Aquarium Misadventure


New member
So I was out on some sales calls out in the Schaumburg area this afternoon and had some free time on my hands so I thought I’d hit Beyond the Reef and Aquarium Adventure since it’s right next door. Go into Beyond and it’s what I expect to see, over priced fish with lots of issues. So I go into Aquarium adventure next (been months since I walked out laughing last time) and I am still shocked. They had $400 Harlequin Tusks (which didn’t look good), $100 flame angels, $130 Lopezi Tangs, $100 blue throat trigs, $150 blonde naso tangs, $50 cleaner shrimp. Also had some of the worst looks Zoas for $80 and up. This quite possibly the worst shop I’ve been to. What was really surprising, I was there for almost 20 minutes and there were few customers and no one ever asked me if I needed help, you’d think if you are charging outrageous prices you’d at least have some customer service.


RC Staff
Staff member
Re: Aquarium Misadventure

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9251231#post9251231 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jmick
What was really surprising, I was there for almost 20 minutes and there were few customers and no one ever asked me if I needed help, you’d think if you are charging outrageous prices you’d at least have some customer service.

You, clearly, have very bloated expectations of "customer service".



New member
I've never figured out the strategy these shops have........who is going to buy the extremely pricey stuff except for the people who are really into this hobby.........and do they think people who are really into this hobby only go to one single shop and pay retail prices and buy the first thing they see? The only person who does that is some newbie who is buying either a goldfish bowl or a Betta bowl, or else a starter 10 gallon kit from WalMart. The people who are really into reefkeeping are the ones who are members of local clubs, surfing the net, net forums, buying and trading among each other, buying group orders online from the other side of the country.

I guess in fewer words, anyone who would be in the market for that kind of product would also be knowledgeable enough not to pay those kinds of prices. So how do they expect to remain in business? Look how many people talk up the Rods and the Coral paradises etc etc. due to customer loyalty, fairness, training.

I still think a progressive store needs to partner up with an on-line dealer or two, and have a PC in their store, take orders with customers, and get in a shipment once a week, charge the customers the on-line rate with an add shipping fee, etc. The customer would pay a very small handling fee to the store, the store would get the bulk shipping rates but charge the individual shipping fees. The store would have more leverage than an individual in the case of complaints. Everyone would win. I would certainly order more live stuff in that kind of setup than I do now.

Ahhh.....vented.....I feel better now!......


New member
I've been to Aquarium Adventure and I agree with the conditions, prices and the impression of customer "service". In fact most of the help are apparently "kids" (no age bashing intended) and others who have no idea of what is what in the fish section. Nice large display tanks however and a good selection of different tank sizes and styles to compare.

And as far as the prices, etc at Beyond the Reef, welcome to the Schaumburg area where it seems alot of people have plenty of money, little knowledge, and quite frankly Scarlet an " I don't give a dam*" attitude as long as I have it in my rec room and it looks pretty. I know I can't shop there.


New member
The last couple of times I have been in Beyond the Reef, I have been asked if I needed help. I agree their prices on most things are quite high, but at least they were friendly.
As for my experience with Aquarium Adventure, I asked how much they were charging for 180 RR tanks. The lady looked them up in the book and said $400. I said, "Are you sure?" She said, "yep, we deal in large volumes so we can offer great prices." I said, "If you are sure, I'll take it." I get to the register with the tank on a dolley and it scans at about $700. I knew it was too good to be true, but I asked 3 times if she was sure. She went back and looked at the book and it was the price of the canopy. I walked out, irritated that they wasted my time.


New member
They had a nice single 'shroom on a rock for $59.00 the last (only) time I was in AA..

Nice layout, not a clue otherwise.



New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9253447#post9253447 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by craftytony
Aquarium adventure is pretty to LOOK at..... ;)

.....somebody has to pay for those nice looking displays


OT Godfather
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9256467#post9256467 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mm949
.....somebody has to pay for those nice looking displays

lol, are you talking about drrrrtyweenie?


New member
Anjhof's experience just goes to show the poor service. I work retail and if one of my employees or I make that mistake, we eat the markdown. While it is a chain I work for, every penny I mark down effects my bonus and raise. But I realize if I take care of this guest here and now, they will be back over the course of time and spend plenty of money. I would have no problems paying Beyond the Reef pricing in a store with Rod's, Ocean Floor, or Sea schor's service.(but I am glad we don't) AA is a franchise, the owner clearly needs help. I looked into the cost of the franchise and forget how much cash they want you to have, I want to say it was $300K. I'd love to see this guys buisness plan, and when he expects to make that up. I am pretty sure he has the ability to set his own pricing with in company guidelines. My guess is he does not understand the whole concept of sell more at a lower price, make more and wants to make it all back now.
We should develope a 12 step program for shop owners like AA
Step 1 We admit our prices are crazy and making sales poor
Step 2 We except that the consumer is greater than us
Step 3 We place our trust in fair market value
Step 4 We have our FMV clearly marked on our inventory
Step 5 Admitted the exact nature of our over pricing
Step 6 Removed our greed and replaced it with volume selling
Step 7 Asked our customer base to provide feedback to help remove poor service and selection
Step 8 Create a "loyalty list" and a program for those loyal
Step 9 Gave discounts and support to those who are loyal
Step 10 Continue to improve customer service and promtly correct any poor service situations
Step 11 Regularly reviewed our buisness and the hobby, to find ways to improve the hobby we are part of
Step 12 As a result of the above became a better LFS and shared this knowledge with other LFS

And what is a 12 step program with out step 13?
Step 13 Became deeply involved in the hobby and local clubs

My disclaimer is I mean no disrespect to those working the steps. If they work for you, work the steps!

A Reef Scene

New member
That mould be great. but there was a thread about AA and the starter said something about not even giving meds to sick fish. So I would not hold my breath about them eating the mix up on a price.


New member
Aquarium Adventure is a franchise and, as such, most likely has it's suppliers (livestock and otherwise) dictated to it. It is also unlikely to have much (any) discretion or flexibility in it's markup of livestock or dry goods. Not that this is an excuse for absurd prices and poor services, but just know the animal for what it is. That having been said, places like this are ripe for misidentified livestock. Shortly after they opened a friend of mine purchased a Bodianus masuda for $39.00. That, in my opinion, justifies the occasional stop by.


New member
Its funny becasue I also went to AA and Beyond the Reef during my lunch today. AA was just to look around as BTR doesnt open till 12:30 and we had 15 minutes to kill. AA is a place I can look around for awhile in but leave with nothing because of the prices.

BTR has cheap prices compared to AA. I always go there as they are very nice and helpfull. When I first started they helped me out by telling me what I was looking for was not a good idea for my lighting and would likely die. A place that looks after it's animals is a place I support!

In the NW Burns, where would you recomend going to for better prices? I wont stop going to BTR but I dont want to just be limited to that one store. I am in Palatine. Advanced Aquatics didnt really impress me that much. Plus, that place has gotten some bad reviews of late.

Plus, the owner is a fellow BullDog owner...


New member
Sea Schor is right down 68 in Buffolo Grove.
Not Far away is Lake in the Hills and Ocean's Floor