I was at my local Petco, picking up another silk plant for my tank (I know - live is better. I get it), and I happened to overhear a sales associate giving moderately incorrect advice to a guy looking for his first betta. I glanced at the supplies in his hands and noticed he had one of those half-gallon containers. Internally I winced, and I tried to decide if I should talk to him or not.
Finally, I approached him and asked him in the friendliest way I could muster if he was buying his first betta. He said he was, so I congratulated him and wished him luck with his new little buddy. Then I suggested as nicely as possible that he might want to consider getting his fish at least a one-gallon container, and a heater of some kind. He replied that he didn't have room for a big tank. I smiled and said, "Ok, I get it. Good luck with your fish!"
I walked away to pick up some food and treats for my cats, and as I was walking toward the register, the guy stopped me and said, "I've decided you sound like you know what you're talking about, and I want to take your advice."
So I told him all about heating his tank, and how he really should get at least a plant and something small his fish can hide in, even if it's something as simple as sinking a coffee mug in there. And I suggested he get pellets rather than flakes. Then I noticed he was planning to feed his new guy nothing but dried bloodworms. I told him to treat those like candy, and to get his fish something a bit more nutritionally balanced. I answered some more questions for him, and he thanked me.
A few minutes later, he came and found me at the register to ask me more questions and to thank me for helping him give his betta the best home possible. I was so happy to help and that he wanted the help! If I had known more when I got my first betta, I could have saved us both a lot of stress.
Its so good to hear that you decided to speak up! Some people really DO appreciate advice, and there's no way to know if you don't say something to them. Some people think they know it all, and will resent you saying anything, but I've found over the years that most people will at least consider what you say to them. I don't know nearly as much about fish as dogs, for instance (I used to be a vet tech) but dog people tend to be the same way. Either they are willing to listen or they aren't, but at least you gave it a shot, and it paid off! Doesn't it make you feel good to have helped a betta have a better life than he would have had otherwise?
I tried to help a father/son out with getting their Betta set up after he talked to a petsmart employee. The employee said Betta fish thrive in tanks under 2 gallons and that anything larger will cause them stress and vulnerable to diseases, water changes every 1-2 weeks and heaters were optional for Bettas. So the father was picking out the food while I was looking over Petsmart's selection of food. He noticed me looking at the Betta food and asked me you have a Betta? I was like yeah two of them actually. I saw the .5 gallon designer Betta home in his hand. I was like you really need something that is at LEAST two gallons and a heater. He looked at me like was out of my mind and promptly informed me of what the employee told him and walked off with his flake food in hand. I cringed as I seen him checking out. I couldn't help but to think that is likely going to be one dead fish and that boy is going to learn about death quickly.
How odd is this, I came to this part of the forums to start a similar thread.
I went into a LFS because I needed a heater for Ghoul's tank (sadly he had to go two weeks without one, but the room is really hot so his water was at about 75-76 this whole time).
While there, a few guppies caught my attention (some really bright blue coloured males) and I wanted to get one for my community tank.
While I was approaching the tank, right next to it I see a tank filled with Bettas. This was a tank of a maximum of 1g (seriously, that is a maximum as I believe it may have been a little over 0.5g). In it, there were atleast 10 Betta (no typo), males *and* atleast one female. No joke, I may have had a tiny heart attack. They were all in terrible shape!
Since I have no way of bringing all of them home with me, I decided I salvage atleast one, the female (out of the bunch, she was the worst looking one).
I told the person that was selling them "Hey look, this Betta is crying". She laughed at me saying that fish don't cry. I replied something like "Believe me, this one is, she has to. I want to take here home". So I did. While I was paying for everything and everyone that "person" had the nerve to say that they (Bettas) love sharing a small tank, "look how happy they are". They were in a constant battle, and she though this means they love it, that's why they're so active...
Anyways, the female has her fins so shreaded that I actually though she's a CT male or someting at first. She's a VT (atleast I think, I'm not really an expert) in terrible state! I brought her home and I'll keep her with my guppies for now in my community tank (a 10g). She seems to love the new place and she's already queen of the manor as far as I can see.
Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous, their bodies desiccated or even completely skeletal. Liches are often depicted as holding power over hordes of lesser undead creatures, using them as their soldiers and servants.
A better description could not exist for the shape this lovely creature was in and how she now dominates her new home. So, as of today, my home proudly welcomes Lich :)
I know what that guy left with still wasn't the "ideal" setup, but at least his fish is a lot more likely to live. I give the Petco employee a C- for accuracy, but I've heard worse.
I left that store feeling really happy and proud that I was able to help educate someone about these beautiful fish. Hooray!
Grim- that's horrible about the living conditions at your LPS. I'm glad you were able to rescue the girl. I think Lich is a great name, and she's lucky you came along. :)
I was in a LFS a few weeks ago; one I hadn't known existed. I popped in because I saw it and thought I'd check it out. The owner literally had his bettas in red Solo cups. And the fish in tanks weren't any better off. The tanks were filthy and crowded. Each tank I passed, all the fish schooled and followed me. I realize they were likely hungry, but it was eerie. The owner didn't speak much English, so I just walked out. I still feel awful about all those poor fish. :(
Lol- someone should make a "**** Pet Store Employees Say." I was just watching a video about pet store puppies from puppy mills, and they were interviewing one of the employees who said, "They come from the best breeders around" or something like that. I just feel like so many pet stores have no idea what they're talking about. It's really sad because I see so many misinformed owners who think that they're right.
Me, enters pet shop, sees lady looking at tank with son and talking about which goldfish they should get.
Me (to little boy): Wow, you must be lucky if you have a tank big enough for goldfish!
Lady: It's not that big (makes a 10-15 gallon sort of size with hands).
Me: Erm...that's too small for a goldfish...
Lady: But don't they just grow to the size of their tank?
Me: *goes into simple details about how no, that's what they tell you in petshops, but it's actually about ammonia stunting their growth. Gestures to comets* These guys get mroe than a foot long, and those fancies don't get much smaller.
Lady: Wow, I never knew that!
Petshop assistant: Can I help you?
Lady: Yes please, we'll have two of the black ones.
Great job on speaking up and giving someone excellent advice!!
I remember when I was grabbing some ghost shrimp at PetSuperMarket the associate there asked what size tank I had and when I told him I had a 5.5 gallon tank he said "that is the max tank I recommend to my customers. Any bigger and the betta goes into a corner freaks out and dies from stress"
I told him, "no, I in fact have a friend who has a veiltail in with several other compatible fish in a 23 gallon and the betta has lived happily in that tank for 4-5 years now. Think of it if you moved from a dinky motel to a HUGE apartment. Would you go into a corner, freak out and die from stress. No...you'd practically run around everywhere inspecting everything and possibly even doing the sock slide if your apartment came with tiles, or fake hardwood flooring."
Needless to say he didn't say another thing and just got my shrimp xD