|Address:||840 Ernest W Barrett Pkwy NW #700, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA|
|Working:||10AM–7PM 10AM–7PM 10AM–7PM 10AM–7PM 10AM–7PM 10AM–6PM 1–5PM|
this store had a nice layout and was very neat and clean. and thats about all the nice things i have to say about it. recently visited for the first time and quite frankly my experience was awful. i had broken down a 75 gallon tank and the fish store that i frequent (Creation Reef & Aquatics) had told me that optimum would buy fish from people. so i called and a young man had told me that they could give me cash or store credit for the fish. but when i showed up the young man who helped me told me he could not give cash. which quite frankly upset me because i called ahead and was told otherwise. regardless, i have multiple tanks still up and running so store credit would suffice. as he started going through my fish he explained that he would be giving me 50% of what the would sell the fish for in credit. fair enough. since i had brought a fair number of fish (and since this guy wasnt the sharpest knife in the drawer) he said he needed to add everything up on the computer and walked away. so i stood there waiting.... and waiting.... and waiting..... finally i walked to the front of the store to see what the hold up was, and he was with another customer. hello?! did i just disappear? they werent even that busy. and the snobby owner had his hand in one of the show tanks cleaning algae the whole time, completely ignoring the customers that were there. anyways, as i waited i decided to just hang around and look at their saltwater fish. every single tang had ick. every last one. and these morons had a blue regal tang crammed in one of their tiny tanks with a larger lionfish. the poor thing was clearly getting stung. so i made my way out of the fish room, i had had about all i could stomach. so i made my way around their selection of dry goods. i was not impressed, just about every brand of light bulb, aquarium food, buffer, other products, etc, were the same brands you could buy at petsmart? like other than the fact that these people sell saltwater fish, what sets them apart? its not their customer service, thats for damn sure. when the young man who had been previously helping me FINALLY (after almost half an hour) got back to me, i grabbed a couple products, used ever last bit of my store credit he had given me, and left. i would NEVER EVER EVER recommend this store to anyone who has any intention of taking the hobby seriously. will not be going back again.
Been there about 5 times in the last 2 months since we moved to this area, its a nice facility and they have a good amount of product but when it comes to my hobbys I like to be able to chat with the "specialist" aka the person selling me what im buying so I feel comfortable about their level of expertise. I dont get that feeling here. One thing Ive noticed in the last 6 years of this hobby is there are three types of Aquarium stores: Your big box store which have generally cheaper prices but you get what you pay for there and most of the Aquarium techs are just kids wanting a college job. Then you have your specialty store with "ok" to "decent" staff that has what I need but I JUST FEEL LIKE A NUMBER when buying stuff. (THIS IS WHERE I WOULD CLASSIFY OPTIMUM AQUARIUM) Then you have the specialty store that comes to you helping you with whatever problem you may have. The staff that will stand there and take the time to chat with you about your aquarium, the issues you may be having and actually care to look at a picture of your tank. (This is the level that Optimum Aquarium is capable of if the staff actually made you feel like they care.) Now I know the staff is very busy, theres lots of customers walking in, theres new fish needing dripped, theres tanks needing cleaned, product needing stocked etc etc. We are not asking for 2 hours of a techs day just 10 minutes to answer my questions. Theres one tech there that did pretty decent at helping me out but the other 3 Ive talked to not so much. I work a lot so I can enjoy my hobbys when Im off, Ive spent about a thousand dollars at this store and I still feel like a number when I walk in. Thats not how I should feel and the aquarium stores that I frequented back where I used to live all knew me by name.
Weve been going to this store since we got into the hobby, about 4 years ago. In the beginning, the staff there was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, but as of late, its impossible to even get someone to acknowledge you. Busy or slow, doesnt matter. God forbid you have any questions, which I dont think is a crazy request given the nature of the hobby, if you get them answered, they are rushed answers. At our last experience in the store , my husband was standing at the counter with my young daughter waiting to be checked out and after one of the workers checked his customer out, he saw my husband and daughter waiting and still decided to walk away instead of assisting them. Didnt even acknowledge them verbally. Poor customer service. Jason is really the only worker there who kept has kept us coming in. My husband has recently spoken with the owner, Greg, over these issues, and instead of being apologetic to a loyal customer who has spent many years and lots of money, he did not offer one apology and made no offer to try to keep our business. He kept bringing up all the good customer service we have gotten over the years, which, as I stated before, WAS amazing, but it certainly doesnt help us right now. We feel like our business means nothing to him and his store, so now it will be nothing. We will no longer be using Optimum Aquarium and we will not be removing our negative reviews, as requested by him. I guess thats just our prerogative.
The staff is very knowledgeable, but be sure to explain your tank setup and your level of fishkeeping experience. Very nice selection of corals and saltwater accessories. Prices are a bit higher than what you would find shopping on the internet, but not outrageously so. If you want it right away and want to support local businesses, the small extra cost is negligible. I have purchased numerous corals and only had one not make it. Ive purchased 3 fish and they have all been healthy with no issues. Their corals frags are very affordable and every one I have purchased has grown beautifully. I also purchase pre-mixed saltwater there (they have 2 brands of differing salinity) and it is of great quality. I point this out because I was going to another local shop and was having trouble getting my nitrates down, no matter what I tried. Come to find out, the old place was selling premixed saltwater with extremely high levels of nitrates! When I approached them about it, they said that "I shouldnt worry about it and chasing my nitrates was a waste of time." Needless to say I stopped going there and Im thrilled with the quality and service I get from Optimum. One warning- they get extremely busy at times even though they have a lot of people working there. Try to go during off peak hours if you are the type that needs an hours worth of sales associate time to buy one fish.