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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ah, well mostpet stores other places don't do the things to fish I've seen latley but here 2 out of the 3 do. Ok, first i found a mandarin dragonet in one, the owner tells my husband he has him eating flake food but one look at the poor beauty and you could make out every bone in his skeleton. Second we got a "fresh water" moray eel the other day at a different store and the kid there says they are perfectly fine in completley fresh, but he added a little aquarium salt to make them more comfy/ Of course we bought one and he's now much happier in a brachish tank eating (very ferociously) krill. A little scary how much he likes that! But how many times am I going to find some poor little fishy that is sorley misunderstood wasting away in a pet store? I can't save them all! :cry: At least after i got the moray i had an excuse to buy a green spotted puffer who is getting along with the eel fine. :) oh well, i guess most pet stores just care about the bucks not the beauty of fish.
 

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Hi and welcome aboard Squiggles.:wave:

But that's the way stores operate.
They tend their business rather the welfare of the fish.:dunno:
When it comes to business, they chase for bucks, not the welfare of fish as they think for every dead fish the person gets, the person will buy another assuming that person never even knew what was happening in which he could have complained and asked for refund. That would happen to beginners unfortunately.
 

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Thread moved to a more appropriate section as this thread is based mostly on the survival of fish related to maintenance rather than asking about the requirements of species.:mrgreen:
 

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Can't say that about all LFS, because I was real good friends with a owner and he would do evrything to keep the fish up to par until it was sold. Also he would never order more then they could sell in a weeks time. But most lfs are that way. They have species that shouldn't be together in the same tank. As for eels most eels are caught in freshwater as they tend to swim up stream from the ocean or any time of brackish water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wish I could open a pet store for fishies. The only prob would b I'l end up seeing all these fish that I didn't want to part with! My eel and puffer are getting along all right, there was a minor confrontation but nobody was hurt and they have continued basically ignoring each other. It's hard to get good pics of the puffer since he won't stop moving! From what I've read it's best for both puffer n fw eel to have about 1.005 sg when they're younger and slowly increas it. Apparently you don't have to have them in 100% sw when they're adults but they don't mind if u do They're in a small tank right now but will obviously need more room in the future. Usually the fw moray max out at 2 ft in captivity. I like him, he's always peeking out of his hiding place whenever i come into the room. Aw.
 

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I've seen moray eels that have been bigger then 2 feet in captivity. It's probaly rare.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that the pet store you visited seemed like they didn't care about their fish. :( Not all pet stores are that way. I've been in the pet retail business for 7 years and I do my best to research on all incoming fish before I buy them. I read these boards as well as others and I learn something new everyday which I apply at my store. I'm glad that your newly acquired fish are happy now.

Kim @ Pet Respect
 

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I had one lfs store owner who opened up a store as a side job. It was a very nice store real good prices. Except that they would sell things to you. If you wanted a couple things that wouldn't go together he would sell you the fish/ inverts what ever it was. He would never ask about your tank or anything else. He was just out to make a quick buck.
 

