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comet 08-30-2009 01:35 AM

Ct. Petsmart using goldfish in tanks for snail control
I visited my Waterbury, Ct. Petsmart today. I found "feeder" fish, comet and gold fish in the tropical tanks.

When I asked the help why they were doing this as I had never seen this practice there before, I was told that corporate office said to do this to control snail populations. One salesperson actually agreed with me and had complained about it also, and said they just "didn't bother to listen" to him.:icon_frow

I tried to explain why this was not a good practice, but they just said they were following orders.

Later I called the store and spoke with the manager and he said I was right about the staff using the feeder goldfish for this practice and would have them removed.
But, he also said he usually only uses Oranda goldfish for this practice because they are "healthier". They are then supposed to move the same goldfish from tank to tank to clean up the snails.....
I told him I still felt this was not a good practice for transmission of parasites and diseases the goldfish may carry.
Again, I never noticed this practice at this store. But the manager has only been there 3 weeks and this is what he "always does".

Needless to say I will be contacting the corporate office to question this practice.

Again, I have never seen this store do this in the 5-6 years I've been shopping there. Maybe I missed it.? This is the ONE store where they actually had sales help that were very helpful and knowledgeable about fish. Didn't see any of them tonight though..

If anyone thinks this is an OK thing to do, please let me know. I'd really like to know.

Sorry for the rant, but this was the one store that I could actually get healthy stock from.

markstanfill88 08-30-2009 02:43 AM

Ive always admired the goldfish's ability to forage and clean the bottom of a tank methodically before being eaten, but snail control Ive not heard of. I also have a local petsmart that has decent stock and at least one knowledgable staff member but I have never seen a goldfish in any tank other than their own segment.

PRSRocker3390 08-30-2009 03:19 AM

I've been working for petsmart for about 3 years. I've worked at three different stores, 2 in NJ and 1 in florida and this is a common practice. They are supposed to use the big Oranda goldfish to clean the tank. It's not our idea, its just something we are told to do. But, I have yet to see any negative effects in my years there. I buy all my stock from work and rarely have had any sort of problems with any of the fish. Yes, we do get snails in the system because this is very common. The snails come in the deliveries with plants and fish and the breed in the filter system since it is a very very large filtration system. The oranda are always in great shape and are separate from comets and rosey reds. The orandas do an awesome job eating the snails for us. In any of the stores I've worked at, we've never encountered any diseases from that practice. Only time a fish gets sick is when it first comes in from delivery which happens to the best of us. I'm sorry to hear about them using comets because that shouldnt be. I am pretty knowledgeable on fish and i've worked with good older friends of mine who have been in the fish hobby for a long time and we've never found a problem with it yet. Like i said though, it's just something I think all the stores do. Even some lfs's near me do this at times.

Hope I've helped in some way.

Martina 08-30-2009 02:28 PM

I also work at PetSmart and we use the small Koi for snail control. They do a better job than anything else and pick off the snails without eating the other fish. We donít stock enough clown loaches to do the job. I wouldnít use feeders in those tanks though.

If you donít like the idea of fantail goldfish and Koi with the tropicals you should know that at PetSmart the fancy goldfish and Koi are on the same system so they already share the same water. The only ones that have their own systems on the wall of tanks are the feeders.


PRSRocker3390 09-03-2009 02:55 AM

Yes, very true. Our water system is all shared except for the feeders. I think the orandas do a great job and it is very safe.

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