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Subject: [FAQ] Aquaria: Societies, Books and Mailorder

This article was archived around: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 08:09:04 GMT

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* This is only a text dump of part of the Aquaria FAQs. * * The web "original" may be more current, is navigatable hypertext, * * and contains enhanced content not available in this posted version! * * http://faq.thekrib.com or http://www.actwin.com/fish/mirror * FAQ: Resources This section contains references for more information. Specifically, books (including good beginner books), magazines, addresses of some organizations (useful for finding your local fish club), and mail-order supply houses. Resources for plants and plant-related equipment can be found in a separate plant resources section within the plant FAQ. Copyright The FAQs owe their existence to the contributors of the net, and as such it belongs to the readers of rec.aquaria and alt.aquaria. Articles with attributions are copyrighted by their original authors. Copies of the FAQs can be made freely, as long as it is distributed at no charge, and the disclaimers and the copyright notice are included. FAQ: Good Beginner Books Contributed by Oleg Kiselev Most aquarium books are reasonable in their advice. Do be careful of older books which were written before some of the more recent advances in the science of aquaria were made. Issues such as the nitrogen cycle will probably not be covered well. Libraries are an excellent source of books, and one should go the library first before spending any money. Sample of Popular Titles * Baensh's Aquarium Atlas (~$22-28) * Marine Aquarium Handbook by Martin Moe (~$10) * Vierke's Aquarium Book ($10-15) * Marine Aquarium Reference: Systems and Invertebrates by Moe (~$22-25) * The Concise Encyclopedia of Aq. Fish by Dick Mills (~$10) Many of the ``Fishkeeper's Guide'' Books by Tetra press are quite good, and are available for around $6-$10. For plant books, Barron's and Tetra's (~$5-6) are suggested. Freshwater Books A decent aquarium reference book need not be expensive or very detailed. What it must have is: * enough common species to make it usable (200-300 species is sufficient for most purposes) * recognizable pictures of fish to use as the identification guide descriptions of the species including: + length the fish will attain + typical behavior (and community tank compatibility) + spawning requirements + dietary needs + minimal tank size + water quality and temperature * some basic suggestions on how to set up an aquarium * some minimal info on fish diseases There are many books that satisfy these requirements. They are very inexpensive and there is no excuse for someone to spend $20+ on the fish that will die in 3-4 weeks instead of buying a book that would prevent these losses for a lot less money. For under $10: Simon&Schuster's Pocket Guide to Aquarium Fishes lists for $7 and can be found for $4 in discount book shops. Not an ``end-all'' reference volume but at least it does not lie too much. I probably like it because it has an excellent photo of Aphyosemion filamentosum that looks just about like the A. filamentosum I have. (ISBN 0-671-25451-0) At Crown Books and other ``remaindered'' book sellers, you will find a book edited by Dick Mills that is called The Concise Encyclopedia of Tropical Aquarium Fishes if it's published by Crescent (and Tetra's Junior Atlas of Tropical Aquarium Fishes if it's published by Tetra). It covers all the basic ideas about setting up an aquarium and has descriptions and fair quality photos of over 300 species of fish (the book is not