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Discussion Starter #1
I go to college in Chicago. Last night me and a roomie went to a petco to see animals and of course, we stopped to look at the bettas. I couldn't believe the variety compared to my petcos at home! But what bothers me is that the better fish they get, the better they sell...increase in demand...more fish being bred for profit...who knows what kind of lives they live. I worry because of the lack of knowledge of the employees. There was a lady buying a betta while we were there who wanted to buy a big tank and they were trying to turn her on to a tiny "betta" cube. After the employee walked away, I told the woman she was right to get the larger tank!

Then I asked to see a fancy rat, and the employee was like well I'll get one out for you, but if I get bit I have to go to the hospital. I told her rats typically don't bite and she said ours have! She said I'm aenemic (pardon spelling). I said do you want me to get him out then? I have experience with rats. No, she said, we aren't allowed to let you. So she tries getting him out...obviously nervous and scared of the baby rat...finally she's like ok if you can get him out go ahead...and I did, no problem. She thought for sure I was going to get bit.

What happened to people at pet shops being knowledgable and caring about animal welfare?
 

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The majority of the time it's just a job to them.

Kind of like the kid grilling burgers at McDonalds, ultimately he doesn't want to become a chef. It's just a paying job.

Also, you'll get people who love animals, certain animals. But not all animals. So they're a complete expert in say, dogs, but ask them about Betta fish and they don't know much at all.
 

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It upsets me a lot. I don't think petshops ought to employ casual teenage workers where they can possibly help it unless that teenager proves that they have a decent knowledge of at least one sort of animal in that shop, then put them to work in that section and nowhere else.
It's very sad to hear about the rats, Mmad. It usually takes a lot of neglect and then bad handling to make a rat bitey. My rats have never bitten me, even when I'm bathing them, medicating them, holding them whilst a vet sticks a thermometer up their bottoms...sadface.

One day, when I win the lottery, I'm going to start a petshop to put all of the other chains out of business, with actual experts in every section, mandatory refresher courses so everyone knows what they are talking about, ethical breeding and directing customers to rescue rather than buy from me, if they can.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess the shops just think fish are fish and rats are rats. I'd kill to have a job at petco or petsmart where I could take care of those animals and provide mich better knowledge than their current employees. I've had all kinds of animals: dogs, rabbits, rats, chameleons, hermit crabs, and now bettas.

I want to work there so bad and I'm way more qualified than probably 3/4 of their staff at least...yet they aren't hiring :(
 

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I actually just applied to a job at Petsmart because I have a passion for animals and need a bit of income until I can get a real job. They didn't ask me a SINGLE question about my knowledge of fish/reptiles/small mammals/cats/dogs/anything really. The only thing they asked about animals was had I owned a pet in the past 6 months. They did ask if I knew/had practiced selling techniques and how I get along with people.

I've encountered people at Petsmart who obviously thought they knew about fish, but I could tell they didn't. They might have been the most knowledgeable person there, but the biggest turd in a pile of turds is still a turd.

Anyway, I'm hoping if I get the job I'll be able to educate people on proper fish care.
 

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I'll be asking the manager of this self run store here if I can be a part time employee. He knows I love learning about ALL animals :3 plus being a customer there, I've had people ask ME about certain fish, how many are needed, how big of a tank, the upkeep, etc. If I know, I'll answer if I don't I'll be honest and tell them I am not sure, and get the manager who knows. :)

Like Banicks said, to most people "it's a job" nothing else. I know the employee here, prefers cats and dogs. As for me, just because I prefer fish doesn't mean I'll neglect everything else - I'd rather get the whole job done and not stand there texting my boyfriend :|
 

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Let's be honest he as well, some people just aren't smart enough to understand the science and logic behind fish keeping. For most, fish are deemed to be the easiest and cheapest pet to have, how wrong they are.

Once the correct setup is purchased, which can be quite an expensive outlay and cycling is done it does become relatively easy. But still ongoing costs and occurrences can cause a fish to be a difficult thing to look after.

Compared to dogs and cats which are relatively easy to care for, it's easy to understand why the general population enjoy the fluffy things and most employees or pet stores would know more about them. They're really not the hardest thing to look after.
 

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Let's be honest he as well, some people just aren't smart enough to understand the science and logic behind fish keeping. For most, fish are deemed to be the easiest and cheapest pet to have, how wrong they are.

