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View Full Version : LFS worth a visit across the border?


rishu_pepper
01-15-2015, 02:57 AM
Heading down to the US this weekend, doing some grocery shopping at Costco and what not.

Are there any LFS worth visiting that's relatively close to the border (not all the way to Seattle), maybe 1 - 1.5 hour from the border?

Myka
01-15-2015, 03:00 AM
Is it even worth shopping in the US with the dollar so crappy?

rishu_pepper
01-15-2015, 03:04 AM
Is it even worth shopping in the US with the dollar so crappy?

Oh I don't think I'll buy any aquarium stuff. Groceries and gas are still winners in 'Murica though.

Would love to see some nice fish/coral, just window shopping. :)

Myka
01-15-2015, 03:09 AM
I was actually commenting on the groceries/gas more than aquarium stuff. What's gas in Coquitlam these days? I just filled up at Costco on Sunday and it was 76.9 cents per liter. I know my buddies in the US were complaining when they were paying $4/gal and we were at $1.30 and I was like "you guys have no idea". :lol:

rishu_pepper
01-15-2015, 03:13 AM
I just filled up today and it was at 101.9. Right under $40 full tank for my little Mazda.

Haha well, some goods in Costco in the US is just so much cheaper than us, and the quality is better too (Costco-brand food for example).

In totally unrelated news, the Onyx clowns are doing very well, Mindy! Eating brine, mysis, NLS, anything, and almost never leaves the sebae. The blacks are colouring up a bit more too. :biggrin:

christyf5
01-15-2015, 03:15 AM
I think gas is about 75 cents a liter across the border but on vancouver island were at 99.9. I would imagine its about the same on the mainland, a bit cheaper at a costco gas station there (if you can find one). I think gas is one of the last "cheap" things you can find in the US, even if at par I found a lot of the products had the same numerical price as here at home. You can't beat the shopping selection down there though :biggrin:

Ryanerickson
01-15-2015, 04:02 AM
If your Grocery shopping you can't bring chicken and egg back right now 😀

Myka
01-15-2015, 04:41 AM
I just filled up today and it was at 101.9. Right under $40 full tank for my little Mazda.

Haha well, some goods in Costco in the US is just so much cheaper than us, and the quality is better too (Costco-brand food for example).

In totally unrelated news, the Onyx clowns are doing very well, Mindy! Eating brine, mysis, NLS, anything, and almost never leaves the sebae. The blacks are colouring up a bit more too. :biggrin:

Doesn't Costco in Coquitlam have Costco brand? Costco here is full of Costco brand stuff, you're right it's good quality. Love their meats. I'm surprised your gas is so much higher than here. I thought it was crazy when it dropper below $1.00 but now it's the same price I paid when I was in highschool (in mid-90s).

Awesome the Clowns are doing so well! They should color up in the next few months. :)

rishu_pepper
01-15-2015, 07:00 AM
If your Grocery shopping you can't bring chicken and egg back right now 😀

Really? No eggs? Never heard of this. Is this a recent regulation?

Doesn't Costco in Coquitlam have Costco brand? Costco here is full of Costco brand stuff, you're right it's good quality. Love their meats. I'm surprised your gas is so much higher than here. I thought it was crazy when it dropper below $1.00 but now it's the same price I paid when I was in highschool (in mid-90s).

Awesome the Clowns are doing so well! They should color up in the next few months. :)

Coquitlam Costco has Costco brand foods but the US Costco stuff is better. For example, their tortilla chips are far superior than our stale offerings. One of my favourite items, pickled asparagus, is $8 USD for two bottles, while here it's like almost $7 for one bottle... I literally wolf those down, had my folks pick up 10 for me last month lol.

Another reefer just came by to pick up some rocks and he was surprised at how "cheap" I got the clowns for ;) We named them Kessie and Bo.

So... after almost one page, still no suggestions on LFS across the border lol :lol:

Samw
01-15-2015, 07:05 AM
Barrier Reef is worth a visit.

http://www.barrierreefaquariums.com/

Remember, you can't bring back stuff that are on Cites. This includes most corals that have skeletons (SPS, LPS) and some other endangered animals. Check the list to be sure.

Ron99
01-15-2015, 07:09 AM
Barrier Reef and Oceans by Design are both great but in Seattle. If you are looking in Bellingham there's only Crystal Reef Aquatics. They are small (they are in one quarter of a larger store dedicated to hydroponics) but good. If you stop in tell them Ron said hello :)

Myka
01-15-2015, 02:16 PM
Another reefer just came by to pick up some rocks and he was surprised at how "cheap" I got the clowns for ;) We named them Kessie and Bo.