in front of me so can't give you more detail). It's published by Salamander Press in Europe and Tetra (Crescent) in US. (Crescent edition ISBN 0-517-66776-2) At Tower Books and other ``mainstream'' bookseller chains and larger book stores, you will find Barron's series of translation of German aquarium books, all between $5 and $8, concentrating on specific categories of fish (Killifishes (ISBN 0-8120-4475-4), Cichlids (ISBN 0-8120-4597-1)), or breeding (Ines Scheurman's Aquarium Fish Breeding (ISBN 0-8120-4474-6)), or general aquarium maintenance, or plants. All of these books give a beginner a solid introduction to what and why of the the filtration, water chemistry and so on. Any of these books make an excellent starting point. They don't have very many color photos, which probably contributed to the low price, but have a lot of drawings. Also near the $10 mark (and a lot less through mail-order), are the Tetra/Salamander series of ``Fishkeeper's Guide To...'' books. They are available at a number of ``normal'' book stores and I recommend ``... Healthy Aquarium'' and ``...Community Fishes'' as the better beginner books. The rest of the series is quite good as well and any one of these books should be a great start. ``The Innes Book'' -- First published in 1935, it is a thick volume that has gone through a dozen publishers and something like 50 editions. The newer ones will probably be a bit more up to date, but the older ones are not bad, either. They range from $2 to $15 and my preference is for the oldest editions. Don't expect the fish names to match the current nomenclature or in some case even the real species -- for the last 40 years ``The Innes Book'' has had a picture of A. filamentosum for their Aphyosemion gardneri. These are the cheapest books. If you are willing to spend $15-20 (and you better be willing to spend that much on the books if you are go to spend that much on the fish!), the number of books is larger and the amount of information increases. Between $15 and $20 The books get larger, more colorful and complete: van Ramshorst's Aquarium Encyclopedia published by HPBooks and sold by Waldenbooks is a translation from Dutch and at $17.95 is among the better ``shopping list'' aquarium books. It is full of very good quality color photos, covers over 570 species of fish, 80 species of plants, all aspects of aquarium design, building, set-up, decor, etc. Not much on filtration, but that's all in the FAQ, so not a big flaw for a USENET reader. Crown Books used to sell The Living Aquarium, a translation from Swedish published by Crescent Books. It's close to $20 and does not have descriptions of too many species, but has a lot of detailed diagrams, goes into the black arts of filtration and lighting and attempts to cover cold water and tropical fresh water, cold water and tropical marine and brackish aquaria, suggesting the species and decor for them. It also has a section on building aquaria, as all European books seem to. More Expensive and/or Specialty Books There are many other books that are not cheap even when you buy them mail-order (a sure way to save 50% on the price). Many of these books cost so much because of the large number of color photos in them and because of the production values that went in. You will have to decide for yourself if it's worth your money to buy these and if you will find something really worth while in them (I have spent several hundred $$$ on such books over the last few years and do not regret buying any of them). If nothing else, these books make great coffee table books that are bound to get all sorts of comments from house guests. Where to Find the Cheapest Books Look through