Once the correct setup is purchased, which can be quite an expensive outlay and cycling is done it does become relatively easy. But still ongoing costs and occurrences can cause a fish to be a difficult thing to look after.

Compared to dogs and cats which are relatively easy to care for, it's easy to understand why the general population enjoy the fluffy things and most employees or pet stores would know more about them. They're really not the hardest thing to look after.
You're right. Most people don't care/can learn the science behind it all. I have seen master's thesis written on some of the same principles that we use in fishkeeping. I can talk the ears off of people when they say that "it's just a fish." No. It's a mini biome in which I can show you numerous biological and chemical principles. There is a lot of science behind what we do. Once I explain that to someone and they understand my love of science, they begin to understand why I love fish so much.

However, I have to disagree with you that the fluffy things are easier. On a day-to-day basis my dogs and cats require more time than my fish do. Dogs need to be walked/played with to prevent destructive behaviour. Litter boxes need to be scooped. Let them in; let them out. I just have to feed and look at my fish. And even on a weekly basis, my furries require more work. One water change, once a week is just about 2 hours (for all of my tanks) whereas I spend at least 5 hours a week just walking my dogs. Now when you are setting up a tank, it does take more daily work, but if you have a healthy, established tank, fish are the easiest pets to have.

I think the reason people prefer the fluffy things to fish (and therefor know more about them) is that loving look your dog will give you when you come home or the purr of a cat as it snuggles up against you. This makes people feel connected with these animals. You can't do those kinds of things with fish. The most you can do is hand-feed. Fish won't bring you the ball when they want to play or give you a woof/meow when they are hungry. Fish are just too different from us for most people to connect with. And if they don't connect with something, they aren't going to care enough to do proper research.

Bottom line: pets in any form aren't easy. They all require a level of care. Some require more in the beginning and some require constant over a lifetime. A pet (be it fur, fins, or scales) is a commitment, and I think this is what most people fail to grasp.
 

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Behaviour is certainly the work side of things for fluffy related animals. But I find that challenging and the walks are part and parcel of the routine! I can see the fluffys would require more hours of care.

I think what I was trying to express was in situations of disease or weird behaviour, fluffy are relatively easier to care for with dog courses and vets having greater knowledge.

I know of no fish vets!
 

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Who says fluffy animals are better? I mean, don't get me wrong, but my betta loves when i stick my finger in his tank and pet him. i then feed him. He loves it!
 

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Behaviour is certainly the work side of things for fluffy related animals. But I find that challenging and the walks are part and parcel of the routine! I can see the fluffys would require more hours of care.

I think what I was trying to express was in situations of disease or weird behaviour, fluffy are relatively easier to care for with dog courses and vets having greater knowledge.

I know of no fish vets!
You're right about the vet care! My fish vet is this forum's disease subforum. I've even had vets come to me for fish advice. I have a friend in training to be a vet; he has no knowledge of fish nor has he had any classes that dealt with them. One of the reasons for this might be that people see fish as "disposable" and just let a sick fish die. If more people demanded better healthcare for their fish, maybe we would see more fish vets and less people going into Petsmart asking for advice.

I actually do know ONE guy who has some knowledge of fish, but it is because he felt inclined to research them on his own. He has a huge koi pond and has helped people before with their koi and goldfish. There are fish vets, but they are few and faaar between. If I remember correctly there was a user here who wanted to be a vet.

Who says fluffy animals are better? I mean, don't get me wrong, but my betta loves when i stick my finger in his tank and pet him. i then feed him. He loves it!
You're not supposed to touch fish. They have a slime coat that is hurt by the oils on our hands. I can count on one hand the number of times I have touched my fish. This is another reason people don't get attached to fish. You can't hold them (whereas with reptiles you can).
 

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The thing is, dogs, cats, horses...they all tell you when they are sick - somehow. Plus, in town here there is NO vet who will deal with fish. Not even koi. And koi are often brought in to have ulcers/tumors removed, or to get treatments they need that the owner cannot do themselves. I've heard of people doing it - just like a dog or cat.

