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Animal-Chin
06-22-2017, 05:35 PM
Are there any stores left in Calgary that are still open? I see a list on the alberta forum but all their websites are gone.

Where are the best saltwater stores in Calgary, gonna be there in July.

Thanks.

Skimmer Juice
06-22-2017, 09:16 PM
Wai's (best right now )
concepts ( good for sps)
Oceans (hit or miss , ussually has good fish selection)
Golds ( good for fish , corals are pretty generic)
Pisces ( hit or miss )
thats whats left really

Craigdillman
06-22-2017, 10:55 PM
That should be stickied

Myka
06-23-2017, 03:20 AM
That should be stickied
Done.

Craigdillman
06-23-2017, 03:26 AM
Nice work yeah then we can update it if another store opens or if one closes or anything

:-----)

Animal-Chin
06-23-2017, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the info!

Chaner888
06-28-2017, 11:42 PM
Daniel at Wai's Aquarium Hands Down.

Really take the time to explain and help you out. Im still pretty new to the hobby and he has always helped me out.

If you are buying new equipment I would see Daniel first. He was able to beat ReefSupplies.ca

I rather support local establishments.

Animal-Chin
09-26-2017, 07:48 PM
Anyone know whats at the Aquatic Depot and Vivarium, turns out its just down the street from where I'm working this week. Worth a visit?

Delphinus
09-26-2017, 10:40 PM
I've never heard of it so I googled it. Doesn't seem to have a website, which seems odd to me. The location on maps and the phone number lead me to believe it is the old Riverfront Aquariums storefront. Maybe a new store being worked on that took over their space?

Skimmer Juice
09-27-2017, 06:33 AM
I've never heard of it so I googled it. Doesn't seem to have a website, which seems odd to me. The location on maps and the phone number lead me to believe it is the old Riverfront Aquariums storefront. Maybe a new store being worked on that took over their space?
its definitely the same location as the old riverfront , I will stop by this weekend see if its any better

Animal-Chin
09-28-2017, 02:57 AM
Ok went to Waiís today and itís incredible! His coral selection destroys any store in BC! Wish he did online and shipping...

albert_dao
09-28-2017, 05:39 PM
Ok went to Waiís today and itís incredible! His coral selection destroys any store in BC! Wish he did online and shipping...

Danny has one of the best stores I've been to in North America.

Animal-Chin
09-28-2017, 08:47 PM
I was litterally blown away. I could have bought 50 coral there that I've never seen in BC stores. Zoas I've never seen, every tank had a few chalices, sps everywhere. LPS that were just nuts, big brain coral and acans.

I tried to convince him to start going online for sales as he says business is pretty slow. With his selection and prices, he could be selling more online than at the shop but I think he's concerned about the extra work as he already puts in 16 hour days there.

albert_dao
09-28-2017, 09:03 PM
I was litterally blown away. I could have bought 50 coral there that I've never seen in BC stores. Zoas I've never seen, every tank had a few chalices, sps everywhere. LPS that were just nuts, big brain coral and acans.

I tried to convince him to start going online for sales as he says business is pretty slow. With his selection and prices, he could be selling more online than at the shop but I think he's concerned about the extra work as he already puts in 16 hour days there.

Yah that's not even on a good day. The guy's store is pretty much always amazing.

Tigweldpro
09-29-2017, 08:02 AM
+1 for Wai's He always has new stuff and most is very good quality. He can also special order almost anything you want. He does lack macro algae tho, he says he has trouble finding a source.

Animal-Chin Did you have time to go see the frag/flatworm breeding tank at Pisces? :faint:

DKoKoMan
09-29-2017, 08:57 AM
I will have to check out wai’s next time I drive down to Calgary. Sounds like fun!

DorySaid
12-21-2017, 05:10 AM
Danny Wai has a good selection of coral and fish yes. But i dont go there anymore. I know him more than probably most members here and i can assure you that you are better off spending your hard earned cash elsewhere. I have a couple of experiences to share if anyone is interested as to why i got out before i was in too deep.

