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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

What is the best day to buy fish? The delivery day, day after, 2 days after,etc..?

My LFS said they get a new shipment on Wednesday. The person I spoke to said that Friday would be the best day to buy them because they are done " cycling" whatever that means.

I am not sure if she means that maybe there are a lot of fish that die from the shipment or if they have settled down from the trip,etc..?

What do you think is the best day to buy fish at the LFS in relation to the day that a new shipment arrives?

Thanks.
 

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Too many variables to say. Assuming the wholesaler itself is ok (and there are some that aren't but stay in business anyway for inexplicable reasons), there should be no issue getting the fish straight from the shipping box - assuming you know what you're doing re: acclimation (some need drip acclimation more than others). Also, sometimes the LFS itself is the source of problems. My initial attempts at stocking bolivian rams was unsuccessful until my return of a couple of dead ones coincided with a delivery. I bought the ones still in the wholesale bag and had no problems.

That said, if the fish did come from a less than stellar source, I'd let the LFS handle the shipping losses. Only way you'd know that though is to ask around. It's not helped by the fact that at least some LFS use multiple wholesalers (not sure why, but if they're using central filtration systems, I really wish they wouldn't, particularly if *I* shop there. :) )
 

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I either get the fish while they just arrived and are still in the original shipment bag, that way the new fish have less chance of being infected (fish didn't touch possibly contaminated LFS water) and they don't have to acclimate twice (LFS tank then your tank). You would need to know/talk with your LFS fish manager if they would do that for you. Mine know me personally and let me do that.

Or I wait at the very least, 2 days, preferably 3 or 4 days after they have arrived. I just give them that settling-in/acclimation period so they are less likely to die when you get them. When fish arrive and are added to a tank from just being shipped, they are highly stressed. A busy LFS environment is even more stressful for fish and they usually don't provide a comfortable setting for the fish (lack of hiding areas, people, seen as dangers to the fish, constantly looking at them and even scary nets dipping into the water chasing fish). If a fish will die from stress (which is common), it will usually happen within those first few days after arriving. Waiting the first few days, it is possible the fish will sell out, or die off, but if they are still there you would be getting fish that are more likely to survive. And it sort of gives you those few days to see if they end up developing any disease (if you happen to see the fish on arrival day and the day you pick them up. still quarantine new fish!).

If you can, it's best to fish out how long fish have been in shipment. If the LFS is good, they would have 1 or 2 days (max) shipment arrival time. If they used a cheaper shipment that took longer than that, the fish would stay in polluted water with little oxygen, and a bit of stress from sloshing around for quite some time, so they wouldn't be in the best condition. They may survive just fine, but the point is, the more stress, the less likely they will survive. Getting them if they arrived within 1-2 days shipment and taking them straight from the original shipment bags (before the fish are released out of the bags into LFS tanks) is almost like shipping to your door which is the best option.
 

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I have a couple of LFS's to choose from that are completely different. One has a shop the size of his store that he uses for breeding. Those fish go right into the for sale tanks since they know that they are all good. He also QT's in his breeding room from local breeders, then puts out for sale. He also gets in shipments and QT's those in the display tanks with the date they arrived, and their target for sale date. Having said all of that, he really doesn't have a restocking day. It's a constant cycle. New fish appear throughout the week. This is my favorite LFS.

The other one has questionable practices. They get fish in, make room for them, and IF (big if there) they do QT them, they are for sale 2 days later. The only time I buy fish from them is if they have had something for weeks and nothing else ends up in that tank over that period of time.

Basically it all depends on the LFS and how they conduct business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Too many variables to say. Assuming the wholesaler itself is ok (and there are some that aren't but stay in business anyway for inexplicable reasons), there should be no issue getting the fish straight from the shipping box - assuming you know what you're doing re: acclimation (some need drip acclimation more than others). Also, sometimes the LFS itself is the source of problems. My initial attempts at stocking bolivian rams was unsuccessful until my return of a couple of dead ones coincided with a delivery. I bought the ones still in the wholesale bag and had no problems.

That said, if the fish did come from a less than stellar source, I'd let the LFS handle the shipping losses. Only way you'd know that though is to ask around. It's not helped by the fact that at least some LFS use multiple wholesalers (not sure why, but if they're using central filtration systems, I really wish they wouldn't, particularly if *I* shop there. :) )
My understanding(please correct me if I'm wrong) is that both Petco and Petsmart use a central filtration system however Petsmart has
1. A separate system to isolate the feeder fish(which are prone to disease)
2. Has a UV sterilization system where as Petco does not.
3. Has a hospital tank in the back with random medications whereas Petco will return diseased fish into the normal tanks.

can any insiders confirm/deny that?