the used book stores. Books from 20-30 years ago may have wrong Latin names for some of the fish, claim that certain species of now-common fish are hard to breed, and may have less than adequate coverage of filtration, but those books are still excellent general references and (should) cost very little. What Not to Buy AVOID any books by TFH that are less than 100 pages or have a word ``Beginner'' in the title. Leaf through the book: if you see lots of photos of products placed so that brand names are obvious and easy to read, or you find a bunch of photos of grinning gap-toothed kids holding up various pieces of equipment or poking their hands into an aquarium -- put this book away and never look at it again. These books are (in my opinion) utter garbage. There are a few exceptions to that rule in the TFH line: Dr. Jubb's ``Nothobranchius'', 2 volumes of Jocher's ``Spawning Problem Fishes'' and Windelow's ``Aquatic Plants'', but they fall into the ``specialty'' category). FAQ: Magazines Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (monthly) P.O. Box 487, Sierra Madre, CA 91024 Phone (626) 355-1476 1yr/12 iss. $23.00 2yr/24 iss. $45.00 Outside US $30.00/yr (no 2 year subscr.) Tropical Fish Hobbyist (monthly) One TFH Plaza, Neptune City, NJ 07753 Phone (908) 988-8400 1yr/12 iss. $40.00 Foreign - add $11.00/yr **note: The edition found in retail stores often does NOT have mail order ads; the home subscription edition does. Do not buy one at the store for m/o addresses without checking it out first. Aquarium Fish Magazine (monthly) The following special offer is made by _AFM_ for readers of the *.aquaria newsgroups. ***************************************************************************** Date: 12 Apr 95 09:26:26 EDT From: Edward Bauman <edbauman@pipeline.com> As a special offer to members of the Internet *.aquaria newsgroups, subscriptions to _Aquarium Fish Magazine_ are being made available at a special price. You can receive a 2-year subscription for only $24.97. This offer applies to both new subscriptions and renewals, and represents a significant savings over the normal subscription cost of 2 years for $38.00. In other words, you get 2 years for the price of 1. To take advantage of this offer, send a check or money order, or VISA or Mastercard account number and expiration date to the address below. You must include the subscription department in the address in order to receive the special price. Aquarium Fish Magazine Subscription Dept. 3NET P.O. Box 6040 Mission Viejo, CA 92690 USA Canadian subscribers please add $10.50 and foreign subscribers please add $16 to the subscription price. Please pay by international money order or with VISA or Mastercard (Access). ****************************************************************************** Practical Fishkeeping (British mag) MOTORSPORT RR1 Box 200 D. Jonesburg MO 63351-9616 US - $42.00 per year KOI USA (bi-monthly) KOI USA P.O. Box 1 Midway City, CA 92665 U.S.A. 6 issues per year $15 in U.S., US$ 19.50 in Canada Marine Fish Monthly Publishing Concepts Corp. 3243 Highway 61 East Luttrell, TN 37779 1yr/12 iss. $20.00 Canada $28.00/yr Foreign $35.00/yr (US $ required) 1-800-937-3963 for subscription by phone FAQ: Aquaria Organizations and Societies Contributed by Rick Clark, Jim Lilly <73552.1402@compuserve.com>, FAAS, and a bunch of other people If you would like to have your society listed here (or an outdated listing corrected), please contact us; we don't generally have time to research this ourselves, so we rely on the societies to contact us with corrections. Thank you! Note that club web pages are accessible as links off the WWW version of this FAQ, but do not appear