I think I accidentally scared two girls out of the hobby...
So I was at petsmart today (only because it was on the way back home from my one lfs whose amazon puffers were covered in ich because of the stress of shipping so I couldnt get a buddy for ralphie*sadface*) and was actually impressed at the variety of fish they have and how many tanks did not have dead fish and how clean the bettas were and how smart one of the employees actually was. She actually knew a lot about individual fish needs and attitudes. The other one not so much...I was very dissapointed when she said that bettas do fine in a bowl with no heater...I tried to go on to explain yeah, thats fine, BUT the ideal habitat is much warmer. They are a tropical fish and she tried to sound smart by saying theyre from swamps...but last time I checked, swamps arent found in cool climates. Every fish deserves proper filtration and temperature controlled water. So when I bmped into these two girls, one who was very cute lol, I just casually asked, so what are you planning on doing? The one girl said I was planning on getting neon tetras, but I never heard of them needing a heater...:shock: I was shocked! I said every tropical species of fish needs at least 74-75 degree water, so unless your house is really warm...thats a no no...I went on to say, what else do you have in your tank(s). She said I don't have any fish yet...I said oh so you were just getting it cycled...they looked at me quizzically. :-? I was like oh jeez...well first off I went and told them how neons are not a good choice for a fish to start the tank...I went and told the about the whole nitrogen cycle, more tidbits, fish less versus fish cycling, better examples of fish for the size aquarium tehy were getting, and more even more tidbits...when all was said and done, the cute girl said, you sure know a lot about fish...I went on to say, I think it's very important that for whenever you keep ANY animal in captivity that you do your best to understand all aspects of the creatures life, including diet, living conditions, size, attitude, and age and that you do your best to meet all goals to make a comfortable life for your pet. I walked around to the other to look at some fake plants...and the two girls just walked out of the store. I think maybe it is for the best in the end, because I don't think they were prepared for what they may get themselves into.
You did the right thing. I've done it once or twice myself. Better that they know what they're in for than to buy a bunch of fish and kill them off within a few weeks.
You better watch out! Petsmart is going to put a ban on you, for scaring away customers! :lol:
Hmmm...Twister, I've heard that happened to someone.:rofl:
No but seriously, I also think you did the right thing, and if they are somewhat smart gals, they'll look up a forum like this, get informed and then go buy fish once they know what they're getting themselves into!
Me personally I think these type pet places should just offer folks that know what they're talking about jobs. When I was at Petco to get gravel etc the guy working in the fish section was actually & truthfully awesome to talk to, he had a very good knowledge and we discussed several different set up ideas and compatibility etc - Was real nice to meet a salesperson there that knew what they talked about and THAT would make me wanna come back as a customer.
At first I did not think anything of it until I went by the cart and saw a couple of the small plastic 1 gal. containers and some gravel, a couple plastic plants in there. I casually asked if they were getting more fish for the tank at home. To my utter shock, they had not had fish before, and were buying them for the two little containers they had in the cart. What shocked me even more was the employee was joyfully working at catching these fish for them, with little regard to the fact that they get HUGE and need more than a gallon of water to live in. I laughed nervously and told them how big these fish actually get. I got a scowl from the employee. I am not sure if in the end they decided not to get them, but she did look shocked when I told her that little 1" silver dollar could get to be as big as one of her plates.
The petco near me though has some of the most knowledgeable people running the fish department. It is always sparkling clean with no dead fish in the tanks. One has several planted tanks, and pointed me to a very obscure LFS when I was looking for more plants for my tank, since I did not want to place an internet order again due to shipping costs. I have overheard him telling customers quietly that plants they want are not aquatic, which set in stone that I will be purchasing things from them (not live fish, but other items) in the future.
You did the right thing. Maybe they were going to think things over, then come back and pick out more appropriate fish for the size tank they want.
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