Fish/Pet-Stores With Clueless Staff?!.. 'Pay It Forward'..

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Richard

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There've been many posts in here about fish/pet stores we've been to where we encountered staff that have absolutely no knowledge about the fish/animals being sold, and so they give advice on raising these living things we so love, off the top of their head.. many times we see fish and other animals being kept in the worst possible conditions for sale as well as getting the wrong advice on raising them, and we get angry at such inhumane treatment being meted out for profit.. and it's the same, whether it's in the U.S. or Canada, the U.K. or Australia or New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, the Philippines or Trinidad (hope I didn't leave anybody out), it's a harsh wake-up call almost everytime we step foot through the doors of these establishments!

We Fishloreans need to wake-up, and realize that first off, with only a few exceptions, these stores are staffed by people who are being paid minimum wage and not necessarily the brightest sparks in the work force.. so what do we do?.. well besides making the strongest possible case to the management or head-office of these stores for more educating of staff and more humane conditions for their fish/ animals, or starting petitions and outright boycotts, we do what we can by buying the fish/animals, raising them in a healthy environment, and knowing we've at least saved some of them from a miserable existence or a short life.

There's a movie I once saw called 'Pay It Forward' with Kevin Spacey and that kid from 'Sixth Sense' which had quite an impact on how I live my life.. basically the premise of the movie was, while we may not be able to change all that's wrong with the world we live in, one small kindness we do could make a difference to someone else.. and if they do the same thing and pay it forward, in time it may make us all better people.. I  think 'Pay It Forward' everytime I go to these stores, because I know I'm dealing for the most part with underpaid and uneducated clerks, and I do a kindness by buying fish from them and placing them in as much of a healthy environment as possible with my knowledge and YOURS.

So let's do what we can to 'Pay It Forward' where our fish and other pets are concerned.. while we may not be able to make the world a better place for all animals, at least we can make a difference for those in our charge.
 

Isabella

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I have seen this movie Richard, and I loved it. I loved the little boy in the movie. I also like Helen Hunt very much - she's a very good actress. And, yes, the idea of the movie is excellent. By paying it forward with respect to the fish keeping hobby, do you mean for us to keep reminding the management of these stores not to hire irresponsible and/or clueless staff (or perhaps reminding the management to educate the newly-hired staff about the necessary things)? Or do you mean for us to keep reminding the clueless staff themselves about the things they need to know?
 

Tom

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One way I could help prevent just anybody get hired, is to go and apply for a job there. With all the different stuff I learned from this site and other lfs's, I could be a good help to them.
Tom
 
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Richard

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My experience with businessmen is that in their eyes all else comes a distant second to their profit-margin.. and so unless laws are made and enforced (keyword here being 'enforced') to protect animals being sold as pets, there's very little we as consumers can do to change the status quo.. complaints fall on deaf ears, petitions accomplish very little if anything at all, and boycotts only work if every last consumer feels as passionately as we do about the state of fish/animals being sold in these stores and the level of training given to the clerks that sell them pertaining to their care and upkeep.. we can point store-clerks in the right direction if we see them making mistakes, or overhear them giving rookie buyers bad advice, but bear in mind more often than not, what we say to them won't register or they won't care, simply because they're working a minimum wage job with little or no training, and so lack the motivation to do what's best for the fish/animals they sell.

While I'm not saying we shouldn't do what we can to change things by taking any of the actions previously mentioned, I do believe we accomplish a lot more getting as many people as possible into fish and other pets, and through a forum such as FishLore where we can all exchange knowledge and experiences, make things better for fish/animals bought out of these stores.. in our own small way we'd be paying it forward for those animals everytime we encourage someone to take up fishkeeping, or to buy a puppy or kitten or hamster to take into their home and also encourage them to log onto sites like FishLore for great advice on raising healthy pets.

I've already turned one friend of mine onto getting an aquarium, and he's already gotten great advice by reading some of the posts right here on FishLore although he's yet to join.. in the new year, I'm going to help my landlord who's a dentist set up a big tank in his waiting-room and also turn him onto FishLore.. so while I may not be able to change the way things are done at local petstores, I can pay it forward in my own little way everytime fish are bought out of those conditions to stock the tank of someone willing to learn the proper way how to do it.
 

Guzalot

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I think the sentiment in this post is great, but the last thing I'm going to do is give an unscrupulous dealer cash. That's like buying from a puppy mill because you feel sorry for the dogs. The best thing you can do is refuse to do business with them and give your money to an ethical LFS. Just my 2c.
 
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Richard

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.. And I agree Guz, but are there that many LFS that operate in an ethical manner, housing their fish in the healthiest of ways and training their staff?.. I do believe even in the few you take your business to, you'll see mistakes being made.. not true?
 

Jmarcus

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It is hard to find a good lfs in my area and I live near Atlanta. The shops that are run by people that care about and love fish, or any pets for that matter cannot compete with the chain stores. This is sad but that is the way it is. These people make their money from people that are uninformed and hoping to start something good, but after bad advice from people that you would think should know, and having very little success, they give up. Maybe we could start a co-op were dedicated and informed shop owners could purchase their inventory as a group and be able to compete with the big chains.
 

Guzalot

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I suppose I can count myself lucky, I have found two great LFS's here in Kansas City so I have the luxury of being choosy. Unfortunately I can understand that not everyone has this luxury. In my situation, I gladly pay the slightly higher prices that the LFS's charge to do my part to keep them in business.
 

Tinkersfishfamily

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i understand completely about clueless staff i read that siamese fighter fish you aint supposed to put 2 males together then some lady from the store said i could put them in my community tank and they wouldnt fight or hurt my other fish i decided to go check it out before i went and borght the fish ... i now go to a store thats a hour away from me but its been running for over 10 years and he questions everything before he sells things and he has always given me the correct advice also he helped me with my tank cycling
 

Isabella

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Richard, the ONLY ethical Fish Store I know in the WHOLE of New York state is Aquarium Adventure: https://www.aquariumadventure.com/ (the store can be also found in few other states). BUT this is the ONLY ethical one I know. ALL the rest I've been to are TERRIBLE to say the least. And New York (as well as all of the states) have thousands (if not tens of thousands or even more) fish stores. A few out of an X number of thousands of fish stores, is a very tiny percentage. And this is why it is very bad.

However, I agree with the general idea of paying it forward. Educating fish store staff whenever we can can certainly be good (hopefully). But ... still ... the next ~ $1,500 - 2,000 I am spending on my 75 (or so) gallon tank + all the supplies (filters, heaters, airpumps, lighting, cover, nutrient-rich substrate, live plants, stand, and what-not ... can't remember it all, but I have a huge list, lol), none of it will go to my local fish store. I am going to buy it all either online or at Aquarium Adventure (if they'll have all I need). I can't let them make that much money knowing that they keep fish in terrible conditions, especially Bettas in 1/2 cup of water.

As for educating friends and family ... ... I always do so when they ask about fish, consider having a tank, or are setting up a tank.
 
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