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Denny's Pet World

City: Kirkland, State: WA
Reviewed By: Chrissy
August 2005
Overall Rating: Excellent
Shop Address: 12534 120th AVE NE
Times Visited: More Than Ten Visits
Freshwater Selection: Very Good
Saltwater Selection: Very Good
Stock Selection: Excellent
Staff: Excellent
Prices: Very Good
Comments: Denny's Pet World rocks! Its a little hard to find, its in Totem Lake Mall but not the big part of Totem Lake Mall, the weird second half across the street with a few other small stores. If you ask around, people are happy to help you find the store. In business and locally owned for over 30 years, Denny's Pet World has built up a reputation as the best petstore on the Eastside and I tend to agree. Its the best pet store I've been to period.
Denny's Pet World is a full functioning petstore with just about everything you could want in addition to aquatic stock and supplies. One of my favorite parts of DPW are the display tanks. They have a 90g-ish bowfront African Cichlid display tank that is properly stocked with healthy fish, full of nice rockwork, and always sparkling clean. They even put a few chairs infront of the tank for your viewing pleasure. In the fish room they have two planted display tanks, one is a smaller cube tank and the other a larger standard rectangular tank. Both are absolutely beautiful. The real jewel of the fish room is the 175g reef tank which is amazing. Ask an employee about one of their display tanks and they are happy to tell you about the stocking, maintence, or setup. I asked about the reef tank and Jesse was happy to open it all up and show me how the filtration system worked.
If you have questions, Jesse is the one I would recommend talking to. He can answer your salt or freshwater questions and is very friendly. By far the best petstore employee I have ever come across. DPW's staff doesn't turn over every month like a chain store's will either, you can count on talking to someone you trust every time you go back.
The store is on the larger size compared to most independant stores but it doesn't have the space of a large chain store. They manage to pack quite a selection into their fishroom though. Occasionally I look through their saltwater stock which they seem to have a lot of compared to other stores, especially when it comes to corals. I don't know much when it comes to whats rare or expensive in saltwater but they seem to have a great selection and decent prices.
They have a nice selection of African Cichlids. Whats really refreshing is they actually know what Africans they carry, its not just a dozen tanks of 'Assorted Africans'. I've seen some beautiful adult Peacocks and they have more Synodontis catfish than I've seen anywhere else. I was especially happy to know they carry S. petricola on a regular basis.
They have an above average selction of Cories and a great selection of interesting and hard to find Plecos from the big beautiful guys like Mango Plecs to the neat little guys like Zebra Otos. They usually have some neat loaches in too, they had some great 8" Clown Loaches when I was last in.
Their New World Cichlid selection is hit and miss. They don't have a great selection of the larger or more aggressive species. They have the typical juvie Oscars, Firemouths, Convicts, and Jack Dempseys but they don't often carry anything exceptional. I have seen several different Apistos (I bought one and I love him!) a whole variety of Rams, Angels, and some Discus.
They have an above average selection of Tetras, Barbs, and other community fish. Usually they have Platies and Swordtails in unique colors. They also have a nice selection of Sharks-particuarly Balas which you can usually buy in sizes rangeing from 3"-10".
DPW does carry fancy Bettas as well as a nice selection of other anabantoids. You're almost guarenteed to run into a few nice looking Crowntails and a Delta or Super Delta. Veiltails are $3.50, Crowntails are about $5 and really nice Super Deltas (a dishonest store would have labeled them as HMs, some of them are 10x nicer than the "halfmoons" people are selling on Ebay) can be up to $20. They always have females in stock and they try to keep their Bettas in ivy bowls which is a step up from chain store cups. Last time I was in I purchased 5 Betttas marked as Imbellis. They are actually not Imbellis, they are Splendens plakats and absolutely amazing ones at that. This is the only time I have ever seen anything mismarked or any sort of error on the petstore's part at all. In all fairness, the employee did warn me that they were not females and that I needed to house them all seperately. This was also durring their aniversary sale which is an absolute madhouse. If you can, I highly suggest you go. Its in mid-August and all freshwater fish and plants are half off, all saltwater stock is 30% off and all tanks are at cost. Plus there is free soda and popcorn. Who doesn't love soda and popcorn? The downside is you have to fight a massive crowd and its hard to find help.
They have a nice supply of freshwater plants. All the regulars are there plus some nice harder to find plants like Cardamine lyrata and Marble Queen Swords. Stem plants are cheap, potted plants are a little on the spendy side but still cheaper than buying online. No need to worry about getting stuck with plants that aren't truly aquatic, DPW is better than that. Employees are more than willing to give you some suggestions on what plants would work with your tank.
Denny's Pet World does have a nice selection of fish but the reason most people shop there is the staff. Really, really nice people who are actually into the hobby and want you and your fish to be happy with your tank.
Another bonus, DPW carries Bio-spira. They also accept trade ins on fish, I believe you get something like half of retail value.
This is a really great store, there is a reason its been able to survive in a weird location for 30 some years. Once you start shopping there you will go out of your way to continue. It takes me about 30 minutes to drive to Denny's Pet World (or like 2hrs in traffic) and I still go there because I just like spending money there. Its nice to have your money support a place that cares about what they are selling and people who like what they are doing.
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