Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Detroit, MI, USA
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Re: Local PetSmart vs. PetCo vs. Walmart XD
Unfortunately the only places around here with fish that are less than 45 or so minutes away are two Petsmarts, a Pet's Supplies Plus and a Meijer as far as I know. There is one tropical pet store but the people in there are rude, their prices are very high, and their conditions don't look much better than one of the supermarkets...I've been there twice and on both occasions I'd say the averaged about one dead fish for every 1.5 tanks they had set up and some were ridiculous overstocked and rampant with algae.
Out of all of them, the Pet's Supplies and the larger (and farther away) Petsmart seem to be the best bets. Both have very reasonable amount of fish per tank, have many plants in the aquariums, and have minimal dead fish from my experience. They also have nice setups solely for plants which is cool. Either this Petsmart sells a lot of fish, doesn't order a lot of fish, or they go out of their way to ensure their tanks aren't overstocked, as many fish had their own setups and even tanks with Danios, Guppies, etc probably only had 1.5-2x what would be recommended at a home aquarium. This is understandable given that it's twice the size of the other one (at least) and has 3x the amount of tanks.
The other Petsmart isn't terrible but none of their aquariums have much shelter or plants and I usually see a few dead fish. They also have 2-3 tanks linked together which lets fish freely swim between tanks which I think is cool, but it also increases the chance of disease and such. I recently purchased 5 Cherry Barbs from here and one of the males died within a day with what I believe to be Neon Tetra Disease, although I could be off base. There is a chance that the male was the one I purchased the day before from the larger Petsmart, but the odds are it was from the smaller one.
As for Meijer...well it's comparable to Wal-Mart most likely. Too many fish, no decorations at all, and the fish section seems neglected. Their male Betas are also in small cups besides the sink they use for everything, great way to contaminate those fish. I really believe these places should not keep live animals of any sort unless they hire people with specific knowledge about their care at an elevated pay rate, which they don't as far as I know.
30G planted aquarium with Aquaclear 50 and two Aquaclear 20s. 7 Cherry Barbs, 12 Cardinal Tetras, 1 Albino Bristlenose Pleco, 1 Golden Honey Gourami, and a handful of Ghost Shrimp.