However, it's true, that a fish is NOT cheap, and not easy. Cannot buy and forget... It's an animal. All animals have needs, and their "need" in captivity is to be cared for. Sure, bettas in the wild...some end up in shallow pools of water next to swamp-like regions. Sure, they don't get their water cleaned. But, it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to say "environment is FAKE for captivity bettas! YOU are the environment obtainer! YOU moderate ammonia! YOU feed them!" Which is what not only store associates, but people who believe some of the really really far out bogus spews that they are given, seem to forget, or lack an understanding of.

And I agree about touching them..it's bad for them. Only time I have actually touched them, is if I didn't have a net in my reach when one jumped out on me during a water change... Or if their mouth gets my finger during feeding, or jumpers during feeding land in my hand x.x :lol:
 

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The trouble with a lot of employees at pet stores and aquariums is that they have to make sales, particularly in this sort of economy.

Recently at my local aquarium one of the workers was fuming because this family wanted 6 goldfish for around a 15 litre tank. Even though he had explained that it wouldn't work and that they would not be provided with a warranty, the family still persisted in condemning those poor fish to a short, painful life.

This is why unless I owned the store in question, I could never sell animals to the general public. Over the years I have deduced that the average person is an imbecile and that they should not be left in charge of a pet rock, let alone a living, breathing animal.

You can tell I used to work in the customer service side of things can't you haha.
 

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:lol: yes, yes I can. I know. I buy GOLDFISH AQUARIUMS for my BETTAS. Because there are 3.78 tanks, 1.5 tanks, 2.5 tanks, 3 tanks and 5 tanks all for "goldfish" and even on the stupid packaging of the 3.78 I had, said "this tank fits two 1.5" goldfish" me: :shock: whatisthisdonteven! :mad:
 

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LBF - I too share your outlook on the human species. IT customer service desk here, so if you now the industry, you know we really get some doosies. It amazes me how they figure out how to tie their shoelaces up.

Yea don’t get me started on fish stores. One near to me has a 60L stacked with probably more than 50 goldfish in it. I know the guys who work there know their stuff too, even Betta stuff because I had a big discussion with them about the current housing of their Betta stock.

The dude knew they needed a decent size tank and such, but it comes down to economics ultimately. The guy who owns the store can’t have 20x6g tanks lying around the place with a heater in each for every Betta. The cost of running that would easily over do any profit made from selling the setup or fish individually. But with that said at least they have 2g and a flowing water system to eliminate the need for daily wcs.

Just shudder every time I see bettas in fish stores, guaranteed one will be dead, 1 healthy and the rest on their way out with ick or ammonia poisoning.
 

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I think this is one of the best set-ups for bettas I have seen in an aquarium. I've been there a few times (even got my betta barracks made there) and all the bettas are healthy and active as it is filtered and heated, and stuffed full of plants.
 

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That, is actually a really nice set up... has color, plants, and is actually filtered/heated :eek:

I did see betta barracks in the store here.. too small though. :| and nowhere to hide from each other...and they can jump into each other's compartments and kill each other x.x If I saw something like what you linked I'd die to have it xD

Here, the store...er...employee...likes to stick bettas in each tank. Sure, why not, right? healthy betta, big tank, other fish...
OH WAIT. That's right. stupid people put a betta in with baby cichlids. and hey, gouramis while we're add it. Why not the barbs? Hey, how about the brightly colored male guppies? :| lol I have Shiloh for a reason :3 poor baby was all beaten up, torn open, missing scales and fins... and now he's so healthy and happy!!! <3

Also, I noticed the employee lacked to notice a betta with severe cotton mouth, for 2 weeks. I should have gotten him...just I didn't have the meds to save him anyways.. :( they left him in with other fish -.- which, btw, died.
 

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That is a great set-up. It just shows that shops can keep multiple bettas in decent display containers without resorting to those dreadful stacked cups you USA types have shown me. My favourite LFS (sadly closed now) kept their CTs, DTs and HMs like that, and their VTs in 10 gallons with other (suitable) fish. The females were kept in 10 gallon sororities.

It is sadly true that people care about little more than making a sale. I was in the local Petbarn (a growing chain here) and a guy was buying an angelfish, two blue gouramis, a male betta and a silver dollar. The staff member didn't say a word until I asked the guy if he was planning on keeping them all in the same tank, which he was. If I hadn't said anything, he'd have taken them all home and unleashed a bloodbath. It saddens me a lot.
 
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