I purchased a complete setup from this company and they came and installed everything - Custom tank with everything, fishes (4), corals, live rock & sand. Though priced higher than anyone else in the metroplex -- I thought I was a pretty good judge of character and trusted what was told to me and sold to me. Over $4000 out of pocket!
First 4 fishes ... one was dead the following day! I did question it's color as every yellowhead jawfish I had ever seen was no where near as pale the day they put it in the tank. The owner (Tommy) told me the color would come when it gets older. I never saw it the first day and when I did see it the following morning it's mouth was WIDE OPEN and it was struggling to breathe. Every few seconds it would just go around in circles until within an hour it had no life left. I called the LFS that set me up and sold me the fish. Was told, no problem, the fish would be replaced. I didn't want to go through that again and asked for credit on a different purchase. No problem, I am told by Tommy one of the 2 brothers that are owners -- I'll take care of you!
I'm confident and trusting at this point.
After several more purchases (sold stuff I didn't need but told *good to have* -- Tommy saw me as a sucker), ... and LFS testing of my water each visit. The LFS said all was good to add more fish. I purchased 3 more fish (tang and 2 bartlett anthias) -- (having to ASK for the promised credit from the first dead fish), the tang was dead the next day and the 2 anthias died the day after.
I called the owner same day the tang died and was told he would take care of me this time, but SORRY ... fishes die, it's part of life -- there's no guarantee fishes will live. REALLY ... 100% fatality rate???
On the second day, I went to the shop with the first dead anthias. Told the owner was on a service call and would be back between 1-2 pm. Fine, I'll wait as I just drove 1 hour. I asked the girls to get the owner on the phone for me to talk to and that is what I was told. I asked why he wouldn't talk to me and they said he is really busy. While I was waiting, 2 different staff tested my water and said it was really good. At 1:45 the owner calls in to have the girls tell me he won't be back until after 4 but would call me as soon as he returned. I left and returned home to the 2nd dead anthias and NO CALL back! I called back 4 different times in a one week period and he will not take or return my calls.
I've contacted 6 different LFS inquiring about their policy on fish dying right away ... ALL of them back their fishes ... one for only 72 hours ... but still will not just say too bad and steal my money.
When Tommy didn't return my calls the first time, I called LiveAquaria the following day and ordered 3 bartlett anthias ... next day delivery ... and they are now 10 days in their new home and thriving! Very healthy. ... to top it off, fish and coral purchased from LiveAquaria come with a 14 day arrive alive and stay alive guarantee. Even many eBay and Amazon sellers and private aquariums and online aquarium/fish businesses offer the same guarantee and this local shop has none -- ZERO!
Why is that? Are the fish offered at Mid-Cities Aquariums caught legally? I believe he is aware it is too risky ... that the death rate is too high! Yet the death rate at other shops is low and so they absorb the loss while keeping the customer happy.
What disturbs me even more is that I questioned the color on the anthias as well -- same day purchased. Was told when they get bigger, they get their color. I am already having doubts at this time, but set them aside. What a bunch of BS ... the two I received from LiveAquaria @ $70 (trio) were smaller than those I purchased for almost $150 from Mid-Cities Aquariums (inflated prices - sick fish). The fish from Mid-Cities Aquariums were pale yellow. The fish from LiveAquaria were deep yellow upper, bright pink under and pale blue fins. Really didn't look like the same fishes at all. Their behavior is sooooo different as well. That's how SICK the fish from Mid-Cities Aquariums were.
With this 3 fish purchase ... Tommy was OVER THE TOP and kept telling me/ warning me ... "do NOT let any of the water from the tang bag get into your tank ... it's okay if a little from the Anthias bag gets into your water, but do NOT let ANY water from the Tang bag into your tank." He told me this several times to the point of being scary.
In between my initial visit to the store and last visit to the store ... EACH time, I saw DEAD fish in the tanks! Most of the time I arrived at opening ... the last time was mid-afternoon. I pointed out a dead fish ... was told he was sleeping (LOL) ... NO movement, no gill movement, upside down tilted on it's side. Unbelievable!!!
While waiting the last time ... one of their other customers came in to inquire about fish he brought them to sell. This guy was told one had sold ... 2 didn't MAKE IT and the others were in various tanks. This customer was walking around with his wife ... after a few minutes and I was only 2 feet away ... he said to his wife ... "that's mine -- she said he didn't make it!" They whispered a little and finally he was upset and confronted the staff member who was a bit shocked and said she was "sorry, I assumed he didn't make it as I didn't see him in the tank he was in ... they moved him and didn't tell me." The customer let her off but came back over to his wife and said that he was taking the rest of his fish. THIS GUY lost complete trust when he knew he was LIED to. ........ Fish ALIVE, but tell this guy that it died -- sell it and pocket 100% of the profits on a fish this customer paid for. WOW! Is that a legal way to make money? NO --- it's called another way this company is a RIPOFF!
It makes no sense that they would not stand behind their fish unless they are aware or at a minimum unsure how their fish are captured or of illegal capture.
I've spent over 100 hours the past week researching possibilities, talking to reputable businesses and experienced hobbyist that have many years on me in this ... All my dead fishes symptoms, color and deaths are persistent with cyanide caught fish.
I am not done with this company until I've been made whole again, and they prove to me that they are obtaining their fish legally. What is there to hide? I'm making it my mission to make sure they don't hurt anyone else or any more fish.
Right now ... I can't get that information, nor my money or credit that he stated I would as he will not talk to me and was probably hiding in the back the day I waited almost 2 hours. -- LIAR & THIEF!
SAD!! -- I have never ever come across any company that does not stand behind what they sell until now with Mid-Cities Aquariums ... RIP OFF! Mid-Cities aquariums is just waiting for another ME to come along ... soak up what $$$ they can, then say bye bye and the cycle continues.
THROW AWAY several hundred dollars??? -- no, and I won't be ripped off! Buyer beware -- you've been warned!