Happy Petco, sad Wal Mart
so, i decided, since today was the start of the Build-a-Betta crap at Petco, i'd take a trip to my local Petco. it was a long drive, about 45 minutes. i was bracing myself for what i may see, based on the things i hear here, and on UB. i was prepared for rude employees, nasty conditions, and an overall unpleasant experience. i'd prepared some things to point out, should i see things like sick fish, or something.
gladly, i didn't need to use any of that. it was a pretty pleasant place. the store was amazing, i didn't see any visibly sick critters. the cages weren't packed full of critters, the birds were pretty happy(i chatted with a green-cheeked conure for a few moments. i think the sign said his name was PJ, which amazed me. i don't know if that was the name the store gave him, or if he was an adoption bird, or what. a little hamster was busy stuffing himself on food, which was cute(he was a pudgy little fella, too). walked around, avoiding the fish section, which was in the middle, checking the store out before i ventured into the fish. saw a cute lizard, which was staring at me, looking quite shocked. i amused myself with him for a moment, before finally heading for the fish.
pretty clean fish section. they had small cups, that reminded me of the betta cups i get from my lps, half-filled with aquarium salt, sitting in each tank. >.> not sure why, but okay. that's neat. never seen any pet stores do that before. then i spied the bettas. pretty large cups, compared to what i'm used to. spotted a stunning DTHMPK that i just adore(yellow, with some black specks and some dragon scaling on his back). one DTHMPK was wiggling at my friend, which i thought was cute. of the DTHMPKs and whatever else they had there, they were pretty healthy and active. no visible signs of illness. walked over to the HMs and CTs(with some DTs sprinkled in). saw one dead fella, and one HM had chunks missing(tailbiting i'm guessing), but other than that, the bettas were clean, active, and beautiful. made our way back up front, to the Build-a-Betta thing, were i chatted with the guy in charge of it. told him i have seven babies, he suggested i "build-a-betta". i told him nicely, that those bowls were too small, and that i keep mine in at least two gallons, he agreed that that's better than the bowls, and that the bowls do need more work than larger tanks, which made me pretty happy. i informed him about the little dead guy, and showed him where he was, and he apologized and took the poor fella to the sink(they have no "back of the store" where they take them there). i walked around a bit more, oogling the live plants, before we made our way back up front, where a lady and her two kids was looking for the guy, who quickly made his way back and helped the lady. i stayed and watched as the kid picked out his bowl, a lovely steel blue betta, white gravel, a cute little silk plant, then the guy went over the simple care sheet with the boy, and the more in-depth one with mom, including the part about "larger tanks are better". pretty happy with the way things went down, i asked if i could have a care sheet, took one, and left.
but, that's the beginning of my tale. i then spotted a walmart. i had the urge to go into this strange walmart, so we did. i immediately walked to the pet department. where i was greeted by a small shelf of tanks. about four wide, four deep, small little section of tanks filled with fish. i saw those painted parrot fish things, and one had a wound on it's side that had white stuff on it. >.>; no dead fish, though, just a parrot fish thing with white stuff on a wound(reminded me of a bad ick outbreak, but it was just around this wound on it's side). i went over to the small shelf of bettas, and that's where things started going bad. none of them were active. all were just moping around. one little CT boy was so pale and stress striped, which i'd never seen on males, other than two pictures i saw on here. one was beautiful, deep blue body, orange fins outlined around the edges with bright blue. poor beauty is doomed there, i can tell. left the mopey boys, started to head out, when i saw about six or seven more cups on the shelves near the tanks for sale. one had more water than the rest, but was literally the color of urine. :/ another had slightly less water, but a dead boy, who had extended gills like he died taking a breath, and a bubble under one of them. the others looked worse off than the ones by the tanks of fish. :/ kinda... dampened the happy i got while at Petco. i was tempted to go BACK to Petco just to get my happy back. :/
so, overall, my first Petco experience was a good one. they had lovely bettas, and they were all very healthy, save the dead fella, but he wasn't thin or washed out or infected with anything. my walmart experience..... wasn't. :/ i'm about to go online and complain. >.> if anyone else wants to, i can give you the store number in a bit.