WHAT'S THE MOST QUESTIONABLE EXPERIENCE YOU'VE HAD AT A PET SHOP / AQUARIUM?

kiko

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I think the weirdest visit to a pet shop was actually caused by my mom...my sister came to canada for a visit
so I went to my mom's to pick them up so we could go grab a bite somewhere and yap yap yap...But this was a saturday and the fish pet shop closed at 6 and I wanted to grab a couple of fish
So I told them I was passing by the fish store before we went anywhere...my sister asking do they sell fresh fish? sure...as fresh as they can be!
we got to the shop and they're acting weird like...wth am I...my mom opens up a box and a snake popped it's head up...the staff came runningggggggggg and people screaming and stuff...
it was just a mess but they were nice about it as nothing happened..they managed to close the box without anything happen
 

Rocky998

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What an insane store incident. I don't think you shared one. Correct me if I'm wrong🙂
Nothing too crazy with me...

One time I came into a petsmart looking at some natural hardscape (they have good wood near me)... There were these two ladies setting up a tank and I just wanted to help them so bad 😅...
One of the workers was taking them around having them buy all this stuff. Some of the advice I remember was wayyyy off. But I forget exactly what it was. (It was a while back)...

Then at my Local pet store this Father and daughter were walking around (the daughter was around 5) and they were just buying a bunch of fish... Guaranteed they had no idea what they were doing... The daughter was just like: "Ooo that one! That one! That one!"... The employee never questioned their fish choices or tank size... He just checked them out... I rolled my eyes
 

DragonScales+Doubletails

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Then at my Local pet store this Father and daughter were walking around (the daughter was around 5) and they were just buying a bunch of fish... Guaranteed they had no idea what they were doing... The daughter was just like: "Ooo that one! That one! That one!"... The employee never questioned their fish choices or tank size... He just checked them out... I rolled my eyes
all that so the fish can be the most popular thing in the world for 5 days 😆
 

Colin_T

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Anyways I got the loaches and asked for 5 bunches of live plants for a planted tank of mine and they told me this was a selfish request and that they couldn't sell me that much because they would need plants for all the other customers that may come in (mind you there was a 5 metre bay with hundreds of live plants there).
I would find a new pet shop.

All pet shops lose fish. Most fish die shortly after they are sent to the shop from the suppliers (within a few days). Quite often the new fish will have diseases and the shop should identify them and treat them straight away. The shop should also mark tanks with sick fish as NFS (Not For Sale).

We did a body check in the morning before we opened the shop and again at night after we closed. We also checked the tanks throughout the day when working on them, feeding fish, or catching fish for customers. Any tanks with dead fish in were checked for diseases and marked NFS if they had white spot, Columnaris or something dangerous. If a fish died in the tank and everyone else looked healthy and the water was fine, we did nothing to the tank but monitor it.

We recorded all the deaths each day in a diary. We included tank number, date, type of fish and how many died, and any diseases or signs of illness. If we were treating the tank, that was also written into the diary and on the tank.

For a shop to have an entire row of tanks with dead fish in, that is a bad sign and they either stuffed something up with the water, poisoned the fish, or have a major disease running through the system. Either way, the bodies should be removed asap to reduce the spread of the disease, and to reduce ammonia from the rotting bodies, and the tanks marked NFS so nobody buys sick fish. Some shops will even turn the lights out above tanks with sick fish in so customers don't notice the fish.

-------------------
Any shop that tells you that you can't buy 5 plants because they need them for customers are stupid. The shops get in shipments every week and can usually get them in several times a week if they really need them. If a customer came into our shop and wanted 50 plants we would sell them to the customer and order more. If the supplier couldn't deliver another shipment, we would simply go and get it from them. It's not hard to do and keeps the customer happy and makes the shop money.

I would be appalled if any shop had tanks of dead fish and didn't do something to clean out the bodies. It's bad business and bad for the remaining fish.

The OP needs to find another shop because the one you have been going to does not sound like a good shop to visit, let alone buy stuff from.
 

TwoTankAmin

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When I was still young and foolish (52 in early 2001) I went about getting my first tank. We had two pet stores in town and one LFS (which shortly went to all salt water). I got my first tank at the shop but also discovered online and got most of the hardware that way. I told the pet shop I chose to use what the prices were on things and that I preferred to give them my business if they could price no more than 10% above the online price. They told me the online price was less than the price they had to pay their distributors. I did not continue shopping there for long.

I did get a few fish from the shop early on but that ended soon. There was a long standing pet shop about a 30 minute drive from me that would get a bunch of Mercedes and limos double parked out front every weekend. The average customer never asked the price, they just bought. I was not rich and could not afford much, but they were a real fish store. To work there you had to take and pass a written test re fish and fish keeping.

