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Old 01-22-2011, 03:11 PM   #1 
Luimeril
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Smile 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.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:19 PM   #2 
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I, too, have seen only mostly healthy bettas at Petco. I went there this past weekend and they started tending to them while I was there - moving them around so different ones were showing in the front, and so they were all in nice places. Then they brought out more stock. I like that they have different variants there besides veil tails and crown tails.

I haven't heard about the "build a betta" thing. Sounds interesting. I hope they're telling people emphatically that they need to keep up with water changes.

Wal-Mart makes me want to cry! I went to the Wal-Mart up here at college with my boyfriend and he had to drag me away so I wouldn't start crying. I wanted to buy them all... there was a hopeless case that looked like it had Dropsy that I wanted to buy so it wouldn't die in that tiny cup of cold water. :(
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:41 PM   #3 
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this petco had a rack, that only held four bettas on a shelf, but had a good number of shelves. that's where they had the DTHMPKs and stuff. on the shelf, they had it set up so it was only two cups deep, five cups wide. it made me pretty happy. they had out care sheets at the build-a-betta thing, but sell the bettas and a half-gallon bowl with gravel and a plant for ten bucks. i grabbed a care sheet, and read through it on the way back. it says males are happiest in a liter of water, but do wonderfully in larger tanks, and that the bowls need to be cleaned three to four times a week.

i e-mailed the walmart and told them my horror story. :/ i wish i'd taken pictures, it was horrid. if i had the money and space, i'd have grabbed that beautiful boy. :< he was stunning, and so vibrant even though they were in betta fishy horror land.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:14 AM   #4 
Greynova27
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I'm actually going with a friend today to check out the build-a-betta thing because I'm curious on what it entails. My friend wants a betta but I'll be recommending a nice 2-3 gall with a heater instead of the bowl.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:22 AM   #5 
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I hope they don't ask you to get a 1 gallon bowl. The people at my petsmart are pretty nice. Haven't heard of build a betta though..............
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:39 AM   #6 
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it's a half-gallon bowl. you get your choice of two half-gallon bowls, two plants, four colors of gravel, and a regular VT male. :/

i got all excited, though, when i saw the huge 2 gallon bowls. those things are HUGE!
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:16 PM   #7 
Jayy
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I saw the build -a-betta thing. I thought it was garbage, but it sounds better than I thought. My Wal-mart always has nice bettas, but not always nice care.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:43 AM   #8 
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I dont know what it is about these Walmarts!! I am so P.O. right now. Reading your message brings back the horrific scene I saw earlier today. I went to Walmart to price a ten gallon kit for my two gils Im gonna split. Saw the bettas (about five cups left) moping around with....somewhat acceptable water. Then I seen the one lone cup on the top of the slef that had the same dead once beautiful betta that was there probley a month ago!!! How the H*** can the employees leave a dead fish on display for a month and get away with it?! If I had my camera with me I would have tooken a picture and show you guys. Thought against it cause didnt know if it would be like showing animal cruelty. *SIGH* Im calling the store manager in the morning it is just getting out of control. I did pull the cup to the very front for the world to see
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:49 AM   #9 
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wow. that's horrid. i got a call back from the manager of that walmart, and told her what i'd seen, including the cichlid with the moldy wound. she asked my advice about what to do, and i told her how the cups should have daily water changes, and that i wasn't sure what their policy was on treating sick fish. i mean, i'm sure most of those darlings would look alot better with cleaner water, ya know? i do wish i could go back and get that blue and orange boy. ;A; he was beautiful!
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:55 AM   #10 
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Well I hope they will ask me what they should cause I would tell them to hire me so I can properly take care of the fish. I need a job lol they have a image to sell. What do they think selling nasty fish is saying about them?
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