PDA

View Full Version : Where to buy sand in Calgary


Buccaneer
02-24-2015, 07:39 AM
Any suggestions where the best place to buy sand for a reeftank with shallow sandbed in Calgary right now?

FishyFishy!
02-24-2015, 01:18 PM
I dont like to support them, but pisces always has a good selection of sand. Lots of different brands and grain choices.

CM125
02-24-2015, 04:01 PM
Whats wrong with pisces lol? And yes they have a great selection of sand

riceboy
02-24-2015, 05:23 PM
I just go to pets mart.

Ulmo
02-24-2015, 10:18 PM
Runnings bare bottom myself but I saw a variety of sand at Big Als

CM125
02-24-2015, 10:52 PM
I just go to pets mart.

is this satire sir?

FishyFishy!
02-25-2015, 01:41 AM
Whats wrong with pisces lol? And yes they have a great selection of sand

Personal preferance I guess. 90% of their staff has zero clue what they're talking about, their livestock tanks are pathetically small and they charge outrageous prices on common livestock....to name a few. But the good thing is that they always have stuff in stock. So thats a plus.

Sackler
03-08-2015, 06:57 AM
Personal preferance I guess. 90% of their staff has zero clue what they're talking about, their livestock tanks are pathetically small and they charge outrageous prices on common livestock....to name a few. But the good thing is that they always have stuff in stock. So thats a plus.

I don't understand the bad rep Pisces gets. You are right to say 90% of their staff don't know anything. I think it is what you can expect going to a departement pet store vs. a marine specialized store. At the end of the day I think that most of us can say we have had bad advice from many stores, and it is really worth doing your own research.
In my opinion though their livestock is worth supporting. I guess opinions may vary but I think it is important to support a sustainable, short term collection chain. I feel like there is some bad reputations related our hobby as far as collection and I don't mind paying extra to support a positve image. And at the end of the day I think you can get a healthier fish than many other suppliers around calgary. I can share more of what I understand if you are really interested. I think it is important to figure out if the monetary savings are really worth it.

Skimmer Juice
03-08-2015, 07:49 AM
I don't understand the bad rep Pisces gets. You are right to say 90% of their staff don't know anything. I think it is what you can expect going to a departement pet store vs. a marine specialized store. At the end of the day I think that most of us can say we have had bad advice from many stores, and it is really worth doing your own research.
In my opinion though their livestock is worth supporting. I guess opinions may vary but I think it is important to support a sustainable, short term collection chain. I feel like there is some bad reputations related our hobby as far as collection and I don't mind paying extra to support a positve image. And at the end of the day I think you can get a healthier fish than many other suppliers around calgary. I can share more of what I understand if you are really interested. I think it is important to figure out if the monetary savings are really worth it.

I don't support pisces the same as I don't support wai's. The prices at both stores are crazy on livestock. Go to wai's he charges $40 for a harlequin shrimp go to pisces they want $50 for the same shrimp , go across the street from wai's to oceans and they have the same shrimp for $25 I could understand $5 more but double the price? Same with a Halloween hermit $15 at wais at oceans $8 . Not to mention I don't like buying from pisces as they do not maintain the systems , they literally have tons of aptasia in every single tank would take no time at all to remedy that issue in those small setups they have with little to no liverock in the tanks. They have plenty of employees to maintain systems. I even wrote them an email after leaving there the last time . The aptasia was overwhelming the lady that responded to my email saying they use them for educating customers lol . Then admitted the problem is out of control . I clearly see why they get a bad rep , if you are going to charge upwards of double for the same livestock the store better be immaculate . If you shop at those stores cool but I prefer to support the stores that price fair and have nicely maintained systems , and are friendly Ocean's , Gold's, Concepts , Reef Wonderland if I have lots of money :twised:. Pisces, Big Al's, Wai's I avoid buying livestock from but if you are looking for dry good's pisces is probably a decent choice for a good selection of overpriced dry good's .