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Having come from 8 yrs of working in a LFS, and training the staff in the 8,000 sq ft. fish room with over 350 tanks, I have to be honest. As the others have said, not ALL stores are the way you describe, but far too many. There is one reason besides the obvious already mentioned (money/business)... the other reason is because there is no law to regulate the care fish get, anywhere. Our government still sees fish as "disposable" animals, which is very sad. The stores don't do more than they have to in most cases, and with no laws to worry about, they are free to kill as many animals as their budget allows.
There is a store not far from me, where a friend of mine was working. Her general manager ordered mudskippers, and instead of listening to her about what they needed for a habitat, he tossed them into a full tank of freshwater, like the fish, and within 24 hrs all 30 of them were dead. The owner never even questioned it, and this was one of the reasons my friend quit. Many stores have this stupid idea that fish don't need to eat, don't need to be cleaned, don't need attention of any sort, because they aren't supposed to be in the tanks long term. For all of my complaints about the store I quit working at 3 months ago, I have to stand up and say, they do properly take care of their many animals, down to the last fish. Their problem is a little different... they forgot that morals has something to do with selling a living animal, thus their new policy that I couldn't live with... if the customer wants it, give it to them and list it as a "customer risk".
Something important that I must touch on here, is that not all of the fault lies with the LFS's. Go into a busy LFS with a large fish room section, and listen to the CUSTOMERS. It's sad, but 98% of the people who shop these stores don't care about the animals. I have had groups of ADULTS come in and ask me "where do you keep your killers?", I had another guy come in once, asked for "feeder angelfish" for his piranah, since he thought it would be amusing to see them ripped apart by his aggressive fish. I could list the endless stories that torture the "good people" who work in the LFS's. I have offered advice, only to be told to "bag it anyways", or "it's my money, you have to sell it to me". That has to be one of the most frustrating jobs in the world for anyone who cares at all for the animals. My website was born because of the number of "bad customers" I had to deal with on a daily basis, 5 - 6 days/wk.
Now, not ALL customers are bad, just as not ALL LFS's are bad... but the majority rules on the side of bad in both situations. It has always amazed me that people could be so cruel and heartless, but it is a fact of life in this dreadful world we live in today. Many people don't want to learn, many people don't care enough to want to learn.
There ARE things we can all do to help this situation, in both areas mentioned above.
1) Don't be afraid to complain... open your mouth, voice your opinions. I've heard many say that 1 person can't make a difference, but that is untrue, especially with smaller LFS's. Every paying customer counts, and an unhappy customer doesn't usually spend money.
2)Don't buy sick and/or injured animals, even though you wish to "save" them. This only contributes to the store's practices. If they spend money on something and it dies, they have to eat the loss. If they spend money on something and it sells, they will do it again and again. If that something is in poor condition, and sells anyways... this encourages them to continue with poor care practices, as there is no need to change it, money is made and all is good. All is NOT good, and if they lose business because something is sick, then they have encouragement to fix it, save it, to recoup their expenses in price and care already given.
3)Even though fish are left out of our animal cruelty laws, LFS's are under obligation to meet health code requirements in order to keep their license. If the store is filthy, animals obvoisly dirty and neglected, sick... report them to the local health department. This takes about 15 minutes and if reported, they MUST investigate in most states. In many cases, you don't even need to leave your name. They can also be reported to local humane societies or the humane society of the united states (if in the states), and those can be found online. And, something many people don't think to do, if the fish are poorly kept, check out the other animals they're keeping... chances are they are poorly kept as well. The authorities might not care as much about fish as they do cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, etc., but if it gets them into that store to clean it up, they're there, and the fish are part of what will need to be taken care of. Once they're in the door, everything about the place is under scrutiny. The health department DOES have the ability and power to close them down and to issue fines. Unhealthy animals and their environments is considered a breeding ground for disease, and there are some very strict laws that apply to ANYONE who keeps live animals in a business environment.
