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Old 09/19/2019, 12:42 PM   #1
ClownReef®
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Goodbye Live Aquaria

Well, another shipment, more dead fish.

Now they're issuing store credits instead of full refunds. Two weeks ago a dead pearly jaw, dead inverts, dead clams, today a beautiful (but dead) female watanabei angel.

...and that concludes a long relationship.


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Old 09/19/2019, 12:47 PM   #2
Daddyrawg
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Originally Posted by ClownReef[emoji2400
;25619295]Well, another shipment, more dead fish.



Now they're issuing store credits instead of full refunds. Two weeks ago a dead pearly jaw, dead inverts, dead clams, today a beautiful (but dead) female watanabei angel.



...and that concludes a long relationship.
Ya screw them lol

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Old 09/19/2019, 12:58 PM   #3
ClownReef®
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Ya screw them lol

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LOL..I mean I don't want to complain..

but then I do. Its really frustrating. I don't know what's going on.. Everything shows up dead or on the brink of death.


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Old 09/19/2019, 01:53 PM   #4
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Receive today, from Liveaquaria (Tail Spot from DD) Tail Spot Blenny, Midas Blenny, Flame Angel and Melanurus Wrasee.

All alive and well and in first TTM tank.


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Old 09/19/2019, 02:41 PM   #5
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I agree, Clownreef®, Fish from LA have been in terrible shape or DOA a lot lately. Upping the free shipping minimum and changing from refund to store credit is my cue to exit! They removed the two best (only?) reasons to shop there. Bye bye!


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Old 09/19/2019, 03:05 PM   #6
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I agree, Clownreef®, Fish from LA have been in terrible shape or DOA a lot lately. Upping the free shipping minimum and changing from refund to store credit is my cue to exit! They removed the two best (only?) reasons to shop there. Bye bye!
Too many animals have died before I get the chance to care for them. That warranty was what kept me around (Ive spent thousands through the years without reporting any casualties).

Sorry to hear you've experienced the same.


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Old 09/19/2019, 03:32 PM   #7
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I logged onto their web site to see how much store credit I have, after two orders with fish deaths. That info is not posted anywhere. So I called to speak to a human. It took her several minutes to find my credits. She said in order to apply my credits I have to type it in the notes section of my next order. That's what I will do, to finish off my credits, and then it's Adios!

Their fish are not better, their warranty policy is no longer better, and their free shipping deal is about forth best among the companies I checked. They have effectively removed all the good reasons to shop there.

I wonder who will step in to become the next, best online fish seller…


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Old 09/19/2019, 07:05 PM   #8
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The store credit instead of refund is definitely not a good move by them and will make me think twice when ordering the next time. At a minimum, they should let you chose if you want store credit or refund. And they should apply it automatically at checkout and not requiring a note.

As for the standard LiveAquaria livestock quality, that is really a Quality Marine issue. Though I ordered this year several crabs and shrimp from Diver's Den and quite a few of them were DOA because some idiot there thought it was a good idea to ship them in specimen containers with large chunks of coral gravel. Those poor critters likely got stoned to death during shipping and handling...

I also noticed that their warranty is not as lenient as it was before and now they try to weasel their way out of it at times if an animal arrived sick but survived beyond the warranty period.


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Old 09/20/2019, 05:25 AM   #9
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The store credit instead of refund is definitely not a good move by them and will make me think twice when ordering the next time. At a minimum, they should let you chose if you want store credit or refund. And they should apply it automatically at checkout and not requiring a note.

As for the standard LiveAquaria livestock quality, that is really a Quality Marine issue. Though I ordered this year several crabs and shrimp from Diver's Den and quite a few of them were DOA because some idiot there thought it was a good idea to ship them in specimen containers with large chunks of coral gravel. Those poor critters likely got stoned to death during shipping and handling...

I also noticed that their warranty is not as lenient as it was before and now they try to weasel their way out of it at times if an animal arrived sick but survived beyond the warranty period.
+1 this is what happens when a company like petco buys a successful company and they get rid of the core people that made the company successful. The store credit thing was poor move on their part and took the only thing that made them better away. I have a few contacts at Divers Den and I noticed things started to change early this year. Its a shame they went from being a great company to being just like their parent company...