Sackler
03-08-2015, 06:09 PM
I don't support pisces the same as I don't support wai's. The prices at both stores are crazy on livestock. Go to wai's he charges $40 for a harlequin shrimp go to pisces they want $50 for the same shrimp , go across the street from wai's to oceans and they have the same shrimp for $25 I could understand $5 more but double the price? Same with a Halloween hermit $15 at wais at oceans $8 . Not to mention I don't like buying from pisces as they do not maintain the systems , they literally have tons of aptasia in every single tank would take no time at all to remedy that issue in those small setups they have with little to no liverock in the tanks. They have plenty of employees to maintain systems. I even wrote them an email after leaving there the last time . The aptasia was overwhelming the lady that responded to my email saying they use them for educating customers lol . Then admitted the problem is out of control . I clearly see why they get a bad rep , if you are going to charge upwards of double for the same livestock the store better be immaculate . If you shop at those stores cool but I prefer to support the stores that price fair and have nicely maintained systems , and are friendly Ocean's , Gold's, Concepts , Reef Wonderland if I have lots of money :twised:. Pisces, Big Al's, Wai's I avoid buying livestock from but if you are looking for dry good's pisces is probably a decent choice for a good selection of overpriced dry good's .

I understand. But the reason that some stores (I know pisces for sure. i will have to ask wais and big als next time I'm in) have alot higher prices is not because they markup higher. In fact i am willing to bet the markup between many stores in Calgary is similar.
The expensive way of getting fish is to deal with one wholesaler. This wholesaler scouts out all of its suppliers. The suppliers are from around the world, and are often mac certified. They are offered a very fair price for their livestock thus they can take the time to care for their fish properly, and collect sustainably. They will fish an area for a day, then return to shore and send their catch off. The wholesaler, who is in a central hub that can be shipped to quickly (often in Los Angeles) then takes in the catch and holds the fish in their tanks. If you have seen the tv show "tanked" where they get their fish is what it looks like. The fish are held until they have recovered and are healthy and eating. They are then shipped to retailers. At this point the shipping was split into two parts and thus we have lost less fish. We also can get livestock from many different countries at one time.
The cheap way to do it is to deal directly with a supplier. In order to keep costs down, they will go out and catch fish, and hold them in a boat for a few days. Often they use cyanide to catch the fish. It is very easy to catch fish with cyanide because they get asphyxiated, collected and the ones that survive are kept. I have read a study that suggests that cyanide can be held and released from a fishes body for its entire life.
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-01/sp/index.php
After these fish have been in the boat for a few days, they are brought to shore, packed and sent to a middle man who opens the boxes and puts new heat pads in them. From there, they are sent to the retailers. Thee total time between being collected and being into a tank and be up to 6 days.

I think it is important to note that adjusted for inflation, the pricing at the some stores in Calgary is the same as the prices at live aquaria. This is because live aquaria is just like the wholesaler in the first method, however they sell retail vs. selling to a retail store

MitchM
03-08-2015, 11:13 PM
I've been shopping at Wai's almost exclusively for 15 years for saltwater and Pisces for freshwater.
Which store a person buys from is not always about the price at the cash register.

FishyFishy!
03-08-2015, 11:15 PM
I've been shopping at Wai's almost exclusively for 15 years for saltwater and Pisces for freshwater.
Which store a person buys from is not always about the price at the cash register.

Good for you Mr. Trump!

MitchM
03-08-2015, 11:27 PM
Quality, knowledge, selection all factor into it as well.
There have been many stores come and go that have tried to go the lowest price route, only to find that they have a hard time paying the bills at the end of the month. (in all industries)

Skimmer Juice
03-08-2015, 11:47 PM
I don't go for the "lowest price route" Just saying if the store is charging double on livestock there has to be a reason for it. What would entice me to pay $40 for something from Wai's or Pisces when I can get the same thing for $20 at Gold's or Ocean's ? Gold's has quality livestock nicely kept space and Dennis is very knowledgeable can say the same for Ocean's . Both those stores are friendly weather or not Im making a purchase that day . If I dont buy at Wai's he does not have the time of day for me , has always been that way since 2003 when I started in the hobby . So what makes up for the double the price increase ? Like I said I can understand a small mark up but double the price does not make sense and to me is gouging . There is nothing that sets wais pisces stores apart from the 3 I mentioned to make up for that huge price increase.

