I bought a pencil urchin at Centreville Aquarium several weeks ago. At the time I purchased it, I asked if it was reef safe (safe for my corals). I was told it was a great algae eater and wouldn't be a problem. Since putting the urchin in my tank, I have lost $50+ dollars worth of corals. Trusting the advice I was given at Centreville Aquarium, I didn't put together that it was the urchin responsible for all of this death until I caught it last night beginning to chomp on my duncan coral. I did some research and found out the pencil urchin in fact is not reef safe and promptly put it in a jar to take back to Centreville Aquarium today to discuss this poor advice.
I spoke with the manager on the floor (who may actually have been the same guy that gave me the advice in the first place) and told him I simply wanted to exchange my coral killer for something of relatively equal value. He said he was willing to treat it as a dead return, and offered me a 20% off a fish purchase coupon, but that would mean I would have to spend near $100 just to get back the $15 or so I spent on the urchin. I told him I was even willing to take a $10 emerald crab, but he wouldn't consider it. Not only that, but he said because I didn't have my receipt there was no way to know what the value of the urchin would be. Really? There's no way to look up what you sell pencil urchins for? Right.
I understand if I had been told to be wary or advised not to put the urchin in my tank and I did anyway that the coral death would be on me, but in this case, trusting the advice given to me by Centreville Aquarium, the coral death was on them- I wasn't even asking for as much in exchange as I had paid, nor for them to reimburse me for the coral I lost, and I was even going to give them the urchin back to resell if they liked.
This ridiculous unwillingness to make good on their mistake and maintain a relationship with a customer is completely unacceptable, so knowing full well there are several other saltwater shops in the area, I walked out and dumped the urchin in the parking lot.
If you've bought a pencil urchin at this place soon after this posting appears, know that it spent some time out on the asphalt and that it WILL eat your coral.
Having shopped here and just about every LFS in Northern VA and Maryland I am sad to say this place is steadily going bad. Notice increasingly more and more dead and sick fish amongst the livestock. I have found the owner, Dave to be less receptive and caring over the years, and sometimes detect a genuine lousy attitude, especially if I don t purchase anything. Worst of all is the prices, which at a time seemed lower than everywhere else but, no longer, in fact most shelf items are way higher than the competition. Shame, I used to like this place, guess nothing good lasts forever.
Carol 18:21:50 6/14/2013
I used to frequent this hop a while back but recently seems to have hit bottom. Prices on most items are way higher than other stores. Fish selection has been poor to mediocre and they seem unhealthy. Many purchases have died within days and some spread disease in my tanks. No good employees left either, the owner is kind of an asshole. I have other shops to go for my fish needs.
Gina 12:50:28 7/26/2012
Livestock is not impressive. You have to be careful what you pick out. I have been burned serveral times with taking home livestock and then have ICH breakout in the tank. You have to do your research on equipment selection as they will try to sell you anything under the sun. Thumbs up on there dry good selection.
Rick 04:23:58 7/14/2012
HORRIBLE service. These people are rude and disrespectful. My one hundred pound wife picked up some RO water for me but the container was too heavy for her to carry. They REFUSED to help her to her car with the water. What kind of men won't help a woman carry something. They have the same dry goods as big box stores, just a smaller selection. And their livestock is a joke, little of it, nothing unique, and somewhat overpriced. This place is a waste of time to visit.
Brian 17:39:06 5/29/2012
I can't believe these reviews, there must be some other Cville Aquarium in an alternate universe because this place does not have an extensive koi selection. You're lucky to find any Koi at all! No mammals either or upstairs either!
First of all the place is small but clean with a very limited selection. The owner is an arrogant douchebag who yells at his employees in front of the customers, usually creating an sometimes embarrassing atmosphere, and he'll sell you anything you don't need whilst telling the poor inexperienced hobbyist that they do just so he can sell something. A guy came in once claiming the item he was sold completely killed his tank, sucks to be him! I'd much rather go to Blue Ridge Koi/Marine or Marine Scene for a more professional store.
David Brayleigh 13:41:32 3/27/2011
Centreville Aquarium is superb. Although it may not be as large as most chain pet stores, the quality and service that they offer is outstanding. I have been going to Centreville Aquarium for over 5 years and have never once been disappointed. The workers and owner are respectful and knowledgeable, and have exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend this store for all aquarists, whether novice or experienced.
Dennis 16:01:25 12/16/2010
Centreville Aquarium is a very special store. Although it may not be as large as Petco or Super Petz, the employees offer exceptional knowledge. The owner, Dave, is what I consider an expert. Even if he may not have a certain fish or stock, he makes the effort to order it for you. The livestock is kept healthy and clean. If you are not satisfied with the prices (though the livestock is already at a low price), you can trade your own livestock for coupons which proves to be very convenient. I absolutely love Centreville Aquarium.
Michael 01:59:20 5/24/2010
regarding the previous comment, the centreville aquarium does not have giant indoor ponds in the back
i think you must be mistaken with a different fish store
Greg 08:40:08 11/10/2009
This store is probably best known for a good selection of koi in varying sizes. Some of their specimens are very impressive and they have a formidable "koi room" in the back with multiple giant indoor ponds with large flow-through filtration systems.
Their freshwater fish selection for smaller species is less impressive, although not dismal. They have a decent array of mollies, guppies, rasboras, livebearers, gourami, African cichlids, and the like. Nothing terribly extraordinary. Some of the aquariums are poorly labelled and badly placed so it can be hard to tell what's what.
They also sell some saltwater stuff but I don't know anything about that; a small selection of equipment at non-competitive prices (i.e. you're better off shopping online); also a mammal section upstairs that wasn't especially clean. Overall not overwhelmingly great but particulalry notable if you're interested in koi.