Alternative Aquariums - CLOSED - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Store Profiles & Reviews Your favourite stores reviewed by the GTAA community. Please keep all reviews constructive and inline with forum rules!

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Old 02-16-2008, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Alternative Aquariums - CLOSED

3235 Fairview Street
Burlington, Ontario
Tel - 905-681-FISH(3474)
Fax - 905-681-3477

What do you guys think of this store?


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Old 02-16-2008, 04:01 PM   #2
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Katalyst has a spectacular aura about

Doug has opened a really nice store and has some very nice/ hard to find pleco's. He personally walked me around and took a lot of time to help me select the exact fish I was looking all over for. Nice selection & a very helpful and personable store.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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It's good to have a hobbiest operated FS in Burlington. Doug is a real nice guy and will spend time with you talking about the hobby. We did have a similar store but they shut down after 50 years.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:48 AM   #4
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Doug had been great so far with regards to my purchases there. Even following up via PM's to see how the fish are doing. That is follow-up service!
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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I've love to make it down and checkout this store! All I have heard is good things.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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Great Store, Great Owners.

MFC Supporters.

One of my favorite stores for 2008
If you are looking for a Fluval product, let me know!

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Old 02-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #7
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Definitely one of my favs. Super clean and very well laid out. Good deals.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:47 AM   #8
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I went there just to check it out, and ended up there for over an hour. One of the employees there (I think her name is Jill) was extremely helpful, showing all the different types of filters and gadgets involved in SW tanks, and explaining the different options I had for tank setups. Being completely new to aquariums I was very impressed that someone would take the time to answer every question I had. I will definitely be returning there. Thumbs up all the way!!
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
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I just visited this store for the first time last week (after finding out about it through this forum). I since dropped in a second time. In both visits I found the people there very helpful and knowledgeable. They were willing to take time to help me find what I needed and to answer all of my questions. I'll definitely be dropping by more often!
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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Will has much to be proud of Will has much to be proud of

My name is Will. I work at this store a few times a week with my friend and coworker Peter. When Petsmart bought out Superpet (where all three of us had been working), Doug told us he planned to open a store to provide hobbyists with an alternative to big box stores. Peter and I jumped at the chance to help Doug, and ever since last winter, it's been quite the ride and promises to continue...

Here are some older photos of the store for those that have not been there, and for those that have only visited just recently, to view how it has grown. I will take some new ones on Sunday.

The old windows. Now a semi transparent graphic has been added to the windows. On dark nights, the lights insider shine through the graphics and make the windows appear as if they are the glass of a giant aquarium.

From inside the front door. This view has changed a lot, and continues to, showing new products or new display tanks for sale.

These next photos are from the rear office, looking towards the front of the store. A bit empty in these photos, but most are full now and some customers are making it tricky to keep the tanks fully stocked-Thanks greatly though!

The marine side... This side was previously half marine and half freshwater, so that the store was 3/4 fresh. Now a row of FW has been updated to Marine to keep up with the surprising demand. Burlington has never had a Marine store before. Live rock can be bought from these tanks, usually at 6.99 a pound. Even "Premium Rock" that we try to order when available.

Here is Peter hard at work keeping the store nice and new looking. As Doug often says, a Clean floor/store, is a happy floor/store, and so the tanks, algae and floors are cleaned every single day.

And just because, a volitan lion that we dubbed "Happy" while he was in the store. Look, he's smiling... kind of.

Doug's pair of Black Clownfish, that have recently been moved to another location to breed. In their place is something new to the store, tank raised Seahorses, which always stop people in their tracks for a long curious moment.

Many of our customers are from Burlington, Hamilton and Oakville area, but there are some great customers that come from Toronto area on a semi-regular basis, and some that live closer to the border. I'd like to thank you all if you have have supported the store in anyway, or even just walked through the doors to look. For those from far that don't get out to stores outside of their city, I encourage you to find others to carpool and join up to drive to other stores. Some people are just looking for a reason to go out to father stores, and some people have trouble with transportation. Meet in a central location and Split gas four ways, for a Sunday afternoon outing. We are fairly close to a handfull of other stores to visit on the same day.

We are very interested in hearing what customers want, and what they will buy, be it live fish, product brands, or anything. We will also try to find items, replacement parts, or fish species for anyone that asks. As a new store it can be a bit tricky to track down specific parts, but we still try. There are a half to a dozen tanks in the store for sale at all times, but we are happy to order in specific sizes of tanks, stands or display aquariums for anyone that asks.

We were asked to bring in zebra plecos, and that was successful. Doug may be willing to sell a few more from the ones being kept for anyone still looking, and is working of bringing in some more from other sources.

For anyone looking for Freshwater Shrimp, this is something that we have started to carry on a regular basis (Great for me as I share this interest). Next week, half a dozen species should be arriving, included Crystal Reds, sunkists, tigers and some others. Lobsters, crayfish, and crabs have also been popular among the FW customers too.

For those of you with Marine tanks, there are some fantastic fish currently in store, and a great new selection of amazingly priced corals are available. Keep watch for some sales on corals for rock bottom prices in the near future. Many pieces are on good size rocks, for not much more than what a fragment might sell for.

The store is open from 10 every day, to 9pm on weekdays, and 6pm on weekends. We are happy to spend as much time as needed with customers to answer all the questions we know how, or to find you a solution.

Jill a recent member of the AA family, has brought tons of knowledge and dedication. She is usually in on Sundays for anyone wishing to talk with her again. She has something like a dozen tanks at home ranging up to 220 gallons,with both freshwater, marine, and reef. She is currently working with Aptasia eating nudibranchs which is fascinating, but a bit over my head.

Currently, the store offers a member discount to members of some of the local clubs. I encourage everyone to join and participate in your local club as they work hard to develop our hobby, and introduce new people to it. If your club has advertising to offer in exchange for your members to have a discount contact Doug at the store, 905-681-FISH (3474) or via email ([email protected]). Please have all necessary information for him to review.

A new website is also in the works, but it going slow. A temporary updated page might be going up in the meantime to offer information on incoming shipments and sales. Is anyone interested in a monthly mailing list?

Also for the many that don't know, Reef Crew have setup a fridge in store for the sale of Live Marine Foods including Phytoplankton, Rotifers & copepods to feed, and or seed your tanks, sumps and refugiums.

Thankyou for all the great comments, and thankyou for reading. Please introduce yourself upon entering the store, and lets build a good relationship. If anyone has comments, questions or suggestions for the store, you can PM or email me.

One last question: what types of substrate would you like to see us carry. We have a line on clearance at 50% off and are looking to bring in a new brandname or two. 3M coloured sands seem to get good reviews, and we already carry Seachem Fluorite for the FW plant nuts.
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