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Fixing the broken LFS

Tannin Aquatics

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I don't know if it's the time of year, my mindset. or what, but my mind is heavily focused of late on the business side of things. That's good, but not always entertaining for those of you looking for my usual dives into obscure hobby topics or rants on "stuff" I think about. And, I do receive a fair amount of correspondence from hobbyists and vendors alike about the business side of the hobby, along with requests to touch on it a bit more- so this is as good a time as any to write this!


As you know from my previous writings, I am a HUGE proponent of the local, brick-and-mortar fish store. It's a vital institution in the hobby and culture of fish keeping. It's where I got my start- it's where thousands of kids and adults start their journeys into the amazing hobby we love. I've sung the praises of the "institution" of the LFS repeatedly over the years, and will continue to do so! In fact, even though I have chosen to operate in the online sector, I make it a point to purchase much of my personal fish supplies and many of my fish at my local stores. I am a very vocal supporter of this special place in the hobby.


However, a few days ago, I went to one of my local stores and just had a pretty bad experience. Actually, it wasn't the first time. It's been a gradual, but perceptible trend at this particular store. It wasn't any one thing; no rude sales person, dirty tank, or clutter. Rather, it was sort of a combination of these- and other factors. Seeing a dead fish or two, or a dirty tank once in a while is just sort of "par for the course" with a fish store. There's a lot going on. However, when you see dozens of dirty tanks, lots and lots of sick and dying fishes, things blatantly mislabeled, overall clutter, and disinterested, apathetic, "busy" employees- that's a sign of a problem, IMHO.

It felt bad. I felt bad. (click to read more)

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