Never go to petco!!! Pictures!
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Never go to petco!!! Pictures!

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Never go to petco!!! Pictures!
Old 12-25-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
 
Never go to petco!!! Pictures!

Hello,
I have been in the hobby for almost a year now. I have a 29 gallon reef tank with some Zoas, Palys and ricordias as well as 2 clownfish. I would like share with you what I have experienced at Petco in the past year. The closest pet store to where I live is a Petco and for my first fish, I go to Petco and purchase 2 Ocellaris Clowns and within a week of having them, one of them gets ich. I frantically go out and buy some medicine and a hospital tank and after 2 days of treatment I lose my clownfish and in the next couple months, the 2nd clownfish swims into the back of the tank and dies. I buy 2 more clownfish from Rick's Fish & Pet in Frederick, MD and I have both of them right now, they are happy and healthy. In November, I go back to Petco and I purchase a Flame Angelfish, which contracts ich within 2 days of having it and again I set up the hospital tank and put in the medicine and after 3 days of what seemed like progress, she was swimming upside down and laying down on the bottom of the tank. I go to Petco that morning to talk to the manager about the sick fish he had sold me, he tells me that the ich is my fault and pretty much called me a lair after I had informed him he had sold me a sick fish (ich is in the fish for a few days before you start to see symptoms). So I go back home and I check on my Flame angel and she is dead. Fed up, I call Petco's customer service hotline and I talked to the first guy for about 3 minutes before he transfers me to his supervisor and after like 5 minutes with this person, I am transferred to the next supervisor and after a couple more minutes of talking to this guy, he tells me he will contact his supervisor so he can help me and call me back, he confirms my phone number and says his boss will call me back in 15 minutes. Needless to say I never got a call back and I asked my father to help me to compose a letter to Ms. Razia Ritcher, the Senior Vice President & Chief Customer Champion. After a week of no reply, I get an email with a $60 dollar egift card attached, with no apology or anything to say what it was for and somehow, the store contacted my father and said that I get a free Flame Angel. Petco gets their shipments on Fridays and they don't ship a Flame Angel for 2 weeks and when they finally got the shipment, we had to call them to find out what was in their shipment and I had track practice so my dad had to go pick it up and the manager never apologized for offending me. On Sunday my mom went to the food store right next to Petco and because my little sister loves hamsters and I love fish I offer to take her into Petco. That was the worst visit to Petco I have had to date, first off, I was never greeted, next I saw possibly the most neglected tanks I had ever seen, I see their entire marine fish system smothered in algae and dead and sick fish, I counted 4 dead fish in one tank, these fish were being consumed by one of the Chocolate chip stars, these fish must have been there for a couple of days. So I take out my phone to take pictures of the tanks so I can try to resolve this issue with the customer service hotline but as I am doing this, the employee whom hasn't spoke to me up until this point (I have been here for a good 30 minutes and still have not been greeted or helped), she raised her voice and with an attitude said "You can't take pictures in here". Here are the pics:

So I stopped and as my mom walks in, my little sister runs to my mom to get her phone to take pictures of the Glofish because she really liked them and again with a way worse attitude then she gave me she told my sister the same thing. We walked out without saying anything else, as soon as I got home, I called the Hotline and after being transferred AGAIN, I inform the man of what happened and I sent him the pictures by email and asked for him to inform me what happened when it does, he said he would have someone sent out to investigate and I haven't heard anything from him since. And if you have read this far, I would like fr you to do me a favor, tellt his story to everyone you know and never shop at Petco for any pet, please use any other store that sells reliable fish or other pet products, these employees don't care about little children, please never give these people another dime.
Thanks for reading
~Sean
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
 
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^^^ This, i agree with 100%!
Most chain stores shouldn't be allowed to sell live animals as they clearly cant care for them!!! What is with large chain stores treating small animals - like hermit crabs, fish ect - like dirt?? Ugh!!!
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:24 PM   #3
 
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I believe that it depends on the store. I volunteer at my local Petsmart every weekend, and I had familiarized myself with a worker in the petcare department. He tells us about the policies and such that they must follow for fish. They change bettas' cup water about every other day and feed them. They try to keep their fish healthy, but they usually get new shipments of sick fish, which they keep isolated to medicate. Mollies almost always come with ich, so they can not afford to isolate and medicate. They keep them on the floor, but treat the tank for ich and hope that a knowledgable fish owner will buy them.
Same goes with a Petco that I go to. Although I admit that most Petcos are filthy in the fish department, it is up to the employees. The one I go to is about half an hour out of my way, but the main fish guy is worth it! He keeps the tanks spotless, medicates and isolates fishes he deems sickly, and even provides live plants to the tanks he feels should have one. I always come to see him rearranging tanks or cleaning them. He even seperates newborn fry to raise in the fry tank at the fish bagging station.

Although, I respect your opinion, and agree that any store that does not properly take care of their fish stock should not be allowed to sell them, I urge you to see that some stores are an exception. If they are trying their best and have good intentions, don't be so quick to point fingers.
Besides, we have to get our fish from somewhere, don't we?
I hope you don't take this reply offensively. Just my opinion on the topic.

