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Old 10-01-2008, 05:57 PM   #1
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For all Newbies: Importance of Research / LFS choice

So I just wanted to do a bit of ranting and perhaps anyone new who might not know, to help them make the right choices.

I'll start out with my story first - I decided to go back to a LFS in the area. I had been there once before. I was impressed by their selection of items and fish. Most fish seemed healthy, no major problems, though a lot of large breed angels ( emperor, queen, korean etc) all in small tanks on the wall ( like you typically see in stores). Anyhow, today I went back in just for the heck of it to see what was new. I was horrified! The decent looking store had a 10% off saltwater fish sale ( I wonder why..) , I found two fish dead ( a cute little blenny I saw there last time stuck to the filter) a half eaten damsel in the back of a tank, and a dying ( gasping for breath laying on the bottom) harlequin tusk. If that wasnt bad enough, I found to my amazement, a wonderful little black tang ( $400, mind you) about 2", and guess what, covered with white spots! (ich). I told the one aquarium guy, who I didnt see in there last time about the problems, epecially ich ( since I found out they were centrally plumbed) on an expensive fish.. and he simply stated that all fish have ich, it just 'comes out' sometimes.

Anyway, moral of my story is, newbies ( and everyone of course), PLEASE research your fish Find out what species belong together, what will fit in your tank ( no they will NOT stop growing..) etc. as well as research your LFS ( go in, see a fish you like, go home, do research, come back and look at it again, inspect tanks - no sick fish, healthy etc). If I had bought my fish at the LFS without coming back and 'scoping it out' later, I would have been in a lot of trouble. Can you imagine buying that black tang for $400 with no return? ('due to our low costs we offer no guarantee on saltwater fish to keep our prices low' the sign stated) Also please QT all fish.

I found out the hard way when started back in may, bought a clown, had ich and died shortly after and had to leave my main tank without fish for 8 weeks.

Sorry, just my rant. I was unhappy to see all those beautiful fish sick. Hope it helps some new people
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:46 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your experience. This is a nice post.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:14 PM   #3
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What a great post!
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:20 AM   #4
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Agree... nice post!

Researching LFSs (as well as the specific critters!) BEFORE you buy is one of the best things you can do to guarantee the success of your tank. catmel paints a pretty good example.

The other thing I've found that's important is to CONTINUE doing this even if you're not in the immediate market to buy a fish/coral. The health of a fish store is not a set thing - it changes as employees come and go, or as the store may be trying out new sources for livestock. I've seen several good fish stores go from having really nice tanks, to being a good place to see every type of disease imaginable. Just because XYZ Store is great today, doesn't mean it's going to be great 4 months from now. And that works the other way too.

So keep tabs on your LFSs and get a general feel for how the health of the store is doing.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:31 AM   #5
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Very nice post. I had a similar experience with a LFS by my house. It was a larger chain store and the first time i went in there i was quite impressed and all the fish seemed to be doing quite well. I went back a couple months later and was in shock to find that their tanks were now in terrible shape. Tanks were covered in literally carpets of algae. Dead fish all over the place and when i found one sick and told the people working there like you did i got an equally as uneducated/unconcerned answer. Catmel brings an excellent point. Make sure you know what your getting your self into and don't assume that just because someone works in a saltwater fish store that they actually know much about the hobby. I have seen countless posts of people having problems where they had recieved just flat out wrong or very misguided advice from thier LFS
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:45 AM   #6
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Wow! Very well said! Thanks for posting!
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:51 PM   #7
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I also do something else sneaky. I'll ask my questions here or in my local club's forums, then I'll go around the LFS's in the area and ask the same questions and compare their answers with what everyone else says. There are a couple stores I wont go near now because of that.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:04 PM   #8
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Ugh, tell me about it. There's nothing worse than when the employee makes up some dumb answer to your question...especially if you already know the answer.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:32 PM   #9
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Glad I could help I was very frustrated, and wanted to help from my experiences. A lot of people dont think about scoping out their LFS when they see a fish they like..
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