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Old 08-30-2008, 09:37 PM   #1
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Not so pretty fish...pretty fish

I'm making an observation of the fish at many of my local pet stores in my area. I've been stocking my 20 gallon with only cardinal tetras and having difficulty finding a healthy stock. The first batch died within a week...the same with the second batch. At the pet store, the fish looked almost transparent and had little chance of survival. Some even died on the ride home. I finally found a retailer who had semi-healthy looking cardinal tetras. Oddly enough, it was Earl May. I've purchased ten so far and all ten have survived.

I guess the point I'm really getting at is that many of the fish at the pet stores are very dull in color and seem almost lifeless. This was also the appearance of other fish, but it was much more prevalent in the cardinal tetras. Once I got them home (the ones from Earl May) they maintained their dull color for about a day. After that, their colors were brilliant and they became much more active.

I'm assuming that their dull colors were from unhealthy conditions at the pet store, such as malnurishment and poor water. I guess I just feel really bad for them.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:43 PM   #2
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Poor color can also be a result of stress. Too many fish in too small of an aquarium, or other factors.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:51 PM   #3
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Being dull at the store is not unusual. You want to check for any signs of torn fins, clamped fins, wounds or dead fish in the same tank and nice round bellies.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:23 PM   #4
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When I purchased to two batches from the first two stores, they didn't look healthy at all. They had poor coloring and very skinny. I guess in my arrogance, I thought that I would be able to nurse them back to health. Even the fish at Earl May didn't look that healthy (much better than the other two places though).

My main point of the post is that the fish at the pet stores aren't that attractive. Once they get home and get healthy, their true colors show. Many of the fish at the pet stores are not that healthy. This may be an obvious observation.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
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Another reason fish aren't as pretty at the store, is when they are sold as juveniles. Many species don't show their true colors until they finish maturing, which can be many months later.
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