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Old 04-05-2008, 05:37 PM   #11 
Flashygrrl
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It's hard to be open-minded with Petco. They've earned their bad rep, and it seems like good knowledgeable employees in one is the exception, not the rule.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:41 PM   #12 
cajunmomof4
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Our petsmart here is actually very knowledgeable, but from what I have read in forums this is rare. Now as for another LFS near me that shall remain unamed..I once listened to the owner tell someone that an 8 gallon tank would "be FINE for 3 african cichlids and 2 angels. NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER, fish only grow as big as the tank will allow, they wile never out grow their tank."
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:11 AM   #13 
herefishy
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I must agree that the "big box" pet stores lack when it comes to hiring well versed employees. One must remember that these stores are in business for one thing and one thing only .......sales. I must challenge their ethics when it comes to the subject of furthering the hobby. I think that they have soured more people on fish keeping than they have helped the hobby grow.

The "ma and pa" stores, on the other hand, have been the backbone of the hobby and will continue to be there. Most started because of a love for the hobby. They realize that their reputation puts food on the table and a roof over their head. Most develop a relationship with those of us that frequent their business. I, personally, will visit a smaller shop before entering a Petco or PetSmart when it comes to purchasing aquatic supplies or livestock. I actually have the owners of four of the shops visit me for BS sessions and coffee. Sometimes they even furnish the doughnuts.

As far as seeking information, those "big box" stores are at the bottom of my list. They have developed this reputation and will continue to sleep in their own dung until such time they realize the error of their ways and fix it. They will have a long row to hoe to regain the confidence of the hobby. I think that I would call my auto mechanic for assistance before calling PetCo or PetSmart. At least he is honest enough to say, "I don't know."

My heart goes out to those of you that have no other option than to shop these "big box" stores. I would bet that many of you do have an option if you would seek it out. Many shop PetSmart and PetCo out of convenience. That convenience includes saving money, which in the long run costs us our sanity and even more money to fix any problems. Some shop these larger chains because we don't want to drive an extra 30 minutes to visit "Papa Fish's Aquarium Shop". Forget the 30 minutes and enjoy the ride.

I am spoiled and blessed to have the benefit of 5-6 shops within a 30 minute drive. These folks deserve my business and what's more, I deserve their dedication to the hobby and their service. I have never had a problem that they didn't fix to MY satisfaction. Whether it be a fish that died or a product that didn't meet my expectations, they took care of me and my fish.

There are exceptions. There are some unscrupulous "ma and pa" stores. But these do not hang around long. Four of my lfs's have been in business for over 35 years. Two are nearing 50 years, while the two youngest have been around for at least 15 years. Like I said before, I am blessed. I have visited some small stores that did not meet my standards, I haven't been back. And, to add a note, they aren't around any longer either.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:14 AM   #14 
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Well said Herefishy, I agree with you 100%. My LFS has been with me in putting together just about every tank I own. They all say hello to me when I walk in the store and know my name. I don't have to explain the type of tank I'm looking to add an inhabitant to because they sold me all the stuff for that tank- it would drive me crazy to have to explain this every single time to a new employee. I do go to PETCO for my rabbit food, as my LFS doesn't sell hay, and I can't help but cruise through the fish section on the off chance they have a rare, mislabeled fish for $4.99. I've never managed to walk through without hearing an employee completely misinform someone and I always leave feeling cruddy and depressed.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:49 PM   #15 
cajunmomof4
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I also want to clarify, the FS where I purchase most of my supplies and fish is GREAT! It is one of those small locally owned shops. I love the owner there!
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:47 PM   #16 
Flashygrrl
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I saw something kinda interesting at the store I went to today. It's kind of a ma & pa except there's 3 (soon to be 4) of them, and they had Bettas in little cups BUT they were on this wall and there was an intake and an output in each cup, all hooked up to a filtering system and then other ones in decent sized tanks (they sell the tank with the fish). The Bettas on the wall actually seemed reasonably happy compared to what I see elsewhere.

On another note and way off topic: They had Celestial Pearl Danios. Too bad my QT tank is still cycling after being re-setup.
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:53 PM   #17 
missfish1996
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The people at Petco or petsmart or whatever don't ever learn about the animals that they are selling and can put you in a bad spot so...use forums like this or something else the internet is a wonderful. useful place
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:25 PM   #18 
okiemavis
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There was an article in TFH about researching fish this month. There's plenty of misinformation on the internet as well as from box store employees. When it comes down to it, you need multiple sources no matter how reliable they seem.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:11 PM   #19 
studioskim3
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on that note of lfs... anybody in the forum knows where there is a good lfs in california... specifically in orange county? thanks! I kept going to petco.. b/c its the closest fish store to me.
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:18 PM   #20 
studioskim3
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so... I went to my lfs... and the owner also told me the same thing as the petco guy did... to stop changin his water everyday... its about 2 weeks into the cycling... and I haven't checked my 14gal water parameters yet cuz I haven't gone home in a week (i go to college) and so my parents are monitoring and keepin up the water changes for me (and b/c they love my betta Firefly, although they named it something else). He told me not to get a pleco cuz he said it gets pretty big... rather a busynose catfish instead.... wat do u guys think? keep up the everyday water cycles (which my betta is in and I'm not sure if the ammonia/ nitrate/ nitrite spikes will be good for him), or stop changing his water (20% everyday) or continue w/ the water changes but every 3-4 days?
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