Lfs Wouldn't Let Me Buy What I Wanted

deoxys

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I was kind of insulted at my LFS today. I've completed a fishless cycle using the "add and wait" method from this forum and I dosed the ammonia to 5ppm so I could add all the fish at once. My LFS isn't close to me and I can't just go there anytime I feel like, it has to be a specific trip. I wanted 9 diamond tetras, 9 neon tetras, and 6 corydoras. From what I've read, this is reasonable to add at once if I've done the cycling to 5ppm.

I got the 9 diamond tetras and when I mentioned what I wanted next the man wouldn't let me buy any more than that. He asked all kinds of questions about what I had done, what kind of tank I had, etc and I could answer every single one without hesitation. The last time I added ammonia was yesterday because, as the instructions said, you have to add ammonia if you don't have fish yet so the bacteria doesn't die. There's 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates (because I did a major water change) in my tank today. He told me I shouldn't have added ammonia for a few days before I got this fish (what?)

He said I needed to cycle with a starter if I wanted to do a fishless cycle. I told him I have already done a fishless cycle with only ammonia and having plants in the tank. He insisted I buy starter, but I wouldn't. I told him the tank has already completed cycling.

I felt pretty insulted. I knew what I was doing and what I was talking about. He didn't believe me. I imagine a lot of people do come in wanting more than they should get or who don't know what they're talking about, but I did. I knew everything I needed to know and he was wrong about things.

It's the only fish store around, so I do have to go back to get my other fish. If they try to tell me I can't get all of them again, I will just have to insist they let me do it and not return. The store generally has great reviews and good things to say about employees but once in a while a review talks about an employee who has a know-it-all attitude and treats people like they don't know anything. Maybe it's the same one all the negative reviewers get. Has anyone else ever dealt with anything like this?
 

kuhlkid

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The excuses he gave you sounded off-target and dismissive, which is really frustrating for sure. However, there is a reason for you not to add 24 fish all at once: the beneficial bacteria you have grown so far probably won't be ready for that much bioload. It's a good idea to add fish a few at a time, especially in a new system and to a tank as small as yours. Once the tank is better established, your BB colony will be more ready to absorb changes in the bioload, but right now, adding one group at a time is wise. When you go back, keep that approach in mind. When your BB gets a change in bioload it isn't ready for, it causes a mini cycle in the tank, and the resulting ammonia and nitrites will just put stress on everyone you've already got settled. Be patient, and good luck! And again, THIS is what the guy should have warned you about, not talked over you about whether your tank was cycled at all. Sorry about that X(
 

Susiefoo

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Sorry for your experience. I sympathise. The "best" LFS in my area is like this. It's great in many ways - fabulous stock of fish and products, more than anywhere else - but the staff think they know everything. When I went to pick up my tank I got told there was no such thing as a fishless cycle, that Tetra Safestart was "just ammonia" (and forced into buying some JBL alternative that did nothing), and that the APS Master Test Kit was "incredibly unreliable" (and did I want to buy the JBL version - no prizes for guessing who their stockist is).

It's strange that people who work with fish can be so clueless when a couple of hours on Fishlore would set them straight!
 
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deoxys

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Yes, I understand that things can change some but I had to spend 12 dollars to get to the store and 12 dollars to get home. It's hard for me to be able to afford this, and from everything I've read, dosing the ammonia to 5ppm should've made it okay. I've been cycling my tank for 2 months and doing research longer than that. I feel like he shouldn't have treated me that way.
 

maggie thecat

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He did the responsible thing, putting all of those fish in at once would have put a strain on your system. He sounded like he was trying to push product though. Or maybe that is the way the employees are trained, a little bb has saved many a fish.
 

DIYhack

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Drumroll... buy them online.

Liveaquaria has them online. Probably save $
 
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deoxys

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Drumroll... buy them online.

Liveaquaria has them online. Probably save $
I thought about that but the shipping always put me off, but I guess the money I've spent getting a ride to and from the fish store is the same anyway..
 

goplecos

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Yes, and while he was wrong about the starter, he was right to say that you should only buy the Diamond Tetras. Even if the tank is cycled with ammonia you should only add one school at a time, so it isn't a shock to the BB. Having a starter is hot topic and many experienced fish keepers think that it is a must, I think as long as the tank is cycled then you're fine. I haven't used a starter for 5 years. I understand that you can't make the trip often but after you add one school of fish then you can add the rest in a month or so. Also even though he was a jerk about it keep in mind that they are living animals so he has every right to refuse a sale. I worked at an LFS and sometimes beginners come in and the only way to deal with them and to make them understand something is to be a jerk, and it is sometimes really hard to tell experienced fish keepers from novices. A good way to prevent this in the future is bring in a water sample (that you know is perfect of course), and if they give you any trouble say: I have a water sample feel free to test it and see if it's not perfect.
 
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deoxys

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I don't think you should ever have to be a jerk. I've worked with the public and I know people can be uneducated and rude about things, but it's never good to treat people as if they are the lowest common denominator. Perhaps if you've tried treating them properly and they refuse to understand, you might have to resort to being less nice, but not as an initial response to what I told him. If he had believed that I really did cycle my tank like I told him but he told me the reasons you've explained as to why he could not sell me the rest, I would have felt better about it. Instead I just felt belittled and embarrassed about it.
 

goplecos

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I don't think you should ever have to be a jerk. I've worked with the public and I know people can be uneducated and rude about things, but it's never good to treat people as if they are the lowest common denominator. Perhaps if you've tried treating them properly and they refuse to understand, you might have to resort to being less nice, but not as an initial response to what I told him. If he had believed that I really did cycle my tank like I told him but he told me the reasons you've explained as to why he could not sell me the rest, I would have felt better about it. Instead I just felt belittled and embarrassed about it.
I agree this guy did not handle you well. I was only ever a jerk to beginners and novices after about half an hour to an hour of gently explaining to them that they're wrong. You should never be a jerk to a customer right off the bat.
 

kabellem

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To be completely honest, while the vast majority of people on Fishlore I have found to be wonderful, when I was a total beginner here, I felt that a few posters were very rude too. It made me scared to post too many questions. And reading reviews about the LFS we have around this city has made me scared to go there for fear of being treated like I don't know anything.
 

wapooshe

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Ugh only a imbecile would try to buy fish at at a LFS I mean you must be crazy, this is probably why he wouldn't sell you fish. Next time be smart and buy your fish at WalMart they will let you buy their entire stock. ( this is a joke )
 
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