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Old 09/20/2019, 09:08 AM   #10
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+1 this is what happens when a company like petco buys a successful company and they get rid of the core people that made the company successful. The store credit thing was poor move on their part and took the only thing that made them better away. I have a few contacts at Divers Den and I noticed things started to change early this year. Its a shame they went from being a great company to being just like their parent company...
Which of the core people they got rid of?
I assume Kevin Cohen is still there but I doubt he still has as much say as before.
I also noticed that a lot of the rare and really pricey stuff on DD didn't really sell as they thought. Two of the three Gramma dejongi they put up on DD two weeks ago still haven't sold. A pair of Japanese Interruptus angels is there even longer unsold.
It wasn't too long ago that such fish would have sold within minutes if not seconds.

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3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

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Old 09/21/2019, 03:43 AM   #11
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One if the guys from divers den was just on the podcast with Terrance from Apex and according to him nothing has changed at divers den and Petco does not interfere with them at all.


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Old 09/21/2019, 07:52 AM   #12
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That's good to know, but regardless of that, they've made two key changes. Their free shipping went from $99 to $149. Their fish guarantee went from credit to your credit card, to store credit only. In my opinion, those two changes removed the best reasons to shop there. For me they were the ONLY reasons to shop there.

Their prices are not better, and as the OP pointed out, the fish that they ship you are often in horrible shape. I've heard others say their fish came in great. That's good, but that's not been my experience. I've had many DOAs and the others arrived sick and in need of major QT treatments, effectively doubling the price of the fish.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/21/2019, 09:39 AM   #13
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I was able to get a "one time courtesy" refund to my card. This ends a very long relationship with LA for me.


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Old 09/21/2019, 10:02 AM   #14
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And this is why I get my livestock from my trusted LFS. He will gladly order in anything I might want, let me know when it has arrived, and hold it for me until I can get there to pick it up. If it doesn't make it until then, he'll order another for me. Even then, the fish will go straight to my QT for a minimum of 2 weeks of observation, and treatment for whatever if needed. Plus, FREE SHIPPING!


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Old 09/21/2019, 10:35 AM   #15
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That's good to know, but regardless of that, they've made two key changes. Their free shipping went from $99 to $149. Their fish guarantee went from credit to your credit card, to store credit only. In my opinion, those two changes removed the best reasons to shop there. For me they were the ONLY reasons to shop there.

Their prices are not better, and as the OP pointed out, the fish that they ship you are often in horrible shape. I've heard others say their fish came in great. That's good, but that's not been my experience. I've had many DOAs and the others arrived sick and in need of major QT treatments, effectively doubling the price of the fish.
Their free shipping threshold was $149 before. From what I remember, they only lowered it some times to $99 as a temporary promotion, but then kept it that low for good at some point. Their shipping cost may have gone up since and I can understand that they may have had to go back in $149 order value for free shipping. That's actually a minor issue to me.

The store credit instead of refund is the real rub because it requires you to place another order to "get" your money. Given how likely something out of that order may die as well, you are then caught in a perpetual cycle. It may in fact even encourage Quality Marine to throw in something on death's doorstep to ensure another order. I kind of had the feeling this was what Blue Zoo is doing and was one of the reasons why I stopped ordering from them. Another was of course the fact that their store credit would come with an expiration date. I wonder how long it will be that LA catches up on that as well?

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3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/21/2019, 12:48 PM   #16
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So what online vendors are you all using now?

Corey


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Old 09/21/2019, 03:12 PM   #17
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Do you have pics of DOA in unopened bag or did they die after you killed them?
I've had really good experience w/ QM and especially DD.
Also, if you didn't pick them up at 8am from UPS, I would expect death, it's 100F outside.


