At least in the fish department you are ALLOWED to say what proper care is--If the bettas were in the reptile department, you could seriously lose your job if you changed things they tell you to say! AND while you can clean betta cups, you aren't allowed to change the substrate used in the enclosures. It's nasty!!
Leopard geckos: They live in the desert, but it is not a sandy desert! It is a caked-earth crackly desert made of mostly flat rocks and hard impacted earth. They are not meant to live on sand, their bodies can't handle it well. Imagine laying on your tummy in the sand and trying to sleep with your face in it..Breathing in would get all that nasty sand in your lungs!! Their stomachs don't digest things well, they can get impacted even if you feed them right, imagine with big lumps of sand from eating crickets in the sand and just simple living on it! Even worse is CALCISAND!!! Never never never EVER buy this for your animal! It is a man made product that might as well be leopard gecko poison. It uses a high concentrated amount of calcium in the sand--while calcium is digestible.. The amount used is considered the highest dosage a human can handle--if you took that much calcium, they actually suggest you stop taking it after two weeks or you could overdose. Now imagine being as small as a leopard gecko and living on it your whole life! :( It is so awful. Yuck!! The other substrate they use is bark, which is meant to retain moisture..Uh, remember, DESERT animals? Even the bark can break off into smaller pieces and it's just an unsafe substrate for them! :( I've seen so many dead leos, breaks my heart!
They mistreat snakes too. I saw a dying little cornsnake in petsmart, the manager said he was 'evil' and was waiting for him to die.. They said he tried to strike. I asked for details--They fed each snake, getting the scent of food on them. They went to his cage last. He hadn't been fed in months.. He smells food, he goes for the food smelling tongs, scaring the manager out of her mind! She then decides to never attempt feeding him again. Awful! Thankfully someone other than me over heard, and he is a trained reptile rescuer. He wanted a children's spotted python anyway, and he was pissed so he took the poor thing off her hands. It is now the sweetest most handle able snake he owns and never tries to do any harm to him, now that it is well fed!
and then IGUANAS.. If you don't know anything about iguanas, here's something you should know: PLEASE DO NOT GET ONE. If you do, get ready to devote your life. They need as much time and effort if not more than large parrots, and they can do SERIOUS damage. They can grow to 5 feet or more(mostly their long tail which is nasty accurate if they choose to tail whip you), they are more hormonal than teenagers, they need a very expensive varied diet(put down those pellets! You need like at least 5 different greens, different veggies, and some fruit, and then balance what you give on what days!) and they need a small bedroom sized enclosure! I bet you didn't guess that from the little hatchlings they sell in 10 gallon aquariums!! Iguanas can live to 15+ years, but the average lifespan of an iguana in america is less than 1 year! >:( It's disgusting. People feed them crickets, they starve them "because if you feed them less they stay smaller", they don't give them UVB, or they put them in mesh cages, scraping and ripping apart their noses. They are one of the most fragile and violent of all the the reptiles. You can NOT touch a male while it is in breeding season! It doesn't matter how friendly you are, you are his ENEMY! Bites can leave nasty scars and require plenty of stitches. And if you have an iguana, say goodbye to vacations. They need to be fed everyday, and maintained..and not many people are willing to put their neighbors at risk of a big iguana bite! Or the iguana at risk of people being stupid :(
Don't get me wrong, they make great pets..when well cared for by someone willing to devote 15 years of their life to the animal. They are money leeches and you'll ask yourself "Why did I buy this thing again?!" But if you love the species you can care for them. But don't expect them to be your bff! And don't expect them to live in a ten gallon with no heat or UVB lights! And don't feed them crickets! >:(
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If you want a big reptile, get a bearded dragon. They are WONDERFUL and funny, they can get to be 2 feet and I've even seen a 3 foot one! Big but FRIENDLY, very easy to tame and enjoy being handled much more! They need UVB too, and a mix of veggies and bugs, but a 50 gallon is different than a small bedroom! They make great pets, I suggest them for anyone looking at reptiles! I want one :)
But yeah, several of my friends worked at petsmart, but they were almost all fired or quit. They refused to sell calcisand, which they are supposed to push at every sale(even of turtles and iguanas!), that got them punished. When they tried to change the feeding schedules of the reptiles(leos getting fed like once a week or less, each getting a single cricket) they got in trouble.. And then when iguanas are bought, they are supposed to sell a 'kit' which includes a bird/ferret cage(made out of wire perfect for getting toes stuck and broken off, tails broken, and faces rubbed raw), a uvb lamp, and iguana pellets(that if you read the label is not safe for iguanas and is made out of crickets and dog food!).. Everything you ever need for an iguana! I would quit too, dang.
:( Please, try not to buy your reptiles from Petco/Petsmart. They are over priced, WILD CAUGHT, and are often already beyond saving. Buying from them often encourages people to steal several already endangered or rare animals from the wild, or harvest their eggs.. Wild caught reptiles just don't adjust well to captivity! Plus, they'll come loaded with parasites. Ready to go to a vet? Reptiles can't be fixed with just water changes and heat! Clean cages might prevent most illnesses, but if your reptile has got a respiratory infection..gooo tooo the veeet!! Plus, all reptile supplies can be bought online for cheaper anyway.
Petstore: 30 mealworms for 5 dollars..15cents a worm. That's the best deal I could find. I've seen 15 for 5 or even 8 dollars too.
Online: 1000 mealworms for 29 dollars..Not even a penny each! :O Dang! And that price includes overnight shipping! Haha..