Moogled
12-21-2017, 05:49 AM
Are these experiences based on livestock or social interactions that you've had?

No doubt he's changed alot over the years but no one's perfect.

DorySaid
12-21-2017, 06:22 AM
A little bit on livestock but mostly on the social aspect.
I dont see how he would have or could have changed.
Anyone who knows him knows that he is very stubborn and set in his ways. Someone like that doesn't easily change although I've only known him a couple years.
But in any event, regardless of how long, it's about who "he is" now and what is important to him and his business. Doesn't sit well with me

DorySaid
12-22-2017, 01:14 AM
Alright I got a couple pm's about this so I will elaborate.
This may not take your breath away and may not even be concerning to you at all but I may as well share my experience / opinion.

I started going to Wai's a couple years ago very regularly. I'm the type of dude that doesn't necessarily spend thousands in one outing but more like a consistent patron. But I have spent a couple thousand bucks there easily. Just more over the course of those couple years.

I used to go in and spend a couple hours just browsing and chatting with Danny there. I would pick up things I needed or wanted sometimes bit by bit.
It's easy to assume that you are a valued customer in which you are confronted by someone who really wants you to get exactly what you are looking for and wants you to truly succeed. This is where I have a problem.
He tells you what you need in conjunction with what he has to get rid of.
I will give you an example. I remember buying something from him, can't recall exactly what it was - it may come back to me. So I bought it as he recommended it. Shortly thereafter, probably a month or two, he was trying to get me to buy something else, because what I had bought before was garbage, or at least not as good as this new or different product.
He has been guilty of doing this to a lot of people. I knew a guy who spent probably ten times what I had there and when I went to his house he expressed the same experience but followed it up with a "Aww well that's Danny, or He has to run his business". "He works so hard so I don't mind supporting him". Something along those lines.
I still didn't agree with that.
I spent so much time in his store many days of the week that he mentioned he wanted to do a couple of things inside the store to maybe make way for new things etc. I told him I would help and maybe work for a couple corals or equipment. It was very sporadic but I did get around to painting some shelving and organizing the shop a bit. Or helping him with coral deliveries or shipments. I remember questioning him about that very specific topic of why he would tell someone something is really good one day, and tell them it's crap the next. He responded by saying that it's part of the business. If someone wanted a specific product such as salt, he would sell them the stuff he wanted to get rid of good or bad first, and then follow up by pushing another the next time they were in claiming that it was my (the customer's) decision and alleging he was trying to talk us out of it.
Now you may be saying well what's wrong with that?...It's simply just business. I disagree. I don't give a rat's ass about his business or anyone's for that matter. I believe that if you do not mislead people to always benefit your self that you will find more people will give their money to you over time. In other words, I would much rather sell someone something that they would really be happy with ( cheaper if need be ) if I knew there was a good chance they would patron my store again because they trusted me. This is just one example of why I stopped going there altogether.
Another issue I had was I bought a gyre pump from him as he had said it was a decent one. It was a Glamorca Gyre and I kinda regret getting it anyways. SO I bought the pump and a month or two went by when I noticed it was making less annoying noise than it normally makes. Upon inspection I noticed it had stopped pump on one side of the unit. I called Danny and he said he would take care of it because it was still obviously under warranty. I told him I hoped so because I didn't want my corals to suffer for any length of time. He said maybe it was just some piece that could be changed out and to bring it to him. When I brought it there after him mucking around with it for a while he said, "OK I will contact the supplier about it and when they approve it then we could switch it out if they say it's ok". This is as I see at least 3 brand new Glamorca units sitting over there on one of his shelves. I said well why can't you just switch the pump for me now. ( This is after spending a lot of dough over the past couple years don't forget ).
He said " Heck no. What if they don't approve of it and I'm stuck with it then I lose on a new unit ". I said What the, it's under warranty of course they replace it will unless you screwed them over before and they don't trust you. He says he doesn't know if they will replace the whole unit and that probably they would just replace a part. I simply laughed and said "They don't replace parts on a unit like that, they'll replace the whole thing." They're not a repair depot anyways they're a supplier.
So after bugging him for a couple days he finally says to me that they "approved" it and he would replace it. So I was relieved and stopped by his store. I was expecting like any other normal place, would just ask for the old one and give me a brand new unit. Instead, he took mine apart asking which part wasn't working as he was going to only switch out the head. He asked me if the controller had any problems and I said no. He gave me only the head and took the rest. So what's the problem, he replaced your bad part didn't he? Well, yes but the problem I have here is I know Danny and he has oodles of parts new and used in the back of his store which he uses for customers like me or his own use in the store. That is where that controller was going and any other parts. You don't do that to someone who bought a new unit. You give them the new complete unit as I know for a fact the supplier would reimburse him a full unit, not break it down into parts for some offshore chinese under 200 dollar item.

