I always thought it'd be cool to have a huge tank and scuba dive with your fish :)
I will always remember at my LFS, some teenage boys wanted to buy one of those 'Goliath' fish that get HUGE and her saying at least 1000 gallons as the bare minimum for just it and they're all, "That's like a swimming pool!!" And left ;)
Wow, what would the LFS do if it never sold that fish? And wait, what are they thinking selling one of those anyway, 99% of fish people can't afford a 1000 gallon tank, that's kind of irresponsible. Although . . . it would be neat to have a heated swimming pool with a 5 ft red tail cat fish in it. Swimming pool but obviously no chlorine, that is.
They have very special, exotic fish. It's their specialty! They also have their store in a rich area, too. They really educate buyers before buying and don't sell to just anyone. Even before I buy plants they give me a full run-down, LOL!
They get the fish as young babies, and have housing for them if they stay there too long and get that big. They only get one at a time and if there's no demand for them they don't get them at all. It's not like once they start growing they kill them and buy a new baby, if they did, I'd be pissed off! They really love their animals there. They constantly do water changes, have marine and freshwater, amazing set ups, etc.
On the other half, they sell things like all kinds of spiders (even poisonous to the right buyers), adult chameleons, bearded dragons, frilled dragons, snakes (some poisonous like the spiders), etc. None of these animals I have had a complaint about, they are housed perfectly, and all buyers are fully screened before purchasing. They don't care if you can even see the animal, they'll have a huge set up with full covers and foggers so the animal feels safe.
Well, that's good if they are going to sell animals like that. I would kinda think it'd be illegal to sell poisonous snakes and spiders but what do I know? I'm glad they are very responsible about who they sell to. Goodness knows there are plenty of pet stores that AREN'T.
LFS are more careful about their stock than LPS. If there is a problem in an LFS with their fish then their store would be ruined. The Big Al's near my grandmas house takes this kind of this VERY seriously, and as laughing said, whatever they sell to you they usually give you a full run down on care. There's only been one guy who didn't give me a run down because I was just buying decorations lol
Yes, you can sell poisonous animals, but there's a lot involved with it, though! Not just anybody can buy.
Yes LFS are very, very, very serious about their livestock. It literally is all they have. At PetSmart they can mess up on all their livestock but they still have reptiles, small animals, supplies, dog obedience classes, day care, boarding, etc, etc. They don't care about some fish half the time. But when a store specializes in them, it's a very big deal if they lose some of their fish!