How to Choose a Pet Store?

While researching and planning our saltwater aquarium, it has been recommended in our reading that we find a quality aquarium retail store to help us with our endeavor. But how to choose a Pet Store among the many out there?


The first thing to look for in a pet store is qualified staff. This might be difficult to determine at first as you may not know a lot about saltwater, but once you start researching and learning more you will know what questions to ask the staff, and what answers to expect. If you bring up a topic related to saltwater and can have an actual pros and cons conversation with the staff member, you will know that that pet store is hiring competent staff. Staff that have their own saltwater aquariums are great to soon be able to relate to.

The second thing to look for is healthy fish and corals. Even if the pet store you are visiting has a small amount of product and livestock, if their fish and corals are healthy then they are doing a good job and know how to take care of aquarium life. However, knowing what a sick fish or coral looks like might take some time to identify, but once you are used to looking at healthy animals you will be able to easily spot the unhealthy.

Choosing our pet store was an easy choice for us since we became fascinated with owning a home saltwater aquarium from visiting an aquarium store in Lansing, Michigan called Preuss Pets.

They are known for their saltwater fish and have hundreds of specimens to choose from, as well as all the equipment to get started and maintain an aquarium. But most importantly they have some very knowledgeable staff that have owned and operated their own saltwater aquariums for years and have a passion for it. This is crucial for those that have never even owned an aquarium, let alone a saltwater one. There will be many times when you will have problems and will need suggestions from someone who has owned and operated a similar system, not just a pet shop staffer with a “quick-fix-buy-this” solution. Even the hour drive will not deter us from making this our “go-to” store.

How to Choose a Pet Store?

Steve is our “go-to” guy at Preuss Pets. He has been vital in our decision making and spent more than two hours with us last weekend picking out equipment and discussing options, as well as teaching us newbies what we need to know to get started. What I love most about the Preuss Pets experience is that staffers like Steve love to talk and inform people about the hobby. They take the time to talk with you and teach you even if you aren’t buying anything. This is not the first time we have worked with Steve, and each time we have learned something new and became more captivated by the the idea of becoming aquarists. Thanks Steve!

How to Choose a Pet Store?

If you plan on visiting Preuss Pets be sure to have plenty of time available. They are a very busy place and one can easily spend two hours just walking around admiring all the coral and fishes!

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