As far as him being responsible for his livestock, he's ok although everyday when I was tagging his tanks I would always see a few dead fish in the tanks in which I would tell him that it doesn't look good when people come in and see dead, decaying fish floating around or being eaten by the other tankmates. He just said ahh just leave them as it's food for the other fish.
While this may not be a major issue it would bother me as a shop owner especially since his coral tanks are decent looking. So I fished out the dead ones whenever I was in there. He said he took pride in making the glass clean and presenting his tanks for customers. I thought that worrying about dead floating fish should be included in that theory as well. Again, no big deal, as fish do die in store tanks but hell, even in Petsmart I don't see dead fish. At his store I could see dead ones everyday. It's just an aesthetic thing I guess. I mean I just would feel kind of awkward bringing my child in and saying " Hey sweetie, look at Dory, she's belly up and those shrimp and wrasses are tearing apart her guts and eating them!" :/

So this was a little (big) insight on why I won't ever go there and give him my money. There were other things along the way but generally these couple of things made me think twice. I don't care who you are or what you want out of this hobby. I won't give people my money if they give subpar service or mislead you in any way. He used to talk to me about one guy in particular that spent about 50k at his store over a period. So he must be good at convincing people the image he wants to portray otherwise, he would have been there for 30 years would he....

Moral of the story is do what you want and shop where you want but I'll go where I get what I want or need without the dishonesty and craftiness.

DKoKoMan
12-22-2017, 11:55 AM
Alright I got a couple pm's about this so I will elaborate.
This may not take your breath away and may not even be concerning to you at all but I may as well share my experience / opinion.

I started going to Wai's a couple years ago very regularly. I'm the type of dude that doesn't necessarily spend thousands in one outing but more like a consistent patron. But I have spent a couple thousand bucks there easily. Just more over the course of those couple years.

