new fish - LFS of Mail Order?


New member
I am looking to add some new fish to my reef. I lost a couple of fish about 6 months ago to a chiller mishap, and just recently lost a PJ whom I had for 6 years, not sure the cause, but I would assume either crab related or natural causes, as he was pretty old.

Anyways, I've been perusing the various LFSs over the last few weeks to get a feel for the situation and see what was being offered. I've noticed a pretty bad selection, and lots of sick fish. Maybe I am just lucky in the timing of my perusal, but as it stands now, I don't think any fish I'd get locally would fare well. At the least I'd be guarunteed to break out the black bag and play QT doctor.

Would I be better off ordering online?

What are some good etailers for fish?

Here is what I am looking at, please feel free to provide some guidance:

2 Banggais

4 neon gobies (two gold, two blue)

1 wrasse (not sure which one, but one that does not grow more than 4 inches long)

1 anthias (again, a smallish anthias)

Any recommendations?

Here is what I have

2 PJ Cards

1 Tomato Clown

1 Diamond Goby

1 Watchman Goby

1 Royal Gramma
Most people usually do not order fish from the internet, because it is hard to order enough fish to justify shipping, and depending on the size of the tank, to many fish at once can overlaod the tank. I would say go with the LFS. Plus you get to see them before you purchase them.
I'm not worried about shipping costs, and I QT so I am not concerned with overwhelming the bio filter.
Liveaquaria is great, I have 16 fish in my tank and 14 of them are from Liveaquaria. All of them arrived in great condition and started eating within a couple days if not immediately.
If your LFS has what you are looking for get it there. That is if you have a good LFS, you should support them.
Because you know specificaly what you want, I would order online. Liveaquaria and Marine Depot Live seem to be the biggest two as far as ordering fish. I also would suggest a lyretail anthias, I have one in my 75 gallon and he is doing great. Some anthias can be hard to get eating, but I had no such problems with mine. has been out of business for years. They are now part of dr's foster and smith......
If the guy goes to the LFS and all his fish are sick or look sick then I don't see why he would support them. When I go to one of the LFS's and see dead fish in all there tanks it doesn't inspire me to support them and take a chance. I would order online if I didn't have a choice.
That's right. I want to buy from the LFS, then I can pick out the fish, have more control. I live in the NY Tri State and usually the stores are decent when it comes to corals, but the fish over the last few weeks look pretty bad, lots of flashing, and whatnot. So I wanted to know how others felt about ordering online.
i've had good success with petsolutions. They usually have 20$ shipping to! I have tried many online retailers, and i would buy from my LFS anyday.. granted they are really good and take care of everything.

If your only choice is online then i would go with petsolutions or liveaquaria. I dont like marinedepot or aquacon.
I usually purchase fish at the LFS so I can see their condition first. I took a chance and ordered a Powder Brown Tang from Vivid Aquariums (an RC vendor.) The fish arrived alive and well, with no noticable diseases or parasites. It's in QT right now, and began eating the very first day. I would most definately order from them again.
Too bad you don't have a quality LFS, if I didnt I would do the same thing. You may want to find your local reef club and try to put together an order with others, spread out the cost of shipping.

I feel very fortunate living in Atlanta, we have some great LFS here.

You may want to try for fish as well. I have known many to be happy with them.