Thanks.
 

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I prefer to get them the day before a new shipment comes in (usually a week). That way you can see if the fish have developed any fish, how they are going in general, or if they were a bad batch. I particularly like this method when buying fish like neons etc. That way if it is a bad batch the local fish store will have the fish die and not me. Another reason is that fish deal with stress better when their body condition is good. Fish usually get reduced feeds and or starved for a time period (depends on the supplier how long). Which means when the fish come in their pretty fin etc. The advantage of waiting at least a week, is that the fish have had a chance to eat, and basically put condition back on. Which makes the transition from the lfs tank to mine easier on the fish. Plus if the fish still look sickly or lethargic after that amount of time, its a pretty good indicator something is not right.

I also will get them strait from the bag. Tho usually, its when i get them to special order me in fish that they don't usually stock. That way i don't have to worry about the stores water and possible contamination.
 

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I have a couple of LFS's to choose from that are completely different. One has a shop the size of his store that he uses for breeding. Those fish go right into the for sale tanks since they know that they are all good. He also QT's in his breeding room from local breeders, then puts out for sale. He also gets in shipments and QT's those in the display tanks with the date they arrived, and their target for sale date.
I'm guessing this is Fantastic Fins? If so, if you get to know Dale well enough, he'll take you next store to his breeding site. I've purchased a few fish right from his breeding tanks. In general, he offers really high quality stock. I know his Rainbows come from a very good local breeder who only offers F1 & F2 lineage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I prefer to get them the day before a new shipment comes in (usually a week). That way you can see if the fish have developed any fish, how they are going in general, or if they were a bad batch. I particularly like this method when buying fish like neons etc. That way if it is a bad batch the local fish store will have the fish die and not me. Another reason is that fish deal with stress better when their body condition is good. Fish usually get reduced feeds and or starved for a time period (depends on the supplier how long). Which means when the fish come in their pretty fin etc. The advantage of waiting at least a week, is that the fish have had a chance to eat, and basically put condition back on. Which makes the transition from the lfs tank to mine easier on the fish. Plus if the fish still look sickly or lethargic after that amount of time, its a pretty good indicator something is not right.

I also will get them strait from the bag. Tho usually, its when i get them to special order me in fish that they don't usually stock. That way i don't have to worry about the stores water and possible contamination.
What store lets you custom order the fish? (sorry if I asked you already)

That sound like a good strategy except for some reason my fish store order such few fish, its laughable and other people will buy them up so there is no stock.

Several times I have tried to buy a fish often time which is schooling and recommended to have a minimum of 6 to be comfortable and the store will only have like 1 in stock.

Once they only had 1 white mountain minnow!!! Just 1!!

One store had 5 for $5 sale and I could not do it because they only had 4 of the fish.

I know know if its the economy or what but these fish store are ordering fish very sparingly and its hard to even get the stuff they carry since they either sell out quickly or don't order enough to cover demand.

I wish I could custom order since there are some basic fish which I can't seem to find anywhere.

Thanks.
 

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I'm guessing this is Fantastic Fins? If so, if you get to know Dale well enough, he'll take you next store to his breeding site. I've purchased a few fish right from his breeding tanks. In general, he offers really high quality stock. I know his Rainbows come from a very good local breeder who only offers F1 & F2 lineage.
That would be the one. Dale and his crew are awesome! I haven't been in the "back room" as of yet. He offered once, but I was short on time that day. I know that he has several trusted local breeders that always bring him high quality product.

On another note...Will they ever trim Dave's teeth? :laugh2:
 

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I either get the fish while they just arrived and are still in the original shipment bag, that way the new fish have less chance of being infected (fish didn't touch possibly contaminated LFS water) and they don't have to acclimate twice (LFS tank then your tank). You would need to know/talk with your LFS fish manager if they would do that for you. Mine know me personally and let me do that.

