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View Full Version : LFS, Good Advice or Scare Tactic?


Crawfishy
11/04/2009, 12:15 PM
I just got in some LR, with lots of stuff on it, that I bought online. I called the LFS to find out if some equipment was in stock. We got to talking about the LR.

He told me that as a newbie I was in trouble buying LR from the Drs. because there is too much life on it. He said I was in for a world of trouble, and they couldn't help me with the problems that would come up. He said to just get ready for a lot of problems.

Is this true or just angry scare tactics. Should I try to sell this on Craigslist and buy the bleached and then cycled LR from them?

11/04/2009, 12:27 PM
Sounds "fishy' to me

sjames
11/04/2009, 12:28 PM
well, you can get in trouble with any live rock with unwanted hitchhikers.

I had a mantis shrimp and cirolanids and aipistia as unwanted guests.

But I cant imagine a reef system that isn't at least seeded with some live rock.

ininerider
11/04/2009, 12:31 PM
Sounds to me like your LFS dude got a bit miffed for your online purchase. Is the LR cured? If not make sure you cure the rock prior to adding to your tank. The curing process is simple. Does the rock smell bad? You should expect some of the growth to die off but this should not be any big deal. Make sure your skimmer is working properly. How much rock do you have in your tank now? What size is your tank?

MCCOOL
11/04/2009, 12:33 PM
well, you can get in trouble with any live rock with unwanted hitchhikers.

I had a mantis shrimp and cirolanids and aipistia as unwanted guests.

But I cant imagine a reef system that isn't at least seeded with some live rock.



+1 but you'd probably encounter the same problems with rock from the LFS.

Sounds like they were ****y because you didn't buy the rock from them. I'd find myself a new LFS

davocean
11/04/2009, 12:34 PM
Alot of LFS really HATE online purchases and club trading, and feel it hurts their business, and therefore can't wait to point out probs w/ these purchases.
The only isssue I see is die off during shipping, so you have to plan to cycle this rock on delivery depending on how long it went dry.
As for hitchers, both good and bad will come from online or their LFS.
Nowadays when I go to LFS, I rarely talk about club or online activity, cause all they see is a lost sale, and this is rarely met positively.
I would just cycle this rock out of display until there is for sure no amo or nitrites showing, or if in display already, don't add life till all is cool.

pisces4u
11/04/2009, 12:44 PM
I agree with davocean.

We have 5 LFS that deal in saltwater and reefing livestock. I also do nearly 100% of my dry good purchasing online as none of them carry high end bulbs and supplements.

I've found it best to not discuss shopping at other competitors or online. Some owners get downright hostile and some play it off but you can tell they're unhappy.

I've never seen live rock with "too much life". The most life I've seen on rock was from Tampa Bay and was loaded with sponges, crabs, and other hikers. Everyone is going to deal with glass anemones at some point as well as nuisance macro algae. Crabs and mantis shrimp and other hostiles can be dealt with before you start adding livestock. There are dozens of people on every forum that have ordered rock from the Doctors without major issues...

HomeSlizzice
11/04/2009, 12:58 PM
Sounds like they are ****ed off that they didn't get your money. Use your Dr. Foster and Smith rock.

Amoore311
11/04/2009, 02:17 PM
sounds like they are ****ed off that they didn't get your money. Use your dr. Foster and smith rock.

+1

luther1200
11/04/2009, 03:17 PM
I had a very similar situation a few years ago when I set up my 65. I bought 80# or so On-line. And got to talking with them, and they were like Oh-no, you are going to have Mantis shrimp and this and that. You should have come here. I didn't have any problems with the rock I got on-line. As a matter of fact the only problem I ever really had was a nuisance crab that came in on a piece of LR from the LFS. So go figure.

snorvich
11/04/2009, 03:24 PM
+1

+2

SaltieG
11/04/2009, 03:31 PM
I agree, just sounds like the LFS wasn't happy you didn't buy the LR from them. I sort of felt bad for not buying LR from my LFS because they are nice knowledgeable people but I can't justify paying $7 per pound from them when I can get it at less then $3 per pound online, even with shipping included.

davocean
11/04/2009, 04:04 PM
You know, I know we need LFS for some things, so I make a point to buy stuff that is at least close to same cost as online, or perishable items, frozen foods etc.
I also prefer to examine fish before buying, so LFS gets my $$ there.
As for LR, I've been sent some lame base before, so I do prefer to cherry pick good stuff from LFS, and rush it home to keep die off to a min.
A smart LFS will actually use our sites to their benefit, and we have a couple that do this wisely.

_88
11/04/2009, 04:12 PM
It sounds like they did you a favor and let you know that you shouldn't do business with them. Owning a business is tough and I am sympathetic to the small business man (or woman) but deceiving your customers is a poor way to earn their business.

robow
11/04/2009, 04:26 PM
My LFS told me it wasn't safe to get anything off the web. Said I would spend more time with dead animals than anything else. I am glad he gave me that warning I haven't gone back since.

