Advise For Beginners Who Buy From Local Chain Stores

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lucyn, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Lucyn

    LucynValued MemberMember

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    I don't typically get fish at chain stores, but the nearest quality fish store from me is 40 minutes away and it's not always realistic.I had two fish out of a dozen or so die 24 hours within acclimation, so with a typical return policy I went to go exchange the two fish that had died, for two new ones.The worker there tested my water and told me that I had 3 PPM nitrites in my water? Which makes absolutely no sense, for one all the fish should be more than dead within an hour (especially new fish I acclimated the day before) and I have had the cycled filter I'm currently using for over a year, never being shutoff except for water changes. And of course, he was testing with test strips, one of the most inconsistent/inaccurate forms of testing water quality (not to say they're totally bad, just not the best option imo).
    I explained to him I could guarantee there were no nitrites in my water, it'd be nearly impossible considering I just moved fish out from QT, down sizing the current stock, doing a 90% water change the day prior. I've also never dosed meds that harm BB, overfed, lacked water changes, added too many fish at once etc. His response? "Sir, you cannot do a water change that large, you will take out way too much beneficial bacteria, you must do it at smaller percentages", and that's when I realized, this guy doesn't really know too much about the hobby when it's his job... I replied calmly "I'm almost 100 percent positive (I know for a fact, just didn't want to come off rude), that BB does not live in the water column, it's primarily in your filter and a tad throughout your aquarium decor", he replied "Uh nope, it is in the water column it's everywhere." I just nodded my head and took back the dead fish. He stated I should dose my tank with BB, KNOWING there's live fish in the tank which would actually kill everything. I was close to saying "So when I was doing 90% water changes twice a day for my Discus, how as it possible that they even had the slightest chance of living if BB is in the water column?", but I just accepted his ignorance and decided to move on. So, he wouldn't accept my business which is understandable considering if I actually had nitrites in my water. Leading to no exchange in fish because apparently I have nitrites in my water.
    What was really sketchy was the fact that he took out the sheet for improper water care BEFORE he had tested my water, which is something you only should be taking out afterwards of testing the water. Almost as if he didn't want to make the store look bad and blame it on the customer, in reality for them having poor quality fish. I was a little psyched out at the fact that "what if there is nitrites in my water?", I hurried home and tested immediately with API's liquid test kit TWICE, the results?
    Ammonia 0 PPM
    Nitrates 5 PPM
    And lastly, Nitrites 0 PPM

    So if I was a beginner hobbyist, I would have thought
    A. BB is in the water column and I could never do large water changes, ever.
    B. It was my fault the fish had died, leaving me discouraged and not motivated to continue my passion in the hobby.
    C. I should do live fish cycling (telling me to dose my tank with BB with live fish), which is actually very cruel and should be avoided.

    I just figured to make this thread to shine the light on the topic of your typical local chain store employees really don't know what they're talking about, for most the time. I'm not saying they're wrong about everything, I'm just stating don't take their advise to heart. My goal is to create prevention in misinformation with this little spiel, if I could assist one person reading this, that would be the goal here, thank you for taking the time to read :) . Remember to stay passionate in the hobby, you'll learn way more being a committed aquarist, than any chain store employee who's forced to be educated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  2. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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    That's why I just test my own water beforehand and take a picture of it;)
    But at least at my local Petco I'm a regular (probably to the point of annoying the aquatics people lol) and they know that I know what I'm doing.
    Any different store though, I take that picture or pull the discus card lol.
     
  3. OP
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    Lucyn

    LucynValued MemberMember

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    Hm, maybe I should start doing that! I was buying a Discus from a Petco quite a ways away one time, great looking Discus, and the employee asked "do you know about the nitrogen cycle?". I'm about to buy the princess's of fish, no I don't know lol. I guess it's good practice, though, as a fish salesmen
     
  4. nikm128

    nikm128Fishlore VIPMember

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    Oh I got mine from a Petco too! How interesting.
    When I was getting them they just asked if I'd done any research on them as far as general care and sensitivity to water.
    Something I would add to this: Go with an idea of what you want and at least look up some general info about that/those fish. That way any advice you get you'll know how close or far off the employee is. That's also a good way to control impulse buying, just take your phone with you and if you see anything that catches your eye, google it and see if it can work with your tank and current fish. If not, walk away from it.
     
