It seems like with bettas, pet stores are excellent for giving out bad information to get a sale! I know I've been given plenty of bad advice from pet stores. Recently I went to my LPS and asked for an african dwarf frog, I was told they were out of african dwarfs but had african clawed frogs which are "pretty much the same exact thing". After getting the frog home and doing some researching, turns out they get much bigger, need much more room, and will eat about any fish they can fit in their mouth -_-
So, whats the worst advice you've ever been given from a pet store?
Hermit crab advice always sucks. They are not easy or cheap to keep. However, they are always marketed to children, so the staff never seems to understand this. Some common, deadly misconceptions:
The crabs love painted shells because they are attracted to the color. Not true. The paint is toxic to them, and many brands have been found dangerous to children aswell due to meavy metals.
They can live in wire cages. Nope, they're not the ideal home by far. Hermits have modified gills, and the humitity needs to be 75-80% or they will slowly suffacate. Maintaining this range is nearly impossible in a wire cage.
They can live happily on gravel. No way, Jose. They need several inches of moist sand and coconut fiber, so they are able to molt underground. Without it they will eventually die.
Anoles? Doesn't one need like a 10 gallon? What do they recomend? The worst advice I've ever heard, other than the Betta thing......um......ah, a Cichlid can go alone in a 10 gallon. I think it was a SA Cichlid, though, so not as bad as say a Jack Dempsey.
Anoles generally need a 20, they are far too active for a 10(if they are healthy that is). They also need UVB lights or they get metabolic bone disease! And uvbs need to be replaced every 6 months--and can be as much as 50 dollars a light or more if you get a good one. And no one wants to spend that much on a pet they put in a 3 gallon critter keeper. O_o
The other day I asked if petshop man could recommend a centrepiece for my 16 gallon, which only has a 14.5 inch footprint (back to front and side to side).
Him, pointing to a clown loach: These things are cool.
Me, politely: They get too big for my tank.
Him: Depends on what size tank you keep them in.
Him: Fish only grow to the size of their tank.
Needless to say, I then (politely, I hope) educated him on a couple of basic clown loach facts, such as:
- no fish only grows to the size of their tank, it is totally water quality related
- clown loaches will get a foot long
- they are massively active
- they prefer schools
- you need a 55 gallon FOR ONE, more for a decent school
I want to cry. I went to a different pet shop and asked about a dwarf gourami. The guy told me that DGs should always be kept in pairs (they only sold males, so that's going to work out really well...) and wouldn't eat my shrimp. Course it won't...
Bettas need colder water than tropicals, 70-76F. Rats can live alone, pairs are not needed. Gouramis do better in pairs or larger and never keep them alone. Actually a full size gourami was suggested for my 10g. Plecos only grow to the size of their tanks. You cannot tell the gender of a ferret until they are a year old.
Poor guys, they really do try and at least they listen when you tell them they are wrong about a certain creature.