Originally Posted by Sanguinefox
It comes down to your individual stores and how well they are run. You can two Petsmarts in different cities and one has a much better staff than the other. I've bought fish from there before. I buy Ghost Shrimp from there too. It comes down to asking a very important question that you should ask any pet store.
"How long have you had this batch of fish?". If they just got those fish in the day you show up (and I've had this happen) those fish have not been medicated fully yet. Pet-smart actually does medicate every batch of fish they get. But it takes time for that to go into effect. They don't always tell people "Hey we just got this batch in and maybe yous should wait".
That is where the consumer can educate themselves and ask the right questions before they buy fish. Know how long they have been there and be willing to wait for them to run a line of medication. That said it is true that usually their place-cards give accurate information. It does tell you how big a Ghost Knife-Fish gets(as an example). So if you buy that without doing research and end up with a fish that you can't care for when it's big it's not exactly Pet-smarts fault. Yet you'll get people who claim "well no one told me". Technically the consumer should research before they buy. ;/
As always you really ought to quarantine animals you get it but that doesn't excuse them or any store of selling new stock that has not been put through the proper paces. That's my main issue with them but other places do it too. You can get good fish from there. My two gray Bichir that are full grown came from a Pet-Smart. EDIT: IN fact in retrospect raising those two Bichir from Pet-smart was a lot easier than raising the Ornate I got from a store that is supposed to be ten times better. Pet-smarts bichirs are in somewhat appropriate tanks for their size. The ornate was in a tiny tank that was way to small for him and he's much more difficult to work with right now. They kind of neglected him :c
Their cards are a joke though at times. They don't make any mention of needing to keep in groups of 6 or more for shoaling fish, they don't mention that some species should not be kept with multiple males. They list the Bala Shark
as a fish that's appropriate for a 55g tank, when in reality, a proper shoal requires a 6ft long tank (at minimum, 8ft is better) or more to house the 5 or more that's generally needed, they list the Common Pleco
as a 30g minimum tank, a full grown Pleco can't turn around in a 30g tank let alone live. They need to give honest cards with accurate information, the Black Ghost Knife carries no mention of needing a dark substrate, a tank that's wider than their maximum lank, or a good hiding spot for it. They're better than Petco, and if you know what you're buying and do your research, there's nothing wrong with Petsmart. But they don't serve as a great information resource like a good LFS can be.
One of my local Petsmarts has a good fish section and knowledgeable employees, the other would just as soon sell 20 fish to a guy that just bought a 10g tank and tell him to add the fish are soon as he gets home. It really comes down to the individual Petsmart and the employees. Thankfully a LFS opened up that carries a better selection and better equipment where I can go for my more advanced fish needs.