  5. pagoda

    pagodaWell Known MemberMember

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    After having some iffy experiences with the High Street fish suppliers I decided to go with buying my fish direct from the supplier, ie the fish breeding company (who actually supplies the stores)

    The huge difference is that when you call or email the staff they actually do know exactly what they are on about as all staff have PhD minimum in the various aquatic qualifications and they have their own aquariums too and that always helps

    Alot of the suppliers are not open to the public, some are maybe one or two days per week but most are not. They have extensive websites where you can see the fish, you can speak to them and discuss the fish....such as giving them your aquarium size and capacity and they will match up specific fish species that will thrive and so forth

    Obviously there is always a risk in everything bought online, not just fish. So you have to find a supplier who is reputable. Most will carry a delivered live and anything up to 14 day live guarantee on all fish. Here in the UK there is just one courier company licenced to deliver live fish and they are checked by Ministry vets every 6 months, the fish suppliers are checked every 6 months...and the staff at the suppliers know their fish inside and out and will not just sell fish to make the sale, they make sure that your aquarium is suitable first......and to me that is important cos too many times we see newbies to the pastime having aquariums too small for fish that will outgrow them and when asked "did you say what size your aquarium was" its a case of well yes I bought the aquarium there and I told them what size and was still told that the fish would be fine.

    My fish are direct from supplier, they are fully quarantined for a minimum of 14 days before they even go on sale, they are checked for issues and then when I order them on the Tuesday night, they leave the supplier late on the Wednesday night and arrive at my door by courier no more than 12 hours later fully fit, swimming like trojans and ready for the aquarium with minimum of fuss.

    Now you have to find the best supplier and this can, as in my case, be a little hard at times....my first one was full of great reviews, reputable etc but rather than contact me and say that the fish I ordered were not old enough and would it be OK to send something else or wait a while, they sent out the exact order and half the fish were far too young, too small and as a result 50% died on the journey or shortly thereafter. I had them refunded but that left a bad impression so I changed to my current supplier and in 28 fish delivered by them I have had one fish loss shortly after arriving

    Staying with the same supplier is important as they get to know you and vice versa and they know your aquariums too so are able to recommend species and often identify issues too before you fall into trouble.
     
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    Lucyn

    LucynValued MemberMember

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    I'd love to have access directly to fish suppliers, that would make life a lot easier, to be honest. The problem is finding those fish suppliers, I feel as if they were easy to access lots of Petco's and PetSmart's wouldn't be a thing.
     
  7. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

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    What fish did you buy and what exactly is your definition of too young? Most fish are sold as juveniles.
     
  8. pagoda

    pagodaWell Known MemberMember

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    There are 5 or 6 direct suppliers in the UK, some are far better than others...just as with the High Street stores

    For instance the one I now use I would recommend to anyone, they have tropical, pond & marine fish, most are bred in house and others are imported and quarantined before sale

    Aquatics to your Door- Buy Tropical fish, Marine fish and Koi Carp Online

    The one that I use is open to the public at certain hours each day and is a few minutes away from Gatwick International Airport

    Very very helpful, very very knowledgeable

    @scarface

    My original supplier who I no longer use sent 6 Lemon Tetra, 1 Crown Tail Betta & 1 Blue Panaque

    The Lemons were all under 0.50cm nose to tail, the Betta was body length under 0.75cm & the Panaque was body length 1cm

    Way too tiny to be travelling anywhere, they were DOA or died the day after delivery

    Whereas the fish that I have had from the current supplier were almost full grown and more matured and with much better immune systems etc....proof of the pudding is that all are still alive and very healthy from my current supplier after several weeks/months
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2019
  9. Dechi

    DechiValued MemberMember

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    I’m sorry your LFS employee is so ignorant. Why would dosing BB with live fish in the tank be cruel though ? It’s perfectly okay to do so. It helps.
     
  10. OP
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    Lucyn

    LucynValued MemberMember

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    Oh I'm sorry, things that further enhance your current BB count are great, don't get me wrong. He referred me to a product that's for cycling new aquariums, because he implied I had a new aquarium for some reason when I stated I didn't. Meaning overwhelming my fish with more ammonia then they've seen in their life, promoting live fish cycling increasing the amount of toxins in my water. He could have easily told me to bring the fish in the store to hold till my aquariums cycled, move them to another tank if you have one etc. Or giving me a product that's not made for cycling new aquariums, like a BB enhancer lol.
     
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