Safe to Purchase fish from Local Petsmart? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Safe to Purchase fish from Local Petsmart?

Decided to venture to our local petsmart, and some of the tank conditions surprised me. For instance they were keeping 25+ gouramis in a 20 gallon tank.
Despite this, they did have some seemingly healthy Otocinclus for 1.99$ each, while most of the quotes I get on the internet are 4$-7$ per oto. Would you risk purchasing from a local pet store such as petsmart?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:20 AM
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If the otos look healthy (no white spots, little pot bellies, not pale, etc) and their tanks aren't connected to a tank with unhealthy fish, I think you could go for it. My local one is kept well so I buy from there often. Never hurts to quarantine as well.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rushr. Regarding the white spots, where do they typically show up, and are there numerous spots, or just one or two?
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:23 AM
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I buy rummynose tetras from petco and they do pretty good. It depends on the particular store and species. Some stores are better and some species come into the store in better shape for whatever reason. If they look healthy and it's a good deal then go for it. You may want to quarantine though.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:23 AM
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My local Petco sells Otocs slightly cheaper. I bought one, but it died.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:48 AM
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The petco near me is pretty good, they have a problem keeping ich out of the salt water stuff, but I usually look at each of the tanks with a fine tooth comb before buying anything, and quarantine them for some time. The petsmart near me is pretty dang good. I have not lost a fish I purchased from them yet.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 06:05 AM
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Quarantine any new fish from Petco or Petsmart. Don't let one fish ruin your entire tank. I have a buch of Oto's from Petsmart and they all seem to be doing fine, but I QT'd them for at least 3 weeks before distributing them to my main tanks.


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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 06:19 AM
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I would ask petsmart about the filtration system they use. most petco's use a marineland sumpsetup with huge bio wheels that usually supple 6-12 tanks each. the petsmart by my house uses a huge setup to run the entire system minus the feeder tank. they have huge media drums housing pounds and pounds each of carbon and bio that supply the whole system. just ask them how thier setup works. If its all connected, dont buy. If only a few tanks are plumed together, the chances of cross contamination are lowered.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 06:20 AM
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ive bought all the fish i have from petco and petsmart the fish dont seem to be to bad my biggest complaint is that there is almost no one ever working there to help you im about to start helping myself and the other customers and demand they pay me
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 09:16 AM
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Though I have no doubt that one can sometimes find good, inexpensive fish at Petco or Petsmart, I never buy fish there for three reasons.

One - Altogether, big box pet stores must cycle through unthinkable numbers of fish. They're like a giant meatgrinder for these little creatures. The mass production necessary to supply this market, and the massive casualties that come from it, seem disrespectful to the fish. Just sayin'

Two - your local fish store needs your business. Somebody is trying to make a real living doing something they enjoy in your community. Help them out if you can. You benefit from their expertise and advice, and sometimes this is in short supply at Petsmart / Petco.

Three - money you spend at your LFS stays in your community and helps grow businesses. This is a good thing for your local town, and helps keep taxes down, and employment and services up.

OK, I'm off my soapbox I know finances dictate that not everyone can afford to shop at a local fish shop. I have a reasonable job, and I often can't afford to shop locally. ($32 for eco-complete at the local LFS versus $23 online - c'mon, I can't pay that kind of markup)

I do try to hit the LFS for supplies and fish any time it's feasible, though.

tom
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 02:49 PM
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My Petsmart's are so clean it looks like they just setup the tanks every time I go in and look.
I have bought all my fish from them and they all lived through my cycle. Tanks been up for 1 month now and they are looking better than ever.

To Powchekny,
I would love to buy from my lfs but their prices are double what I would pay online + shipping for fish and equips. Now their aquariums seem to be a good deal but I can also drive two hours to a custom aquarium maker and get the same things for half the price. I'm just too poor to support my LFS.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf0106 View Post
Thanks Rushr. Regarding the white spots, where do they typically show up, and are there numerous spots, or just one or two?
By white spots, I mean ich spots. They look like little grains of salt and there can be many or just a few dotting a sick fish. If any fish in the tank have them, don't purchase from that tank.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powchekny View Post
Though I have no doubt that one can sometimes find good, inexpensive fish at Petco or Petsmart, I never buy fish there for three reasons.

One - Altogether, big box pet stores must cycle through unthinkable numbers of fish. They're like a giant meatgrinder for these little creatures. The mass production necessary to supply this market, and the massive casualties that come from it, seem disrespectful to the fish. Just sayin'

Two - your local fish store needs your business. Somebody is trying to make a real living doing something they enjoy in your community. Help them out if you can. You benefit from their expertise and advice, and sometimes this is in short supply at Petsmart / Petco.

Three - money you spend at your LFS stays in your community and helps grow businesses. This is a good thing for your local town, and helps keep taxes down, and employment and services up.

OK, I'm off my soapbox I know finances dictate that not everyone can afford to shop at a local fish shop. I have a reasonable job, and I often can't afford to shop locally. ($32 for eco-complete at the local LFS versus $23 online - c'mon, I can't pay that kind of markup)

I do try to hit the LFS for supplies and fish any time it's feasible, though.

tom
Most LFS;s order through the same fish farms in Fl and LA that big box stores use...
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:28 PM
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+1 on quarantining. I bought some flame tetras from petsmart in my aquarium infancy, and didn't quarantine. Though there were no visible signs of ich on the fish, suddenly my whole tank was infected. I was talking to one of the guys that worked there, and he was saying they have a hard time controlling it because all the tanks are on a manifold system(with shared filtration between a large number of tanks). Occasionally you will get one person in the aquarium fish/dept. that knows what they are talking about(this guy was a marine biology major, just working at petsmart to keep his parents off his back), he did suggest quarantining any new fish, from any store.
My only other suggestion, is not to take any of the info on the little tags on the tanks as gospel. They had a number of tags that were very wrong on adult size, temp, and pH range(scissortail rasboras for instance where marked as having a max adult size of 2 inches.. uh... yeah, I have had a school of scissortails that are all 4+ inches).

my 2 cents.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-19-2010, 04:32 PM
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People keep talking like you SHOULDN'T quarantine all fish you buy... You should quarantine every fish you buy, from every store/breeder. If you don't you're a fool.

All of these places buy from the same fish farms... They all cycle through fish quick and do little to actually care for them. They are shipped in tight quarters, kept in tight quarters, and have poor tank maint done. They are very stressed and very prone to disease. If you don't think that you need to quarantine fish from your LFS, just wait and see....
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