which they kept their tanks was disgusting. There live rock section was like muddy water and all there fish were kept in brownish water. The only good thing was there 2 display tanks which they took care of. My conclusion is Australia is a bad place to start this type of hobby. Cleaner shrimp sell for $200 AUD minumem and there are very few websites which sell online for cheap.

Skepperz 01/11/2008 12:41 AM

St George aquariums are the best i have seen in Sydney, the few that i have seen anyway.

I was also wondering OZYREEFA - Does Aquarium Warehouse have any sort of bio-filtration in these holding tanks? Or do they just let the ammonia skyrocket through the roof every time they put a heap of new stock into the tanks? What a bunch of no-hopers eah!

REEF RICO - I live in Tasmania and I got a pair of Coral Banded shrimp for $100, thatís about the only shrimp I can buy tho.


aqw 01/11/2008 12:51 AM

thanks for the kind words ..

i hope to get your rego of your car next time your in so my lawyer can send you some letters...

as for our tanks we import them from china and there are fully approved by the australia goverment.

i think you have your wires crossed as it a nother store on the south side of our road that changes the plugs after importing from tawian i think it is not right for me to say the name of this company as it dont concern me..

as for my fish..

yes we import lots of fish
and we sell lots of fish cheap :strooper: :D :D

if we lost 90% of our i dont think we would be arround long..

and i have been here for 12 years now we are not new.. :o

i dont know what makes you think we are new my southport store has been on the coast longer than any other aquarium store on the coast.
i was here before all the others so maybe you should check your facts first.

as for corals yes we dont buy many and we keep them in a 5000 ltr syetem with a chiller at 24 deg with 7 x 150watt 14000 and 20000 k tubes and we turn over the water 16 times per hour

all i can say is what shop do you own sorry you cant compete with our prices looks like the prices will have to come down again

so once again thank you ...

regards kevin

aquarium warehouse australia:

asonitez 01/11/2008 09:47 AM

wow. a reply from the man himself... but there are a lot of fish shops that are in business for a long time that keep their fish unhealthy. aqw how come you don't take better care of the tanks your live stock is presented in? being in the hobby for over 20 years im sure that you know one of the things we look for in the hobby is that before we purchase livestock we evaluate the environment that they are currently being housed in to determine if that 200$ anthias is going to survive for more than a month after purchase.... the condition of your tanks is that i think the OP is concerned about as well as the health and well being of the fish your keeping. now if your water quality is top notch and all thats wrong is that you don't have a mag-float to clean up the tanks ill happily donate a magfloat and some 4 month old 250watt MH bulbs to try and save your live stock.

aqw 01/11/2008 06:02 PM


i think this 23 year old has a problem with our store for some reson we cant keep everyone happy... we try but it is not possible all the time that i know...

maybe he bought something and it died or he is freinds with some other shop in our area and we are cheap.. and after this will be cheaper :mad2:

so he has not helped them any to bag me and my shops on a forum...

i have looked at the cctv and with the help of his photos you can see he is wearing a hsv shirt {in the refection off the glass}
i know who he is..:cool:

if you would like because a lot of you are a long way away i will post some photos on here next week of my shop and the filter systems.

then you can make up your own mind from facts.....

if we had 3 dead fish and 20 that looked bad i am sorry but last shipment was 3256 fish so i guest the % is low....

and i would not be selling them week after week if there no good........

when you see the size of my shops you will understand sometimes its hard to keep the algae under control on all the tanks.

i just found some photos of when i was building..


i will get some new photos next week........

regards kevin

Skepperz 01/11/2008 07:12 PM

Good to see some pictures :-)

reef rico 01/11/2008 07:20 PM

Skepperz-I got a pair of CBS for a $100 to lol

reef rico 01/11/2008 07:26 PM

aqw just asking but wheres your store located in Sydney so I can come have a visit and judge for my self. If youv'e got good corals or fish youv'e got some $$$.

aqw 01/11/2008 08:28 PM

sorry only south east queensland at this time we do go to sydney for large tanks....

regards kevin

OzGBR 01/11/2008 10:42 PM

So um Kev,

What species of nudibranc are they that you sell?

What do they eat? What do you reccomend they eat?

You appear to stock quite a few of them.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:44 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.