Things Fish Stores Employees Should Know

  • #41
It would be nice if the LFS had a leaflet stand next to each aquarium with a discription of the fish and it requirments, ie food, water parameters, companion fish etc. and if you took home a fish, you were given a leaflet.
Nothing over the top just some of the basic's.

Our Petsmart already has that
  • #42
Yeah Petsmart does have pamphlets on different types of fish(Petco too) but you ever read them? In most of them the only thing they get right is the picture of the species.
  • #43
Yeah Petsmart does have pamphlets on different types of fish(Petco too) but you ever read them? In most of them the only thing they get right is the picture of the species.

True that. Its the same for all fish!
  • #44
Pet Store Owner shows gratitude.

I thought I'd post this here as it deals with a suggestion that people in the pet business should learn what they can from the regulars who shop their store. Last week I was wandering around the LFS when I over heard the owner talking to a customer behind a small shelf. (I swear I wasn't eavesdropping) The customer was trying to describe her filter and the media she was looking for. I immediately recognized she was talking about the filter I was currently debating substitute filter media for. A Rena Filstar. The LFS didn't carry filstar stuff so I was looking into something else to avoid shipping online. The owner was clueless as to what the customer was looking for so I peeked around and asked if the ladies filter was indeed a Filstar. She said yes and I knew what she was looking for. The same thing I was. lol A quick search in the API section of the owners ordering book and I pointed out exactly what the owner needed to order. Well, today I went in and voila, there were the filters. They were priced about what I pay online after shipping but at least they were only a few blocks away. At the register she asked me what I thought about the pricing and told me "Oh, well I'd like you to get them cheaper than you do online." So now I get 2 bucks off those filter pads. I get a little "Thanks for helpin me out" discount. I know where I'll shop for a long time to come. lol She even let me take home some frags on an IOU.
  • #45
I wish that they would tell you about the simularities in african dwarf frogs and clawed frogs (they look almost identical when they are small)many fish dealers who give them to the little not so popular fish stores get them confused and the clawed frog ends up getting bigger and eating your fish..they should warn you of that possibility so you know what to look for. the difference is that when they are young the african dwarf frog has webbed feet
  • #46
I wish that they would tell you about the simularities in african dwarf frogs and clawed frogs (they look almost identical when they are small)many fish dealers who give them to the little not so popular fish stores get them confused and the clawed frog ends up getting bigger and eating your fish..they should warn you of that possibility so you know what to look for. the difference is that when they are young the african dwarf frog has webbed feet

Yeah there's a huge problem with most stores identifying their livestock. All the time I see things like female swords labelled platys, cory species labelled wrong,'d think the store should at least know what they're selling.
  • #47
Read, learn and be a responsible employee. Don't give advise about something you don't know about. Almost all fish stores employees I've talked to contradict each other on how to care for fish, water changes, cycling process, etc. If you're not passionate about fish, you're in the wrong field. Lastly, the best advise you can give to an amateur fish keeper is; research before buying.
  • #48
before I bought any thing I shopped around for my tank and equipment.then a read up on cycling my tank and what would be a good community tank then went into the store and asked more questions you should beable to find at least one employee that knows their stuff.I like to see if their answers are close to what I already found should research something before you buy it if you are uncertian it would be nice if the store clerk knew the answers or at least no enough to to say "I don't know"lets talk to Mack he knows.they should sell books there and point you in that direction if you are uncertian and if they are uncertian also.I asked a clerk what the difference between Freshwater MW and Saltwater was she had no idea and walked away from me.the one good thing is they do mark their tanks for community fish and solo but iy would be nice to know the size they are going to be and what size tank is best.hows the saying go?Customer beware.
  • #49
I have had a horrible experience with chain retail fishstores like Petco, Petsmart, etc. When I got my first tank ever, I set up the tank the night before and went into the store to get fish. I had not read anything on fishkeeping yet and I assumed that the employees would know enough to give me propper guidance and point me in the right direction. I had a ten gallon tank to work with and the obvious thing to do would have been to sell me two small fish to cycle the tank with. However, the guy talked me into taking home 2 dwarf gouramis, 1 molly, 2 rosy barbs, a catfish that I found out would grow to 15 inches, and a male swordtail!!! Of course I bought a couple of fish books while I was there and I got home and started reading up on my stuff and realized that I had a tank of fish that was completely wrong. I had to find a privately owned LFS to take the fish off of my hands. I wanted a larger selection of fish so I ended up purchasing a 29 gallon tank, and the 10 gallon ended up in my closet for a couple of months until I decided to set it up again. WHAT A DISASTER! Also, many of those stores have tons of dead fish laying at the bottoms of the tank and the other fish are eating them! It is like a cemetary. I would never purchase a fish out of a tank like that. Anyways, at my small LFS the employees are great and they have to pass a test to aquire a position. If the larger retailers made sure their employees knew more of the basic information, they would have a lot more sucess with customers. Also, at Walmart I have seen a tank with oscars, an angelfish, a gourami, and tetras.........WHAT?????
  • #50
Being a newb, I know that being told about cycling, the benefit of salt, and the need to do water changes more often than once a month or so would have saved me a lot of money not to mention the true emotion pain from loosing so many fish. No one told me. My luck changed when I found a small store in the next town. They taught me how to get what I had going. But of course I'm always learning (and wanting;D) new things!
  • #51
petco,petland and petsmart
Faye Rod
  • #52
employees should know

