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Old 03-15-2011, 03:58 PM   #1 
Rhondabelle
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Exclamation Help me educate my customers :)

Hi all :) I'm a newbie to these forums. I'm going back from maternity leave to my job at the local pet store (not Petsmart, Petland, etc), and the assistant manager position is opening up in the fall. I'm next in line for a promotion, and I figure that I should get my facts straight before I go back to work (I admit I'm guilty of lack of knowledge, I was hardly in the fish section... pls don't flame, I'm working on rectifying the lack of knowledge).

So. What are the top things that I should be telling my customers? Obviously I won't be telling them that bettas are happy in little jars. And it doesn't have to be just about fish, either. Anything that I can do to increase my knowledge and my customer's knowledge!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:34 PM   #2 
Abby
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Bettas thrive best in atleast 2 gall or more (more the betta lol)
they are tropical so need 76-86 temps
feeding 2-4 pellets a day or twice a day ( i only feed 3 pellets a night)
males in their own tanks (LOL)
females on their own or groups of 5 or more( granted my girls are in a group of 3 and a group of 4 but they are sisters all 7 from same spawn)
water conditioner and water changes are musts!
maybe get your work to make a print out of information
(with a handy link to this site as well as all the information you can compile :) )
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:36 PM   #3 
turtle10
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Originally Posted by Rhondabelle View Post
Hi all :) I'm a newbie to these forums. I'm going back from maternity leave to my job at the local pet store (not Petsmart, Petland, etc), and the assistant manager position is opening up in the fall. I'm next in line for a promotion, and I figure that I should get my facts straight before I go back to work (I admit I'm guilty of lack of knowledge, I was hardly in the fish section... pls don't flame, I'm working on rectifying the lack of knowledge).

So. What are the top things that I should be telling my customers? Obviously I won't be telling them that bettas are happy in little jars. And it doesn't have to be just about fish, either. Anything that I can do to increase my knowledge and my customer's knowledge!

Thanks in advance!
Here is some very random info lol...

Bettas:
heater 78 degrees
at least one gallon
bi weekly water changes w/o filter
weekly water changes with filter
at least 45% protein diet
little to no current
males never kept together
females can be kept together in groups of 5 or more in at least 10 gallons

The betta info generally applies to all other tropical fish, though the diet requirements will be different.

For multiple fish at least 10 gallons is required.

FAncy Goldfish require at least 20 gallons. Add 10 g for each gold fish added. For example: 3 fancy goldfish should do fine in 40 gallons. BUT some goldfish get bigger than others. I would not recommend 3 comets for 40 gallons. High filtration also required.



Guinea pigs:
also known as cavies
fresh hay and water must be available at all times
pellet foods are better than the mixed type
fresh veggies required daily
7.5 square feet minimum per 3 guinea pigs
cannot keep males and females together unless they are spayed/neutered (guinea pregnancy is very stressful and can end in death of the mother)
NEVER keep with rabbits.

Hamsters:
generally cannot be kept with other hamsters in adulthood, they will kill each other.


Mice:
very stinky, but sociable
when using wire cages use caution as the mice can escape
known to bite


Small dogs:
use harnesses, not collars. Collars can easily damage small dogs' fragile tracheas.


This is stuff I have learned from experience. I can also provide great websites for info on pets. I have had almost every type of pet and can provide some good sources. Except snakes and reptiles lol :)
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:57 PM   #4 
Abby
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Bettas:
little to no current
My bettas LOVE playing in the current, Cinder is ALWAYS playing in it.

Guinea pigs
cannot keep males and females together unless they are spayed/neutered (guinea pregnancy is very stressful and can end in death of the mother)
NEVER keep with rabbits.

we kept guinea pigs and rabbits together for years and never had issues, nor did we have pregnancy issues before or after birth for over 12 years

Mice:
very stinky, but sociable
when using wire cages use caution as the mice can escape
known to bite

Only stink if not cared for properly, i spent 18 years on a farm, raising and breeding both rats and mice, they only smell if you don't clean them out often enough.
never once had a problem with wire cages, just make sure its not a home made job and you wont have a problem, if she works in a pet shop the pet stores sell good mice cages, just make sure the doors always close securely.
biting? all animals bite, mice are generally quite pleasant animals for children, if handled gently, mice wont bite unless threatened. Growing up with MANY different birds, mice, rats, dogs, cat,s snakes, horses, lizards, orphaned wallabies, roos, possums, i wass bitten more times by ONE species in a matter of a month then i EVER was by my rats or mice.



but thats just my 18 years of FULL HANDS ON experience :)
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:05 PM   #5 
turtle10
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I was just providing general advice. And I didn't say no current, I said a little current. Too strong of a current will stress bettas.

Rabbits can transmit deadly diseases that can kill the guinea pig. Also if the rabbit gets startled one of their kicks can easily kill a guinea pig or cause internal damage, Yours may have gotten along fine but IMO it is best to not risk death. The pregnancy issues come from the hip bones fusing or something. I forgot what it is called but after about a year of age the bones won't move to allow the babies to come through. C section is usually required for older mothers.

