12-06-2009, 10:25 PM
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Some of the chain stores are OK, as Aunt Kimmie said, while others are not worth keeping in business. Your best bet is a local breeder, I delivered a net full to a fellow club member who wanted some last night. They started out as Petsmart buys but I brought them into a good condition and had them breed and thrive in my tanks.
When he saw them, he wanted them and didn't even ask the price. That is the visible difference between local bred fish and fish that have been in transit for the last week or two.
There was nothing special about my fish except that they only had to travel from my home to his. I really do not like all the implications about fish that are farm bred being weak. What is weak is any fish that has not had good treatment. When fish are bred in the orient and delivered to your local fish shop, they have been on the road for quite some time. First they go to a local shipper at the other end, then when enough have been gathered in one spot they are put onto a plane. It is about a day of travel if the flight is a non-stop but shipping rarely is. When they arrive in the country, they must be processed through customs and inspected. After that they are picked up by the trans-shipper, who brings them through customs and then ships them to the local fish shops. Next stop is a central location for someone like Petsmart. where they decide how many to send to each store. After that they ride on a truck for another day before arriving at the local Petsmart. All of this time they are in the bag they were put into on the farm. Now that they have made a world tour, you go buy them at the Petsmart and think they are weak fish because they look terrible after that ordeal. If you were made to go hungry, confined to a small container, wallow in your own waste and be shipped all over the world for a week or more, you would look pretty bad too.
I bet if I went to Malaya and bought my tropicals from a "local breeder" there, they would look great and be tough as nails at that time. The hard part would be to then get them home in good condition.