Finding a new lfs

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So I'm looking for a new lfs since I moved and the closest to me is a Petco (about 25 miles). I read reviews online for that store and most of them are negative with people expierencing early deaths or illness.

Do I attribute those to inexperienced fish keepers or do I travel another 17 miles to the next closest which is a private local shop which has mixed reviews of both good and bad?

I know for food and such I can get from Petco but for actual fish which should I choose? Or which would you choose? Obviously I know enough to identify a problem in the tanks before buying any, but assuming they look healthy....

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So I stopped by the Petco today to get a new filter for my mom's tank and took a look at their fish tanks. Algae on over half of them, dead fish in most of them, a lot of torn up or missing fins, mismatched fish in a tank, ich on a few fish, and worst part was this... a 6 inch silver arowana in a 15 gallon tank with electric yellow labs.

I am not buying any fish from there, wouldn't have got the filter there is there was a closer alternative. Smh the 15 mins I was in there looking at fish nobody even came by to see if I needed help....

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I think that tank belongs in the "worst tank you have ever seen" thread lol.
 

Gvilleguy

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Petco and Petsmart just depend on the management. The ones in my town do a fairly decent job of tank upkeep, in my opinion. But there is a LFS 30 minutes away where I like to buy new fish stock. I just use the big stores for all other supplies...
 

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I'm thinking there's a tradeoff involved though. PetSmart and Petco usually give a 14 day or 30 day guarantee or their fish. I don't know of any LFS's that give a guarantee for that long, the most I have seen is a week.
 
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The nearest actual fish stores are about 50 mins away, one east and one west lol. Idk how comfortable I would feel driving that far with fish in a bag... I only need one more batch of fish (my Cory cats) but idk... maybe I would have to ask for a bigger bag with more oxygen or add a small dose of prime to the bag or something...


Dom90 said:
I'm thinking there's a tradeoff involved though. PetSmart and Petco usually give a 14 day or 30 day guarantee or their fish. I don't know of any LFS's that give a guarantee for that long, the most I have seen is a week.
That's true, however they will not replace the fish that die from contaminates brought in from the fish you bought. That is my main concern... I might have to set up my 20L just for a QT, but I don't have any cycled media to put in for filtration...
 

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When I first bought fish a couple years ago and didnt know better, I bought a guppy then went to run an errand or two for about an hour. So by the time I got home, it had been about over two hours, so yes I believe a fish can survive for 50 minutes.
 
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The other thing is, what if one or 2 die? Then I have to go all that way again for 1 or 2 fish.. Just a PITA.. lol. Perhaps I will wait until I am ready to stock my 20L and then do an online order and spend enough money to get free shipping or something like that..
 

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I take a cooler bag with me or a small cooler, put in the bag with the fish and zip shut. It helps to maintain the temp and keep it dark so less stress on the fish. And no I don't add an ice pack. Alison
 

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My preferred LFS is an hour-ish away. I've bought fish from them several times and they've always made it home. They inflate the bags with O2 so that might help.
 
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I know they say fish can live for a couple hours in the bags, I tend to worry too much about some stuff lol.
 

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I'd think if they can survive being shipped in the mail over a few days, they can survive a long car ride home.
 
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Ill consider the options when time comes I'm ready to buy the fish. I am leaning towards online because the options are MUCH greater but we'll see.. it'll be a few weeks or a month before I'm ready for that.
 

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My Petsmart does a decent job, I think. And I also think any LFS will have fans and detractors. My LFS had a bunch of negative reviews on Google, but I've never had a problem.
 

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It really does depend on management. My Petco keeps tanks extremely clean. Sometimes when the fish come in they aren't healthy to begin with. And there are some fish that are kept in inappropriate tanks because it is only a very temporary home. Every customer is asked specific questions before they are sold any fish. Good luck!
 

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