Since then I have almost never gone into a pet store and have not bought a single fish from one. I do go into real fish stores now and then but I very rarely buy anything there.

I have gotten most of my fish from other hobbyists, breeders and even from wholesale sources. My absilute favortie way to buy fish was imported. For that I had to buddy up with folks who did that. Fortunately I knew a few. I have only had ich twice in 22+ yeqars and both time it came in with new fish. Once bought on Aquabid and once bought from a local pet store. At least for one purchase I had begun using Q tanks and nothing besides 19 of the 20 new tetras and danios died. The other time I put the fish into a tank with a breeding pair of bn and kids. A few survived.

I am sure there must be some decent pet stores in the country, but I had neither the time nor inclination to locate them. I am aware of several surviving decent LFS, but I cannot bring myself to pay their prices for fish and other live goods. I only buy tanks from stores and I get everything else other ways.

One reason I do not visit pet stores is that most give awful info which I know will be bad for the fish and will not leave a new keeper with a good experience. But they are very touchy about losing any sales no matter how many fish they end up killing or how many potential new hobbyists they turn off for good. So I just do not go in. I used to but was told not to come back because i told a potential buyer one cannot keep the two species they wanted in the same tank etc.

So when it comes to shopping ifor fish in a pet store, caveat emptor! (Look it up ;))

edited for spelling and typos
 
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meezazee

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That is not what anyone should expect. A few dead fish are a result of shipping, but a good store will remove them. A bad store will too - it's just common sense.

Never, ever buy a wounded fish. It can be from tankmates, but an open sore can also be serious, communicable disease. If one fish in a tank doesn't look right, don't buy any. If the filtration is central and one tank is off, the whole store is to be avoided.
"I feel like I could make an exception if this is a small business, but this is a big pet shop."

That's a big part of the problem, IME, in the States, anyway...and I've heard similar stories from across the pond

Large chain stores = profit , period...the few LFS employees you happen to encounter that actually have knowledge about proper fishkeeping (or other pets) have ones of their own...the rest, eh, need a job....

Small pet stores ("mom & pop") = profit (of course), but 99% of the time, you'll find VERY knowledgeable shop owners/employees who actually care for the animals, want to see them go to good homes, and just don't have the big $ the box stores have to continually replace dead stock with live stock

I'm lucky to have one of those nearby, family-owned for as long as I can remember...fish selection is not bad, conditions so-so, but at least they know what they are doing, and will guide you...they sell reptiles & snakes, as well

I'd MUCH rather spend my $ there than the "Pet (slash)" box stores we have here
Yes I agree completely!
 
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meezazee

meezazee

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When I was still younf and foolish (52 in early 2001) I went about agetting my first tnak. We had two pet stors in town and one LFS (which shortly went to all salt water). I got my first tank at the shop but also dicovered online and got most of the hardware that way. I told the pet shop I chiose to use what the prices were on things and that I preferred to give them my business if they could price no more than 10% above the online price. They told me the online price was less than the price they had to pay their distributors. I did not continue shopping there for long.

I did get a few fish from the shop early on but that ended soon. There was a long standing pet hop about a 30 minute drive from me that would get a bunch of Mercedes and limos double parked out front every weekend. The average customer never asked the price, they just bought. I was not rich and could not afford much, but they were a real fish store. To work there you hade to take and pass a written test re fish and fish keeping.

Since then I have almost never gone into a pet store and have not bought a single fish from one. I do go into real fish stores now and then but I very rarely buy anything there.

I have gotten most of my fish from other hobbyists, breeders and even from wholesale sources. My absilute favortie way to buy fish was imported. For that I had to buddy up with folks who did that. Fortunately I knew a few. I have only had ich twice in 22+ yeqars and both time it came in with new fish. Once bought on Aquabid and once bought from a local pet store. At least for one purchase I had begun using Q tanks and nothing besides 19 of the 20 new tetras and danios died. The other time I put the fish into a tank with a breeding pair of bn and kids. A few survived.

I am sure there must be some decent pet stores in the country, but I had neither the time nor inclination to locate them. I am aware of several surviving decent LFS, but I cannot bring myself to pay their prices for fish and other live goods. I only buy tanks from stores and I get everything else other ways.

One reason I do not visit pet stores is that most give awful info which I know will be bad for the fish and will not leave a new keeper with a good experience. But they are very touchy about losing any sales no matter how many fish they end up killing or how many potential new hobbyists they turn off for good. So I just do not go in. I used to but was told not to come back because i told a potential buyer one cannot keep the two species they wanted in the same tank etc.

