Why we see so many people come here with dying fish.

xxBarneyxx

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So I had 30 minutes to kill today so thought I would take a quick look in the pets at home that was nearby. The fish actually looked fairly healthy but jeez the bad information in this place. Its no wonder we see half a dozen new fish keepers posting about their fish dying every week.

Pets at home method for setting up a new tank:
Fill with water, add heater, filter etc.
Leave to settle overnight.
Test the water (what?!?)
Buy your fish.

They have a fish number system. So a tank has say 16 fish points and a tetra may be like 2 points. The point system takes no consideration for anything else such as shoaling, aggression, water parameters, etc.

Nowhere is there any mention of the nitrogen cycle.

It's easy for us in the know to say people should be doing thier research but when you go to a popular pet store with little to no knowledge and this is what your are presented with you have no reason to not trust it.

I know it's frustrating seeing the same issues come up over and over again and having to try and explaining cycling and fish requirements every few days but if it wasn't for forums like this then these people (and their fish) would never have a chance.
 

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Ichthys

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This is exactly why there should be enforceable standards for retail outlets. There is a law in the UK called the Animal Welfare Act. But you don’t need to abide by it because it is not policed, especially for fish.
There are also moral standards, that P&H are blatantly not the slightest bit interested in.
When I’m President, P&H will be prosecuted (successfully, under existing laws), and banned from selling animals, period.
 

Myraan

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The worst thing is the "1 day" sticker; I wonder what is under it? If it's one or two weeks I bet the better staff used to advise people on at least trying to instant cycle with bottled bacteria or perhaps trying to plant cycle.

I bet head office got wind and figured less dead fish translates to less sales when people come in for replacements to top up to the fish points allowed.

The good staff likely got fired for not following management instructions, which is sad - because I have good from one or two staff at my local Pets at Home.

Well technically, any cruelty will be blamed on the customer, that's probably why they slip in the test the water thing is there. If ever the water is bad I bet the the staff are not even allowed to give instructions on fish in cycling, they are probably told to try to sell API snake oil of some form.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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At my local P@H, there are staff who know about fish and those who don't. Thankfully, those who know are in the majority and these guys keep fish at home.
Manys a good, long conversation has been had.
Unfortunately, those higher up the chain are genuine idiots when it comes down to fish welfare and dictate the rules that the staff HAVE to apply and follow, even though they know it's all mainly nonsense.
They also know that the Great British Public is also, by and large, ignorant and resistant to any education.
Many see the pretty colours, they want and they want it NOW!
(And that's apparently before children get involved, who view the store as a free zoo to play in).

For those in the know, the store can be useful and the staff who keep fish are always well worth tapping into.

For those who don't, (and these apparently form the majority of the customers), then it's left to the likes of this Forum and others to pick up the pieces.
 

Playsander

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I cringe every time I am in P@h and see a family with small children buying a tiny tank and being told to come back when it's settled to buy their fish. They will overstock it and all those nice fishies will perish in front of them.

A hard lesson to learn.

I am guilty of this as my first tank was bought and set up with no research by myself. It didn't end well. But I then did research and have now been keeping my finny friends for over 10 years.
 
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xxBarneyxx

xxBarneyxx

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The worst thing is the "1 day" sticker; I wonder what is under it?
Yep I had exactly the same thought. I bet it used to be a lot longer but someone thought "it doesn't matter how long it sits for, might as well get them back in here quicker so they don't have time to look elsewhere".
For those in the know, the store can be useful
That's the problem though. They had male and female dwarf gouramis in stock that looked healthy. I really want these fish and they might be a pain to get elsewhere but do I really want to give them money?
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Yep I had exactly the same thought. I bet it used to be a lot longer but someone thought "it doesn't matter how long it sits for, might as well get them back in here quicker so they don't have time to look elsewhere".

That's the problem though. They had male and female dwarf gouramis in stock that looked healthy. I really want these fish and they might be a pain to get elsewhere but do I really want to give them money?
I could easily argue that if you don't, then they'll either go bust or have to cut corners even further. ;)
Compared to what they were when they first started selling fish, they have improved and it is customer feedback that has compelled them to do so.
As I suggested, build a relationship with the staff.
 

fishyfun&fans

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This is exactly why there should be enforceable standards for retail outlets. There is a law in the UK called the Animal Welfare Act. But you don’t need to abide by it because it is not policed, especially for fish.
There are also moral standards, that P&H are blatantly not the slightest bit interested in.
When I’m President, P&H will be prosecuted (successfully, under existing laws), and banned from selling animals, period.
When your President?

