02-07-2012, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mgreen
I am looking for young dwarf gourami and was wondering the age old debate. Should I lean towards a chain store like petsmart or should I look into a local pet store. I went to the local store for the first time recently and noticed the tanks are maintained a little worse than the petsmart I have shopping in. Also, the fish were alot larger, or older. There was many full grown fish in the store vs. petsmart where most of the fish are small, and young. I was looking for outside advice and stories to see where I should maintain my business for fish keeping.
I won't tell you what to do as that is your choice, but I want to say that you can't tell the condition of water by looking at it. Sparkling clear water can be loaded with deadly toxins, bacteria and parasites. You also can't go by how clean the glass looks on a tank. Algae is a food source for allot of fish and it benefits their diet to have it present. Scrubbing all of it from the tank is not doing many fish a favor.
Before buying any fish, I tend to go several days in a row to study the fish and see if any seem to have progressive health issues. If any do seem to have health problems (and there always seems to be some in any crowded tank) I watch to see how fast the problems are progressing and if it seems to be spreading thru the population. There's always an attrition rate for each tank and I like to try and figure out what it is before buying. Keeping fish healthy for long periods of time (weeks or months) in a small, undecorated tank is pretty difficult. There's something to be said for shops that can do it. It's not that difficult to get new fish every week to stock the tanks with, and then hide the 50% mortality rate from the public.