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Neighborhood Fish Farm
12150 SW 45th St
Miami, FL


I have to admit, they probably have among the nicest and healthiest plants in town although the variety is rather limited.

Plants include:
Alternanthera reineckii (red temple)
Hygrophila corymbosa v stricta (giant hygro)
Egeria densa (anachris)
Echinodorus bleheri (amazon sword)
Cabomba caroliniana (cabomba)
Limnophila aquatica (ambulia)

Occassional pots of Cryptocoryne (I got petchii once from them), Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, ozelot swords.

Carlos
 

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Exotic Aquariums
7399 Bird Road
Miami, FL 33155

Not to be confused with the other 2 aquarium/pet stores also on Bird Road within 3 miles this one. Exotic Aquariums is BRIGHTLY and flamboyantly painted with aquatic scenes over the entire exterior.

Of the 6 stores I have visted in the Miami area (4 lfs, one pet store chain, one super walmart with a fish selection), this was by far the best. I don't have enough experience to say if it is really good, but it was the best of the one's I visited.

Selection:: Big store. Marine, freshwater, reptile/amphibs

Plants: The most plants of the stores I visited. When I dropped in two weeks ago, I knew nothing about aquariums, much less the plants. I know a heck of a lot more now, and I seem to recall swords, crypts, anubias, and the mandatory anachris, hedge, etc. As for health: The anubias nana I purchased (without knowing a thing about plants at the time) looks just fine after two weeks in what can only be described as horrific plant conditions (baby LES turtle tank, high ammonia/nitrite, low light). (Don't yell at me, I am working on the water chemistry, and the turtles are tiny.)

Staff: Knolwedgeable and helpful. Clearly includes young enthusiasts as opposed to the typical "just need a job" kids with a bit of OJT. As for plant specific knowledge: I just dont know. The young guy who helped me was identified as "our plant guy". On the good side, he did recommend anachris, the anubias nana, and a hedge. Given my limited but improved knowledge now, I would say this was a pretty good recommendation given that they were going in a baby LES turtle tank. On the bad side, the other employee who helped me didn't know what Eco Complete was, much less where they kept it in the store. (Its underneath their multi-tiered plant tank, go figure)

I have no affiliation with this store.
 

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New LFS

While looking for LFS i found "Big AL'S" at Mc Nab & University, West of Ft. Lauderdale. The store is still being stocked but is very impressive. It could be 50,000 sq. ft. or larger. This is the same Big Al"s as in Canada,the First store in USA.I asked about plants and was told they were not in stock but he showed me a good size, 6 cascade tank set-up for plants.Our conversation discussed their source of plant material but he was not certain.
I'm Looking for Flourite and they had the best price i was able to find in this area.
 

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Good LFS for Plants

In answer to your post: I did not want to use that name but they indicated that was their plan "if enyough interest was generated".
I'm sure that i could get a rep, or you could, to come to our JUNE meeting,when we have it,(i'd like to come too).
 

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I went and visited Big Al's Last weekend and its a very nice store.
No plants yet but a nice selection of fish.
I found some Amano Shrimp at 5 for $10.00.
Eco-Complete $17.00 a bag, and good prices on just about everything.
Even though some things are more expensive than the web site.
 

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What about northern Florida?

I know it's not in the southern part of the state...but does anyone know of decent stores in the Jax/Mayport area?

Tanks,
Mike
 

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To update this post:

Big Al's is amazing. Insane selection of fish, you can't go wrong, and they actually quarantine fish on arrival, which is more than I can say about any of the big chain stores. Also sells African root driftwood at 4.99 a lb., tons of different rocks, Eco Complete @ $18 a bag, mounted driftwood--the works. The best selection of plants I've seen in South FL too--riccia mounted on driftwood ($11), glossotigma, lacy ferns, java fern mat ($25), ambulia, micro sword, the list goes on and on. They also sell the Red Sea CO2 system--I forgot the price, but you can certainly call and ask. It really made the looong ride for Pembroke Pines worth it!

Also a very big selection of coldwater goldfish and koi if that's your kinda thing.

I also want to put in a word for Fish's Paradise off Miramar Pkwy (Yellow Page it if you need too). Not much of a plant collection but some very nice fish, and you can trade in coral/plants/fish for store credit. Very nice people who know what they're talking about; I recommend it!
 

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i know the thread is old but incase anyone is wondering...

the co2 system is 26.99 at big al's my friend picked it up yesterday
 

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Hey S FL! I'm getting ready to set up a new 36 gal bowfront, but I live in the Keys and there's nowhere to shop. I usually order online, but see that there's a Big Al's in Tamarac and am thinking of driving up for a load of plants, followed later by a fish run. Comments about their selection of both? Your survival rate once you get home?

Are there any other LFSs in S Florida that would be worth a 2 1/2 hour drive to check out? I hope to get some dwarf cichlids, so if there's anybody who offers a big cichlid variety it could be helpful.