As for the cages, I didn't say not to use wire. I said to use caution because they can escape through the spaces.

LOL I meant to say hamsters are known to bite, none of my mice ever bit me. I know all animals bite but hamsters are a bit more prone to it from my experience.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:11 PM   #6 
Abby
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I was just providing general advice. And I didn't say no current, I said a little current. Too strong of a current will stress bettas.

Rabbits can transmit deadly diseases that can kill the guinea pig. Also if the rabbit gets startled one of their kicks can easily kill a guinea pig or cause internal damage, Yours may have gotten along fine but IMO it is best to not risk death. The pregnancy issues come from the hip bones fusing or something. I forgot what it is called but after about a year of age the bones won't move to allow the babies to come through. C section is usually required for older mothers.

As for the cages, I didn't say not to use wire. I said to use caution because they can escape through the spaces.

LOL I meant to say hamsters are known to bite, none of my mice ever bit me. I know all animals bite but hamsters are a bit more prone to it from my experience.

See i was just adding my experience into yours :) did NOT know bout the pigs hips. i did have a home made cage (cause it wasnt planed to bring them home lol) for mice a awesome 3 story onee door per story with ramps up through the floor of the stories lol cept one mousey did get out and got eaten by a bird, i was heart broken hence why i suggested the store mice cages lol
Fishtanks also make good mice cages but dont allow much air flow and tall ones are good cause mice cant climb glass :) Easy to rinse out too :)
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:25 PM   #7 
Arashi Takamine
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Betta's:

Don't go cheap on what's needed. They don't eat much unless given a chance (Kaida was a little P.I.G. when he was alive. Always nommed when given a choice.) Six pellets one at a time to start.

Heaters are not a choice they are a nessecity. Betta's need heaters to thrive. I made that mistake and I nearly blew up on the Petsmart employee who lied to me and instead of heaters put aside FILTERS.

Food that premotes color enhancement is always better then the cheap stuff.

Goldfish are a no-no as tankmates for Betta's. They secrete a toxin that is harmful to betta's.

Tell them that the starter tanks that places sell are good as temp homes but never permanant. Tell them that floor vases work as well as long as they're clear. Glass cookie jars work as well.

Silk Plants - Good. Plastic prickly plants - No.

In a 10 gallon a school of tetra's or a sorority of females work.

Lucky bamboo is a good live plant. (Kaida tore part of the one in his tank to shreds and nommed on it. His last day with us he was working on a leaf.)

Provide places to hide. Lots of places from the glow-in-the-dark colorful caves to even an Asian temple model.

Never keep males together and don't keep females with males unless your a breeder and know what to do. Females sometimes will attack each other so a sorority needs at least three or five to get along.

Some vegetation is a good treat like a mashed up pea or green bean.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:08 PM   #8 
turtle10
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Originally Posted by Abby View Post
See i was just adding my experience into yours :) did NOT know bout the pigs hips. i did have a home made cage (cause it wasnt planed to bring them home lol) for mice a awesome 3 story onee door per story with ramps up through the floor of the stories lol cept one mousey did get out and got eaten by a bird, i was heart broken hence why i suggested the store mice cages lol
Fishtanks also make good mice cages but dont allow much air flow and tall ones are good cause mice cant climb glass :) Easy to rinse out too :)
I think if guinea pigs continually breed though it won't fuse. But if you took a virgin piggy of about 2 years that would probably be bad.

I haven't had mice in so long. Most of the info I remember is just basic. This conversation made me want to get back into mice! lol
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:12 PM   #9 
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Rats do best in groups of at least two (same sex, unless you get one fixed). They're very social and can sometimes suffer if they don't have a buddy. They enjoy seed mixes but that probably won't meet all of their nutritional needs, so usually you'll have to supply them with blocks. Rats like a lot of space and attention, and they really shouldn't bite unless they're severely threatened or they weren't socialized / bred properly. Female rats have about a 75% chance of developing tumors as they get older unless you spay them early on; even if the tumors are benign they might grow so large that they become debilitating to the rat. Rats are self-aware, which means they won't jump unless they know for sure that they'll land safely.

Hamsters are largely jerks. They aren't self-aware like rats, so they will probably try to jump out of your hands, which can cause injury or death. Gerbils will basically destroy anything plastic because they love to chew, so don't buy plastic cages for their housing. They'll probably eat through wire, too; mine definitely did. Gerbils also love to chew on cardboard.

For fish, Omega One is a really good food brand.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:15 PM   #10 
Abby
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I haven't had mice in so long. Most of the info I remember is just basic. This conversation made me want to get back into mice! lol
ME AS WELL! i miss my rats they were awesome (i prefer rats to mice as they are easier to handle lol)
I had one rat for eight years (great care) he bit me ONCE in 8 yrs, his name was Benny and he got absolutely huge.

i live with my bf and his dad and his dad woud never let me get a rat. I had two in the last four years Elvis and Moose.
Elvis died and Moose got given to a snake owner to be a breeding rat to produce her snake food.

URGH I WANT A NEW Pet RAT!
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