Join Date: May 2012
Location: In progress to California
I'm in a decently populated area, and both the Petco and Petsmart are in rather new locations, with a decent collection of items. Both have their ups and downs. Lost Eventide's post is pretty accurate on most counts, even with the stores near me. I'm at Petco probably 2 times a week, as its only about 10 min away, where as Petsmart is upwards of 30 min.
Petco has a very large selection of betta's, and a wide variety of color ranges (I've seen some pure white or dalmatian, at least one black orchid/devil, reds and blues, grey/silver, etc.). They have most of the tail types in stock with each shipment too. They've even had a couple double tail veiltails (though, I've never seen them XD The workers get first dibs usually). The only thing they really lack are dragonscales, where as Petsmart seems to have a decent number of them.
In terms of supplies, Petsmart does have a wider selection. Many many different brands and sized heaters, filters, tanks, etc. Petco really only has two or three different brands of anything. Most of their stuff is Petco brand, too. Its not bad, the selection is just rather limited. They offer silk, plastic, and live plants (tubed, potted, anchored and rooted). The live plant selection between the two is pretty similar, but Petsmart has some things that Petco doesn't, like dwarf hair grass, hornwort, pennywort, marimo moss balls, etc. I just haven't seen those plants at my Petco, so I go up to Petsmart to get them. Only bad thing, Petsmart's plant take is completely overrun with blue-green algae. It might just be my Petsmart, but its pretty gross. I also haven't seen tubed plants at my Petsmart, but I'm never there for long XD
The tank selection seems fairly similar, but there's one thing Petco has that Petsmart doesn't: the 6.6 gallon bookshelf tank. Its been described by many as the perfect tank for bettas, and I have to agree. I love it. Otherwise, my Petsmart has a variety of dividers, while Petco only had one (29 gallon). Petsmart also has ghost shrimp, and Petco doesn't.
Anyway, to sum it up, both are pretty great (excluding fish care). Decent selection, but each of them have something that the other doesn't.