Originally Posted by Gregcoyote
Sure there is...as you pointed out...many if not most of the mandarins at the LFS
are skinny already from the stay at the holding facilities as well as shipment. By "trick" I meant being fortunate enough to encounter a healthy fish as you have little control in most communities as to choice, especially if you subscribe to your good advise of actually seeing the fish first.
Obviously, each different area of the country has it's own situation. I've shipped all over the country and all over the world and it does take a toll on the fish when not done properly.
That all being said, the point I was trying to make was when the shift came to buying fish over the internet (& I was a proponant of doing it as well), problems arose on the customer's end that couldn't be solved just by replacing the fish, which was the common practice. (Having a relationship with a good store would have prevented some of those situations because they could have advised whether this was a good fit for the customer's tank or customer's abilities.) The fallout from that was that the Local Fish Store couldn't afford to do what they have to do to keep the fish healthy and still turn a profit to stay in business. Something had to give and CARE was usually the victim. Not that they didn't take care of the fish. They just couldn't invest the time and resources to making it the BEST POSSIBLE specimen. There were other considerations that were out of the store's control as well. Collecting methods, wholesaler's knowledge or capabilities, natural and unnatural diseases all can contribute to a fish's fate. These don't always show up immediately. However, a healthy fish acts a certain way. That's the same no matter what. That's why I suggested that seeing IF the fish was interested in eating was an acceptable criteria.
Listen , I could go on and on but the bottom line wouldn't change
. When I used to go to the local fish wholesaler and pick my mandarins out of a tank of 50 or 75 fish, more of them were acting and looking normal than not. (And at that point, the fish hadn't eaten in close to a week because of shipping requirements.) I've seen some stores that would just scoop up a net full of fish and take whatever they caught. I was just more particular because my reputation was on the line. That carried over to my import business as well. My suppliers knew to not dump crap on me because I wouldn't pay for it. I bought better quality fish and paid more for them because they were my livelyhood. It all trickles down.
My feeling is that if today's customer was more conscious of what they were buying rather than what they were spending on a fish, the local fish store would be forced to deliver higher quality if they wanted to survive. Who wins when that happens? The customer and the fish.
I welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone on a 1 on 1 basis or through a seperate forum (ie chat room) because this discussion could be very long and I don't think this is the right place for that. If anyone is interested, just send me a private message with a date and time that's convenient and we'll make it happen.
(Fair warning, I LOVE TALKING ABOUT FISH!!!