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Old 09/21/2019, 04:09 PM   #18
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Do you have pics of DOA in unopened bag or did they die after you killed them?
I've had really good experience w/ QM and especially DD.
I always try to take a picture of the dead animal inside the bag if they arrived dead. But that doesn't work with shrimp and crabs that were shipped inside specimen containers. You will only be able to see if the inside is alive or dead after opening the bag and the container. And at other times they use those black sleeves that make I pretty much impossible to see what is going on inside the bag. So in many cases it is only possible to take pictures of DOAs after opening the bag.
I have had quite a few DOAs from both, QM and DD.
I'm not too shocked that it happens with the livestock shipped from QM, after all, it's a wholesale facility and anything there may just have arrived the day before.
But DOAs from DD are a different story as those animals should have been at their facility for at least two weeks and should have been conditioned well enough to endure another day in a bag. Some of the DOAs were the animals arrived I ice cold water were clearly due to miscalculating the number and size of ice-packs.
The cases where DD had shipped fragile shrimp and crabs inside plastic specimen containers with coral gravel pieces larger than the animals were the most mind boggling. That those shrimp and crabs could get harmed and killed was predictable. It clearly tells me that there is now staff with minimal training doing the packaging.
So don't accuse me and others here of cheating or making things up.

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3 P. diacanthus. 2 C. starcki

Current Tank Info: 200 gal 4 tank system (40x28x24 + 40B + 40B sump tank + 20g refugium) + 30x18x18 mixed reef + 20g East Pacific biotop + 20g FW +...
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Old 09/21/2019, 10:01 PM   #19
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knock on wood ive never had an issue. only issue I had is when I ordered a gem tang and Fedex lost the package. came two days late with a dead fish. called them and got a refund back to my card. Shame that they are only doing credit now. their guarantee with a refund was the only reason I ordered from them. My LFS only guarantees for 3 days


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Old 09/22/2019, 04:33 AM   #20
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Check out www.tsmcorals.com

Fish are all treated and quarantined. I have never gotten a sick fish from them.


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Old 09/23/2019, 07:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ThRoewer View Post
Which of the core people they got rid of?
I assume Kevin Cohen is still there but I doubt he still has as much say as before.
I also noticed that a lot of the rare and really pricey stuff on DD didn't really sell as they thought. Two of the three Gramma dejongi they put up on DD two weeks ago still haven't sold. A pair of Japanese Interruptus angels is there even longer unsold.
It wasn't too long ago that such fish would have sold within minutes if not seconds.

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Im referring to the Foster and Smith team that ultimately made the decisions on how LiveAquaria was ran. I have been buying fish from LA for the past 14 years, its a shame they changed the refund policy. I'm assuming your credit is only good for 1 time ie I get a credit for said loss and spend that credit re-buying the livestock that I lost either DOA or within the 14 days... I don't think they will keep issuing a credit for the loses after that. I have no confirmation of this but that is how it works at all the other online retailers in this hobby.


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Old 09/23/2019, 10:53 AM   #22
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In many ways this is a good thing because it levels the playing field for the LFS. Fortunately, in my area there are many great places to buy livestock, but I feel bad for those folks who live in areas without access to a good LFS.

I used to buy from many online vendors -- primarily LA/DD and Blue Zoo. With the aforementioned changes to LA/DD as well as Blue Zoo (prices aren't as good, and the livestock I'm looking for isn't available) I haven't made a purchase in over a year.

The only time I buy online now are for clean up crews (John at Reef Cleaners) and more recently for "clean" macroalgae from Algae Barn.


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Old 09/23/2019, 10:57 AM   #23
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Anyone have a Aqua Japan

Getting back in the hobby and looking at the Aqua Japan 120 Reef tank. Any advice?


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Old 09/23/2019, 11:48 AM   #24
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Getting back in the hobby and looking at the Aqua Japan 120 Reef tank. Any advice?
My advice is that you start a new thread.

OK, all kidding aside, it looks like there's only one place that you can get these tanks, which makes me wonder if they're just re-branded. I can't imagine that they actually come from Japan.


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Old 09/23/2019, 12:49 PM   #25
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Good point, D-Nak. When considering the shipping cost, plus the cost of meds to keep mail order fish alive, the LFS looks better than ever.

I also know that lots of folks are having no problems with Live Aquaria. If you're OK with the changes and condition of the fish, you should stick with them, and enjoy.

For the last year or so, I've had several LA orders with DOAs and sick fish that died within days. Having the guarantee made it a little easier to live with. Lately, I find I care less about the cost and more about being able to keep fish alive. On my last LA order, I ended up spending more on the meds than the fish. With the policy changes, it's no longer worth the risk, to me at least.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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