This is why this post was created.When I bought my first aquarium in my lfs , he told me to just fill it up and let it run for about 2 days then it's ready for fish. I'm still not sure if he doesn't know anything about cycling the tank or if he does know ,but he just allows you to go on the journey and learn for yourself and keep coming back for more fish when they start going sideways! I also heard him give the same advice to another couple of newbies one day I was in ...
I do that tooFirst thing I do when I used to enter an LFS is quietly wander around the aquariums, just having a looksy.
Ah the mobile phone. I see people everywhere looking at the screen. I watch the news and they show rows of people waiting to get a covid test or jab and 99% of them are staring down at their feet, I mean phone.If an employee comes up to me and asks "Can I help you?" then that is good, shows a bit of interest...if employees stay at the till playing with their phone or biting their nails, thats not good.
You would have walked out of my shop after that because I have no idea what it is.I then ask to see the shop's local authority issued licence to trade livestock and their most recent inspection report.
If that is met with, "Absolutely, no problem" then that is good.
If that is met with "EH?" and a shake of the head, I thank them very much and walk out the door.
Most of the shops I have worked at had a similar scenario. One bank of tanks would be soft water for tetras, barbs, rasboras and angelfish. Another row/ bank would be livebearers, another with Rift Lake cichlids, and if they carried salt water, that would be another row/ bank. Each bank had a set pH and GH and we told customers to try and stay within one bank and to match their water.I usually ask what hardness and ph the fish are currently in (the good shops know their own, and most have a list or memorized which tanks are kept for which specific species). One shop had their fish from one side to the other, soft water, middling, hard, African cichlid hard, saltwater.