View Full Version : Anyone visit Marine Dreams yet?

06/20/2006, 10:05 PM
I am curious to hear if anyone stoppe din there yet and what were your impressions?

I may head down there this weekend if no ones been yet.

06/21/2006, 05:55 PM
havent been yet but im looking for a good review on the store to see if its worth the drive from Smyrna... If its comparable to Exotic Aquatics then it definently would be!

06/21/2006, 06:33 PM
I haven't been to Exotic Aquatics in probably 10 years but I'll give it a fair review on it's own. I'm hoping to make it down there this weekend, kids in tow.
Anything in particular your looking for or just a simple look over and stock quality?

06/24/2006, 05:43 PM
Made the trip today and checked out Marine Dreams firsthand. WHile they're not officially ready for there Grand Opening yet (a few more weeks to go), one of the guys I talked to (Jason) was very receptive to all our club members stopping down to check them out. He even invited us down for there Grand Opening and offered everyone in the club a 10% discount.

Here's the store http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g246/wds21921/P6240004.jpg

06/24/2006, 05:44 PM
Here is one of the aisleways :

06/24/2006, 05:46 PM
Here is there nano display next to the counter:http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g246/wds21921/P6240002.jpg

06/24/2006, 06:16 PM
My impressions:

Being a new store, of course it was very neat and clean. The lighting for the tanks is very good using mostly intense fluorescent spiral bulbs above the display tanks. The layout was really nice and the natural wood stands they use for there tanks really gives it a homey feeling. "A+" here!!!
Invert tanks look as though they were being setup for PC lighting. ( I like)

The guy I talked to (Jason) was very nice and even the other staff members were pleasantly helpful and not at all like intrusive salesmen. The atmosphere is very relaxed and professional, something I very much enjoy. There saltwater display tanks for fish were actually pretty good in size (maybe 50-75 gallons each?). Of course there stock was limited since they're still setting up and trying to run the business at the same time but I wasn't disappointed at all, quite the contrary. They had a Chevron Tang in there for $120 which floored me, normally I've seen this for sale for between $180 and $200, never any less (locally, when we do see them(rare)).
They also had some nice blue eyed cardinals (large) which you don't see very often.
Some of the fish were a little high in price (purple tangs) but some of the other prices on the other species offset that.
The inverts area (to the left of the front door) looks like they're really going all out on. They had some corals and polyps on display and I look for these to be really choicey after they begin to get there full stock orders in. "B" here but I expect that to be an "A" in no time.

What I liked best about it was the open area. It's not cluttered up like most LFS and the room lends to the visual effects extremely nicely. It was more like walking into a Marine Aquarium than an actual fishstore. Even from the outside the view is really incredible.

What I liked least was the $5 toll coming back from Harford County LOL. Of course that's nothing to do with the store.

I'd give them about 2-3 more weeks and you an be expecting one of the best LFS in the area.

The freshwater and brackish were some of the same size as the saltwater tanks but of course plenty of 10 gallons thrown in for the many various freshwater species as well.

There dry goods were comparably priced to some of the LFS and sometimes even lower. It's not "That Pet Place" pricing but fair pricing. Here I'd have to give them a very high "C" or even a "B". Of course they had the standard things you'd expect as well as the mini coralife electric temperature (display) probes, decently priced for a change.

I'd have to say this was very much different than what we're used to seeing locally. It reminded me in a sense almost like an art gallery which is a breath of fresh air in many ways. If you don't mind the drive it's a nice place to visit and I think you'll really be happy with the set-up and display time that went into the design of this store.

It was about a 40-45 minute ride from Elkton and definitely worth it!

From what I saw they were getting in some real Hawaiin (sp) imports which we don't see around here.

06/26/2006, 10:01 AM
very cool - from the photos it looks very similar to In Living Color

06/26/2006, 11:18 AM
Where is this store located? I did a yahoo search and couldn't find the address.

06/26/2006, 04:37 PM
great pictures and review Dave, you're getting pretty good with that camera. I'll have to add it to my list of places to visit. I'm glad you mentioned the spiral CF lights on the tanks. i noticed that from your clear picture and was going to ask. i guess that saves a lot of money on ballasts and installation. and just use low wattage screw in 6500K CFs for the fish tanks and regular tank lighting just for the corals.

Hmmm, the toll bridge. I hate that too. I can't remember, is the Connowingo dam crossing on route 273 a toll too? I used to commute that way to peach bottom(alias fuzzy butte) 20 years ago, and dont remember. one could go that route and then drop down on rte. 136.

Hey mmarine1976, here is the address Serranid Terror posted on the other thread, "stores in maryland", for marine dreams.

Marine Dreams

Thomas Run Station
2225 C. Churchville Road
Bel Air MD, 21015
Phone: 410-734-7333

Store Hours M-F 12PM-8PM, SAT 11AM-9PM, SUN 11AM-5PM

is that about right dave.?

06/26/2006, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the description, if i am getting the right impression i agree with nick. You should check out in living color, it sounds like the store you are describing but about 6 months ahead, definately go check it out, they have some really nice display tanks, and a decent selection.

06/30/2006, 01:09 AM
I may do that this weekend.

I'm not a big fan of Jersey sales tax either though or the Del. Mem Bridge lol.

Where in Jersey is it located?

07/03/2006, 06:26 PM
5-minutes off of 295 - in Marlborgh (sp?) - sorry, I'm a little hazy (on vacation in WI :D )

If there are some pretty extensive reviews of it with lots of pictures (and better directions) and stuff in the NJRC forum

07/04/2006, 12:18 AM
Hey MTM! bring back some nice cheese for cheese steaks at our next barbeque..

07/04/2006, 10:29 PM
too late - already back in town, and no cheese, just a few pounds of Usinger's brats that are already in the stomaches of a few friends :lol:

07/05/2006, 10:15 PM
Did you visit any stores up there?

07/05/2006, 10:26 PM
Cool. Been looking for an alternative to Exotic Aquatics, which in my mind has gotten a bit pricey lately. While the corals look nice, I can't be paying $25 to $35 for a frag.....

07/05/2006, 10:31 PM
not recently (since I moved out to Delaware 3-years ago) There are a few stores out there, but only one comes to mind that would hold it's weight against these big guys- with a separate bank of tanks for corals.

Other than that I'm 99% sure that to find something on the high-end, you have to go down to Chicago