Thursday, June 1, 2023
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Coast Gem USA – San Diego, California Review

Harvey the Betta has been around for almost a year now and we wanted to visit where he came from. During a recent trip to San Diego, we made sure to swing by Coast Gem. Coast Gem is an aquarium store that has many exotic fish, snails, shrimp, and plants. Yes, they have tanks and other gear too but the important thing are the fish you can buy.

Harvey, was sent to us from them as part of their “adopt a betta” program. This is where you do not have a choice in the fish you purchase and are sent one from their stock. It is a great program if you’re getting into the aquarium hobby and can’t decide on which one to get.

Upon entry, you can see many tanks full of fish. This is a great sign of aquarium stores because you can see that they have many live fish. Many of them were swimming nicely because it was feeding time. There were many tanks with discus, cichilds, arowanas, snails, and shrimp. For us, we were interested in the bettas. We turned a corner and saw many jars individually filled with male bettas. These bettas were all kinds: giant, dragon, galaxy, copper, marble, crowntail, solid, dumbo, doubletail, and alien. They all had a good layer of substrate. No filters needed and you can see how healthy each one is.

While being amazed at the number of fish, Mr. Pun?, the owner, approached me and asked me how my day was going. I let him know that it’s amazing because I finally made it into his store. He smiled and asked me what kind of fish I was looking for. This is where I let him know that I’m building a tank for a sorority betta tank. He asked for more details…”how big? What else do you want in it?”

Mr. Pun? walked me over to a tank full of female bettas. More like 3 tanks full of female bettas. He began to describe each of them. Koi, candy, nemo, marble, and dumbo females were all in the tank. There were at least 20 of them in each tank. He then describe how they receive their females from the farm and how each set has grown up together and they already know each other. This helps so they don’t fight.

He then mentioned that if they do start to fight, take the aggressive one and place it in a cup with 1” of water. This helps to calm them down. He also said adding an almond leaf to the tank will help them all be better.

We continued to walk throughout the store and he showed me more tanks full of fish and then recommended that I also get some kind of cleaner. Either a catfish, snail, or shrimp. He said that the snails do a good job in cleaning the glass while the catfish and shrimp help move the substrate. This will help with the ammonia levels in the tank and help balance the bacteria.

After getting a tour, we headed down a narrow flight of stairs onto another floor full of tanks. These tanks had many goldfish, koi, and other fish that they just received. From the view, it shows how much care they put into their fish. When I thought we were done, Mr. Pun? opens another door and this room was full of bettas for shipment. These fish were purchased and were placed into this room for shipment. They do shipments on Thursday and overnight to help with the delivery. This makes it with hopes that the delivery truck drivers are not full of your daily supplies and can concentrate on live fish.

We were truly amazed at all the care and production that goes on at Coast Gem. This is definitely the place to order fish for anyone in the continental US. Apparently, they do a lot of orders for New York too.

If you’re in San Diego, I recommend visiting them. They are a few blocks away from the Gas Lamp district too!

1570 5th Ave
San Diego, California 92101

Or visit them at

Edel Alon
Edel Alon
Edel-Ryan Alon is a starving musician, failed artist, connoisseur of fine foods, aspiring entrepreneur, husband, father of two, geek by day, cook by night, and an all around great guy.


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Harvey the Betta has been around for almost a year now and we wanted to visit where he came from. During a recent trip to San Diego, we made sure to swing by Coast Gem. Coast Gem is an aquarium store that has many...Coast Gem USA - San Diego, California Review