I spoke with Dave several times as I am a newbie with cichlids. He spent much time with me answering all my questions and gave me some helpful hints. Fish came on time as promised and were all in good shape. Very happy with this transaction.
This was my first order from Dave's. I chose him both due to the positive feedback here and for the fact that he had couple of relatively rare items I wanted: Protomelas "Steveni Taiwan" and Pseudotropheus heteropictus Chizmulu. In addition to them I got some Nimbochromis Venustus and snails. I used phone ordering as every hint is given on the site that phone is preferred method. Dave was very friendly, exact and accommodating. Even underlined minute size differences (I mean, you can't have catalogue with 1.9", 2", 2.1"... fishes nor all fishes in cookie cutter sizes)-that is appreciated and above expectation. Prices were surprisingly low. Shipping cost was reasonable. Shipping overnight was exactly as stated. Packaging was beyond expectations (in a way "quadruple-safe") and with heat pack so fish arrived in currently frigid NJ nice and toasty. Most surprising was condition of the fish. Most of them were so un-disturbed and lively that I can't bring fish in a similar condition just from the LFS. All of them were excellent. So, A++ all around.
Ordered 5 juvenile julie julidochromis trans/marlieri gombe and a calico BN pleco. Fish arrived in excellent condition. Definitely as big as or bigger than advertised. Dave was great to work with (I changed my order at the last minuted, which he took in stride). Shipping was fast, fish were priced very reasonably. Will definitely check his site first if I need to order again.
After my experience with Dave's Rare Fish, I will be a customer for life! I set up an African Cichlid tank for my office and needed help with stocking. I wanted an all male tank with lots of color. Dave had a better selection than most any other retailer I found. I told him what I wanted and he put together a list of 20 fish for me that was absolutely perfect! Great variety, including some Lake Victorias that no one else seems to have. I paid for the fish in advance and asked him to wait until my nitrites dropped to ship them since I was doing a fishless cycle. He was incredibly patient with me. I let him know on Tuesday afternoon that I was ready, he shipped the fish on Wednesday evening and they were delivered at 10:00 am on Thursday morning. All fish were individually bagged and packaged with care. They were not just alive but active and raring to go! They're all doing really well so far. I'm so happy with every aspect of this purchase.
The only thing is that he will sometimes take a couple days to email you back, but he is always very friendly and helpful when he does respond. It seems like that's just because he is busy caring for fish and fulfilling orders. He answers his own phone when you call which is unusual for a business owner but I really appreciated that.
I highly recommend Dave for your African Cichlid needs! Can't wait to do business with him again!
"Great to work with, but communication could use improvement"
I ordered a total of 30 fish from Dave. All arrived healthy and hungry in below 40 weather. He was prompt in answering or returning calls, and was able to answer any question without hesitation.
Some things to note when ordering from Dave:
-You will not get email confirmation/invoice. Though, I did not ask so maybe he would if asked.
-He will hold your stock upon payment, but won't ship in winter until weather conditions are "good." This means above 20 degrees F overnight. Plan your order time (and cycle, if needed) accordingly. I ended up having to do two extra weeks of adding ammonia and daily water changes while waiting for weather.
-I did not get a tracking number when he shipped. I ended up calling to ask when they were already 90 minutes late (they were supposed to be priority overnight 10:30am delivery).
-Shipping is a little high compared to some other breeders/retailers, but stock prices are a little lower to compensate.
I was initially drawn to Dave's Fish due to his extremely large stock list, fair prices, and his availability of fish in my search to stock a single species Psuedotropheus Saulosi tank. Little did I know, but I stumbled into the best fish keeping decision that I have ever made. Dave's Rare Aquarium Fish is the best online retailer I have dealt with, period. That includes ALL online retailers, not just retailers of live fish. Dave, is a one man show that not only rivals but completely surpasses any and all other customer service departments available for the purchasing of any product online. He took the time to answer any and all of my questions pre-order and most impressively he went above and beyond to ensure that I was satisfied with his product and my new fish post-order as well. I have never dealt with anyone as knowledgeable, patient or as agreeable as Dave of Dave's Fish. As for his fish, they are of the highest quality and I will no longer be using any other retailer of African Cichlids in the future. I implore anyone reading this review that is considering purchasing African Cichlids to head over to Dave's site and do business with the best the industry has to offer.
Ordered twice in 2 weeks. First order was for 5 juvie P.elegans "yellow tail acei", and 5 L. Caeruleus "yellow lab." Sent 1 acei free of charge, so 6 total. =o)> Second order was for 12 P demasoni, and 2 Ancistrus Cirrhosus "Bristlenose plecos." All arrived healthy, hungry and curious.
I am a first time ciclid buyer and Dave was very helpful. There was a delay in their shipment (Fedex's problem) and Dave personally called to let me know he would stand behind them if they died or were fatally injured. All were fine due to his good packing.
This was my first time doing online shopping for any fish, Dave's had everything I wanted and just could not beat the price, the other place I was considering purchasing from was over $150 more for the same fish and quantity. Fish look great, packaged very well, when I need anything else, he has earned a repeat customer.
"First time buying online and couldn't be happier!"
Wow, I was VERY impressed with Dave's Rare fish. I ordered 12 demasoni 1+ F1's, 6 rusties, and 8 electric yellows. All the fish arrived alive and well. They are very well colored for their age. I can tell the rusties are a good strain as one of them is already sporting a nice purple hue. He even gave me a bonus Demasoni and Rusty. He did an excellent job of grouping as well. He included some demasoni that were a little bigger and one gorgeous male. he did the same with the other two species. I didn't receive just all same looking same size fish, but paid that way. Thanks so much! My family loves the fish! He was also very helpful and reassuring regarding my purchase and concerns regarding buying so many at once for a new tank. I will buy fish from him in the future and likely will not even consider anywhere else. Thanks again!
I got back into keeping African Cichlids after a long absence from the hobby(kids, college for kids, etc.). I found out about Dave's through a club I joined--East Coast Cichlids. I have obtained fish from Dave a few times and been very impressed and happy with the quality of the fish I've received and his expert handling of the process, from my ordering through their arrival. I don't hesitate to refer fellow hobbyists to Dave and know I will order from him in the future.
"Dave is one of the top African cichlid vendors in the US!"
Dave's fish are top notch. He always maintains an extensive stock list. Fish are well packed and Dave accurately communicates shipping details. I will not hesitate to purchase fish from Dave in the future.
Ratings are submitted by Cichlid-Forum users based upon their own subjective views and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Cichlid-Forum.com. CF disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of information contained in reviews submitted by users, or for any damage or liability arising from the content of any review appearing on Cichlid-Forum.com. All product information on this site, including descriptions and specifications, is based soley on information made available by manufacturers. CF disclaims any responsibility for this information or the products listed. Product information may be inaccurate and is subject to change without notice. You should confirm all information before relying on it by contacting either the manufacturer or vendor with any questions about the products or the information presented.