As an aquarist I feel a responsibility to support my Local Fish Store (LFS). Albuquerque, NM only has one LFS that has a primary focus on saltwater aquariums. There were more options in Albuquerque at one time but it is tough for LFS’s to compete against large chain stores such as PetCo or PetSmart. There are also a large number of resources available online that sale most of the same equipment you will find at your LFS. These large chain stores and online stores tend to have cheaper prices, however in saving a few dollars you will miss out on the greater benefit that LFS’s provide. LFS’s tend to have better expertise when it comes to dealing with tank issues and they also tend to have healthier fish than you can find in the larger chains. There are exceptions but if you have a LFS that operates with a high degree of integrity then I highly advocate that you support your LFS by making a majority of your purchases there. You will usually find healthier fish and better success in setting up your aquarium if you follow the advice from your LFS.
My LFS is the Southwest Reef Company located at 2452 Menaul Blvd, NE, Albuquerque NM (see map at the end of this post). I am fortunate that I have such a great resource locally especially as I have taken on the challenge of setting up my first saltwater reef aquarium. The owner and staff are easy to approach and they have always been patient with my newbie questions which I can only imagine they have answered time and time again. Their prices are reasonable and they always have a wide variety of aquatic life to choose from.