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Old 09/21/2008, 04:53 PM   #1
Scrandrew
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Say absolutely no to Absolutely Fish in NJ

Each year I make my pilgrimage from Northeastern Pennsylvania to Giants Stadium with my five year old daughter. After the game, we make our yearly (this is my third time at this pet store), trip to Absolutely Fish. This year will be my last.

First, as always, you are greeted by multiple workers standing behind the counter. Of course, when you try to make a purchase, none are near the fish or coral room.

Once inside, I made a visit to the fishroom area. Although the selection was decent, every fish that I examined, was priced at $79.99 and greater. It is not as though I was looking for an exotic item, as, I was simply looking for a tang or two. I noticed a $250 Sohol and other pricey fish. If it was reasonably attractive, it was unreasonably priced. I opted to pass.

I then went to the coral area. In the display tank, I noticed some decently colored pinkish purple staghorn. It appeared to be growing well, actually, almost above the water line. I approached a sales person and asked for a frag. Befuddled as to whether it could be sold, he contacted a higher up employee. The higher ranking employee said sure, and that he would take my name. I responded by stating that I was from Pennsylvania, and he added that I could not have it now (It would have taken less than three seconds to clip with a coral cutter).

I then went to the rear of the store to see the acro tank. Inside, I noticed another peice of staghorn that was brownish but that had a bluish purple tint. I figured that maybe, in my tank, it would color up a bit more. The piece was a branch of about six inches. I inquired as to the price and was quoted $150. I asked about a similar piece that was probably about 4 12/ inches and was told the price was $129. Once again, I opted to pass.

Finally, I noticed a blue carpet anemone. I had wanted one forever. On the tank was a price tag of $150. Inside this tank was a blue carpet and a green carpet. On the glass were the words "hold" and "g". I assumed that the "g" stood for "green", but, I asked the employee to be sure. He assured me the blue carpet was for sale. I told him to bag it. He then did. As I approached the register to pay (the blue carpet was sealed in the bag), the employee stated, sorry, this item is sold. He opened the bag and poured it back into the tank.

With all of this being stated, I will never return to that store. I feel that a more appropriate name might be "Absolute rip-off", or, "Absolutely overpriced", or, even, "Absolute nonsense". Whatever it is referred to as, I will not shop there again. Also, the person who is purchasing the carpet should know about the bagging and redumping incident. NONSENSE.

If you have had an experience with that store, please share.

A~

Oh, and for a final piece of information, I went to MACNA in Atlanta. They were selling bottles of "Tigger Pods" there for $15. I checked the price at Absolutely Overpriced, and, they were selling them for $25. BIG SURPRISE.

A~


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Old 04/23/2014, 02:32 PM   #2
mskvarenina
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Wow, just reading your post today about AF in Clifton. For me, this is my go-to fish store. I live 1.25 hours away in Central, New Jersey but I have not been able to find a store closer to me with the selection or health of fish.

I agree there are usually 100 guys working behind the counter and the prices may be average or above average for the fish, but every fish I've purchased there is still alive and was disease free when I took them home.

If you can recommend others LFS in New Jersey that have a great selection fo healthly fish, I'd love to visit them.


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Old 04/23/2014, 02:46 PM   #3
E Rosewater
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You may not get a response from him, that write up was 5 and half years ago and he hasn't posted in this forum in over a year and a half.


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Old 04/23/2014, 02:59 PM   #4
mskvarenina
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Yes I saw it was an old post but I figured others may see the post bubble of to the top and post. I'm always on the hunt for good fish stores. Some places I've been to in NJ have been absolute dumps that I would never visit again.


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Old 04/23/2014, 03:08 PM   #5
Brando457
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Few stores off the top of my head that have better quality than AF.

Aquarium Care Center - Ocean, NJ
Aquatic Obsession - Avenel, NJ
Ultimate Corals - Jackson, NJ

AF has decent selection, but after battling a nasty bit of ich from their store I don't think I'll be shopping there again.

Also if you're looking to order online a store NYAquatic has good reviews.


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Old 04/25/2014, 09:58 AM   #6
firemountain
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New to this site, and this is my first post. If you are making the pilgrimage to northern Bergen County NJ, try the Reef Encounter in Hackensack. They are very friendly and offer good advice. No where near the selection of fish and corals as Absolutely Fish, but just another alternative. For accessories, their prices are good, but for fish and live coral, Absolutely Fish has them beat.

D


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Old 04/26/2014, 05:50 PM   #7
mskvarenina
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I've been to ACC in Ocean a few times, the selection is generally small and other than the huge clownfish selection, test of the fish are mediocre in quality. Some look good, some look poor.

I'd like to start a directory somewhere where people could rate a LFS on things like quantity of FW fish, quantity of SW fish, Quantity of corals, then another 3 rating for the quality of above. Additional rateables could be selection of dry goods, selection of new tanks on display and maybe some other items. Then over time if enough people rated, the ratings would not be biases. Ratings could be on a 1-5 scale then totaled in aggregate.

For me for example, AF has the biggest and best selection of SW fish, corals and dry goods hands down. But as we can see others have had issues with them.

Reef Encounter in Hackensack has a great selection of dry goods, some tanks and I'd say a medium size selection of SW fish. If I had to guess I'd say maybe 1/4 the size of AF but the selection is always nice, the tanks are clean and most fish look healthy. RE is my second choice for a LFS that I'm aware of.

