Hello everyone, I would just like to set a few things straight here. This thread seems a bit old, but there have been some grossly untrue statements made that I feel the need to clear up, particularly those regarding Aquatic Arts.
1. Aquatic Arts has sold Cherax pulcher, which we (and now some suppliers) call the Thunderbolt Crayfish. We have never, ever claimed to have developed or discovered this species. When we began carrying this species in 2015 (or possibly even before), there was less information available on the species and we have since made some corrections on our listing. This species is very rare, at least in the US. To the best of my knowledge, all of Aquatic Arts' pictures of this crayfish are our own photos. The only photo that I can confirm was not ours is our former picture for the Ghost Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii var. "Ghost), which was a photo by crayfish (among other topics) expert Chris Lukhaup (for whom i have the utmost respect). This photo was uploaded before I was in my current managerial position at this company, and the employee who uploaded it did so while unaware that it was a copyrighted photo since it had no watermark or other information at the source where it was found. If I see that any of our Cherax pulcher photos are not our own, I will gladly remove them and print a retraction in our weekly newsletter, just as I intend to do with the former Ghost Crayfish picture we used. That picture has of course been replaced with pictures of our own.
Aquatic Arts has some of the highest-quality pictures of any aquarium livestock store, and our photos are often lifted without permission constantly by suppliers and other retailers. We are not in the business of knowingly using the photos of other people who are unaffiliated with us without permission, and we will gladly retract any such photos and make a public apology to the rightful photographer if it is found that any of our older photos are not our own.
2. Regarding the claim by Crackhead Johny, Aquatic Arts does not purposely list sold-out items that we "wish" or "want" to get but cannot get. Any even semi-experienced aquarist will realize that some items are seasonal or rarely available. They will also understand that no store, no matter how large, is able to keep every single species and variety in stock all of the time. We have a feature that allows customers to be emailed when those items are available. This tool is very useful in gauging demand for rare species.
3. Aquatic Arts is still selling Cherax pulcher, and we received around 90 specimens of excellent quality recently. However, they sold out very quickly as usual. We will continue to try to get more whenever possible.
4. Regarding the many disparaging claims by LTygress...it is difficult to know where to begin. This person has made many sour grapes-style comments about Aquatic Arts on multiple public forums, including under the user's probable real name. I will not mention the name or even gender of this user, and by doing so I am showing much more decency and civility than this user has shown in his/her comments toward Aquatic Arts. At best, this user's comments have been highly warped versions of non-reality and at worst, many of them have been outright lies that are solidly in the realm of legal slander and libel. This person has never worked for or with Aquatic Arts, yet this person makes several claims regarding the inner workings of Aquatic Arts.
Regarding the Pink Sakura Clarkii Crayfish, Aquatic Arts did NOT purchase its initial breeding stock from the developer of this morph. We purchased them from a breeder in Pennsylvania. The original developer of the morph contacted us promptly after we listed our initial juveniles for sale and informed us that there was already a common named that he coined, so we apologized and immediately changed it. We also gave the original breeder full credit for developing the morph via several platforms on several occasions, and the original developer remarked that he was pleasantly surprised and had never expected us to go to that length. By the way, that original developer is a wonderful person that had been a customer of Aquatic Arts previously and is still a customer, but is also someone with whom I am now friends and with whom I personally consult from time to time. Also, he lives in the Northeast, not Missouri (although that admittedly might be a difference in timeline between previous claims). To be extra clear, Aquatic Arts NEVER claimed to have developed this crayfish morph, and we simply and clearly stated that we had purchased our own breeding group. How could we claim to have developed it if we stated that we bought an existing breeding group? These are all objective facts, and they are all contrary to the hearsay of LTygress.
On the topic of common names, I feel it is necessary to state that there is no such thing as a "correct common name." This is the exact reason why Latin species names exist. Aquatic Arts prefers not to call crayfish "lobsters" because they are not lobsters. We have coined new or alternate names for a few species, most of which were species that were not widely sold previously in the US. This is not a unique practice, and there are thousands of examples of it in the pet trade as well as other areas. Some call Hemigrammus bleheri a Rummy Nose Tetra, some call it a Firehead Tetra. Neither is "correct." Some people call Melopsittacus undulatus a parakeet while others call it a budgerigar.
Regarding L134 Leopard Frog Plecos, Aquatic Arts is one of a few outlets selling tank-raised specimens. We had nothing to do with the "potential ban" hysteria on wild-caught specimens because we have no interest in them. Most people know that tank-raised specimens are generally of superior health and better suited for aquarium life than wild-caught specimens. Also, wild-caught L134 specimens are typically much more expensive than tank-raised specimens. As far as pricing goes, I welcome any proof of any retailer selling high-quality, tank-raised specimens at a lower price than Aquatic Arts. Many private breeders do not even compare to our pricing for this species.
I suspect that the irrational hatred and considerable effort that LTygress has made to disparage Aquatic Arts stems from an email which I found from him/her. It predates most of the disparaging comments and lies that have since been posted by this user. The email is in regard to Cherax pulcher, and it mostly consists of very pushy and rude demands (which sound more like commands) to sell him/her that crayfish species. The email came at a time where Aquatic Arts simply did not have them in stock. Despite the negative demeanor of the user's email, our company owner responded in a friendly manner and assured this person that we would be happy to sell him/her some of that crayfish when we had more. There was no further correspondence that I could find.
I should also add that the person posting as LTygress has made very immature, childish, and shameful personal attacks on the staff of Aquatic Arts in public forums, including ludicrously untrue, baseless, ridiculous claims that accused another forum user of having inappropriate sexual relations with one of our customer service reps (who happens to be an incredibly virtuous, decent, and happily married man) simply because that other forum user complimented the qulity and service of Aquatic Arts and did not agree with the wildly untrue claims of LTygress. This sort of slanderous, childish behavior is not the sort of behavior that is becoming of a trustworthy or reliable person, regardless of that person's alleged aquarium knowledge. Regardless of his/her claims of being a major "insider" in the aquarium trade, LTygress has shown on multiple occasions to tell baseless lies while having an irrational vendetta against Aquatic Arts and seems to be on a campaign to disparage Aquatic Arts at any cost. Any high-volume business is going to unfortunately have a few jaded customers, even if through no major fault of its own or to what extent that company will go to resolve any problem.
Aquatic Arts has a reputation of exceptional quality and customer service. Any issues with customers are promptly addressed and resolved to the customer's satisfaction. We are not afraid or hesitant to make corrections and compensations when necessary, and we welcome constructive criticism. Tens of thousands of customers can attest to these facts, and Aquatic Arts has the sincere desire to continue to maintain and further bolster this reputation. We greatly appreciate the support of our customers and we are grateful to have the opportunities to do what we do.
I personally work very long hours every day, every week to continue to grow and improve Aquatic Arts in every possible way. If any further discussion of any of these or any other issues is desired, all are welcome to email the address listed below and put "Attn: Matt" in the subject. I will respond to you in a constructive, professional, polite, and friendly manner.