Pacific Reefs
11/04/2009, 04:35 PM
If you are worried about Mantis shrimp you could try a fresh water dip.

uncleof6
11/04/2009, 05:35 PM
Ask the LFS what they think of Dale Barger's live rock, or Tampa Bay Saltwaters cultured live rock. Personally, I would not bother asking, I would just walk away.

Jim

bobparker
11/04/2009, 05:40 PM
You know, I know we need LFS for some things, so I make a point to buy stuff that is at least close to same cost as online, or perishable items, frozen foods etc.
I also prefer to examine fish before buying, so LFS gets my $$ there.
As for LR, I've been sent some lame base before, so I do prefer to cherry pick good stuff from LFS, and rush it home to keep die off to a min.
A smart LFS will actually use our sites to their benefit, and we have a couple that do this wisely.

This definitely the right approach. Stimulating the LFS' economy as well as online vendors only ensures quality. I always make it a point to make suggestions to the LFS in ways to create sales.
The economy is hurting small business', the guy is probably struggling even to stock his tanks.

Crawfishy
11/04/2009, 05:49 PM
I had a very similar situation a few years ago when I set up my 65. I bought 80# or so On-line. And got to talking with them, and they were like Oh-no, you are going to have Mantis shrimp and this and that. You should have come here. I didn't have any problems with the rock I got on-line. As a matter of fact the only problem I ever really had was a nuisance crab that came in on a piece of LR from the LFS. So go figure.
:lolspin: in an ironic way.

Crawfishy
11/04/2009, 06:01 PM
Thanks everyone for your help!:dance:

I called the LFS back and asked him the price of LR at his store. He told me to bring in my Drs. LR and he'd look at it to see it it's any good if I promised to not ever buy anything else online, because he would go out of business. I had to get a test kit anyway so I took it. He told me that the reason they didn't order a skimmer for my 28g nano was because I didn't need one for such a small tank, that online was just after my money for selling me one. He was at lunch when I got there. The younger clerk said the owner was old school and the rock looked okay, just to keep any eye on it.

Funny thing is, I didn't tell the oewner voluntarily I bought LR online. I mentioned I had some and after that sentence, he asked where I bought it. I told him, and I told him I'd bought some from him too.

I asked for some items that weren't I stock and how to order specific fish from them. They said yet again, like on a previous visit, just check in, you don't really need to order anything. Well, that why I bought stuff online in the first place. I don't live anywhere near the LFS. It's really an unLFS for me. They'll have to be willing to hold or order items for me to make it worth my time and gasoline.

Crawfishy
11/04/2009, 06:11 PM
This definitely the right approach. Stimulating the LFS' economy as well as online vendors only ensures quality. I always make it a point to make suggestions to the LFS in ways to create sales.
The economy is hurting small business', the guy is probably struggling even to stock his tanks.

If only they kept stuff in stock or at least be willing to let me know when something comes in. "That item sales quickly," just isn't that helpful to me. If they would order stuff, I'd pay for it, but they don't seem eager to do that either. I guess he wants folks to just drop in and buy something but the distance for me isn't conducive for that.

luther1200
11/04/2009, 06:18 PM
I would absolutely keep the rock you have, and just thank the LFS owner for his concern. No way would I bring it in for him to lok at. He will probably try to take the nice pieces yopu have and give you worse pieces. Maybe not but I'm sure the stuff you got is OK. If you want to post some pics of the LR we can give our opinions.

Metal Man 1221
11/04/2009, 06:59 PM
yea i wouldnt trust them, you usually get better rock online any way, alot of hitch hickers come out of the rock at the LFS and stay in their curing tank, leaving you with just rock, honestly the rock from my LFS isnt worth my time, theyre really nice helpful people but i would rather buy rock online and pay shipping, like said before you might want to find your self a new LFS

but as long as you cure it you wont have any problems, he just wants your money

good luck

davocean
11/04/2009, 07:06 PM
Your LFS sounds like one of those semi educated, not so enthusiastic LFS that used to be more common, and quickly drop.
First, a skimmer is a real nice thing to have, no matter what tank size, and I'd put one on a 28g no prob.
2nd, all our LFS around here will special order and take phone #'s to call when it's in, some may want a deposit, but that's fine w/ me.
If LFS are just lazy, they get what is coming, but from what you've said here, I wouldn't ask for advice from them.

VacavilleFC3S
11/04/2009, 07:22 PM
I'd go back and give the guy the finger.

he was definitely using a "scare tactic" to keep you from buying online. the quality of rock i've purchased online is 10000% better than anything i've seen thing in any of my LFS rock tanks.

i've had a few stores try stuff like that on me, i usually just walk out

i work at a LFS myself and i still order 90% of my equipment and lifestock online, even with a 20% employee discount

joejoe1055
11/04/2009, 07:42 PM
if your rock had "too much life on it"
does that mean theirs has too little?

