Lfs Versus Big Box Livestock

Yecats75

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Interested in your thoughts and experience with livestock and plants purchased either at a big box/chain pet store (or online) versus those purchased at your LFS. What say you???
 

david1978

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Only thing I have left close to me is petco. No complaints. Their tanks look healthy and clean.
 

Platylover

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I find that the chains typically have more fragile livestock than say an LFS or reputable online store. They are also typically sicker and a whole lot more dead. It's both because of their suppliers and their lack of care for fish.

A good example of what I mean is that just about every betta I've gotten from a chain has died within 6 months. I got my boy Dalisay from my LFS and have had him for over a year. There's only one chain betta thats lived that long.

Online is about equal with an LFS, but if I'm doing larger orders ill go with online since its easier to get what I want without fearing someone else would have already bought it. You also don't have to worry about the uncertainty if an LFS will actually order what you want or not.
 

CanadianFishFan

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Yesterday I learned what "Healthy" is.
I got a rescue betta from petsmart for %40 due to clamped fins. It took me 20mins going through every single betta cup and checking. By the end I found one hidden in the back but that was it. (Other wise I would have gotten 4 Anyway so I thought then they were all "Healthy".
So I go and ask a employee for a disscount and she writes it on the cup whatever.
"Yeah we had a pretty bad shipment" Like WHAT?! I don't even want to know then what "Bad" to me looks like.
My favorite was "I will give you some extra guppys because some wont make the ride home" Like lol it is a 10 min ride. Yet I got guppys from Petland and everyone is fine and alive twerking there guppy tails.
(Shhh, he is super small and cant swim that well so he is in a 1gallon)
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jilFOXgV-HqFSYdsx1phjUxdwDv5utK9Atb4HHK_T6tXmxUFqCtOMLlSeWsaP32DXDv4JV7Szd51EGO2G92=w344-h610-no.jpg
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24Bryce

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I only like to get fish from LFS, I actually have a guy who I can order any fish from and he gets it in. There was a time that he had some my dad wanted to buy but he didn't want to sell them because they Might of had ich, so I like buying from him.
Petsmart isn't really good for fish, everytime I go there they are always sick and in something really small.
Petco is a little different, I actually like buying from them every now and then, there tanks are clean and they don't really have a lot of sick fish where I get mine from, I actually got a huge angelfish that lasted a while from there, they also carry saltwater which petsmart doesnt't
I don't know about other big stores but Petsmart is the worst for me most of the time.
 
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Yecats75

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I find that the chains typically have more fragile livestock than say an LFS or reputable online store. They are also typically sicker and a whole lot more dead. It's both because of their suppliers and their lack of care for fish.

A good example of what I mean is that just about every betta I've gotten from a chain has died within 6 months. I got my boy Dalisay from my LFS and have had him for over a year. There's only one chain betta thats lived that long.

Online is about equal with an LFS, but if I'm doing larger orders ill go with online since its easier to get what I want without fearing someone else would have already bought it. You also don't have to worry about the uncertainty if an LFS will actually order what you want or not.
Yesterday I learned what "Healthy" is.
I got a rescue betta from petsmart for %40 due to clamped fins. It took me 20mins going through every single betta cup and checking. By the end I found one hidden in the back but that was it. (Other wise I would have gotten 4 Anyway so I thought then they were all "Healthy".
So I go and ask a employee for a disscount and she writes it on the cup whatever.
"Yeah we had a pretty bad shipment" Like WHAT?! I don't even want to know then what "Bad" to me looks like.
My favorite was "I will give you some extra guppys because some wont make the ride home" Like lol it is a 10 min ride. Yet I got guppys from Petland and everyone is fine and alive twerking there guppy tails.
(Shhh, he is super small and cant swim that well so he is in a 1gallon)
View attachment 505254
View attachment 505255View attachment 505256
What a story! Hope all works out! PS love your seasonal decorations!
 