in the posted version. If you have a browser, scoot it on over to http://faq.thekrib.com/organizations.html or one of the mirrors. National/International Aquarium Societies American Cichlid Association P.O. Box 5351, Naperville, IL 60567-5351 Aquatic Gardeners Asssociation 83 Cathcart St., London, Ontario, Canada N6L 3L9 Canadian Killifish Association International Betta Congress 923 Wadsworth St., Syracuse, NY 13208-2419 North American Discus Society 6939 Justin Drive, Mississauga, Ont, Canada, L4T 1M4 Rainbowfish Study Group of North America Gary Lange 2590 Cheshire, Florissant, MO 63033 American Livebearer Association Timothy J. Brady, Membership Chairman 5 Zerbe Street, Cressona, PA 17929-1513 tjbrady@fast.net Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS) Hedy Padgett (Membership Chair) 4816 E. 64th. Street Indianapolis, IN 46220-4728 Assocation of Aquarist, Mr Chris Ralph (Chairman) 610 Abbey Rd, Popley 4, Basingstoke, Hants RG24 9ET, UK British Rainbowfish and Gobies Society, Len Eldridge (Editor) 64 Molesham Way, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 1NX, UK Email: 100707.245@compuservw.com TVCATS (Thames Valley Catfish Society), Tim Allen (Editor) 12 Sun Crescent, Oakley, Aylesbury, Bucks HP18 9RF, UK Club Snail 2030 NE 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97213 Local Aquarium Societies - United States Aqualand Aquatic Society P.O. Box 1345 Bristol, CT 06010-1345 Atlanta Area Aquarium Association Mark Barnett, 130 Springbrook Lane, Stockbridge, GA 30281 Air Capital A.S. P.O. Box 3235, Wichita, KS 67201-3235 Alamo A.S., Inc. 319 Byrnes, San Antonio, TX 78209 Allegheny River Valley A.S. P.O. Box 415, Olean, NY, 14760-0415 Aquarium Club of Lancaster County 218 E. Clay St., Lancaster, PA 17602 Aquarium Hobbyists of Amarillo 1009 S. Kentucky, Amarillo, TX 79012 Aqua Land Aquatic Society Karl Chadbourne, 231 Bayberry Dr., Bristol, CT 06010 Aquarium Society of Durham P.O. Box 25218, Durham, NC, 27702-2518 Ashtabula County Aquarium Club ashco@usa.net Baltimore/Washington Area Aquaria Society 3915 Blackburn Ln, #42, Burtonsville, MD 20866 email: bwaas@hotmail.com Black River Aquarium Society, Inc. Jack Adinolfi, P.O. BOX 92, Ludlow, VT 05149-0092 Boston A.S. 255 Central St., Holliston, MA 01746-2011 Brooklyn A.S. P.O. Box 290610, Brooklyn, NY 11229-0011 Bucks County A.S., Ltd. Gary Jones, 237 Apple St., Levittown, PA 19057-1211 California Organization of Aquatic Show Trop. 13581 Arizona St., #2, Westminster, CA 92683-2361 Central Florida A.S. 1017 Alpug Ave., Oviedo, FL 32765 Central Illinois Aquarist PO Box 225, Pekin, IL 61555-0225 Central New York A.S., Inc. P.O. Box 566, Syracuse, NY 13206 Central Valley A.S. 1990 Rohrer Dr., Turlock, CA 95382-1945 Central Wisconsin A.S. 5339 Hwy 54 E Plover, WI 54467 Champaign Area Fish Exchange Greg Wooters, 1231 Joanne, Champaign, IL 61821 Chautauqua County Aq. Assn., Inc. Joe Rozen, 149 South Ocelot St., Dunkirk, NY 14048 Circle City Aq. Club P.O. Box 55165, Indianapolis, In 46205-0165 Cleveland A.S. 26011 Hendon Road, Beachwood, OH 44122 Cleveland Saltwater Enthusiasts Assn. 3896 Boston Road, Brunswick OH 44212-1262 Colorado A.S. P.O. Box 1253, Arvada, CO 80005 Columbus Area Fish Enthusiast 3522 Rivercrest Dr., Columbus, OH 43223 Danbury Area A.S. PO Box 8017, New Fairfield, CT 06812 Delaware County A.S. P.O. Box 521, Ridley Park, PA 19078 Diamond State A.S. Richard Adler, 5420 Valley Green Dr., Apt. C-2, Wilmington, DE 19808 Dry Wash Aquarium Society c/o Don Kinney II, 8245 N. 27th Ave. #1115, Phoenix, Az. 85051 Eastern Iowa Aq. Society Buck Stark, P.O. BOX 2327, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406 Elm City Aquarium Society 86 