Well that's interesting. Tell him I can double the price if he's interested. ;) In all seriousness though, tell him to send me a PM if he is interested in a pair.

rishu_pepper
01-15-2015, 02:39 PM
Well that's interesting. Tell him I can double the price if he's interested. ;) In all seriousness though, tell him to send me a PM if he is interested in a pair.

I'll let him/anyone know if they're ever looking for good, healthy clownfish to come your way. Then I'll get a finder's fee :wink:

The Guy
01-15-2015, 02:55 PM
I filled up in Lynden last night @ 199.9 per gallon it's about 30% cheaper even with the money difference, worth the trip.

SeaHorse_Fanatic
01-15-2015, 06:16 PM
Costco & Fred Meyer in Bellingham are down to $1.89/gallon which works out to just under $0.60/liter with the exchange rate.

Myka
01-15-2015, 06:59 PM
Costco & Fred Meyer in Bellingham are down to $1.89/gallon which works out to just under $0.60/liter with the exchange rate.

:eek:

gobytron
01-16-2015, 12:03 AM
Wouldn't you be visiting for the better selection rather than better pricing where livestock is concerned?

I've never shopped for aquaria in the states, but I always just assumed they have a better offering overall...

SeaHorse_Fanatic
01-16-2015, 12:43 AM
Wouldn't you be visiting for the better selection rather than better pricing where livestock is concerned?

I've never shopped for aquaria in the states, but I always just assumed they have a better offering overall...

Normally this would be true but he's only going to be hitting smaller towns/small urban centers where the number of LFS & the selection will be a lot more limited compared to a major US city.

gobytron
01-16-2015, 12:53 AM
I would still think with US importation laws and better locally bred offerings, even at a smaller, rural aquatic store you've got a pretty good chance of seeing something you might not on this side of the border.

Would a store have stock more similar to Canada's just because it's in a smaller town?

I would think that anywhere close to the border would try to have SOME unique livestock for those making the trip across the border...

Disappointing if not the case.

SeaHorse_Fanatic
01-16-2015, 01:04 AM
I think it would really depend on whether the LFS has a person who is very dedicated to ordering unique species or someone who generally orders the "bread & butter" fish like clowns, damsels & yellow tangs.

Just found ad on CL for:

Crystal Reef Aquatics in Bellingham. Maybe check that one out and let us know if its any good.

jhj0112
01-16-2015, 01:15 AM
you can also try Clark's feed and seed in Old bellingham downtown. they have some salwater fishes/corals..

Ron99
01-16-2015, 01:42 AM
Clark's is terrible. Not much in terms of decent dry goods. just low end stuff. I wasn't super impressed with their livestock either. Julian and Colin at Crystal Reef are enthusiasts. They had some nice stuff when i was in there last and could probably order in anything you needed.

rishu_pepper
01-16-2015, 04:30 AM
Wouldn't you be visiting for the better selection rather than better pricing where livestock is concerned?

I've never shopped for aquaria in the states, but I always just assumed they have a better offering overall...

Can't buy any livestock across the border anyway so it's a moot point...? I don't have a CITES.

Crystal Reef will be on the agenda, it's got the Ron approval :biggrin:

SeaHorse_Fanatic
01-16-2015, 04:52 AM
I think you only need a CITES permit for corals and certain fish, like seahorses. Otherwise marine tropical fish are non-CITES.

Samw
01-16-2015, 05:09 AM
It's always a gamble how much the border guard knows about corals. I only bring softies (and shrimps and crabs and stuff like that) back since almost all stonies are on Cites (Almost all SPS and LPS are on Cites and don't forgot the clams and live rock are also on Cites along with other stuff). I always get a receipt with the scientific names of the corals or inverts from the store and bring a copy of Cites with me, along with a copy of the laws regarding importing ornamental marine life into Canada, and a book containing pictures of the livestock that I'm importing. Then I declare at the border that I'm bringing back soft corals, shrimp, crab, etc. No issues yet. Most fish are no problem. Just check the list.

rishu_pepper
01-16-2015, 05:48 AM
It's always a gamble how much the border guard knows about corals. I only bring softies (and shrimps and crabs and stuff like that) back since almost all stonies are on Cites (Almost all SPS and LPS are on Cites and don't forgot the clams and live rock are also on Cites along with other stuff). I always get a receipt with the scientific names of the corals or inverts from the store and bring a copy of Cites with me, along with a copy of the laws regarding importing ornamental marine life into Canada, and a book containing pictures of the livestock that I'm importing. Then I declare at the border that I'm bringing back soft corals, shrimp, crab, etc. No issues yet. Most fish are no problem. Just check the list.