MitchM
03-09-2015, 12:01 AM
I go into Calgary maybe once a month. The fuel costs me at least $30.
I'm not very interested in fish, mostly corals and equipment and Wai's has what I consider to be the best selection and knowledge in town for those items. I haven't had a reason to go anywhere else.
My schedule is pretty full when I go in so I don't have time to go store to store comparing things. Plus I only need to give Daniel an email or phone call and he'll have whatever I want ready for me.

As retail customers we all have different things that appeal to our own situations.

Skimmer Juice
03-09-2015, 12:41 AM
that's more than understandable wais does have a great selection of equipment and keeps it up to date . I guess living out of town makes it harder to organize I always get my equipment from golds they don't stock alot but they will order you anything and will price match j&l which is nice . Myself I cant justify buying a crab for $15 but can walk across the street and get for $8 or a shrimp for $50 but can get it across the street for $25 that difference is just to much for me.

MitchM
03-09-2015, 12:49 AM
I have found that driving around usually costs just as much in fuel and time as I would have saved by comparing prices, especially if I'm not sure if someone has what I'm looking for.

Skimmer Juice
03-09-2015, 01:07 AM
I always do a fish store loop on the weekends just for fun so gas/time never factor in for me . Sometimes I buy sometimes I don't buy , just go to look. My tank is pretty full so I'm usually looking for very specific items that most stores only get once in a while. Wai's I like as a whole just cant bring myself to pay double the money . Wai's also has a pretty epic display tank worth checking out just for that . Pisces on the other hand the tanks are not kept in good order so I will not buy there just off that , without even getting in to the prices .

blackradon
03-09-2015, 04:55 AM
I shop at wai's and a the other places around town. I understand everyone will have their own opinion on what to get and where. I like talking with Daniel, his tanks are alway spotless, clean and stocked. Am I gonna drive around for a few dollars, proably not. You might save some coin from buying online or on forums but you don't really know what you might be getting or even worse have your shipment lost or misplaced! I've talked to a few people and everyone!! Has their own opinions and they always will.

CM125
03-10-2015, 12:11 AM
I've been shopping at Wai's almost exclusively for 15 years for saltwater and Pisces for freshwater.
Which store a person buys from is not always about the price at the cash register.

I agree, Wais is one of the best places to go. We have been going there for years and will continue to.

I don't go for the "lowest price route" Just saying if the store is charging double on livestock there has to be a reason for it. What would entice me to pay $40 for something from Wai's or Pisces when I can get the same thing for $20 at Gold's or Ocean's ? Gold's has quality livestock nicely kept space and Dennis is very knowledgeable can say the same for Ocean's . Both those stores are friendly weather or not Im making a purchase that day . If I dont buy at Wai's he does not have the time of day for me , has always been that way since 2003 when I started in the hobby . So what makes up for the double the price increase ? Like I said I can understand a small mark up but double the price does not make sense and to me is gouging . There is nothing that sets wais pisces stores apart from the 3 I mentioned to make up for that huge price increase.

I disagree, I have been to golds and to oceans and wasn't really impressed, so I guess its really all on your perception. In my experience best price doesn't always mean best product or best service.

Buccaneer
03-10-2015, 02:50 AM
Well this sure escalated in a hurry from me asking for sand prices :lol:

If anyone is interested I got my sand at Concept :wink:

as to stores for livestock ... I have been to Wai's Pisces etc and go back to Dennis at Golds ... one of the first to quarantine fish in the city and great service every time

cbrine
03-10-2015, 05:05 AM
Any suggestions where the best place to buy sand for a reeftank with shallow sandbed in Calgary right now?

how big is your tank? and how much sand are you looking for? I have white sugar type sand (purchased too much for my 55gal) sitting in a 5gal bucket unused. PM if interested.

Buccaneer
03-11-2015, 09:37 PM
how big is your tank? and how much sand are you looking for? I have white sugar type sand (purchased too much for my 55gal) sitting in a 5gal bucket unused. PM if interested.

thanks but I found sand already