Middle Road, Guilford, CT 06437 Erie Aquarium Society 4829 Leacock Rd., Edinboro, PA 16412 The Exotic Fish Society of Hartford, Inc 25 Charter Road, Ellington, CT 06029 Federation Of Texas A.S. 3502 Carter Creek Pkwy, Bryan, TX 77802 Fort Wayne Cichlid 502 Park Ave. - Box 260, Antwerp, OH 45813 Great Lakes Cichlid Society 1113 Sunset Road, Mayfield Hts, OH 44124 Greater Akron A.S. P.O. Box 494, Akron, OH 44309-0494 Greater Chicago Cichlid Assn 241 Oxford Ct., Bloomingdale, IL 60108 Greater Cincinnati A.S. P.O. Box 11495, Cincinnati, OH 45211 Greater City A.S. Berek Haus, 197-05 90th Ave., Hollis, NY 11423 Greater Dayton A.S. 288 Virginia Ave., Centerville, OH 45458 Greater Detroit A.S. P.O. Box C, Royal Oak, MI 48068 Greater Fairfield County A.S. P.O. Box 141, Lancaster, OH 43130 Greater Lafayette A.S. 516 N. 27th St., Lafayette, IN 47904 Great Lakes Cichlid Society Butch Capaldi, 890 Orchard Road, Willoughby, OH 44094 Greater Pittsburgh A.S. P.O. Box 22452, Pittsburgh, PA 15122-0452 Greater Portland A.S. P.O. Box 6752, Portland, OR 97228-6752 voice mail drop (503) 699-8086 Greater Seattle A.S. 306 NW 82nd Street, Seattle WA 98117 E-mail eriko@wrq.com Green Water A.S. P.O. Box 611, Bedford Park, IL 60499-0611 Heart of America A.S. P.O. Box 412867, Kansas City, Missouri 64141-2867 Honolulu Aquarium Society P.O. Box 235791, Honolulu, HI 96823-3513 Houston Aq. Soc. Michelle Sykes, 15926 Pfeiffer Dr. Houston, TX 77081 unicoon@wt.net Indianapolis A.S., Inc. Al Anderson, 6246 North Rural., Indianapolis IN 46220 killiman@indy.net 430 2nd Ave. N.E., Carmel, IN 46032 Jacksonville A.S. P.O. Box 156, Jacksonville, FL 32207 Kitsap A.S., Inc. P.O. Box 1145, Silverdale, WA 98383 Lehigh Valley A.S. Karen Haas 5145 Spruce Rd. Emmaus, PA 18049. lvas@fast.net Long Island A.S. 214 Holly Lane, Smithtown, NY 11787 Lorain County A.S. P.O. Box 185, Elyria, OH 44036-0185 Louisville Trop. Fish Fanciers, Inc. P.O. Box 6774, Louisville, KY 40207-6774 Maine State Aquarium Society P.O. Box 487, N. Berwick, ME 03906 Medina County A.S., Inc. P.O. Box 1485, Medina, OH 44258 Mid-Atlantic Cichlid Keepers (MACK) PO BOX 303, Drexel Hill, PA 19026 Mid-South A.S., Inc. P.O. Box 11744, Memphis, TN 38111 Missouri A.S., Inc. John Van Asch, 505 S. 20th St., Belleville, IL 62223 Minnesota Aquarium Society P.O. Box 130483, Roseville, MN 55113 phone contact- Brad & Nancy Swanson 612-522-4399 Missouri A.S., Inc. 36 Wagon Wheel, Fenton, MO 63026 Mobile A.S. 11450 Boe Rd. Ext., Grand Bay, AL 36541 Motor City A.S., Inc. P.O. Box 60, Roseville, MI 48066 Nassau County Aquarium Society P.O. Box 33, Oakdale, NY 11769 New York-Penn Council 3317 Asbury Rd., Erie, PA 16506 North Country A.S. PO Box 46, Potsdam, NY 13676 North East Alabama A.S. 3524 Alexandria Rd., Anniston, AL 36201 North Jersey A.S. P.O. Box 591 Nutley, NJ 07110 e-mail: ajaprea@pica.army.mil, phone (908) 541-1392 Norwalk A.S. of Fairfield County P.O. Box 84, South Norwalk CT 06852 Ohio Cichlid Assn, Inc. C/O Dan Woodland, 7330 Ames Road, Parma, Ohio 44129 Pacific Coast Cichlid Association P.O. Box 28145, San Jose, CA 95128 Penn. Fish Culturists Assn. 6804 No. 10th St., Philadelphia, PA 19126 Potomac Valley A.S., Inc. P.O. Box 664, Merrifield, VA 22116 Rocky Mountain Cichlid Assn. 9242 E. Eastman Place, Denver, CO 80231 Sacramento A.S. P.O. Box 160545, Sacramento, CA 95816-0545 San Diego Tropical Fish Soc., Inc. P.O. Box 4156, N. Park Sta., San Diego, CA 92164 San Fransisco A.S. (415) 387-6626 San Fransisco Bay Area Aquatic Plant Society 7 Gateview Court, San Fransisco 94116-1941 Sheboygan A.S. P.O. Box 954, Sheboygan, WI 53082 Singing Sands A.S. P.O. Box 134, Michigan City, IN 46360 Southeast Minnesota A.S. Dan Andrews, 