Is there an online list I can check for which fish? Wouldn't mind picking up some softies too.

gregzz4
01-16-2015, 06:53 AM
I filled up in Lynden last night @ 199.9 per gallon it's about 30% cheaper even with the money difference, worth the trip.
Laurie, I gather your decimals are a bit off
$199.9/gallon is kinda steep for cross-border shopping, don't ya think ? :razz:

Timbits
01-16-2015, 07:58 AM
It's always a gamble how much the border guard knows about corals. I only bring softies (and shrimps and crabs and stuff like that) back since almost all stonies are on Cites (Almost all SPS and LPS are on Cites and don't forgot the clams and live rock are also on Cites along with other stuff). I always get a receipt with the scientific names of the corals or inverts from the store and bring a copy of Cites with me, along with a copy of the laws regarding importing ornamental marine life into Canada, and a book containing pictures of the livestock that I'm importing. Then I declare at the border that I'm bringing back soft corals, shrimp, crab, etc. No issues yet. Most fish are no problem. Just check the list.

Hi Sam, is tank bred clownfish ok to bring across the border? Thanks! Do you have a link to the list? Thanks!

Samw
01-16-2015, 09:02 AM
Tim and Rishu, you can start by looking here:

http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php

You can see all of the Scleractinia stony corals (ie. SPS, LPS) are listed, Tubiporidae, Helioporidae, Tubiporidae, Tridacna clams, Queen conch, Hippocampus, and Cheilinus undulates, and more are listed on Cites.

Here's the list by species.

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cites.org%2Feng%2Fresources%2 Fpub%2Fchecklist11%2FCITES_species_index.pdf&ei=htG4VNCrJNC5ogTMiIDoAw&usg=AFQjCNGqAQAgzbTHeK2rI6YeKRTfZtIMdw&sig2=uBwHmgwDhWrTKjr7vS7BbA&bvm=bv.83829542,d.cGU

Timbits
01-16-2015, 09:15 AM
Tim and Rishu, you can start by looking here:

http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php

You can see all of the Scleractinia stony corals (ie. SPS, LPS) are listed, Tubiporidae, Helioporidae, Tubiporidae, Tridacna clams, Queen conch, Hippocampus, and Cheilinus undulates, and more are listed on Cites.

Here's the list by species.

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cites.org%2Feng%2Fresources%2 Fpub%2Fchecklist11%2FCITES_species_index.pdf&ei=htG4VNCrJNC5ogTMiIDoAw&usg=AFQjCNGqAQAgzbTHeK2rI6YeKRTfZtIMdw&sig2=uBwHmgwDhWrTKjr7vS7BbA&bvm=bv.83829542,d.cGU

Hi Sam

I don't see clownfish on the list, does that mean i can bring it across the border? Thanks

Samw
01-16-2015, 09:21 AM
Also, the regulation for importing aquatic pets has been updated. Doesn't really affect reef keepers. You are supposed to declare that you are bringing in aquatic pets. So far, I've just declared it verbally without needing to fill out any forms. Of course, they could ask for receipts, and species name, and proof if they wanted to, so always have them ready.

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/aquatic-animals/imports/aquatic-animals/eng/1331906471842/1331908089467

Samw
01-16-2015, 09:24 AM
Hi Sam

I don't see clownfish on the list, does that mean i can bring it across the border? Thanks

I would say yes it is fine. But with anything related to the law, always confirm with the authorities. :) I won't be held responsible for misleading anyone. :) Kind of the reason I've kept out of these discussions in the past. :)

rishu_pepper
01-16-2015, 03:08 PM
Thank you for the help, Samw!

You have a CITES eh? Is it worth the trouble to apply for one for us average reefers?

Samw
01-16-2015, 09:31 PM
Thank you for the help, Samw!

You have a CITES eh? Is it worth the trouble to apply for one for us average reefers?

