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My pet store adventure yesterday...

673 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  aselvarial
So yesterday I asked my boyfriend if we could drive out to the nearest LFS to my school which is about five miles away on the highway. They're one of those places that overcrowds everything and has way too much stock and not enough employees to monitor everything. But they have some really beautiful snakes which seem healthy enough despite being in cramped enclosures with no hides, not enough humidity to shed properly and pooped in water bowls... They were keeping around 25 full-grown hamsters in a ten gallon tank and had another ten gallon full of baby alligators that must have been a foot long each already. As for fish, I witnessed the absolute horror of an eight-inch pleco being eaten alive by a tiny Black Labeo.

And then I went to the bettas. They seemed to be all from the same spawn and possible bred there, because they all had very long ventrals, had dragonscale characteristics, were varying shades of blue marble and platinum white and looked like they were either very beautiful young veiltails or plakats. Very, very beautiful but swimming in a fog of methylene blue so it was hard to tell the exact colors. One of them had a gill abscess that stuck out almost half and inch, one was missing his entire dorsal fin and looked like he was getting close to having body rot, many of them had clamped fins so I couldn't tell the state of their fins, and one was floating upside down, gasping for air. When I picked up the little dude with the SBD, he tried to attack my fingers, flaring and begging for food like a little monster.

Aqua Blue Water Turquoise Fluid

Water Blue Turquoise Aqua Fish

It was so endearing that I decided I would attempt to rescue the one with the swim bladder and went to get a critter keeper. It took me less than a minute to come back to the bettas and discover that one of the employees had taken the sick fish away. I saw him come out of a back room with an empty cup. I can only assume he dumped the fish alive, which made me feel absolutely atrocious. I immediately set down my purchases and left the store.

So I went to Petsmart to get the gravel that I wanted even though the LFS was cheaper and discovered there was a betta sale going on. Buy any bowl or tank under 5 gallons and get a betta half off. I wasn't tempted until I reached way in the back and pulled out the boy I had taken back two weeks before. He looked sad and a bit tattered and more colorless than when I had had him, so I snatched him up. I bought gravel, bought a 2.5 gallon tank, and took him home.

Fish Aquarium Fish Tail Organism

My baby <3

Long story short, never let me visit pet stores because I am a sentimental mess.
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Ahh, I saw your posts on Tumblr. It's really upsetting that they did that to the one with SBD. I'm sure he had a chance of survival, being so active and could have recovered or lived comfortably under your care. The employee might have seen him and thought he was a goner or already dead. Still pretty careless, the poor boy must have perked up at the sight of the person before suffering that kind of end.

I find it hard to visit the Petbarn near home, they don't supply as much in variety and the fish always look sick or have fungus growing all over them. But it's never as bad as what you've got there. The betta here are kept in small 1/2 gallon tanks and still look better than the ones sold in cups. Thankfully though I found a bigger and better pet store nearby that stock higher quality products and keep their betta, in jars hooked up to a drip/small flow system that changes the water slowly as time goes by. Those betta seem to be very bright and active with no illness visible.
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Yeah, I'm always excited when I happen open a pet store that actually takes care of its bettas as well as its other fish. I wasn't really too surprised by the treatment of the bettas at this store, because the treatment of most of their animals is pretty abysmal. But the LFS near my house specializes in fish and fish supplies and still keeps their bettas in tiny cups and sells those weird "self-sustaining" plant tanks. The myths about betta care run deep in the fish industry...
OMG how horrible! That poor betta! What a terrible end! How can you work at a petstore and NOT love all of the pets?!?!
Our second betta was a little guy with horrific SBD. However, he recovered, and while still prone to it, he is such a happy little guy! I always want to buy the ones with SBD because i feel like the petstores will likely kill them. It's so depressing! My husband doesn't let me look at the bettas anymore. Last time we looked I came home with a rescue that was suffering severe ammonia burns, ammonia poisoning, and color faded so badly he was all grey! He's actually red, blue, and purple, not grey at all!
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