206 S. Main, Chatsfield, MN 55923 Southern California Cichlid Association 4195 Chino Hills Pkwy. #362, Chino Hills, CA 91709 Southern Colorado A.S. Dale Grover, 807 Fontmore Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80904 Southtowns Fish Fanciers, Inc. John Burdick, 8639 S. Main St., Eden, NY 14057 Southwestern Michigan Aq. Soc. Scott Tetzlaff, 226 Burton SW, Grand Rapids MI 49507 South Sound A.S. 948 Summit Lakeshore Rd., N.W., Olympia, WA 98502 Southeast Minnesota A.S. PO Box 9093, Rochester, MN 55903-9093 Southern Colorado A.S. P.O. Box 16078, Colorado Springs, CO 80935 Southwestern Michigan A.S., Inc. P.O. Box 3175, Kalamazoo, MI 49003-3175 Stark County Aqua Life Enthusiasts, Inc. P.O. Box 8384, Canton, OH 44711 Story City A.S. 920 Fairview St., #8, Story City, IA 50248 Tampa Bay Aquarium Society Al Knowles, 1101 West Kirby Lane, Tampa FL 33604 (813) 932-5447 The Suburban A.S. P.O. Box 101, Prospect Hts, IL 60070 Texas Area Killifish Organization Michelle Sykes, 15926 Pfeiffer Dr. Houston, TX 77081 unicoon@wt.net Tropical Aquarists Of Northern - Ohio Club Bonnie Tamura, 941 N. State St., Painesville, OH 44077 Tri-County Tropical Fish Soc. 312 Oaklawn Terr., Creve Coeur, IL 61611 Tropical Fish Club of Burlington RR #1, Box 1548, Huntington, VT 05462 Tropical Fish Club of Erie County 5725 Herman Hill Rd., Hamburg, NY 14075 Tropical Fish Society Rhode Island 44 Homecrest Ave. Slatersville, RI 02876 Western New York A.S. P.O. Box 472, Hiler Branch, Buffalo, NY 14223 Worcester A.S. P.O. Box 972, Worcester, MA 01613-0972 Youngstown Area Tropical Fish P.O. Box 5190, Youngstown, OH 44514 Local Aquarium Societies - Canada Aquarium Society of Winnipeg P.O. Box 301, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 2H6 Brampton Aquarium Club 5372 Drenkelly Ct., Mississauga, Ontario, CANADA L5M-2H4 Calgary Aquarium Society P.O. Box 63180, 2604 Kensington Rd. NW, Calagary, AB T2W 4C9 Contact: Birgit McKinnon, (403) 249-8733, email : 21290576@3web.net Huronia and District A.S. RR 3, 9th Con. W., Orillia, Ontario, Canada L3V 6H3 Kitchener-Waterloo Aquarium Society P.O. Box 38037, 256 King Str. N., Waterloo, ON, Canada. N2J 4T9 Montreal A.S. P.O. Box 653, Station B, Montreal, Que., Canada H3B 3K3 Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society Box 31033, Nepean, Ontario, Canada K2B 8S8 Regina A.S. P.O. Box 3654, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4P 3N8 Sarnia Aquarium Society P.O. Box 542, Sarnia Ontario Canada N7T 2M7 tspiece@sar-net.com Saskatoon A.S. Box 371, Saskatoon Saskathewan, Canada S7K 3L3 Societie D'aquariophilie De Montreal 2450 Workman, Montreal, QUE, Canada H3J 1L8 Local Aquarium Societies - Other Asoc. Nacional Acuarofila Mexicana, AC APDO Postal 73-112, Santa Cruz Atoyac, Mexico, DF 03310 Asoci. Acuaristas Aguadilla P.O. Box 102, Aguadilla, PR 00605 Bermuda Fry-Angle Club P.O. Box WK272, Warwick, WKBX, Bermuda Grupo Mexicano De Ciclidofilos Cordillera Karakorum 223b, Lomas 3a. Seccion, San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., 78216 Mexico Tel/fax 052-48-253168 cm886@freenet.carleton.ca South London Aquarist Society How Pang (Chairman), 11 Ramsdale Rd, Tooting, London Sw17 9BP, UK Howpang@demon.uk.com FAQ: Mail-Order Houses Mail-Order Aquarium Supplies Although prices are lower through mail order, one must consider the cost of the shipping and handling, the delay time if product is not in stock, and the fact that the mail order company will typically not answer detailed questions. Your local retailer on the other hand must pay for the overhead of inventory, and often times are willing to answer questions. We need to collectively ensure the survival of good, helpful