Story Time 5 Gallon Tank

  1. ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Member Member

    So I just wanted to share this experience from a few years ago because after reading through everything on here and doing my own research, I cannot believe what my local pet store let me do. I purchased a 5 gallon starter kit from Walmart and went home to set it up. I let it run for a week, like the pet store told me to do, and then went back to get my fish. I decided I wanted some tropical fish and looked at the Peaceful, Semi-Aggressive, and Aggressive labels. After looking, I asked one of the workers what I could put together and she told me pretty much anything except aggressive. I saw an Angelfish and decided it was pretty and I wanted one. Then I decided I wanted a shark because who doesn't want a shark. And then I saw the Tiger Barbs and thought they would be a nice addition. So the people at the pet store let me walk out with an Angelfish, a Bala Shark & a Tiger Barb. WHAT IN THE WORLD?! How do these shops let people walk out with two fish far too large for a 5 gallon tank & a single fish who really needs to be with a school? After all my research and reading on here, I'm just amazed that they let me do that. I'm so glad I found this site so I can ask questions and make sure I have the right information. So thanks to all of you guys!
     




  2. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

    thats actually 3 fish that are not suited for a 5 gallon
     




  3. D

    DutchAquarium Well Known Member Member

    There are quite a few places out their that do that. The place i worked at luckly was pretty logical about that stuff. We were also allowed to not sell customers fish if they didn't work.
     




  4. leftswerve

    leftswerve Well Known Member Member

    There are some bad pet shops out there. However, Walmart is not a pet shop, any advice taken from those employees is not a good idea (you should know that).
    I can't believe you decided to become the steward of a life without any research on your own, some culpability on you.
    If the pet shop you got the fish from tried to tell you different, would you have believed them?
    I hope all goes better this time, from what you've said, lesson learned, research done.
    Good luck
     
  5. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Member Member

    There is one place around here that is more of an aquarium store & that's where I go now. It's a little more out of my way but it's worth it. Their fish tanks are clean and the fish are healthy. They're pretty knowledgeable too. I'm glad you worked somewhere that had better standards! I wish I could work somewhere like that but I'm stuck in a boring office lol

    I am an absolute animal lover. I just assumed the pet shop had the right information to pass on to me at the time. I would have believed whatever they told me as I always want my animals to have the best of everything (ask my spoiled dog lol). Honestly the only reason I even knew I was doing anything wrong is because I mentioned this to the aquarium shop I go to now and they told me that whoever told me my previous information was an idiot (this was a few years ago). So this time around, I bought a 29 gallon tank and started to take things into my own hands this time.
     
  6. B

    BlackOsprey Member Member

    General rule of thumb is to not take pet store advice at face value, especially if it's coming from a wal-mart employee.
    Whenever I'm interested in a new fish, I try to read at least two or three articles about it. That's usually enough to tell you things like size or food requirements and aggression.
     
  7. t

    tjander Well Known Member Member

    One thought, all stores be it a pet store or a car dealership are there for one reason to sell you something. If you don’t know what you are doing with what they sell you it’s not their problem. You want, I sell. Simple as that.

    Now, a good store may encourage you to spend wisely and select the right goods, because if your successful you will come back and get more.
    I don’t know how many places are around anymore that practice this art of salesmanship.

    30 years ago it was different you did not have vast and easy sources of information. Today it’s different, use your head and know what your buying. Fish, Cars, Appliances, the food you eat.
    To quote Forest Gump “Stupid is what Stupid Does”. Don’t be stupid, be smarter then the sales person, as questions and know when the sales person has no clue.

    Off my soap box.

    Oh one more thought. Don’t believe everything you read on the net, compare and contrast advise. There are a lot of so called experts that have bad advise.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdams Member Member

    I see your point, and you are right. I was pretty young too when this happened. But coming from as small as a town that I do, its not so much all about selling around here, I have seen the selling aspect in the bigger cities/stores I have went to but in my smaller town, it's more of a helping and educating people type of world. So I was very surprised when I began research this time, but I have found a smaller, more local aquarium store now that I like much more.
     
  9. BloonStuff

    BloonStuff Member Member

    Yeah, my rule of thumb is always take advice from someone trying to sell you something with a pinch of salt. That includes pets. And always do your own research from multiple sources.

    I’m new to the hobby and have been doing research for months in preparation for beginning to cycle my 5.5 gallon and betta fish. (Probably too long lol). I got my tank for Christmas and only set it up this week, wanting as much knowledge and confidence I could get beforehand.

    A few weeks ago my aunt decided she wanted a tank too. So she bought one, let it run for a week and then went to get fish at a local aquatics store. Knowing that I’ve been preparing to get my own fish, she didn’t think to ask me any advice or anything. She didn’t talk to me about it at all. If she had I would have told her my rule of thumb. I’m not sure what size her tank is but she asked which fish would be best for beginners and the store sold her 4 male guppies and two female mollies. They didn’t explain anything about the nitrogen cycle (obvs) but did say after a week she could bring some of her water to the store for them to check it. They also failed to tell her that guppies and mollies are from the same genus and can reproduce live young. So she ended up confused by her balloon molly being constantly chased around the tank by one of the guppies. Which was undoubtedly made worse by the males outnumbering the females.

    And as I mentioned they never told her they are livebearers and while some might not care, I know she would want to know if there’s baby fish constantly being massacred in her tank.

    And yet she was singing the store’s praises and saying how wonderful and knowledgeable they were. Just because someone has a lot to say, doesn’t make it correct. As my sister says, people will believe anything if you say it with enough confidence and conviction. But as said, it isn’t only on the store. They’re just trying to put food on the table. Ultimately she should have done her own research.

    Today she came to see my tank, which is currently running a fishless cycle, and I was doing a water change after a mishap with some ammonia and my dad jokingly asked her did her tank take so much effort and she laughed and said no. I cringed.
     
  10. t

    tjander Well Known Member Member

    Sounds like you have a good handle on everything. Slow and steady will in my experience result in better outcome. However, don’t lose sight that it’s supposed to be fun, it might be a labor of love but it should not become a pain in the butt either.
    Remember there are some good people on fish lore that can help if ya have a question or need advise.
     
  11. NinaB

    NinaB Initiate Member

    Yeah, when I went to the local petsmart to pick up a new tank, I listened to none of their advice. They told me that if I added TopFin bacteria supplement to my tank, it would be cycled in 45 minutes...Lol

    It's better to go in there and already have all of the information.
     
  12. 86 ssinit

    86 ssinit Well Known Member Member

    Yes Walmart is not a pet store! But this happens a lot even in good pet stores. New customers coming in every day. They sell fish and if we don’t ask questions they belive we know what where doing. It’s good to here you got it all right now. Remember everybody on the nets water conditions are different. So what works for them may not work for you. A good LPS is a great thing to have. They have the experience and advice on what to do.
    Kind of harsh there “steward of a life” wow!! Take what you read here with a grain of salt too. Though it sound like you do allready. Good luck with your fish keeping and allways ask questions.
     
  13. BloonStuff

    BloonStuff Member Member

    Little bit of an update on my aunt’s tank for those of you that might be interested. Two of her guppies have since died within a week. One of which was the make that kept pestering the balloon molly. I’m a bit heartbroken because he was really beautiful.

    She’s taking some of her water to the store for them to test it. I offered to but then said she should maybe go to the store and look into getting Seachem Prime asap to neutralise the ammonia that I suspect is causing it. And to also find out how many litres her tank is so she can actually dose things properly. :/