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Went to a local Petsmart to buy some cat food for my Sushi cat. I walked on over to see their aquatic livestock and overheard the sales rep talking to a customer. she had complaints about her water being green in her 10 gallon fish tank. sales rep grabbed a 16 oz bottle of AlgaeFix and told her to empty half the bottle into her tank and within minutes you'll be able to see crystal clear waters. i was shocked to hear that because i've had trouble with algaefix before and i knew that if she had emptied half the bottle, her tank will be in alot of trouble. she took his advice and proceeded to checkout, i felt like i had to do something cause i know that amount was way too much. so i approached her and told her that i overheard her conversation and told her she'd be in trouble if she gave her tank that much algaefix. so i suggested an alternate method, the total blackout method for a few days and after that do a 25% water change. she looked at me and smiled and thanked me because she told me she was going to add half a bottle of the algaefix to her 10 year old's tank with fancy guppies and ghost shrimps.
 

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I've done that a few times as well, I can't idly stand by while people receive bad advice!

Also, on the flip side of the coin, there have been a few times where I wish someone would have intervened and told me I was getting bad advice.

I think the moral of the story is no matter what your dealing with, come prepared and do your own research!
 

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Well I guess she will have to learn the hard way. I guess that is how alot of people end up on forums ( I did) I got loads of bad advice that not only cost me more money but some serious headaches as well. 9 months in to having my tank now and I cant begin to tell you how much I have learned from this forum as well as a few "nameless" others.
I wouldnt be surpised if she shows up here next week. lol
 

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Having worked at petshops in the past, for nearly 7 years, I can attest to the fact that most LFS workers just simply do not know a whole lot. Obviously not saying this about 100% of them, but I'd definitely be doing a bit of research before getting any advice from any LFS. Forums like this are great because you have such large variety of people with such a wide range of experiences... I'd choose advice from an internet forum over any pet shop owner/worker, any day.
 

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At my LFS I trust the owner because I've been dealing with him for almost 9 years while the manager and assistant manager make an honest effort (but I can't judge their knowledge). The rest of the staff have been there less than a year and at least one was having problems figuring out how to use an air pump without an undergravel filter when I was in there today.
 

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I can't bring myself to even ask anyone at petsmart where something is in their store. They just have no clue. Most are just kids from our local college.
 

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I have found that their are about three people (that I know of) at are local Petsmart that have a grasp on fish aquariums. Thats why I try to go to the LFS!
 

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The petsmart by me (green bay wisconsin) must be the odd ball. i go there all the time mostly to buy frozen food tho i usually dont buy fish there except otos.. and they're all alive and well still after a year. their tanks are healthy and clean, most are actually planted. I've never seen a dead or even slightly ill looking fish. There are always the same two ladies there who know just about everything about fish, plants, substrate, lighting, everything. in fact i think they're more knowledgeable than the guy who owns Advanced Aquarium Systems who says "fish are my life" lol. I made a special trip there (about 1 1/2 hour drive for me) to buy a fluval 205.. they didn't have it in stock. The lady said she could order one for me and have it shipped directly to my house. She offered free shipping so i jumped at that. I came home that day to an email from her saying that she had ordered the filter with overnight shipping and also surprised me with an additional 15% discount since i had driven all that way for nothing! I find myself there more often than the two dedicated LFSs in Green Bay.
 

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Just like anything else there are going to be exceptions to the rule. Every once in a while a knowledgeable employee or two are going to slip through the cracks and actually accept employment at a Petsmart or what have you...
 

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I was in my local chain store today and I asked "Where do you keep your aquarium substrates?" and the lady there said "over there, hanging on that wall." :icon_neut
 

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Well, some people just aren't knowledgeable. You can blame Petsmart for some people just being ignorant. I work for petsmart and they will actually teach correct ways to fix common problems. In the original post, the story is unfortunate and involves a person who just doesn't take time to learn facts or get experience and just gives advice on crazy rumors he may have heard. Even though I work at Petsmart, I feel I am very knowledgeable and experienced with this hobby and customers constantly come back and just ask for me. I guess I am one of those who just care about helping. Everyday, I try to teach at least one thing new to and employee or customer. Whether the case is you are an employee of a store like this or similar, or just a customer in a store, we all just got to keep helping educate the people who don't know much about aquariums.
 

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No offense Rocker but you are one of the few I have heard of. I have read literally hundreds of these types of threads. The employees change in the stories but the company stays the same. To be fair there are other large "pet" chains that have the same problem. Better than 75% of the stores I have been in have terrible looking tanks with fish dying in most of them. Selling "non aquatic" plants and giving poor advice is the norm. It seems the problem isnt so much with the employees but the company. Maybe they do give proper training but they certainly dont make them use it.
Too bad more of the employees arent like you as it would have been helpful when I was starting out to have someone who I could trust for advice.
As far as the Algaefix advice goes.....it will do what she wanted.....and some she didnt.
 

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Around here Petco is way better, more knowledgeable employees and significantly better pricing, but they are also hot or miss, on the employees. but I get most of my stuff at non-chain local stores even if their prices are a bit higher.
 

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I do a fair amount of hiring of people who would be described as entry level. At a petsmart you're looking for someone who can learn on the job, work independently, and be a part of a team. This really is a tall order for what I imagine they pay. The good employees, like Rocker I presume, are probably too young for other employment options or they are under credentialed.
 

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This thread has been closed.

We do not condone these types of threads and they are never productive. If you have issues with employees at LFS, bring it up with the managers at the place of business. Trash talking does no good for any one.

Buyer beware! Know what your buying before you buy it!
 
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