Rtessy

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LFS stock is healthy, no dead fish. Gorgeous stock, very active, great colors. Local Petco has 50+ fish in ~30 tanks every time I go, stock is very fragile, and out of 11 platies I just got, 5 died in the first 4 days from a bad bacterial infection. Oh and they have anchor worms. Fun.
 

aced it

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I got 5 zebra danios from petsmart and 4 from my LFS. The LFS ones were noticeably bigger and brighter and had more of a metallic shine. The petsmart fish didn't have any visible stripes at first and kept their fins clamped for the first few days, probably because they were being kept without a school (4 in one tank, 1 in another). They perked up immediately and their colors came in as soon as I filled the school in with LFS fish. I've had them for a few months and minus one I lost to internal parasites, everyone is fat and healthy and has great color. It took a little longer for the petsmart fish to get there, but there's barely a difference now.
 
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Yecats75

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Interesting feedback guys thanks! I’ve been using my LFS exclusively- I suppose that will be a continuing practice!
 

GuppyGuy007

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So this will be a long one.
I have two LFS close to me, one about an hour away, one a half our.
Store #1
  • Always has new fish coming in
  • Will order whatever i want
  • Great Prices
  • Friendly Staff
  • 24 Hour Warranty
  • I've had numerous fish that have dies passed that 24 Hour mark
Store #2
  • Farther away from me.
  • Have never had a fish die from there, within a few years of purchase
  • No dead fish in tanks... Ever
  • Staff are iffy, depends on who you get
  • Have mostly common stuff, unless you are a cichlid person, which i am not.
Big Box Store near me(Petco)
  • Fish generally seem to be in good health.
  • Only five minutes away from me.
  • They have a 14 day "warranty"
  • Aquatic Specialist is amazing... he knows me whenever i walk in, and if there is something wrong with a fish in a certain system, he will warn me not to buy fish from that system. Thats good customer service.
So i really cant say which is better. Each store has pros and cons, whether it is big box or not.
 
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Yecats75

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Awesome breakdown! I think it just depends on where you are! I have 2 LFSs by me- one about 5 minutes away (I know I’m super spoiled) and one about 15 minutes away (again, spoiled). Plus there’s a Petco 5 minutes away too!! I was going to the LFS that’s really nearby, and they’re usually helpful and seem knowledgeable, and they have awesome livestock and plants, but last time I went in the new person helping me reeked of alcohol and smashed one of the fish I wanted into the gravel. The other LFS is much larger and their selection of “stuff” is better. They have awesome livestock for semi aggressive, aggressive, and saltwater, but the freshwater community fish are not stocked as well. They have all the fish and plants I want in display only tanks, which is super frustrating! I haven’t been to Petco yet, as I just assumed they would be subpar to the LFSs, but maybe I’ll go see how they fare, since it’s sounding like if the big box places have fish lovers working there, the outcomes are pretty favorable.
 

GuppyGuy007

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Wow, a fish store 5 minutes away from you!! I would be there every day, and spending a lot of money while I'm there...
 

GuppyGuy007

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But at least of you have some sort of emergency, and you need something right away, it's right there. I have to beg someone to drive me to the fish store when the fish lives are in danger!!
 
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Yecats75

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But at least of you have some sort of emergency, and you need something right away, it's right there. I have to beg someone to drive me to the fish store when the fish lives are in danger!!
I’m new so my fishes’ lives are constantly teetering in the balance.... someday I’ll be a good fish mom but right now I think I’m trying too hard. Too much fiddling. I read online to do this or that and then start to panic if I haven’t been doing it too.
 

GuppyGuy007

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What kind of fish do you have? Most that you will find commonly are pretty hardy and messing with everything would actually make it a bit worse. I would reccomend just monitoring and making small adjustments as necessary. What kind of fish do you have, just out of curiosity?
 

Vaughn

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Big chain stores tend to buy from big breeders who breed for quantity instead of quality and as a result the fish may look healthy in the store but even in excellent care may not live as long as they should. Local pet stores tend to buy from local breeders who for the most part are more responsible and breed for quality over quantity. Obviously there are exceptions but for the most part this is what I've seen.
 

aquatickeeper

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LFS's usually have a more variety of fish, and they're usually healthier than what you can fine at big box stores, such as Petco or Petsmart.
 
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