I used to go in and spend a couple hours just browsing and chatting with Danny there. I would pick up things I needed or wanted sometimes bit by bit.
It's easy to assume that you are a valued customer in which you are confronted by someone who really wants you to get exactly what you are looking for and wants you to truly succeed. This is where I have a problem.
He tells you what you need in conjunction with what he has to get rid of.
I will give you an example. I remember buying something from him, can't recall exactly what it was - it may come back to me. So I bought it as he recommended it. Shortly thereafter, probably a month or two, he was trying to get me to buy something else, because what I had bought before was garbage, or at least not as good as this new or different product.
He has been guilty of doing this to a lot of people. I knew a guy who spent probably ten times what I had there and when I went to his house he expressed the same experience but followed it up with a "Aww well that's Danny, or He has to run his business". "He works so hard so I don't mind supporting him". Something along those lines.
I still didn't agree with that.
I spent so much time in his store many days of the week that he mentioned he wanted to do a couple of things inside the store to maybe make way for new things etc. I told him I would help and maybe work for a couple corals or equipment. It was very sporadic but I did get around to painting some shelving and organizing the shop a bit. Or helping him with coral deliveries or shipments. I remember questioning him about that very specific topic of why he would tell someone something is really good one day, and tell them it's crap the next. He responded by saying that it's part of the business. If someone wanted a specific product such as salt, he would sell them the stuff he wanted to get rid of good or bad first, and then follow up by pushing another the next time they were in claiming that it was my (the customer's) decision and alleging he was trying to talk us out of it.
Now you may be saying well what's wrong with that?...It's simply just business. I disagree. I don't give a rat's ass about his business or anyone's for that matter. I believe that if you do not mislead people to always benefit your self that you will find more people will give their money to you over time. In other words, I would much rather sell someone something that they would really be happy with ( cheaper if need be ) if I knew there was a good chance they would patron my store again because they trusted me. This is just one example of why I stopped going there altogether.
Another issue I had was I bought a gyre pump from him as he had said it was a decent one. It was a Glamorca Gyre and I kinda regret getting it anyways. SO I bought the pump and a month or two went by when I noticed it was making less annoying noise than it normally makes. Upon inspection I noticed it had stopped pump on one side of the unit. I called Danny and he said he would take care of it because it was still obviously under warranty. I told him I hoped so because I didn't want my corals to suffer for any length of time. He said maybe it was just some piece that could be changed out and to bring it to him. When I brought it there after him mucking around with it for a while he said, "OK I will contact the supplier about it and when they approve it then we could switch it out if they say it's ok". This is as I see at least 3 brand new Glamorca units sitting over there on one of his shelves. I said well why can't you just switch the pump for me now. ( This is after spending a lot of dough over the past couple years don't forget ).
He said " Heck no. What if they don't approve of it and I'm stuck with it then I lose on a new unit ". I said What the, it's under warranty of course they replace it will unless you screwed them over before and they don't trust you. He says he doesn't know if they will replace the whole unit and that probably they would just replace a part. I simply laughed and said "They don't replace parts on a unit like that, they'll replace the whole thing." They're not a repair depot anyways they're a supplier.
So after bugging him for a couple days he finally says to me that they "approved" it and he would replace it. So I was relieved and stopped by his store. I was expecting like any other normal place, would just ask for the old one and give me a brand new unit. Instead, he took mine apart asking which part wasn't working as he was going to only switch out the head. He asked me if the controller had any problems and I said no. He gave me only the head and took the rest. So what's the problem, he replaced your bad part didn't he? Well, yes but the problem I have here is I know Danny and he has oodles of parts new and used in the back of his store which he uses for customers like me or his own use in the store. That is where that controller was going and any other parts. You don't do that to someone who bought a new unit. You give them the new complete unit as I know for a fact the supplier would reimburse him a full unit, not break it down into parts for some offshore chinese under 200 dollar item.

As far as him being responsible for his livestock, he's ok although everyday when I was tagging his tanks I would always see a few dead fish in the tanks in which I would tell him that it doesn't look good when people come in and see dead, decaying fish floating around or being eaten by the other tankmates. He just said ahh just leave them as it's food for the other fish.
While this may not be a major issue it would bother me as a shop owner especially since his coral tanks are decent looking. So I fished out the dead ones whenever I was in there. He said he took pride in making the glass clean and presenting his tanks for customers. I thought that worrying about dead floating fish should be included in that theory as well. Again, no big deal, as fish do die in store tanks but hell, even in Petsmart I don't see dead fish. At his store I could see dead ones everyday. It's just an aesthetic thing I guess. I mean I just would feel kind of awkward bringing my child in and saying " Hey sweetie, look at Dory, she's belly up and those shrimp and wrasses are tearing apart her guts and eating them!" :/

So this was a little (big) insight on why I won't ever go there and give him my money. There were other things along the way but generally these couple of things made me think twice. I don't care who you are or what you want out of this hobby. I won't give people my money if they give subpar service or mislead you in any way. He used to talk to me about one guy in particular that spent about 50k at his store over a period. So he must be good at convincing people the image he wants to portray otherwise, he would have been there for 30 years would he....

Moral of the story is do what you want and shop where you want but I'll go where I get what I want or need without the dishonesty and craftiness.