Tropiquarium has not been mentioned here yet. They have a large dry good section, a good selection of tanks on display. The SW selection is bigger than RE but usually a little thin. Once very nice thing there is they always run a buy one, get one 1/2 off for fish. This can save you a lot of money if you're in the market for something expensive like a Chevron tang, adult French or Purple Tang. Today they had 3 medium Purple Tangs at $200 each so getting one at half off would be a great deal.

ACC I mentioned earlier. They are new, been open for I think a little more than a year and nearly right across the street from Tropiquarium. A bold move if you ask me. The fish selection is generally small, maybe a bit smaller than RE. Dry good is very limited which I suspect will grow as time goes on.

There's Aqua Oceans in Lakewood/Toms River. This guy (Steve) has been around for years. It's a very small shop, not much bigger than your family room with only about 8 small tanks with fish. Dry good is very limited too but he's got a following of customers (including me who stops in every few weeks to see what's new). He's very knowledgeable and gives great advice.

There are a few LFSs I've been to and won't return. I'll remain silent on these guys but one place had a small wall of SW fish. Some of the tanks were not lit and others were dimly lit with dying fish gasping for air. What a severe disappointment. Another despite the 450+ tanks of fish was unimpressive with the SW selection being very poor and what remained was quite unhealthy.

I have not heard of Aquatic Obsession in Avenel but it's on the way home so I'll definitely stop in and check them out soon...


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Old 06/02/2015, 05:10 PM   #8
isomorphic85
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wow ... was just planning on heading to absolutely fish in clifton nj in a couple days and then came across this post...

anyone have any recent dealings with them? I realize there pricey but if the quality and health of the fish is there it's worth it to me in the long run.


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Old 06/04/2015, 08:15 PM   #9
mskvarenina
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I'm a regular there. I really wouldn't say they are any more pricey than any other shop.

Usually they have a great fish selection and the coral selection is outstanding.

I also frequent Aquatic Obsession now in Avenel. This is a small shop but usually has some nice fish. If you subscribe to his mailing list you'll get an email once a week with a weekly special of an expensive fish at a deep discount.


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Old 06/08/2015, 08:32 PM   #10
isomorphic85
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I ended up purchasing 2 ocellaris clowns at absolutely fish last thursday.

first time there... experience has been pretty good so far.

Clowns didn't eat for a couple days but are finally coming around.

Sales associate I spoke with seemed pretty knowledgeable and pleasant to deal with.

Right now the 2 clowns in quarantine for observation so we'll see if anything shows itself.


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Old 04/26/2016, 08:50 AM   #11
REEF DOCG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brando457 View Post
Few stores off the top of my head that have better quality than AF.

Aquarium Care Center - Ocean, NJ
Aquatic Obsession - Avenel, NJ
Ultimate Corals - Jackson, NJ

AF has decent selection, but after battling a nasty bit of ich from their store I don't think I'll be shopping there again.

Also if you're looking to order online a store NYAquatic has good reviews.
Thank you for this information. I was about to make a trip there but these other places are a bit closer.


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Old 04/26/2016, 09:04 AM   #12
juniorrocketdad
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I go to absolutely fish fairly frequently, the staff are mostly very friendly and knowledgable, the fish. Can be a bit to a lot overpriced depending on the fish but there fish are always in excellent health so to me it is worth it considering u can't qt and have never gotten a sick fish from them in the last five years or so I have shopped there, there coral used to be seriously overpriced but has come down a lot and they get some nice pieces in now for decent prices, I would give them a hymns up on quality and wouldn't knock them to much on their price


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Old 04/28/2016, 10:18 PM   #13
PoeticInjustice
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Here's my Absolutely Fish story.

I used to go there a lot 3-4 years ago. Back then their corals are really on the expensive side. Their cheapest corals then are frags which iirc are like $30 and the selection is really bad, like they are not healthy corals. One day I pointed to one of the staff that one of the corals on their frag tank is dying beyond rescue, his response is, "That's why it is in the $30 tank." That was my last visit then and I never went back for 3-4 years.

Two months ago, I started visiting AF again and I noticed that their coral selections have improved tremendously. So I was visiting 1 to 2 times a week ever since. Two weeks ago, I was checking their green Mandarins and I told their "M-1 certified" staff that I have a spotted mandarin in my tank and asked their advice if I can introduce a green mandarin to my existing one. He told me to buy the fish and try. I said, what if they fight, I have no place to put the new fish in. He said, "well, if they fight, they fight." I can't believe my ears lol

I haven't returned since.


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Old 06/13/2018, 02:07 PM   #14
Cristinalouise7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemountain View Post
New to this site, and this is my first post. If you are making the pilgrimage to northern Bergen County NJ, try the Reef Encounter in Hackensack. They are very friendly and offer good advice. No where near the selection of fish and corals as Absolutely Fish, but just another alternative. For accessories, their prices are good, but for fish and live coral, Absolutely Fish has them beat.

D
Reef Encounters has been closed about 8 months now, I bought some catfish there and they died in 2 days and some small cichlids same died in 2 days.6/13/18 Absolutely fish we have had 50/50 with the fish and corals from them.If your willing to drive or are in Long Island on Old Country rd, westbury carle place area there is a saltwater fish store that is good.


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