Durham >Triangle Tropical Fish
Triangle Tropical Fish is a great local fish store. They really do have the best prices on fish and supplies, often times even less than the national stores. Not only that, the owners and employees are friendly and helpful -- more so than other places you might venture to. I also like that their fish are very healthy and happy. In many of their freshwater tanks, it's not uncommon to see babies as well as adult fish, a sure sign that the livestock is happy and healthy.
A Good Fish Store that could be Great.
To preface- I will mainly be speaking to the stores freshwater selection.
First, the good: This is the best freshwater fish store in the Durham area. In terms of fish, the store carries the usual suspects (tetras, danios, angelfish, barbs, etc) as well as some harder to find species. The fish are happy and healthy and are generally of the live variety which is more than I can say for other chain fish stores in the area. Triangle Tropical also has a healthier and more varied assortment of freshwater plants than its competition. There smallish dry good section also has some tough to finds items and brands.
And now the bad: I do agree that the store is a bit dingy and sad. The lighting is very poor, the many tanks that are empty (mainly in the saltwater section) seem dirty and unkempt, the dry goods section isn't close to fully stocked and the staff don't offer a whole lot of assistance. There is some algae (which while unsightly is not an indicator of poor aquarium health) and are even a few little fishy skeletons lurking between some of the walls of tanks. While I know that chasing that overly-energetic fish that jumped out of the water and fell behind a 200lb 20g tank ain't fun, in this case it really must be done.
The reason I say that this store could be great is that remedying these issues would be fairly easy. A thorough cleaning, some new lights, new floor layout and a more proactive staff would make this place shine. They also need some more show tanks as this is what draws people in to the store and gets them excited about the hobby.
While I wait for my sage advice to be acted upon, this store will still be where I go for quality fish and plants.
Depressing Store. So I'm new to the Durham area having relocated from Michigan and was looking to find some new LFS (local fish stores). Having read these reviews (although old) - I decided to make the trek to the other side of town. Wow was it a HUGE disappointment! This store summed up in one word... DEPRESSING. My husband and I now refer to it as the Fish Graveyard because I'm sure that's where fish go to die. The store is dark (no windows), with rows and rows of aquariums. Perhaps in it's glory days it was full of beautiful sparkling aquariums. Not so much these days. 70% of tanks were not being used. The water was stagnant, the lights were off and algae was growing everywhere. The tanks that were in use still were covered in algae, the fish were all diseased and it frankly was super sad for a fish lover like myself. I couldn't believe my eyes. Aside from the fish being diseased and in terrible water conditions - the dry good selection was as my husband put it, "A joke". The store is on the larger side compared to stores back in Michigan. But it was empty and looked like any day now they will be out of business. There were a couple of cool, used, empty tanks near the front door but that was it. 3 people were working the day we went and we were offered no help. When we left empty handed (we went expecting to purchase a LOT of stuff) we weren't even offered a "thanks for coming." Perhaps they don't want business? All in all, this store is dying literally and figuratively. I figured if you owned an LFS you would have passion for fish but it was not apparent in the care of their stock or the customer service. Fair Warning: AVOID THIS PLACE!
Bit Dingy. First of all, no warranty on corals. Don't know if that is the custom in this business but given the prices charged, it's a real gamble. Place is dark and dingy. However, quality of fish,both freshwater and marine are top notch. Some of the staff need education. One chap only knows freshwater. Asked a question about a coral and he was clueless. Friendly enough, but there's limited help and they should be up to speed on what they sell.
Unfair. I would like to write a response to mikerr. I am the "employee" with which he speaks of. However he is untruthful in his writing. He purchased the AquaC Urchin Pro at an awesomely discounted price of 199.99, against my recommendation. I measured it for him to ensure that it would fit inside his sump, he said he thought it would. I recommended a different protein skimmer but told him that the AquaC had a good reputation. He decided, after looking online, that the AquaC was the skimmer for him. Now, he should have measured his space before he tried to put it in his sump, that is not my fault and I will not be unjustly accused. At Triangle Tropical Fish we try to sell quality products at reasonable prices. How would someone feel if they purchased the protein skimmer he returned with water stains in it? I'm very sorry that he is so angry but this is not my fault. He also did not want to "exchange" for anything else, he just wanted his money back. I would not punish another customer for his mistakes. We are more than happy to take returns on items that are in the same condition that they are sold in.
Unreasonable! Poor Business Ethics. I recently went to Triangle Tropical Fish and had the worst experience. I highly suggest you choose another store to accomodate your aquarist needs. The older women that is the store owner has the worst ethics when it comes to doing business. I tried to return a $200+ protein skimmer two days after I bought it and was denied a full refund. I bought this skimmer only after consulting with one of the store employees who assured me that I could use it after I told them about my tank set up. I took the skimmer home and rinsed it (step one in the directions). When I got further down the instructions I was surprised to find out I couldn't use this skimmer at all. When I tried to return it, the store owner said that that I could only get a 75% refund because it was used. I told her I only rinsed it and never hooked it up. She reiterated, "it's used" I told her the only reason I bought this skimmer was because her employee assured me I could use it. She stated again, "It was used " and that 75% is all I would get back. I thought this to be ridiculous since I only rinsed it in water and that I bought it because they recommended it. I asked to see the refund policy. She stated, "I don't have to have one". At this point I was feed up and walked out. What is apparent is her acumen for business is below poor and she does not care for her customers. Triangle Tropical Fish has lost a new customer. All I wanted was a refund or the opportunity to swap out for a skimmer for one that would work with my set up. Save your self some money, time and fustration and go to a store that has employees that are knowledgeable about their products and value the customers.
Best Fish Store Ever. This is by far the best fish store I have ever been in. They have a large selection of fish, corals, plants and products I've ever seen in a small family owned operation. The owners are almost always there and helpful. The rest of the staff are just as knowledgable. They have a great selection of fish foods, fresh, frozen or dried. I would never go elsewhere, I always get just what I need there at a good price.
excellent EXPERIENCED service, freshwater plants and fish!!!. We have kept wet critters for 41 years. drove 45 minutes from north Chatham county to visit this fish store - well worth the trip! they have the cleanest fish tanks we've seen in an established store. The fish stock was mature and colorful and looked well fed, NOTHING like the ratty fish at the big-box stores. the store is small but stuffed with goodies. excellent freshwater plants - bought a giant aponogeten ulvaceous with a bud ready to bloom, great price. we bought 3 mid-size Turquoise Australian Rainbows with excellent blue color, full bellies, all active swimmers, also very good price. finally, we walked out with a Coralife Aqualight - 48 inches, with 2 compact florescent bulbs in, total of 130 watts, yowee zowee do my plants love it! fish look gorgeous with this light, too! the price for the light was less than the online discount pet stores charge when you add in the shipping. excellent buy! check this place out !
Top Shelf for fish and friendly knowledgable service. I have done business with this store for almost 20 years and have never regretted it. They have all of the down home charm of a family owned business with all of the experience of a large mega store. Their plants, fresh water fish, salt water fish and invertebrates are always in good health because they are hand picked by the owner from their distributor. They have top of the line food weather it be fresh, frozen or commercial brand. Their supplies are of the best quality. If they don?t have what you are looking for they are always willing to order it for you. They know their fish and always try to help the hobbyist learn and enjoy at the same time. An experience well worth the trip.
Tiny..and i do mean tiny. They do not have a big seletion of corals, fish or live rock. They didnt have frozen or live foods. the employees were not friendlt but not mean either, just not helpful at all really. I would not travel back to Durham for that again
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