Thanks for your honest feedback. I think it is important to share experiences both positive and negative. This hobby is great and little things can sour it for a person. Letís face it, this hobby can be very expensive over time especially with higher end reef tanks. The number one rule in business is treat your customers with respect, honesty and you will continue to thrive. Quality products and customer service go a long way.

Moogled
12-23-2017, 08:18 AM
Fair enough. I haven't had those experiences there but then again I've spent less than 4 digits in his store.

That said, I will agree with the dead livestock. I find it extremely unsightly staring dead fish in a tank but at least I can try to grab another fish from a different system in the store.

DorySaid
12-23-2017, 09:00 AM
Oh. I kinda forgot another point I wanted to bring up.
This has happened to me there as well but mostly with a friend I met in his store.
He (Danny) has a funny way to recommend livestock to you. Basically, everything goes with everything in most instances. This friend I met there, Danny sold him hundreds or even thousands of dollars of fish in which they didn't last in his system. The guy was a bit of an impulse buyer meaning he just bought whatever he thought would look good in his tank. This was great business for Danny as it kept him coming back. He even bought a $2000 dollar Vertex light system in which Danny talked him into a mediocre razor shortly after. Basically, what I saw was the guy was really hook line and sinker there, pardon the pun. That Vertex light was high end and expensive, much better than the razor. But of course Danny wanted to unload those razors. He tried to unload one on me but i wanted to go with ethereals as they were newer with wifi.
This was not the only instance. This other dude who spent probably tens of thousands there (according to Danny), came back one day and plopped down a bucket while I was there. Daniel told me that this guy bought it and it got beat the snot out of by another tang in the guy's tank. It was a large naso tang that was hangin on just barely when it arrived. He said he warned the guy but I knew better. There's no doubt he bought every fish and equipment from Wai's and Danny knew two big tangs were trouble. He just knew he could sell to this guy. And he knows he could sell something to anyone of us if you didn't know much better. I've heard of pet stores like Gold Aquariums that wouldn't sell you a fish if it were in bad health or incompatible.
I have had these experiences starting out going to Wai's.
I remember Danny would crack jokes as I left saying stuff like "Oh well, if that doesn't work you can just come back and buy more from me" or I would simply say ok I'll see you sometime and he would say "See you tomorrow".
At the time I basically just smirked and didn't think anything of it but looking back, that seems about right. That was how he worked.

Carlonathaniel
12-24-2017, 09:42 PM
Black tip aquariums. Or join calgary saltwater aquarium in facebook.

Ryan
12-25-2017, 08:35 PM
I have had good success with Wais. I know what good livestock looks like and generally do my own research on products. I get along good with Danny because I dont do what alot of other people seem to do in there; dicker on price then walk out empty handed.

If something is priced too high I am honest and just say it's more money than I want to spend. I don't try to haggle him down on every item. I also try to buy something when I am in there.

So far he hasn't steered me wrong, I dont waste his time, he doesnt waste mine, and we have a good buyer seller relationship.

DorySaid
12-25-2017, 08:44 PM
I have had good success with Wais. I know what good livestock looks like and generally do my own research on products. I get along good with Danny because I dont do what alot of other people seem to do in there; dicker on price then walk out empty handed.

If something is priced too high I am honest and just say it's more money than I want to spend. I don't try to haggle him down on every item. I also try to buy something when I am in there.

So far he hasn't steered me wrong, I dont waste his time, he doesnt waste mine, and we have a good buyer seller relationship.
I don't think anyone mentioned about bartering prices in this thread. I would imagine any place if you just walk in and don't mention anything about prices you could have an excellent relationship with.
But some of us here know him in a different more personal way, behind the "Open" sign out front.

Skimmer Juice
12-25-2017, 08:54 PM
I have had good success with Wais. I know what good livestock looks like and generally do my own research on products. I get along good with Danny because I dont do what alot of other people seem to do in there; dicker on price then walk out empty handed.

If something is priced too high I am honest and just say it's more money than I want to spend. I don't try to haggle him down on every item. I also try to buy something when I am in there.

