Monday, March 11, 2013

Interesting Reef Finds at PetSmart?!

"Grabber Tool"
I know PetSmart has the reputation of being a "newb" spot... and with reason... However, we all know that any "advanced" hobbyist going to PetSmart for aquarium advice is probably not as "advanced" as they claim to be online (internet trolls), and I've been to plenty of Mom-and-Pop local fish stores (LFS) that dispensed the worst advice possible. I have a general distrust of many LFS as often they have incentives to sell you incompatible livestock and supplies you don't need. That's just me, and I know there are MANY great LFS out there (when you find a good one, stick with them and keep them in business!)... That said, I go to PetSmart primarily for dog supplies. I then tend to drift into my old stomping grounds, the fish department.

As I mentioned in my freshwater fish post, I made a trip to PetSmart for some dog food for Corks, my English Cocker Spaniel (it's a tough guy dog, I know). During my side trip to the fish department, I had to do a little browsing of hard goods. I was surprised to see a decrease in additives and medications offered, but a couple of neat items in the 4 foot saltwater section caught my eye.

The first item that I noticed was an aquarium grabber device. The item was branded as TopFin, PetSmart's house brand of bargain priced aquarium supplies and tanks. The item was called "Aquarium Tongs". While plastic and not of superior quality, the price was only $9.99. This is much cheaper than many other items on the market, and not a bad entry price if the item holds up to some use. To be fair, I didn't use it so I can't comment on the quality other than to say they were plastic as opposed to Aluminum found in many other brands.

Aquarim Epoxy - "HoldFast"

The next item was an aquarium epoxy from Instant Ocean. This was sold as "HoldFast". It is similar to Aquastik from Two Little Fishes, but at only $6.99 price point. While the price is good, the color was a greenish color**, so I imagine it's not going to look as nice as the Coraline purple color. It looks very similar to putty you would find at the hardware store.

** Correction: (03/13/2013): Update, I have been informed that the HoldFast dries a grayish white color, so not green like I had imagined.

Reef Crystals from Instant Ocean

The last item I saw was Instant Ocean Reef Crystals salt mix. The 160 gallon (5 gallon bucket) was available for $59.99. While the price wasn't really anything spectacular, it's nice to see that in a pinch, you have options. Before, PetSmart only offered Oceanic salt and Kent Marine, so I was surprised to see a popular reef salt in stores at an affordable price.

If you're a diehard hobbyist like me, no aquarium section is off limits for browsing! While PetSmart's saltwater section is quite lackluster, it appears to have some new items offered to the saltwater hobbyist. While I still buy my supplies online from Marine Depot, it's always fun to shop around and see what is available from the big box guys. Until next time...

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