Big Al's has the best fish locally( I'm In Newmarket) but as usual some fish are ok and some are not.
I bought a 1/2 dozen glolight tetras from them last year and after a few weeks they all died except 2. They all developed hemmoragic septicemia.
I have had terrible gouramis from them and have seen fish in the tanks covered in anchor worms. However the fish room manager is very responsive to being shown sick fish. After all he can't be there all the time and he probably doesn't stand staring at the fish like I do.
I will go back and forth to the store for a number of days before I buy my fish. I look for wasting, open sores, parasites and just generally how they interact.
last month I picked up some very healthy ottos, siamese algae eaters and a couple of nice platies.
I have an issue with how fish are shipped around the world and the ensuing death rate BUT having said that I have seen theprivate little van that delivers to the local store and it is all insulated.They try to keep the fish healthy. Unfortunately sometimes when they open the boxes, the fish may be all dead or the bags may leak.
The kids that work in the store seem to be continually doing water changes and most are very knowledgeable. Some know more about one fish than another-just like you and I- not everyone can know everything.
if i want help with disease issues I try to get the manager of the front part of the store because I know he has a degree in marine biology.
By and large they try to be helpful there.
if you are inT.O there is also the aquarium club you can join if you want to buy fish privately and there are any number of privately owned fish stores. There is one on Rutherford road near Vaughan Mills as well as a Big Al's and I think there are a number of shops in Scarborough.
Is there not a branch of the aquarium club in Mississauga?