4)Be a good example, be a good customer. Do your homework, avoid impulse buying. The more you know, the less you need to rely on someone else to give you proper information, if any at all. It is not uncommon for a customer to specialize in something, and teach the staff who work in the stores. I openly admitted and bragged that it was one of my regular customers who taught me to breed my bettas for specific color and physical traits. He would bring me his fry from time to time as "gifts" so I could learn from them. You'd be surprised at how many staff members want to learn, just have nobody to teach them. The problems in LFS's usually lay in the hands of upper management, people who don't have to provide the care for the animals directly. If you teach them, then the next time someone asks that question, they are happy to hand out the answer and to show a customer how much they know about what they're doing. This gives a fish room employee power over the others inside the company, too. With one person knowing the right way, that person ends up teaching others, one way or another... it's a cycle, and we, as customers, have to take responsibility for the things we purchase. There is no law demanding the LFS to teach the proper care, but there are laws about providing it. There are message boards such as this all over the internet, and unless it's an "uncommon" species, information is easily available. Be sure to sort through it and make sure you get ACCURATE information, but if you're interested enough to spend money on a pet, then it's in your own best interest to know how to take care of it.
5) Again, speak up. If you are in a store and hear someone getting bad advice, and you know the answer, excuse yourself and pass it on!!! If you're bold, such as I am, ask the staff member a specific question, question their answers until you know it's accurate, and don't be afraid to ask them to pull a book from the shelf and look things up to prove themselves. 9 times out of 10, if it doesn't sound right to you, something is wrong.
6)Be a smart shopper. Don't let slippery salespeople push something on you. If you don't need it, or don't feel you do, ask them why it's important, and then ask someone else before you spend your money. Take your time and understand what you're looking for before you buy it.
If you're buying a computer, walk into a store, and a sales person suggests you buy the most expensive model, do you question that? Do you question it if the price difference is huge? If you question a computer, you HAVE to question a live animal or equipment that a live animal relies on for its life.
7) Last but not least in my list, walk into a store with morals and values, and stick to them. When someone offers to teach you something new, listen to them. Ask questions and get involved. There ARE people out there who really know what they're doing, we just have to be open to them when we find them. You'll most recognize them because they'll offer information without you having to ask. Your job is to listen and ask more. Pick up a book from a shelf, look things up, and when in doubt about something, just don't. Get the information first, PLEASE!
I recently talked to a guy who had a 30 gallon cube tank, saltwater. It had been set up for about 2 months, and already he had killed numerous animals, and was experiencing a tank crash. The store he went to allowed his "impulse buying" because it made them a ton of money. In this tank he had damsels, clown fish, anemones, dog face puffers, lionfish, clown trigger, shrimp, snails, crabs, and almost no live rock. As 1 fish died, he ran out and added 1 or 2 more, never bothering to find out what the problem was first. The fish I named above were all in this 30 gallon cube tank together, at the same time. Imagine for a moment what that tank looked like, just viewing it... then ask yourself where he thought it all would go. It's common sense more than it's anything in this hobby, and education is the key. Fish are not disposable, and when a customer treats them that way, the problem in the LFS's gets worse. There was a time when we were allowed to refuse a sale if we could determine an animal would surely die if we sold it to someone. Those days are fading everywhere, fast... because if customers are denied, business is lost. Lose enough business, the store closes. Overhead costs for a fish store are very very high, and sales dictates a lot of the practices going on.
Sorry this post is so long, but I hope I can help to shed some light on things for you, and for everyone else out there. Sometimes people are "bad customers" without realizing it and nobody is willing to say it out loud. I want to help the animals, more than anything else. "We the people" have a voice, but some of us are afraid to use it. These animals need it. Bring your stories here, from both sides of the fence, and teach each other. Get the word out!!! But, use that voice where it counts the most, in the store! I have cleared places with my complaints voiced in front of other customers, and when that happens, the business hurts for it. The easy and least expensive fix for the business is to make the customers happy. I hope this post saves some money, but more than that, I hope it helps to save some lives!
Thanks for taking the time to read it all!
 