Thanks!
Jeanette
 

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Hey Jeanette!

Big Al's is REALLY impressively huge. It's a warehouse as big as a supermarket in there! I went there almost a year ago so I can't remember specifics but they had a pretty good plant selection; I remember some different plants attached to rock and wood (esp. Java and riccia mats) glossotigma, lacy ferns, java fern mat ($25), ambulia, micro swordas well as others plants (about 20 diff varieties but probably more). You actually go to the plant desk and order what you want with a little sheet of paper and then one of the employees will walk around with you and you pick out what you want.

When I was there I think I got 8 rummy noses, plants, wood (they have a big selection). Everything is still alive in the tank so I would say the survival rate was very good.

If you're looking for cichlids, I got some from Bolivian rams which are still very healthy from Fish's Paradise off Miramar Pkwy. There's also a nice selection of German rams. If you need more info, feel free to ask :)
 

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Thanks evesorange. Sounds like Fish's Paradise isn't too far from Big Al's so I'll check it out. I wish Big Al's would post their inventory on line. I guess I'll call them before I drive 2 1/2 hours one way!
 

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Keys,

To be totally honest there really isn't any good plant selection at any of the LFS in our area. The last time I was at Big Al's it was a big aglae filled mess. I think they were in the process of improving as they were going through a management change but I still wouldn't trust it. IMO the absolute best place for plants, meaning I will never buy a plant anywhere else, is on this website. Check out the For Sale forum and you will most probably find any plant your pretty little heart desires (and then some).

I also wouldn't recommend driving all the way up to Big Al's without calling and making sure they have at least some of the fish you have in mind. It is reeaalllyyyy far from you and it would suck if they didn't have what you wanted. You may want to get an idea of the style and layout of your tank before going to buy fish. Trust me I speak from experience! I have made the drive up there, found a whole bunch of fish that looked cool, bought them and then found out they wouldn't work with my specific water chemistry or they were a lot harder to keep happy than I expected.

It is defenitely a cool store and if you need any equipment and such they have great prices. I am not saying don't go to it but have a plan before you drive 2 hours. Fish's Paradise is actually a lot closer and they do have a great selection of fish available. Not as many as Big Al's but they are all very healthy.

Good luck and welcome to the planted side. I am in Miami so if you have any questions I might be able to help.

Eve, how are the congos doing? Hope everything is well with you.
 

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I agree. Unfortunately, we have THE largest aquarium plant grower in Ft. Lauderdale but not ONE store that sells decent plants on the retail side.
 

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Thanks guys. I won't be setting up the tank until the end of August, so by then it'll be the best thought-out tank in the Keys! When I get closer to the set-up date I'll call Big Al's & Fish's Paradise to see if they've got what I want. I already have a list of possibles based on the parameters of my existing 7 gal planted desk-top tank. Substrate & water source will be the same, so they should be close. I'm not opposed to ordering fish on-line, but it's always better to see them live IMO since photos never do them complete justice. We have a LFS but I use the term loosely: it's really a bird store that happens to sell fish, but their selection is sad. In the 5+ years I've been going in, the most exotic thing I've seen is a dwarf gourami, and they don't even stock those on a regular basis.

I agree that the forum here is the best for plants, but you can't always get what you want, when you want it, in the quantity you need it! Will be keeping an eye out closer to set-up time.
 

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hiya folks new to the forum here.....i live in Dania been to big Al's its impressive.. i recommended..here the problem I'm having hope you guys can help.

i have already set up a 40 gallon tank.. started with fake plants..but after several weeks i decided to add live plants ( amazon sword java fern).. but here is the problem. my tank was not set up for live plants there only sitting on gravel. and there beginign to die on me. how can i add dirt or sand to the tank without having to move the gravel out and place the dirt or sand under the gravel?.. and im hving lots of issues with my pH balance..i done several water changes but its still on a 6.0 level very very acidic.


Hope you guys can help me.

P.s stay away from pet supermarket in Hollywood. I purchase 6 neon tetras 6 black neon tetras, and i only have left 3 neon and one black neon, fished bout ick with them. :laser::rolleyes:
 

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If you don't want to make the drive, a good site to order from is in Ellenton Fl.

WWW.N-ECICHLIDS.COM

They have a wide selection of fish and their prices are really good. They also have very nice plants. Shipping rate for Florida is $15.00. Their cichlids are beautiful.
 

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I went to big als off of mcnabb and university about 2 months ago and they had really sweet plants. I asked the guy working what the deal was about getting custom orders and he told me that it is easily done but you have to talk to some guy that works Tuesday and he places their plant orders and they said its no problem to get whatever you want. I know they deal mostly with Florida aquatic and their plants are amazing. I'm going next Tuesday to see if I can get a few hundred worth of plants, i'll let you guys know how it goes.
 
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