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Online Plant stores --- which is best??

5207 Views 29 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  opiesilver
Anyone have a suggestion or 2 for GOOD online venders for plants?
I know of several, but not sure which one I should go with, as there are a few species that I can't find at the LFS's, so online seems to be the only option.
How was your experience? How many times have you used them? How fast were they? Condition of plants? Comparable shipping charges?

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Have a look in the sponsor section of the forum. That's a good place to start...
When it comes to knowledge, service and support, Aquabotanic gets my vote hands down. Robert is also a champion in promoting the hobby in general through his active participation in the AGA which most other vendors don't even belong to.

To me that says Robert loves his work and wants others to enjoy it while other vendors would rather just make a buck off of it. has good cutomer service. If buying stem plants, though I'd wait till it gets warmer out to get better specimins. I got some really good anubias from them. If you are looking for supplies, they seem to have about the best prices on those.
As stated, you can't go wrong with most of the sponsors here.

Aside from them, I've had some of the best luck buying or trading with the members here. Just watch the classifieds and you can find lots of rare stuff.

And of course, I've had very good luck with all of the stuff I've gotten from Aquabid.
Lowcoaster (Charley), is one of them and he always has a huge selection and will special order for you. I've received a few orders from him, and the plants are good quality, the service is great, and the shipping is reasonable. :smile:

Not that I'm trying to sway you one way or the other, just giving you some of my experiences and options.
I have had good luck with private trades and know what you are getting when you do it that way.
I have received the best quality plants from others in the hobby, be it through trades, outright purchases, or Aquabid. I almost always receive longer, healthier, and a larger quantity than advertised by hobbyists.

The worst plants I have received have come from retailers. They are usually much smaller and in much worse condition than those received from hobbyists.

If you do get plants from a retailer, try one of the sponsors of this site, as already suggested. I have not used any of our sponsors so I cannot comment either positively or negatively.
I don't want to get too negative toward a sponsor, but let me just say that I will never make another purchase from (aka . PM me for the particulars if interrested. I will be glad to flame them off-post.

Someone advised me to trade with, or buy from a fellow hobbiest. No shipping if your close by, and you can see what you'll get - WITH NO POSSIBILITY OF SUBSTITUTIONS OR DECREASED QTY!

Well, it looks as if Mr. Russo is really making an effort to fix the problem with my order. I'll let you all know the results of his effort when I get the new box.

I hope everything turns out okay for you, Joe. :smile:

Does anyone have anything to say about They seem to have some nice plants for nice prices. Their 500ml Tropica Master Grow is nearly 2x the price as the one at, though. :-s
Well, I have bought plants from 3 on line stores (one a sponsor and two that are not sponsors). My strong advice: go with a sponsor, and in your order in the comments block, mention that you are a member of this forum. Can't hurt, and will probably encourage a bit better service if they know you are active in the community and might discuss your order on this forum.

Let me tell you my most recent experience with a on-line plant company that is not a sponsor:
1) I'm smart see, way to smart to screw something up like picking the wrong company, right? I'll make a spreadsheet! with all the plants I want listed in the left column, and the availability/price from four different stores in following columns.
2) What do you know, company X has the lowest price and has all the plants! And there shipping/handling is only 3 bucks!
3) I put all my plants in the electronic shopping cart, I'm ready to check out. Oops, minimum $35 order?!? Oh well, I will add a couple of other plants.
4) Whats this? the $3 is only the handling, the shipping will be calculated later and I will get billed separately? wtf?! oh well, I'll live with that.
5) Received my plants. Hmm, this Anubias Nana "petite" sure looks exactly like my regular Anubias Nana. Its just as big as a regular Anubias Nana.
6) Wow this baby tears is looking really ragged after only a day in my tank.
7) To their credit, the other substitution they did was simply giving me a larger, more mature version of the small sword plant I ordered.

Order from a sponsor.
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I have bought from alot of online stores. Florida driftwood, sent soem decent plants, cust service was horrible and it took 4 weeks to get them, alot of plants grown emersed. AAG is good, sent some decent healthy stuff, expensive to ship though even in state, also sends some emersed. is pretty good, decent selection decent healthy plants, good shipping. My best experience is still with the members here or aquabid, they have a better selection and quatity versus price is good. I know most members wouldnt sell unhealthy stuff. I have bought from a few others that I cant remeber right now. PM me if you have specific questions about a retailor.
Well, to Marcus' credit, he make good on my order. I received my replacement plants on Monday afternoon. I got 6 good healthy E. tenellus, each between 2 and 3 inches and well rooted. No snails, no substitutions. This has definitely gone a long way toward rectifying my perception of's reputation. The plants look great. Cant wait to see runners start spreading!

-joe is slow(1 month), but it was probably just my plant selection(four leaf clover), but it came with only a few dead leaflets. I'm pretty happt, the service was good.
Chiahead, the majority of ALL aquaria plants are grown emersed, commercially. You have to understand where the plants are coming from. The majority of plants in the USA come from Florida Aquatic Nurseries. The rest are imported either from Asian nurseries, (which are also grown emersed) or from africa where they are collected from the wild. No pet store or online dealer sells exclusively submersed grown plants. It would be impossible to mass produce plants submersed. But in most cases this is not a bad thing. Most emmersed plants ship better without damage and hold up longer under the sub standard conditions that newbie hobbyists most often provide.

Buying plants from other hobbyists that are trustworthy is a good thing and will always be a great benefit of the hobby, but no hobbyist can provide plants in bulk, offer much variety or a wide enough selection for someone to set up a new tank. It is a great way to find specific plants that may be difficult to other wise find, but not every newbie wants collector plants, and the most comon plants sold on Aquabid are often much more expensive than buying plants from online dealers. Aquabid and Ebay also has sellers that exaggerate the rareness of the plants or use names that I swear are made up.

I actually buy plants from hobbyists when I have the opportunity. My current Riccia supplier is a hobbyist. I have bought java moss, Micranthemoides, and all sorts of plants from hobbyists that are tank grown when someone can offer me a large enough quantity to make it worthwhile for me, but that is rare.

It is also illegall when people buy plants from someone outside the USA unless they provide a sanitary certificate and have the proper documentation.

If your Petite nana looks like normal nana, then its not the real thing. I have said this before. True petite nana appears to come from only one source, Oriental aquarium in Singapore. Before you buy any, ask the supplier if they import from Oriental aquarium. Then you wil know if you are getting the real thing, if they are honest enough to tell you.
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Thanks Robert, I would think your post will help clear a lot of misconceptions as to where the plants we enjoy so much are sourced and how.
Has anyone ordered from I like their Crypts and Swords, but I don't know how much shipping would be, or how their service is.
Sugarnails said:
Has anyone ordered from I like their Crypts and Swords, but I don't know how much shipping would be, or how their service is.
I ordered from there a year or two back. They have a huge selection and good quality plants. They have good prices if you are buying a lot of plants, but if you just buy a few plants their shipping and handling charges are pretty bad. Its a good site overall.
I've placed several orders with Aquarium Landscapes and have gotten very high quality plants and excellent service from them every time. Dr. Prescott's prices are a bit higher than you will see at other locations but his packing and shipping are top-notch and ensure that your plants arrive in great shape, regardless of the weather. Well worth it if you're placing a large order, IMHO.
I would stay away from AZGardens!! I am not going to get into why on the forum. If anyone is interested, you can PM me. Lets just say I delt with them 2 times and I will never go back. The plants were in good shape....that I will say. But sometimes its just more then product that will make you a patron of a company.
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