So when it comes to shopping ifor fish in a pet store, caveat emptor! (Look it up ;))
Thanks for the warning ;)
 
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meezazee

meezazee

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I think the weirdest visit to a pet shop was actually caused by my mom...my sister came to canada for a visit
so I went to my mom's to pick them up so we could go grab a bite somewhere and yap yap yap...But this was a saturday and the fish pet shop closed at 6 and I wanted to grab a couple of fish
So I told them I was passing by the fish store before we went anywhere...my sister asking do they sell fresh fish? sure...as fresh as they can be!
we got to the shop and they're acting weird like...wth am I...my mom opens up a box and a snake popped it's head up...the staff came runningggggggggg and people screaming and stuff...
it was just a mess but they were nice about it as nothing happened..they managed to close the box without anything happen
woooot that's crazyyy
 
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meezazee

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It's not you! So, don't doubt yourself. It was really weird behavior of those at the store. Yes, fish can also die at the store. But no, it's not normal that the dying is something continuous. If that's the usual behavior of the staff, I wouldn't even come back to them.

I truly do think that a lot of people had some weird experiences with an lfs.
A store that isn't around anymore used to feed those fish just twice a week (if those fish were lucky... ) and a lot of sick fish. A number would just stick to the inlet of the filter system, because they were that sick and they had not the strength to swim away from the inlet. And they still had the courage to ask the full price for those sick fish. And of the all the lfs's in our region, they were already the most expensive one.
And if you'd ask them why those fish weren't fed more often, the answer would be: We don't have time for that. Which was weird, for there were always more employees than customers on the floors. And I saw those employees frequently sitting at the bar, while costumers were around. You really needed to ask for their attention.
It was a real disappointment that their behavior had changed in customer unfriendly behavior. Because they have been a very big name in our country and were one of te best stores nationally. It seemed like as if they just didn't care anymore...
Woah, yep Im glad im not alone but its a shame this happens everywhere. Sorry for your bad experiences too! :(
 
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meezazee

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When a know it all "aquatics manager" at petco told me my water was wrong for my fish (it wasn't, it was perfect for south American fish like i keep)
She did the test strips, looked at it without comparing to the chart, and told me that "your PH is too low," pointed to another spot (which is the ammonia) "and so is the alkalinity"

As if PH isnt the alkalinity. Proceeded to tell me that a PH less than 7 is the reason my new fish died and refused to give me the return.

Or the time i saw a 10 year old and his dad with a 10 gallon in their cart, being told that they could have 3 bala sharks in said tank, needless to say i stepped in at that point and the employee was furious

Or the time they couldnt figure out why all of their nerites and mystery snails all died, i asked if they treated the water with anything new, and they said "yeah we put copper in to kill the pest snails, but its only for pests we dont know why our good snails and our shrimp all died"
Jeez, that's rough. It sounds like they were so confident about their wrong answers too, which is the real mystery. haha.
And wooooot??? 3 balas in a 10 gallon?!?!?! ugh.
 
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meezazee

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Now that's just insane... Before I even buy a fish somewhere I look at the other fish in the tank to see if any are sick or dead. If I see either I don't buy.
Even if I just want a shrimp, snail, or plant. They could all carry diseases.

But there is one thing that store is right about. Deaths of fish is normal in shipping and after putting them in the tanks due to stress. But not like that.
After that experience I would not be going to that store ever again. I'd rather go to petsmart literally lol.

The way the store treated you was not fair at all either... You had every right to question the dead fish and they were just being jerks about it... AND THEEEN they complain that you are buying a lot of stuff?? That's weird, cause last time I checked don't stores want your money? 🤣.


I have a LFS near me and it isn't that good BUT at least the customer service is fairly ok.

If I was you I would find another store ASAP.
Thank you, Rocky988!
 

Herpin Man

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When I was young and idealistic, whenever I went in to a pet shop that sold reptiles and amphibians, I would take it upon myself to politely critique their care and housing, and offer suggestions.
It almost never went how I wanted it to.
Most store owners and employees would get defensive, or argumentative.
One shop was selling Tylotriton, an Asian newt genus, that were near death. When I suggested that he read a book on newt care (his shop sold a couple of good titles) he hung up on me.
Another shop had lots of issues, including newts housed with turtles. The manager followed me dutifully around the store, as I made suggestions. When I finished, her only response was “you sure don’t know anything about retail, do you?”.
Another shop had a marine toad in an aquarium filled to the top with water. Marine means it’s aquatic, right? I do think they moved it before the poor thing drowned.
Yet another shop had an aquarium filled with some of the scrawniest tiger salamanders I have ever seen, all huddled together on a rock sticking up out of the water. When I suggested a proper setup and proper food, the guy suggested that I would have to buy them and do all of that myself.
Not to mention all of the misidentified animals I’ve seen.
”Prove to me that’s not a corn snake”
”We bought these from a reptile expert, and I assure you he wouldn’t make a mistake like that”
”Well, that’s what the humane society told us it was “

I very rarely try to assist pet stores any more. Few of them are interested.
 

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