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our local petco does a great job taking care of their aquariums and fish stock, i know a couple people that work there. perhaps it is only certain stores.
 

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I took a trip to walmart after reading this thread and I almost busted all the tanks to put the fish outa there torment....it was bad. there was a puffer clinging on for dear life inside of this salt container.
 

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Petcos and PetsMarts are very hit or miss because they are a chain. It all depends on the chain owner and the management. Some are excellent and others are atrocious pits of abuse and disease.

I'm very grateful that both the Petco and the PetsMart near me are excellent because of good management (as I really don't have any other fish supply places nearby). The fish are beautiful and healthy, and the aquariums well kept. The folks that normally tend the aquarium section all have aquariums themselves and are super knowledgeable. Most of my fish come from those two stores. In the last 4 years, I've never, ever ended up buying an infected fish. Even my otocinclus cats are thriving and healthy.

This is a good thread. It's very important that new aquarists reading this learn to take very special care in selecting stores for their livestock so they don't end up sinking their tanks and a lot of heartache.
 

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I am very lucky that the petsmart near me is pretty good with there fish, there is also a LFS, Aquarium World. They take amazing care of there fish and thats really the only place i will buy my fish from. Its just a shame to see how places like petco treat there fish its make me sick, I will be stopping by walmart to take a look at there fish section and see what the damage is, hopefully it isnt too bad.
 

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Bullheads Rock My Socks
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we are lucky around here because we have about a dozen fish stores that are jsut fish stores where everything is done right and everyone is taken care of...they actually all banded together, mad decals for their vehicles and when they go to local chain stores they buy as many fish as they can and bring them back to their place to bring back to health and raise and then sell from their stores...my buddy actually worked for UPS when he was younger and the fish come in big white coolers and by the time they get to walmart they have been frozen and thawed and frozen and thawed and then thrown around due to not packing them correctly or shipping them on 2day delivery i nthe freezing cold...it is rediculous how things get so overlooked
 

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It broke my heart as soon as I walked in.




After buying some shoes at the local shoe store, I walked next-door to the local petco. (I never buy my stuff at petco, but I just wanted to check out the fish stuff they got there.) I walked into the store and I headed towards the fish section.

I started looking at the filters, heaters, and other cool little gadgets. After that, I made my way to the aquariums where they sold their fish.

When I got there, my heart sank. Almost every tank there was diseased. I saw everything from velvet, to NTD; from glo-fish having bend spines due to mal-nutrition, to fin and tail rot. I saw silver dollars with no fins and tails what-so-ever; I saw platies missing fins entirely; a dead, diseased, and decomposing fish in every-other tank; gourami's with no antennas.

It broke my heart to see so many fish in such a bad place. Fish were misplaced, and some were labeled wrong.




Now, I would like to explain something that happened to me about two years ago...

Two years ago, I was still relativly new to the aquarium hobby. I quickly learned to love it. I only had a 30 gallon tank at the time. (now, its a lot more *n1) I recently lost a female guppy. Thinking not much of it, I went to petco and bought a female guppy. When I took her home, I noticed her behavior. After about two hours, I saw visible signs of velvet. Inorder to save the rest of my fish, I took her out, and isolated her. Within only a few days, all of my fish have developed the disease. I lost every one of them.




From that moment on, I boycotted petco and all other petcos. It angers me to go in there again after two years and see the fish in even worse condition than two years prior. I feel saddened by the fish, but I feel like there is nothing I can do. I feel like I want to take all of them, fix them up, and give them happy, loving homes; but it is out of my reach...








Save these fish.
I've seen good and bad from Petco, PetSmart, PetLand.

One Petco near me is terrible, another is great (different staff, someone at the good one knows what they are doing).

One PetSmart near me is OK, another is OK.

The PetLand is huge, fantastic stock and everything looks great, but they sold me a Violet Goby as an aggressive freshwater fish that could be a centerpiece in my 55 gallon with my Tiger Barbs. I soon discovered it is brackish, not freshwater, is incompatible with Tiger Barbs as it cannot defend itself and it is not aggressive in the slightest.

So there's good and bad everywhere... The only good fish store is not a chain from my experience:
Never trust the fish store | timwheatley.org
 

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Same happened with me. I walked into a petco and felt bile in my stomach. There was a Silver Dollar missing an eye, and countless dead and decomposing fish. I was with my mom and told her that we had to go. She immediatly took me outside where i gulped in fresh air. Tears welled up as i told her I never wanted to go there again and that they should be sued for animal cruelty.

P.S. notice how no one considers cruelty to aquarium fish as an "actual" animal cruelty *td
 

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Maybe, we should all go work [at Petco, Petsmart, etc.]... we could save a ton of fish cause at least WE know what we are doing... unlike teenagers who overflow tanks and kill the fish...
 

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Petco and Petsmart where I am at is pretty decent. As mentioned a couple of posts up, Wal-mart is the worst I have ever seen. Where I lived previously, the Wal-marts weren't so bad. Here, is a different story. The fish all look diseased and in bad shape.
 

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Bullheads Rock My Socks
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I ran into an issue last night at a local petstore, Petzone, where the Oscars they had were in terrible shape, fin rot and everything else, and i asked my buddy who works there what they were doing about it, and he said that they had never had this occur and that they felt terrible, and he went down there and got them all, and they are now in a 120gallon tank in his living room, so some people who work there are really looking out for this type of situation.
 

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The sad thing about "saving" these fish from pet stores is that they are just going to go order more of them. We buy up their diseased fish, fix them, and then more are in the tank the next week with the same problem. There's no disease prevention in places like that, no quarantine procedures, so it's a constant battle. Really a sad situation.
 

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same with me I recently had my 19th b-day and my boyfriend unknowingly bought me 2 fish from petco a Plecostomus (sucker) fish and a Blue Gourami and the sucker fish died the Gourami is fine she is in her own tank she shows no signs of any illnesses but she is afraid of my gold fish bubba he's really big so i moved her in to a 20 gal tank and i'm going to get another Gourami fish for her so she doesn't feel lonely. I'm getting her new friend from a wonderful old lady who has many fish and woln't let you have one unless you have everything the fish will need i love this lady, she has like 100 tanks and every one is perfect!!!
 

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I hate how money hungry people can be!
I mean, how are their no laws helping the fish.
I also hate when idiots go in and get a fish they know nothing about and keep it in a bowl!
Some people just get on my nerves.
 

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That's why I am applying for an aquarium job at the petsmart they are building down the street from me. The other petsmart isn't bad as far as livestock go, they have one guy who really knows his stuff but the rest of the punk kids dont.. SOO i plan on being that guy at the new petsmart.
 
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