So far he hasn't steered me wrong, I dont waste his time, he doesnt waste mine, and we have a good buyer seller relationship.
summed up pretty good here . These guys are lucky they have not felt the wrath of early 2000's Danny :twised:

houlisam87
12-25-2017, 10:54 PM
After reading all these negative experience with Danny at Wai's
Have to put in my two bit opinion ,
Been customer at his store for the last 20 years , not a big spender, here and there, he always giving me helpful info and generous
Remind you, he is in to make few bucks, lots of overhead , otherwise he won't be still in business , just to cover the rent alone .
sure he dose try to sell the items is his stock, its understandable
sorry to hear some folks has bad experience in his store so as the other fish stores
SAM

ReefMadness
12-26-2017, 03:47 PM
I know what good livestock looks like and generally do my own research on products.
this is the 100% the truth to me.
i get whats being said here but for lack of better words i have learned my lessons by being ignorant and lazy in the past. it's hard to put blame on someone trying to earn a living by suggesting products available in the store when the internet has literally thousands of product reviews and the forums as chalked full of user experiences.
warranty issues are almost across the board handled the same way these days. if your gyre stops turning, you have to send it in. if your gen 4 radion has a led fail, you have to send it in. you basically make an agreement in buying these parts that any issues (including part replacement) are required to be sent in for diagnosis by the manufacturer. it sucks but it is the way it is regardless of whether the lfs has the parts on the shelf or not.
i will say that dead fish in the stock tanks isn't always avoidable but seeing the same fish in a tank for a week would just quietly tell me not to buy fish there anymore.

MitchM
12-26-2017, 04:13 PM
I'm also a long term customer of Wai's. 17 years at least.
I would be very disappointed if I went in to Daniel's store and he did NOT try to sell me something. It is something that every good store owner or employee should do.

It's very telling for someone to say that they "don't give a rat's ass" about someone's business. Good business practice is about relationships and people, not products or price.
If someone doesn't care about who they're buying from, how do they decide where to buy from?

Wouldn't it be interesting if businesses could post experiences about interactions that they've had with various customers?

Wai's is my first choice for buying.
After that it's J and L because they're Canadian and offer fast shipping, great support and prices; next would be BRS because of their very helpful video series, next would be Reefsupplies.ca, next would be Bayside Corals, after that would be other Ontario vendors simply because of what I've read online.

If/when I do buy another aquarium, I'll go to Concept first because they're local and I've heard enough good things about them.

It's ok to have disagreements with vendors and suppliers. Just don't let a small problem give you cause to cut yourself off from an otherwise very enjoyable and educational hobby.

Ryan
12-26-2017, 04:51 PM
summed up pretty good here . These guys are lucky they have not felt the wrath of early 2000's Danny :twised:

Exactly! I've been dealing with him since 2008, more in the past 2 or 3 years.

I have a sales background and know what it feels like to be docked around. I don't blame him or any other vendor for being short or not wanting to waste time with people they know are tire kickers.

He helped suggest me products to get my current tank going and pointed me to a couple AF products. I will keep dealing with him and make sure to stop when I am in the city. About the only thing I'd like to see more of in there is clean up crew.

rival10
12-26-2017, 08:14 PM
Always had good experiences at Wais.

Tigweldpro
01-01-2018, 05:23 AM
I just wish mr.Wai would have prices posted on all the livestock and coral in his shop. I dont like to have to ask how much every fish is when I go in and always get a cranky answer.

DorySaid
01-01-2018, 06:37 AM
I just wish mr.Wai would have prices posted on all the livestock and coral in his shop. I dont like to have to ask how much every fish is when I go in and always get a cranky answer.

Exactly. I tried to help Danny with this by encouraging him to buy a label maker. I spent a couple days labeling everything just to have him hand write everything anyways when he got new stock and had to change the livestock or pricing. I gave up. I asked him how he felt about just writing with crayon directly on the tanks like other people but he didn't like doing it that way. Yes it was kind of irritating to ask all the time