In Defense of Petsmart
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In Defense of Petsmart

This is a discussion on In Defense of Petsmart within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have had my share of disappointing results from shopping at Petsmart; however, I can't say that I was ever deliberately misled by their ...

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In Defense of Petsmart
Old 03-17-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
 
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In Defense of Petsmart

I have had my share of disappointing results from shopping at Petsmart; however, I can't say that I was ever deliberately misled by their associates. Their selection of equipment and supplies is excellent. I work in a big box store and I can relate to the learn on the fly circumstances that exist at such establishments. If you do your homework, Petsmart is the one of the best bangs for your buck. This is not intended to be a plug for Petsmart, rather it is advice as to where to do some one stop shopping for a wide range of products at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, I live in an area where chains have taken over. I'd love to be able to support a LFS.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
 
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

Last edited by Sanguinefox; 03-17-2012 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
 
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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.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
 
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As I said, you have to do your homework. I'm sure that most of the kids who work there aren't planning a career at Petsmart. It's on us to do the right thing. A LFS has much more responsibility as that is their claim to fame.
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
 
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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.
I do agree that they do not contain all information. They do carry some though, and it is also a consumer responsibility to do your research. If you are buying an animal research it before you bring it home. You can't always rely on any store to have all the information. Even if they should have it they won't always have it so...research research reasearh :3
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
 
Agreed. but the people their know about as much as any beginer fish tank keeper.I live in MA and travel to boston to go to Skipptons wich is one of the best stores I've been to.They have frendly people and a very knowledgable people who will tell you the truth.Also most of them if you ask about a fish will tell you that they've had it in their personal aquarium and how it did.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:06 PM   #7
 
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Agreed. but the people their know about as much as any beginer fish tank keeper.I live in MA and travel to boston to go to Skipptons wich is one of the best stores I've been to.They have frendly people and a very knowledgable people who will tell you the truth.Also most of them if you ask about a fish will tell you that they've had it in their personal aquarium and how it did.
Part of this issue is economics. You go to a smaller family run business, or some of those large specialty stores pay to have better and more knowledgeable people. Petsmart is a corporation, and a branch. As such they don't pay the best salary in the world. This is why you will not get the kind of people you really should have running the departments.

This is also one of the issues with Wal-mart. You just don't have the salary there to get good people.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
 
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The only thing you should look at on their cards is the price.

If you choose your fish carefully you can get some really good fish from Petsmart. I think most of my fancy goldfish are from there. I also think most of my peacock cichlids when I had them were from there as well.

I personally do not suggest quarantine in general. Very few pathogens can infect healthy, unstressed fish. So unless your other fish are stressed they won't get sick. I have added fish I knew were sick with ich to display tanks and it went away on its own because they were no longer stressed. The problem with quarantine is that almost no one does it properly. The tanks are too small, sparsely decorated, the water quality isn't maintained, etc.

For an article on how quarantine can do more harm than good just PM me.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:40 PM   #9
 
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The price is the only thing I look at, if I know what I'm after. Beyond that, you go home and research before you buy. I've never had a quarantine tank. You don't buy sick fish or fish that are in the same tank as sick fish. As you said, it's probably not going to be in the best condition. Who takes good care of an empty just in case tank ?
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