Or I wait at the very least, 2 days, preferably 3 or 4 days after they have arrived. I just give them that settling-in/acclimation period so they are less likely to die when you get them. When fish arrive and are added to a tank from just being shipped, they are highly stressed. A busy LFS environment is even more stressful for fish and they usually don't provide a comfortable setting for the fish (lack of hiding areas, people, seen as dangers to the fish, constantly looking at them and even scary nets dipping into the water chasing fish). If a fish will die from stress (which is common), it will usually happen within those first few days after arriving. Waiting the first few days, it is possible the fish will sell out, or die off, but if they are still there you would be getting fish that are more likely to survive. And it sort of gives you those few days to see if they end up developing any disease (if you happen to see the fish on arrival day and the day you pick them up. still quarantine new fish!).

If you can, it's best to fish out how long fish have been in shipment. If the LFS is good, they would have 1 or 2 days (max) shipment arrival time. If they used a cheaper shipment that took longer than that, the fish would stay in polluted water with little oxygen, and a bit of stress from sloshing around for quite some time, so they wouldn't be in the best condition. They may survive just fine, but the point is, the more stress, the less likely they will survive. Getting them if they arrived within 1-2 days shipment and taking them straight from the original shipment bags (before the fish are released out of the bags into LFS tanks) is almost like shipping to your door which is the best option.
In dealing with a LFS, this would be the way I approach it as well.
In a nutshell, you just have to resist the urge to buy the fish the day after it was put into the tank if you can't take them home straight from the shipping box.
This is also why I now buy 95% of the fish/plants/inverts I acquire from a small handful of sellers on Aquabid. Some of the LFS I work with, I have known for decades but how a fish is handled in the wholesale supply chain has SO many variables that a LFS can't be responsible for. Guarantees are great, but I'd rather work with the best and receive unstressed fish.
 

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Same here. I liked supporting my local LFS and all, I have even been pretty good friends with the store owners/fish managers, but I've gotten my fair share of stressed and diseased fish from them and that's just a hassle I don't want to keep getting. That is why I too, now buy 95% of my livestock/plants online from a select few reputable sellers I trust to have healthy stock. +1 on the healthier stock over "guarantees".
 

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What store lets you custom order the fish? (sorry if I asked you already)

That sound like a good strategy except for some reason my fish store order such few fish, its laughable and other people will buy them up so there is no stock.

Several times I have tried to buy a fish often time which is schooling and recommended to have a minimum of 6 to be comfortable and the store will only have like 1 in stock.

Once they only had 1 white mountain minnow!!! Just 1!!

One store had 5 for $5 sale and I could not do it because they only had 4 of the fish.

I know know if its the economy or what but these fish store are ordering fish very sparingly and its hard to even get the stuff they carry since they either sell out quickly or don't order enough to cover demand.

I wish I could custom order since there are some basic fish which I can't seem to find anywhere.

Thanks.
Generally if you have a decent fish store near you, just go in and say something like your after these species and these numbers. Are they able to order them in for you. But also ask about price, make sure they will be the same price as the ones they already carry. Or how much they will cost if they don't normally stick them.

If you tun up on the day and time the fish arrive, you can usually just get the fish in the bag they came to lfs in. If its just your fish in the bag.
 

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Interesting topic. By me, I have four options for fish...

1 petsmart
2 petco
3 a small lfs
4 a general pet store with a fish display about the size of a petsmart.

Where do I get most of my fish? Option 4. Why? One reason is because they stock some fish not found at the other 3 like brass, albino neon, cardinal, and rummynose tetras. The main reason though is that they have a very low turn around rate. These fish will sit in their tanks for weeks or even months. I will call and they can tell me when the last order was so I have a general idea how long the fish have been at the store. I make sure the fish have been there for at least 3 weeks. I have bought about about a dozen rummys and a dozen cardinals from this place with zero acclimation deaths. If I shop at petsmart or petco, I do the day before a new shipment for the same reasons previous posters said. As far as my lfs, I got ich in both of my tanks from them so I am on hiatus.
 

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I have a great relationship with my LFS. He does mostly dogs, but also has an entire wall of fresh and salt species, corals, lighting....not full service but he tries. Since I supply him with angels, snails and RCS I get lots of product/fish/shrimp for free.

I like to stop in the store about 3 days after a shipment comes in....plenty of stock and the die-off is mostly complete...
also- since Tom and I are pretty good friends anything that doesn't work out for me he replaces....

I also catch and bag my own stuff..which is cool.

The downside; it is in a mall! I hate malls, but if I go on a weeknight it is not so bad...I can spend a good hour finding what I want...bag it up myself and it is almost always free!
 
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