stores with fair prices. Service Comparisons Here is a quick comparison of five of the most popular mail-order houses, That Fish Place (TFP), Mail Order Pet Shop (MOPS), Pet Warehouse (PW), Wet Thumb Aquatics, and Daleco. Addresses and phone numbers are listed later in this section. TFP MOP PW DLC WTA Price 1.5 1.2 2.0 2.5 1.0 Selection 1.6 1.9 2.3 1.5 3.0 Service 1.7 2.3 1.0 2.0 1.0 Processing 2.1 2.0 1.0 1.5 1.0 Completeness 1.6 2.1 1.3 2.0 2.0 Correctness 1.1 1.4 1.0 1.5 1.0 Damage 1.0 1.2 1.0 1.0 1.0 Sum 10.6 12.1 9.6 12 10 # Responses 11 10 3 2 1 Avg 1.5 1.7 1.3 1.7 1.4 Criteria Price Total cost of an average order. 1 - excellent, 2 - good, 3 - fair, 4 - pet shop Selection Do they carry what you want? 1 - anything you could possibly want, 2 - good, 3 - fair, 4 - poor. Customer service Are they pleasant on the phone? Do the sales people provide accurate product information? Are printed materials helpful? 1 - excellent, 2 - good, 3 - fair, 4 - why are you calling and bothering them? Order processing How fast is your order processed? (When does it leave the warehouse? Not when do you actually receive it, as this varies with your location!) 1 - same day, 2 - 1-3 days, 3- longer than three days. Order completeness Do they have what you ordered in stock? 1 - rarely a stock out, 2 - occasional, 3 - often items are out of stock. Order correctness Did they send what you ordered? 1 - never a problem, 2 - minor problems, 3 - common problem. Order damage Do you ever receive broken items? 1 - never a problem, 2 - minor problems, 3 - common problem. The Big Fish That Fish Place 237 Centerville Rd. Lancaster, PA 17603 800-733-3829 Clearly, a favored source for mail order. Best catalogue (very useful for ordering from other places). I received no "horror" stories, only one minor complaint. Good Source for: Plants Shipping: Actual Cost Mail Order Pet Shop 250 W Executive Drive Edgewood, NY 11717 800-366-7387 (ordering and product info) 800-326-6677 (customer service) 1338 North Market Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95834 Probably the total lowest cost place for supplies. However, it seems that people either love or hate them. I received several complaints about service and bulk products being shorted etc. People like their flat fee for shipping. Shipping: $3.99 orders <= $45, $5.99 orders > $45 but < $100, $7.99 orders > $100. For $5 extra, they will 2-Day ship orders under 20 pounds. Pet Warehouse Dept. C45F P.O. Box 310 Xenia, OH 45385 800-443-1160 FAX 800-513-1913 People like their quick service. Shipping: $35 or < $5.95 $35-50 6.95 $60-75 7.95 $75-100 9.95 $100-150 10.95 $150 or > 11.95 2-day UPS delivery for $3.50 extra for items < 23 pounds The Small Fry Daleco 3556 N 400 E Warsaw, IN 46580 800-987-1120 FAX 219-268-6302 Has many unusual items. Shipping is included in prices for orders over $50 but prices are sometimes higher than bigger places. Good Source for: Live Food Cultures, Dupla Products, LaMotte Test Kits Shipping: Free, orders under $50.00 require a $5.00 handling fee. Wet Thumb Aquatic 52700 Base St. New Baltimore, MI 48047 810-725-0960 Smaller outfit. Their selection is not great but prices are very good. They are more breeder oriented. They ship same day. Also, they happen to carry a great deal of merchandise, a lot that other companies do not even think about. Also, they are very willing to answer your questions. Good Source for: Regenerative Blowers and Reverse Osmosis units. Shipping: $25 or < 2.50 $25-45 3.50 $45-60 4.50 $60-75 5.50 $75 or > Free Others mentioned but not ranked Spectacular Sea System: Specializing in marine lighting and accessories ranked 3,3,1,1,1,1,1 305-941-3792 End of Resource FAQ.