New to Area - Reefing 8 years

Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

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New to Area - Reefing 8 years

Postby Christianjock07 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:00 am

Greetings all,

My wife and I recently relocated south of Madison in August for her teaching position. Prior to the move I left behind my 75g setup and donated it to a private school auction. However, I didn't get rid of everything and looking to get started once again with my small 29 HQI Nano setup. It's small, but have to restart somewhere. I've had various setups over the years 75 - 210g. I did softie tanks, lps/sps mixed tanks and everything in between. My plan for the Nano will primarily be a softie tank once I feel it's stable, although with the HQI I have successfully maintained some lps/sps. The reason I sought out MARS is in the past I visited the forum on TRT and saw MARS now has a dedicated forum.

So questions I do have since I do not know anything of the Madison area (I'm located in Lancaster (Grant County)) are where would the closest LFS be located to me? Does anyone know of any LFS in Dubuque and/or south of Madison? I'm looking to purchase some LS and maybe a small <5lb piece of LR just to seed since I have around 200lbs of base/dry rock leftover from previous tanks. I'm trying to avoid the huge shipping bills from Fosters and Smith or other web stores, so really hoping there are some local within 1hr of my location.

Also, once I'm up and established I see there is a swap meet at times, so I'm hoping there will be folks that may be willing to trade some frags for equipment. I'm sitting on a few MH 175 and 250 ARO ballasts that was used for testing for less than 25hrs which I'll never use. Also other various equipment for trade, but that would come in time.

For now, if I'm unable to locate an LFS, perhaps there is someone close by that would be willing to offer a cup or two of LS and a piece of LR for cheap.

Thank you for your time and look forward to chatting away!

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Re: New to Area - Reefing 8 years

Postby RDtrack on Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:48 am

Probably the closest LFS to you on the southwest side of Madison is Living Art Aquarium. If you read some of the other post on this site you'll see the quality of this LFS.

Just a little bit on Living Art. They have a great selection of fish and normally have some more of the unusual ones. Corals leave a bit to be desired. As for live rock they normally keep a good selection in stock (they just received a large inventory yesterday).

Overall I would strongly recommend them and they are the best one in Madison (sorry Pet World and Animart).
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Re: New to Area - Reefing 8 years

Postby gone fishin on Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:49 pm

Hi there I just moved here back in the spring. I was at living art today and got a flasher wrasse and a royal gramma for the 180 I just started stocking. The only three LFS I have found in the area is living art, pet warehouse and animart. I think living art is the best choice. Every time I am in animart I always see dead livestock in the tank and it turns me off. Good luck in you search. If you find any others let me know.
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Re: New to Area - Reefing 8 years

Postby MadCityReefer on Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:48 pm

+1 for Living Art best fish selection around. If you make it out to Milwaukee don't forget top hit up Best Fish!!
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Re: New to Area - Reefing 8 years

Postby MM on Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:03 pm

I shop all three stores from time to time. I have gotten nice things from all three. - Mark
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Re: New to Area - Reefing 8 years

Postby SPSKeeper on Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:39 pm

I'll be totally honest but this is just my experience ~

Living Art has the healthiest live stock around as far as LFS's go, period. It might seem expensive but knowing the animals are healthy is worth it's weight in gold although their coral selection is mostly softies and LPS. The best thing about Living art is that in the 6 or 7 years I've been going there I have never had to dip or quarantine one single thing, ever(not kidding).

Pet World has a very good selection for corals although they culd be under better lighting. Would never ever buy a fish there.(not trying to be mean, just honest)

Animart has had it's ups and downs just like everyone else, it is improving with Krista in charge. Not a whole lot of sought after softies but that's the nature of supply and demand. Why get in product that doesn't move quickly? Every now and then I see some cool softies or others that are a tad expensive BUT Krista always gives good deals. Sticker price is not always firm which is nice but I do dip everything that I get from them, have not had much trouble with the corals and inverts from them. Very happy experience every time.

I had to save the best for last :mrgreen:

Beef's Reef, aka(Beefy) does wholesale out of his basement in Milton and has some of the coolest corals for such great prices. Everything from LPS, softies, zoas, a GREAT selection of SPS's which is unmatched anywhere. Every time I go to his house I have always over spent and never went home unhappy. In fact some times I really feel bad about the deals he gives me but he is so freakin nice he just counts it off as another coral to make someone happy, he always says he'd rather lose a few bucks to make someone happy than see someone walk away unsatisfied. He sold me the exact same coral on divers den, an A. abrotanoides( ... did=164917) for a very reasonable price, that means more to me than anything. He heard my voicemail(just strumming on the acoustic) and the next thing I know he pulls out his and just starts jamming on it(ya, you can't tell me you don't know how to play buddy). He is a very sociable happy guy, so glad I got the honor to meet him thanks to Jelly. The only unfortunate thing about Beefy is that not a lot of people know about him and I will always encourage people to go over and take a look at his set-ups. If anyone is actually interested his number is 1-847-757-6289 (I hope this is Ok with the admin, not trying to be sneaky or anything but just giving my honest opinion)
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