Asking LFS to feed fish to observe healthy ones. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Asking LFS to feed fish to observe healthy ones.

So I have been planning for months to get a few (2-3) Dwarf puffers for a planted 15 gallon aqueon column tank I have. Several times I have had to use the tank as either a quarantine tank or a tank for other fish until my 55 was up and running.

I noticed a couple months ago that one of the LFS has DPs in stock and they looked pretty healthy when ever I had been in there.

Fast forward to yesterday and I am finally ready to go pick up a few DPs, the 15g is empty of fish, everything was setup and ready.

I go in and I am looking at the tank of DPs and about half of them look extremely thin and emaciated. On the glass of the puffer tank I could see tiny little white worms moving around. I know puffers usually have worms and was already prepared to treat my new DPs as soon as they went into the tank at home.

Because of the state of this tank at the fish store I asked the owner if he would be willing to feed the fish a little so I could make sure the ones I picked out were healthy enough.

He flatly refused indicating he didn't want to over feed the fish and pollute the tank....

I ended up going home with a juvenile bolivian ram that looked pretty healthy who will be housed in the 15 for a few weeks before being moved to my 55.

My question is does anyone else ask to watch the fish feed prior to purchase? Was my request valid?

At this point I don't think I will be shopping at this store any more and if the other small LFS cant get DPs in I think I might order online or something.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 05:02 PM
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I do not think your request was unreasonable, most potential fish store customers would not ask for this, so I don't buy the fouling the water story. Sorry, but enough of their tanks are overpopulated, which I think is the worse culprit as far as water quality is concerned.

I am not surprised that you don't want to go back to this store. If the fish looked in poor health and he did not want to demo that they are in fact active enough to go for food, then you have reasonable doubt as to the health of the fish.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 05:13 PM
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That seems so silly why they can't feed the fish a few bits of bloodworms or something! My experience of pet store workers is sometimes they get defensive or make me feel ashamed of my choice for no reason! I am the customer!! A two second siphoning (for example)of leftover food is really not worth the money you want to spend for their store? In perspective.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 05:34 PM
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Completely opposite to my stores. Then again I spend so much time there most all of the employees know I'm obsessed with puffers. Even if they have something unusal in they usually feed so I can see them in action. As far as the column I would keep it to 2 max. I have a lot of dps and they definitely prefer a larger footprint over height. Keeping it to 2 will reduce bullying. I use my 15 column to breed snails. great tank, the light is a little low with the single bulb but there is an easy mod using a cheap overhead light fixture to be able to mount 2 cfls inside the existing hood(while keeping the stock t5). Good luck in your search. I would steer clear of this shop in the future.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all I feel better about asking and about my decision not to get any.

I really like the 15 column, I removed the lid and put a clip on Planted+ on it.

Ill Keep it to 2 DPs thanks for the advice
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 06:39 PM
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Definitely not an unreasonable request. I used to do that sometimes when I was into saltwater aquariums. The fish are expensive, so it's nice to know if one is not only eating properly, but what it is currently eating before buying it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 06:41 PM
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I don't have this problem at my LFS and even if I did get a fish and it died with in a week they will give me a new one free of charge no questions asked (I spend a lot of money here I know both owners hahaha)

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 08:26 PM
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I ask all the time!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 09:47 PM
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I don't think this is an unreasonable request at all. Last time I was in my LFS, a woman was there with a very young child. They have a koi pond/tank inside (as well as some outside) and she asked if he could see them feed the fish. They obliged her and got a kick out of watching the kid's reaction as the fish came up to feed.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 09:58 PM
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IMHO if the problem was so evident I would have negotiated the price down. Gotten a super good deal while also potentially saving the lives of those fish by nursing them back to health.
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