Originally Posted by La Reina
The yellow tail passed away while I was at school. I was expecting it, she was really hard to catch at the store and got banged up.
The other two are doing fine so far.
In the future, I wanted to point out that not all lfs's are trained on how to properly catch a fish without stressing it to death. If you are shopping in one of these, you need to watch what they're doing while attempting to catch the fish you want. There comes a time when you have to tell them to stop, and either pick a different fish, wait it out for a little while before trying again, or be prepared to walk away. I have had some lfs's in the past where the person would actually listen to me about how to do it properly, as it takes 5 minutes to figure it out if they have any brains at all.
First and foremost, catching most fish should be a 2 handed job, watch for this. 1 hand holds the net and the other herds the fish towards it. This can be done without horribly stressing them to death, and almost eliminates the need for chasing. When there are multiple fish in the tank they tend to all flock together to avoid the net, this makes them much easier to chase into a net. Once in, its easy to sort out and release the ones you don't want without even having to lift them out of the water. The other thing to look for is the size of net they use. A larger net makes catching the fish much faster and easier. I have not met a fish I can't catch, without stressing it enough to make it sick.
Remember that not all of the people who are helping you in a lfs know anything more about a fish than you do, and if you have done your homework before you buy, you likely know more than they do. Don't be afraid to speak up. When you ask for a specific fish, point and tell them "that one", but add in there "if you can catch it without chasing it to death". They tend to be more careful if they know you're watching for that. For those who are in the business just to take your money, if they know ahead of time they can only make the sale if the fish is in good shape, they pay more attention to what they're doing. Also talk to the person, let them know that you know your fish. LFS employees figure out quickly who they actually have to work for vs those who don't know what they're looking for. Talk about the fish, make mention of what you like about this one, what you don't like about that one... why you've chosen the fish you have, etc. It is their job to do these things, but unfortunately too many of them lack the ambition, experience, knowledge, and/or paychecks to care.
Foremost, refuse to spend money on a "damaged" fish, especially if they caused the harm while trying to catch it. Its real easy to say "I don't want it in that condition" and either select another or walk away. It's also easy to ask if there is someone else who could catch the next one for you. Having worked in so many lfs's over the years, I have found ways to help both the customers and the employees by sharing "inside information" such as this. I preach a lot about being a good customer as much as being a good employee. There are a lot more bad customers than there are bad lfs employees, and one contributes to the other. Sometimes to be a good customer you need to be picky and specific.
I hope this helps you in the future, and I hope it helps a lot of others, too. Sorry it took me so long to get here to this, but it has been busy here this past week. I felt it was important enough to bring it back up.