Petsmart Fish... Yay Or Nay

  • #1
I hesitate to go their because in the past, many fish I have purchased their just died.
I go to a tropical fish store instead and I never had a problem with their fish. Their prices are a higher but worth it if the fish don't die. It's better than throwing away money on sick fish. Anyway, I went against my better judgement and purchased scissortail rasboras. The long fin leopard danios are all doing fine and I got them from a tropical fish store. The cory catfish from Petsmart however, are doing great and swimming like crazy. I treated both tanks with melafix in case the scissor tails had any disease.

Could their be another reason why they died? Is it the sudden change in water environment? I tested the water. It seems fine. I wonder if Petsmart should not be using an air pump to fill that bags half way but I doubt that's the reason. I have seen some sick fish for sale at Petsmart. I saw a cichlid with ick. I see a lot of dead fish their but at the local tropical store their is never any dead fish unless that I see.

Petsmart makes me cry when I see all the cats for sale; however, that's the only good thing about Petsmart is that their cats don't come from a mill. All their cats are rescued cats. I've had my cat for seven years and I got him from Petsmart. He was rescued after his owner had died. I have heard stories about their other animals though...

Any thoughts?
  • #2
Yeah I go through this inner battle as well.
I know fully that buying from petco is encouraging them to keep fish in these conditions, but I get conflicted when I see certain fish and I want to buy them to make their lives better.
  • #3
I buy from both and don't see much of a difference in the fish. The LFS get better quality fish from the distributors because they pay more. Therefore you pay more for a better quality fish. The Walmart, Petco, and Petsmarts pay less and get what they pay for. That's why the LFS can special order you hard to get fish.
  • #4
My local PetSmat is the only place around with healthy stock, decent living conditions, and knowledgable employees who at least have an idea about what they're doing. I have no qualms purchasing from them.
  • #5
It mainly depends on your specific PetSmart. Just like local fish stores, some will be good, some will be bad. Thoroughly look through all the fish tanks and look for dead fish, fish diseases, or any other signs of maltreatment. My local petsmart has very clean tanks with healthy fish, and I've actually had better luck with fish from my PetSmart than one of my local fish stores.

The general stereotype is that local fish stores have "better" fish than a pet store chain such as Petsmart. It depends on the specific store for the most part. Some local fish stores get their fish from the same distributor as a pet store chain. And some LFS's treat their fish the same way an LPS would.

The MAIN disadvantage to LPS's is they don't usually quarantine their fish. When a shipment arrives, they usually just drop the fish directly into the tanks. Most LFS's from my experience quarantine fish to some degree.

So I say go for it if the fish look healthy.
  • #6
I don't buy fish from chain stores. The reasons are health of fish and the fact that I don't want to lose my independent fish store. I'll gladly pay more and have a true fish lover and expert at hand and a good relationship with my LFS.

In my opinion it depends greatly on the individual chain store. Some are great, others are horrible. I have been to a PetSmart from which I would buy fish if I didn't have a LFS to go to. From other PetSmarts not so much.
  • #7
I have this dilemma sometimes, but at the same time not buying animals so that other animals don't suffer still condemns the animal you want to love and have a home for... to suffering, and most likely getting purchased by a soccer mom with a fish bowl or a frat bro with a cup and a ping pong ball.

So when I see a healthy animal I really like and want, at any store, I get it - though I do try to stay away from big box stores. Some of my favorite fish came from Petsmart, including the fat ball in my avatar, who to date is my favorite fish that I've ever had. I know I would've missed a lot out if I had passed her up.
  • #8
My Petsmart knows zero about fish hence the reason I go to Petco
  • #9
My local PetSmat is the only place around with healthy stock, decent living conditions, and knowledgable employees who at least have an idea about what they're doing. I have no qualms purchasing from them.
Same thing for me. I have 3 LFS and one petsmart near me. Two of the LFS, the conditions are even worse than anything I've seen in petsmart (50+ oscars in a 55 gallon), and one that is somewhat good, but I just bought a fish from their and they had gill flukes. Somehow all of the fish I bought from Petsmart are all healthy.
  • #10
I prefer buying from LFS when possible. Thankfully I have a decent selection of them in my area and can usually get several of them to work with me and order special fish/plants. I've seen so many sick fish from the chain stores I usually avoid them. There is one pet supermarket around here with a fish guy who knows what he's doing. Those tanks are kept clean and the various species he tries to cohab as best as possible given their stock. I also have two LFS that I won't buy at because they keep their tanks dirty, overcrowded (even by pet store standards) and full of dead and dying fish. Its a hit and miss game that all depends where you are I think.
  • #11
Never-- if this company cared about its animals/fish it would not tolerate one store lowering its reputation by selling the awful stock that is available in my area. That tells me the exceptions are due to in store management and its employees.
The more you fund companies like this with your business the lower the bar will go.
Why should they do better when we keep paying for sick , severely maltreated fish.
No way...
Bruxes and Bubbles
  • #12
I buy from whichever store has the healthiest stock. If none of them have what I'm looking for, I order from other hobbyists online.

Also depends on what I'm buying. If a snail is alive and well and I like it, I don't care what pet store/LFS it is from. If it's a fish I'm more picky as they have the potential to bring diseases to the tank.

Now, if any pet store has a ton of dead fish and this is common for them, I won't go back. One of our Petsmarts I never buy fish from due to this.
  • #13
The other thing I'll point out and forgot to add is I have two LFS's near me (within an hour radius). One has pretty bad quality tanks (almost on par with Walmart) and the other is only open for like a 3 hour window during the day. However, I have numerous chain petstores near me. A lot of it also depends on availability. I'd love to support my local businesses if I could, but only if it's applicable.

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