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Should You Purchase Your Saltwater Fish Online?

Buying Saltwater Fish Online San Diego, CA

These days, anything and everything is available for purchase online. If you’re interested in acquiring some saltwater fish for your aquarium at home, there are several reputable online retailers to choose from. However, there are also plenty of reasons to consider buying saltwater fish in person at a store instead.


An online store will have an extensive selection of saltwater fish. The chances a basic pet store will carry a wide variety of saltwater fish are low. However, if you’re fortunate enough to have a local store that specializes in aquatic pets and supplies (for instance, if you’re lucky enough to have Aquatic Warehouse in your town), you’re sure to find a large amount of amazing and unique saltwater fish. For instance, if you live in the San Diego area and are looking for a trusted aquarium supplier that also sells a wide variety of saltwater fish, Aquatic Warehouse should be at the top of your list.


The reason we purchase anything online is convenience. You don’t have to spend time driving to the store and risking the disappointment what you want isn’t available. However, buying online means you won’t get to revel in the beauty of your new saltwater fish until it arrives. Most online retailers do provide overnight or next-day shipping, but you need to accessible during the delivery window, so it might actually be more convenient to go to your local aquarium store and buy the fish in person during a time you’re already available.


 Many retail operations, like Aquatic Warehouse, handpick their saltwater fish, whereas an online operation 95 percent of the time just orders them by email or has someone fill the order. The person who orders is often close to the bottom rung of a true aquarium expert, so getting a fish with all its eyes and fins can sometimes be a challenge!

When you purchase saltwater fish in a store, you can clearly see the health of the fish. You’re solely relying on the competence and honesty of the retailer when purchasing online. There’s always the potential something could go wrong, despite all efforts and expertise. However, the majority of online aquarium businesses offer an “arrive alive” guarantee in which they ensure the safety and health of your purchase upon delivery. One thing to consider, though, is that saltwater fish shipped to you may have had to endure more stress than those purchased in a store. This is a sure way to impose parasites or a bacterial infection on your aquarium. It’s important to look at the fish you’re interested in and watch how it reacts to other fish around it and if it eats—all things you can only do if you buy locally.


The cost of saltwater fish sold online is sometimes cheaper than purchasing in-store. However, most of the savings get swallowed up by the shipping fees, so in the end you might not be saving much, if any, money at all.

Knowledge and Expertise

When it comes to getting the information you need, nothing beats talking to a real live human face to face. Purchasing saltwater fish online removes this layer of communication. It’s nice to be able to bounce ideas and questions that arise during and after purchase. Though online review platforms offer a layer of transparency for future consumers, and you have genuine, unfiltered feedback from prior consumers confirming the validity of retailers and their actual experiences, buying in-store allows you to instantly gain the knowledge you need about the fish you’re interested in. We’ve heard hundreds of war stories about online fish purchases—it seems like everyone has sad stories to share with us.

Once you’ve come to Aquatic Warehouse and see all of the beautiful and healthy saltwater fish, you’ll see why you’ve made the right choice of purchasing them in person rather than online. We also carry all of the supplies you need to maintain your tank, whether you need a dosing pump, filtration, or nutritious fish food. Come stop by our store in Kearny Mesa today, and feel free to give us a call with any questions at 858-467-9297.


Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
  • Working Days/Hours: Mon - Fri / 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Saturday / 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sunday / 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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