So I took a visit to a local pet store (aside from a Petco/smart) and I am now caught between supporting the corporations and the LFS. And I'm leaning towards a Petco or Petsmart. Here is why. You see, the LFS didn't really impress me at all. I checked out the fish that they had for fresh which was about 8 tanks divided up into what looks like 5 gallon sections. Now the fish were tiny, nothing bigger than an inch or so in there. But they were stocked pretty heavy and none looked happy... The planted tank had bigger fish and the plants look dreadful - rotting, browned, none were yellow that I remember. They were all covered in some algae too...
And it seems the corporations have cleaned up their act. I recently went out of curiosity and found that the fish seemed to be healthy and happy. None of the tanks were stocked heavily. Still unsure about their plant department. But even those weren't that bad.
Now to complicate matters. The good local fish store a couple miles away is gone. I don't think there is anything decent around for a good long drive... So do I settle for Petco/Smart or order all online?
I am a big fan of ordering online...not because I don't wanna support a big cooperation or anything like that, but I find prices alot better online...
However, I am very fortunate in the fact that I have a fantastic LFS about 2 miles away...the selection there and products are great...so i just go there....
if you have a petco/smart near you and feel comfortable using them, why not?? I find that some stores do take more pride in their appearance and quality than others...my local petsmart is horrible....
so it's 6 to 1, half dozen of another...
Order fish online? Do you have good luck with this?
My favorite LFS is 33 miles from me one way. I make the drive because they are that great. I notice that the Petcos in my area are starting to clean up their act but I'm pretty set on wanting to support the independent retailer. If my LFS doesn't have it I order online. I'll buy things from Petco once in a great while,but never their fish. Do you not have another LFS somewhere within reasonable driving range?? I'm lucky as I have four within a 33 mile radius but of course the favorite one is the farthest one!
You can always do research on whatever fish you want, and ask the petsmart/petco those really tough questions. If they are able to answer you correctly then they know what they are doing.
I have an amazing LFS 15 mins from me (closest one), or 8+ 'chain' type stores about 30 mins from me... which some of them are more knowledgeable on certain things than he LFS.
Decide based on who actually knows their fish, not who owns the store. At least that is how I view it.
I'd buy from wherever the fish are properly cared for and in good condition. If a chain store is doing the right thing by their livestock, I see no reason not to give them your business. Although supporting small business is to be encouraged, if a particular business isn't doing the right thing then they shouldn't be supported in spite of that.
I've never ordered fish online. I don't really like the idea of the fish getting bounced around in the mail (although I appreciate that they get bounced around when they are shipped to the store as well).
So, if it were me, I'd buy from the petsmart/petco place.
I have some nice stores within an hour of me, but what I do get from them is always on credit for stuff I trade in. I'm really picky too, like the store will have 8,000gallons and I won't find anything I want:lol:. I've order online with bad and good results, IMO it just really depends on who you get fish from. Most of my fish come from local auctions now. As a college student I can't do the LFS prices anymore. I hang around the fish auctions, where I sell my stuff and I only start buying in the last 1-2 hours of a 8hr auction. Thats when stuff starts getting good. Even if its a fish that I don't personally like, but is really cheap and generally in demand. I came home with 11 boesemani rainbow fish last auction, IDK what I'm going to do with the 8 juveniles once they grow up. Another local breeder whom I talked too is also now selling offspring from German bred boesemani, which are really tempting. I currently have a dozen week old fry from the adult trio I won at the auction. I have some mystery eggs too... I thought they were more boesemani, but the eye spots on the eggs are way too big and they should of hatched by now if they are rainbows....
BTW whats up with the board, a lot of navigation is broken.....
Great advice all :) Maybe I will have to do some hunting outside of the norm territory. Likely that I'll have to give the petco/smart group a go then. Could anyone recommend somewhere trust worthy online to get Galaxy Rasbora (Danios)? I will ask the chain if they can special order, but I doubt this.
When you find your Galaxy Rasboros let me know, I want some too!
Oddly, I've never ordered fish online, but I've sold lots. Everything from cichlids to guppies to shrimp..
The main benefit from ordering from an individual, is that many chain stores get their stock from huge breeding setups- like an assembly line, they churn out hundreds of fry a day.
From what I've learned/read, most of these breeding setups have all their tanks linked together so make filtration etc more efficient and cheaper, but this also raises the risk of disease.
Take neons as an example. Many people would never consider buying them from a big LFS- Their opinion is hey, it's a special deal! You buy a 80 cent neon, you get free ich! Get one for 1.50 online, someone put a lot more time into it. They CARED about those fish. There's a good chance they're healthier and happier.
As far as the rasboras, try infertzfactory.com I've never ordered from them, but I've heard many good things. Also, aquabid is an option, but check their feedback first.
I happen to know auntkymmie had a good experience ordering red cherry shrimp this week...
that she ordered from the classifieds section....
sorry had to throw a plug out there. :)
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