A permit? No, I bring stuff over the border very rarely only when there's something that I really want but can't find them locally and never stuff that's on CITES. I've brought back ORA Red Sea Xenia a few years ago from Barrier when no one locally on Canreef had them for sale after many years of looking. Also, 13 years ago, I had someone from Canreef (Ryland) help bring me back a Rose bubble tip anemone from Oregon (the first known Rose anemone locally on Canreef at the time). I've mail ordered a few more things to Pt Roberts in between (zoas, ricordeas, and inverts).

rishu_pepper
01-18-2015, 01:18 AM
Checked out Crystal Reef Aquatics today. They have the most beautiful DT I've ever seen (375g) with a great mix of corals and fish, and the biggest clam ever (must have been 1.5'). Livestock choices for sale were pretty expensive (a yellow tang for example was $45 and a cleaner shrimp $25) but they look very healthy. Nothing too rare. Coral choices decent, but didn't ask prices. The owner is very friendly and helpful.

Worth a side trip just to see the DT if you head down Bellingham.

And I got gas, $2.09/g lol :lol:

Animal-Chin
03-02-2015, 09:26 PM
I called the canada agricultural food inspection agency who are in charge of regulating pet imports and the worman I spoke to said there is no issue at all for bringing in hobiest coral. I was quite surprised and asked if there were any restrictions and she said no. Litterally told me no issues at all with coral.

gobytron
03-02-2015, 09:31 PM
did you ask about clams?

Wheelman76
03-02-2015, 11:09 PM
I called the canada agricultural food inspection agency who are in charge of regulating pet imports and the worman I spoke to said there is no issue at all for bringing in hobiest coral. I was quite surprised and asked if there were any restrictions and she said no. Litterally told me no issues at all with coral.


Unless laws have changed very recently I find that really hard to believe.

GoFish
03-02-2015, 11:59 PM
I called the canada agricultural food inspection agency who are in charge of regulating pet imports and the worman I spoke to said there is no issue at all for bringing in hobiest coral. I was quite surprised and asked if there were any restrictions and she said no. Litterally told me no issues at all with coral.

I'd do a bit more research than 1 phone call (to CFIA) before telling people its OK to do something highly illegal. That lady passed on misinformation to you. I have 45 minutes of recorded live phone calls between myself and different levels of government about this.
There are sevearl things including fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates. But you must do your research for each specimen.

gobytron
03-03-2015, 12:34 AM
it would probably be a big help to post those recorded phone calls...

Gooly001
03-03-2015, 01:48 AM
CFIA= Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Not sure what their jurisdiction is on corals. Fish and clams, yes I would call them to gather info but unless you plan on eating corals, I don't think that they are right place to get proper info.
Why not try DFO= Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Makes a lot more sense as the animals are from the Ocean.
Jm2c

GoFish
03-03-2015, 07:51 AM
it would probably be a big help to post those recorded phone calls...
They're quite boring :wink:
Have you been to the Pac highway border crossing and seen the seized coral skeletons in the display case along with other prohibited items?

Samw
03-03-2015, 05:40 PM
I called the canada agricultural food inspection agency who are in charge of regulating pet imports and the worman I spoke to said there is no issue at all for bringing in hobiest coral. I was quite surprised and asked if there were any restrictions and she said no. Litterally told me no issues at all with coral.

Here's my interpretation. There are no issues bringing back corals and clams (unless they are on CITES). The person you were talking to assumed your animals are not on CITES. Did you specifically tell her that you are importing animals on CITES list (stony corals and Tridacna clams) and did she say yes, you can import any coral and clam on the CITES list without restriction?

From the Importation of Pet Aquatic Animals link that I posted above:

"It is the importer's/owner's responsibility to determine whether the species being imported is subject to the controls imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (http://www.ec.gc.ca/cites/default.asp?lang=En&n=1BC82E16-1), which are administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service. Please contact the Canadian Wildlife Service (http://www.ec.gc.ca/cites/default.asp?lang=En&n=72272E7E-1ch/extsite.asp?url=http://www.ec.gc.ca/nature/default.asp?lang=En&n=0BB0663F-1) for information."



So contact the Canadian Wildlife Service and tell them you are bringing back animals on CITES. Then post back with their response.

.

Ron99
03-03-2015, 06:27 PM
Here's my interpretation. There are no issues bringing back corals and clams (unless they are on CITES). The person you were talking to assumed your animals are not on CITES. Did you specifically tell her that you are importing animals on CITES list (stony corals and Tridacna clams) and did she say yes, you can import any coral and clam on the CITES list without restriction?