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Old 12-26-2013, 05:32 AM   #4
 
Look it has been a year of them treating me almost as bad as they treat their fish and other livestock, they have also given an attitude to my little sister and some other family members and I refuse to shop at a place where my family or I is treated like dirt. Also yes I do have to get my fish somewhere and I would gladly pay the overnight shipping for a fish than give petco another cent. I understand where you are comming from with some branches of these stores are somewhat nice but they are all managed by the same company whom treats is like dirt. I also feel that the only reason you have replied to this the way you did is because you volenteer at petco, I mean no offense to you, this is just what I think
~Sean
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
 
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To each their own. Good luck with your future fish stock :)
And yes, I could see how my stance may come off as biased, and it could be. But I volunteer with a cat rescue that Petsmart allows floor space on weekends, so I am not connected directly to the store.
By the way, how did it ever go with your problem? How is the replacement angelfish doing?

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Old 12-26-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowhLizzie View Post
I believe that it depends on the store. I volunteer at my local Petsmart every weekend, and I had familiarized myself with a worker in the petcare department. He tells us about the policies and such that they must follow for fish. They change bettas' cup water about every other day and feed them. They try to keep their fish healthy, but they usually get new shipments of sick fish, which they keep isolated to medicate. Mollies almost always come with ich, so they can not afford to isolate and medicate. They keep them on the floor, but treat the tank for ich and hope that a knowledgable fish owner will buy them.
Same goes with a Petco that I go to. Although I admit that most Petcos are filthy in the fish department, it is up to the employees. The one I go to is about half an hour out of my way, but the main fish guy is worth it! He keeps the tanks spotless, medicates and isolates fishes he deems sickly, and even provides live plants to the tanks he feels should have one. I always come to see him rearranging tanks or cleaning them. He even seperates newborn fry to raise in the fry tank at the fish bagging station.

Although, I respect your opinion, and agree that any store that does not properly take care of their fish stock should not be allowed to sell them, I urge you to see that some stores are an exception. If they are trying their best and have good intentions, don't be so quick to point fingers.
Besides, we have to get our fish from somewhere, don't we?
I hope you don't take this reply offensively. Just my opinion on the topic.

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Very nice post. I've seen great fish at chain stores, and awful fish at private stores. Each store should be judged on its own merits.

Considering all the problems I see people have with their bettas (not including all the people who keep their problems a secret), it seems a bit hypocritical to give the pet stores too much of a hard time. They care for dozens of fish, while many people have trouble keeping only a few healthy. That's not to put anyone down, just to add some much needed perspective on the matter.
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Last edited by jaysee; 12-26-2013 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
 
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It's scary that the workers gave you such a hard time! Dead fish happen, but it's when the employees are bad that I cringe for sure. It definately varies from stre to store though. I have a petco on both sides of where I live one I hate, employees are mean and all my fish died. The other. Is friendly, clean and has only ever gotten me healthy fish!
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
 
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It's unfortunate that you had this experience and I agree with RainbowhLizzie, this does vary from store to store. I have NO affiliation with Petco.

I will apologize now if any of what I'm about to say comes off as a bit abrasive.

I have purchased fish from Petco and from highly rated local fish stores that have lived happy healthy lives for several years and some that only lived a few days, weeks or months even though they seemed perfectly fine when I bought them. There are many diseases that can live within marine life that we cannot always see and diagnose correctly. Some of these can live inside the host for several years.

How did the tanks look when you purchased these fish? If the tanks were filthy and there were dead fish everywhere why would you buy fish from there? Sometimes these stores have off days, weeks, months. Outbreaks happen and every store has to deal with them at one time or another. How they deal with them is another story. Does Petco need to hire more experienced employees? Absolutely! I just don't know too many experienced fishkeepers willing to work for @$9.00 p/hr.

Regardless of whether the fish were from a dirty Petco or 'Johnny's Perfert Pets' they should be quarantined for several weeks before introducing them to the main tank. It usually takes an experience like this to see why this step is preached over and over by more experienced fishkeepers.

Ich can live on a fish for much longer then a few days without ever seeing symtoms. Are you positive this was Marine Ich? If treated properly the 2nd clown shouldn't have died from it months later.

If you plan on purchasing more fish, I would advise you to leave your hospital tank set up and cycled so you can quarantine and observe them for any sign of disease for at least 4-8 weeks. Moving fish into a quickly set up uncycled tank will only cause more stress and make it harder for the fish to fight off any disease.
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:59 AM   #9
 
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Of course I was just assuming that what's true of freshwater fish is true of saltwater, and was just using bettas as an example - none of my chain stores have saltwater fish.
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:55 PM   #10
 
I'm not a salt guy, but if fresh water is supposed to be easier then they can't do that well either. The unfortunate reality is that people in the hobby keep these guys going through the purchase of supplies, with large markups, while the store sells livestock to the unsuspecting public. I always wonder how may tanks are sitting empty in people's basements because of a bad experience with the chain stores. I know the tanks and people are out there, just go to any yard sale. When I complain I call the stores, "Pet Whatever," as there is little difference. It is shameful that knowledgable floks must volunteer at a commercial establishment to attempt to teach the paid staff. I could use some good help in my fishroom, it has more tanks than Pet Whatever and good husbandry practices.
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