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:shock2: Such a very long post.:blink:
I agree with everything you said.:thumbsup:

I spoke to one guy in an lfs and told him why people never bothered to stop impulse buying and why his staff would not care less about fish rather than sending out plastic bags and nets. He replied that it's just business.

He's not very concerned with fish unfortunately. I visited his shop again after almost a month. I was surprised to see one 10 gallons tank which has 10 discus.:blink: I asked him how much are they worth and he told me if I want to buy them, I must buy the whole stock at 6000 pesos. Worth a bargain but examining his stocks further, 4-5 of them are quite weak. So why sell to customers the whole package with sick discus included?
He should quarantine the whole stock before considering them for sale. The discus are sick and they should be allowed to recover rather than being moved to customer's tank whose water chemistry may hardly match thus stressing the discus further. Less stress if they were in excellent health condition. Worse, in a 10 gallons tank, there were 10 discus. 4 of them are 5-6 inches in size.:blink: The rest are barely 3 inches and most of those under 3 inches are in extremely weak conditions.

Honestly, I will never buy from him his fish.:redmad: Just looking at his tanks, the tanks were quite small and most of them have the Motoro stingrays, large bichirs and arowanas.:blink: :redmad: Worse, the 2 giant gouramis(which have now probably been sold) did not grow for almost 4 months based on my observation. It's odd that the gouramis seem to stay the same size and not even an inch of growth.:squint:

Moreover, I saw one guy being ushered by the owner to a tank full fo pearlscale goldfish. I heard him saying his tank is barely 30-40 gallons and he bought about 20 pearlscale goldfish.:blink: It makes me faint because goldfish are so messy and in a 30-40 gallons, it would be even worse.:blink: That owner talks like he knew about fish but he is not practicing what he is preaching.:frustrated:
 

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Now just think about it, what if you had said something at the time it happened? What if you had warned the customer that putting that number of goldfish into that size of a tank, they'd surely die, and quickly? You might have saved the guy some money, and you surely would have saved some lives. You also would have started a chain reaction where customers let each other know that the guy gives bad advice just to take their money.
When shopping for fish, don't be afraid to ask about feeding schedules and what they feed, when the last time the water was changed, and what their water quality levels are like. These are alll things you should know when you transfer a fish to your home tank anyways, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
im glad to hear that there are so many other people out there that love fish so much. They are a beautiful and amazing part of nature, all so unique. I imagine it would be hard to be an employee in a fish department if you actually care. My husbands sister got a beta (i'm sure lots of betas meet a horrid end) and he went to her house one day and she said the fish "didn't do anything" and she didnt want it and was goin to let it starve! Can you imagine? :x Obvoiusly we took him home and he lived a very happy life for another year and a half, when he died it was clear it was because he was old not neglected. You hear of people buying betas or as they call them "siamese fighting fish" just to see them "fight". I can also just imagine how many kids saw Finding Nemo and nagged their parents until they got one... more then likley with disasterous results. It's nice to get a kid interested in something but if you're going to help them learn properly you should know the right things yourself. My kids are interested in fish and since we rarley lose a fish they really notice when one's gone. Hopefully I can teach them a proper respect for animals.
 

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During the nemo craze we had a lot of problems at the store. I used to have to refuse sales and argue with customers, all of whom wanted to keep nemo in a bowl. Even after explaining that it was impossible to do, many wanted to argue about it and insist on trying it anyways. It was simply crazy. I could be rich if I'd have had a penny for each customer who told me it was their money to spend/waste any way they wanted to, or those that were vulgar because I refused them, telling them that it might be their money, but it was my fish. Unfortunately, not all stores faught so hard to save the fish, and many many clownfish died because of that movie. It still amazes me at the number of people who saw the movie and still didn't understand that there was a huge size difference between nemo and his dad. :roll:
Your betta story is also not uncommon, and it happens with many types of fish every day.
 

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Thats the problem when you work for a LFS you know the fish will be harmed or die, but you really can't stop it.
 

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You maybe can't stop ALL of it, but there are ways to stop a good part of it, just that most people who work in the LFS's either don't know or don't care enough to try.
 

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dawn, it just occured to me that although our post count is similar, in truth, you posted an equivalent of 3000 posts... :shock:
 

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Well you know some people should really care more. We are taking fish and corals out of our ocean, and in the process are damaging the environment. If there are people who continue to pruchase and try to care for saltwater(or even freshwater) and do not properly know how to care for it, thats one more fish comming out the ocean. To many people think oh its just a fish and do not realize where it is comming from and the effects of it dying. With time there will be major affects and we belive that saltwater fish and corals comming from the ocean will not be sold. So hopefully for the people who respact and actually care for what comes out the ocean there will be tighter regulations.

I i believe that some fish stores should not sell saltwater fish or corals if they are not going to care for them properly. Where we live now there are many LFSs whos tanks are very grungy and covered with algea. But there are still some here who maintain clean environments for thier fish. But it is a shame that fish have to suffer for the lack of responsibility of the owner.
 
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