From the Importation of Pet Aquatic Animals link that I posted above:

"It is the importer's/owner's responsibility to determine whether the species being imported is subject to the controls imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (http://www.ec.gc.ca/cites/default.asp?lang=En&n=1BC82E16-1), which are administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service. Please contact the Canadian Wildlife Service (http://www.ec.gc.ca/cites/default.asp?lang=En&n=72272E7E-1ch/extsite.asp?url=http://www.ec.gc.ca/nature/default.asp?lang=En&n=0BB0663F-1) for information."



So contact the Canadian Wildlife Service and tell them you are bringing back animals on CITES. Then post back with their response.

.

Yup. This. Agriculture Canada is only concerned with any potential agricultural or environmental impact. Health Canada would have jurisdiction over anything that might potentially impact human health. CITES is the main issue with bringing in corals, clams and some other livestock and that is under the direction of a different department as well. This stuff is complex and full of bureaucracy and red tape :-/

Animal-Chin
03-03-2015, 09:15 PM
I'm just sayin, I was transfered numerous times until I spoke to someone from the deparment that deals with importing live animalsn into Canada. I specified stoney coral (not clams ect) for my home aquarium. I did not mention CITES and maybe she was making assumptions that some lay person calling in about buying coral in bellingham was aware of these regulations but she never mentioned it. I'd rather buy local and support places like oceanic corals here anyway.

I'm not advising anyone to do anything, especially something illeagal. I'm just relaying information I was told to help you all make your own decisions.

Samw
03-03-2015, 11:02 PM
Just to remove any doubt.

From the FAQ, animals in Appendix I (stony corals) need both import and export CITES certs and animals in Appendix II (Tridacna clams) need export CITES. I haven't seen any holes that suggest hobbiests are exempt from these regulations. There are exemptions for souvenirs and such. But these do not include live animals.

http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/publications/bon-voyage-but#home

"It is illegal to bring many CITES-listed species or their parts and derivatives across Canadian and many international borders without the appropriate CITES permits."

CITES FAQ
http://www.ec.gc.ca/CITES/default.asp?lang=En&n=990E5322-1#_01_3

"If you are importing or exporting a CITES-listed species, its parts or derivatives for either personal or commercial use, you may need a CITES permit.
Appendix I

Species that are found on Appendix 1 of CITES are the most endangered animals and plants covered under CITES. International commercial trade is generally prohibited. Commercial import and export may be possible for animals bred in a registered facility, artificially propagated plants, and Pre-Convention specimens (http://www.ec.gc.ca/CITES/default.asp?lang=En&n=990E5322-1#_01_17).



Specimens to be imported into Canada must be accompanied by:

a Canadian CITES import permit
a CITES export permit (or re-export certificate) granted by the exporting country
Appendix II

Appendix II species have been listed, as there is a risk that they may be threatened with extinction unless trade is regulated. Importing and exporting species listed on Appendix II is allowed provided the appropriate permits are obtained. See examples in table below.



Specimens to be imported into Canada must be accompanied by:

a CITES export permit (or re-export certificate) issued by the exporting country
"

Exemptions:

http://www.ec.gc.ca/cites/default.asp?lang=En&n=69BC0FBB-1#_007 (http://www.ec.gc.ca/cites/default.asp?lang=En&n=69BC0FBB-1#_007)

"These exemptions are recognized by Canada, but may not be by the other country to or from which you are travelling.

Item was owned by the individual in his or her country of residence.
Item is part of the individual’s clothing or accessories or personal accompanied baggage.

Includes
(These do not require CITES permits as long as conditions for exemption are met)

Dead plants or dead animals, including their parts and derivatives.


Examples:

Queen conch shells
Coral jewellery and dead coral skeletons
Cactus rainsticks
Excludes


(CITES permits required)

Appendix I species
Live animals and plants


Live animals
"

Wheelman76
03-04-2015, 03:36 AM
Well done Sam , that should clear up a lot of confusion on this thread.

byee
02-29-2016, 11:34 AM
Barrier Reef is worth a visit.

http://www.barrierreefaquariums.com/

Remember, you can't bring back stuff that are on Cites. This includes most corals that have skeletons (SPS, LPS) and some other endangered animals. Check the list to be sure.


I've been to Barrier Reefs a few times just to browse and dream. There are tonnes of corals in there tanks. Store is less than half the size of JL and probably has easily 3-4x the inventory of corals.

It's definitely worth checking out if you're down in the Seattle.