My husband and I bought a used 55 gallon aquarium five weeks ago. I have been to all of the local stores and encountered employees who are selling products without a clue of my situation. We live in a hard, alkaline water area but our water is treated by the community and is very soft. The chains - local Walmart, Pet Smart and Super Pet were all the same - young employees who know the products and in the beginning I was listening and adding lots and lots of chemicals. Last week I started reading in this forum and it's been a great place to get a much needed education. And today - excitement - I went to a Walmart where the employee has kept aquariums for 31 years and he gave me a wealth of good info on fish types and behaviors and needs. It was heaven! He is a lucky find and I will be going Walmart!

Faye Rod
  • #53
I think before they even sell you anything they should ask
1- the size of your settup
2- how long it has ben settup
3- what fish are already in the tank

Then they should know what to do with this infromation
  • #54
I went into my LFS and asked if they had any clown loaches. they looked at me like I was insane and they didnt have any idea what I was talking about. then the employee looked it up in her fish book and said something like "oh, we gat those all the time. we've just been calling them tiger catfish." I pulled my hair out. employees should know what their fish are actually called, and if they don't know what something is, they should find out. if the employees don't know what a fish is, they can't help at all. and in this case they might just make something up and give false information.

by the way...
clown loach then tiger catfish (dont you see how she became confused?)
  • #55
What a smart store they are!
  • #56
yeah, they really know their stuff! i've all but stopped going to that store.

happy valentine's day
  • #57
I had a long talk w/ the lady at PetSmart today. I had spent a lot of time reading about the plants they sell in the plastic tubes.

I explained to her that only 2 of the plants they currently had would actually survive in water.....

She said, "oh, no wonder all my plants at home keep dying"...

She was actually very appreciative to know this, and said she was going to speak w/ her boss about it.

So add that to the list, knowing the plants that are sold.
  • #58
My recent experience was having the stores brine shrimp recommended for danio fry.
Not only were they too big to fit in their mouths , they were BIGGER than the fish !!! lol
  • #59
well, in addition to all this, and to having labels for each fish... I would suggest something on the label as to the difficulty of keeping a particular fish... imho, certain fish should be labeled "NOT FOR BEGINNERS"... or something to that effect.

I almost think that they should request a water sample to test before they sell you fish, lol.
  • #60
^ I've seen labels on aquariums in stores that say "Care level: Intermediate" or "Beginner" or something like that. I'm not sure if it was PetSmart, PJ's, or Big Al's. I think it was PetSmart.
  • #61
I have really been wanting to write a thread about all the insane things customers do but thought it might be attacked... but what the hay... here's just one conversation for you... from today.

Me: How large is your tank?
customer: 10 gallon.
Me: How long has it been set up?
customer: set it up yesterday.
Me: Do you plan on getting a larger tank really soon?
customer: no.
Me: Then I don't recommend a oscar. It sounds like you are in the cycling stage [insert explanation of cycling process]. An Oscar is going to grow way to large for the tank and is not a good fish to having in there while cycling. I would recommend either a hardier, smaller, fish or doing a fishless cycle.
customer: it's for my kids birthday and I need it today, I think he would really like a bigger fish he can see.
Me: [Insert explanation of ammonia poisoning]. If you must get a fish today I would look at these...
customer: I really got to get home, I think I will just take the oscar.
Me: *sigh*
customer: can you get me that black ghost knife and a pleco too.
Me: is this going in the same tank?
customer: ya *answers cell phone and walks away*
Me: *bangs head against wall

point... employees knowing is only half the battle... the customer has to give a bleep about what the employee is saying.
  • #62
I think from now on you should be avaluated to sell fish and to buy fish, just to be sure (to sell fish) you can handle the stress and (to buy fish) you can do the right thing for the fish.
  • #63
lol, ya I don't know if I can handle the stress :-[ I need to get back into watershed conservation before they drag me off for slapping the next grown man who hits the porcupine puffers tank to try to make him puff up.
  • #64
To trio
this thread seems to have brought out everyones worst stories/comments...but we do like to get good advice, the THANKS is not always there for the people who give it.
BIG THANKS to all the fish shop workers who try
  • #65
< happy helpful pet store workers
  • #66
they are out there some where you just have to find them
  • #67
Here's something that happened to me, I went to Petsmart looking for a bristlenosed catfish. I asked the lady if the had any plecos, she looked at me like she has no clue what I was talking about. Then I said alega eaters, and she still looked like she had no clue and then said" Oh plecos are over here, and alega eaters are over there." I went to where she said and saw a common pleco, told her that got to big for my tank, she said fish can't get bigger then their tank. I looked where she was pointing for the alega eateres, it was a rubber mouthed pleco, I told her that I could wait. She said the same thing again, so I got my betta, tank divider, and backround and left. It annoyes me when they try to talk you into buying something.

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