We don’t have a President haha
 

Rocky998

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Why must you know
So I had 30 minutes to kill today so thought I would take a quick look in the pets at home that was nearby. The fish actually looked fairly healthy but jeez the bad information in this place. Its no wonder we see half a dozen new fish keepers posting about their fish dying every week.

Pets at home method for setting up a new tank:
Fill with water, add heater, filter etc.
Leave to settle overnight.
Test the water (what?!?)
Buy your fish.

They have a fish number system. So a tank has say 16 fish points and a tetra may be like 2 points. The point system takes no consideration for anything else such as shoaling, aggression, water parameters, etc.

Nowhere is there any mention of the nitrogen cycle.

It's easy for us in the know to say people should be doing thier research but when you go to a popular pet store with little to no knowledge and this is what your are presented with you have no reason to not trust it.

I know it's frustrating seeing the same issues come up over and over again and having to try and explaining cycling and fish requirements every few days but if it wasn't for forums like this then these people (and their fish) would never have a chance.
"Be patient and let it sit over night"
....BE PATIENT??? Being patient is waiting weeks for your tank to cycle... Overnight?? What is wrong with these people... At least my lps said to wait a few weeks...
 

Colin_T

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Time to be devil's advocate.
Part of the problem is customers want fish and they want them now. If a shop says go home, set the tank up and wait 6 weeks for it to cycle, most customers walk out and go somewhere else. It's a compromise. Try to let the customer set up a tank as quickly as possible, but don't let them buy fish and the tank on the same day.

A better option is to tell them to wait a few days and give them a free pamphlet on the filter cycle, or tell them about the cycle, and let them set the tank up and come back a few days later for a "few" fish and some plants. Tell them to feed sparingly and bring a water sample in a couple of times a week for testing. When the shop tests the customer's water, the results are written down on a piece of paper so the customer can monitor the cycling process. At the end of the cycle, the customer can get more fish.

This allows customers to have some fish reasonably quickly, but the fish are not stressed too much by being in a tank during the nitrogen cycle. And the shop gets to sell a tank and some fish.
 

Ichthys

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Time to be devil's advocate.
Part of the problem is customers want fish and they want them now. If a shop says go home, set the tank up and wait 6 weeks for it to cycle, most customers walk out and go somewhere else. It's a compromise. Try to let the customer set up a tank as quickly as possible, but don't let them buy fish and the tank on the same day.

A better option is to tell them to wait a few days and give them a free pamphlet on the filter cycle, or tell them about the cycle, and let them set the tank up and come back a few days later for a "few" fish and some plants. Tell them to feed sparingly and bring a water sample in a couple of times a week for testing. When the shop tests the customer's water, the results are written down on a piece of paper so the customer can monitor the cycling process. At the end of the cycle, the customer can get more fish.

This allows customers to have some fish reasonably quickly, but the fish are not stressed too much by being in a tank during the nitrogen cycle. And the shop gets to sell a tank and some fish.
You can’t put fish in a small tank during a cycle and expect them to be “not stressed too much”.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Time to be devil's advocate.
Part of the problem is customers want fish and they want them now. If a shop says go home, set the tank up and wait 6 weeks for it to cycle, most customers walk out and go somewhere else. It's a compromise. Try to let the customer set up a tank as quickly as possible, but don't let them buy fish and the tank on the same day.

A better option is to tell them to wait a few days and give them a free pamphlet on the filter cycle, or tell them about the cycle, and let them set the tank up and come back a few days later for a "few" fish and some plants. Tell them to feed sparingly and bring a water sample in a couple of times a week for testing. When the shop tests the customer's water, the results are written down on a piece of paper so the customer can monitor the cycling process. At the end of the cycle, the customer can get more fish.

This allows customers to have some fish reasonably quickly, but the fish are not stressed too much by being in a tank during the nitrogen cycle. And the shop gets to sell a tank and some fish.
I actually witnessed a family being told this, that they couldn't have the fish they wanted and they returned to their car, which was parked next to mine. After the clearly disappointed people had a brief chat with the older lady inside, (Gran, I suspect), the older lady went back into the shop for the fish. I loitered, curious as to what would happen and the older lady soon returned, with a look of thunder on her face. Cue bawling kiddies and kudos to the staff member who had served them.
On my next visit, I complemented the staff on their approach, having told them what I'd witnessed, and was told it was a common ploy amongst 'certain' families. Apparently, they'd learned that those certain families were in the habit of killing fish and then making serious complaints to the shop, which had to be repeatedly dealt with, using the stores formal complaints procedure.
This obviously took up time and effort.
 

Myraan

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I'm surprised the old lady didn't think of waiting an hour or so before going in and claiming the fish was for her own mature understocked aquarium.
 

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