BFG
11/04/2009, 08:19 PM
It's all boils down to sensitivity. In Crawfishy case, he shouldn't have told the lfs where he bought his live rock. No business owner wants to hear a potential customer bought stuff from other places in their face, it makes them feel they are not going to get a sale from that customer. If it was me, I'd reply that it was a hand me down live rock from someone who quit the hobby.

Jmatt567
11/04/2009, 08:33 PM
I'd agree that their rock has too little life. They were just using a scare tactic. I bought florida aquacultured live rock. It came with tons of life on it! I love it!

noahm
11/04/2009, 09:25 PM
I told my LFS when I was getting a load of TBS rock. The guy is super cool and wanted me to take pics and stuff. He surely would have been happier selling me rock, but was really stoked about some of the corals and stuff that came on it. I buy ALL of my fish and a good percent of corals from him, though I am definitely not a huge spender. Your LFS would have been a lot smarter to have shared your excitement and fed that enthusiasm toward future sales.

Amoore311
11/05/2009, 08:08 AM
In Crawfishy case, he shouldn't have told the lfs where he bought his live rock. No business owner wants to hear a potential customer bought stuff from other places in their face, it makes them feel they are not going to get a sale from that customer. If it was me, I'd reply that it was a hand me down live rock from someone who quit the hobby.

A good store owner knows he isn't going to get 100% of someones business. A good LFS owner should also know that Live Rock is one of the more difficult items to compete in.

I spend a fairly decent amount of money at my LFS, and if the owner ever told me some garbage like in the OP.... they would no longer have my business.

A good salesman knows 95% of the time you can't supply a customer with everything they need. There's still a percentage of that business you can always grab though, whether it be from price/customer service/availability standpoint.

Telling a customer, "I'm not going to help you with problems with your tank b/c you bought something from another vendor", is just loosing out on a sale, or worse yet loosing the customer entirely.

Had it been me, I would have spun the situation a little.... and pointed the OP towards things I can supply him with that can help. Something like,

"Rock with lots of life sometimes can come with aptasia, unwanted algae, and non-reef safe hitchhikers. I stock a very diverse variety of reef safe inverts that will take care of most unwanted algaes, and peppermint shrimp for any aptasia problem that may arise. Should you happen to find a mantis shrimp or unwanted crab, I can special order you a pest trap if you want to go in that direction."

And with that, instead of missing out on a potential multiple hundred dollar sale, not to mention future business, you let the customer know you're there to help.

nitjt
11/05/2009, 09:54 AM
I have always bought mine at the LFS I just like to see what I am getting.

nitjt
11/05/2009, 09:55 AM
Do you get good sizes and shapes from online?

scchase
11/05/2009, 10:12 AM
I swear most LFS need to have an attitude adjustment can you even fathom going into another business and getting the once over for going somewhere else. Imagine going intoa resturant and getting told the food at another resturant in town isn't good. Would never happen so I have no idea how come people put up with LFS that do this kind of thing other tna sometimes we don't have a choice.
My most recent favorite was the LFS here that had a 125g tank marked down 45% from $700 something to $397 despite the exact same aquarium with a few lights extra is cheaper at Pestmart not that I don't like to patronize smaller establishements but come on really dont't pretend I am stupid.
As far as the live rock use it its probably better than the majority of the stuff your LFS gets in anyways.

Amoore311
11/05/2009, 12:36 PM
Do you get good sizes and shapes from online?




I don't buy live rock anymore persay. I get everything from Bulk Reef Supply and Marco Rocks. The shapes and sizes you get from either of those places is unmatched imo.

youpey
11/05/2009, 02:05 PM
i had bought LR from a LFS in the past, the only hitchikers i got were aiptasia. they would dig through it, if they saw anything cool growing on it, they would pull that rock aside. basically they were selling bare live rock. The live rock i got online a few months ago came with some decent life. stuff is still popping up everyday. that never really happened with the LR i got in the LFS.
Oh, and the better rock i got online, was 50% cheaper

gowingsgo
11/05/2009, 02:52 PM
Yes it sounds to me that your LFS does not have your best interest in mind. I got most of my live rock from other reefers getting out of the hobby. I still took good precisions when adding it to my tank to make sure that no pest that I would not want in my tank were eliminated before it went in my main display tank. As far as a skimmer goes I have one on two of the three tanks I own. 35 gallon 125 gallon the only one I do not have a skimmer on is the 3 gallon pico tank in my office. I would not set up a tank over 10 gallons with out one. If I could find one that fit the pico I would add one on there too.